With their original mode of transportation destroyed, the final three contestants (and a previously eliminated one) must engage in a full-out, no-rules race to Hawaii. While one villain confronts their nemesis about her treachery in a previous episode, another contestant develops a strong bond with someone he initially tried to avoid. Ultimately, while one contestant guarantees herself a spot in the final two, two others tie for second place and must battle for dominance in the final challenge.
The episode opens with an upset Chris pouting over the destruction of his beloved Total Drama Jumbo Jet and all of his luxurious belongings that were inside of it. This was due to Sierra accidentally blowing up the plane at the end of the previous episode. Heather and Alejandro both attempt to convince Chris to continue the show, but instead, he furiously snaps at the two, believing that the loss of his plane is more important than the show.
Meanwhile, Cody is yelling at everyone to help him save Sierra, who is buried in the wreckage of the plane as a result of the explosion in the previous episode, although everyone ignores him. Cody picks her up, and Sierra says she had dreams of this, except that he would be wearing Mountie hat and loincloth in them. Cody, thinking she is crazy, asks her if she landed in her head, but she denies this, saying she is fine, except for her left wrist, right earlobe, scalp, and both ankles, which are throbbing with every step they take.
|“||Now that Sierra's out of the game, it would be nice to earn points with Cody. But really, I have to help; I've been where she is. Crazy or not, no girl should ever have to be bald on national TV.||”|
Heather decides to help Sierra, out of sympathy for her being bald, and gives her a wheelchair and her hat from Easter Island. Cody puts her in the wheelchair, and Heather makes Sierra wear the hat. Sierra asks Cody if it looks okay, and Heather empathetically says she looks gorgeous, but then she makes disgusted gestures behind her back.
Chef finds an extremely large crate, which Chris explains is the emergency kit. Inside the kit is a two-seater helicopter, which only has enough room for Chris and Chef. Chris tells the final three that the final challenge is in Hawaii and gives each of them GPS coordinators before leaving, saying to set them to Tijuana Beach, which is located in the Mexican border. Sierra asks what's going to happen to her, but Chris refuses to help her, in part out of anger because she blew up his plane. Sierra glares at him angrily as the helicopter takes off.
|“||Okay, mom? I know how hard it is to end a crush, but he's a total jerkface! When I come home, the Chris McLean museum/guest room better be destroyed!||”|
Heather tries to align with Alejandro in order to get to the final two, as they previously made a pact. Alejandro tells her he knows what she did, but Heather tries to dismiss it by saying he would have to be more specific, as she has done plenty of bad stuff. He then shows her the burnt passport, implying he knows about the vote she cast against him. Alejandro refuses to join forces with her, saying he hopes she does not make it to Hawaii. Heather tries to excuse herself by saying he would more likely do the same thing if he were in her position.
|“||Heather has a way of making my focus slip, like a too-small speedo. [shudders] This race is my redemption. As long as I travel alone, she can't distract me with her clever words, or her distrustful eyes, or the way she tucks her hair behind those cute little earlobes… Gah! Focus!||”|
The two yell at each other over the walkie-talkies until Heather turns hers off. On the plane, Cody tries to find what to use to travel to Hawaii, and Sierra makes him come up with an idea with the words "seat belt, meal tray, parachute," calling her a genius. Back outside, Alejandro finds a truck full of animals from the show and enters it, intending to ride it to his destination. Meanwhile, Heather trips on some train tracks, allowing her to follow them to a train station. A cocky Alejandro tells the camera that he is going to win but is suddenly kissed by Sasquatchanakwa, which causes him to stumble backward in shock and fall right into a crate, accidentally locking himself in it. He eventually manages to get himself out, and states that once he finds Heather, he will destroy her "as she destroyed his heart." He then discovers Ezekiel in a crate with the other animals on the truck, and agrees to let him out if he behaves and does what he tells him to do.
From his seat in the helicopter, Chris comments on the fact that Heather is in the lead, and Alejandro is closing the gap, but Cody has not even left the remains of the plane. Inspired by Sierra and the items in the debris, Cody builds a hot air balloon, but cannot find a basket to ride to continue in the challenge. Sierra offers him her chair and tells him she is willing to stay in Drumheller forever and die for him. Cody thanks her for this and calls her a good friend until she asks him to call her his "best friend." Because of his morals, he can't leave her behind so he takes her with him. Cody sits in Sierra's lap in the wheelchair while they ride the hot air balloon. They manage to set off and start moving. Soon, their hot air balloon comes into range of Chris's helicopter and they both narrowly avoid each other, much to the angry remarks of one another.
The truck Alejandro is riding is unloaded onto the train that Heather had previously boarded, which is on a non-stop trip to Mexico. Just when Heather thinks that she has the advantage, Alejandro appears in her compartment with Ezekiel, using the hood of his jacket like a leash. He tells the conductor that Ezekiel is his little brother and that his animalistic qualities are merely 'quirks'. After Alejandro notices Heather, he releases his grasp on Ezekiel, who proceeds to aggressively chase after Heather. She manages to escape from the car, but is cornered on the roof of the caboose by Alejandro. After a brief fight that results in the two of them ending up on opposite cars, he uses his belt to disconnect the car, attempting to abandon her on the tracks. However, she manages to jump over onto his car and lands on top of him. Sierra uses this moment in the hailstorm to ask Cody to kiss her because she thinks they will die. However, in the middle of the hailstorm and as he claims he is proud of his timing, Chris then uses this hectic opportunity to make the contestants sing "I'm Gonna Make It," which makes them complain. Chris dismisses this by saying that, at this point in the game, they should already be used to the unexpected singing challenge.
