Cut back to the desert -- and Nathan Fillion's ass. Saffron flies off in the shuttle as Mal and his ass call her names. Hey, the naked ass shots worked for John Doe, didn't they? Didn't they? Hello?
And we're dumpster-diving with our lovely Saffron. She's found the garbage bin at the rendezvous point and is searching through the banana peels and coffee grounds for the Lassiter, without luck. She's covered with yuck. She gets all pissy because the gun's not there. Behind her, on a small rocky outcropping overlooking the dumpster, Inara asks, "Looking for this?" as she points the Lassiter at Saffron. Inexplicably, Inara is dressed like a faux-Arabic princess with a headdress and veil and everything. Did she go through the trash in that get-up? She wonders if the gun actually works, and pulls the trigger. It doesn't work. That's okay -- Inara brought a real gun, too. Saffron asks what the hell Inara was doing out there. Inara explains that it was all part of some "plan." As part of the plan, Inara has a big hissyfit and tells Mal that Saffron couldn't be trusted and then storms off in a huff. Then she waits at the rendezvous point in case Saffron backstabs Mal. Which she did. She adds, "What, you didn't see it coming?" No. I didn't see it either, and now I want to know who's going to clean this big pile of bullshit off of my living room floor. Half of the fights that Inara and Mal had took place outside of Saffron's presence. Not to mention all the fights they've had every single episode anyway. And why the hell they thought they had to "fool" Saffron is beyond me. They could have not had these allegedly fake "fights" and that pointless scene on the catwalk with Zoe and still had Inara wait at the rendezvous point, which would have had the added benefit of not bringing the plot to a screeching halt every ten seconds during the first and second act. Fooling the audience is only interesting if there's a good payoff. This isn't a good payoff. This isn't a payoff at all. But I'll save most of my ire about this kind of writing for my recap of "The Message," when crap like this actually results in tragedy. Anyway, Saffron tries to climb out of the dumpster, but Inara won't allow it. Inara blathers some more about how the crew played her, and then she uses some sort of remote control device to shut the dumpster's lid, trapping Saffron inside.
In Serenity's infirmary, Jayne is regaining consciousness on the table. He's got a whiplash collar around his neck. Simon is standing over at a nearby counter, writing in his journal about how he had Jayne at his mercy, but couldn't bring himself to do naughty things to him. Jayne asks what happened. Simon explains that he was knocked out. Jayne asks if they got the payoff for their crime yet. Simon looks annoyed and asks Jayne if he can move his arms or legs. Jayne looks a bit concerned and confused when he discovers he can't. Simon explains that Jayne hurt his spine in the fall, so Simon gave him something to block his motor functions so he wouldn't hurt it when he woke up. It will wear off in half an hour, and Jayne should be fine, except for some bruises. Jayne asks if that means his spine is okay. Simon asks, "How much did they offer you to sell out me and River on Ariel?" Jayne looks horrified, and tries to lie that Simon's talking "crazy talk." Simon is insistent in knowing how much Jayne was offered. Jayne groggily shouts out into the corridor outside the infirmary, "Anybody there?" River peeks her head into the room from the corridor. Hee! "Anybody else?" Jayne asks. Hee. Simon points out that Jayne is in a dangerous line of work and will likely end up in Simon's care regularly. And that's not even counting the times that River's actually the cause. Jayne looks like he's expecting some nasty threats. But actually, no. Simon takes his oath seriously and promises that no matter what plots or insults or whatever Jayne does, Simon will never ever harm him. Because he lurrrrves Jayne! Jayne looks terribly confused as Simon explains that they're all on the crew together and blah blah blah. Adam Baldwin's facial expressions during all this are hysterical. He's still not quite sure if Simon's for real, and is torn between embarrassment and fear.