February 9, 2013

Party of Five 1.7, Much Ado: Partial Eclipse of the Heart

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 2:29 pm by Jenn

"These strings are Bailey's face. And this bow is poison. I'm rubbing poison on your face, Bailey!"

“These strings are Bailey’s face. And this bow is poison. I’m rubbing poison on your face, Bailey!”

Summary: Bailey and Kate are goofing around at the Salingers’ house, so I guess her father doesn’t know where she is. Claudia’s annoyed by their affection, as am I. Charlie invites Kirsten to spend the night; they didn’t want their relationship to interfere with her caring for Owen, and so far it hasn’t, so why not? Kirsten’s worried that she’ll end up practically living at the house (but isn’t she already?).

Julia finishes a shift at Stage 18 and hangs out with a waitress named Theresa and a couple of musicians. Music break! (I think this scene is only to show us that Neve Campbell can sing.) Bailey’s supposed to take Claudia to a planetarium to see a partial solar eclipse, but he’s late. Charlie nicely offers to take her instead, but she declines. Long after the eclipse has come and gone, Julia tells Claudia that Bailey’s out with Kate.

Charlie and Kirsten go to a poetry reading, and in his truck she finds a tube of lipstick. Charlie admits that it’s Rebecca’s, but they totally weren’t in the car alone, no, sir. Her husband was also there because his car died. Kirsten finds his story fishy, noting that Charlie could have jumped the car. She accuses him of sleeping with Rebecca. He gets defensive and lies that he didn’t sleep with her. Kirsten doesn’t believe him and makes him stop the car so she can run off dramatically.

Charlie ends up at Stage 18, where one of the musicians is bugging Julia to sing with them. Charlie sees her and realizes she’s there to drink. A bouncer thinks he’s hassling her and makes him leave. Once she gets him, he just makes sure she didn’t get driven home by someone who was drinking. He’s confused since everyone at the club knew her. Julia admits to using a fake ID; she doesn’t think anyone will find out about it. Charlie warns that their parents’ executor could find out. She counters that he could also find out about the $12,000 he wasted.

Claudia tries to remind Bailey that he forgot about the eclipse, but he’s completely oblivious. She agrees to tell Kate where they’re supposed to meet. When Kirsten comes to take care of Owen, Charlie admits that he did sleep with Rebecca. His honesty doesn’t make Kirsten want to forgive him. Neither does his claim that he sabotages things when they’re going well, which means their relationship was actually good. He reminds her that he asked her to spend the night, which is a big step. Kirsten says it just means that he hasn’t found anyone else to sleep with yet. Just because he says he’s sorry doesn’t mean he gets a clean slate.

Bailey comes home angry – Claudia sent Kate to the wrong movie theater for their date. She reminds him that he was supposed to take her to the planetarium, and complains that he only cares about Kate now. Bailey’s not sympathetic at all. Charlie calls a family meeting to announce that Kirsten’s quitting. Bailey immediately thinks it’s because Charlie did something. Julia refuses to help find someone else, telling Charlie he can’t lecture her on personal responsibility. Bailey won’t help either; he found Kirsten in the first place and Charlie’s the one who screwed things up.

The siblings were supposed to go to dinner together, but Claudia’s the only one who wants to now. She tells Charlie she’ll call Ross and see if he wants to go. “I don’t know why you do this stuff, but I wish you’d just stop,” she tells him. Kirsten ends up staying late to take care of a sick Owen. He has a very high temperature, and instead of taking him straight to the hospital like a normal person would, Kirsten calls a doctor and has to be told to take him to the hospital.

Charlie’s the first person to arrive at the hospital, because I guess no one was home. He’s shaken, and Kirsten has to take charge. Bailey comes home and complains to Kate on the phone about Claudia. Claudia and Ross go to dinner after all, because Ross is awesome enough to give her the attention she needs. She pretends she likes this better than having to spend time with her whole family. She thinks everyone’s screwed up because of sex. “Don’t ever have sex, Ross,” she advises. “It really messes people up.”

Bailey gets to the hospital and Charlie tells him Owen might have meningitis. The doctor advises admitting him and doing a spinal tap. The brothers are skeptical, but the doctor convinces them by saying it’s what she would do if her child were in this position. Charlie figures out that Julia’s at Stage 18 and calls her, but she won’t talk to him. Ross takes Claudia to the hospital, but she asks to stay in the car. He realizes that this is the hospital where her parents were taken after their accident.

Charlie goes over to Stage 18 to retrieve Julia and yell at her for not talking to him on the phone. Bailey tries to get Claudia to leave Ross’ car, but she still won’t budge. She says she’d rather be alone in the car anyway. Bailey asks Ross to take her home. Charlie tells Kirsten about his mother telling him she was pregnant with Owen; he wondered why his parents wanted to go through raising a baby all over again. Nearby, Julia tries to make herself feel better for going out while Owen was sick. Bailey wonders if they’ll always dread hospitals.

Kirsten isn’t sure it’s right for her to be at the hospital, since she’s not a member of the family. Charlie asks her to stay. He and Julia decide it’s a good time to fight about her recent actions. He knows he sounds like a hypocrite for lecturing Julia on her activities when he did the same thing at her age, but he’s in charge, so he has to. She tells him she’s the same person she always was and still cares about the same things.

Bailey goes home, where Claudia’s looking at old family pictures. She asks if he believes in omens, thinking the eclipse was a sign that Owen would get sick. She refuses to go to the hospital, and he assures her that she doesn’t have to. He apologizes for not spending much time with her recently; he’s trying to figure out how to balance his family with his first real girlfriend. He promises that whenever Claudia needs him, she’ll come first.

Julia and Kirsten end up on the hospital roof, where all TV shows are required by law to have at least one scene. Julia urges Kirsten to forgive Charlie since he has to do wrong things before he can figure out what’s right. Just a year ago, he was living his own life, and now he’s forced to take care of his siblings. (As if that’s an excuse for cheating.) Kirsten says she doesn’t know how to get past what he did.

Charlie bugs a receptionist to release test results to him so he doesn’t have to wait until the morning to find out what’s wrong with Owen. (What kind of crap hospital is this with no doctor around?) The receptionist violates policy and probably risks her job to tell Charlie that Owen will be fine. In the morning, Bailey tries to call Claudia to give her the good news, but she doesn’t answer. That’s because she’s finally come to the hospital. She tells him to call Kate and let her know, too.

The four older Salingers, Kirsten, and Ross have an impromptu family meal in the waiting room. Kirsten tells Charlie she’ll stay on as Owen’s nanny until he finds a replacement. He apologizes for cheating and says he thinks he loves her. As the other Salingers work out a schedule so they can rotate being at the hospital with Owen, Claudia plays him a lullaby on her violin.

Thoughts: There are two guest stars in this episode who went on to be pretty successful. The waitress Julia hangs out with is played by Christa Miller (Cougar Town, Scrubs, The Drew Carey Show), and Owen’s doctor is played by Jane Lynch.

Why wouldn’t Kirsten just think the lipstick was Julia’s? Why go straight from “there’s lipstick in your car that isn’t mine” to “you must have cheated” instead of “it must belong to your teenage sister”?

Julia: “What kind of personal stuff?” Charlie: “It’s personal.” Thanks for the clarification, Charlie.

Um, if Owen had a temperature of 105, I don’t think he would be conscious.


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