Season 1 Episode 14


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Unknown on FOX

Episode Recap

Mal sits in the desert, naked. Looking around, he comments, "Yeah, that went well."


Seventy-two hours earlier, Mal is picking up cargo from another "merchant", Monte Reynolds. Mal and Monte are old friends and greet each other, and Monte says that he finally got married to Bridget, who swept him over his feet. When he calls "Bridget" over, Mal realizes that it's his former wife: Saffron. Saffron recognizes and they both draw guns. She kicks the gun out of Mal's hand, he tackles her, and the two of them fight until Monte breaks it up. Mal explains that Saffron married him months ago, and Saffron denies it... until she mentions Mal's name when Monte never gave it.

Monte drops Saffron off with her luggage, and Mal frisks her at gunpoint. He tells her to start walking, but Saffron asks for a ride. She promises not to make trouble, but Mal shoots at the ground around her feet until she starts working. As she goes, Saffron says that she had everything that she needed to commit a perfect crime, but Mal doesn't want to hear it.

Serenity arrives to pick up the cargo, and Mal refuses to talk about his bruises and bloody nose. Once the ship lifts off, Inara calls mal to her shuttle to discuss business. When she serves tea, he figures that she's trying to use her wiles on him. They get into an argument about how Mal hasn't been doing business recently anywhere that Inara can find clients, and Inara suggests that Mal is trying to keep her from getting work. He takes offense when she calls him a "petty" thief and storms off. He goes to the cargo hold, opens a crate, and asks Saffron for more information about her planned crime.

The crew meets and Saffron tells them that Darran Haymer, a collector of Earth-That-Was artifacts, has a rare Lassiter handheld laser pistol in his parlor. He lives on a private estate on Bellerophon, and she has his security codes and guard schedules. Wash speaks up, asking why they're dealing with the woman who tried to kill them, and Mal claims that Saffron hitched a ride. Saffron admits that she needs their help because the Lassiter is tagged, and any attempt to take it through the estate doors will set off the alarms. Inara comes in and tells them that they're dupes if they trust Saffron, but admits that she doesn't have anything better.

Kaylee goes over the blueprints to try and find a way to get the Lassiter out, and Mal asks Zoe for her opinion. She points out that they'll need a buyer and Saffron says that she has some lined up. Zoe then warns that Saffron can't be trusted, and Saffron says that all she has to do is get over it if she wants to be a rich woman. The ex-soldier punches her in the face and tells Mal that she's in.

Mal assigns Jayne to keep Simon and River in their cabin so that Saffron doesn't see them and try to claim the reward. River warns them that Saffron is a liar, and Jayne steps outside, irritated. Once they're alone, River says that Jayne is afraid that they know he betrayed them on Ariel.

Zoe talks to Inara in the catwalks and Inara says that she's leaving as soon as they arrive on Bellerophon. She warns that Saffron will get the drop on Mal eventually... unaware that Saffron is secretly listening in. Zoe tells Inara that Mal knows what he's doing, while Mal finds Saffron and tells her to stick with him.

Once everything is ready, the team set their plan into motion. Saffron and Mal take Shuttle 2 to Durran's estate, posing as hired help for a party that he's throwing. Using Saffron's stolen codes, the two of them go to the parlor and Mal starts opening the security locks on the Lassiter case. Meanwhile, Kaylee has determined that the best way to get the Lassiter out is to intercept a garbage drone after Mal tosses the Lassiter down the chute. Wash pulls Serenity up beneath the garbage bin, and Kaylee and Jayne go out on the hull to insert the reprogrammed components to send the drone to Isis Canyon where they can recover the Lassiter at their leisure. However, things start to go wrong when Jayne touches a live wire while inserting the components and is knocked unconscious.

As Mal removes the Lassiter, Durran comes in. He sees Saffron and thanks Mal for bringing his wife Yolanda back to him.

Kaylee manages to drag Jayne back inside, and Simon assures Book and Zoe that he'll take good care of Jayne.

Durran gushes over Saffron, insisting that she's the only thing that he truly treasures. He insists on paying Mal for returning her, and Saffron tells her husband that six years ago she was abducted and then sold to slavers. Durran admits that he thought that Saffron had run off with a programmer, Heinrich, until they found the young man's body. Saffron feigns ignorance and says that she knew Durran would never stop looking for her.

Durran goes to get the money for Mal, and Mal goes back to work. Saffron insists that Durran is evil, and Mal wonders why Saffron snuck into the estate when she could have just come back to her husband. He figures that Saffron wants Durran to think well of her because she actually loves him. Mal gets the Lassiter free and Saffron draws her gun on him. Durran comes back in and sees what's going on, and Mal admits that they're stealing the Lassiter. While Saffron tries to vamp Durran, Mal discretely tosses the Lassiter into the nearby garbage chute.

Zoe helps Kaylee plug in the last component, but the slot is just out of the engineer's reach. Wash manages to pilot Serenity close enough for Kaylee to reach it just as the drone arrives to take away the garbage.

Mal draws his gun and goes back to order Saffron trop her gun. She tells Durran that he's a fool and was never going to stay locked up in his estate.

Wash flies off as the drone heads for Isis Canyon.

Mal tells Saffron that they have to finish the job, and Durran tells her that he feels bad for her. As sirens sound in the distance, Durran admits that he secretly signaled the police, and that he never thought she came there for him. The patrol ships land and Saffron promises to do whatever Durran wants if he'll call them off. He doesn't fall for it and Saffron knocks him unconscious, and Mal drags her away.

As they head for the exit, Mal and Saffron avoid the police. They get outside and Saffron electronically seals the door, and they fly off in the shuttle just in time. Once they're clear, Mal says that he figures Saffron waited until she needed the money to rob her husband. Saffron admits that she tried not to take advantage of Durran, and that she didn't kill Heinrich. Mal, unimpressed, figures that she got him killed even if she didn't pull the trigger, and points out that she turned on the one man who loves her knowing who and what she really is. Saffron starts crying and Mal admits that he's loving the situation just a bit.

Saffron wonders if people can change, but Mal doesn't hold out much hope for her. She then draws his gun on her and calls him gullible, and insists that the whole crying thing was just a con to get close enough to take his gun. Saffron then orders Mal to undress so that she can dump him in the desert and he has no choice but to obey.

Wash and Kaylee discover that Saffron sabotaged Serenity and they have no choice but to land immediately.

Saffron dumps Mal and flies to Isis Canyon in the shuttle. As she gets into the bin and start digging, Inara steps out of hiding and reveals that she already has the Lassiter. She also has a gun and holds Saffron at gunpoint, and explains that her job was to put on a big act, wait for Saffron to double-cross Mal, and then get the Lassiter before Saffron could. As she closes the bin, she tells Saffron that the authorities will be there for her in a few hours.

Jayne wakes up in the medbay wearing a neck brace. Simon tells him that he gave him something to knock out his motor function so that he wouldn't wrench his spine. The doctor says that he knows Jayne tried to sell him and River out to the Feds, and Jayne realizes that there's no one there but River. Simon points out that eventually Jayne will need treatment again, and he's never going to harm him because he's his doctor and they're both crewmen. He tells Jayne that he's planning on trusting him and advises Jayne to do the same because their situation isn't going to work otherwise. Simon then walks out and River adds that she can kill Jayne with her mind before going after her brother.

Serenity lands to pick up Mal, and Inara comes out to gloat. He figures that his plan worked perfectly because they have the Lassiter, and figures that Inara would have been heartbroken if she hadn't had a role to play. He goes aboard, still naked and unconcerned, and they take off.