Inara (Morena Baccarin) tries to convince Mal (Jason Fillion) to let her help fence the rare gun, the Lassiter, which they stole in the previous episode, but Mal insists on keeping her out of the thieving business. On the planet, they pick up two parcels along with Serenity’s mail. There is a huge crate addressed to Mal and Zoe (Gina Torres). Inside is the dead body of Private Tracey (Jonathan M. Woodward). Seven years before, at the Battle of Du-Khang, Tracey, a young soldier, is saved by Zoe from an Alliance attacker. Tracey is injured, and Mal and Zoe get him to safety.
Back in the present, Mal and Zoe find a recorded message with Tracey’s body. He asks them to transport his body to St. Albans, his home planet. Back on the station they just left, Lieutenant Womack (Richard Burgi) of the Alliance threatens the postmaster with death, to find out who left with the coffin.
On Serenity, Mal and Zoe are telling war-stories to Inara, when the ship is fired upon by an Alliance craft. Lieutenant Womack hails them and demands to board. At first, they think Womack is after the stolen Lassiter, until Womack mentions the crate and they realize he is after Tracey or the box he came in. Stalling, they get Doctor Simon (Sean Maher) to begin an autopsy, but at the first incision, Tracey wakes up.
He confesses he is smuggling internal organs. He was supposed to sell them on Ariel but decided to go with a higher bid. The original customer is after him and the organs. The Alliance ship catches up with them. Shepherd Book (Ron Glass) checks up on the pursuers and discovers something strange. He recommends they allow the Feds to board the ship. Tracey overhears and pulls a gun on the crew. Zoe shoots and wounds him.
Lieutenant Womack and his men enter the cargo bay. Book steps up and explains why Womack should leave them alone, considering what his superiors would think of his organ-dealing. He has dates and places. Womack backs down in the face of Book’s authority and leaves. Tracey, dying from his wound, asks Mal and Zoe to deliver him to St. Albans for real this time. They bring him to his family. This scene had a certain poignancy for the cast because this was the last episode to be filmed. The final music was a farewell not only to one soldier but to the series itself.
The three unaired episodes, already filmed and paid for, are viewed by fans as an example of simple dislike of Joss Whedon by executives at Fox. A remarkably ugly hat that Jayne receives in the mail from his mother became a fan favorite, and fans knitted or crocheted many versions. Wash says, “When a man appears in a hat like that, everyone knows he’s afraid of nothing.” In Kaylee’s engine room there is a statue of Han Solo in carbonite on the bulkhead. Jonathan M. Woodward played similar roles—a friend who turns out to be a villain and is killed by the heroes—in both Buffy and Angel. Joss Whedon plays a mourner at Tracey’s funeral.
Where are they now
Big damn heroes