Mal wanders in, so Zoe and Wash pretend they weren't talking about him. Mal asks if "the ambassador" has checked in. They're referring to Inara, and I'm just going to cut out "the ambassador" crap right now; obviously these euphemisms no longer actually serve any interesting dialogue purpose, since we know the truth. No, Inara hasn't checked in. Mal tells them to let her know that they may be leaving in a hurry. Wash offers to ask her to come back early, but Mal decides not to. He says, "Somebody on this boat has to make an honest living."
WHOOP! WHOOP! WHOOP! Ironic segue alert! Ironic segue alert! We cut to Inara, making The Beast Who Gasps, "Oh, My God!" with a client. After it's over and he's flushed the condom, she makes small talk, telling him about the planet she grew up on. The client is a young cross between a nerd and a stoner. Apparently, the place Inara is from is very pretty. The client says he can't imagine why Inara would leave. There's a shot of Inara looking contemplatively sad, just to telegraph to us that she's not the happy hooker. There are weird jumpy cuts all over this scene, and the images don't always match up to the dialogue. It's both disconcerting and pointless. Unless somebody in this scene is in an altered state, I don't know what sort of point they were going for. The boy offers to buy Inara off, aftshadowing Atherton's offer in "Shindig." She smiles sadly. She must have declined, because we cut to the boy, dressed in an Alliance bellboy uniform, about to take his leave. He says he had a great time. Inara says, "The time went by too quickly." Then he stammers, "Well, your clock's probably rigged to speed up to cheat us out of our fun." Inara looks at him, a little shocked, as he realizes the awfulness of what he just said. He looks mortified, but doesn't apologize as he leaves. Somebody doesn't handle rejection well.
After the boy is gone, Inara heads over to the piloting area of the shuttle and checks in with Wash. He tells her where they'll be landing. She says she'll join them. Wash says they missed her. She sadly says she missed them, too.
Lots of fancy, schmancy, budget-eating CGI shots of Persephone. It didn't look this big the last time they were here. Or rather, the next time they were here. However, when we cut to the docks where Serenity is landing, it looks like some sort of refugee camp. People speak in Arabic tongues while a sitar plays on the soundtrack. There's a chicken wandering around. There's always a chicken wandering around. You can't be poor on television unless there are loose chickens.