Eric's no-nonsense father, John ""The Colonel"" (guest star Peter Graves) returns when he learns an array of problems in the Camden household. Mary is jealous of a new member of the basketball team who is getting a lot of the attention. Lucy's declining grades are due to her hanging around with a bad crowd, while Ruthie needs to copy Simon in his quest to be a magician. Meanwhile, Eric is oblivious to all of the family troubles around him as he's preoccupied with writing a sermon that is to be covered by a camera crew. Meanwhile, Annie is doing all the chores at home and at church alone while everyone else is doing their own thing.