Six months have passed since we last saw the Bravermans, and a lot has changed. At seven months pregnant, Kristina's now the family breadwinner, and househusband Adam is trying (and kinda failing) to fill her shoes domestically. Breakfast is chaotic as usual. Adam struggles to make eggs Max will actually eat, while Kristina ticks through Adam's to-do list, clearly nervous to relinquish her usual responsibilities. Meanwhile, Julia's trying to spice up her adoption video, hoping to attract more interviews, and Crosby has moved into his new house alone and is fully involved in co-parenting Jabbar. On the eve of Sarah's milestone 40th birthday, Zeek presents her with the gift of a cane. Amber's got another gift: she may have found her own apartment. Immediately feeling the empty nest, Sarah insists on accompanying Amber to take a look at the place.
Although Camille assures Sarah that the apartment is in a cool "transitional" neighborhood, Sarah's face falls when she sees the place. It's filthy, and the kitchen consists of a hot plate and a sink. But Amber's in love and refuses to hear any of Sarah's words of caution, asking her to get excited instead. Haddie drags Alex and Max with her to school to register for classes. Her friend Emma is elated to see her. Did Haddie get the email inviting her to Zach's party - the first party of senior year?! Max immediately butts in - Alex shouldn't go because of course there will be alcohol at the party. When Haddie shushes Max, Alex defends him, then agrees to go to the party, even though it's clear he doesn't really want to.
Home alone, Adam's filling his time juggling kitchen implements and making paper clip sculptures when the long-awaited phone call comes in - he's got a job interview tomorrow! The job's in beverage distribution and involves a pay cut, but nevertheless. At work, caffeine addict Julia blathers at coffee cart girl Zoe while debating what to order. Julia can't help but get excited when she realizes 19-year-old Zoe is pregnant. Julia explains that she's been trying for a second, then asks Zoe what she's having. Zoe drily responds, "It's a human baby."
Upset to learn that the school is holding Amber's diploma for unreturned library books, Sarah's even more stunned to find her daughter packing. Fearing someone else would scoop the apartment, Amber put down a deposit and is planning to move by the end of the week. As for her diploma, who cares? She already returned the books. Sarah puts up a wall of protest, but Amber stands firm. She needs to move out, and she's doing it, end of story. In his interview with Paul Traber of R&B Distributors, Adam's worst suspicions are confirmed. It's not a creative position; the pay cut is substantial, and up to 10 days of travel per month will be required.
Sarah's already got a bee in her bonnet when she approaches the school registrar to explain that Amber's returned her overdue library books - can she have her diploma? As any good bureaucrat would, the registrar insists that if it's not in the computer, it's not in the computer. And no, she can't pick up the phone to call the librarian, because it's her lunch break. Mr. Cyr happens upon the scene just as Sarah explodes. Since it's his lunch break too, Mr. Cyr cuts through Sarah's embarrassment and offers to buy her a cup of coffee - or maybe decaf.
Adam tells Crosby all about his dreary job interview over lunch at the Pancake House. He's not happy to discover that Crosby had casual sex with waitress Sandy, and now he's not calling her back. Crosby better not ruin the Pancake House for Adam... Crosby redirects the conversation. He's discovered that the Luncheonette, the most famous Northern California recording studio, is for lease, and he wants to take it over. In fact, he wants to go into business with Adam, who is the left brain to Crosby's right. Adam interrogates Crosby on the business end. Does he have a business plan? Initial income? Crosby has relationships with artists and fist bumps. Adam shakes his head, advising Crosby to keep his day job. Meanwhile, Julia apologizes to Zoe for being presumptuous, asking about her pregnancy. Zoe admits it's an awkward situation. She never knows what to say, since she's not keeping the baby...
Sarah has coffee with Mr. Cyr on a bench outside the high school. Sarah relates the story of Amber's move, lamenting that she pictured better things for her daughter than working as a barista and moving to the other side of the tracks. Mr. Cyr assures her that Amber will go to college when she's ready, and she's going to do great things. Sarah's so moved that she can't help herself, she moves in for a kiss, stunning and delighting Mr. Cyr. But when he says, "Whoa," Sarah recoils, mortified and starts spouting excuses. It must be because she's turning 40 this week. When the bell rings, she takes her cue to run away.
On the way home from registration, Max sits in the backseat with an ice cream cone, lecturing Haddie and Alex on drunk driving stats. Haddie's annoyed, but Alex appreciates Max's honesty and wishes he was as honest with himself. If he was, he wouldn't go to the party with Haddie. She doesn't want to go without him, but Alex insists that she go alone; he'll pick her up afterwards. Crosby and Jabbar are enjoying a game of football in the front yard when Sandy shows up. Why hasn't Crosby called her? She thought they had a special connection, and she doesn't want to let it slip away. When she finally spies Jabbar, Sandy introduces herself as his father's "special friend" and decides the reason he didn't call is because he's a father. Of course, Crosby goes along with this explanation.
