The Message

Episode Report Card
Shack: F | 9 USERS: B-
With friends like these...

Tracey and Kaylee head down to the catwalks leading to the shuttles. Tracey seems chatty and active for somebody who's been shot in the chest, but I imagine that might be because of the super-organs. Kaylee is confused, of course. She doesn't understand why they'd shoot Tracey. Tracey explains that they were going to sell him out to Officer Evil!, and he hopes Kaylee will help him get off the ship. He wants her to help him escape on a shuttle, but Kaylee refuses. Mal finally makes it onto the catwalk, armed, and Kaylee demands to know what's going on, seeing as how she's smack in the middle of an armed face-off. Mal gives a big speech about how Tracey brought this all on himself. He got in over his head and panicked, and then brought the whole mess to them. Well, that's partly true, but whose decision was it to cut Tracey open rather than to just hand him over to Officer Evil! as ordered, hmm, Mal? Mal adds that he thinks Tracey is responsible for some of the deaths that Officer Evil! referred to earlier when he was threatening to blow up Serenity. And this is based on what evidence, now? Tracey points out that Mal has killed people, too. Yeah, but they deserved it. Mal responds that he didn't try to kill people who were trying to help him. Oh, and which people trying to help Tracey did he try to kill? Based on the evidence we've seen, I can't think of one. Just some guy who was going to get him killed by turning him into Officer Evil! I think his name is Wash. While this speech is going on, Jayne and Zoe are working their way down other catwalks, armed.

Tracey then has to turn a bit evil in order to justify this poorly orchestrated conflict. He says he picked Zoe and Mal to carry him home because they're "saps." They have a reputation for being tough, but he remembers all of Mal's stupid homilies and speeches. Is that a shout-out? If they're trying to get me to take Mal's side against Tracey, they're doing a really bad job. Everything he's saying is true. Mal points out that the bombing has stopped, meaning that Wash has managed to contact Officer Evil! Tracey responds, "That call means you just murdered me." Oh, don't get ahead of yourself there, Tracey. Then, following a visual cue from Mal, Jayne ratchets a shotgun to indicate his presence. This, of course, is stupid, because Tracey believes he has nothing to lose, so why should he surrender? Instead he turns to shoot at Jayne, which gives Mal the opening to shoot him again. He goes down, and Kaylee is freed. Mal walks up to Tracey as he quivers on the floor and says, "No, son. You murdered yourself. I just carried your bullet for awhile." Oh, whatever. I'm sorry if I refuse to take the side of somebody who has committed a dozen more crimes than Tracey in the short time this show was on the air.

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