#1 New School
#2 New Car Smell
#3 The Dream
#4 History Lessons
#5 Death, Debt & Dating
#6 The Offer
#7 Goodbye Stuckeyville
#9 The Proposal
#10 Just a Formality
#11 Home for Christmas
#12 The Process
#13 Back in the Saddle
#14 Hidden Agendas
#15 Pressure Points
#16 Best Wishes
#17 Happily Ever After
Ed and Carol, the happy new couple, do not sleep together right away because Carol is nervous. Things get more and more awkward between them, until Molly recommends to Carol that she just sleep with Ed and not worry so much about it. Carol and Ed finally sleep together, but neither of them are impressed. The two wonder if they were just meant to be friends, but luckily they give it another try and blow each other's minds. Eli becomes entranced by a beautiful woman, Jennifer, who finagles him into buying a huge number of her delicious pies. Phil tries to find Ed a new law partner, and Ed starts to interview, but no one is right for the job. Ed represents Mike and Nancy who bought an adorable, if slightly ill-mannered, dog, and find out later that they paid a pure-bred price for a mutt.
Ed's cousin Benny, who is in film school at NYU, comes to town to make a documentary about Ed's life as a bowling alley lawyer, but he quickly finds a juicier story when Carol asks Ed if she can move in with him. Mike predicts that Ed and Carol's relationship will soon lose its "new car smell," even though Ed protests that the rules of regular relationships don't apply to him. Carol moves in with Ed, and it isn't long before she is scolding him for leaving the cap off the toothpaste and they're having sex barely once a week. Ed worries that this spells doom for their relationship, and freaks out and causes a real fight between them. Mike plays a wise Cupid and counsels Carol that Ed is just worried that this relationship is doomed like his marriage to Liz was doomed. Mike similarly reminds Ed that Carol is not Liz, and he and Liz weren't meant to be together like he and Carol are. Ed notices that Mike and Nancy can bicker over things like skim milk and yet show how much they love each other at the same time. Carol makes a romantic gesture with toothpaste to reassure Ed that their relationship isn't doomed. Phil keeps trying to show non-existent sides of himself to the camera. Warren "punks" Molly and Molly tries to get him back.
Ed and Mike decide to fulfill a childhood dream and buy a racehorse together. They quickly realize that owning a racehorse is much more difficult and expensive than they had originally thought, and after one exciting race in which their horse comes in sixth, they decide to sell her. Eli goes to war with the pie lady, Jennifer, when her huge shipment of pies starts to go bad before he can sell them all. After undercutting each other's businesses for awhile, they come to a truce and she agrees to sell him smaller shipments of pies in the future. When Warren get his low SAT scores back and decides that he doesn't need to go to college, Carol is as shocked as everyone else even though Warren credits her with helping him come to the radical decision. Warren's parents beg Carol to change his mind, but when Carol tries to it, it's Warren that ends up changing her mind. Warren's parents bring Carol before the school board, and Carol awkwardly tries to defend herself. Ed, who doesn't necessarily agree with Carol's standpoint, realizes that he has to stand up for her no matter what, and shows up at the last minute to help her with her defense.
Ed defends the history of Stuckeyville when General Stuckey's bravery is called into question. Ed proves that while the General may have surrendered instead of fighting the famous Revolutionary War battle of Meadow Creek, he did so to take one for the team and make sure the war was won. Meanwhile, Ed can't resist being curious about old love letters that Carol is hiding, and actually looks up Carol's old boyfriend from college. Carol is furious when she finds out that Ed couldn't respect her privacy and admits to him that she didn't want to talk about it because she is ashamed of having cheated on the first boy she ever loved. Nancy tries to re-write her and Mike's history to hide some of their youthful indiscretions from Sarah, but Mike convinces her that they shouldn't lie to their daughter. When Jennifer Young needs to borrow the kitchen at Stuckeybowl to complete 150 pies for a pie-eating contest, she is surprised when Eli actually helps her finish them on time.
Ed represents a 20-something whose father is suing him for the money spent on college after he drops out. The father produces a tape of the son promising to pay him back the money spent on his education, but Ed gets the son out of the oral contract by proving that he was stoned when he made the promise. Mike and Nancy test their friends to figure out who would be best to take care of Sarah in case of their untimely death. Molly meets a handsome stranger named Ted who takes her on adventures, and she realizes that her relationship with Sean, while nice, lacks zing. Phil holds a memorial for an old curmudgeon who dies while bowling at Stuckeybowl.
And old student of Carol's comes back to town a successful writer who is starting his own magazine in New York. Carol takes Ed's advice and gives him some writing samples, and he invites her to New York to try writing for his magazine. After one article, Carol is offered a permanent job there. She decides that she can't possibly leave Stuckeyville, even though Ed promises to move with her, but then she finally gets fed up with teaching the same books over and over again every year and tells Ed that she wants to make the move. Dr. Jerome and his granddaughter use Mike for a cruel psychological experiment, testing him to see if they can make him as mean as Dr. Jerome is. Warren and Mark are amazed when they befriend a new kid in school and the kid manages to bridge the gap between the nerds and the cool kids.
