Joyce's free-spirited sister, Madi, (one of Mel's least favorite people) shows up unannounced and immediately makes a comment implying Mel is replacing Joyce with Allison to take care of him. He takes offense to the suggestion and vows to prove Madi wrong. During a date with Allison he strives for total self-sufficiency... which results in him eating crushed red pepper on his pasta instead of parmesan, but appears to come in handy when Allison receives a parking ticket. As a lawyer, he has contacts at the courthouse and assures her that he can take care of it. Except his brash approach rubs the judge the wrong way and Allison's car ends up impounded.
With Mel and Allison out of the apartment on dates, Henry and Jenny spend more time together, something Henry casually boasts to Runyen. But his best friend issues a warning: beware of falling into the Friend Zone. However, all signs point to the opposite, especially when Jenny leaves chicken soup at Henry's doorstep to help with his cold. This puts Henry on an incredible high... until Katie also makes him soup. Is he in the Sibling Zone with Jenny? It seems worse at first, but then Henry decides it's okay - Jenny will always be in his inner circle.
Meanwhile, wanting to help Joyce over the separation hump, Madi advises her on what to wear, how to act and to stop wearing her wedding ring in public! Joyce takes most of the advice in stride - even when Madi demonstrates the kind of red flag a wedding ring plays in the dating world. It's not until Madi attempts to pull off the ring that Joyce erupts - she's just not ready. But nothing compares to what happens next - Madi steals Joyce's ring and replaces it with a convertible. This represents the last straw for Joyce and, despite Madi's contention that she's just trying to be helpful, Joyce disowns her sister.
When Mel catches wind of the ordeal, he drags Madi to the pawnshop and demands the owner give back the ring. His tactic ends up costing him a pretty penny, but he does succeed. Then he stops by Allison's yoga class to apologize and return her car. He opens up to her about his desire to make sure she doesn't feel the need to take care of him. After she accepts his apology, Mel instructs Madi to apologize to Joyce for stealing and pawning the ring. The sisters make up... only now Joyce realizes that maybe Madi is right. She and Mel share a touching moment where they both decide to stop wearing their wedding rings. Just like Henry and Jenny, Mel and Joyce will always be in each other's inner circle.