Max has unwittingly taken over his eighth-grade history class, lecturing the teacher, Mr. Wyman, on the most pertinent technology of the Civil War era. Having had enough, all Mr. Wyman has to say is "Max!" It's become a ritual: Max packs up his books and heads to the library for the remainder of class. When a stunned Adam learns that by Max's odds, there's a 72% chance Mr. Wyman will send him to the library on any given day, he sets up a meeting at school.
Sarah meets with Hank to talk about the looming Surfsport shoot. She wants to shoot at the beach, but the more experienced Hank insists it won't work. They're doing a brochure, so they'll shoot in his studio. Sarah's not happy but she goes along with it until Carl weighs in. Impressed by Sarah's creativity, he encourages her to stick to her original vision, but when Sarah tells Hank, an argument erupts. After suggesting Sarah only got the job because she's sleeping with Carl, Hank calls it quits.
Camille buys an iPad so she can continue her painting class online. Zeek is nothing but suspicious, claiming the wireless modem will shoot cancer beams through the house. Camille sets up her easel in the backyard with a glass of wine and some prosciutto. Zeek can't help but notice Camille is the happiest he's ever seen her. He didn't like being home alone, and he doesn't want to hold her back anymore - or risk losing her. Camille has sacrificed all her life for their family, and now Zeek is willing to sacrifice his attachment to their home for their happiness. It's time to sell!
Word has gotten around the neighborhood about do-gooder Kristina. Parents of kids with special needs are calling to ask her help navigating the tough waters of the public school system. Promising Adam she won't get involved, Kristina meets terrified mom Stephanie, who feels underprepared for her meeting with the high school principal to determine her daughter's fate. Kiara reads physics for fun, but her social skills have landed her in the special ed classroom, and Stephanie wants to get her out.
Unable to help herself, Kristina accompanies Stephanie to the meeting, which doesn't go well. In the end, Kiara will remain in the special ed classroom. Since Max is headed for high school next year, Kristina can't help but think she'll be walking a mile in Stephanie's shoes. That's when Adam breaks the news about the meeting with Mr. Wyman to discuss Max's library time. They're stunned when the principal interrupts the meeting to articulate the bottom line: when Max disrupts class, he'll be sent to the library to work on his own. They'll look into transferring him to another class, but for now, this is the best they can do.
Hank tells Max all about the situation with Sarah during a darkroom session. Max thinks Hank is perseverating: he can't stop talking about one thing - the beach - which most people find annoying. Besides, Hank's problem is solved since he quit the job. Hank can't help but think Sarah will fail, but Max doesn't think so. Sarah's idea of shooting at the beach is better than Hank's idea of shooting in the studio. And while her idea may be risky, it's what got her the job in the first place. The next day, Hank appears at Sarah's door. It's sunny in Santa Cruz and she's the boss. It's time to do the photo shoot!
Julia and Joel meet with a therapist for help in figuring out the best way to tell the kids Joel is moving out. Clearly, Julia hopes they'll fix their marriage, but Joel just can't see the future. Back at home, the time to deliver the bad news is nigh, but the couple can't bear to interrupt the kids, who are happily playing video games together. It's the simple family moment they've been working towards for months. In tears, Julia pleads with Joel to stay, but he won't. That afternoon, Joel is waiting for the kids when Julia brings them home from school, and the bad news strikes the family like a thunderbolt.
What started out as a tiny water spot on the ceiling has blossomed into a full-blown mold infestation over at Crosby and Jasmine's, which means they need a place to stay while it's eradicated. Crosby prays homeowner's insurance will cover it, but it doesn't, and motel room rental is breaking them, spiritually and financially. Nevertheless, Crosby refuses to move in with his parents. When the mold guy calls to say the clean-up is going to take a lot longer than they thought, Jasmine assures Crosby they'll get through it together... and they're moving into his parents' guest house, end of story.
That night, Kristina is momentarily relieved Max will move to a different history class, but it doesn't smell like victory to her. She's worried about high school, since there's nowhere in the city, public or private, that will meet Max's needs. That's when a lightning bolt strikes. The only way to find the right school for Max is to start one. Kristina immediately catches herself - this is a crazy idea - but together, she and Adam can do it! Across town, Camille and Zeek put their third act on hold once again to welcome Crosby and Jasmine into their home. Unable to face her empty bed, Julia arrives next with the kids. Realizing what's transpired, Crosby and Jasmine take the kids so Julia can sob in her mother's arms.
Hank and Sarah collaborate, Joel and Julia face their children, Crosby and Jasmine have a terrible visitor. Ray Romano guest stars.