February 12, 2013
Party of Five 1.8, Kiss Me Kate: Charlie Makes a Bed, But Bailey Can’t Lie in It
Summary: Bailey and Kate make out on the Salingers’ couch (her mom’s out of town so she’s at the Salingers’ late), but when things proceed to another base, Kate puts on the brakes. Julia and Nina are at Stage 18, and after Nina leaves, Julia starts working with a guitar player, Danny, who wants her to write him some song lyrics. Kirsten has vacated her position as Owen’s nanny, and Charlie’s the only person who thinks her replacement is capable of the job. Claudia discovers that she’s been featured in a newspaper article about gifted musicians.
Charlie’s trying to get a job making a sleigh bed, and he agrees to do it for half his quoted price. Claudia has a lesson with Ross, and challenges some of his instructions. She reminds him that she’s “one of the most promising youths in the Bay Area,” so her opinion should count for something. Charlie learns that Julia skipped a writing class and covers for her with the teacher before blasting her for lying. He’s surprised that she skipped the class since it’s the only one she likes. She begs him to explain things to the teacher so she doesn’t get in trouble, but he thinks trouble is what she deserves.
Bailey and Kate make out again, and he tells her that if she’s not ready for more, he can wait. She tells him she wants to wait until she’s married to have sex. Bailey’s totally reasonable response is to get married, or at least get engaged, and then she can give him “an advance. Like a low-interest loan.” Now Claudia’s skipping school, since she doesn’t think she needs it as much as the other kids. Ross shows up with the news that a chamber ensemble wants Claudia to sub for a soloist. Charlie’s fine with it as long as it means Claudia will go away. Claudia just wants to know if she gets paid.
Bailey doesn’t get why Kate doesn’t want to sleep with him, because of course he’s going to take this personally. She just wants to make sure that when she has sex, it’s meaningful. He promises her it would be if she slept with him. But he’s totally not mad at her. At school, Julia’s writing teacher calls her on skipping class. He forgoes giving her detention, instead making her an appointment with the school counselor. He misses the person she used to be, and he wants to fight to get her back. Charlie has to take care of Owen since the nanny’s late. Oh, and drunk. He fires her on the spot.
Julia meets with the counselor, who she last saw after her parents’ deaths. The counselor’s worried that she’s pulling away from the things she used to love. Julia declines her help. Charlie tries to work on the bed at home, but Owen doesn’t like the sound of his saw. Claudia’s no help since she’s obsessed with the chamber performance. Julia meets Danny at Stage 18 and gives him a poem she wrote about Owen. He loves it and wants to use it for a song.
Kate and Bailey watch From Here to Eternity and start to get handsy. This time he’s the one who puts on the brakes. Julia tries to exert some authority, but Claudia’s being a jerk. Charlie and Bailey are on Julia’s side, but even the three of them can’t make Claudia do her chores. Charlie gets another call from Julia’s school and winds up having to meet with the principal. She suggests family therapy and communication among the siblings about the accident. Charlie insists that he’s handling all the family’s issues and they don’t need help.
Bailey and Kate attend Kate’s mother’s birthday party at the Salingers’ restaurant, where Bailey’s so desperate for sex that he imagines placing an order with the waitress for Kate. Kate’s mom gushes over how wonderful he is. Charlie works on the bed again while Julia tries to be domestic. He admits that he doesn’t know what he’s doing (NO KIDDING). Instead of thinking about what she’s been doing, he should wonder why she’s doing it. He doesn’t know how she’s feeling. “I’m not feeling anything,” she tells him brightly.
Charlie encourages Julia to talk to him, but she’s tired of everyone wondering how she’s feeling. She knows everyone wants her to be the way she was before because it’ll mean she’s all right. But she knows that won’t make her feel okay. She doesn’t get why acting differently is a bad thing. Julia promises not to cut classes anymore and to bring up her grades, but that’s all she can promise. She likes going to Stage 18 because people don’t study her; she feels like a real person there.
Bailey and Kate snipe at each other, and he complains that she made a decision about not having sex without consulting him. She thinks he’s trying to punish her. He’s willing to give her time, but that’s not what she wants – she’s already made up her mind. Kate points out that they weren’t sleeping together a week ago but they were fine. Bailey says that a week ago, they were heading somewhere. He thinks sex is an important part of a relationship. He notes that he’s 16, meaning that’s old enough to have sex. She says she’s 16, too, implying that she’s too young.
Charlie needs help sanding, so he wakes up his sleeping siblings and tries to throw a sanding party. Only Claudia abstains. “You know, you can’t buy love like that,” Charlie quips. The sanding party isn’t so much a party as a sweatshop disguised as a music montage, but it gives the siblings a chance to bond. Bailey asks if Charlie ever had trouble getting a girl to sleep with him. Charlie can’t remember that ever happening. (I think Charlie is Joey from Friends.)
Charlie reminds Julia of a time when he’d moved out and complained that he never got mail except bills, so she wrote him stories. He loved them because they were fitting for who she was. He understands if she doesn’t get terrific grades, but she needs to keep writing. The sanding party turns into a singalong that’s actually pretty cute. Claudia finally decides to join the fun, but her siblings send her back to bed, using the same reasons she gave for not participating in the first place.
Charlie shows his client the finished bed and is rewarded with more money than he’d agreed on, plus an offer for future projects. He then heads to the chamber performance, where Ross tells him about some of Claudia’s diva behavior. She overhears and is unamused. A reporter asks her how it feels to be a child prodigy, but she won’t comment. Charlie makes her feel better by giving her a piggyback ride.
Bailey goes over to Kate’s house and they discuss whether or not they’re done. He hates that he has to feel bad about wanting to be with her. She feels like a disappointment. Their relationship has become all about sex (or the lack thereof). They agree that that’s not going to work. At Stage 18, Danny plays the song he wrote with Julia’s lyrics. Afterward, she goes home and writes about the experience.
Thoughts: If I told my teenaged boyfriend I wasn’t having sex until marriage and his response was to suggest marriage, I would run away.
Claudia, writing her bio for the program: “Does ‘brilliant’ have one L or two?” Here’s a hint If you can’t spell it, you aren’t it.
Hey, you know the best place to bug your girlfriend for sex? Her mother’s birthday party.
I do like the exchange Kate and Bailey have that kind of puts the nail in the coffin: Bailey says, “I’m 16,” and Kate replies, “So am I.” For him, 16 is a perfectly good reason to have sex. For her, it means there’s plenty of time for that later.