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The episode begins with Miss Parker, Broots and Sydney driving down a road in the country, then pulling over to the side into the middle of a bunch of chickens, so that Broots can confirm that the coordinates on the map he has match those that Jarod has given them. As Miss Parker harangues his map reading ability, Broots uses the map and a GPS remote to lead them into the middle of a field where a scarecrow has been erected. As Miss Parker continues to complain, Sydney tells her that if Jarod brought them to that spot, there must be a reason. She replies with a comment about Jarod having them drive all over Kansas and Broots says, that actually he doesn't think they are in Kansas anymore.
The phrase, coupled with the scarecrow, reminds Miss Parker of The Wizard of Oz and she begins tearing the scarecrow apart, looking for a clue of some sort from Jarod. She finds a yellow brick with the address 1015 Main Street painted on it. Walking back toward the car on the road, Miss Parker says that they should go find out what their "monkey" is up to this time.
Jarod is finishing a meal of creamed chipped beef on toast in a diner somewhere, and is conversing with the waitress over the misunderstanding relating to what that meal is sometimes called, when a young woman rushes in and asks the waitress if they have restrooms there. The waitress says they are for customer use only. The girl gives the waitress some money and tells her to pick a donut, then heads for the ladies room. Jarod notices that the girl keeps looking out the window and is becoming more agitated as a man, who is obviously looking for someone, gets closer to the diner. The girl rushes into the ladies room just before the man enters the diner and begins to look around. As he walks toward the other side of the diner, the girl comes back out of the ladies room, sees him there, and quickly steps behind a display case.
Jarod approaches her and asks her if everything is all right ... she is watching the man, who has reached the other side of the small diner and is now walking back toward her, but she tells Jarod that everything is "peachy." As he is asking her that if there is anything he can do, she grabs him by the lapels, maneuvers him between her and the man in the diner and kisses him, using him to shield her from the man's sight. Apparently not seeing her, the man walks right past, to check the ladies room. As soon as he goes in that door, the girl releases Jarod and runs outside to get into her car, a red convertible. Before she can pull away, Jarod opens the door and begins to tell her again that he is willing to help her if she needs it. The man comes out of the diner, sees the girl in the convertible and positions himself in front of it, pointing a gun at her. She tells Jarod that if he doesn't shut the door, she is going to have drive away anyhow and hurt him ... Jarod jumps in the car and tells her that the door is shut, and the girl speeds away, driving right at the man with the gun, forcing him to leap aside at the last moment. As they race past the man, Jarod notices that he is wearing a badge and asks the girl if she's on the run from the police. Since Jarod is now in her car, she corrects him by saying that "they" are on the run from the police and continues to drive away.
As they are driving along, she asks Jarod what he does (he's in a suit and tie) and he tells her that he was an investment banker. He tells her that the best thing to do is to "turn herself in." She assures him that she isn't on the run from "the" cops ... she's only on the run from "a" cop - a man that used to be her boyfriend and isn't taking their break-up very well. Jarod is dubious and asks her where she is headed. She says she is going east and offers to drop Jarod off on his doorstep to his wife. He tells her that he doesn't have a wife, or a home. She asks him where he is headed and he tells her "nowhere, anywhere ... already been somewhere" which is the same answer she just gave him, moments before. She tells him that he can head east with her. He tells her that his name is Jarod and she tells him that her name is Zoe.
Miss Parker, Broots and Sydney have arrived at the address that was painted on the yellow brick. It's a warehouse, the front of which has seen better days. They knock on the door and a face appears through a sliding "peephole" ... the man sees Miss Parker and says that she must be Dorothy. Broots comments that in that case, he and Sydney must be the lion and the tin man. Miss Parker is not enjoying the adventure.
Once inside, they realize that the man who answered the door is small enough to be a Munchkin. He gives each of them flashlights, tells them to "follow, follow, follow" then closes and locks the door behind them, forcing them to follow yellow painted brick/spots on the floor, through a red curtain.
As they are driving through a town, Zoe notices two young girls at a lemonade stand. Jarod has no idea what it is, so Zoe explains it to him. It reminds her of herself and her sister when they were young and because they always hoped to make lots of money and never did, she offers to buy the whole pitcher from them and gives each of them a hundred dollar bill ... she said she just wanted to see what a "dream come true" looked like. He says that she must have had a good childhood and she tells him that she did, "about a million years ago."
