Elsewhere, Mal and Inara wander down UST Alley. It seems that Mal's having a tough time unloading the Lassiter, what with it being an exceedingly famous stolen artifact and all. Inara wants to get involved, because she "knows people" who could buy it. Mal doesn't want Inara getting into his line of work or "jeopardizing [her] career" by helping them fence stuff. See, her job (besides the UST) is to be the Deus Sex Machina, showing up at the end of the episode to help get them out of whatever trouble they've gotten themselves into (See also: "Jaynestown," "War Stories," and "Trash"). Inara is confused, because Mal hates that she's a whore, but he doesn't want her to be a crook, either. No, Inara, Mal wants you to be a pretty porcelain princess who never does anything naughty, ever, and lives in a glass display case. In other words, he's an idiot. People acting like idiots is the theme of this episode. ["'This' episode?" -- Sars]
Mal and Inara arrive at some postal station to see if the plot they had Planet Expressed over has been delivered. It has. Mal makes some small-talk with the Postmaster Generic, who seems to know him, as he signs for the goods. Book and River wander over, each holding what appears to be a miniature fishing pole. Except instead of a hook and lure, it has a giant gob of ice cream dangling there. Yes, of course. Over the passing of 500 years, folks figured out that an edible cone structure or paper bowl was just wasn't an efficient way to serve ice cream. What would be a better way to serve something that both melts and is very sticky? I know! Let's dangle it from a string so it can drip all over the place. Wouldn't that be great? And if that doesn't work out, we'll have wild space monkeys fling the ice cream at people. They'll love it! I don't know why I'm getting so worked up about something so minor, but it's an issue that's endemic to a lot of mediocre sci-fi -- changing something that doesn't need to be changed just for the purpose of making the future look different from the present. Plus, anybody who's been to the mall knows that the Dippin' Dots is the future of ice cream. River unsuccessfully tries to lick from the dangling ball, and declares, "My food is problematic." That's the smartest thing she's said this whole series. Jayne happens by with some cases of weapons-related stuff he bought, and mentions that genius River doesn't know how to eat an "ice planet." Oh, how very Jetsons of them.