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Disclaimer & some personal notes:

Its TNT and/or NBC playground – I don’t really know which. They own the characters, dialogues, plots, quotes etc. These analysis are for pure entertainment only – mostly my own.

About the analysis:
Ok, this will NOT be an episode guide, though you will find plenty of spoilers! My analysis are purely subjective, my opinion, my take. Simply for the reason that I’m the one on the keyboard!

Disagree with me? Let it be heard! Give feedback and gimme hell if you want! Write a note or your own take!

Special Note:Don’t expect me to go into any length about the pretends, because I won’t. For me its only about the characters, their individual development in each episode and their interaction with each other. The central theme for me is the Centre-related story, and only when the pretends and the people Jarod meets along his travels, are important to his character development or the Centre-related-plot, I will pay attention. And more often than not you will wonder if the series’ main character might be Miss Parker and not Jarod. She of course is as important to the show as he is. Even when her scenes are only short in an ep., you might be surprised at the length I can go about it. It’s a personal thing. I was drawn into the series by her character, and I do regard her not only as very important but also as my favorite one. Go, and hate me for that. *grin*

Oh, and of course, obviously these have been written all AFTER I saw it all. So sometimes I can go ahead of the series – I will try to not do it too much though and try hard to not dwell on it a lot.

And take into account that these analysis are NOT betaed! My first language is German so please don’t mind the inevitable errors!

Review of ‘Road Trip’
Season 4
Ep. 405

Ok I admit, I dreaded the moment to review this episode. The reason is of course one read-headed-gal. It’s not really her fault, I know that, but I so hate her!! Maybe not HER personally but the forced (to me at least it seemed forced) relationship with Jarod.

It was so wrong! It felt wrong, it looked wrong, it missed all things I wanna see when I watch a relationship unfold.

I know I’m not alone, there is a whole tP-shipper-universe out there backing me up, but I tell ya, I didn’t like the whole thing even BEFORE I became a convinced and devoted MP/J-shipper! I really didn’t!

And again, it’s not Zoe’s immediate fault and certainly not the actress’ fault, I think she was quite alright as the uppity, runaway gal with quite a baggage to carry around. (Though in my opinion she was rather unconvincing as a suicide-candidate on the cliffs.)

But the romantic moments – argh, they seemed so forced, it was painful to watch.

Jarod meets a girl on the run, an attractive woman with some secrets. He is immediately interested in her ‘case’ and becomes more and more interested in the girl. I could understand the first, the latter… ah well, chalk it up to lack of human contact and sex. Because that is ultimately my only explanation for their evolving and then sexual relationship. She was there, she was attractive, she gave him not so subtle hints and he…. lost it. Don’t get me wrong, I think Jarod genuinely cared for her. From the beginning, in the middle and in the end, but that he actually felt like being torn between staying with her for good and running away was ….again unconvincing.

The only reason that he wanted to stay with her, was – in my opinion - that he did care for her and loved the idea of having someone to hold on to, to care about. Someone who cared about him. It’s something he had said to MP on the phone and it’s something that strikes true for everyone of us. But I saw no love, true love, between them.

I did enjoy their little game with Zoe’s family. It was a priceless moment when Jarod impressed all the family and Zoe as well. The thought in Grandma’s head was screaming out at me: ‘that’s the perfect boy for my girl’!! I did see that look before, mostly on my mother’s face when she met one of my ‘encounters’. LOL

The side plot with our three favorite Centre hunters is something completely different. It’s a ‘road trip’ I was glad I was taken along with! Jarod reminds them in his little ruse that ‘Home is where the heart is’. And each of them gets the message through some sort of memorabilia that they had a unique connection to.

An old vinyl record that played music from a long forgotten time. Sydney is moved by it, his memories take him back to a time before the war had torn his family apart.

A small GI-Joe figure that makes Broots recall a very painful time in his life, when he was alone and sick, for weeks confined in a hospital, cut off from family and friends. The figure was his sole companion, something he could cling onto in a time he had no one else.

And a nimble. A small Monopoly figure that represented one of the most happy and peaceful times in Miss Parker’s life. Father and Mother and her together for a whole day, playing a game. (I was not surprised that Daddy P. had a Monopoly game chosen for her – hey, could any of you imagine him playing with a dollhouse with his two ‘girls’?)

I must say that Broots memory didn’t strike me as a too close reminder for Jarod’s ultimate metaphor for ‘home’. Broots alone in a hospital, contagious with illness and only a small figure to play with. Where the hell is there the metaphor for ‘home’? But that’s just a minor weakness and it might be just me.

Anyway, the three get on a lead somewhere in Kansas - or not anymore. (what a good scene on the field with the scarecrow and MP pissed beyond anything!)

Jarod prepared a little ride for them, a ride into each of their respective pasts. And what was so great in this episode was the clear and present friendship those three had grown into. When Syd or Broots discover their little gifts, MP has no sarcastic words for them, something she would have done so earlier in their relationship. And when she is telling them her own story about the nimble, she doesn’t hold back her emotions, she shares a chuckle with them and pokes Broots amicably in the arm at one of his – granted, stupid – comments. She even sheds a tear in front of them, and she doesn’t seem to be ashamed for it.

This portrays what a long way they have come. Maybe this was also an attempt by Jarod – giving them time and reason to share each others company and support, in a peaceful environment rather than watching each others backs in the bowels of hell.

And this is the reason why this episode was bearable for me, because it shows us character development like rarely before. Not on-screen-during-the-one-hour-show-development, no, but it shows us the result of more than three years of common work hours, three years of working alongside each other on the search for … answers, truth and yes, lol Jarod.

Andrea Parker, Jon Gries and Patrick Baucheau were terrific to watch. Their scenes together made this episode fascinating.
It was fun too, because my favorite kick-ass-goddess had quite some snappy, even eye-popping comments! Her impatience is legendary, and we get to see why! When she threatens the little man, Jarod’s helping hand in the ruse, with the ‘klicking of the 9mm’ I was on the floor, slamming my hand on my knees and thinking. Uh oh, yep, that’s my gal!

MTW, well he had lots of work and I’m sorry to say that he wasn’t convincing me. But again, as with Lisa Cerasoli who played Zoe, it was not his fault. The writers simply gave him a story that was bound to fail in the first place. And their ‘match’, as individually likable as they are, their chemistry together was… well, ok I guess, for two friends on a road having fun, but not for a couple falling in love. Nope, no romantic chemistry that I saw.

I know some of you might say, I’m a shipper and can’t be subjective about it. That might be true in some moments, but all I can say here is: I wasn’t moved by it, and that’s my scale for justifying my opinion. Period.

3 out of 5. I know, it’s a rather mediocre rating, but I can’t rate it higher, the romantic outing part was too annoying, even painful to watch! I would even rate it lower, were it not for the side-plot and one or two good scenes of the main-part - mostly in the beginning, when they still had some amiable fun together.

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