Mason (Ellar Coltrane) and his sister Samantha (Lorelei Linklater) are being raised by their single mother Olivia (Patricia Arquette). Their dad Mason Sr. (Ethan Hawke) is working in Alaska at various jobs. Olivia is going back to school and ends up marrying her Bill Welbrock (Marco Perella), her psychology teacher. For a while, Olivia, Bill, Mason, Samantha and Bill’s two kids from a previous marriage are happy but Bill’s drinking and abusive behavior kills that relationship. Mason and Samantha are growing and changing as is Mason, Sr.