The Chances took a break from their PSA-esque shenanigans for some much less teachable shenanigans with this week’s Thanksgiving episode. The premise brings up a new fun fact about Natesville: Something about the soil makes it the absolutely PERFECT place to grow radishes. Of course, that means an annual radish festival, complete with a parade and a winning spot for a cute candy-selling tike in town.

If this is sounding a little reminiscent of Hope‘s Christmas nativity episode, that’s because it is. But where that episode taught us that with a little hard work and good will for a good cause, you can come out on top, the Thanksgiving version of the tale basically works as a promo for gang wars and police corruption. And yet, the story still ends on a sweet note (and that’s not just Maw Maw’s special chocolate).

The premise is this: Every year, coinciding with the radish festival, there’s a candy-selling contest. The winning child gets to ride in the parade as the “Little Pilgrim” and it’s a big honor. It also happened to be the only honor Jimmy ever won as a child. Unfortunately, to win the contest, you have to play a little dirty – and that means parents getting involved in the action. The Chances don’t just help sell the candy, though, they modify it with extra caffeine and bacon flavoring to create an addictive bar available only from them. The result is some Charlie Sheen-style winning. They revive the recipe to help Hope win the contest (Jimmy wants her to share in the one positive memory from his own childhood), but it turns into an all-out war with the Flores family, who lost to the Chances during Jimmy’s reign as the Little Pilgrim and don’t plan to lose again.

Since Barney is an auxiliary policeman, he’s on the case to find out how the Chances cheated 20 years ago. This results is a flashback sequence of Barney accusing Virginia with “You cheated!” and her replying with a “Prove it!” and an eye roll. The great thing about Raising Hope is that these flashbacks aren’t just random moments around Natesville; they’re obviously placed in the context of past episodes. Little touches like that really make the show stand out.

But Barney doesn’t want justice. He just wants to know he was right. And he’s willing to rig the contest in Hope’s favor just to get the confession he’s been after for 20 years. This makes the Thanksgiving Hope a bit of an outlier in the series. There really is no big teachable moment, except, perhaps, that you shouldn’t sample your own product if you’re moving drugs for organized crime (Sabrina gets hooked on the “stuff”). Hope doesn’t win the contest because the Chances work hard in an honest way and she doesn’t give up her spot in the parade to the Flores kid her family crushed to win the prize. She just rides the float, happy and ignorant in the same way Jimmy was as a child.

Personally, I don’t always need a moral ending, so I look at this as a moment for Hope to test its characters in new ways and reinforce the imperfections that make viewers love them to begin with. So in that way, I’m thankful for Raising Hope‘s daring approach to its holiday offering.