I was fully prepared to deliver a rant about how poorly served the female cast of this series are served by Zack Whedon's script. How Zoe is completely absent from this issue and has been reduced to the princess to be rescued. How Inara doesn't have a single line in this issue and has been marginalized into Mal's girlfriend/Zoe's nanny. How Kaylee does get to do one awesome thing but it involves recycling one of Wash's old plans and that he gets more lines in one flashback than Kaylee does in the whole issue. And how River gets her ass kicked by a male reader until Mal gives her a hypodermic needle full of sedative to use as a make-shift weapon.
I was ready to rant about all of that... until I realized how badly served the male cast was by the same script.
Simon has been just as useless as Inara for the better part of this series and also goes without a line in this month's issue. Jayne has been recast in the role of total comic relief. And Mal... well, Mal is the big damn hero who finally gets a plan to run smooth at the cost of making Bea - the rabblerouser trying to recruit him to lead a new Browncoat movement - look even more incompetent at the revelation that The Alliance has been funding her movement from the beginning as part of an effort to organize the agitators so it would be easier to get them all in one place and kill them.
I'll give this one more issue to see if something can be salvaged from this wreckage. That's it.