iane's ex-fiancé, Sumner Sloan, returns to Cheers looking for Diane. He has come to apologize and suggests to Diane that they go out for dinner so that she can meet his wife Barbara. Diane reluctantly agrees, but when Sumner mentions that Diane is welcome to bring any significant person in her life to the dinner, she does not mention Sam. Finding this out, Sam is hurt and offended, thinking that Diane is ashamed of him, especially in the company of brutally intellectual Sumner. Although she does eventually agree to bring Sam along, he suddenly realizes that he has agreed to a dinner with three intellectuals and that he will come across looking like an idiot. Cliff suggests that a good conversation piece with English professor Sumner would be Tolstoy's massive novel War and Peace, so Sam has five days between now and dinner to read the novel. Staying up for five days and nights, Sam finishes the novel just prior to dinner, however the five sleepless nights has physically and mentally taken its toll on him. Despite his less than lucid state, Sam quickly realizes the purpose for the dinner, which ends up being his worse nightmare. Although Sam comes to the conclusion that the dinner's purpose may be the best outcome for all concerned, Diane may have some other ideas based on War and Peace.

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