Sam is out to eat with Paige and her family. He can’t stop thinking about Julia though. So he breaks up with Paige in the Olive Garden. Casey isn’t getting out of bed or taking Evan’s calls. She slams her door in Elsa’s face. Sam goes to see Julia and professes his love for her and gifts her with chocolate covered strawberries. She connects the dots and starts yelling at him. He has a meltdown and leaves.
He tries his normal techniques to calm down but it doesn’t work. The bus driver calls Doug and Elsa. They pick him up and bring him home. Doug goes and yells at Julia. She tells him she doesn’t know anything and he tells her to stay away from Sam.
Evan turns up at the house to talk to Casey. He wants to know if they are cool and then tells her he will take back the “I love you.” He tells her that he thought it was just something guys did because girls like to hear it. She kicks him out and then watches a documentary with Sam.
Elsa is still honoring her commitment to do hair for the girls going to the dance. Casey makes a comment about her caring about things. Zahid talks to Sam and tries to get him to go talk to the girls waiting in his house to get their hair done. Sam is not interested. Paige shows up and yells in the front lawn. She dumps some stuff in the lawn and Sam realizes that she is upset.
Casey goes to the bar to see Nick. They talk about Elsa anad why they had a relationship to begin with. Casey throws a drink at him. Sam is going for a grand romantic gesture. Doug and Elsa finally talk about him leaving the family in 2004. Casey gets to the dance and blows her mom off. She’s all hugs and smiles for her dad though.
Sam is looking for the necklace Paige lost so he can present it to her at the dance. He finally finds it in the school pool. He doesn’t like water other people have touched but he gets it for her. She agrees to talk to him. Casey talks to Sam about what things would be like if their parents weren’t together. He doesn’t realize what she’s saying. He walks away and she calls someone to come get her.
Paige and Sam talk it out. She doesn’t think they should get back together until he knows what he wants. Casey tells Evan that Elsa had an affair and apologizes for her behavior. Then they exchange “I love you”s. Doug talks to one of Elsa’s friends but something doesn’t add up. Sam interrupts to announce that he got a handjob in the igloo.
Julia sends Sam an apology e-mail. She goes home to find her ex waiting. He proposes in an awful fashion. Sam is doing great. He hugs Doug. Casey tells Evan that she hasn’t confronted her mother, just left her a note on the wipe board. It reads “Stop banging the bartender.” Elsa sees. So does Doug.
I’m happy for both of the kids but I feel really bad for Doug. He’s finally making progress with Sam and his wife cheats on him. That sucks. Julia better say no. I think she will. I hope she will.
The other moms from the support group are helping make cupcakes for the dance. They ask if she has a new hobby. Flashback to her time with Nick. She tells them she has taken up bowling. Sam is learning the rules of having a girlfriend. Paige also reveals she is in love with him and wants him to figure out if he loves her too by Thursday because they are having dinner with her family.
Sam asks Zahid for advice figuring out if he is in love with Paige. Casey tells Evan about Paige telling Sam she loves him. Awkward pause and then they start kissing. Elsa walks in. Evan leaves and Elsa tries to have a sex talk with Casey. She tells her that she isn’t having sex and that’s the end of it.
Elsa realizes she has a free day and tries to make plans with Sam. He turns her down so she texts Nick. He invites her to the bar where there is a memorial service for another bartender. Sam is still trying to figure out his feelings so he goes to see Paige. She is prepping for the dance. He just wants her to stop talking about it so he offers to help.
Sam goes to see Doug about building an igloo as a set piece for the dance. Sam talks about not being able to cope with all the changes in his life. Doug says that they will figure it out. Else offers to sleep with Nick to help him. He tells her that he doesn’t need that kind of help. He just needs his girl with him. He gets called away and she makes a run for it.
Doug decides that going to Olive Garden and “casing the joint” is a way to set Sam at ease. They go and Elsa meets them. Sam approves of the restaurant and then asks for rules on figuring out if you are in love. They help him come up with three.
Over the course of the next few days, Sam goes over the rules and realizes that he is in love with Paige. He’s at work when he has his epiphany and Julia walks in looking wretched to pick up the tv she bought. She’s embarrassed but he doesn’t notice.
Casey gets a call. She got into the prep school! With a scholarship! She tells her dad and then wants to run off to tell Evan. Sam helps Julia put the tv in the car and then gives him slow-dancing advice. He realizes that sometimes love doesn’t need rules, sometimes you just know.
Elsa goes to the bar to break up with Nick. He chases her outside and before she leaves, she kisses him. Casey sees. She keeps going to Evan’s house and they have sex. He’s reluctant because he doesn’t want things to be weird after. They are though. She stares off while he tells her that he loves her.
Sam was just figuring things out with Paige and then Julia wonked it up on him. I almost feel like she knows what’s up. She got jumpy when it was time to leave. I thought Casey was going to get hit by a car or something. This was probably worse though. I hope she talks to Evan. I don’t want them to break up.