It's late at night when Kristina finds Adam in the kitchen, researching Crosby's recording studio idea. Kristina tries to reassure Adam - he will get the job with the beverage distribution company. The good news is, her company has asked her to stay on and offered her a full-time position, which she accepted. Adam immediately gets hot - why didn't Kristina discuss it with him first?! When Kristina tries to explain that she'll bring in more money, which they need because their savings are almost gone, Adam explodes. He's the one that's supposed to be taking care of them! Does Kristina know how that feels that he's not doing that?! Adam stalks off to bed.
The family gathers together for a barbecue for Sarah's 40th birthday. Zeek mans the grill; Kristina eats brownies; the kids finger paint; and the siblings berate Crosby for ruining the Pancake House with his casual sex. Sarah's upset when Amber shows up two hours late. Haddie's the only one missing because she's at Zach's house for the first party of senior year. Claiming they haven't seen her all summer since she started cocooning with Alex, Haddie's friends start lining up the Jello shots. Back at Zeek and Camille's, Sarah tells Julia about kissing Mr. Cyr - like a starving person who saw a sandwich. Julia asks for sisterly advice - should she talk to the coffee cart girl at work about buying her baby? After three beers, Adam is more in love with Kristina than ever and promises he'll get a job. When Kristina feels the baby move, Adam calls the kids over to feel her belly.
Adam starts feeling the "fever," and Sarah's 40th quickly turns into a dance party. When Amber says her goodbyes early, Sarah begs her to stay for cake. But Amber's arranged to pick up the keys to her new apartment. She's so excited - why can't her mom be excited, too? Sarah angrily insists she is excited; it's her birthday after all, and it's inconsiderate and not nice that Amber's the first to leave. Finally, Sarah recognizes who's really being not nice and tells Amber the truth. She knows Amber wants to move on, but Sarah's going to miss her... a lot. Across town, Alex arrives at Zach's party. Haddie's drunk and wants to stay. When Alex takes her arm to guide her out, Zach intervenes, getting up in Alex's kool-aid. Alex warns Zach not to touch him, and when he does, Alex levels him with a punch to the face. It's not long before Alex is being led into a squad car in handcuffs, and a devastated Haddie is left crying on the curb.
Crosby drops Jabbar off at Jasmine's after the party. Jasmine mentions that Jabbar told her about meeting Crosby's "special friend" - weren't they supposed to discuss these kinds of introductions first? Crosby explains that Sandy just dropped by, and it was a casual arrangement, etc. Nevertheless, Jasmine thinks Crosby might want to be a little more careful about the type of women he hooks up with in future. When Crosby asks if this means he's not supposed to date, Jasmine says no. After all, she's starting to date now, too. Julia and Joel are getting ready for bed when the phone rings. It's Haddie calling from the police station. After posting bail, Julia tells Alex it's not over; Zach's parents are going to press charges. But it will probably be okay, since Alex doesn't have a record. Alex looks troubled. The problem is, he does have a record.
After the party, Sarah finds Camille in the kitchen, cleaning up. Camille reminisces about her own 40th birthday party - does Sarah remember? Sarah remembers the party was in the yard, and Camille looked beautiful... but Camille knows better. In actuality, Sarah wasn't there, having chosen to take a motorcycle trip through the mountains to Big Sur with her boyfriend instead. In fact, it was the worst birthday party of Camille's life because she worried all night. But Sarah shouldn't worry about Amber; she's going to make mistakes just like Sarah did, but she is going to land on her feet. Wishing her mom a belated 40th birthday, Sarah grabs the last of the cake and a bottle of wine and heads out to the yard.
Crosby takes Adam on a tour of the Luncheonette. While it's dilapidated, the place has an amazing provenance. It used to be a pharmacy with a lunch counter until hippies started squatting there in the '60s, and it morphed into a recording studio, where artists like the Grateful Dead, Janice Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young recorded. It's sacred ground. Adam gets it, but the fact is, he took the beverage distribution job, which he desperately needs. Crosby continues to push. They have a chance to work somewhere they'll love, just like they wished for when they were kids. It's an amazing opportunity, and he doesn't want to do it without Adam.
Mr. Cyr finds Sarah drinking wine on the porch. He presents her with a birthday gift that melts her heart - Amber's diploma, which he stole. It's probably the most dangerous thing he's ever done. Sarah offers some him some cake, and he plops down next to her on the steps. It's on...