Picket Fences is an American television drama about the residents of the town of Rome
Kimberly surprises her parents with her plans to attend medical school out of state. Carter Pike's house catches fire after he had taken some sedatives, leaving Jill Brock to suspect a suicide attempt.
The Wambaughs have an argument on their 50th anniversary as a tornado threatens the town. Jimmy and Jill worry about Kimberly who is away at college. Meanwhile, Carter meets an interesting new woman while buying quilting supplies.
A former talk show host, Dr. Joanna "Joey" Diamond (Amy Aquino) joins Jill's medical practice. Kenny begins using a dating service.
District Attorney John Littleton's convict brother escapes from prison and makes his way to Rome.
Maxine is in trouble after she shoots a man wearing a bratwurst costume. Meanwhile, Jill assumes Kimberly is pregnant when she learns her daughter saw Dr. Joey and concealed the office visit from Jill.
It is Saturday night in Rome, and the townspeople are looking at various ways to spend the evening. Matthew cruises the town with his friends. Jimmy and Jill make an attempt at romance. Judge Bone and Wambaugh play poker, but one of the men in their group drops dead. Note- In 1997 TV Guide ranked this episode number 96 on it's '100 Greatest Episodes of All Time' list.
Jill considers tubal ligation. Brock must dance the polka with the Mayor for charity. Haunted by the death of his brother, Littleton returns to Chicago.
Kimberly is arrested for protesting pig-wrestling at the town fair.
During a celebration welcoming the Pope to town, someone opens fire, and a man is killed. The victim's gay lover says the man committed suicide, but the Pope says he saw the whole thing and that it was murder. The Pope, therefore, becomes the chief witness in a murder case in Rome, Wisconsin.
The skeleton of a Nazi sympathizer is found and suspicion falls on Jacob Levine, the son of a Jewish butcher who was persecuted by the dead man. Wambaugh rises to Levine's defense only to find himself facing an unexpected prosecuting attorney — his son David, from whom he has been estranged for many years.
Matthew is deeply depressed after a friend commits suicide and Jimmy takes him on a trip in order to help him overcome his grief.
A blizzard hits town, stranding Jill and Kimberly in a bar where Lydia is making her singing debut. Likewise, Jimmy is snowed in at the sheriff's office and is the only person available to deliver the Mayor's baby when she goes into labor.
After being struck by a falling power line, Carter sees his deceased grandfather Bob while he is clinically dead for three minutes. This experience causes him to reevaluate his relationship with God and with his girlfriend Sue. Judge Bone meets an old flame of 50 years ago while Zack gets a crush on a young cello prodigy who is visiting for a musical competition. Unfortunately, the girl only has eyes for Matthew.
Zack inserts his teacher's face in a pornographic video and his friend uploads it to the Internet. Maxine meets an online friend in person.
Jill's emotions take control as the family celebrates Zack's 13th birthday.
Jill fills in as the school's interim basketball coach when the regular coach collapses during a game. Under pressure from the parents, she becomes obsessed with winning, leading Zack and his teammates to obtain an injunction to remove her. Matthew develops a gambling addiction.
Maxine Stuart meets with opposition when she fills in as mayor and enacts some unpopular policies and changes. Shock jock Chuck Dante adds fuel to the fire on his radio show. The situation becomes serious when one of Dante's followers shoots Maxine.
When Wambaugh learns that Miriam has a new man in her life, he suspects that the man must have an ulterior motive.
When an Amish girl is raped, she refuses to testify against her rapist due to her religious beliefs. The rapist goes free and rapes another girl whose outraged family sue the Amish community, blaming them for the rape.
Jimmy learns he might have a cancerous growth on his liver. At the same time, he investigates the murder of a homeless man found behind Reverend Novotny's church. The murder suspect grabs Jimmy's gun and holds him hostage at the sheriff's office, but Jimmy and Kenny convince the man to give up the weapon. Later that day, Jimmy learns that the growth on his liver is benign.
It is the christening of Mayor Bey's baby, Michael, but the Rome residents are flabbergasted when Laurie announces that she had the baby for her brother Jerry and his lover Gordy, who plan to raise the baby in the town. The Beys' estranged mother Christine, who turned her back on her children because she was deaf and he was gay, turns up and announces she is taking them all to court to get custody of her grandson. Tension brews in Rome as the people take sides on the issue and a campaign begins to have Laurie removed as Mayor, resulting in Jerry and Gordy being attacked at the supermarket by a vicious homophobic gang. Despite attempts by the prosecution to discredit the men and prove their lifestyle is unsuitable to raise a child in, Judge Bone ultimately rules in their favor and allows them to keep baby Michael, saying he does not feel they pose a threat to the boy. The court case over, Mrs. Bey leaves Rome again under a cloud, and Laurie is emotional as she leaves the baby in the care of his two dads.
In the final episode, Carter inadvertently proposes to Sue after she gets her wires crossed. Nevertheless, he is a man of his word and they announce their engagement to the people of Rome. Their sudden decision to wed prompts Kenny and Max to do the same, although they later begin to experience cold feet. Digging in her friend Selma's backyard, Myriam Wambaugh discovers human remains and Selma goes on trial for murder. Persuaded to defend her by his ex-wife, Wambaugh manages to get her off and passion erupts again for Doug and Myriam, who decide to get remarried in a triple ceremony with Carter & Sue and Kenny & Max. Meanwhile, the Brocks' marriage is in serious trouble, with Jill feeling they have come to the end of the line. She moves in with Joey to do some thinking and Jimmy is left to do the same. At the wedding, the three happy couples tie the knot and the wedding fever gets to Jimmy and Jill, who make up and get back together. As the cast gather for a group photo in their wedding finery, the series ends.