A grief-stricken mother and father kidnap Sam while the Drummonds are shopping at a grocery store. The father, knowing the legal consequences of his family's actions, threaten Drummond and Maggie with a brutal death if he tries to run away.
Remember Mr. Wilkes, the no-nonsense substitute teacher whose career was nearly destroyed when Arnold claimed he hit him? Well, Mr. Wilkes is back ... and gotten full-time employment as Arnold's hard-nosed English literature teacher, in this tale about Arnold goofing off in class, acting like a know-it-all and then Mr. Wilkes demanding that his deviant student put up or shut up - by teaching the class for a day. The task: Teach the students Dickens' classic "A Tale of Two Cities."
With Sam depressed that no one will come to his birthday party, Drummond pulls some strings and gets the popular kids TV show host Captain Jack to appear. However, the plan does not work out very well for Sam when the kids at the party ignore him and pay more attention to Captain Jack.
Arnold's desire to join a coveted elite club at school has serious consequences for the busboy at the local hamburger joint when the prank prompts the busboy's unsympathetic boss - without investigating the situation - to unmercifully fire him on the spot.
Kimberly makes a return visit home and all seems well with her, except that she's hiding a dark secret. The fact that she has been utilizing the dangerous Bulimic practice of staying thin by eating and then regurgitating it back out in the bathroom. She does her best to hide this from everyone until it becomes all too clear that her health is in jeopardy.
Arnold overhears Drummond's phone conversation where he authorizes the firing of a poorly performing employee. Knowing he is getting an F in geometry (and fearing similar treatment from his father), Arnold turns to a con artist to forge his report card and Drummond's signature. But things backfire when Drummond - elated when he thinks his son had done outstanding in the class - plans to have him enrolled in an advanced placement course.