Mary and Pat cut up Tom's credit cards. Montgomery Monk uses a Ho-Ho to reprogram George. Merle feels that Wanda is spending more time on public life than married life. Garth admits to Charlie that his father was a wife beater. In her Lulu personality at Lou's diner, Loretta flirts with Mac and doesn't recognize a snapshot of Charlie.
Monk reaches a breakthrough with reprogramming George. Sikanda teaches Martha the Boga Zidi way. Mae Olinski visits Tom and Mary and reveals that she's behind the sexy skywriting over Fernwood. Christine experiences sympathy pains for Cathy. Garth and Tom discuss forgiving husbands. Pat confesses to Mary that she fantasizes killing Garth.
Mae informs Mary that she's writing a book about sexual satisfaction using the women of Fernwood for her research. The Shumways dish the family dirt to a recovered George. Tom rejects Mary's suggestion that he get his old assembly job back. Mary visits Brian and says she'll resort to blackmail to ensure Tom's return to the plant. Loretta as Lulu accepts Lou's offer to be his new waitress in the diner.
Charlie and Mary visit a recovered George who's distressed over all the crazy complications that ensued while he was brainwashed. A police officer gives Martha notice to vacate the Shumway house which is in foreclosure. Mary and Cathy argue grammar. Brian and Christine visit the scene of their baby's upcoming birth. Heather and Little Garth talk about making out.
Tom is disheartened when Jess, the manager of the Capri Lounge, won't hire him as the daytime bartender because he's over-qualified. Mary reminds Brian that she'll blackmail him if she has to, so Brian arranges an interview for Tom at the plant. Mae asks Wanda to endorse her sexual research in Fernwood. Charlie becomes frantic when he learns that Loretta didn't show up at her hotel in Dayton. Garth persuades Pat to return home. While Lt. Trask questions Mary about Loretta's disappearance, Cathy and Christine arrive and announce they're in labor.
Martha's new pet sitting service terrifies George after he finds a monkey and a tarantula in his kitchen. Complications arise when lawyer Darcy Pinker demands Cathy sign a contract before giving birth, and Dr. Fermin phones to say he can't attend the delivery. Tom convinces Charlie to seek help from Merle to find Loretta. Loretta sweet talks money out of Lou then flirts with Mac. A state trooper stops by the diner looking for Loretta, but Lou claims he hasn't seen her.
Merle vetoes Charlie and Tom's request that he intercede in the police search for Loretta. The experience of natural childbirth becomes more intense for Cathy and Christine. Merle meets Mae but rejects her research theory that the "normal way" leaves women in the cold. After Merle dismisses them, Wanda offers to help Mae's cause by arranging a meeting with reporter Harold Clemens. Darcy finally gets the signature he wants on the Addams contract. Tom and Mary wonder if they were once happy before. A birth and a death occur simultaneously in Mary's kitchen.
Heather and Little Garth trade embarrassing secrets, and Mary catches them kissing over the kitchen table where Cathy gave birth. Harold Clemens misses the point in his interview with Mae and Wanda who want the world to know that foreplay is fairplay. Merle asks Mary to be the spokesperson for his Jump for Fitness campaign and watches with delight as she jumps rope in the kitchen. Violence is on the supper menu at the Gimble home.
After admitting his own childhood abuse, Garth confines Pat to a closet. George barges into the Addams house and threatens to tell Mr. Addams the truth about Cathy's baby unless Brian tells him first. Tom agrees to return to the plant, and Mary has a special gift to mark the occasion. Loretta urges Lou to sell the diner and take her where the action is.
Harold Clemens interviews Mary about the Olinski report, but she's more interested in gardening with garbage. Merle and Wanda disagree about her endorsement of Mae's research. Disgusted by Clemens' newspaper article, the men at the plant vow to organize a plan to win the battle of the sexes. Mac proposes marriage to Loretta. The Shumways discuss finances and the Olinski report. An excited Charlie shouts that Loretta has been found.
At the hospital, Charlie identifies the completely bandaged accident victim as Loretta when Dr. Osgood shows him Loretta's purse, which was found on the victim. Tom urges Mary not to intervene when Little Garth runs over and tells the Hartmans that Garth is knocking Pat down. Brian gives Cathy a check for $10,000 and a second to see her son. Mary suggests she and Pat explore the Women's Collective of Greater Fernwood, an organization helping battered wives. Mac tells Charlie about Lulu, but Charlie thinks she can't beat his Loretta. At the Capri, Mae finds the men ...
Mary and Pat visit Rabbi Weintraub who agrees Pat should leave Garth...until he learns about Little Garth. Loretta tells Lou that she won't marry Mac if Lou makes her a better offer. Pat stops by Lou's Diner asking for directions back to Fernwood, but she manages to miss seeing Loretta. Mary asks Merle to help her save the Shumway home from foreclosure, and the their talk takes a very unexpected turn. Mae suspects revenge when Tom's commission for community standards orders a raid on Mae's room at the Bide-a-Wee Motel.
Mary solicits Grandpa Larkin's opinion in her argument with Tom about finding new ways to have sex. Tom denies Mae's accusation that he ordered her research work to be impounded by the police. Charlie and Martha pray over the bandaged accident victim, and think they receive a sign from God. Helen Dinsmore from BAD (Battered, Angry, and Determined)advises Pat that her home is a death trap she needs to leave at once. Just as George decides to accept Cathy's money, Cathy reveals she tore up Brian's check.
Tom confides to Charlie that he hates his job at the plant more than he thought, and Charlie encourages to relax at Lou's Diner up in Dayton. Clete shows up with his TV cameras when the Shumways barricade themselves in the house as the police arrive to evict them. Before Lt. Trask can order the force to storm the house, Merle saves the day with an eleventh hour solution. Wanda chastises Merle for the raid on Mae, and takes her feminist appeal to TV by suggesting a boycott of the bedroom. Mac and Loretta debate the Olinski Report.
Charlie is helpless to stop Tom from drinking. Garth tells Pat he wants her dead and doesn't care that he'll fry for it. Mary visits the bandaged accident victim and finds Martha working as a hospital "Gray Lady". Loretta promises Mac she's stringing Lou along but Lou gets angry when a diner patron points out that Loretta doesn't want him. While Loretta and Mac are making out in Mac's truck, a drunken Tom arrives at the diner and passes out. Lou puts an unconscious Tom in Loretta's bed. Pat gives Garth a taste of his own medicine, and it's fatal.
At the hospital, Martha and Grandpa Larkin meet Barbie, a fellow "Gray Lady". Mary tells Charlie about her visit with "Loretta" who Mary thinks will soon come out of her coma, and Charlie urges Mary no to worry about Tom's tardiness. Heather and Little Garth arrive and tell Mary about the terrible fight between Pat and Garth. Mary rushes over to the Gimble house and discover the police who arrest Pat for first degree murder. Mae confronts Merle and Wanda insisting she didn't a war between the sexes. Merle instructs the police to arrest everyone at Mae's town meeting ...