Ed considers staying in Stuckeyville, but decides that his relationship with Carol is too important to make it long-distance. They decide to move to New York in a week so Carol can start her new job. Mike tries to renew an old friendship with a dull guy, Mitch, so that he can replace Ed as a best friend. Sean asks Molly to move in with him, but instead she breaks up with him. Molly shares a kiss with Ted, but then realizes that he's seeing other women and she can't deal with that. Ed represents a man named Jeff, who started a successful antennae-topper company with his friend Ron. The company has a new lucrative contract, but Ron, who is the product designer, wants out of the company because he's worn out creatively. Jeff tries to force Ron to stay, but Ed convinces him that he really doesn't want his friend to be miserable. When Ed puts the bowling alley on the market, his loyal employees resist the sale, and Ed ends up a drawing up a partnership agreement that sells the bowling alley to his employees over the course of several years. At their going-away party, Carol and Ed decide that it would be better if Ed stayed in Stuckeyville, and they vow to somehow make their long-distance relationship work.
Ed goes to see a therapist and explains that he is concerned about his and Carol's relationship. As Carol starts to fit into New York, Ed feels more and more like a hick and doesn't like her hip new friends. With help from the therapist, Ed realizes he's been retreating into his past too much, and what he really needs to do is move to New York with Carol and propose marriage to her. Eli admits to his physical therapist that he's falling for Jennifer, but when they finally share a kiss he pulls away because he doesn't think she knows what she's getting into being in a relationship with a man in a wheelchair. Against her better judgment, Molly hires Phil as the new night janitor at the high school, and is surprised when she enjoys some late-night sliding fun with him in the hallway. Predictably, Phil is a terrible janitor, and the superintendant of schools tells Molly to fire him. When Molly tries to do the deed, she ends up sharing a kiss with him instead. Luckily, Phil decides to quit because of the "sexual tension," and agrees with Molly that no one needs to know about their kiss.
Ed is stressing about how to propose to Carol, when Carol surprises him by coming back to Stuckeyville so they can talk about their future. Ed scrambles to put off the serious conversation with Carol until he can arrange a perfect proposal, and she gets more and more frustrated as he secretly tries to assemble all the ingredients of a list of her favorite things that she wrote as a child. Just as Carol is about to give up and go back to New York, Ed surprises her with all of her favorite things, ending with a diamond ring, a proposal, and a promise to move to New York. Carol happily accepts. Eli arranges to have a Thanksgiving for the less fortunate at Stuckeybowl, mainly so he can arrange to have Thanksgiving with Jennifer. Phil forgets to hang up Eli's fliers, so no one comes. Eli finally tells Jennifer why he pulled away from her before, but admits he has feelings for her, and they share another kiss. Mike's parents come to visit, and Mike dreads seeing his dad who always makes fun of him and puts him down. Mike's mom begs Nancy to ask Mike to talk to his dad about the fact that they never have sex anymore. When Mike's dad burns down Mike and Nancy's house trying to fry the Thanksgiving turkey, and then blames Mike for it, Mike blows up and yells at his dad that he's impotent. Later, Mike apologizes for losing his temper and his dad apologizes for burning down the house.
Carol asks Ed to ask her father for her hand in marriage, and Ed happily does so, but he is surprised when Richard Vessey is hesitant to give his blessing. Carol talks to her father, but gets angry when he questions her judgment after the fiasco with Dennis Martino. Ed tries again, by inviting Richard to play poker at Stuckeybowl, but Richard just tells Ed to be patient. Finally, Richard explains to Carol that he was devastated by her misery after her failed wedding to Dennis, and he was looking for some kind of guarantee that she would be happy with Ed, but he realizes that there is no such guarantee. He gives the couple his blessing and gives Carol her mother's wedding band to wear. Mike convinces Nancy to let him build a pizza oven in their burnt-out house, but after attempting to build the thing himself, he realizes building is not his forté and he gives up. Nancy gets him a small portable pizza oven instead. Mark is horrified when a video of him practicing a new walk (which is more like a strut) ends up on the internet, and people around the world are making fun of him and editing his video in funny ways. Mark is sad to learn that it was actually one of his friends, Jimmy, who released the video to the public, but he ends up taking it in stride and uses it to remind himself to not take things too seriously.
Carol realizes that she's not happy writing fluff for Bridge & Tunnel magazine, and she misses Stuckeyville. Even though Ed is all packed and ready to move to New York with her, she tells him they should stay in Stuckeyville, and she's going to leave Bride & Tunnel and try to do some real writing. Mike and Nancy worry that their contractor won't have their house done by Christmas as promised, but they celebrate on Christmas Eve when their house seems to be completed. Mike drives a screw into a loose board, like he saw the contractor do a few days earlier, but it turns out that he busted a water pipe, thereby ruining the ceiling and all of the electricity in the house. An old friend of Ed's from when he used to work at the bowling alley is back in town, and she is now an extremely attractive orthodontist. Ed doesn't admit to her right away that he is engaged, but when he finally does, she tells him that she's attracted to him anyway. He's flattered, but doesn't encourage her. Ed finds a way for a man known for his extravagant Christmas lights to be able to keep them up even though his neighborhood finds it a nuisance.
