Commercials. I suspect that many consumers of Axe body spray are going to be terribly disappointed.
When we return, Jayne is spotting Book while he lifts weight in the cargo bay. Simon, dammit! If you're going to pander to me, it has to be Jayne and Simon. Sigh. Inara and Councilor Sappho head down to the cargo bay so that Inara can see her off, causing Jayne to ignore Book and leer at the two women. The women kiss each other goodbye. Jayne stares at them, his imagination running wild, while Book struggles with the barbell. After Sappho leaves, Inara notices Jayne leering and rolls her eyes. Without looking, Jayne pulls the barbell off Book with one hand and mutters, "I'll be in my bunk," and starts to walk off. Suddenly, Zoe heads down the stairs from the catwalk and orders Jayne to grab his weapon. I think that's what he was…oh, she was being literal. Jayne asks what's going on. Zoe says it may be nothing, but Mal and Wash should have been back an hour ago. She wants to take out their ATV to go look for them. Book volunteers to go as well. Zoe responds, "No offense, Shepherd, but I sure as hell hope they don't need a preacher." Book explains that another set of eyes might help them out. Zoe agrees.
We cut immediately to Zoe, Book, and Jayne finding the dead middlemen out in the desert. Book points out that this is the work of sharpshooters. Really? You can tell that from the fact that they all have single gunshot wounds in their foreheads? Well, move over, William Petersen. Book does manage to get beyond the totally obvious by being able to determine the type of gun that shot them. Jayne responds, "You do a lot of shooting at the abbey there, Shepherd?" They're really strict about those vows of silence. Too bad Book didn't take one. Book lies that they shot rabbits for stew. Zoe notices that whoever ambushed them didn't take the drugs. Jayne notes a trail of burned sand. The three of them determine that it's likely from a rocket shuttle from a nearby space station. From this, Zoe is able to determine who has them. And this is something they didn't think about happening before they agreed to this deal? It's Niska's space station. It's not going anywhere. They know where it is. They knew they'd be near it. Idiots.
We cut to the station, where Moose and Squirrel (guess which is which) are pushed into a room, blindfolded, with their hands tied behind their backs, and left there. Direct lighting isn't sinister enough in these situations, so the room is lit through beams of light that shine into the room through holes punched in the walls. Wash smartly observes that they've been kidnapped. He's freaking out, of course, and wanting to know what's going on. He starts bugging Mal for his analysis. Mal says he's "working it through" as he tries to feel around to find something to pull off his bindings. Wash insists that Mal not "spare" him, and to treat him the same way he'd treat Zoe in this situation. He points out that Mal and Zoe would be plotting or scheming some way to get out of this situation, so Wash wants to do whatever Zoe would be doing in this situation. He asks what Zoe would do here. Mal responds, "Probably not talk quite so much." Wash says he can be terse. Once in flight school, he was laconic. Of course, he can't shut up. He insists that if he's not going to talk, then Mal has to talk. Mal tells him they have to stay calm and keep their heads. Wash points out that Mal and Zoe have been in situations like this before. This inspires a lengthy rant about how Mal is always putting Zoe in dangerous situations. Jesus, she was doing this crap before she ever even met you. They wouldn't even be having this argument if the genders of the three of them were reversed, I guarantee it. Shut up, Wash. He goes on to whine that Zoe promised to "love, honor, and obey" him, not Mal. Mal tries to respond, but ends up asking, "She swore to obey?" Wash says that actually she didn't, but points out that she does obey Mal. Mal. Is. Zoe's. Boss. Boss. I obey my boss, too, but that doesn't mean there's something there. I mean, it's not like I'm Daniel or anything. ["I have no idea what that means. None." -- Sars] This fight is so fucking stupid. And Zoe doesn't always obey Mal anyway. Mal says that Zoe trusts him, but doesn't follow his every word. Wash insists that she does. God, bring on the torture. Mal insists that there have been times where Zoe has disobeyed him. When Wash demands one example, Mal shouts out, "She married you!" Ha!