Charlie wills the bandaged accident victim out of her coma, though he's dismayed when she scribbles a note telling him that she doesn't know who he is. Mary receives a call from Tom who won't explain why he didn't come home. Mae asks Mary to be an usher at the town meeting. Tom comes home and reveals he went on a drunken bender but neglects to mention he might have slept with Lulu/Loretta. Mac forces Loretta to answer his marriage proposal. Before Loretta rips up the photo she carries in her pocket, Mac recognizes him as Charlie Haggers. Attorney Nat Dearborn urges ...
After Tom confesses to Charlie about possibly sleeping with Lulu, Mac reveals to Tom that Lulu turned up about three weeks ago carrying Charlie's photo. Merle gives Mary a toy wind-up chicken, while Heather and Little Garth wonder how to spell contraceptive. Tom goes to Lou's Diner, meets Lulu, and tries to make her remember her life as Loretta. Merle has Mae's town meeting raided, and she's arrested.
Mary admits to Nat Dearborn that Pat once mentioned wanting to kill Garth. Tom questions Charlie about his confidence that the bandaged accident victim is actually Loretta. Mac invites the guys at the plant to his wedding to Lulu. Mae grouses that Wanda is only interested in using the Olinski report to further her own political career. Clete performs a live TV interview with Mae from her jail cell. Mae explains her position and reveals that she's leaving Fernwood forever, but not before saying something that's never been said on television before.
Charlie questions Tom about his fooling around in Lou's Diner. Mary visits the men at the plant. Merle returns Mae's pornographic research when she's released from jail to leave Fernwood. Charlie attempts to subtly warn Mary about Tom's behavior, prompting Mary to go to the diner in Dayton. Tom tells Loretta that she's Charlie's wife, but she becomes angry and rejects everything he says. After Loretta reassures him that they didn't sleep together, Tom embraces her, but Mary arrives and leaves upset after spotting him in the arms of another woman.
Charlie fights Dr. Osgood's plan to have "Loretta's" life support turned off, but it's rendered moot when the bandaged patient dies. Pat meets her new cell mate Cookie LaRue, who is arrested while passing through Fernwood. Mary avoids Tom in preparation for leaving him over his affair with the woman in Lou's Diner. Tom explains to Mary that Loretta is the woman he was embracing, and she has amnesia. Meanwhile Loretta's wedding ceremony to Mac is commencing in Dayton. Just as Charlie begins to accept Loretta's death, Tom tells him that Loretta is alive and getting ...
Mary arrives at Lou's Diner in the middle of Loretta's marriage to Mac. Lou speaks now rather than forever holding his peace. A brawl erupts and ends with Loretta getting hit over the head and regaining her memory. Nat Dearborn agrees with Cookie that Pat's choices are either the death penalty or life in prison. Cookie urges Pat to join her in a prison break. Merle warns Wanda that if she doesn't satisfy his urges, he'll stray. Wanda introduces Merle to Lila, the new housekeeper, and Merle offers to join her in the linen closet. Loretta says a very sweet goodbye to ...
Loretta and Charlie are reunited in Mary's kitchen, but Charlie's doubt over what Loretta did as Lulu creates tension in their marriage. Grandpa Larkin plays checkers alone, while Tom hustles to get his family's finances back on track. Reverend Buryfield officiates at Garth's funeral, where Charlie and Loretta realize they're being petty, and Merle presses Mary for a closer relationship.
Merle plays a new fetish with Mary, hand puppets called Little Merle and Little Mary. George visits Martha at the hospital and has a conversation with a corpse. Mary confesses to Tom that she's been hired as a ticket taker at the Bijou theatre, but reassures him that he's still the head breadwinner. Leaving Fernwood for a new life in Chicago, Mae stops by the Hartman home to say goodbye. Mary's job at the Bijou comes to an abrupt conclusion when she's robbed at gunpoint.
Hired by the Fernwood jail, Mary gets on the matron's bad side by fraternizing with Pat. Wanda is non-plussed to catch Merle and Lila getting passionate on the sofa, and Merle is appalled that Wanda hired Lila to satisfy both of their needs. Cathy and Martha explain to Harold Clemens that they plan to make extra money by giving tours at the Shumway house, which has been designated an historical landmark. Pat is tormented by a nightmare in which Garth taunts her while she awaits death in the electric chair. Cookie strongly urges Pat to join her in breaking out of jail.
Grandpa and Barbie learn a lesson of their own while lecturing Heather and Little Garth about keeping their relationship a secret from parents. George bristles as Cathy and Martha prepare to make a tourist center of the Shumway home where visitors can see the famous Marquette Rock in their yard. Tom attempts to comfort Mary who cries in the night for no apparent reason, but he makes a statement he may later regret. Cookie forces Pat to break out of jail with her.
George loses his temper when a group of tourists invade his kitchen. Harold Clemens introduces his friend Howie Freeze to the Shumways. Mary interviews with Vernon Bales at the auto plant and gets the job. Charlie is surprised at Loretta's new role as the perfect housewife. Pat wants to turn herself in to the cops, but Cookie blackmails her into staying on the lam.
George is incensed when he discovers that Grandpa Larkin and Barbie had illicit sex in his house. Heather and Cathy have a candid chat about sex. Mary reveals to Tom that she's been hired to work on the assembly line. Vernon assigns Mary to work between Texas and Tiny, and Mary instantly causes problems on the line by depressing Tiny. Cookie forces Pat to help her hold up the Capri Lounge, but Pat only manages to steal a jar of maraschino cherries, buttered popcorn, and free drink tokens.
Charlie and Mac clear the air about what Loretta and Mac didn't do while she had amnesia. Howie asks Cathy out to dinner, and after a crazed George destroys the Marquette Rock, she agrees. Mary stops by the Capri for a very uncomfortable after-work drink with the guys from the plant. Heather teases her hair, wears too much makeup, and talks back Mary and Tom. Tom blames Mary for Heather's behavior and isn't happy with their role reversal when he's forced to cook while she's out drinking with the boys.
Mary is angry when Cathy admits that Heather went out on a date. Pat reaches out to Mary for help. Heather and Little Garth slip into the Gimble home and sleep together. Lila defends Wanda to Merle, and proclaims she's saving her kisses for the right man. When he comes on very strong, Cathy insists that Howie court her with picnics and miniature golf. Mary tells Pat that Little Garth is cured of bed-wetting, and the fugitives meet gypsies Zorrina and Godza in the woods outside Fernwood.
Heather and Little Garth awaken in the Gimble home and feel good after not doing anything but sleeping. Tom and the police berate Mary for being a working mother with a missing daughter. When Heather comes home, Tom lays down the law, but Mary goes to work. Loretta feels awkward, and awkwardness spreads with Mac's arrival. Mary rails against Cathy for influencing Heather, and the Shumways all take sides in the fight between sisters. Merle pours out his heart to Wanda but is shocked to find Lila in their marriage bed.
