The Marshal and one of the convicts were taken prisoner by the escapee they were pursuing. The escapee grabs the Marshal’s gun and uses it to get them into the house where her partner is waiting with hostages and a shotgun. After some taunting and some outright panicking on the convict’s part trying to convince the escapees not to kill him, the other Marshals arrive and take everyone prisoner.
The Marshal tells the convict that it was all part of a plan. He’d emptied his gun of bullets and knew the others were tracking his phone.
Convict: Plan? Plan! What about the bullets in his gun?
Marshal: (pauses, tilts his head and shrugs) Fair criticism.
I loved that moment. I love all that it implies, that the Marshal was flying more by the seat of his pants than following a detailed plan; how he recognizes that things got dangerous and out of control and the combination of respect for and dismissal of the convict’s concerns. It suggests a real partnership despite their differences but keeps the line between them intact.
I am a sucker for great dialogue moments. I love Joss Whedon for his ability to craft words like a wood sculpture, knocking away the unnecessary bits and leaving you with something unique, elegant and comprehensible. That’s great writing.