"I," she stutters, "is this a bad time?" "No," he stutters back, "This...good as any. How's...your world?" She smiles. Weather. "Cold. It's autumn here." He asks if she's still at the Training House, and she smiles at him. He actually tries to lay on the charm. It's Mal, so he accomplishes it, despite looking like he just went through a trash compactor. Albeit a sexy one. "So, what occasions the wave? Not that to see you ain't...well, you look very fine." They talk over each other, but being as how she's currently a hostage of the Operative and this is a big trap, she goes ahead and launches into it: "I guess we're having something of a problem here with the locals. And, I thought maybe..." He offers "a gun hand" and she says she hopes it's not necessary. "I'm hoping not. But if you happen to be close at all, you...the crew could take your ease here for a while. And there'd be payment." He gets excited, then tamps it down. "Well, it would be...I mean, I'd like to. Kaylee's been...missing you something fierce." Downstairs, the entire crew, now assembled in the cockpit and watching, shouts, "Oh, man!" Wash throws actual popcorn, is the level we're at right now. It's hilarious and heartbreaking. Word, y'all. "I miss her, too. I even miss my shuttle, occasionally." He's sheepish. "Yeah, you left, um...got some of your stuff in a trunk. I never did get a chance to drop it off." Lying -- and the commentary has a funny note from Joss about how both actors came to him with the subtext for this -- she says, "I didn't mean to leave stuff," and his response is equally an adorable lie, "I didn't look through the stuff." They talk about how they'll be talking, and he signs off.
In the cockpit, Wash extemporizes, "Inara, nice to see her again." Zoe looks at Mal, cowboyed up. "So, trap?" They have a whole Captain/First Mate conversation in twin language that weirds out everybody else. Kaylee especially, because this is clearly fate and romance happening, is confused. Zoe and Mal agree that they're going in, and Wash is like, "Yeah, but, remember the part where it's a trap?" Mal shrugs. "If that's the case, then Inara's already caught in it. She wouldn't set us up willing. Might be we got a shot at seeing who's turning these wheels. We go in." Kaylee protests that maybe Inara just wants to see him. "But how can you be sure Inara don't just wanna see you? Sometimes people have feelings. I'm referring here to people." His face is firm. "You all were watching, I take it." They all sheepishly assent. "Did you see us fight?" They did not. "Trap." One of the outtakes involved him screaming "TRAP!" at the top of his lungs, disgusted at the ongoing ignorance of his most trusted allies, and then turning swiftly on his heel, and that would have been funny too.
We're coming in low over the Training House, nobody on radar. Mal hands over command to Mal, and cracks wise: "Remember. If anything happens to me or if you don't hear from me within the hour you take this ship and you come and you rescue me." Zoe smiles, fake-affronted: "What? Risk my ship?" He takes off. "I mean it. It's cold out there. And I don't wanna get left." When you're heading into a situation where the actual trained assassin without an identity is the less scary of the factors, the safety of Serenity is important.