As always the episode opens with an episode within an episode. The Grinder, Mitch, is cleaning his boat and his son arrives home from the war and they embrace. His son says I love you. The war made me realize this. Mitch doesn’t hear him. He is talking about the name of his boat. Now his family is critiquing his choice of naming the boat. Dean says the point was that The Grinder was working on the main story. The son was just a side story.
Dean asks Stewart if he is working on the main story or the side story. Stewart says he is not going to work on a side story but by the morning, Dean has talked everyone into working on the side story because by doing so it may free up their minds to work on the main story which is defending their dad as he is being sued for malpractice. They are still looking for a side story. This is funny. Dean says they will find a side story. They just have to not look in all the right places.
That night at dinner Ethan asks for money but he can’t say what it is for. Then he finally says he is in pretty deep to Zack for gambling. Gambling! The kid is what ten? Lizzie is worried about her ex-boyfriend Joel. Dean wants to take either Ethan or Lizzie’s story as the side story. Interesting fact about Joel: He is Rob Lowe’s real son John Owen Lowe.
The next morning Stewart’s wife Debbie is calling him and asking him if he is on the way to Ethan’s parent teacher conference. Stewart says he can’t go. He is too busy. Stewart finally goes.
Lizzie, Dean, and Lizzie’s ex-boyfriend Joel are talking about Joel’s situation. Ethan is talking to his grandfather about his situation. Ethan says it would be easier to lie to his parents.
At the office Todd tells Claire he was up all night thinking of something to get in on with Dean. Claire says why doesn’t Todd do the copying as a side thing to do while he thinks of a side thing. LOL!
Dean is meeting with Joel and Lizzie and says this whole thing is about justice. Joel catches on to the fact that Dean is thinking about something else. Dean says no.
Later Stewart is talking to his wife and he says he had a flat tire and had to change it himself. He says he knows his wife thinks he is avoiding working on the settlement. She acts like she denies it.
That night Dean Sr. goes into Ethan’s room with envelopes for Ethan to open at various times in his life like graduation and then Dean Sr. says goodbye. It sounds as if Dean Sr. is going to run away or is facing the fact that he may be doing prison time. Either way, he might not be a part of Ethan’s life.
Dean, Joel, Lizzie, and the kid that Joel has a problem with are meeting at the cafeteria. The kid’s name is Chad Oseroff. Chad says Dean is thinking of something else. He admits he was focusing on a side story to help solve his father’s case. Joel gets mad and yells at Dean saying this may be your side story but it is my life. It is so awesome to see Rob Lowe acting with his real son John Owen.
The next morning Claire and Todd are interviewing someone. I think it is the person who is suing Dean Sr. They are stalling, Stewart is twenty minutes late because he lost his keys. Stewart can’t find the settlement agreement. Todd offers to type it up again.
At the school Lizzie and Joel are going up against Chad and Principal Davis about the issues between Joel and Chad. Dean comes in and says let’s get this started like nothing could start without him. LOL! The principal says they already started. Dean says let’s continue then.
Ethan catches Dean Sr. packing a cooler and Ethan says you are running away aren’t you? At first Dean Sr. denies it. Ethan says he wants to go with him.
Back at the office Todd brings in the settlement for everyone to sign. Meanwhile the fire alarm goes off.
Back at the house Debbie finds Dean Sr. and Ethan trying to get out the door. They try to say they are going fishing but Debbie says no, you are running away. Debbie says Ethan is never going to gamble again and that Dean Sr. is going to stay here and fight this thing. Ethan says “This time.” And Debbie says “Excuse me?”
Back at the school Dean admits he was using Joel’s situation. He thought he could phone it in and do the bare minimum while working on his main story but he says now he realizes this is his main story. Dean and Joel look at each other lovingly, almost as if they are father and son which they are in real life. Dean is thinking out loud saying something about off the hook. Dean says he has to leave. He thought it was his main story but it isn’t but sometimes the side story is just as important as the main story. Dean always has to cover his tracks with what he says. It’s one of the things that make his character.
Everyone goes back into the office after the fire alarm. Todd figures out that an onion bagel burned in the toaster. Stewart realizes that was his bagel. Stewart rips up the settlement agreement and says they are not settling. Dean rushes in and says they are not settling. Stewart says he was just saying that. Dean tells Stewart that he has a little grinder in him after all. Stewart says they might have to think of a different way to say that. Todd says he came up with a side thing. Dean says he figured out his side thing days ago and that Todd is so far behind and that he needs to start keeping up. Stewart says to clear the room. Dean says this whole thing has come full circle. Stewart asks Dean if he has figured it out. The show ends before Dean can answer! Oh the suspense! This was a great episode. Next week is the season finale. I am not ready for this season of The Grinder to be over.