Synopsis by Josh Ralske
River (Summer Glau) wanders through Serenity, listening in on the thoughts of her shipmates, all of whom are harboring negative thoughts about her and her erratic behavior. She picks up a gun in the cargo bay. Mal (Nathan Fillion) is able to disarm her, but then Kaylee (Jewel Staite) feels compelled to tell them all about how she witnessed River killing three men recently (in the previous episode, "War Stories"). As River eavesdrops, the crew discuss her unique abilities (Mal [Nathan Fillion] surmises that she's a "reader" -- as in mind reader), and the threat she poses. Meanwhile, a bounty hunter, Early (former Law & Order star Richard Brooks), silently boards the ship. Early is there for River, and he seems to know an awful lot about everyone on board. As most of the crew turn in for the night, Early runs into Mal and promptly knocks him out. Then he finds Kaylee and threatens to rape her unless she tells him where River is. He puts Book (Ron Glass) out of commission. Then he finds Simon (Sean Maher), and threatens to kill him if he doesn't help find River. Simon goes along, hoping for an opportunity to get a jump on the bounty hunter. Asked why he beat up the shepherd, Early responds, "That ain't a shepherd." They search Inara's (Morena Baccarin) shuttle, and Early gives her a smack when she tries to seduce him. Finally, with Early threatening to kill Simon, River reveals herself, speaking to Early and the crew from "beyond," claiming that she's melted away because nobody wanted her there. Soon enough, Early figures out where she really is, and River offers to turn herself in if the bounty hunter leaves the rest of Serenity's crew alone. Series creator Joss Whedon wrote and directed this episode.