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207 - (LP)     Learner's Permit      12/19/00
Grace gets driving lessons from her father, and some unusual dating advice from her friend. Meanwhile, Jake's relationship with his girlfriend takes a dramatic turn.

WRITER: Liberty Godshall     DIRECTOR: Arvin Brown
 Brooks-Manning Lily    Grace    Zoe
 Sammler Rick   
 Ex's Jake   
 Other Family  
 Significant Regulars Tiffany    Carla    Spencer   
Pace - Riley Smith
Ronnie - Shannon Sturges
Howard - Archie Hahn
Linda - Gretchen O'Neil
The movie guy - Joe Yarbrough
Terry - Randy Lowell
The photographer - Eric Morgan Stuart

Lily's house
Jake's house
Phil's Restaurant
Lily's car
Jake's car
Upton Sinclair
The Movie Theater - In the Mall - Grace's date. Spencer is talking up a storm and annoying everyone. There is a sci-fi type movie on.
How "U" Bean - Coffee House near the Movie Theater - Spencer and Grace go there after being booted out of the movie and catch Jake and Ronnie there.

Jake: ... I like people ...
Jake: ... and if they happen to be female, so much the better.

Grace: Pace and Spencer.
Grace: ... plus, our names rhyme ...
Grace: Carla says that being pretty is like a decision ...

Jake: I think I was in college ...
Jake: If a woman loves you ...
Jake: If only they didn't smell so good ...

Grace: Excuse me. Your HAND is on my thigh!
Grace: Why is your hand on my thigh!
Grace: Jus turn your head away ...
Grace: Sometimes, I wonder why I hope for anything.
Grace: ... God!
Grace: OK. I did not do that to Spencer.

Jake:Fall in love again?
Jake:Problem is ...
Jake:I have been in love, real love ...

W.G. Snuffy Walden Production/incidental music


The Learner's Permit
Grace receives it in the mail. Apparently, she was taking driver's ed during the summer, during which she shared a car with Spencer and Pace.

The First Driving Lesson with Mom
A very traumatic experience during which Lily is totally stressed and even forgets to wear her seatbelt.

Driving with Dad
Very relaxed.

Nobody's watching the movie.
On the date, Spencer and Grace go to a "B" movie. It is apparently some variety of Sci-Fi adventure flick. The theater is pretty empty except for couples making out. Spencer is talking incessantly.

Jake meets Spencer
Just before he lets Grace go on the date, Jake insists on meeting Spencer. It turns out that Spencer is wholly comfortable with it and proceeds to tell Jake all about his Tae-Kwon-Do experience with Pace who knocked him unconscious and somehow that led to Spencer liking coffee.

Jake "dissing" Tiffany

Zoe's Volcano
Zoe, throughout the episode, is building a huge volcano as a school project. We finally get to see it erupt, but in true O&A fashion, it is a slow gurgling lava flow, not a huge bang. A foreshadow of the Jake/Tiffany split, and the subtle change in the Grace/Spencer and Grace/Pace relationship.

Coffee for 4?
Grace and Spencer run into Jake and Ronnie at the Coffee House.

The Evanston Review
Tiffany arranges for this paper to do a spread on Phil's Restaurant, cashing in favors from her radio station. Jake obviously is happy to use the opportunity, but when it comes time for the photograph, awkwardly leaves her out of the picture.

Jake simply coughs and chokes when Zoe asks "Are you and Tiffany going to get married?"

I guess I broke up with your dad
Tiffany runs into Grace at Jake's apartment after she breaks up with Jake. It's an awkward situation after Tiffany tells Grace she's broken up with her dad, and only gets worse when she says she still loves him but he's not ready and how men use women and how things should not be that way.

Dream Sequence
Grace has a dream that encompasses both her obsessions at the moment - driving and Pace. This is interrupted by Zoe

I'm not ready for a boyfriend
It becomes apparent that Spencer fully understands Grace and is happy to be in her company without being in a relationship. He is more aware and honest of the situation than she is.


Not currently available


Original Scheduling
This episode was originally scheduled as #205

Tiffany's past - part 1
At 15, Tiffany and her friend Josie Bender stole a car and drove to Madison. They also drank 2 quarts of Vodka along the way.

Tiffany's past - part 2
By 15, Tiffany had already run away from home.

Name game
The three people at the table are Howard, Linda, and Ronnie.

Numbers game
Jake is in apartment number 5

Phil's Restaurant was started in 1966

Da Bears
It's the Upton Sinclair Bears. Apparently, that's not too popular since we see food thrown at the Bears banner at school.

Thanks Carla
The dreaded date with Spencer is first suggested by Carla, then actually arranged by Carla. Grace is never given a choice.

Where oh where?
Carla arranges for Grace and Spencer to begin their date "by the tree, by the trashcan".

What's a dork?
According to Zoe, it a whale's anus.

