The BEST Episodes of Once and Again

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: May 25, 2020

Network: ABC (US)

"Once and Again" focuses on the relationship between a divorced man, Rick Sammler (Bill Campbell) and a soon to be divorced woman, Lilly Manning (Sela Ward). Both have kids and between the struggles of being a single parent and careers they often find it difficult to spend time together. The show is unique in letting the viewer into the character's minds through brief "interviews" mixed throughout the episode.

Armageddon (1)

#1 - Armageddon (1)

Season 2 - Episode 19 - Aired May 17, 2005

Karen finds out that a grand jury is being impaneled to investigate the Atlantor project. The District Attorney wants Karen to help them, but she is reluctant. She acts nervously around Rick and refuses to discuss the investigation with him. Rick is subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury investigation of Atlantor. Allegations of bribery and arrests are floated about. Lily forces Christie not to print an unsubstantiated story concerning the grand jury. Rick fills his kids in on the situation. He finally talks to Miles, but Miles doesn't give him any assurances or definite answers. However, he does reveal that he has cancer, and it's advancing throughout his body rapidly, so he might not be around if the case goes to trial. Rick undergoes five hours of questioning by the grand jury. The episode ends with the Cook County sheriff arriving with a search warrant to search Rick's apartment...

star 10.00
2 votes
Writers: Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz
Tough Love

#2 - Tough Love

Season 3 - Episode 9 - Aired Jun 2, 2005

When Eli loses his job and Grace's teacher questions her acting, they both learn the hard way that real self-confidence can be one of life's toughest accomplishments. Both learn that tough love can be a powerful motivator.

star 10.00
2 votes
Directors: Jim Kramer
Writers: Maggie Friedman
Destiny Turns On The Radio

#3 - Destiny Turns On The Radio

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired May 27, 2005

A boy in the play school play asks Jesse out. Grace is less than happy with the news, because she thought that the boy was flirting with her during rehearsal. Karen is upset that Rick didn't left her out of the loop on this. Les takes over a talk show after the host leaves following an argument between the two. He asks for Lily's opinion on a call (while on the air), which leads to her taking over the show that night, and a once-a-week gig after that. Rick and Lily argue about her discussing Jesse's ""date"" when it hasn't been decided if he'll let her go. Grace thinks about quitting the play (over her sorta-feelings for Tad and the whole Tad-Jesse thing), but that's not what she tells Mr. Dmitri. He convinces her to stay. Grace is irate that Lily offered to loan Jesse Lily's pearl necklace when she wouldn't let Grace borrow it earlier. Grace is starting to think that Lily likes her stepdaughter Jesse more than her. Karen accuses Lily of using Jesse's personal life for radio ""mat

star 9.75
4 votes
Directors: Ken Collins
Writers: Winnie Holzman
Experience Is the Teacher

#4 - Experience Is the Teacher

Season 3 - Episode 17 - Aired Jun 14, 2005

The prospect that Grace may be romantically involved with her creative-writing teacher troubles Lily, infuriates Jake, and imperils the career of the instructor.

star 9.75
4 votes
Directors: Matt Shakman
Writers: Maggie Friedman, Winnie Holzman
I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down

#5 - I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Apr 21, 2005

Parental pressure bears down on Eli to get his act together for college. However, Eli wants to form a music group.

star 9.67
3 votes
Directors: Peter Horton
Writers: Daniel Paige, Sue Paige
Chance of a Lifetime

#6 - Chance of a Lifetime

Season 3 - Episode 19 - Aired Jun 16, 2005

Rick and Lily face more life-altering decisions when he is offered a major architectural position in Australia and she is offered a chance to take her Chicago-based radio show into national syndication. The Series Finale Episode concludes with this show's traditionaly black and white breaking of the fourth wall but this time, its the actors and not the characters as they speak about the realtionships formed amid the cast and what the show has meant to them.

star 9.50
4 votes
Directors: Dan Lerner
Writers: Daniel Paige, Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz, Sue Paige
The Awful Truth

