January 12, 2013

Party of Five 1.2, Homework: Everybody Loves Kirsten

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 2:28 pm by Jenn

Libby is totally one of those take-off-her-glasses-and-put-down-her-hair-and-she's-hot girls

Libby is totally one of those take-off-her-glasses-and-put-down-her-hair-and-she’s-hot girls

Summary: Sexy music plays as Bailey checks out Kirsten, who calls him irresistible. Well, not him – Owen. Exposition tells us that she’s been the Salingers’ nanny for two-and-a-half weeks. Bailey would rather spend time with her than go to school. Speaking of school, Julia’s there with her friend Libby, wishing they were in the popular crowd. Julia wants to live by the “80 and dying test” – when she’s 80 and dying, what will she look back on and regret not doing? Not regretting anything right now: Charlie, who’s in bed with a woman it sounds like he’s doing construction for.

Bailey finally makes it to school and tells his friend Will about his obsession with Kirsten. Will reminds him that he needs to concentrate on schoolwork so he can write a paper and not get placed on academic probation. At home after school, Claudia quizzes Bailey on family members’ names so she can make a family tree. She wonders what happened to their mother’s father, who left their mother when she was a child and may or may not still be alive. Julia and Libby go out to a party, asking Charlie to give Libby’s mother various cover stories if she calls.

Bailey asks Charlie if she’s ever been with an older woman. Of course he has. He advises Bailey to make it clear to whoever he’s crushing on that they can talk about things despite their age difference. Julia and Libby go to the cool kids’ party but can’t bring themselves to actually go in. Julia suggests pretending they’re looking for someone. Kirsten searches the Salingers’ yard for her lost keys and gets to chatting with Charlie. There’s clearly some attraction there.

Claudia announces to Bailey and Charlie that she’s going to find their grandfather, Jack. They’re skeptical that she can hunt down a guy who’s been out of the picture for 30 years. She feels bad for him since no one’s ever bothered to look for him. The next morning, Bailey finds Kirsten reading a story to Owen, even though he’s asleep. Bailey tries to strike up a conversation about psychology, admitting that as a child he had an imaginary friend, Lloyd W. Loomis. Lloyd’s father was a baseball player, so Bailey took him in. Kirsten says Bailey must be very nurturing.

A PI arrives to help Claudia in her search for Jack. He’ll need $500 up front, then $100 an hour plus expenses. Claudia wonders if the PI could get the job done in 15 minutes. The PI offers her a free tip: Try the VA, since Jack served in WWII. Julia and Libby go to school on four hours of sleep, still excited about their fun time at the party. A popular girl invites them to another party that night, but Julia gets a big class assignment. Claudia goes to the VA and tries to guilt someone into helping her.

Charlie and his girlfriend don’t get along quite as well with the lights on; she’s way older and more sophisticated. Plus, he’s finished the work in her house, so they don’t really have a reason to spend time together anymore. Claudia and her ugly red plaid hooded maxi dress find a guy on a boat, but instead of seeing their conversation, we fast-forward to her going home, where Julia’s redecorating her room. She wonders if Claudia’s violin awards really make her happy. Claudia says they do.

Bailey makes dinner (Kirsten’s favorite meal) and freaks out when Kirsten wants to sit next to Charlie. Kirsten remarks that if Bailey sits there, he won’t have room for Lloyd. No one’s ever heard of Lloyd and teases Bailey. Charlie and Kirsten start talking, freaking Bailey out more. After dinner, they take out the trash together and kiss while talking about how great Bailey is. In the morning, Kirsten apologizes to Bailey for outing Lloyd, but Bailey admits that he made Lloyd up. He’s about to announces how he feels about her when she gets a phone call and solidifies a date she made…with Charlie.

Julia and Libby failed the quiz they took in class the day before, surprising their teacher. Julia admits that she didn’t do the reading. The teacher offers the girls the chance to redeem their grades with a paper. Claudia goes back to the man on the boat, pretending she’s selling cookies. They hit it off well, and Claudia sees that the man likes violin music.

Bailey’s mad at Charlie (shocker), accusing him of encroaching on Bailey’s “territory.” He announces that he’s interested in Kirsten. Charlie’s surprised, not least because Bailey’s 16 and Kirsten’s in grad school. He adds that Kirsten asked him out, so she’s obviously not waiting around for Bailey. Bailey slams Charlie for always getting whatever he wants. Bailey always has to take care of other people, and just this once, he wants something that’s just his. It may not work out, but there’s a teeny chance it will. Plus, Charlie will land some random woman the next day and he’ll forget all about Kirsten. Charlie tells him to screw himself.

Julia tries to talk Libby into going to a party instead of writing their papers. Libby points out that Nina DiMayo and the other popular kids don’t even know Julia’s name. She doesn’t see the point in hanging out with people who are always drunk. Julia slams her for being a nerd, but Libby points out that Julia makes straight A’s. Julia knows everything could be over before she’s had any fun, so the whole thing is a waste of time.

At home, Claudia announces to her siblings that she found their grandfather. He’s been living on a sailboat in a San Francisco marina the whole time. Her brothers and sister pick apart her supposed evidence. Claudia thinks Jack needs to get to know all of them before he finds out they’re his grandchildren. The others say they want to believe her, but it seems unlikely that Claudia actually found him. She’s adamant that she’s right and chastises them for never trying to find him. She gives Owen a bath and talks about how nice it would be to have another family member around, “just in case.”

Julia and her very ’90s Blossom-type hat are on their way to the party while Bailey tries to write his own super-important paper on his very ’90s computer. She sits down with him and helps him. Over time, this turns into her writing most of the paper for him. Julia leaves for the party, but the next day at school, she tells Libby she didn’t go. She also didn’t write her paper. Libby offers to let Julia use her paper to come up with her own ideas, but Julia declines.

Bailey goes to Jack’s boat and tells him Claudia thinks he’s their grandfather. He’s sure Jack isn’t…right? Later, he picks Claudia up from school and tells her he saw Jack. He’s not their grandfather, and Bailey thinks Claudia knew that the whole time. He tells her that Claudia’s siblings need to be who she wanted Jack to be for her. He doesn’t think they’re doing that bad of a job. Claudia doesn’t want to talk about it. Julia runs into Nina at a bus stop and they start chatting, easily hitting it off.

The Salingers gather for their family dinner, which Charlie’s missing for his date with Kirsten. What Bailey doesn’t know is that Charlie picked up a shift at work so he could cancel the date. Kirsten’s clearly disappointed. Bailey’s pleased and thanks Charlie, who pretends he didn’t do anything. Claudia’s surprised that Charlie and Kirsten were going to go out. Then she suggests that they all spend a day on a sailboat. There’s a whole metaphor about freedom and blah blah blah, the episode’s over.

Thoughts: The popular girl who invites Julia and Libby to the party is played by Brittany Murphy.

Charlie’s much-older girlfriend (or whatever) is played by Laura Innes. Yes, that Laura Innes. The one from ER. I know!

Whoever styled Libby as a nerd did a great job. She has the big glasses and the unstylish clothes, but she’s not over-the-top like most nerds you see on TV.

Isn’t the grandfather’s name Jake, not Jack? That would explain why Claudia can’t find him.

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