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The Hecks join the town in celebrating Orson, Indiana’s 100th birthday and Sue tries to rekindle her romance with Darrin. What could possibly go wrong?
Mike answers the phone only to discover that Frankie, while they were drunk, signed the two of them up to man a float for the Orsontennial parade. Neither of them is too keen to help out, while Sue is more than willing to do anything, including cleaning committee. Frankie says this always happens when they drink. When they drink they either “sign up for stupid committees or get Brick.” Enter Brick, who informs Mike and Frankie that he is entering into a contest to create Orson’s town motto. Brick lists off some of his suggestions, including “You don’t look a day over 99.” He realizes he needs to do some more work and heads off to research Orson’s history. Axl’s friends, Darrin and Sean, resurrect Boss Co. as they try to figure out a way to capitalize on Orsontennial. Axl says they don’t need to focus on anything manual labor-related because they have “college knowledge.” They decide to run a VIP section for the parade complete with prime seating and electricity.
At the celebration meeting, the celebration name, Orsontennial, is revealed. Ehlert Motors is sponsoring the celebration. Don Ehlert, the owner of Ehlert Motors and Frankie’s ex-boss, stands up to tell the crowd that he’s rolling prices back to what they were in 1913 plus 25 grand. Nancy Donahue informs them that they have Ron Cougar Mellencamp set to perform. According to Yelp, he’s Indiana’s number four John Cougar Mellencamp impersonator. Frankie and Mike try to tell Nancy they don’t want to drive a float, admitting that they were drunk when they signed up for it. Nancy informs them they received the cow float, which is the best float in the parade, because Frankie drunkenly told Nancy that her and Mike wanted to help with the biggest float. They concede and decide to help out. Frankie thinks it’s a big deal and they should do their part. She was also suckered in by Nancy’s delicious brownies.
After much research, Brick tells Frankie that Orson was once a lawless community where prostitution was rampant. He has decided his suggestion for the town’s motto will be, “Orson: The heartland’s hidden gem.” As she approves of his selection, she notices the kitchen table chairs are missing so she places their take-out dinner on the dining room table. As Brick sits down to eat, Axl, Darrin and Sean take the dining room chairs. Axl takes Brick’s food before tossing him out of the chair.
Sue, desperately trying to get over Darrin, decides to see if his new girlfriend is actually right for him. She goes to the cosmetology school to let Darrin’s girlfriend do her hair while she tries to evaluate their relationship. When Sue asks her what she likes about Darrin, she just lists his body parts. Afterward, Sue tells Brad that Darrin’s girlfriend is completely wrong for him. Brad can’t focus because he’s completely jealous of Sue’s hair. Sue tells Brad that she thinks their relationship is based on “physical stuff.” Brad tells her he’s going to help her make Darrin jealous.
As the winner of the town’s motto contest is announced, Brick begins to walk to the podium only to discover that he didn’t win. “Orson: Why not?” is the winning motto. Brick is outraged. Ehlert tells him they didn’t quite understand Brick’s motto. They went with something easier.
Because the Glossner boys are trying to vandalize the floats, Frankie and Mike have to sleep outside with the cow float. Frankie thinks it’ll be nice to give back to a town that has given them so much over the years. Mike comments, “After this, we’re even.” They reminisce about how they ended up living in Orson. Twenty years ago, they were moving to Chicago, but Mike lost the car’s gas cap so they drove back to Orson for it. Mike’s friend told him about a job at the quarry and they decided to stay. Mike then admits that he didn’t really leave the gas cap in Orson. He lied because he was scared of the move. She asks why he didn’t talk to her about it. Mike admits that he was afraid they would fight about it and back then he wasn’t so used to fighting with her. Frankie isn’t mad about the revelation. Rather, she’s happy they didn’t end up in a big city like Chicago.
The next morning, Nancy wakes them with an air horn and hands them walkie-talkies so Frankie can direct Mike, who will be driving it. They begin to climb into the small areas at the bottom of the float. Mike comments, “This is going to be horrible.” Frankie doesn’t think she needs the walkie-talkie because she’s been yelling at him just fine for twenty years. The band then starts to play and she realizes why they need the walkie-talkies.
The parade starts. Don Ehlert is advertising his business where you can buy cars that work on “good old fashion American gas, not foreign electricity.” No one seems to be taking advantage of Boss Co. VIP seating area. Brick is trying to get over losing the contest, but finds it hard, as the new motto is everywhere. Frankie is trying to direct Mike, but they’re failing miserably. She’s worried that they’ll flatten the baton twirler that keeps dropping her baton. Brad and Sue pay Sean to let them sit in the VIP area. Axl wants them removed because once you “let the dorks in, it becomes the dork area.” Sean disagrees since they paid. Sue and Brad then sing “Summer Lovin’” because Brad says it would make any guy jealous, but it doesn’t work. Sean agrees that Sue and Brad need to be removed. Brick finally has enough of the new motto and claims, “This is the dumbing down of America.” Just then, shirts with the town’s new motto are thrown into the crowd. Brick tries to resist the free t-shirt, but, unfortunately, he’s “a sucker for a good font.”
Brad thinks maybe they picked the wrong song, but Sue realizes her relationship with Darrin is over. Darrin has moved on and she has to accept it. She really thought her and Darrin could have a good relationship like her parents. Cut to Mike and Frankie arguing in the float. Mike blames Frankie for wanting to do something outside of their comfort zone. Frankie blames Mike for not making it to Chicago twenty years ago. Frankie claims she’s never drinking a margarita again. Mike says, “You don’t mean that.” They then begin badmouthing other people, including Nancy, not realizing that everyone with a walkie-talkie can hear their conversation. Nancy comments, “Please switch to channel three for all domestic disputes.” Then the cow float runs into the electric line leading to Boss Co.’s VIP area and starts on fire. As it happens, Axl says, “That was definitely our fault.”
Frankie thinks the whole town heard what she and Mike had said and that’s why they’re all running away. She then realizes the float is on fire. Mike gets out then pulls Frankie to safety, leaving the flaming cow float completely unmanned. As the float heads toward a shocked Sue, Darrin scoops her up and carries her to safety. She tells Brad this means there’s still hope for her and Darrin to reunite. Some of the town members then push the burning cow float into the pool and Ron Cougar Mellencamp performs. Frankie says, “I think we just might end up spending the rest of our lives here in Orson, why not?”