A covered wagon crosses a shallow river. When bandits on horseback surround it and demand its cargo, Jayne (Adam Baldwin) and Mal (Jason Fillion), dressed as a woman, pull their weapons. The bandits are given a choice of jail or death. There is a shootout and Mal, Jayne, and Zoe (Gina Torres) kill them all. A party that night celebrates the settlement’s deliverance from the outlaws. Jayne is given a rain stick by an old man, and Mal dances with a beautiful woman named Saffron (Christina Hendricks), who gives him wine and a wreath.
Once Serenity has taken off again, Mal finds a stowaway in the cargo bay. It is Saffron, who claims to be Mal’s wife. Shepherd Book (Ron Glass) looks up marriage customs and confirms that he is in fact married, having accepted the dance, the wine, and the wreath. Mal tries to talk sense into her, but she responds by cooking a meal for him and offering to wash his feet. Wash (Alan Tudyk) raves about her cooking, which does not endear him to his wife Zoe. Jayne tries to trade his favorite gun, Vera, for her, but is refused.
When Mal returns to his quarters, Saffron is there and kisses him, but there is a narcotic on her lips, and he passes out. Saffron heads for the cockpit and tries to seduce Wash. He refuses because he loves his wife and she can kill him with her pinky. So, Saffron kicks him in the head, knocking him out too, takes control of the ship and sets it on a new course, then welds the door shut. Heading for a shuttle, she tries to seduce Inara as well. Inara plays along, but the alarm goes off. Dodging a kick from Saffron, Inara rushes to Mal, thinking he has been killed. Relieved to find he is only unconscious, she kisses him, but collapses herself from the narcotic on his lips. Saffron takes the other shuttle and disappears.
Kaylee (Jewel Staite) and Wash break into the bridge and are able to restore the navigation system, but not the helm. They find they are headed for a metal net which will probably electrocute all of them. Jayne shoots a main circuit of the net with Vera, shorting it out, and breaking the window of the control department, ejecting the men inside into space. Later, on a snow-covered world, Mal breaks into Saffron’s cabin and interrogates her, then knocks her out. Back on Serenity, he tells Inara he thinks she kissed Saffron, but Inara lets him think what he likes.
The Biblical quote Saffron uses is of course a fake, but it’s really cool. This was not Christina Hendrick’s first role, but close to it. Actually, she appeared in Buffy before this. Jayne went to a great deal of trouble to provide Vera with oxygen so he could fire the gun in space, though in point of fact a shotgun shell has oxidizer in it and would work perfectly well in vacuum. The production checked with a firearms expert and was given false information. Vera is a modified Saiga-12 semi-automatic shotgun. In a deleted scene restored for the DVD release, River (Summer Glau) demands that Shepherd Book marry her to Simon (Sean Maher). When Simon points out that they are brother and sister, she questions his love for her. Then she accuses Saffron of being a thief, puts a pillow in her dress and claims to be in the family way. This favorite scene of the cast was cut for time, leaving Summer Glau with no lines at all.