I lambasted the last episode for what I felt was quirkiness in the wrong direction, but I have to give this one kudos for quirkiness that actually enhanced the show.
One of the ongoing threads in this episode is Ed's struggles with writer's block while trying to write his first film. Several sequences in this episode show the movie that Ed is imagining. Naturally, their ripoffs of other films (including a take on Midnight Cowboy in which Rob Morrow does a dead-on impression of Dustin Hoffman). These sequences are amusing to watch and actually serve to provide character development, letting the audience in on how much of his own education he gets from American film.
The other two story threads are ripe with character development as well. In one, Rick discovers what may well be a cancerous tumor on his chest, which causes him to panic. From this, we learn about The O'Connell curse. Apparently, all of Maggie's boyfriends die. Yet another quirk that adds depth to one of the show's characters. In the other, Shelly receives a visit from Wayne, a husband she never told Holling that she had. The dynamics of his feelings for her are explored in great detail, culminating with a sequence in which the two lovers share a kiss while their heads are down on the bar. One of the single sweetest moments in the entire first season!