With five days left, the Pioneer Journal tells the Town Council to go exploring. So they do, leaving Sheriff Sophia as the boss of everyone while they wander off to meet with some Pueblo people somewhere outside the town. Since Sophia kicked off the episode by more or less seceding, nobody is too thrilled at her getting so much power. But she ends up doing a good job, motivating everyone to get their work done in a half-hour so that they can get into the arcade. Meanwhile, the Council, still hanging with the Pueblos, hits on the idea of "investing in the future" by giving the Gold Star to someone smart. They're still not back when it's time for the Showdown, in which the Districts race to schlep miniature homesteads across the plains. Green gets to be upper class again, followed by Red and Blue, with Yellow finishing just in time to win the town its reward (supposedly). The first reward option is a giant stone monument, and the other is a hot air balloon ride. Sophia picks the balloons, preempting the rebellion the producers are clearly trying to foment. The Council returns to town just as the balloons are returning to earth. It's looking like this week's gold star contenders are the members of the Bonanza City think tank, Alex and Jared, although Migle's also looking like a frontrunner as "most improved." Zach makes a case for himself during the nominations, and has a meltdown when he doesn't get the reaction from the Council he's expecting. At the Town Hall meeting, the arcade continues to be an issue, and under pressure from some of the kids, the Council decides to shut it down for good so that people can interact with each other instead. In the end, the Gold Star goes to Alex, and that night the town gathers around a campfire to bond and prep for next week's season finale.
It's Day 35, and Sophia conducts another one of her social experiments. In this case, she's roping off a few square yards of land in the middle of the street and claiming them as her own. Everyone laughs at first, but when Sophia explains that she's charging a five-cent toll for people to cross it, people start getting…cross. Sophia interviews that she suspected that as soon as she claimed it as her own, everyone would want it. Sure enough, after Sophia finishes sweeping the dust out of her little section of the dusty street, Nathan tells Sophia she needs to buy the land from the Town Council if she wants it, since it's public property. Sophia tells him to keep his ugly green Crocs off her land, although she's not the one making fun of his footwear; that's just me. She gathers a small crowd as she sits on a barstool in the middle of Sophiastan, vigorously defending her land and even smacking at Colton's leg when he puts a foot on her seat. "You should all be ashamed of yourselves!" she yells, and interviews that guess what? She was right. If you provoke people, they get provoked. Although these are also not her words. It would have been interesting to see what the town's reaction would have been if she'd staked her claim on the far side of the corral or something. In an interview, Emilie calls Sophia power-hungry and selfish, and the scene ends with Sophia and her broom perched on her barstool like a green-bandanna'ed Kurtz.
Time for the Pioneer Journal. It tells the Council that the original people of Bonanza City never explored beyond the town's borders. Well, how did they get there, then? Is this town closer to Roswell than I thought? The Journal advises them to leave town and meet up with some people who have been around for centuries so they can get their advice on how to build a lasting society. With five days left. Although it's not like the Journal can say, "We need to contrive a way to get you guys out of town for a couple of days just so we can fuck with things." Michael realizes this probably means Native Americans, and they resolve to follow the map where it leads.
Next thing you know, they're standing in front of the assembled town in the mess hall, wearing their coats, hats, and backpacks. Michael tells everyone what the Pioneer Journal said, and that it means they're leaving right now and they don't know when they'll be back. While the town is still getting its collective brain around this idea, Blaine further milks it by adding, "We might not ever come back." Greg adds that in the Council's absence, "Sheriff Sophia is in charge." Everyone looks shocked, no one more so than Sophia herself. Eric asks if they can vote on an interim leader instead, and he gets shot down. Kennedy asks who will decide on a Showdown reward if the Council isn't back by then, and it turns out that's going to be up to Sophia, too. Nathan protests that Sophia is getting a lot of power for someone who wasn't even elected. "Well, that's too bad," say Greg and Blaine in perfect unison. I bet their menstrual cycles are in sync too. The Council takes its leave. After a long pause, Sophia slowly mounts the stage and smiles ambiguously down at everyone. "Hi, town," she deadpans.
After the commercials, some director makes poor Sophia stride out of the Green bunkhouse and into a hero-shot. She's sporting a cowboy hat, a duster, a weed between her teeth, and a steely expression to go along with the ominous spaghetti Western guitar on the soundtrack. Nathan interviews that this is like a dictatorship. Sophia barely gets ten feet down the street before being waylaid by Kelsey, who, in Kelsey's typical freak-out mode, is bugging Sophia to open the arcade. Sophia tells her she's checking on the completion of jobs before that happens, although she promises to have the arcade open as soon as possible. Her first stop is the Saloon, where she tells the Blue team the place needs some work. In an interview (in which her subtitle is now "Sophia, 14: Sheriff"), she says that it's her responsibility to make sure the jobs are getting done. We see her enlisting Laurel's help in using barrels and a bench to barricade the arcade shut. She says that her goal is to have the arcade open in thirty minutes. Which is fine, but it could have been 29½ if she and Laurel hadn't messed around with her barrier.