Paige wants Sam to take her to the winter formal. She also mentions that her parents will be out of town that night. It goes over Sam’s head. Elsa is at Nick’s place, in his bed, when he starts smoking pot. He convinces her to take a hit. She does and then goes out into the world stoned.
Julia leaves her now ex-boyfriend a message to come pick up the stuff he left. Casey finds out her teammates aren’t talking to her because of the prep school. It’s Elsa’s fault. She mentioned it to one of the other mom’s when she was stoned.
Sam talks to Zahid about the dance and finds out that Paige wants to have sex with him. Elsa meddles in Casey’s business and it pisses Casey off. Sam buys condoms for his night with Paige. Doug stops by to return a book he borrowed from Julia. She mentions that he should maybe get his own therapist. He notices that she is limping and takes her to the ER.
Elsa is cutting a woman’s hair. Her son is there and he and Sam talk about sex. Casey is shopping with her teammates. She tries on a dress and they swipe her clothes. Elsa is at a parent meeting to vote for a theme for the dance. Paige makes a presentation about a silent dance with headphones for music. The parents seem interested except one. A track mom.
She argues but the meeting votes in favor of the silent dance. Elsa calls the other mom out and she basically tells her it all stems from the track relay team that Casey is abandoning if she goes to the prep school. Sam is having a meltdown. He’s never seen boobs before and thinks he has to before he can have sex with Paige.
Zahid takes him to a strip club but it’s a sensory overload. He goes outside and a stripper shows him her chest and gives him advice. Casey calls Elsa to pick her up and they talk about her fears. Julia tells Doug about her own family and why she does what she does.
Afterward Doug calls Elsa and apologizes. Meanwhile, Elsa kidnaps a kid on the team to get the whole story. She brings her home to talk to Casey and for once all is well in the Gardner house. Not so much for Julia though. Turns out she is pregnant.
Elsa is the actual worst. And so is that other mom. And the teammates. Casey’s got such shit people in her life. Poor kid. Sam is doing what Sam does best, research which is good but he should probably talk to Paige. I will be very disappointed if Julia falls for Doug.
Sam is at work late. He tells his boss about Paige. He doesn’t like change. Casey and Evan talk about her interview at the prep school. She’s nervous and he tells her that that’s okay. Elsa gets an e-vite to Nick’s birthday party. She calls him to yell at him and apologizes for being mean to him.
Julia talks to someone about her issues at home. Sam brings Paige home and she annoys him. Touching his things and being overbearing. He locks her in the closet for ten minutes. Elsa is still worried about the kids being at separate schools but they head to the tour of the prep school.
Paige stole a sweatshirt from Sam and he freaks out and hides. Casey gets a call about it during her peer interview and ends up talking about Sam in the interview. Doug and Elsa decide to have dinner company, Doug’s friend from work and his wife.
The next day, Paige is looking for Sam and approaches Casey. He missed lunch the day before because he was hiding from her. Casey lashes out and maybe projects her own issues on Paige. After their talk, Paige breaks up with Sam. He tells Julia about it and she gets a new perspective on her own relationship.
Casey sends the prep school a thank you e-mail. Then fights with Sam. He tells her he doesn’t need her anymore and he’ll be glad when she goes to the new school. Casey then gets a call from the peer interviewer. The prep school found out about her punching a girl. They have a zero tolerance policy. It doesn’t look good.
At dinner, Elsa finds out that Doug never mentioned that Sam was autistic. She gets pissed because she thinks he is ashamed. They fight and he tells her that maybe she puts too much emphasis on the autism. Julia gets home to find a note that her boyfriend left her.
Sam interrupts Paige’s class and tries to win her back. He gives her a necklace and it works. Elsa brings Nick a birthday cupcake.
Doug is right. Elsa’s identity is too wrapped up in Sam. Cheating on her husband is probably not the way to go about finding herself though. Poor Casey. She can’t win. She’s not gonna get to go to the fancy school.
Elsa cheated and she is having some trouble coping with it. Casey has a big track meet and the family is there to support her. Nick calls Elsa and she drops her phone under the bleachers. While she is looking for it, Sam grabs some girl’s hair. Doug tries to get him to stop and he ends up falling and cutting his arm. Doug takes him to first aid. Casey wins the race but only Evan is there to see it.
At school, the girl that complimented Sam’s shirt, Paige, wants to study with him. He says no though. He mentions it at his next session with Julia and she says that it sounds like Paige likes him. Julia got flowers from her boyfriend. She wants an explanation for the strawberry under the couch.
Doug goes to Elsa’s support group. It is not productive. Sam studies with Paige. He’s trying to decide if he likes her. At home, Elsa is feeling guilty so she is making a fancy dinner. She mucks up the Casey portion of the meal. Doug runs into Julia and they talk for a bit. Sam talks to his co-worker about Paige. The next day he asks her out. She says yes.
