As Jennifer labors over a play she's writing on the final days of the Nixon presidency, Steven anxiously waits for Mallory to return home with his car. When she arrives late and is chided by her impatient dad, Mallory suggests that perhaps it's time she bought a car of her own.
Several days later, Mallory, Nick and Steven pay a visit to a car dealership run by Nick's dad, Joe Moore. When she ends up falling in love with a little convertible that's a bit too pricey for her, Steven graciously volunteers to co-sign her loan. But the deal begins to sour when Joe shows up with the final loan documents and Mallory begins talking about the cross-country trip she is planning with Nick. Steven balks at Mallory's plans and backs out as her co-signer.
Angry and disappointed, Mallory resolves to buy a car she can afford on her own. She and Nick return to Joe's showroom, but not before Steven collars Joe and convinces him not to sell a car at any price to his daughter. It is only later, when Mallory directly confronts Steven at home, that he is forced to recognize that she has become a responsible adult.