#7 - The Awful Truth

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired May 24, 2005

Grace doesn't know what to make of her new teacher. Judy asks Lily to work at her planned bookstore/cafe. Lily also interviews at a radio station. Karen brings up the idea of hiring Jake to work on the bookstore/cafe. Lily isn't sure about that idea or where she wants to work. She gets hired at the radio station, so she has a decision to make. Jessie becomes increasingly annoyed by Grace and Eli's behavior when they're around each other. Judy and Lily argue about working together. Judy and Jake resolve the dispute they had the day before and Jake agrees to work on the bookstore/cafe. Will tells Judy that he found his daughter in Florida and that he's moving there to get to know her again. Eli becomes the subject of Grace's journal entries. Judy finally realizes that she has to do the bookstore/cafe without Lily.

star 9.33
3 votes
Directors: Michael Engler
Writers: Winnie Holzman
Acting Out

#8 - Acting Out

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired May 26, 2005

Jessie and Grace both audition for the same role in a school production of ""As You Like It."" Mr. Dimitri throws them a curve when he announces that he is planning a musical version of the play. Judy and Sam Blue spend the night together and Lily suspects there is something going on. Judy would like a real commitment from Sam, but he's not quite ready yet. Grace tells Mr. Dimitri that Jessie can't handle the stress of the play because of her eating disorder and eventually lands the lead role.

star 9.33
3 votes
Directors: Michael Engler
Writers: Daniel Paige, Sue Paige
Gardenia

#9 - Gardenia

Season 3 - Episode 12 - Aired Jun 7, 2005

A tragic accident shakes Karen from her deep depression and sets her up for the toughest battle of her life. This makes Eli and Jessie learn the hard way that their parents are more fragile than they'd thought.

star 9.25
4 votes
Writers: Richard Kramer
Food for Thought

#10 - Food for Thought

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Apr 26, 2005

Jesse is taken to a psychiatrist to find out why she isn't eating. Karen's firm is hired to oppose the building of Miles' building -- the one Rick is designing.

star 9.00
2 votes
Directors: Edward Zwick
Writers: Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz
Best of Enemies

#11 - Best of Enemies

Season 2 - Episode 18 - Aired May 13, 2005

Lily and Rick begin their wedding plans and want Judy to help, but Judy seems hesitant. Jesse faints and falls in the girls' locker room. Grace learns of it and voices her concern to Judy. Judy tells Karen, who tells Jesse, and argument ensues. Dr. Rosenfeld tells Rick and Karen to put restrictions on Jesse's activities until she eats what Rick and Karen ask her to. Jesse, of course, doesn't like this either. Judy reveals to Jesse that she was bulimic when she was younger. Judy finally blurts out that she doesn't trust Rick enough to watch Lily get married to him. Karen makes the decision not to let Jesse go on the ski trip with her classmates. This makes Jesse even more upset. Judy and Rick settle, somewhat, their differences. Dr. Rosenfeld makes Karen realize that she can't control every possible aspect of her and Jesse's life. Lily and Judy make up, and Karen lets go enough to allow Jesse to go on the ski trip.

star 9.00
2 votes
Directors: Barnet Kellman
Writers: Emily Whitesell
Won't Someone Please Help George Bailey Tonight (2)

#12 - Won't Someone Please Help George Bailey Tonight (2)

Season 2 - Episode 20 - Aired May 18, 2005

Miles gets indicted and work on the Atlantor project is indefinitely suspended. Rick is invited to appear on a local talk show to tell his side of the story. But instead, he gets ambushed by the host on the air and leaves in the middle of the interview. The DA working on the case does everything but say that he is interested in Karen. They steal a ""moment"" at an awards dinner they both attended. After drinking a lot a a bar with co-workers, Rick comes home and get into an argument with Lily. Rick goes to Miles' suite and angrily confronts an obviously dying Miles. Rick rambles on to Lily about why she shouldn't marry him, but Lily tells him that she does want to marry him - faults and all.

star 9.00
1 votes
Directors: Dan Lerner
Writers: Edward Zwick, Liberty Godshall, Marshall Herskovitz
Falling in Place

#13 - Falling in Place

Season 3 - Episode 13 - Aired Jun 8, 2005

Jessie's anxiety and guilt about her mom's slow recovery causes tension with every member of the family, especially Lily. Meanwhile, Eli is in denial about the seriousness of his mother's condition.

star 9.00
4 votes
Directors: Eric Stoltz
Writers: Daniel Paige, Sue Paige
Losing You

