|Episode no.||Season 1|
|Directed by||Marita Grabiak|
|Written by||Ben Edlund|
|Original air date||October 18, 2002|
Returning to a moon where he ran into some serious trouble years ago, Jayne discovers that he's become a local folk legend. Mal decides to use this entertaining distraction to complete a job, but some unfinished business may derail his plans.
The episode opens with Kaylee insisting that the always-proper Simon never uses swear words, despite his protestations that he does whenever they're "appropriate". Inara departs for an overnight meeting with a client. Jayne attempts to use tape to smuggle a concealed weapon on the mission, against planetary regulations, apparently afraid he will be recognized for crimes committed some years back, but Mal orders him to leave the gun behind.
The crew arrive at the town of Canton, disguised as buyers of "mud", a clay which can be processed to produce a ceramic described as "ten times stronger than steel". Jayne is fearful, as years before he robbed the local magistrate. After talking with the foreman, they enter the town, where they find a statue of the "Hero of Canton", Jayne himself, to Jayne's shock and puzzlement. A local folk song reveals that Jayne is viewed as a Robin Hood. During the botched robbery, Jayne reveals the true story, which is that he was forced to jettison the money to lighten his getaway vehicle, a stolen hovercraft, after it was hit. The loot apparently rained down on the impoverished "mudders" of Canton. Jayne is recognized and finds himself idolized by the locals. Mal's smuggling contact is horrified by how the crew seems to be "lying low", but Mal decides to use this distraction to sneak the contraband through town undetected.
Inara meets with the magistrate, who introduces her to his 26-year-old son Fess. Fess is still a virgin, so the magistrate has hired Inara to "make a man of him". She reassures Fess that there is nothing wrong with his being a virgin and that he should be himself and not his father.
On the ship, an agitated River dismantles Shepard Book's Bible, insisting that it makes no sense and that she has to "fix" it. Book manages to calm her down and explains that the Bible is not about making sense in a logical or scientific sense, but rather about faith that fixes people rather than needing fixing itself. Later, she attempts to repair and return it to him, but panics when she sees his wild head of hair (per the rule of his order) that he normally keeps in a tight bun.
When the foreman informs the magistrate that Jayne Cobb has returned, the magistrate releases a man named "Stitch" from what appears to have been four years of solitary confinement in a very small cell. He gives the puzzled man a loaded shotgun and then tells him that Jayne is back.
Inara completes her task and prepares to return to the ship. When Fess expresses puzzlement at not feeling different, she explains to him that being a man is about being old enough to ask what makes him a man rather than about sex. Somewhat later, Inara learns from Fess that Jayne is about to be captured and tried, and that the ship has been "land-locked". He tells her that he would rather Jayne escape.
Mal returns to fetch Kaylee and Simon, finding the mechanic draped over him on a couch. He tries to explain to Mal how "nothing happened", but once again manages to accidentally insult the frustrated Kaylee. Collecting a tipsy Jayne, they head off, but Kaylee stops Simon in his tracks with her scorn. As the doctor eats breakfast alone, Stitch arrives. The scarred criminal brutalizes him in an attempt to locate Jayne, but the roars of an approving crowd outside give away his location instead. Stitch drags Simon along as a hostage to confront Jayne.
Stitch tells the Canton mudders that Jayne and he stole the money, and that when they found themselves needing to reduce weight, Jayne threw him overboard, and then the safe with the money. Stitch then shoots, but a mudder jumps in front of Jayne and is killed. Jayne kills Stitch, but cannot understand why the young man sacrificed himself even after having learned the truth of Jayne's "heroism".
When the crew boards Serenity, Wash attempts to take off, but finds the ship "land-locked" per the magistrate's order. It is quickly released, however, as Fess decides to prove himself a man by defying his father's attempt to capture the "Hero of Canton". Kaylee has a heart-to-heart talk with Simon but cannot resist briefly making him worry about what happened after the previous night's party.
In the cargo bay, Jayne broods about the mudder's sacrifice and how the townsfolk will probably put the statue back up. Mal attempts to explain to Jayne the hero worship is not about him, but about what the townsfolk need, but Jayne only replies: "Don't make no sense."
- Gregory Itzin as Magistrate Higgins
- Daniel Bess as the young mudder who sacrifices himself for Jayne.
- Kevin Gage as Stitch Hessian
- Zachary Kranzler as Fess Higgins
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