Back on the road again, Jarod is looking for something and grabs a box that is full of cash. He questions Zoe about it ... the cop ... a box full of cash ... he asks her if she robbed a bank. Angry she pulls over and tells him that she was in an abusive relationship with a cop who beat her for 2 years, so she left. Everything she has is in the car ... $27,000 in cash and a ‘62 Ford - and she missed out on "happily ever after." Jarod apologizes, but Zoe is disenchanted now and tells him that she'll drop him off.
At the state line, Jarod leaves the car and is asking about when the next bus arrives when he sees a police car pull up on the road and the policeman radio Zoe's Pennsylvania license plate in. Zoe is getting gas in the car and has her back to the road - she doesn't see the policeman, or hear the radio call. Jarod listens to the call on the radio of a car that the man he asked about the bus tickets was working on ... the dispatcher says that the suspect is wanted for "assault and armed robbery." As Jarod watches, the policeman arrests Zoe and takes her away. The service station man comes back and tells Jarod that the eastbound 1:30 bus is arriving right then and asks him if he wants a ticket ... Jarod says that his plans have changed and heads toward Zoe's car, which has been left at the gasoline pump.
At the police station, Zoe is telling the policeman who arrested her that if he doesn't let her go, she won't get back to Warrington - but he doesn't believe her and says that he's holding her for her ride. At that moment, Jarod walks through the door, looking like a policeman and says that her ride has just arrived. He tells the policeman that Vince, the man who was supposed to pick her up, had an accident while leaving, hit the chief's brand new Lexis on the way out of the parking lot, and that he has taken his place. He doesn't have the paperwork that he's supposed to have, but sees Vince pull up and begin to approach the station, so manages to talk the policeman into letting him have Zoe anyway by saying that he doesn't want to be late for his daughter's 10th birthday party and he'll fax the paperwork as soon as he gets back to the station. The policeman wants to go home himself, so he lets Jarod and Zoe go. They leave out the back door, just as her old boyfriend, Vince, walks in the front. Zoe is ecstatic and forgives Jarod for everything else ... happily kisses him in the car, and they race away in the nick of time, just as Vince comes charging out the back door after them.
On the side of the road somewhere, Jarod changes the plates on Zoe's car so that it won't be as easy for Vince to find her again. Zoe tells Jarod that it's time for him to tell her the truth ... he's obviously not what he said he was so she wants to know who he is. He tells her that he's just looking for a little "happily ever after" himself. He tells her that he is looking for his family, because he got separated from them when he was a kid. Zoe says that she got separated from her family, too, by choice. The tells him that the only one she misses is her grandmother ... and her sister, Katie. She then tells Jarod that identical twins are not identical at all ... Katie got all the brains, talent and sense of humor and that no one ever had any trouble telling them apart.
Jarod tells Zoe that the state line is not far to the east, once she gets there, she'll be free and clear. But Zoe tells Jarod that she is changing the plan and that they will be heading north while she teaches him the finer points of "the road trip." She explains that a "road trip" is basically loading up on junk food, cranking up the radio and just driving. (Vignettes of them doing all those things)
Back at the warehouse, Miss Parker is getting more frustrated by the moment. They have come to a spot where Broots finds a GI Joe doll in the tree. He says that he used to have one as a kid, then realizes that the doll in the tree is the same one that he had when he sees his initial carved on the bottom of one of the boots. He tells Miss Parker and Sydney about a time when he was 12 and got the measles. He nearly died from it and spent the summer in an isolation ward at a hospital. His brother brought him the GI Joe doll and he played with it all summer long. He says it saved his life that summer.
Zoe and Jarod have pulled off to the side of the road and Zoe has changed clothes - she's wearing a summer dress now. Jarod wants to know why she's dressed up, but finds out soon enough as they arrive at Zoe's grandmother's house. Zoe's grandmother is very happy to see her and Zoe tells her that she has gotten married ... to Jarod! Zoe's grandmother says that she has picked the perfect time to surprise her because her sister Linda is there visiting, with her husband. Once inside, Zoe tries to introduce Jarod to her sister and her husband, but can't because she doesn't know Linda's husband's name. Linda remarks that the reason Zoe doesn't know it is because she couldn't be bothered to come to the wedding. It is an uncomfortable moment. Later, trying to impress her sister and her husband, Zoe tells them that Jarod is an aeronautical engineer ... Linda's husband runs an FAA research facility and asks Jarod a somewhat technical question. There is a pause, and Zoe thinks that she may have made a mistake, but Jarod jumps in and begins talking about the design flaw in a certain model plane and everyone believes that he does exactly what Zoe said he did.
