Frank, the Writer
When Frank gets a few anecdotes published in Reader’s Digest, he submits his writing samples to Ray’s editor, hoping to get his own column in the newspaper. Frank, feeling he has a new lease on life, convinces Ray to submit his story ideas for the column, which he plans to call “I Was Just Thinking.” Ray then has to break the news to his father that the editor thinks that Frank’s writing is the most embarrassing work he’s ever read.
When Robert gives Ray and Debra an IQ test as part of his assignment for his criminal psychology class, the results incite subtle competition between them. Meanwhile, Robert informs Ray and Debra that they each scored higher than the other on the test so he can get their reactions for an experiment he is conducting for his class project.
Your Place or Mine?
When Ray’s parents stop speaking, Marie moves in with Ray and his family, while Frank enjoys bachelorhood. Debra visits Frank, who’s enjoying his life as a free man, and begs him to apologize to Marie – so her mother-in-law will get out of the house. Meanwhile, Ray, tired of his mother babying him, finally gets the courage to tell her to return home where she belongs, with someone she can really baby - - Frank.
Win, Lose or Draw
Ray gets tired of being treated like a kid at his father’s poker game, so he ignores his father’s advice and ends up losing all his money. Debra wants Ray to act like a mature adult and ask Frank for his money back, but Ray is too stubborn. Meanwhile, it turns out that Frank was only trying to teach Ray a lesson – that you can always go to your father and he’ll make everything okay.
Turkey or Fish
Although Marie has always cooked the traditional turkey for Thanksgiving, Debra decides it’s her turn to prepare the holiday meal. However, not wanting to compete with Marie’s turkey, she chooses to serve fish – which upsets the apple cart. Marie, feeling threatened when her family thinks Debra’s fish idea is perfectly acceptable, decides to bring her own turkey to the dinner party to prove she’s a better cook. Meanwhile, Ray’s idea of a traditional holiday at home becomes even more untraditional when the relatives opt not to watch football.