At a big surprise party for Frank and Marie’s 40th wedding anniversary, Raymond is shocked to learn that his parents were once separated for a year and might have gotten divorced if Frank hadn’t returned home to help with Ray’s broken arm. After the initial shock wears off, Ray starts to wonder if it’s his fault that his parents are together and miserable. If he had never fallen off his bicycle and broken his arm, Frank and Marie may have stayed apart, fallen in love with other people and had wonderful lives. But then Ray discovers that this time it’s definitely not his fault.
“The Children’s Book”
Sick of reading Ally the same stories night after night and in the mood to be a little creative, Debra decides to try her hand at writing a children’s book. Feeling great about doing something other than being a mom, she invites Raymond to write the story with her. But Debra sees the other side of her easy-going husband when he turns their little project into an all out competition -- with Ally as the judge.
At Debra’s insistence, Ray reluctantly takes her to his 20th high school reunion, and it’s even worse than he expected. It turns out that Debra is “one of them” - - the cool people who hated him and used to throw him into the girl’s bathroom. Depressed about being unmasked as a “nerd,” Ray tries to deal with the “mixed” marriage.
Feeling left out when he thinks that his father selectively asked his brother to join a Civil War re-enactment, Ray voluntarily enlists for the Battle of Gettysburg. As the men prepare for Battle, a funny thing happens and Ray is finally able to tell Frank that he wishes they did more together. So, although Frank’s on the side of the North and Raymond’s on the side of the South, the Barone soldiers are able to put their political differences aside and share much more than a Civil War handshake.
When Ray’s “Zia Sarina” comes to visit all the way from Italy to help Ally with a school project on family trees, he’s thrilled to finally meet a relative whom the whole family likes. She is instantly adored by her American family for her way with Pizza and Old World charm. Ray, as always, thinks it’s too good to be true -- and he turns out to be right.