At the warehouse, Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots have entered another room - this one has an old phonograph with a record on it. The record is from Sydney's past ... it was all that was left in the rubble of their home when he and Jacob finally made their way back there after they were released from the camp. The record, "De La Rouge," was his mother's favorite and she to play it over and over. The record means a great deal to Sydney, evoking fond memories of a time long past.
Back at Zoe's grandmother's Jarod is looking a family pictures and learns from her grandmother that Zoe's twin sister was killed, that Zoe never got over it and pulled away from the family afterwards. In Zoe's room, Jarod asks her why it's so important to her that she leads her family to think that her life is something that it's not. She tells him that she has always been the family "screw up" and she wants her grandmother to think that she has finally found happiness. While Zoe is changing into something sexy, Jarod sees several unfilled prescriptions in her bag. He reads them and realizes that they are all to be used as a precursor to cancer therapy. He asks Zoe about them and once again a wedge is driven between them by his questions.
Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots are still wandering through the warehouse. They come upon another room and in this one, they find a basket like the one that Dorothy carried Toto in. Miss Parker makes a comment about it not being pretty if her old dog is in there, but instead she finds a thimble from a Monopoly game inside. She remembers a time when she was snowed in with her father and mother - so that they were all forced to spend time together instead of her parents being at work or off somewhere else. As the storm raged, they played Monopoly all day and into the night ... her father was the shoe, her mother was the car, and Miss Parker was the thimble. As she finishes telling the story to Sydney and Broots, she sheds a single tear.
They realize that the message that Jarod has been trying to get across to them is that "there's no place like home." They go back to the door of the warehouse and give the "secret phrase" to the "Munchkin" on the outside and he sets them free.
Zoe and Jarod leave her grandmother's and as they drive away she thanks Jarod for not telling her grandmother that she is ill, so that her grandmother can remember her as being happy.
When Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots arrive back at The Centre, they find a replica of the wicked witch awaiting them ... it looks a little like Miss Parker, which she takes as a compliment. She tosses some water on it, it melts and Broots finds another yellow brick with a message on it that tells them to go back to the scarecrow!
Jarod and Zoe return from a local fair, where Jarod has won Zoe an enormous amount of stuffed animals, to the Park Pines Motel, Zoe teaches Jarod the joys of "skinny dipping" in the pool, which is the start of their romantic interlude. The next morning, Zoe handcuffs Jarod to the bed and leaves him there, saying that being in love with someone was not part of the plan and that she knows that if she stays with him that he will try to make her take the medication and go through the cancer treatment and she doesn't want that. As she goes out to her car to leave, Vince accosts her. Jarod has managed to free himself from the handcuff and tries to stop Vince, only to have Vince pull a gun on him find him and then cuff Jarod's hands behind his back. Handcuffs notwithstanding, Jarod head butts him, karate kicks, knees him and ends up defeating Vince. Zoe jumps in her car and speeds away, leaving both Jarod and Vince behind.
Zoe is standing at the top of a cliff, obviously contemplating leaping off, when Jarod arrives. He has contacted her grandmother and has learned that this is the place where Zoe's twin sister, Katie, died. Zoe has blamed herself for Katie's death, since she was the one who talked her into trying to climb the cliff ... she doesn't think that she deserved to survive when Katie didn't and it's the reason that she has decided not to try to recover from the cancer she has developed. Jarod talks her out of killing herself - either by jumping off the cliff or my refusing treatment for the cancer. He says he knows she is scared and that he is going to help her.
Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots are back at the scarecrow. Sydney finds a message in the scarecrow's pocket that reads, "There's no place like home. Everyone deserves one, so why don't you leave me alone and let me find mine."
Jarod has brought Zoe back to her grandmother's and they are saying goodbye. Zoe says that she can see in Jarod's eyes that he cannot stay and he doesn't deny it. They kiss one last time, Zoe tells him to go and walks back to her family. Jarod stays a moment longer, watching Zoe in the arms of her family, then turns and begins to walk away. He stops, an agonized look on his face, but then continues on.
And the screen fades to black ...
This episode of The Pretender starred:
"Road Trip" was written by:
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