Up on the bridge, Mal comes by to ask a surly Wash if he's sent out a beacon. He has. Mal starts to leave again, but Wash mutters "pointless" under his breath. Mal stops and asks Wash what he just said, even though he clearly already knows. Wash responds in a sarcastic manner, "Nothing, sir. It's a brilliant plan. I'm sure we'll all be saved." Mal says he's growing tired of Wash's attitude. Wash apologizes in such a way that indicates he wishes said attitude could take physical form and slap the living shit out of Mal. He explains that the possibility of turning into grape Popsicles has made him a little edgy. Mal insists that there's a chance that somebody will hear the beacon. Wash insists that there's not. He points out that the navigation route Mal insisted on puts them out of range of any assistance. Mal tells him to make the signal go further. Wash is all, "What?" You know, run the signal through your tri-corder, then funnel it through the shields and the deflector array, and suddenly you can reach anybody, anywhere, from any time. That's what Star Trek has taught me. Wash insists that you can't. Mal says, "Not if all you're gonna do is sit here and 'whinge' about it." Hee. Nathan's Canadian! I've never actually heard anybody pronounce it like that before. Wash asks what he's supposed to do. Mal tells him to do anything he has to, even if he has to put on a spacesuit and go outside the ship. Wash interrupts, "And what? Wave my arms around?" Perhaps. Alternatively, Mal explains, Wash can divert the nav-sats to the transmitter. Oh, yes. Of course. I had been wondering when they would think of that. Wash dismisses the idea as a teenage prank. Mal points out that it would boost the beacon. A surly Wash points out that it would, but it would also muck up the navigation system of any passing ship that received it, and they would have to "dig out" the signal and figure out its origin before they could go anywhere. Mal stands there silently, waiting for this to sink in. Then Wash has that uncomfortable moment in an argument where you realize that you're wrong, wrong, wrong, and there's no way that you can pretend that you aren't, so you just sort of yell out your apology in the same tone of voice that you were just arguing with. Wash shouts out, "Well, maybe I should do that then?!" "Maybe you should!" "Okay!" "Good!" "Fine!"
Jayne hears all the arguing and asks them why "they're fighting at a time like this." But he doesn't mean it in some namby-pamby, we-all-must-work-together-in-a-crisis way. He tells them they're going to use up all the air.