Wanda explains to a disgusted Merle how Lila provides something that he doesn't, but when Merle suggests it's grounds for divorce, Wanda retires to the bedroom with him, leaving Lila alone on the living room sofa. Loretta orders Charlie's favorite pizza and puts on her shortest nightie, but Charlie rejects her in favor of a night out with Mac. A real estate agent tells Mary that he's been given approval by Pat's mother Mrs. Welch to sell the Gimble home. Mary invites Texas, Tiny, and Vernon over for a game of poker, and the evening turns into a total disaster when she...
Tom warns Mary that there's gossip at the plant about resentment brewing against Mary, who's trying too hard to break with traditions. At the plant, Texas is annoyed when Mary stops the conveyor belt to have coffee cake and a chat. Two cops visit the plant and grill Mary for information about Pat, who's still a fugitive. Merle's attempts to get close to Wanda are thwarted by Lila's presence. Merle intimidates Wanda into having sex with him.
Under orders from Mrs. Welch, Colonel Fleck arrives from the military academy to escort Little Garth back to school, which upsets Heather. The war between Mary and Cathy results in more casualties when it leads Martha and George into the mother of all married fights. Merle visits Mary and requests a very personal item of hers to help him get back his "force". Cops descend on the gypsy camp and arrest Cookie, but she remains a true friend to Pat. Zorrina feels that Pat is the son she no longer has, and Pat declares Zorrina the mother she never had.
Due to Martha and George fighting, Cathy convinces Howie that he should let her and Baby live with him in a platonic way while he romances her. Lila declares her love for Wanda and decides it would be better if Merle were out of the way. Loretta feels like a third wheel at the Capri when Charlie and Mac discuss Paul Newman and weekends in the wilderness. Mary receives an urgent phone call from Merle, who's deathly ill. Mary finds Merle unconscious and mistakenly believes that he's attempting suicide.
No one believes that Merle didn't try to commit suicide, and Clete shows up in the hospital to interview him. Mary attempts to get all the men in the plant to sign a petition for more pleasant working conditions. Catholic nuns arrive to escort Heather to their convent after receiving a letter from Mary, forged by Heather, requesting that she be taken in as a novitiate. Mary smuggles food to the gypsies who convince Pat to leave Fernwood with them.
After Wanda brings Merle home from the hospital, Lila blackmails her into not sleeping with him, insinuating that she could reveal their affair to voters. Later, Lila slips poison into Merle's vitamin capsules. Vernon visits Mary on the assembly line and after she insists the petition was solely her idea, he throws it in the trash can. Texas privately asks Vernon when their secret meetings will begin again. Charlie and Mac continue to bond at the Capri. Vernon holds a mysterious meeting of the Twilight Teachers of Truth, a white supremacist type organization. ...
Vernon and the newly formed Glorious Guardians of Good (GGG) decide to change their outward appearance while keeping hate in their heart. Howie encourages Cathy and Mary to reconcile at the Capri, where Merle collapses again in agonizing pain. Lila adds more poison to Merle's pills. Raymond and Barbie agree to sow their wild oats before settling down together, but being macho is taking its toll on him. While making love on the kitchen floor, Tom and Mary spot a Peeping Tom through the doggy door. Mary is stunned at the identity of the peeper, who confesses that he saw...
Tom and Mary force the peeper to confess to Nat Dearborn that Pat was abused and Garth's death was accidental. After Wanda's confession that she kissed Merle and declaration that their situation is changing, Lila promises that she always gets what she wants. Pat prepares to leave Fernwood with Zorrina and Godza. During a drinking game with Charlie and Mac, Loretta admits that she's jealous of their friendship. Mary arrives at the gypsy camp with news that Pat is being cleared of murder charges, but Pat still has to decide whether to stay with her old life or leave for...
Charlie reassures Loretta that it's just the two of them, but Mac interrupts with breakfast and a declaration that they're one big, happy family. Texas and Tiny give Mary the unwritten rules of assembly workers, and she breaks them. Howie reveals to Martha that he's an investigative reporter working on a story about underground groups. Mary pays a very crowded visit to Merle, Wanda, and Lila. Baby disappears while Cathy washes clothes at the launderette.
Mary and Martha argue about Cathy who arrives with news that she lost Baby. At the gypsy camp, Zorinna shows Godza the infant she snatched while tumble drying her babushkas at the laundromat. The Shumways lament their losses. Heather spies on Tom and Mary making out. Lila hides in the armoire in Merle and Wanda's bedroom and becomes enraged when the couple begin to make love. When Merle asks for one good reason why he shouldn't kick Lila out, Wanda soberly reminds him that she could destroy their lives.
Officer Malloy from the Fernwood police department questions Mary about Baby's disappearance. Howie unsuccessfully attempts to comfort Cathy. Vernon promises Texas that there are many unhappy families in Fernwood, and the GGG will happily give them a scapegoat for their anger. At Pat's disastrous welcome home party, Vernon surveys all the despondent guests intently.
At the plant, Mary and the men debate whether noxious fumes are a safety or grievance issue. Vernon invites Tom for an after-work drink to get to know one another better. Howie tries to interview an elusive Merle. Lila attempts to sabotage Merle and reminds him to take his pill, which she poisoned. Before leaving Fernwood forever, Pat shares a very heartfelt goodbye with Mary.
Grandpa Larkin asks Barbie to live with him. Vernon offers Tom and Charlie free lifetime memberships to the GGG. Howie tells Cathy that he's stuck in boring Fernwood and wants to track down the TTT. Loretta helps Mary write a song for the disgruntled workers, while Martha's one of the miserable housewives of America. George forbids Barbie from moving in but changes his tune when he realizes he needs Grandpa Larkin's social security check to help with the rent. At Wanda's dinner party for the Hartmans, Lila poisons a piece of pie for Merle, but Mary gets it mixed up ...
Mary and George convince Jess Davis to hire a depressed Martha as a part time bartender at the Capri. Cathy and Mary discover Martha's secret life as a thief. Wanda calls Lila's blackmail bluff, but Lila has a trump card: Wanda's personal diary. Vernon and Texas initiate Tom, Charlie, and Mac into the GGG.
Vernon tells Texas that they'll exclude George from the GGG until he's so left out that he'll come scratching at their door to be let in. Mary informs the family about Martha's kleptomania, a result of all her recent losses. Howie sleepwalks in frustration over thinking that the secret society he's investigating is in Austin. Lila demands that Merle convince the coroner to not perform an autopsy on Chief Nigel Quinlan, and after Wanda warns him that Lila's in possession of a personal diary, Merle's forced to comply.
Texas angers Vernon by bringing a stick of dynamite to the plant as part of a scheme to blow up a TV station because it aired Roots. Loretta and Mary decide to match make Mac and Lila to get Mac away from Charlie. Mary confides in George about Martha's problem. Lila meets Mac at the Capri and is disinterested, but Texas catches her eye. Wanda and Merle are stunned when they find that Lila has moved into their apartment.
