Eventually, the man who was overseeing things at the train station comes over to greet them. Zoe and Mal pretend they don't know what's going on. He brings them over to his desk for an interview. They pretend that they're newlyweds, and that Mal's uncle paid for the tickets for them to come to Paradiso to look for work. This guy, by the way, is the local sheriff. Mal overplays his hand and mentions that his "uncle" told him that he knew one Joey Bloggs, who may have an opening. They chat some more. Mal asks him about all the sick people. The sheriff explains that there's been an outbreak of Contrivance. The symptoms include weak characterizations, spotty plotting, and sucking holes of predictability. Actually, there's a degenerative disease called Bowden's Malady, which affects the townsfolk of Paradiso because of some technobabble involving the local mines. The medicine that our anti-heroes stole is the treatment for the sickness. Mal points out that there were Alliance soldiers on the train as well. The sheriff bitterly tells them that the soldiers left without helping them recover the drugs. Mal takes the opportunity to badmouth the Alliance. Sheriff agrees that the Alliance isn't much use out here in the hinterplanets, but points out that they're not the ones who stole the medicine, and when he gets his hands on the ones who did, he's going to seal them in the mines. The sheriff asks Mal when he last talked to Mr. Bloggs. Recognizing the trap, Mal explains his uncle did all the talking. The sheriff reveals that Bloggs committed suicide eight months ago. Without missing a beat, Mal asks if Bloggs's position is open.
Back on Serenity, it's Jayne vs. everybody, Round II. He limps his way up to the cockpit and insists that they're going to take off without Zoe and Mal. Wash refuses. Jayne tells him, "You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with until you understand who's in rutting command here." Ooh, kinky. Do they have to call you "Daddy," too? Jayne insists that they have to drop off the cargo; then they can come back and try to get Zoe and Mal. He adds, "We can't change that by getting…all…bendy…" Everybody looks confused, including Jayne. He starts babbling about lights on the consoles and how they "shine like little angels" as he tries to grasp at invisible things in the air. Then he collapses with a heavy thud. Wash: "Did he just go crazy and fall asleep?" Kaylee realizes that Simon doped up Jayne when he was tending his wounds. Simon apologetically explains that he didn't feel comfortable with Jayne in charge; he hopes that everybody's okay with that. The remaining crewmembers brainstorm in order to find a way to get Zoe and Mal out. Kaylee points out that they can't just waltz in and get them. Book points out that somebody "respectable" might be able to.
And what's more respectable than a guild-approved space hooker? The Sitar Of Poorly Planned Gender Role Subversion plays as Inara walks into the sheriff's office in a cleavage-enhancing red faux-Oriental dress. Mal stands up and is about to ask Inara what she's doing there when she slaps him hard across the face and warns him not to say another word. Inara pretends that Mal and Zoe had tried to steal money from her and were only posing as a newlywed couple to escape attention. Inara explains that Mal is her "indentured man" with three years left on his "debt." So hookers can have slaves? How enlightened. Inara notices that everybody in the office is staring at her. The sheriff apologizes because they don't get "registered companions" out here in Paradiso. They just have to muddle through by getting to know each other and falling in love or maybe just getting drunk and all that troublesome nonsense. Inara offers to take Mal and Zoe off his hands, unless there was some other problem. The sheriff mentions that there was a problem with the Mal's story, but of course, Inara's lie covers their lie, so everything's okay.