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In Trash, the crew steals a very valuable, antique laser pistol known as the Lassiter.

In The Message, Mal mentions that he's having difficulty selling it.

MAL: It's like something out of a fable! I've got this priceless artifact, the biggest score of my unseemly career, and no one will touch it.

INARA: The Lassiter's universally known. Fencing it is like... fencing the Mona Lisa.

In Serenity, which takes place pretty soon after, Mal is so desperate for money that he goes into straight-up armed robbery.

So what happened to the Lassiter? Were they not able to sell it? If so, what did they do with it?

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up vote 34 down vote accepted

The very short answer is that we don't know. As Axelrod has pointed out, the gun appears in a late episode and is described as being hard to dispose of. That's all we get.

Inara seems to think that she knows some people who can help, but Mal is steadfast in refusing her, at least for the time being

MAL: It's like something out of a fable! I've got this priceless artifact, the biggest score of my unseemly career, and no one will touch it.
INARA: The Lassiter's universally known. Fencing it is like... fencing the Mona Lisa.
MAL: Well... Mona Who?
INARA: You're out of your league. You should consider my offer --
MAL: I done thinking about that, and you ought to stay clear.
INARA: I know people in the highest ranks of --
MAL: Jabber jabber jabber. I ain't listening. Just 'cause you helped out on the job don't make you a crook. I will not have you jeopardizing your career over this.

That being said, by the time of the film Serenity (supposedly set several months later) we see that the ship has been radically overhauled with a much larger dining area, a dedicated ship's kitchen, a medical bay with a fancy new medi-bed and all sorts of scanners and gizmos, not to mention that the exterior seems to be sporting a new wing design and they're driving around in a flashy new hover-mule. It seems reasonably likely that that sort of work would require a lot of money.

But where, I hear you ask would they get such a large sum of money? Why, from finally managing to fence the Lassiter, of course.

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20  
It's nice to finally find an in-universe explanation for the changes to the ship. – Joel Coehoorn Jan 25 at 21:43
9  
@JoelCoehoorn - I'll be honest with you. I'm rather pleased with myself. More so than normal, I mean. – Valorum Jan 25 at 21:47
3  
Blowing all his money on a new kitchen? Mal should take a financial responsibility class. – Rogue Jedi Jan 25 at 21:59
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@RogueJedi - Keeping your crew well fed and happy seems the height of responsibility for a ship's captain – Valorum Jan 26 at 1:56
    
@Richard Which is why he should spend money on food and not a pointlessly expensive kitchen. – Rogue Jedi Jan 26 at 2:06

The show was cancelled. The Lassiter was featured in the third to last last episode of the series, with the last two episodes completely ignoring that plot thread.

However, we don't know what happened to it, in-universe. Suffice to say, it was too hard to fence; Mal had voiced such in The Message and the crew is later seen to still be quite destitute, later, in the film. This would not be possible had it been fenced, as it was a

priceless artifact

Lassiter

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There were several episodes between the Lassiter's final appearance and Serenity. – Rogue Jedi Jan 25 at 21:19
1  
@Xantec - Nothing is priceless or unsellable. Many famous (stolen) works of art are used as currency in the underworld, usually in drug transactions. – Valorum Jan 25 at 21:25
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@Richard That'll be one Mona Lisa and two boxes of Tide. – Axelrod Jan 25 at 21:27
3  
@Richard When the world ends the worth of art will be judged by how many times you can wipe with it. – Xantec Jan 25 at 21:32
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@Xantec - Finally, the huge pricetag on this piece of "art" makes sense – Valorum Jan 25 at 21:35

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