An old war comrade of Mal's and Zoe's, Tracey, mails his corpse to them. He also leaves a message asking them to deliver his body to his family. Some men claiming to be with the Alliance are on the trail of the body and catch up to them demanding the body. The crew can't find anything on Tracey's corpse, but as they prepare to cut it open, Tracey comes back to life. He explains he is smuggling super-organs in his own body. They flee to the planet with the men in hot pursuit and eventually/supposedly agree to give up Tracey. Tracey gets wind of the plan and makes a break for it with Kaylee as a hostage – they shoot him down and Mal reveals they were going to send the officer off since he's out of his jurisdiction and on a personal mission with no authority. Then Tracey dies and they deliver his body for real this time.moreless
Captain Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds
Dr. Simon Tam
The Shepherd Book
Kaywinnit Lee 'Kaylee' Frye
In the scene in the cow fetus booth where Zoe is talking to Simon, she puts her hand on his right shoulder. When the shot changes to incorporate Wash talking to the cow fetus, her hand is on Simon's left shoulder.
In the scene where they've brought the coffin aboard Serenity and everyone is standing around talking about the dead soldier, a closeup on Jayne shows him removing his new hat. Then the shot moves to show Mal and Zoe, and Jayne can be seen in the background still wearing the hat. A few seconds later his hat is off again.
When Simon starts cutting Tracey, he makes about an inch cut before Tracey wakes up and jumps him. After he's lying on the floor, the cut goes all the way down his sternum.
When Jayne starts digging in the box for the enclosed item the camera cuts to the rest of the crew and Jayne is slightly off camera. However, you can still clearly see him take the hat out and let the box fall on the floor, yet when they switch cameras Jayne is shown doing the same actions as before - taking the hat out and letting the box drop. This leads to a bit of a mismatch when they cut the shots together.
Trivia: The dress that Kaylee is wearing on her date with Simon is the same dress is wearing in the flashback on the episode "Out of Gas."
Tracey's plan is a bit unclear. He is supposedly smuggling genetically-engineered human organs from one planet to another. He's supposed to go to Ariel, where he said the new organs would be taken out and his original ones put back in. Presumably his organs were taken out on a planet that wasn't Ariel, which means they had to be transported to Ariel. How was this to be accomplished? Isn't trafficking human organs illegal? Is there some sort of legal distinction between real organs and genetically engineered ones? If transporting the originals is easy enough, then why not smuggle the new ones that way? Why bother with a human incubator in a risky and unnessesary plan? Perhaps it could be argued that real organs can survive outside the body in artificial incubators and genetic organs cannot, but if that's the case it means there's something fundamentally wrong with the genetic process of creating the organs, because they should be indistinguishable from real ones. If this is the case, using a genetic organ would probably be very risk and possibly prone to failure. Of course, they could be failure prone and the black market doesn't really care.
(Zoë and Wash enter the exhibit)
Wash: Oh my god, it's grotesque! Oh, and there's something in a jar.
River: (to Simon) You are such a boob.
Mal: Tracey, ain't you dead yet?
Tracey: Through no fault of my own.
Mal: I really wanted your beans.
(after Zoe stealthily kills an Alliance officer)
Tracey: I didn't know you were out there.
Zoe: Sorta the point, stealth. You may have heard of it.
Tracey: (as he cracks open a can of beans) I don't think they covered that in basic.
Zoe: Well, at least they covered dropping your weapon so you can eat beans and get yourself shot.
Tracey: Yeah, I got a badge in that...
Mal: Whew! Ha! That was bracing. They don't like it when you shoot at 'em. I worked that out myself.
Tracey: When you can't run you crawl, and when you can't crawl...when you can't do that...
Zoe: You find someone to carry you.
Jayne: (wearing his mother's horrible homemade hat) How's it sit? Pretty cunning, don't cha' think?
Kaylee: I think it's the sweetest hat ever.
Jayne: Yeah, yeah.
Wash: A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything.
Jayne: Damn straight!
Tracey: Do you think I'm stupid?
Mal: In every way possible.
Mal: Using corpses for smugglin' is a time honored, repulsive tradition.
Mal: I will not have you jeopordizing your career over this.
Inara: The career you abhor and look down on?
Simon: This may come as a shock, but I'm not very good at -- at talking to girls.
Zoe: Why, is there someone you are good at talking to?
Wash: Uh? Arrgh! Mal, your dead army buddy's on the bridge!
Zoe: He ain't dead.
Amnon: The little one's for Cobb.
Jayne: I got post?
Book: Might we all want to step a few paces back before he opens that...
Wash: (talking to the cow foetus in the jar) Do not fear me. Ours is a peaceful race. And we must live in harmony.
Zoe: First rule of battle, little one --don't ever let them know where you are.
Mal: (running in shouting) Wheee! I'm right here! I'm right here! I'm comin' in!
Zoe: 'Course there are other schools of thought.
Mal: Everybody dies, Tracey. Somebody's carrying a bullet for you right now and doesn't even know it. The trick is to die of old age before it finds you.
Jayne: What'd y'all order a dead guy for?
River: My food is...problematic.
Mal: Is there something else in that box. Anything?
Jayne: Not unless this crate is made out of magical wish-granting planks.
Tracey: You know, it's funny... we went to the war not looking to come back, but it... it's the real world I couldn't survive.
This episode was nominated for a Hugo Award for Dramatic Presentation: Short Form.
According to Alan Tudyk (Wash) and Jewel Staite (Kaylee) on this episode's DVD commentary, Simon and Kaylee were supposed to have their first kiss in this episode.
Actor Richard Burgi, who plays the villanous Lt. Womack, brought his young son to the set during the filming of this episode because he loves spaceships.
Jonathan M. Woodward has appeared as an unsavoury character in three Joss Whedon productions. His first appearance was in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, playing the vampire Holden, an ex-classmate of Buffy who tries to kill her (while counselling her on her issues). In Angel he played Knox, a Wolfram and Hart science assistant who caused Fred to be infected and killed by Illyria. Here he plays Tracey, who turns on the crew of Serenity.
This was originally supposed to be episode number 12. It was moved to be the finale when Joss Whedon was told about the show being cancelled. He thought that the funeral scene was a fitting way for all of the cast and crew to see off the series. This also explains his cameo.
In the scenes filmed on the bridge, some feature the shuttle call back button which we first see in "Out of Gas," but some don't. This is because Alan Tudyk (Wash) took the button when he thought the filming was complete and sent it to Joss Whedon with the message "When your miracle gets here, call us back". What Alan didn't realise was that pick-up shots still had to be done on the bridge.
Joss Whedon appears in this episode as one of Tracey's family members - Joss himself said that this episode was the funeral for the show hence his appearance at one.
This episode aired on SciFi UK on Monday, July 28th, 2003.
This episode aired on FOX Latin America on Saturday, July 26th, 2003.
This episode aired on Canada's Space Channel Dec 1, 2003.
Inara: Fencing the Lassiter is like fencing the Mona Lisa.
The Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo DaVinci in 1503, is possibly the most famous painting in the world. Even though it is insured for 100 million dollars, some feel it is protected by the notion that no one would buy a stolen object that is so well known they can never show anyone.
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