April 8, 2013

Party of Five 1.20, The Trouble with Charlie: …Is That His Family Sucks

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 9:13 pm by Jenn

Everyone needs cheering up after this episode, so here's a bunny riding a turtle

Everyone needs cheering up after this episode, so here’s a bunny riding a turtle

Summary: Bailey and Will hang out at the coffeehouse, playing paper football and talking about girls. Apparently it’s been a month since Bailey and Jill broke up. He’s shocked when Kate shows up on a break from her boarding school. Charlie wants to take Kirsten on a skiing trip and just let Bill and the older kids take care of Owen for a few days. She points out that a trip would be expensive, and he reminds her that he just got $15,000.

Julia learns that her writing teacher entered her in a magazine fiction-writing contest, and she won. Despite the $1,000 prize, she’s not excited. She’s even less excited when she learns that the story has been published in the magazine. Charlie books the ski trip, then learns that Claudia has six cavities. He announces that he’s getting rid of some of the junk food in the house. She responds by jamming a Sno-ball in her mouth.

Bailey tells Will that he wrote Kate letters at boarding school and told her all about Jill…he just happened to tell her that Will was the one dating Jill. (Aww, Will and Jill.) Will questions whether Bailey and Kate are still together. Bailey says he loves her (present tense), and maybe being with Jill will make him appreciate Kate even more.

Bill’s rent has gone up, so he asks Charlie for a raise. Charlie declines, saying they agreed to discuss changes in payment after six months, and it’s only been three. Julia is super-nice to her siblings before asking Charlie if he knows what dramatic license is. Instead of getting an answer, we cut to the family having dinner, and Charlie telling Claudia that everyone will wait while she eats her broccoli. She takes so long that everyone else leaves and Charlie almost falls asleep at the table. Claudia still won’t finish the broccoli, so Charlie takes away her TV privileges.

Bailey and Kate make out at some lover’s overlook, and she remarks that he kisses differently now. She promises that she wouldn’t be upset if he kissed someone else. After all, she went out with another guy while she was at school. Despite Kate’s attempts to guilt him into spilling, Bailey doesn’t tell her about Jill.

Julia goes to a presentation honoring her publication and is surprised when Charlie and Kirsten show up, since she purposely didn’t tell anyone about the story. Someone gives Charlie the story, alerting him to the fact that one of the characters is based on him. Kate suggests that she and Bailey take a weekend trip together. She admits that she was worried about seeing him again, but now he seems much more like himself.

Bailey bugs Charlie about giving Bill a raise, but Charlie defends the six-month arrangement. Bailey asks how much the lift tickets cost. He notes that Charlie and Kirsten are spending three months of Bill’s rent on their trip. Charlie isn’t apologetic – he earned the money himself, and got it for walking away from a job he wanted to take but his siblings wouldn’t support.

Claudia reads Julia’s story and confronts her over an obsessive viola-playing character. Then she breaks the news to Bailey that there’s also a (sex-obsessed) character based on him. Julia swears that the story doesn’t reflect how she feels about her siblings. Oh, but they really, really shouldn’t tell Charlie about the characters. Bailey agrees, for a price.

Claudia challenges Charlie’s discipline by watching TV, even turning it back on after he turns it off. She thinks she’s practicing civil disobedience. Charlie gets so fed up that he unplugs the TV and takes it away. At the coffeehouse, Bailey gets another surprise visit from another ex: Jill. She tells him she hitchhiked around for a while and came close to sleeping with someone for drug money, but realized that if she did, she’d never get Bailey back. Now she’s moved back home and is in rehab. Bailey spots Kate and quickly ditches Jill.

At home, Claudia tries to use a school assignment to get Charlie to return the TV. Instead, he grounds her for a week. Bailey and Kate go out, and she tries to casually ask about Jill. He’s even more casual when he says she’s just a classmate. Julia has to clean Bailey’s closet, then organize Claudia’s CDs and clean her shoes. This is a stupid plot. Bailey tells Bill he can have his raise, so I’m sure that will end well.

Kirsten gets her hands on Julia’s story and tries to keep Charlie from reading it. He’s more interested in trying to sell her on a trip to Europe. Jill goes by the Salingers’ and accuses Bailey of rebounding from her with Kate. He tells her about all the qualities Kate has that Jill doesn’t. He also wonders why Jill thinks she’s going to keep getting chances with him. “I can’t say no to you, but I can’t keep saying yes,” Bailey tells her. She leaves.

Charlie’s now read the story, but when he comes home to confront her, he’s waylaid by the slumber party Claudia’s throwing without his permission. He yells at her in front of her friends, but she yells back, questioning why she has to listen to him. Charlie shouts that he’s the father of the family. Claudia shouts back that she doesn’t care. He raises his hand to hit her, stunning himself. “Some father,” she says.

Charlie finally gets around to talking to Julia, who tries unconvincingly to claim that the story isn’t about the family. He’s mostly annoyed that his character is based on the person he used to be, not who he is now. Bailey takes Kate to the airport, where she tells him they shouldn’t feel pressured to call or write all the time. Also, she’s probably going to start dating another guy.

At home, Claudia tries to keep the peace by eating an apple and apologizing to Charlie. He’s distracted because he can’t find his checkbook. Bill thanks him for the raise, and Charlie immediately figures out that Bailey was behind it. Speaking of Bailey, he’s at the coffeehouse, telling Jill he loves her. He’s not sure why, and he thinks he wants to stop, but he can’t help it. So it looks like they’re back together.

Charlie sits at a green light downtown, then goes home and announces, “I can’t do this anymore.” He’s tired of people not respecting his authority and questioning his decisions. He doesn’t have anything that’s his alone, and everything is a struggle. He’s not allowed to make decisions, rules, or even mistakes. Then he gets angry and does things that scare him. Charlie thinks he needs to get away, and not just on a trip. “You need me to be a man, but you won’t let me be one,” he says. He’s moving out of the house.

Thoughts: You know what? Everyone in this episode sucks. Bailey sucks for giving Bill a raise after Charlie said no. Claudia sucks for being a brat and escalating a fight that should have ended at the dinner table. Charlie sucks for giving up. Julia sucks for…actually, she doesn’t, really; I don’t think she did anything wrong. But I’m sure I’ll think of something later!

Kudos to Lacey Chabert for stuffing an entire Sno Ball in her mouth. That’s quite impressive.

Kate has stopped wearing horrible hats, but now she has an awful haircut. I feel like there’s just no hope for this girl.

“Claudia, go to your tent!” Heh. I bet she would have gotten a bedroom if they’d moved to Seattle.

Wait, do Bailey and Owen share a room? There’s baby stuff in Bailey’s. So in that giant house, there are only three bedrooms (Charlie and Kirsten’s, Bailey and Owen’s, Julia’s)? WHATEVER.

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