#14 - Losing You

Season 3 - Episode 18 - Aired Jun 15, 2005

Just when Lily thinks life can't get any more complicated, her mother begins to show early signs of Alzheimer's disease.

star 9.00
2 votes
Directors: Jim Kramer
Writers: Liberty Godshall
Pilot

#15 - Pilot

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Nov 28, 2000

Lily Manning, separated from her husband, and Rick Sammler, divorced for 3 years, meet by chance when her daughter, Grace, injures her ankle in a soccer game. They go out on a date, and are instantly attracted to each other.

star 8.63
8 votes
Directors: Edward Zwick
Writers: Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz
The Scarlet Letter Jacket

#16 - The Scarlet Letter Jacket

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Dec 12, 2000

Rick and Lily's families gather at the school carnival. Lily and Karen, who don't know of each other at this point, are paired to work together in a booth there.

star 8.50
6 votes
Directors: Dan Lerner
Writers: Marshall Herskovitz
Booklovers

#17 - Booklovers

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Apr 20, 2005

Judy turns the bookstore into a ""book club for singles."" This attracts an interesting clientele, including Jake (who's tiring of his girlfriend Tiffany) and Lily's boss Christie. Judy isn't sure of her attraction to the handyman who's fixing up the store.

star 8.50
2 votes
Directors: Dan Lerner
Writers: Winnie Holzman
Standing Room Only

#18 - Standing Room Only

Season 2 - Episode 15 - Aired May 10, 2005

Rick and Lily celebrate their engagement. Tiffany reveals to Grace that she's pregnant, but Grace pretty much had that figured out when she heard Tiffany throwing up in the bathroom. Lily and Rick tell their kids about the engagement, and Rick and his kids moving into Lily's house. Lily finds out Tiffany is pregnant. When Rick tells Karen about his engagement and move, she seems less than thrilled. When the rooming arrangements are discussed, not everyone is happy with the decisions. Disagreements about where to put things come up also. Rick and Jake put a hole in the wall for a possible bay window, Lily gets upset at Rick for ""making all of the decisions,"" assuming she'll just go along with them. A family meeting at the end of the episode resolves a few issues.

star 8.50
2 votes
Directors: Arlene Sanford
Writers: Jan Oxenberg
Suspicion

#19 - Suspicion

Season 2 - Episode 12 - Aired May 4, 2005

Jesse doesn't want to go to a dance by herself, which frustrates Karen because they bought a dress for it. Christie and Graham continue to clash at work. Karen's worried that her relationship with Leo isn't building towards something. Lily is uncomfortable with Graham's flirting and when she goes to establish that their relationship is purely a working one, he confesses his feelings for her. Rick interrupts him before anything else can happen. When she tells Christie, Christie basically tells her it's no big deal. Later, Graham kisses Lily unexpectedly. When Leo shows up late for a museum trip with Jesse, Karen is really upset with Leo because she knows that Leo means a lot to Jesse. She finally decides to break up with him. Lily angrily confronts Graham about it, with Christie present.

star 8.33
3 votes
Directors: James Eckhouse
Writers: Liberty Godshall
Edifice Wrecked

#20 - Edifice Wrecked

Season 2 - Episode 13 - Aired May 6, 2005

Rick and David are served with a notice to get an injunction to stop the Atlantor project - and the hearing is on Valentine's Day. Grace is troubled by the fact that a building that is helping those who need help is being torn down to build Miles' (and therefore Rick's) project. David is frustrated that no one but him thinks that they have a serious problem with the project and the injunction to stop its construction. Rick sees Grace protesting and they have an argument. David quits the firm because of his opposition to the project. The court's decision makes no one happy, with the possible exception on Miles. Rick proposes to Lily, but she feels it's not the right time.

star 8.33
3 votes
Directors: Dan Lerner
Writers: Winnie Holzman
Aaron's Gettin' Better

#21 - Aaron's Gettin' Better

Season 2 - Episode 16 - Aired May 11, 2005

Aaron returns for an extended stay and impresses everyone with his improvement. Grace and Spencer go back to the restaurant to write about their experience there, but Spencer gets nervous (because he was scared then) and goes home. The voices that have haunted Aaron for so long return at dinner and he freaks out. Shelley returns and says that despite the dinner outburst, he is getting better.

star 8.33
3 votes
Directors: Susan Kramer
Writers: Richard Kramer
Forgive Us Our Trespasses

