Once Roger turns up at Walter's office, it turns out that he is the result of Walter's relationship with a black woman, who is now dead. Walter's father-in-law had warned him that the relationship would be harmful to his career, so he broke it off.
Walter attempts to help Roger by telling his wife Vivian (Saint James) that he wants to adopt him. She accepts, but soon regrets the decision and ends up kicking Walter out. Her father also fires him, taking his car and benefits in the process. Penniless, he and Roger check into a motel, and later move into an apartment. Walter ends up as a manual labourer, shovelling horse manure.
The final ten minutes makes the transition from comedy to drama, where Walter has to either accept that Roger is his son, or alienate him in order to salvage his position in society.