During the song, Heather manages to push Alejandro off the train, while Cody accidentally crashes his hot air balloon into some telephone wires, leaving Heather as the only contestant still moving southward. However, Alejandro manages to land on one of many wild horses that are traveling in a herd, galloping alongside the train. Heather then encounters Ezekiel again, and after a brief fight, she is thrown out of one of the train's windows by him and lands on another one of the horses near Alejandro, prompting both to finish the race on horseback.
Cody and Sierra try to free the balloon from the wires, but it ignites and burns up. Cody gives up on the competition after his mode of transportation is destroyed. Sierra urges him to keep going, which he ignores in a dejected tone. She goes to a nearby fireworks shop and tries to barter for fireworks, unsuccessfully. Sierra then prepares to sell her expensive locket, which features a picture of Cody inside, to get enough money to buy them. Upon learning that the fireworks are for Cody, the fireworks salesman, who reveals himself to also be a major fan of the Total Drama series and of Cody in particular, gives her a whole box full of fireworks for free. Even though Cody is still devoid of all hope, Sierra convinces him that he still has a shot to win and that he should get up and continue.
They attach the fireworks to her chair and fly towards the beach. Alejandro and Heather arrive at the same time, crashing into an embrace with each other, while Sierra and Cody crash and fly right into one of the boats and take off before the others can recover. Heather wastes no time catching up, while Alejandro comes up alongside her. Cody throws a cod at Alejandro which causes him to retaliate and engage in battle with swordfish, allowing Heather to take the lead. She arrives at a mine field and avoids the mines, taking first place where Chris and an angry peanut gallery await. Alejandro tells Cody he is going to win, but hits a mine, blowing his boat skywards. Cody passes Alejandro and cheers for his win. However, his boat runs out of gas inches away from the beach and Alejandro's boat crashes on top of Cody's boat, launching them and Sierra onto the beach. However Chris is unable to tell who landed first and declares it a tie. He tells everyone that he could look at the instant replay of the "slow motion," but intentionally drags the time on to reach the episode sign off, ending with Cody and Alejandro tying for second place.
At Mexico, Ezekiel arrives at the beach where the final three (and Sierra) had already left. He kneels down and sniffs a single feather left behind by Heather, then looks up towards the sun. He then hallucinates and witnesses the sun turning into a giant money bag with a dollar sign on it. His eyes widen and he smiles weakly before he starts walking towards the sun and deeper into the water, as he makes his way towards Hawaii.
- Ezekiel appears making animal-like noises, but he does not speak.
- Beth, Blaineley, Bridgette, Courtney, DJ, Duncan, Eva, Geoff, Gwen, Harold, Izzy, Justin, Katie, Leshawna, Lindsay, Noah, Owen, Sadie, Trent and Tyler all appear, but they do not speak.
- Chef Hatchet appears, but has no lines. However, he is heard laughing and screaming with Chris.
- The weatherman on the radio, the train conductor, and the man at the fireworks stand all have lines. However, it is unknown who voiced them.
Still in the running
- The colors used to depict Alejandro, Cody, and Heather on the GPS do not correspond to the contestants' former teams.
- This is the fifth of eight episodes to pick up where the previous episode ended. The others are:
- Heather giving Sierra her empathy and the former's confessional is a direct reference to Heather going bald.
- This is the third episode that the time limit of an episode is mentioned.
- The feathered hat that Heather gives Sierra to wear is the same one Sierra wore in "Rapa Phooey!" throughout the episode.
- When Chef pulls out the emergency helicopter, the beginning for "Who You Gonna Root For?" can be heard.
- This episode marks the second season in a row in which the twenty-fifth episode ends in a tie.
- The train's conductor resembles the French security guard seen in a clip of Beth in a jail in Paris in "Celebrity Manhunt's Total Drama Action Reunion Special", as well as the prison guard in "Heroes vs. Villains" (All-Stars), even right down to his outfit, stance, and facial expression.
- The title of this episode is a reference to the 1987 film, Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
- The song sung during this episode is likely a parody of the song "Life is a Highway" by Tom Cochrane.
- Heather climbing underneath the train could be a reference to a similar, famous stunt performed by Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, except the latter was underneath a truck rather than a train.
- This is the sixth reference to Indiana Jones in the franchise. The others are:
- Even though this episode starts right after the events of "Awwwwww, Drumheller," it's daytime when it should be nighttime.
- When Chris gives his introduction, the cockpit seems to be mostly intact, even though it seemed to be completely destroyed in the previous episode.
- Cody is seen digging Sierra out of the rubble as if she had been buried by the plane parts in the explosion. However, she is seen sitting on the ground away from the wreckage in the previous episode immediately following the explosion.
- The conductor whom Alejandro argues with about Ezekiel mysteriously disappears right after Ezekiel spots Heather.
- When Alejandro takes off his belt to pull the cart of the train, a new belt suddenly reappears a few seconds later, while he holds the one he just took off.
- When Chris announces it's a time for a song, part of the outline on the back of Heather's head is missing.
- Heather's top appears to be longer when she is climbing underneath the train.
- When Ezekiel walks towards Heather as she tries to reason with him, the tip of his right foot passes below the base of his left despite his left foot being flat on the floor.
- When Ezekiel tackles Heather in the train after she throws objects at him, his feet are shaped normally instead of being claw-like. This happens earlier in "African Lying Safari."
- When Heather spills oatmeal in her hair, it gets messed up, but when she gets up after landing on a horse following Alejandro, it is back to normal.
- When Heather was thrown out of the train, she almost flew past the horses that were galloping by, but when she landed on a horse, she dropped straight down onto it in a different angle than that of which she was thrown in.
- Chris checks his watch to see how much time is left for the challenge. However, the watch immediately disappears when he turns his wrist the other way.
- The cleft on Chris's chin disappears every time he is seen in a helicopter.
- On iTunes, this episode is incorrectly titled "Planes, Trains, and Codymobiles."