In the blue-tinted now, shirtless Mal…okay, I'll stop for some of you to digest that. Nathan does nothing for me, but you all drool as much as you like. So Shirtless Mal -- stay with me, here -- groans in the abandoned medical bay as he finishes up bandaging his chest wound. He limps over to the drawer and pulls another needle of adrenaline out. Then he plunges the needle into his own chest and presses the plunger. He has spasms on the cot. I understand that this would have actually killed Mal if he had done it in real life, so kids, if you get shot in the stomach, don't just inject a gigantic needle full of adrenaline into your heart. Go see a doctor. This has been your TWoP public service announcement.
Back in the accident flashback, Kaylee finds Mal somewhere on the ship and asks him if Zoe is going to be okay. He tells her to let Simon worry about her. Mal wants to know what Kaylee has figured out about the accident. Kaylee explains that a catalyzer on the port compressor blew. Oh. Well, of course. Duh. Like the rest of us, Mal doesn't understand what that explanation means. He asks Kaylee to explain it in "Captain Dummy talk." She explains that they're "dead in the water." Mal asks if she can fix it. She can try. But the problem is even worse. They've got no life support, because the engine's not running. What about secondary life support? That was "knocked out" by the explosion. All the air they've got left is what's on the ship. Jayne wanders by to point out that they've already lost about half of that from the fire and subsequent vacuum on the lower deck. How long have they got? "A couple of hours, maybe," Kaylee says. "We'll start to feel it. And then we'll feel nothing at all."
Commercials. The Symphony Of Despair plays us back into the medical bay with Simon and Zoe. Inara comes in to ask how Zoe's doing. Simon says that she's still unconscious, but her vitals are strong. Simon explains that Zoe might end up outliving the rest of them by virtue of the fact that she's using less oxygen. He heads out of the medical bay and plops down on a couch outside in the common area. He tells Inara that he always thought Serenity was a vaguely funereal-sounding name. Yeah, funeral homes and graveyards are big on using synonyms for peacefulness in their names, like they want assure customers that the people buried there are actually going to stay dead and not start lurching around, looking for brains to eat. Inara says she loves the ship and has from the moment she saw it. Simon says he doesn't want to die on it. Inara says she doesn't want to die at all. A morbid Simon feels the sudden urge to explain what happens when a person dies of suffocation. Inara stops him before he gets very far, because she doesn't want to hear it. It turns out that Simon's depressed because it's his birthday, and now he's going to go die and everything. Inara leans over and holds his hand as some sort of comfort. Why isn't he trying to comfort his crazy sister? Isn't he worried that she's going to freak out?
Oh, that's okay. It seems that River has decided to go around trying to freak other people out. Since her target is Book, I don't mind. Book is in his quarters, reading his Bible and praying. He looks terrified. River clings to the side of the doorway, because crazy people like clinging to things like that to remind everybody that they're crazy. She says, "Don't be afraid." Book looks at her. She points out that the Bible tells Book not to be afraid. But he is afraid. Book agrees that he is. River says that Book is afraid they're going to run out of air and die gasping. River shakes her head seriously and explains that they won't. They'll freeze to death first. At that comforting news, River wanders off. Book stares after her, hoping that River has just bypassed him again in the Annoying 500.