Finally, at the bowling alley, everyone is gathered for the Edward J. Stevens First Annual Thanksgiving Dinner. Ed makes a long speech about how Thanksgiving is about old but also NEW TRADITIONS, so there won't be any turkey tonight. Molly's date, an elderly man, says he hopes whatever it is that it's not full of MSG. Ed and Carol wheel out a fifty-pound meat loaf. Everyone stares in disbelief at this charred brown hunk of hamburger. Ed starts serving the meat loaf when someone complains that it's all raw inside. Ed can't believe this, because he cooked the damned thing for seventeen hours. Ed begins to panic when Phil wheels in a couple of golden brown Fine Corinthian Turkeys, saving the day as well as the TRADITION.
The obligatory slow music montage then takes place, with smiles on everyone's faces except Ed, who's visibly upset.
Everyone leaves the Bowl, thanking Ed for a lovely time. Carol's the last one out the door. Ed hands her a doggy bag full of delicious raw beef. Carol kisses him on the cheek as they exchange goodbyes.
Carol goes home, opens up the doggy bag, and finds a lemon with a packet of sugar tacked to it. That damned Ed. He really knows how to get a woman to almost give up the nookie.
Ed, who's now about as depressed as Darryl Strawberry with no crack, is sitting in his office when he begins to dial his telephone and gets his ex-wife's answering machine. Instead of leaving a message, he sits there, sighs, and then hangs up.
Mike shows up and asks how Ed's doing. Ed says fine. Mike reminds him that the first holidays alone are the toughest. Ed waxes poetically about how traditions die, traditions like the halftime cannon and breaking into old man Jordan's shack and tossing back a few brews. There's no good traditions left. Mike says, "Well then...what am I doing with these?" as he pulls out a football and a garden hose, ready for an impromptu game of Skid Ball. Ed says he can't...it's almost midnight. Mike says that the only way he'll get Ed to stop whining is to get him on the football field. I'm guessing that he could also try paying Carol to have sex with Ed, but Mike figures he'll save a little money first.
The show ends as the two of them are on a darkened high-school football field, playing a muddy game of Skid Ball and screaming, "Skid Ball!" at the top of their lungs.
NBC lets me know that I have the week off next week, as Titanic will be the Sunday movie of the week. After that, Ed moves to Wednesday nights to give The West Wing a decent lead-in.