Depressed over not being invited to the party at Mary's, George wanders Fernwood, seeking company from Grandpa Larkin and Barbie, Martha, Merle, and Cathy. Martha steals a lighter from a customer at the Capri and gives him $5 from the cash register. Wanda suggests that Lila get someone of her own, but Lila expects one to be a Jeeter. Tex passes out pink muumuus instead of robes as the official wardrobe of the GGG. George stops by Mary's kitchen and finds himself initiated into the GGG.
Vernon wants Mary to solicit Merle about the GGG, and Texas still has ideas about the TV station that showed Roots. Mary grimaces when George and Vernon talk guns. Howie is introduced to Vernon who warns him about the dangers of investigating secret societies. While the family keeps watch on Martha at the Capri, the wallet of a customer disappears. A rock bearing a threatening note smashes through Howie and Cathy's window. At the plant, Texas places a time bomb into a cardboard box.
Loretta offends Cathy while attempting to fix her up with Mac. Mac tells Loretta that he wants no part of a new romance since he's happy with her and Charlie. Texas presses Vernon about the TV station scheme. Tom reacts angrily when he finds Mary playing with Merle's toys and she tries to describe the nature of their childish relationship. Merle finds Lila entertaining Texas, and throws him out. Vernon offers to solve Mary's grievance about noxious fumes on the assembly line but secretly plans to do nothing. Texas loses his box on the conveyor belt, and the bomb ...
After an explosion rocks the auto plant, Texas admits to Vernon that it was the result of his bomb, not the noxious fumes reported by Mary. Howie receives a death threat warning him to stop his secret society investigation, and Cathy suspects him of being a virgin. Mary, George, and Tiny are trapped beneath the rubble of their collapsed work area. At the Capri, Lila shows Wanda's diary to Texas, but Martha swipes it. Texas and Vernon spot a convenient scapegoat for the bombing: Dewey, the auto plant's black janitor.
Trapped in the rubble of the plant, Mary asks George if he thinks she's good enough in God's eyes that she won't die. Loretta catches a distraught Merle praying for Mary in the Hartman kitchen. As Howie and network reporter Jud Thompson arrive at the scene of the disaster, Vernon says a clue's been found near the site of the bombing: an Afro comb used by foreigners and others of dark color. Lila uses Wanda's diary to blackmail Merle into appointing Texas as the new chief of police for Fernwood.
Vernon announces that a SWAT team has been called to rescue Mary, George, and Tiny from the rubble. After seeing Mac in action, Cathy decides that maybe "bigger" is her type. Merle attempts to reign in Tex's unorthodox police methods such as dismissing Cathy's claim that a dangerous right wing group is threatening Fernwood. At the Capri a distraught Tom and Martha talk about how different things could've been if they'd been more supportive of George and Mary, and they fantasize a life where George dances the tango, and Mary is a star chanteuse.
Mary, George, and Tiny laugh at George's suggestion that they're all going to die. Tom barges into the Jeeter apartment raging against Merle for his childlike relationship with Mary. Mary asks George and Tiny to share their innermost secret desires. Loretta's dinner party to bring Lila and Mac together is a disaster when both cancel, and Merle receives a phone call from President Jimmy Carter, who offers to send federal aid for the auto plant disaster. Vernon and Tom are stunned by the arrival of the SWAT team who are all midgets.
Dash, Skipper, and Chuck, the midget SWAT team, defend their qualifications to a skeptical Merle. At Mary's house, Cathy confronts Martha who is cleaning out the house, but Martha denies being a kleptomaniac. Mary scrambles to stop Tiny from committing suicide by hanging, bludgeoning, and suffocation. Merle and Wanda have a restless night worrying about their problems. Wanda attempts to trick Lila into going away to Miami. The SWAT team climbs through the plant's ventilation shaft in a last ditch effort to rescue Mary, George, and Tiny.
Martha feels like Lee Grant in Marooned as she and Tom anxiously await news of George and Mary. The survivors think they're hallucinating elves when the SWAT team breaks out of the ventilation shaft. Realizing she lost Wanda's incriminating diary, Lila turns the Jeeter apartment upside down and then frisks Wanda. The SWAT team blasts open the entrance to the buried work area. After Vernon suggests the explosion was intentional, Texas says he's found a clue... a Marvin Gaye album and Afro comb left by the bomber.
Mary and Tom's low-key reunion leaves her unfulfilled. The SWAT team visits the guys at the plant to say goodbye. Mary befriends Dewey and realizes talk isn't cheap. At the Capri, Lila spots Martha stealing a patron's lighter and confides to Tex that she thinks Martha has Wanda's diary. Vernon holds a GGG meeting in Mary's kitchen and is appalled to see Dewey doing an odd job for the Hartmans. When Mary makes a motion to have Dewey join the GGG, Vernon suggests ominously that they already have big plans for him.
After Howie reveals that he has documentation of a dangerous paramilitary group in Fernwood, Charlie suggests to Mac, Tex, and Vernon that the GGG protect him against death threats. Mary attempts to cure Martha's kleptomania with group hostility therapy, but only succeeds in making Martha angry at her daughters. Cathy encourages Howie to share her bed, and is dismayed when he puts her off until the day after tomorrow. Lila sneaks in the Shumway kitchen to search for Wanda's diary but is interrupted by Mary and then George, who catches Mary taking back Martha's cache ...
Mac and Cathy each interrupt Charlie and Loretta's love in the afternoon, and lamenting Howie's disinterest in sex, Cathy probes Loretta for information about Mac. At the Capri, a drunken Howie admits to George that he's never known women in the biblical sense. George offers Howie advice about using women but is furious when he realizes Howie plans to use it on Cathy. Mary is shocked by what she reads in Wanda's diary. Merle calls Mary to tell her that Tom returned their toys. Lila phones Mary about the diary, but Mary refuses to give it back. After Mary tells Howie ...
Mary and Cathy attempt to shock Martha out of her kleptomania by having convicts Duke and Crude terrorize her. Fed up with Lila, Wanda and Merle decide to drive her insane. Howie tries to read Wanda's diary, but is interrupted by Cathy, who takes him to bed. Texas emerges from Howie's closet and steals Wanda's diary along with Howie's research on the GGG. Realizing the intruder, Howie chooses phoning the cops over making love to Cathy. At the GGG's Disco Night, Vernon brainwashes the crowd into leading a crusade against the school system's books, and Mary finds the ...
As the GGG returns from their trip to stop school book delivery at the depot, Mary questions their actions. Merle and Wanda instigate their plan to drive Lila crazy. Mary confesses to Tom that she read part of Wanda's diary. George rigs an electric shock as aversion therapy for Martha's kleptomania.
Texas tells Vernon that funding has been pulled for the GGG, and they use the bombing to divert Tom's attention away from their school book ban. Lila convinces Mary to give her Wanda's diary, and they discover it's missing from the waffle iron. Mac brings a drunken Howie home, and he and Cathy seize the opportunity to get closer. Merle and Wanda's plot against Lila begins to take effect. The Jeeters convince Vernon that the GGG should incorporate into a political party known as the Guardian party, represented by Merle. To raise funds, they decide to hold a Dimes For ...