When Nancy accuses Mike of never being able to make a decision about anything, Mike appoints himself Decision Master over everything, including Ed and Carol's engagement party. Luckily, Nancy doesn't trust him, and she makes sure that the engagement party actually goes off without a hitch. When Ed and Carol start wedding planning, memories of her wedding from the year before start to haunt Carol, and she decides that she'd rather elope. Luckily, she comes to her senses and the couple cancels their trip to Vegas. Carol, trying to impress a literary agent, tries to force prose, and finds herself writing ridiculous things about pirates and teen screams. Ed helps Mr. Mazula figure out the intentions of his young bride when he draws up a prenuptial agreement and changes Mr. Mazula's will to give almost everything to charity.
Ed's ex-wife Liz comes to town asking for his help in investing in a mall she bought, but Ed says no. Carol talks Ed into helping out Liz, but then Liz's whole deal starts to fall apart anyway. Ed ends up helping her out legally, even going so far as to go to New York with her and stay in their old apartment for the night. Carol tries to be understanding, but it makes her uncomfortable. After Liz's deal is saved, she finally apologizes to Ed for ruining their marriage. Carol teaches an adult education creative writing class, and Toby Gibbons, who she went out on two dates with last year, is one of her students. Toby refuses to believe that there's nothing between him and Carol, and tries to drive a wedge between her and Ed with ridiculous dramatic gestures and aggressive slam poetry. Eli and Jennifer finally sleep together, and Jennifer is concerned when she realizes that Eli didn't really physically feel it. They admit that they love each other, and she says that she would be happy in a relationship with him if they don't have sex. He insists that he wants to give her a whole relationship, and explaines to her that he's learning other ways to enjoy being with her physically.
Eli gets a temporary radio show after crashing another personality's show. Eli uses his new-found power to prevent the Stuckeyville community center from being closed. Mike is excited when he and Nancy get a male foreign exchange student to come stay with them, but he's disappointed whent he boy seems more interested in baking and show tunes than playing a little ball. When the student hits on Nancy, Mike realizes he was faking enjoying the girly stuff just to get closer to his wife. Carol feels more and more insecure about Liz, particularly after Liz works it so she's working with Ed again, and she gives him an expensive watch as a present. Carol tries to talk to Liz, but isn't sure that she's getting anywhere. Finally, Liz gives Ed a kiss, but tells him that she wishes him well with Carol.
After Carol, Ed, and Liz get mugged, Ed worries that he wasn't manly enough to fend off their attacker. Liz has to stay in town to identify the mugger for the cops and then wait for her stuff (which is evidence) to be returned to her. Carol worries that Liz is putting down roots. Ed hastens the return of their stuff (including Carol's engagement ring) by the police and tells Liz it's time for her to leave town. After the mugging, which happened outside of Stuckeybowl, Phil goes a little crazy with new security measures at the bowling alley. Eli is distracted by his new radio gig, which is extended by his "radio boss," Kate. When Eli doesn't play a request by a listener, Kate defends Eli to the owner of the station and gets fired. Eli uses an old connection to get American Idol Clay Aiken to perform for the radio station in order to get Kate her job back. Mike is horrified when his dad shows up on his doorstep having been kicked out by his mom for cheating on her. Mike tries to help his dad come up with romantic gesture with which to win his mother back.
Ed's brother Lloyd comes to town, and tells Ed that he won't be able to make the wedding because he has to go out of town. Ed soon finds out that Lloyd is actually running from tax-evasion charges. Ed tries everything to help his brother stay out of jail, but finally all he can do is make sure that Lloyd ends up at the cushiest of federal prisons. Mike and Nancy are both sick, and they compete over who is sicker. Finally they go see Dr. Jerome. Dr. Jerome says Mike has a cold and the flu, but Nancy is pregnant. Toby comes by the bowling alley to apologize to Ed for trying to steal Carol, but ends up making out with Shirley in a closet instead. Stella comes to stay with Carol to help her plan the wedding, and Carol finds out that Stella has been sleeping with Warren when Warren climbs into the shower with a naked Carol, mistaking her for her younger sister. Carol is horrified, and she and Stella have a yelling match. Stella starts to break up with Warren, but then allows Warren to break things off with her instead. Stella and Carol make peace, Stella admitting that she knows she did something wrong, and Carol admitting that she worries about Stella a little too much.
Ed and Carol try to come up with a great theme for their wedding, and they decide to make it circus-themed, but in the middle of the ceremony they realize how silly it is and instead opt for a more traditional wedding at Stuckeybowl. Ed's dad asks him to include his cousin Mitch in the wedding party, so to keep everything even, Carol asks Shirley to be one of her bridesmaids. Mike is a little insecure about the fact that Mitch is a better best man than he is. Warren tries to wow everyone at the rehearsal dinner by showing his movie of the Ed and Carol story, but he is upstaged by Shirley singing a song to the tune of the Beverly Hillbillies theme. Eli is amazed that Phil only has twelve dollars in his bank account. Phil makes a big deal about buying a lottery ticket, but of course, it doesn't win.