Carol spends a week at the Emco gas station where Phil accidentally left her. She hangs out with an inflatable figure, makes a Phil doll out of chewing tobacco and toothpaste, and plays a flute. She also attempts to make contact with Phil using road flares.
Meanwhile, back in Tucson, Phil takes stock of everything that's been torched (apparently by the mysteriously vanished Tucson crew) in his old house. He wonders where Carol could be and gets the idea to send out balloons with his location on them, in the hopes that Carol will see one and figure out where he is. That idea fails, but when he spots train tracks, he gets another idea: to write a mesage to Carol on the side of a train and send it through Tucson.
Carol, at the gas station, sends up her last two flares attached to her inflatable friend. It ends up burning the inflatable figure to the ground, and Carol morosely comes to the conclusion the next morning that Phil isn't coming back. Just when she's given up all help, she spots one of the trains that Carol sent through telling her he is in Tucson. She excitedly jumps up and down, saying that she's coming.
Phil sends out a steam roller with another message to Carol, accidentally popping one of his ball friends (Brice, the soccer ball) in the process before the steam roller crashes and stops. He cries and berates himself, saying he deserves to be alone. Immediately after, Carol drives up and finds him. They have an ecstatic reunion and immediately have sex right there on the road.
Phil takes Carol back to his burned down house and explains to her that everyone is gone. Carol expresses confusion that the Tucson crew wouldn't leave a note or anything. They go back to Carol's house, where Carol confesses to Phil that she thought he may have left her there on purpose after their fight. He expresses that he wants to be a better man for her, and she expresses happiness that he is being honest with her.
When Carol steps out of the room, Phil finds a note to Carol from Melissa, saying that the group went to Malibu and asking her to come. The note says not to bring "Tandy," because it would not be safe. Phil keeps the note secret from Carol.
Phil awakens and finds a note from Carol calling him a skunk and saying she went off to Malibu to find the others after finding his note. He drives off and is attacked by other Phil who cuts into the roof of his car with a knife. He wakes up screaming, the scene having been a nightmare, and rolls over to tell Carol about it. Instead of Carol, it is Melissa who shoots him repeatedly. He wakes up again, it having been a double dream.
Carol runs in to comfort him and he refuses to tell her what the dream was. He asks her whether she'll be happy if it's just them and they never find the Tucson crew. She says yes, but that she hasn't given up on the Tucson crew and is going out to look for billboards they may have left messages on.
Phil discusses the situation with his inanimate ball friends. He comes up with the idea to create doll replicas of the Tucson group.
That night, Carol and Phil sit around the fire with doll versions of the Tucson gang. Carol tries to converse with them as if they're the real group, but quickly breaks down in tears and runs away.
Phil finally breaks, and tells Carol the truth that the group left a note and are in Malibu. He asks her if she wants to go to Malibu. She insists she does not, since they don't want Phil. Phil argues that they should go, but she won't budge, insisting that if you care about someone, you do the right thing for them. Finally, he decides to just drop it and gets Carol completely wasted on tequila instead.
The next morning, Carol wakes up, hungover, in the back of the RV. They are en route to Malibu.
They stop off at the beach since Carol has never been to a California beach. There are a ton of beached whales, so they head off to look for the group.
Driving into Malibu, they spot a fire and quickly find the Tucson crew singing along and playing an accordion. They approach in Phil's camouflage outfits and spy with binoculars. From a distance, they spot the group and notice that there is a new guy. Phil expresses trepidation about approaching, so Carol agrees to go break the ice first and get a reading on the situation.
Carol surprises them and causes the new guy to have a heart attack and pass out.