Mary confesses to Wanda that she skimmed her diary thinking it was a posthumous Jacqueline Susann novel, and subsequently lost it. Wanda wants Loretta to emcee the telethon. As Charlie and Loretta celebrate her being back on the road to superstardom, they're being watched through the window by an unseen heavy breather. Lila phones Tex when Wanda says she knows the diary is lost. Mary and Dewey secretly agree to perform a scene from Othello for the telethon. After a talk with Mary, Texas and Lila believe Howie has the diary, and Tex is ready for violence.
Loretta and Cathy agree that men like Howie are funny in the head and are also funny in bed. Lila and Vernon separately phone Howie and offer to meet him with tips for his story. Everyone meets at the Haggers home to rehearse acts for the telethon but end up arguing about who gets to go on the air in prime-time. Lila gets Howie into a hot tub and tries to seduce him for the diary, but Texas catches them, jumps in the tub, and tries to strangle Howie... until Wanda walks in and finds all three together in a compromising position. Tom warns Mary to not hang out with ...
Cathy sends Howie to the Shumway house to hide GGG paraphernalia. Once there he realizes Martha and George are members, and he vows to stop the telethon after Martha reveals that the GGG is backing the Guardian Party. Loretta becomes unnerved when she thinks someone's outside her house and the lights go out. Charlie finds that someone ripped out their fuse box, while the heavy breather watches them through the window. Wanda and Mary argue over Mary bringing Angelo Bickett as their Dimes for Diseases poster boy, because he's in an iron lung. Tex overhears Howie tell ...
The telethon continues with Charlie performing bird calls while doing yo-yo tricks. Texas gags Howie. Mary sees Howie gagged and handcuffed to a cactus but thinks it's an act. Mac performs a bad ventriloquist act. Merle continues the plot to drive Lila crazy by disrupting her sleep with a blaring TV and dripping water. Martha taps for dimes. Vernon suppresses disgust over Mary and Dewey performing together. Cathy frees Howie but wants to discuss their relationship. Mary receives a bomb threat to blow up the telethon, secretly sent by Texas to frame Dewey.
The Dimes for Diseased telethon continues. Vernon orders Texas to take care of Howie permanently. Howie can't convince anyone that the GGG is a threat. Loretta and Texas exploit the bomb threat to make the money roll in. Mary and Dewey's recitation of Othello entrances the audience. The telethon reaches its $25,000 goal. Texas catches up with Howie and bribes him to leave town with the Dimes for Diseased proceeds. Vernon fears that a freed Howie will now expose them.
Merle realizes the telethon proceeds are missing. Vernon discovers a watermelon in the safe and wonders if it, along with the Afro comb and Marvin Gaye album, might be a clue to the robber being the same person responsible for the bomb threat and plant explosion. Merle suggests the clues point to an Afro-American, and Mary laughs at the notion that it's Dewey. Cathy plans to break up with Howie to date Mac, but Howie dumps her first as he leaves for LA. Martha is caught shoplifting, but George persuades the cop to let her go. Martha announces she's leaving the Shumway...
Vernon and Texas make the men think that there's a black militant group in Fernwood, and the GGG forces Tom to stop Mary's friendship with Dewey. Cathy reluctantly takes Martha as a roommate after she leaves George. Dewey warns Mary that she and Tom don't know what they're getting into and vows to stay away from her for her own safety. George leaves in disgust after discovering that he and Martha are making out in the same apartment as Mac and Cathy. Tom and Mary receive a death threat that appears to have been sent by Dewey.
Texas' rejection and Wanda switching the sugar with salt drives Lila closer to the edge. Mary visits Wanda and says she didn't sleep with Merle. Texas and Merle scheme to have Lila committed to a mental institution. Later, Lila flips out in the Capri and is taken into custody by Texas. Tom and Charlie go out on armed GGG patrol. Loretta opens her front door to something horrifying.
Loretta spots a hairy, 8 foot monster, but Mary wonders if maybe it's a crazed militant or the new milkman. Howie leaves money for Cathy with Mary. Mary feels bad about not telling Tom that she's talking to Dewey. George decides to fool around himself since Martha is thriving at Cathy's. At the Capri, Martha and Howie have a heart-to-heart, resulting in Martha's cure from kleptomania and Howie deciding to come clean about the robbery and the GGG. Texas, wearing an outrageous disguise, murders Howie.
Texas forces Lila to leave town, but she has the last laugh when her suitcase gets mixed up with the one containing the missing money. Mary brings Dr. Mattick to the Haggers house, and he identifies Loretta's monster as a Sasquatch. Merle asks Mary to be his Girl Friday, but she insists there's nothing between them, and she no longer wants to play their games. Heather declares Merle a creep. The GGG suggests Dewey is the militant bomber. An armed Tom vows to kill the person responsible for murdering Howie and nearly killing Mary in the explosion. Dewey finds Wanda's ...
Heather's revelation that Merle was in her parents' bedroom infuriates Tom. Wanda questions why Merle wants Mary as his assistant, and she strongly recommends that he think carefully about it. Martha holds an unusual wake for Howie. As the mourners listen to an audio recording of Howie's impressions of Fernwood, Vernon stops the tape just as the GGG is about to be exposed.
Mary's unusual method for drying clothes annoys Tom. Martha accidentally scatters Howie's ashes on the linoleum. In possession of Howie's research, Dewey warns Vernon to stop the GGG's activities. Wanda arranges a meeting with Dewey to collect her diary. Later, she walks out on Merle after confronting him with Mary's slip, found in the pocket of his overcoat. Vernon phones Tom claiming to have discovered the militant's arsenal. Over Mary's protests, Tom loads his gun and leaves for a fateful meeting.
Charlie and Loretta find Wild Child on their doorstep. Vernon phones Charlie and lures him to the meeting at the intersection of Hidden Bay Road and Birch Bark. Mary begs Charlie for help in stopping an armed and dangerous Tom. George rejects Mary's fears that Tom's in over his head. Texas sets fire to Dewey's house, and when Tom tries to stop them, Vernon knocks him unconscious.
Vernon and Texas force whiskey down an unconscious Tom. After awakening, Tom runs to Dewey's burning house. Vernon tells Charlie and George that a drunken Tom vowed to kill Dewey in retaliation for bombing the plant. Lt. Trask arrests Tom when a body is found. A distraught Mary goes to Merle for help. Wanda misunderstands when she returns to find Mary in Merle's embrace. Merle takes a call from the police and informs Mary that Tom has been charged with murder. George sees Mac and Martha in a compromising, medicinal position. Mary learns the identity of the person ...
Charlie breaks the bad news about Tom to Loretta, and she shares her concerns about Wild Child. Wanda offers Mary a fur for not sharing what she read in Wanda's diary. Mary doesn't believe Tom's claims that Texas and Vernon are responsible for setting him up. Mary decides to accept Merle's job offer to help make ends meet while Tom's in jail. Texas taunts Tom. Merle advises Mary to let justice run its natural course in Tom's case.
