The tolling of a bell brings us back to Hick Town. That would be Butterfly ringing the bell. Simon tells her that this is lunacy, asking Butterfly what exactly it is she teaches the people here. Well, she don't know nothin' about birthin' no babies, but she knows plenty about burnin' witches. Some folks wander over. One guy, whom I shall call "Lothar," asks what the heck is going on. She explains that River's a witch, and describes the mind-reading. Simon insists that River isn't a witch. She's just a little "troubled." Jayne is a little "troubled." River's a loony. Lothar approaches and asks River if she's a witch. He explains that he's the patron there, and asks if River understands what that means. She does. He's in charge. Then she starts babbling about how the old patron died. He was sick, but he was getting better, but then Lothar was alone with him and she's a witch! A witch! Ignore those lies! She's a witch! Lothar actually smacks River and agrees with Butterfly, accusing River of spinning falsehoods. Lothar, by the way, is one really bad actor. There's a reason I called him Lothar beyond just the Hill People joke. He insists that the evil must purged from River with fire. Men grab her as she starts screaming.
Meanwhile, Serenity is detaching itself from the Alliance behemoth. Mal is in the room with Book, who is patched up and recovering from his wounds. Mal explains that the Alliance fixed Book and then let them go. Book tries to pretend that this is a surprise to him as well. Mal asks him what sort of ident card would get them good treatment from the vaguely evil, officious, and very boring Alliance. Book suggests that it's because he's a preacher. He says folks like a man of God. Mal says that they don't: "Men of God make everybody feel guilty and judged." Mal wants an explanation. Book says he'll get one someday. "Well, hurry up," Mal says. "Have you seen our ratings?" Book concludes that it's good to be home.
Elsewhere on the ship, Jayne is polishing the money. Really, he is. I had no idea he had a secret compulsively clean side. What with his dirty clothes. And mind. Zoe and Mal wander through at around the same time. Zoe says that Badger has hailed them about dropping off the money someplace. Jayne points out that it will be easier doing all these deals now that they've abandoned their fugitive travelers. Zoe agrees with Mal that this is true. Mal looks at Zoe, pondering a world where Jayne is right and wondering what that could mean.