Casey gets called into her coach’s office. She’s being recruited by a prep school for track. She tells Evan all about it on the way to family dinner. Elsa is annoyed she brought him and then Sam walks in with two friends, Zahid from work and Paige.
Doug lies about running into Julia. Paige swipes Sam’s notebook and sneaks off to read it. It’s full of excellent drawings but not the notes he was writing about her. She’s able to trace the marks left to find out what he did write. Casey is about to tell everyone at dinner about what happened in school when Doug smells cigarette smoke on her jacket. It’s the jacket Elsa wore with Nick.
She has a meltdown and pulls the jacket off Casey. Then Casey tries to tell the story again but Paige interrupts because she is pissed about the pro and con list. She leaves and Sam follows. They talk and he asks her to be his girlfriend. She says yes. Casey is finally able to tell her parents about the prep school but Elsa shoots her down because they need her to be in the same school as Sam.
Elsa tries to move the conversation on but Evan gets up and yells at the Gardners about neglecting Casey. Elsa makes a break for it and goes to yell at Nick. Doug tels Casey that they will talk about the prep school. She hugs him.
I said it during the last episode. Casey gets forgotten and that’s a shame because she is the best part of this show. I just want to punch Elsa. She’s awful. And it’s not like she is going to stop with Nick. We all know that.
Casey and Doug go running. She tells him that she kissed Evan. It was her first kiss. Sam thinks that he should get a practice girlfriend. He asks out a girl at school and she says no. He asks why and she tells him that he is weird and that he wears the same clothes every day. He mentions it in therapy and decides he needs new clothes.
Doug talks about Casey at work. Sam wants to go to the mall with Elsa. She tries to talk him out of it but his mind is made up. Evan and Casey are hanging out looking at old family photos. They notice Doug is missing in one and when he comes home Casey calls him on it. Doug gets cagey and then Casey heads to practice. Evan mentions that he thinks Doug was lying but Casey defends her father.
At the mall, Elsa is being overbearing as Sam tries to pick out clothes. She ends up fighting with the salespeople while Sam tries on clothes. He ends up picking a few things and she gets escorted out of the store. On the ride home they talk about girls and being hurt.
Elsa tells Doug about the mall and that she thinks Julia has too much influence on Sam. Casey asks her brother about why Doug missed the photo in the book and Sam tells her that that was when Doug left them for eight months. Elsa goes to see Julia but she isn’t there.
Casey doesn’t stick around school. She meets up with Evan and talks about her father. Speaking of, he gets a call from the school because Casey cut class. He goes to find her in the park with Evan and starts yelling. They fight about him lying and then he explains why he left.
During her support group, Elsa talks about feeling unneeded. A girl compliments Sam’s new shirt at school. Julia finds a chocolate covered strawberry under her couch. Elsa goes back to the bar. She talks to Nick and goes home with him. Doug gets ready to run with Casey. He hollers for her. She went without him.
Okay so Doug sucked in 2004 and Elsa sucks now. I’m glad that Sam at least got one shirt he likes. Casey is the best and I feel bad that she seems to get lost in the shuffle with the family.
Sam is cleaning himself up to see Julia because he wants to impress her. Doug tries to chat but its awkward. Casey has track practice and Evan watches. Her teammates tease her. At his session, Sam tries to get to know Julia. He finds out she has a boyfriend.
He goes home and has a freak out but Doug actually talks him down. Elsa goes to a support group and ends up talking about her time in the bar. Sam watches his co-worker Zahid for pointers on dealing with girls.
Elsa realizes she left her credit card at the bar. Rather than go back, she tries to cancel it but can’t get through. Doug hears her on the phone and offers to go get the card. She tells him no. Casey gets called into the coach’s office. She has to make nice with the girl she punched in order to get a bus to the playoffs. She does and the girl takes a jab at Evan.
Sam tries to chat with Julia. Doug goes to the bar for the credit card. The bartender says that he can only give it to the cardholder. Doug tries calling her but she hangs up on him. Casey goes to track practice and they talk about Evan. Sam does more research on how to steal a woman and ends up getting made fun of. He has an incident and leaves school early.
At home he wants to talk to Doug, not Elsa. He explains what happened and Doug gives him a motivational speech. Elsa goes to the bar to get her card. She seeks out the bartender and then tries to make a run for it. He throws a dart at her.
Doug tries to help Sam by bringing him to his crush’s house. Same climbs through a window to leave chocolate covered strawberries for her. That’s how Doug finds out its Julia. He tells Sam to climb back out so they can leave. Sam does but he drops a strawberry in the process. Casey asks Evan why he was kicked out of school and then laughs at him. He gets offended. She kisses him and they part on good terms.
The bartender cleans up Elsa’s dart wound and asks for number. Doug and Sam talk about the latter dating someone his own age. They have a moment. Doug brags about his day with Sam to Elsa. They go to bed. In the night she gets a text from bartender Nick (Raul Castillo).
Elsa is awful and Doug is the best. I feel like this Julia thing is going to crash and burn. Casey is great too. Funny. Overall this is a good show.