Cate is in the thick of wedding planning when she discovers a stack of old birthday cards from her dad in her mom's attic. She confronts her mother about misleading her for years by claiming her dad was totally out of the picture. Cate thinks it's only right to ask her dad to be part of her life and, more immediately, her wedding. Instead of picking up the phone like a normal person, she decides to invite Lux along and surprise her dad with a face-to-face visit. Since some friends from Bug's past have trashed Baze's bar, Lux thinks it's a perfect opportunity to get Baze out of town for a couple days while Bug cleans up (sand blasting is required, apparently). She trumps up some excuse that it'll be the last chance they'll ever get to go on a vacation together, as a family, before Cate is married. So despite Ryan's understandable concerns, the reality that Baze isn't financially in a position to shut down his bar for several days, and common frickin' sense, the gang heads off for a good, old-fashioned family road trip.
Somewhere amidst Cate's 35 million potty breaks -- not to mention a stopover to eat the world's largest corn dogs and Baze literally sniffing Cate in the car (something about her pheromones now that he realizes he has feelings for her) -- Baze manages to rear-end a chicken truck. Conveniencidentally, it's right outside of the town where Cate's dad lives, so the gang bunks down at a B&B while Baze's car gets fixed overnight. The next day, they ambush Cate's long-lost padre and basically invite themselves to dinner at his house. While Cate and Lux are out buying groceries, Cate's father makes some comments that indicate he's not too keen on this whole "dad" situation. Nonetheless, Cate guilts the bejesus out of him by mentioning how prominent his absence has been in her life -- everything from being named high school valedictorian to having Lux, becoming a radio personality, even getting married. Then she asks him to come to the wedding. He's clearly uncomfortable at the suggestion, but how can he refuse?
As Cate toys with the idea of asking her father to walk her down the aisle, making Baze increasingly anxious to tell her about the bad dad vibes he got from Mr. Cassidy. He bites the bullet and comes out with it, causing her to hurl the stock insults she keeps on hand for him and tell him to leave. The next morning, when Cate's dad doesn't show up to drive her and Lux back to Portland as he promised, Cate confronts him. He tells her that he never wanted to take on the family man role and was only doing it to save his marriage. Cate realizes once and for all that all her anger at Baze wasn't actually about Baze. Her abandonment issues stem way back, and no amount of time could have shielded her from the pain of realizing her father didn't want her. It's a long ride back to Portland, but Baze manages to lighten the mood with '80s power pop. Cate acknowledges and apologizes for treating Baze badly all these months. She also makes her way over to her mother's house, where they are finally able to understand where each other is coming from. Cate asks her mom to walk her down the aisle. [>
And as for Bug's big blunder? Baze decides to go easy on him because he himself wouldn't want to be judged based on the past. Baze takes another step toward responsible fatherhood, proving to everyone around him that he's changing and growing up, albeit in fits and starts. This inspires Lux to tell both her parents that she loves them and signs the adoption papers, making them her family for real. At least for the next week or so until Baze tells Cate he loves her and throws everything into chaos once again. C'est la vie inattendue.
Previously: Eleven episodes have come before, and they still feel the need to tell us that Lux is a bastard child? Yeah. Also? Cate and Ryan set the date for their on-again/off-again/on-again wedding -- and she's not even knocked up! -- even though Baze very well may have feelings for his prissy-pants baby mama.
It's an uncharacteristically sunny morning in Portland as Ryan and Cate discuss their wedding invitation, or for the sake of accuracy Evite. Ryan thinks it's tacky, Cate realizes they're not really working with enough time for class. Did I mention this is all happening live on air? God, the ratings must be soaring! Cate calls out Baze for not RSVPing yet before signing off. Cut to Baze, who's in the thick of a debate over whether he should attend the wedding. As if it's an option. He runs his quandary by Bug, bringing him up to speed on Abby's theory that Baze still has feelings for Cate. He doesn't want to believe it yet has a strange urge to sniff her (I wish I were making this up) every time she's around. Bug suggests Baze keep his distance.
That afternoon, Lux and Cate are in Cate's mom's attic looking for Cate's grandmother's brooch. Along the way they run into Cate's headgear and some Kirk Cameron memorabilia. Ah, those glorious days before Fireproof. How I miss Mike Seaver! Lux runs across a stack of birthday cards from someone named Grant. Cate snatches them and runs downstairs, screaming for her mother. TBC...
Back at the bar, Bug gets jumped by some three of his former friends when he is taking out the recycling. Let's just say they have a difference of opinion over who owes who money, and Bug gets the crap beaten out of him. Not for lack of swinging, though. Little Buggy's a feisty one. Guess you've gotta be to have a spider web tattooed on your neck. Baze breaks up the melee and tells Bug to keep his no-goodnik friends in the past.
Back at Cate's childhood abode, we discover that Grant is Cate's father. Ms. Cassidy insisted that he'd been out-of-touch for all these years, but she was lying. Cate's mom thinks she did what was best for Cate, not giving her false hope. Cate thinks her mom was thinking only of herself and retaliating for how much her husband hurt her. This one discovery unravels an intricate web of lies -- indeed one worthy of Bug's neck -- Cate's mom spun about Cate's dad. Says Ms. Cassidy, "You don't know him." Retorts Cate, "Thanks to you."