What's on?
The movie, if I remember correctly, was 2000's "Mission To Mars," which starred Gary Sinise, Tim Robbins, Connie Nielsen and Don Cheadle. It was produced by Touchstone/Disney, which, as you know, also produced "O&A." And, it was far from a "B" movie, with a pricetag of some $90 million. -- Adam Bomb 1701


Original episode spoilers

TV Guide Detroit Free News David Bianculli Mike Duffy Robert Bianco ABC Boards TVNow Wanda

From TV Guide:

Teenage growing pains - and their impact on two extended families - are the focus of an insightful and sensitive episode revolving around Grace (Julia Whelan). Getting her learner's permit allows her to take driving lessons from her dad. She gets some lessons in love, too, when she goes out to a movie with one boy in hopes of sparking the interest of another guy. As the plot unfolds, Grace also discovers troubling romantic developments in her father's life.

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From Robert Bianco at USA Today:
Scribbling Rivalry will air Jan 24th.

Once and Again's amazing Grace (Julia Whelan) takes center stage in a story built around her desire to drive.

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From Mike Duffy at The Detroit Free Press:

Road trip! Not yet. But Grace (Julia Whelan) finally has her learner's permit, with driving lessons provided by her father, Jake (Jeffrey Nordling). Besides wheels, Grace also has a new boyfriend (Marco Gould), which may lead to an adolescent romantic epiphany.

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From David Bianculli at The New York Daily News:
Once Upon a Tuesday

Regular programming, featuring what in most cases are the final fresh series episodes of the year, makes it a strong TV Tuesday. Tops on the list: . . . a nuanced "Once and Again."

The more we learn about the child characters on this show, the more screen time they seem to deserve. Tonight's episode does nothing to reverse that trend, and continues to present the most realistic depiction of teen life, and angst, since the same producers collaborated on "My So-Called Life."

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From The Detroit News:
Best Bets

Once and Again, Though he hasn't paid much attention to the effects of his actions on his children, Jake (Jeffrey Nordling) gets a shocking wake-up call in this new episode. He finally realizes how much the reasons for his divorce from Lily (Sela Ward) has impacted them. As he tries to make amends, Grace (Julia Whelan) gets ready to start driving by taking the test for her learner's permit.

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From From

Grace Begins Datings On "ONCE AND AGAIN" (12/19/00)
Tue, Dec 5, 2000 04:19 PM PDT

"Learner's Permit"

Jake finally realizes just how profoundly his indiscretions have affected his children. Meanwhile, Grace gets her driver's permit and her first taste of the complexities of dating life, on "Once and Again," TUESDAY, DEC. 19 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

"Once and Again" stars Sela Ward as Lily Manning, Billy Campbell as Rick Sammler, Julia Whelan as Grace Manning, Shane West as Eli Sammler, Meredith Deane as Zoe Manning, Evan Rachel Wood as Jessie Sammler, Susanna Thompson as Karen Sammler, Jeffrey Nordling as Jake Manning, Todd Field as David Casilli, Marin Hinkle as Judy, David Clennon as Miles Drentell and Jennifer Crystal as Christie Parker.

Guest starring are Ever Carradine as Tiffany, Audrey Anderson as Carla, Marco Gould as Specer, Riley Smith as Pace, Shannon Sturges as Ronnie, Archie Hahn as Howard, Joe Yarbrough as the movie guy, Randy Lowell as Terry, Eric Morgan Stuart as the photographer and Gretchen O'Neil as Linda.

"Learner's Permit" was written by Liberty Godshall and directed by Arvin Brown.

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From Judy @ ABC Boards:

"Learner's Permit" Jake finally realizes just how profoundly his indiscretions have affected his children. Meanwhile, Grace gets her driver's permit and her first taste of the complexities of dating life.

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Learner's Permit

A learner's permit allows Grace to take driving lessons from her dad, but they're just a prelude to lessons in life---and love---from a relationship with a new beau (Marco Gould). Tiffany: Ever Carradine. Pace: Riley Smith. Carla: Audrey Anderson. Ronnie: Shannon Sturges. Jake: Jeffrey Nordling. Grace: Julia Whelan. Lily: Sela Ward. Rick: Billy Campbell. Zoe: Meredith Deane.

Cast: Billy Campbell, Sela Ward, Shane West, Evan Rachel Wood, Meredith Deane, Julia Whelan, Susanna Thompson, Jeffrey Nordling, Todd Field, Marin Hinkle, Marco Gould, Ever Carradine, Audrey Anderson, Riley Smith, Shannon Sturges

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From TVNow:
Learner's Permit
starring: Sela Ward, Billy Campbell, Julia Whelan, Shane West, Meredith Deane, Evan Rachel Wood

Jake (Jeffrey Nordling) finally realizes the effects his indiscretions have had on his children; Grace (Julia Whelan) gets her driver's permit.

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From Watch with Wanda:

Rick has to deal with Jessie's eating disorder and an accident where Grace crashes his car.

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