#22 - Forgive Us Our Trespasses

Season 2 - Episode 17 - Aired May 12, 2005

Will returns to repair ice damage to Lily's house, making for awkward moments for Judy. Judy runs into Paul (the guy who went off on her when she broke it off with him), creating more awkwardness for Judy. Lily grows agitated with Graham's constant flirting with the office women. Judy tells Karen that she thinks that Paul is the one calling her late at night. When Jake finds out that part of the repair might include a workspace for Rick in the attic, he says that he won't pay for the repairs. Judy hears noises outside her store and calls Jake. Jake confronts Paul and tells him to stay away from Judy and assaults him in the restaurant's kitchen. Lily angrily tells Graham that he has a real problem when dealing with women. Lily was going to give Tiffany Grace and Zoe's old baby clothes, but decides to save them for Judy's (future?) kids. Will reveals to Judy that it was he who was doing the calling and the noises. He angrily tells her she was wrong to dump him, among other things, which

star 8.33
3 votes
Writers: Lynn Siefert, Winnie Holzman
Moving On

#23 - Moving On

Season 2 - Episode 21 - Aired May 19, 2005

Rick and his kids start to move their stuff to Lily's and Lily gets a call to sign the divorce papers. Carla tells Eli that she's not going back home because she's convinced that her parents hate her. So Eli asks Grace to ask Lily about staying at Lily's house. Eli gets his reply from the University of Illinois about admittance, and it's not good. Lily's hesitant about Carla staying with them. Eil tells his dad about the letter, at the dinner table, and neither one of them is happy now. Carla is worried that her plans to travel in Europe in the summer might not happen. Lily discovers medicine missing from her cabinet. Suspecting Carla, she goes to Carla's bag and finds them. Carla confesses to Rick about the pills. Lily goes to visit with Carla's stepmother and finds out some reasons for her problems. Carla tells Eli, in the middle of school, that she is leaving town immediately for Portland, Oregon. Eli says he wants to go with her. They plan to meet at the bus station that night. Ric

star 8.33
3 votes
Directors: Ken Collins
Writers: Daniel Paige, Sue Paige
Jake and the Women

#24 - Jake and the Women

Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired May 30, 2005

The women (and Grace and Zoe) want to hold a baby shower for Tiffany. This doesn't excite Jake. He doesn't want Grace - and especially Zoe - to have expectations about him and Tiffany. So Jake discourages the idea of having Zoe at the shower. So she calls Lily to cancel the shower, which upsets Zoe. Jake tells Tiffany that she shouldn't go home to have the baby just because of him and Zoe. Lily convinces Tiffany to have the baby in Chicago and to have the shower also. Jake wants Lily to butt out of ""his business"", but because the kids are involved, he relents. Judy goes to her doctor to see how many ""baby years"" she has left. She even tells Lily that she's considering in-vitro fertilization. Zoe is upset over Jake's seeming indifference about his upcoming baby. Jake goes ballistic in front of all the women and kids when he and Zoe get home and the ladies discover that he didn't get a gift. Lily reassures Jake that he is still a good father despite his outburst. Jake does g

star 8.33
3 votes
Directors: Mark Piznarski
Writers: Daniel Paige, Sue Paige
The Sex Show

#25 - The Sex Show

Season 3 - Episode 8 - Aired Jun 1, 2005

Grace finds an ""adult magazine"" in their home recycling bin. This leads to a whole ""will you talk to Eli about this?"" talk coming from Lily to Rick. Rick is amazed at Sam's continued inability to be with only one woman at a time. Judy and Sam have yet another awkward conversation, this time at a newsstand. Judy later confesses to Sam while having lunch that she can't kiss him because she wouldn't stop once she started. Lily worries that Rick isn't as interested in her now that they're married. Rick confides to Sam that he thinks the same thing about Lily. Karen and Judy go out to a bar/club. Karen isn't sure she wants to be there in the first place. She meets a man there, and feels guilty when she ends up spending the night at his place. Tad makes Jesse uncomfortable at his party. Lily tells Rick that she doesn't necessarily WANT sex, but rather just to BE with him and not have his mind a million miles away. Judy and Sam have their usual ""we can't be together but we have to

star 8.33
3 votes
Directors: Dan Lerner
Writers: Emily Whitesell