Episode Report Card
Shack: B | 21 USERS: A-
Ending where it all began

Back on the planet, Zoe and Mal stride into the ambush spot and meet up with Patience and her minions. She's got five men with her on horseback, and one other pulling a transport ATV. Patience is dressed like a Mexican bandito from the old Westerns. They give greetings. Zoe points out that she brought an awful lot of men with her. Patience says that she couldn't be sure Mal wasn't there to surprise her with some karma. Mal insists that's not the case. They're just here for a deal.

Up on the ridge, we see a sniper on the ground, watching through the scope of his rifle. We see only his upper body. Suddenly, the sniper is dragged left off-camera. Heh. Then Jayne crawls his way into the frame and takes possession of the rifle. He looks through the rifle sight and focuses on Mal's head. See, we're supposed to think that there's a possibility that he would shoot Mal. It's too bad we already know that he's loyal to the crew, though not to passengers.

Back on the ship, Dobson makes his way into some room where all his junk is stored. He pulls out some sort of device that would connect him to the Cortex, but it's been scrambled so he can't make a connection. He tosses it away in a huff. He pulls two guns out of a duffel bag, and tucks one into his pants.

Back on the planet, Patience says she doesn't see the cargo. Mal explains that he buried it. Patience will get the coordinates when he gets the money. Patience asks if she's expected to take it on faith that Mal's actually got the goods. Mal pulls open his jacket -- in slow motion -- to reveal that he's armed, and also to pull out one of the McGuffin bars in his pocket. Are we supposed to be surprised that he's armed? What was the point of the slow-motion and the windy sound effect? He tosses the bar over to Patience. It turns out the metallic coloring is just a wrapper. The bars are actually foodstuffs, laden with proteins, vitamins, and immunization supplements. I can't believe they went through so much effort in order to try to fool the viewer about the nature of the goods. Maybe they should have spent less time on these little touches and more time trying to make the Reavers make any sort of sense. Patience determines that the goods are legit, tosses Mal a sack of money, and asks where the rest is.

Cut back to the infirmary. Suddenly River opens her eyes and gets up, calling out for Simon. She's wearing one of Inara's robes. Kaylee looks over and asks River what's wrong. River ignores her, realizing that it's time to start getting herself into danger. She walks out of the infirmary; Dobson jumps out of nowhere, grabs her, and puts a gun to her head. He pulls the other gun out and points it at Kaylee, warning her that if she says anything, he'll shoot her in the throat this time.

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