As the new Labour government take office Gash and Natalie move in with her family. To combat the empty nest syndrome Mary joins a pensioners' club with her friend Joy, leaving Rab feeling left out and old. However, after Joy turns out to have a lesbian crush on her she returns home to Rab, as does Gash, who has been importuned by his psychotic brother-in-law Tweetie.
When Norrie the barman goes on a course, his replacement, ex-Broadmoor inmate Mad Dog, who murdered four people, insists on serving cocktails - of recreational drugs. Rab and Jamesie get so hooked they even go for rent to afford them until Norrie returns and order is restored. Meanwhile Gash's marriage falls apart as he leaves Natalie for her sister Bridie.
The Nesbitts join a Country and Western themed booze cruise to the Wild West theme park at Millport. This opens up old wounds for Rab as Millport's tatty caravan park was the site of a boyhood holiday with his alcoholic mother and the experience was not a happy one. Jamesie, meanwhile, makes a pass at a married cowgirl, which leads to a traditional saloon bar-room brawl.
After Mary is mugged she feels alienated from Rab, whom she accuses of being unsympathetic and throws him out. He recalls their first meeting - in a hospital casualty department when he was a hippie injured in a fight. After almost losing her to the mod Jamesie they marry when she gets pregnant. There is reconciliation but in the mean time, Rab,wandering the streets at night, encounters Bridie, pregnant by Gash and on the game.
Govan is consumed with grief when its answer to Edith Piaf,Marilou Devine, dies in a bizarre stage accident. Rab, however, is immune to the mass mourning, having been sentenced to Community Service for his twenty-third drunk and disorderly charge. Assigned to gardening work for the unhygienic, eccentric old recluse Mr. McCutcheon, Rab eventually strikes up a friendly rapport with the old man and even inspires him to tidy his house up.
The burden of looking after Rab, laid up with a bad back, is beginning to take its toll on Mary and she seeks consolation from an unlikely source - Jamesie, deserted by Ella for a male stripper after being found guilty of lewd behaviour at the local baths. When Rab is in hospital, having treatment for his back, Mary comes to say she is leaving him for Jamesie. A distraught Rab returns home to set fire to all his photos of Mary and himself but unfortunately the flames get out of control, burning the house down.