Charlie and Loretta decide that Wild Child needs to see a special kind of doctor: a veterinarian. Vernon and Texas agree to make it appear they're trying to help Tom but secretly want him sent up the river for a very long time. The GGG names George the Grand Mysto. Cathy visits Tom in jail and tells him that Mary's not coming because he's too negative. Mary holds a sparsely attended memorial service at the plant
Grandpa Larkin urges George to call Martha, but Cathy says she's happy being away from the selfish, pig-headed, bozo. Cathy and George wonder if there's anything between Mac and Martha, while Mac and Martha watch a boring porno movie together, and Martha thinks Mac's lip is cute when he talks. In the middle of the night, a lonely Mary can't sleep alone and disturbs everyone in her family.
Tom and Merle warn Texas away from a vulnerable Mary. Tom refuses to sign the Guardian Party's petition to put Merle on the next election ballot. Merle takes Mary for a ride on his "white horse". Dr. Mattick pays a house call to examine Wild Child and theorizes he was raised by Bigfoot. Tom tries to convince Charlie that the GGG is responsible for violence and murder. After Charlie expresses concern that Tom can't take much more, Texas reveals that a new cop has been hired to take special care of Tom. Tom is subsequently stunned by the arrival of Sgt. Dennis Foley.
Tom warns Dennis away from Mary, but Dennis insists he has no intention of seeing her. Charlie, Mac, and George ponder a temporary insanity plea for Tom. Merle's anxious to talk about his plans to run for president in 1980, but Wanda's preoccupied with Tom's murder rap. George's suggestion that Tom needs a psychiatrist before an attorney leads Mary to a painful realization.
Vernon persuades the GGG men to hire Nat Dearborn to defend Tom, but Texas would rather shoot him. Dennis makes an official visit to the Haggers house after a neighbor's complaint about Wild Child. Mary goes to see Tom in jail and realizes that it's just like breakfast at their kitchen table. Loretta broaches the subject of Dennis with Mary but is interrupted by Vernon, who tells her that Nat Dearborn has accepted Tom's case.
After Martha refuses to reconcile with George, Cathy moves back home. Mary comes up with a plan to reunite her parents and narrowly misses meeting Dennis in the Shumway kitchen. Cathy arrives home and has words with Dennis. George prevents Cathy from telling Mary about Dennis, and later, Cathy still can't shatter Mary's dream family. George goes to the Capri looking spiffy for Martha. Mac visits Martha, spoiling Cathy and George's plans.
Merle wants money from the Guardian Party for his presidential campaign, and Vernon suggests he persuade Mary to accept cheaper Nat Dearborn as Tom's attorney. Wanda brings Mary dinner and wonders what Merle's agenda is when he shows up at Mary's. Tom warns Dennis away from Mary again. Wanda visits Tom and reassures him that Dennis is in Mary's past. Texas tempts Tom off the wagon before his visit with the psychiatrist. As Reverend Buryfield begins Wild Child's baptism, Loretta realizes he needs a proper name.
Social worker Ms. Finken gives Charlie and Loretta an ultimatum about Wild Child. Texas taunts a hungover Tom into a violent rage just as Dr. Williams arrives to examine him. Tom describes recent bizarre events in his life, leading Dr. Williams to decide he's paranoid. Mary's friends and family treat her to an evening at the Capri, where she and Dennis come face to face once again.
Mary and Dennis share a very public reunion at the Capri. Loretta asks Wanda if Merle can change the law requiring Wild Child to attend school, and Wanda suggests she spank him. Vernon tells Texas that Dr. Williams' report found Tom insane. A disheveled Nat arrives and vows to defend Tom as best he can. Mary rejects Tom's attempt at lovemaking in his cell, and he accuses her of wanting Dennis instead.
Mac wants to reap the golden harvest with Martha and vows to win her from George. Heather's hostile toward Mary and reminds her that she can't ever replace Tom. Dennis calls to tell Mary that Tom had a peaceful night in jail. Mary realizes she never gave Merle an answer to his job offer. George writes a love letter to Martha, but Cathy warns him it's not enough because Martha and Mac are getting serious.
Mary and Grandpa Larkin discuss Heather's disrespectful attitude. Martha asks Mary if she and Mac can use Mary's house for their trysts. Wanda wonders why Merle isn't doing more to help free Tom. After learning that the GGG is paying Nat, Tom orders him out of the cell. Texas gives Tom a noose. Merle is jealous after finding Dennis visiting Mary in her kitchen.
George chooses a new path in life as an inventor. Loretta and Charlie ponder names for Wild Child, and Mary suggests Johnny Doe. Nat reassures Mary that he thinks Tom can't be proven guilty of murder. Texas accidentally turns the Capri into a drive-in lounge. Wanda visits Tom in jail, and her comfort turns to passion.
After Wild Child runs into the street and is nearly hit by a car, Ms. Finken isn't sure he's safe with Charlie and Loretta. Vernon and Texas promise Tom that Mary and Heather will be in danger if he implicates them in the murder. The courtroom is left stunned when Tom takes the witness stand and makes a shocking declaration.
Mary's in shock after Tom's statement to the court, and Dennis promises to be there any time she needs him. Loretta and Charlie worry about a homesick Johnny Doe. Before his transfer to the county jail, Tom warns Mary about Texas and Vernon. Friends, family, and enemies congregate in Tom's cell to say goodbye. A surprise witness steps forward with new information that may clear Tom of murder.
The surprise witness reveals what really happened the night of the fire, leading to an explosive end of the GGG. A freed Tom avoids making love with Mary, opting for a night out with George and Charlie at the Capri. Mary invites Dennis in for a Pepsi. Merle and Wanda agree that they're a match made in heaven and celebrate by taking a match to the infamous diary. Tom returns to his old ways with several rounds of beer.
An amorous Tom returns from the Capri, but Mary's comment about Dennis spoils the mood. George shows Tom a new invention, and they celebrate with beer for breakfast. Dennis invites Mary to meet his parents. Wanda apologizes to Mary for not clearing Tom sooner. Cathy meets Standing Cow, who has come to die on the sacred ground of the Shumway home.
Heather wants Mary's blood for tests to prove they're not related. Mac surprises Martha with dinner and persuades her to have an affair with him. Heather babysits Johnny Doe and fails to teach him how to get with it. Johnny Doe's tears make Charlie and Loretta realize he may not be happy with them. Mary agrees to meet Dennis and parents at the Capri for cocktails. Cathy drops by the Capri, where two familiar looking widows are in tears. Cathy and Martha aren't talking to each other about Mac, Mary throwing herself at Dennis, and the Jewish Indian dying in the Shumway ...
Grandpa Larkin and Cathy learn more about Standing Cow. Dr. Mattick examines Johnny Doe and theorizes that he'll be utterly miserable for the rest of his life unless he returns to the wild. Wanda suggests Merle revamp his lifestyle image to include fish fries and barbecues, but he counters with an idea to have his mother live with them. Merle phones Miss Adeline and tells her about his presidential campaign. Mary meets Fred and Fiona Foley, Dennis' parents, and wonders why they seem to really like her.
