Rudy tries to make cookies all by herself, but makes a mess in the kitchen. Theo tries to help clean, but Claire walks in. Vanessa announces the prestigious university she wants to attend. Later that night, Cliff pours Claire a glass of wine and shhh, shhh Claire, go to sleep. I’ll be back soon, you won’t miss me.
When Theo brings home a poor report card, Cliff talks to him about the value of an education. Denise wants to date someone older. Cliff and Clair’s plans for a quiet night are ruined because Rudy is scared of the boogeyman. The boogeyman is a doctor who wears colorful sweaters.
Denise makes fun of Theo’s new haircut. Claire wants to volunteer for the church, even though she is already very busy. Cliff lectures the family on the importance of jazz, and then dances to one of his favorite songs. It’s the song he plays after he’s invited you back to his office to discuss med school. It’s a soothing song, and the wine tastes good. Is it warm in here? Lie down, says Cliff.
When Rudy’s goldfish dies, Cliff tells her a story about goldfish heaven. Theo doesn’t believe Cliff would tell Rudy such an outlandish falsehood. Cliff reminds Theo about his long-deceased, but beloved, pet hamster. Everyone laughs. Cliff answers a phone call and whispers into the phone “Call here again, and I’ll destroy you.”
While Claire is away, Cliff takes care of the family, which now includes a lost puppy that Rudy found. Sondra surprises the family with a visit from college! After a pizza party, Theo discovers Polaroids of naked women, asleep, in a shoe box in the garage. Cliff stares in a mirror and mumbles “never again, never again.”
When Theo and Rudy play wildly in the house, Vanessa warns them that someone is bound to get hurt. Denise settles on a major, and surprises the family with a new career dream. Cliff mentors an aspiring pediatrician in his office. When she wakes up, her nose bleeding, Cliff tells her she passed out. Was he wearing just a bathrobe when she first came over to his office?
It is a labor crisis when Cliff is called to the hospital to deliver three babies. Theo, now the man of the house, tries to boss Vanessa around. Vanessa has other plans. Claire refuses to believe he’s capable of such horrible things, Patty must be lying, she must. He’s a successful doctor, not a monster!
An ecstatic Cliff and Clair are the only happy Huxtables when summer vacation ends and school bells ring for the kids. Rudy stands up to a bully. Vanessa makes new friends. Theo writes a rap song about math. Cliff signs his name “John Coltrane” at the motel where he’s meeting a young woman who he met at the hospital. His pockets are full of pills.
It is an average day for the Huxtables: Denise introduces Claire to yoga. Theo and his friend Cockroach plan on becoming basketball stars. Vanessa insists on rehearsing her song for the big spring musical audition. Rudy can’t sleep because of nightmares, so Cliff gives her a mild sedative. As she dozes off, he is reminded of the convention in Philadelphia last weekend. She was so weak from the sedatives, she could hardly fight him off. Cliff sings Rudy a lullaby, and chuckles, because he feels no remorse.