Randy's missing Earl so much that he steals a car, hoping to go to prison, too. When no one shows up to arrest him after three days, Randy tries a different approach, and slaps a cop. Joy shows up at the lock-up to bail Randy out, because she promised to take care of him, and is a woman of integrity. Randy's just lucky that Earl's in jail for a felony Joy committed. Darnell's uncle got sentenced to 12 years for slapping a cop - Randy reckons he was lucky.
Warden Jerry Hazelwood is a nice guy, but he's not too good at his job. He used to have a sweet life until his wife was elected governor, and ruined all his fun. When the job she got him with the National Guard didn't work out, she got him the warden job, figuring it wouldn't matter if he screwed up. But several inmates escaped after he allowed them to make ladders, and mandatory Bring Daughter to Work Day was a flop
The Warden calls Earl to his office to reward him with a certificate for one week off his prison sentence. There's a big problem at the prison - two rival gangs won't stop fighting. The Warden tried to lock up the two gang leaders, Hector and Jamal, in solitary for a month, but the fighting only got worse. If Earl can get them to stop fighting, the Warden promises him a certificate for a month off his sentence. Earl rises to the challenge.
Earl's initial efforts to discover the roots of the gang feud are unsuccessful. Visitors Joy and Randy haven't been getting along, and Randy has brought Earl a snowball, hoping they can unscrew it and eat it together, like when they were kids. Earl asks Joy and Randy to each think of one nice thing about each other, and they manage to find some peace. Realizing that Randy and Joy's situation is just like Hector and Jamal's, Earl asks Ron to take him to the see the warden, sharing Randy's snowball with him on the way.
The warden allows Earl to use his office to broker the peace, but Hector and Jamal seem reluctant to talk in front of the security camera. When Earl turns to disable the camera, they fall into a passionate embrace. Apparently, Hector and Jamal fell in love while in solitary, but decided to keep it a secret so as not to undermine their authority as gang leaders. The only problem: they can't stand to be apart, so they keep starting gang fights in the yard so they can share a moment together.
Earl believes that Hector and Jamal need to be honest about their feelings, and Jamal agrees - he's sick of living in the shadows. Hector holds out; his gang will never accept Jamal. Feeling scorned, Jamal arms his gang with prison weapons, and the ensuing fight fills the infirmary. Meanwhile, things are getting better for Joy and Randy, as she helps him prepare to take the test to become a prison guard.
Earl enacts a plan to show Hector what he's missing, working him into a frenzy. Hector finally asks Earl to bring Jamal a romantic love letter, but Jamal insists it's over. Hector makes a suicide run into an electrified fence, and Jamal rushes to him to save his life. He makes it look like he's punching Hector out as the lovers are reunited. On the outside, Randy scores on his prison guard test.
Earl convinces the Warden to allow Hector and Jamal to meet alone in his office once a month to work out the gang's differences. The gang fighting stops and the Warden rewards Earl with a month off his sentence. Earl learns that when two people really want to be together, they'll always find a way. That's when Randy shows up for his first day on the job as prison guard!