Martha returns to the Shumway home, where George begs her to stay, and Standing Cow lies dying on the kitchen table. Fiona Foley's pleasant visit with Mary is tempered by Mary's obsession with tea bags, Tom's rudeness, and Heather's insistence that Mary isn't her mother. Merle's blunt, rude, abrasive mother Miss Adeline arrives just in time for Merle's TV interview with Jud Thompson.
Tom insists that he and Mary have a "perfect damn marriage" but with "too much damn communication." Miss Mildred, Johnny Doe's teacher, agrees that he should be taught by Dr. Mattick at the zoo. Tom, George, Loretta and Charlie discuss their losses at the Capri, where Tom turns to alcohol for comfort instead of the Lord. Mary's unnerved and Tom speechless when Heather establishes a Dennis Foley fan club and plasters the kitchen with life size posters of his face.
Tom seeks reassurance from Wanda that making love with him was more than a duty for her. Before expiring, Standing Cow predicts Martha's relationship with Mac will bring tragedy to the Shumway family if she stays with him. Loretta and Charlie are forced to let Dr. Mattick continue civilizing Johnny Doe. Mac and the Shumways set a deadline of one week in which to decide whether Mac ends up with Martha, Cathy, or all alone as usual. Dennis attempts to ease the tension between Tom and Mary, and tells Mary that he thinks they're about to start another beautiful friendship...
Mary seeks George's advice about Tom's drinking. Martha admits she still has feelings for George and is worried about Standing Cow's omen. Johnny Doe speaks his first word, but Loretta fears it might be his last after he apparently eats a bag of moth balls. Mac begs Martha to stay with him, but remembering Standing Cow's warning, she insists on waiting until the last minute to decide. Wanda's Get to Know Your Mayor campaign irritates Merle. Dennis and his parents invite Mary to tea.
Merle and Wanda's live broadcast of At Home With the Jeeters dissolves into a disaster when Mary phones in to discuss Tom not sleeping with her, and a trapped Miss Adeline attempts to break out of her locked bedroom. Dennis reveals his true intentions for Mary to Tom. Tom drinks more and begs Merle to help him save his marriage. Dennis tells Mary about his talk with Tom, and the two kiss passionately in front of Fred and Fiona.
Merle claims he's doing a favor for good friend Tom Hartman when Miss Adeline wonders who he's courting with his gussied up suit and box of chocolates. Mary begins to hear and see Dennis everywhere. Dr. Fermin wonders if Johnny Doe will survive eating mothballs and instructs Charlie and Loretta to pray. Dennis and Merle descend on Mary's kitchen. After Dennis kisses Mary in front of Merle, Merle explains to Mary how to avoid temptation.
Dr. Fermin says Johnny Doe will recover but thinks he might be better off in the wilderness. After Tom gives Mary a dog, Heather tells him that he won't win her away from Dennis with such a pathetic gift. George, Charlie, and Mac gossip about the triangle between Tom, Mary, and Dennis. Later, the three go to Mary's separately to talk sense into her, and they're forced to hide in the Hartman bedroom when Tom comes home.
Cathy confirms Mac's suspicion that she's still angry with him because of their breakup. A major fight erupts between George and Martha when they gather with Mary to meet the Foleys at the Capri. Tom confides to Charlie that he's giving up Mary to make her happy. Mary asks Tom to meet Dennis' parents. Martha fears Standing Cow's prediction of doom is coming to pass.
Buzz MacGregor and Angela Atwater from the Republican Party attend Merle's sermon on Love Thy Neighbor, where dirty linen is aired and guests repent. When George makes a disaster of their dinner party, Martha chooses to stay with Mac, but she feels something terrible is about to happen. Mary guesses that Dennis had a happy childhood, and he wants to make her life better. Tom dances with Cathy and Wanda at the Capri.
Charlie makes Loretta realize that if they really love Johnny Doe, they should let him go. Buzz and Angela encourage Merle and Wanda to go public with their swinging lifestyle and drink a toast to Wanda as the first woman president. When all of her premonitions come true, Martha declines Mac's marriage proposal and leaves. Mary feels sick after learning the truth about Dennis' parents.
Cathy encourages her parents to reconcile. At Mary's family breakfast, Heather announces that her classmates are gossiping about Dennis wrecking the Hartman marriage again. Charlie and Loretta think they've civilized Johnny Doe too much. Dennis wants Mary to tell him what she really feels. Cathy advises Tom on how to win Mary from Dennis.
Mac confronts George about Martha, and the Shumways face another financial crisis. Mary is amazed to receive sensible advice from Cathy about appreciating Tom's qualities. Wanda's potential presidential run intimidates Merle. Tom attempts to duplicate Dennis' appeal with a jar of Dippity-Doo, and Mary wishes she could choose without having to choose.
Dennis deals with Heather like an adult when she admits she wants to date him. Mickey Moe, the younger brother Merle disowned, arrives in Fernwood to make Merle's life even more miserable. Going back to the wilderness with Johnny Doe proves heart wrenching for Loretta. Wanda inadvertently incites Tom's passion.
A suicide pact is the last resort for George and Martha when their heat and electricity are cut off, their car is repossessed, and Cathy, Grandpa Larkin, and Barbie move out. Charlie catches Loretta tempting Johnny Doe back to civilization with junk food and television. Dennis wiggles out of Charlie and Loretta's attempt to convince him that Mary belongs with Tom. George proclaims he is close to selling his invention for a million dollars. Tom tries to woe Mary with a romantic hotel room supper.
Friends and family gather at the Jeeter apartment for Wanda's unexpected political announcement and at the Capri where George demonstrates his Bug Massacre invention to investors. Loretta and Charlie bid a tearful goodbye to Johnny Doe who is Wild Child again.
Loretta releases her grief over Johnny Doe's departure in a new song. Buzz and Angela's idea about including Miss Adeline and Mickey Moe in Merle and Wanda's co-campaign angers Merle. Cathy devises a new plan for the impoverished Shumways to make money, while Martha experiences another terrible premonition of impending doom. Dennis invades Mary's dreams. Mary meets Wanda at the Capri for advice about whether or not she should sleep with Dennis.
Cathy's first day of private catering at the plant gets off to a dismal start. Mr. Billingsley refuses to rehire George, who gets drunk at the Capri and fights with Mac. Dr. Joyce Brothers counsels Mary about a potential second affair with Dennis. Mary phones Dennis to arrange another infamous Thursday date. After their fight, George and Mac realize they could make a lot of money as professional wrestlers. Dennis interrupts Mary and Tom's lovemaking.
Mary admits to Dennis that she loves him but wants to know if she can take it back later. Cathy agrees to let Mary use Howie's apartment for the rendezvous with Dennis, then Mary has to justify it to Martha. George trains Mac for the first wrestling match. Cathy seeks help from Loretta in stopping Mary's affair, but Loretta suggests Cathy's own sordid past should make her more tolerant of Mary's desires. Martha has another premonition and foretells terrible doom for Cathy.
