The crew visit the planet Ariel because Inara needs to receive an annual Companion physical. The crew is offered a surprising job by Simon: in return for stolen medicine he wants them to get him into a hospital to use a high-end scanner to diagnosis River. Simon devises a plan - Kaylee and Wash browse through the local dump and find parts to make an imitation emergency vehicle so the crew can get into the hospital posing as EMTs. Simon and River pose as corpses with the aid of a drug Simon has. While Mal and Zoe round up some medicine, Jayne stays with River and Simon, who are unaware he has ratted them out to the Alliance in return for money.
Jayne rushes Simon through the examination and on the way out Jayne, Simon, and River are caught by the Alliance. Jayne is betrayed by the Alliance and becomes a prisoner himself. They manage to escape as the Men With Blue Hands arrive and ruthlessly execute anyone who had contact with the Tams. Mal and Zoe end up saving their friends and Simon makes a big deal about Jayne fighting, thinking he was trying to save River and himself. Mal realizes that Jayne leaked the information about Simon and River to the alliance and tosses Jayne in the airlock. Jayne admits to doing so and Mal decides to let Jayne off the hook. In the end, Inara returns, and Simon begins "healing" River