1.18 Unhappy Landings
Original air date: April 26, 1997
Written by: Juan Carlos Coto, Javier Grillo-Marxuach & Lawrence Meyers
Directed by: James Whitmore, Jr.
As a US Marshal, Jarod tries to protect a witness who’s scheduled to testify against a drug cartel, while a distraught Sydney makes an appointment with his psychiatrist.
Jarod’s Discoveries: Spam
Jarod’s Occupations: U.S. Marshal, Federal Prosecutor, Carnival Chili Cook
Jarod’s Aliases: Jarod Cody
Jarod goes undercover as federal marshal to protect a witness scheduled to testify against a drug cartel.
Aboard an airplane in Texas, federal marshals Garrison and Lane transport a “man of a thousand faces.” But instead of Jarod, it’s a crook named Nicky…and Jarod enters wearing a marshal’s uniform. A bit later, Nicky ribs the marshals about the last two witnesses they transported: Jimmy Rayford, who stabbed Garrison with a homemade knife and then jumped from the plane to his death…and Eugene Diggs, who ran away during another transport a week later. A bit later, at the marshals’ office, Garrison explains that Eugene and Jimmy, best friends, owned an air freight company, got in trouble flying “special cargo” for the Colombians and then agreed to testify against the drug runners in exchange for reduced sentences. Lane says Eugene is scheduled to testify in just three days, and the government’s case will fall apart if the marshals don’t find him. A bit later, the marshals visit Eugene’s wife, Helen, who says Jimmy’s death scared Eugene, who no longer knows whom he can trust. That night, Jarod watches old tapes that show him, as a boy, begging Sydney for a friend his own age. Later, Eugene’s lawyer, Michaels, summons the marshals to a phone call from Eugene. Garrison tries to bully Eugene into returning, but Jarod jumps in and talks to Eugene about loneliness. Eventually, Lane traces the call to a small town phone booth. The marshals go there, but as Jarod approaches Eugene, Garrison yells that Eugene has a gun. Garrison starts shooting…and Eugene runs away again.
Meanwhile, at the Centre, Miss Parker asks Broots to run an unofficial Internet search for several missing children from the 1960s, and pushes him to keep at it even after his first attempt fails. In Texas, Jarod visits Helen again, and sees a photo of her and Eugene, taken on their honeymoon at a Corpus Christi motel. Finally, Jarod wins Helen’s trust, and she admits that Eugene calls her at a pay phone. Meanwhile, back in Washington, Sydney schedules an urgent meeting with his psychiatrist, Dr. Shafton, and tells her he hates Mr. Raines so much now, he often fantasizes about killing him. Back in Texas, Lane tells Jarod that he feels responsible for Jimmy’s attack on Garrison, because he left Garrison alone with Jimmy right before the stabbing. That night, Jarod watches another old tape, which shows him so desperate for a friend, he tries to run away to find one. Jarod also watches a tape of Jimmy’s testimony, in which he insists his primary goal is to protect his friend, Eugene. The next day, Jarod asks Michaels why, if all Jimmy’s requests to protect Eugene had been met, he would attack a federal marshal and jump to his death from an airplane. Michaels doesn’t know, so that night, Jarod re-enacts Garrison’s attack story, using a dummy he carves from his latest culinary discovery—spam. And the project clearly demonstrates that the details of Garrison’s story just don’t add up.
Back at the Centre, Broots finally locates one of the missing children, Darra Landers, who lives near Milwaukee…while Sydney, still at the doctor’s office, says he feels alone and helpless, and can’t take it much longer. That night, Jarod goes with Helen to a bar where she gets a phone call from Eugene. But when Eugene learns Jarod is there, too, he panics and runs. Later, however, Jarod guesses that Eugene has run to somewhere he would feel safe, and he and Helen find Eugene at the honeymoon motel. The next day, with Eugene back home under the marshals’ watch, Garrison chides Jarod for going after Eugene by himself, and promises to put Eugene on a plane to the trial the next morning. Later, however, Jarod listens in as Garrison phones a man with a Hispanic accent, who tells him how to crash the plane with a remote control.
Meanwhile, Miss Parker goes to Darra’s house, but learns Darra died recently, during an emergency appendectomy. That night, Helen calls Jarod to say she is worried about Eugene. Jarod says he won’t let Eugene get on the plane with Garrison the next day, but Helen says they’ve already left. A bit later, in the plane’s cargo area, Garrison searches for a possible intruder, and finds Jarod. Jarod smashes a luggage door into Garrison’s face and, as they fight, Garrison admits the Cartel paid him to kill Jimmy. Then Michaels enters and throws a fire extinguisher at Jarod, revealing she, too, is in on the plot. At this point, Eugene enters and tackles Michaels…but she uses the remote control to disable the plane’s electrical system. As the plane dives, Jarod works on the wiring…and finally repairs the circuit using his marshal’s badge as a conductor. Later, they all land safely, and Lane leads Garrison and Michaels, in handcuffs, off the plane. Back at the Centre, Broots tells Miss Parker he is quitting the missing child search, because he has just learned most of them have died very suddenly and recently. Mr. Raines enters, and starts to reprimand Broots for his unauthorized computer activity. But then Sydney entes, and insists Broots is working for him. The next day, Jarod remembers the friend, Kyle, that Sydney finally found in for him…and, after Eugene’s successful testimony in court, drives him and Helen off to their new lives in the witness protection program. Finally, the next time we see Jarod, he is working as a chef at a Texas fair, dishing up chili made with his secret ingredient: spam.