Tom goes to the ring with Charlie, Dennis, and Mac at the Capri's wrestling round-robin. Merle and Wanda try to reassure Tom that he and Mary can survive their marital crisis. Mary decides to stand up Dennis, but he arrives before she can leave, and they end up in a romantic embrace.
Dennis proposes to Mary. Tom visits Charlie and Loretta and asks them to choose friends. Merle is enraged when Wanda is friendly with Mickey Moe and threatens to end his bid for the presidency. When she tells him about her evening with Dennis, Tom doesn't take Mary seriously. Before leaving Fernwood, Dennis asks Mary to meet him at Niagara Falls in one week aboard the Maid of the Mist.
Grandpa Larkin meets Barth Gimble, who's in Fernwood to find his brother Garth. After Tom convinces himself that Mary was just trying to make him jealous, Cathy accidentally reveals that Mary spent the night with Dennis. Merle and Mickey Moe argue over Wanda, who Miss Adeline dismisses as a blonde hussy. Cathy and Loretta pump Mary about her night Dennis. Mary reveals to Tom that Dennis has left Fernwood for good, but first he asked her to marry him.
Svetlana, a female wrestler, challenges Mac. Mary and Tom agree to host Mary's 16th high school reunion in the Hartman home. After seeing how much pledge money Mickey Moe brought in, Merle decides to let him and Miss Adeline stay. Martha and Cathy scream at the sight of Barth Gimble and realize that he doesn't know about brother Garth's violent death. Cathy experiences excruciating back pain, reinforcing Martha's premonition of doom. George doesn't want to know if Mary will choose Dennis or Tom, but vows to support her final decision.
Charlie and Loretta invite Barth to use their guest room but can't summon the nerve to tell him about Garth. Mac and Svetlana hit it off at the Capri, unaware that they're opponents in the wrestling ring. Barth ends up in the middle of Tom and Mary's marital troubles, and they stun him with the news of Garth's shocking death. Martha coaches Mac in the art of wrestling. Grandpa Larkin advises Mary about running off with Dennis.
Heather wants to run away to Las Vegas and become a stripper. George and Martha run a bookie service until Ma Bell turns off the phone. Nat Dearborn counsels Mary about the benefits of divorcing Tom. Mac and Svetlana learn that they're opponents. Tom advises Mary that if she really loves Dennis, she should follow her dream and the chance of happiness he offers.
The Shumways' finances are on the line as Svetlana takes down Mac in the ring. Cathy's back pain becomes excruciating. Mary tells Tom that her dream is the life she has with him and Heather in Fernwood. After Mary insinuates she won't leave, a deliveryman arrives with a one way ticket to Niagara Falls from Dennis. As the high school reunion gets underway, Mary gives an impassioned speech about accepting life instead of following silly dreams, but later, Tom discovers that Mary has vanished from their party.
Merle and Wanda's appearance on the Fernwood Hallelujah Hour ends in disaster when Buzz and Angela's true party affiliation is revealed live on-air. Tom still can't find a missing Mary. Mac and Svetlana's match leaves George on easy street, but Cathy's collapse isn't from excitement. Merle and Wanda face an angry mob and receive no comfort from Miss Adeline and Mickey Moe. Merle gets a phone call that might end his mayoral career. Charlie and Loretta reassure a frantic Tom that Mary went for a walk to think things over, but he later finds a Dear Tom letter.
Mac and Svetlana announce they're leaving Fernwood to be married. Arguing with Martha about her premonitions of doom, Cathy falls and is knocked unconscious. Wanda introduces Tom to Lorraine Babcock, a replacement for Mary. Dr. Fermin diagnoses Cathy with kidney failure and recommends a transplant from Mary. The Shumways learn that Mary has run off with Dennis. Martha thinks Detective Johnson may be able to find Mary. George and a frightened Cathy share a tender father-daughter moment.
Loretta is electrocuted while improving the TV reception for Barth. Martha advises Tom about life with a missing spouse. Detective Johnson begins the search for Mary and Dennis. Dr. Fermin treats Loretta, whose experience inspires her to return to singing. Barth offers to guide Loretta's career. Cathy laments never reaching the high point of her life.
Martha announces that George was rehired at the plant, but with Dewey's old custodial job. Everyone regrets not appreciating Mary more. Bill Patterson, chairman of the Fernwood city council, informs the Jeeters that a vote is being held to remove Merle from public office and orders them to vacate their taxpayer funded apartment. Heather convinces Tom to purge all mementos of their life with Mary. Loretta debuts her new act at the Capri.
Barth conceives a new game show called Born Losers, using George, Cathy, and Martha as the contestants. Merle and Wanda are forced to share a cheap room at the Bide-a-Wee Motel with Miss Adeline and Mickey Moe. Buzz and Angela continue to malign the Jeeters. Dr. Fermin considers searching for an alternate kidney donor. Detective Johnson returns with bad news about his search for Mary. Cathy makes out her will.
The police refuse to search for a wayward wife. Tom insists Cathy have his kidney, but Dr. Fermin arrives with more bad news. Martha thinks she can make Cathy's lifelong dream come true. The Jeeters peruse their hate mail, and Merle's certain a comeback is just around the corner. Cathy performs at the Capri's Ha-Ha Night. Dr. Fermin announces he's found two Fernwood donors for Cathy: one's dead, but the other is alive and very close.
Barth persuades Loretta to sign an exclusive seven-year contract with him and nixes Clyde Muncie's plan to have Loretta cut another record. Charlie encourages Tom to get out and be sociable with the opposite sex. Tom runs into old classmate Maureen Murray, who confesses she had a crush on him. Barth's contract has Charlie and Loretta fighting like Sonny and Cher. Tom isn't sure he's ready when he finds Maureen in his bed.
Obsessed with the idea of Mary making love, a drunken, despondent Tom is moved to suicide. Martha puts her Gray Lady training to good use. Dr. Fermin makes an astonishing discovery that eliminates the kidney donor, but realizes that as Garth's twin brother, Barth would be a match. Hotshot producer Seymour Blumberg convinces Barth to donate his kidney to Cathy as a publicity stunt to jump start his career.
Tom's weakness angers Heather, who tries to make him realize that Mary's gone for good. After Merle announces his intent to become an honest politician, Miss Adeline and Mickey Moe flee Fernwood. Wanda is distressed to learn that Merle is serious about telling the truth. Tom vows to jump into the raging Fernwood River from a cliff at Loser's Leap. A drunken George and Merle, followed by Cathy, join Tom on the precipice.
In the series finale, Merle literally bares all to voters at the Capri Lounge, and a comeback may be in his future. As Cathy and a reluctant Barth are wheeled into surgery, Martha falls to her knees and prays. Dr. Fermin emerges with shocking news about the transplant. A tornado strikes Fernwood, and Cathy goes into cardiac arrest. Tom wonders about Mary's new life. Far away from Fernwood, has Mary escaped a life of Swanson's TV dinners and waxy yellow buildup for her happily ever after with Dennis?