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The Trouble With Love

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After driving her mother back to Grey House, Ben waits at an empty table while Stephanie closes the bistro for the night. While things between Ben and Stephanie had been going well, Stephanie’s plan to hide Ben from her mother has thrown the future of their relationship into doubt. Stephanie tries to tell Ben that her motive was the expectations her mother has for men she dates but, after spending the day with Betty, Ben knows that Betty isn’t the problem. Hurt and frustrated, Ben asks Stephanie, “If you’re too embarrassed to let people know we’re dating... why are we dating?”

The next day Stephanie and her mom talk about the situation with Ben. Contrary to Stephanie’s assumptions, Betty found Ben to be a charming man. Stephanie suspects her mom isn’t being sincere and that deep down, she finds Ben’s working class roots unacceptable. But Betty is having none of it and tells Stephanie that the problem with Ben’s simple means is hers and hers alone. Betty then tells her daughter that if she really cares about Ben, she’s going to have to fight to win him back.

Nearby at Grey house, Grace sits on her bed, studying the driving manual. It’s become clear that Grace’s reluctance to take her driving test has nothing to do with her not being ready. Cassie’s always known that Grace missed her father and she’s now come to realize that the time Grace spends with Sam is an effort to fill the void in her heart. As Cassie sits on the bed next to Grace she hopes she’ll be able to convince Grace to talk about what she’s feeling, but it doesn’t happen. All Cassie can do is promise to be there when Grace is ready.

Next door at Sam’s, Linda breaks the news to Nick that she’s moving into the guestroom to be closer to him. As Sam and Linda mask the tension between them, Nick remains oddly blasé. Later, at the bistro with Grace, Nick reveals that while he wanted his parents to get along, he never expected his mother to move in with him and his dad. Nick is all too aware of his mother’s controlling nature and her insistence that she always get her way. Grace suggests Nick try to talk to his dad, but Nick knows that his mom wouldn’t listen and that getting his dad involved would only make the situation worse.

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The next afternoon, at Bell, Book and Candle, John stops to thank Cassie for helping him appraise his artifact. As they talk, John invites Cassie to a guest lecture by the foremost authority on the Indus Valley Civilization. The opportunity is too good to miss and Cassie jumps at John’s invitation. That night at after the lecture John and Cassie stop off for a quiet dinner for two. John mentions that he’ll be attending a formal faculty event and is still looking for a plus one. Cassie takes the hint and agrees to be his date for this special event.

Back at Sam’s house, Linda and Nick make their way in after visiting a nearby private school. Despite Nick finally adjusting to life at Middleton high school, Linda’s decided that Nick’s in need of a more challenging curriculum. Sam pushes back and tells Linda that her meddling is pushing Nick away. Linda insists she has Nick’s best interests at heart and tells Sam that if Nick wanted her to stop he would speak up. Fed up with arguing, Sam angrily tells Linda to leave Nick alone.

The next day Nick and Sam skip work and school and instead have a father son breakfast at the bistro. Sam asks Nick about Linda’s plan to switch his schools. Nick admits that he went along with the plan because in the end, he knows his mom will get what she wants. Sam tells Nick that his opinion matters too, but Nick is already resigned to his fate. Seeing the look on his son’s face, Sam realizes that Nick’s giving up his own happiness in order to maintain the peace in his family.

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Nearby, Martha arrives at the flower shop to tell Abigail that the dinner has been moved up an hour. Abigail still hasn’t found a replacement for Sophie and she’s also nowhere near done with Martha’s big order. When Martha turns to inspect the finished centerpieces, she finds only two have been finished. Martha knows Sophie quit and she can now see that her order is in jeopardy. Abigail tries to brush off Martha’s concerns but Martha is unimpressed and tells Abigail that a failure to deliver will have devastating consequences for her business.

Later that night Stephanie goes to a jobsite to see Ben. She brought him his favorite dinner to apologize for the way she treated him. Unfortunately the damage can’t be undone by a simple gesture. Ben realizes that Stephanie is embarrassed by him and tells her that they shouldn’t see each other anymore.

Highlights – Grace is Finally Ready – Good Witch

Sam has begun to realize why Grace wanted to spend more time with him. After talking with Cassie, Sam devises a plan to channel her feelings into something positive. The next day Grace accompanies Sam to the hospital and, while there, Sam mentions that he’s decided to do an internship program with Middleton high school. Grace loves science and is in all the advanced science classes at school. Working for Sam is a dream come true for her but she’s not sure why he chose her. Sam tells her he knows she misses her dad and that this internship is a way for her to spend time with Sam and pursue her love for science. Grace happily accepts the offer and decides she’d better take her driving test too.

After helping Grace, Sam returns home where he discovers that Linda has been busy cleaning Nick’s room and removing all his video games and other possible distractions. This is the last straw and Nick can no longer hide his frustration with his mother. Nick tries to explain his feelings to his mother but she dismisses him and accuses Sam of putting him up to the whole thing. Nick angrily walks off leaving Linda bemused. Sam tries to intervene, telling Linda that she’s putting distance between her and Nick. He tells Linda that she could make things easier, but he’s not sure she will.

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Across town at town hall, a flurry of activity precedes Martha’s big dinner. After a little encouragement from Cassie, Abigail worked all night to finish Martha’s order. As Martha prepares to add the final touches to her speech, Abigail runs up to her holding of the beautifully finished centerpieces. Martha is so impressed that she places another order for an event next week.

Later that night Linda, bags in hand, walks in to the kitchen to talk to Nick. A crisis at work is forcing her to move back to New York. Nick assumes she’s leaving over what he said and immediately apologizes. She assures him that her leaving has nothing to do with him. She tells him that an entire company depends on her, meanwhile Nick has his dad to take care of him. She promises to come see him soon as they hug and say goodbye. Before leaving Sam thanks Linda and tells her that she did the right thing.

At the university formal, John and Cassie are talking when one of John’s colleagues mistakenly assumes that Cassie is John’s girlfriend Anna. Unbeknownst to Cassie and John’s colleague, John and Anna have ended their relationship. At the end of the night Cassie and John stand outside, reminiscing about old times. John puts his coat on Cassie’s shoulders to keep her warm and they stand together, gazing into each other’s eyes. Just then Cassie’s phone rings. She apologizes and tells John she has to take the call. It’s Sam. Cassie smiles as she happily talks to Sam, while John stands off to the side, unhappy about the interruption.