May 18, 2013

Party of Five 2.6, Analogies: Detours

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 1:16 pm by Jenn

Charlie, hold on to this radio. You're going to really want it in a few years. Trust me on this

Charlie, hold on to this radio. You’re going to really want it in a few years. Trust me on this

Summary: Hey, everyone! Let’s talk about Charlie and Kirsten’s sex life! Isn’t that exactly how you want to start an episode? Fortunately, Bailey interrupts by summoning Kirsten downstairs. But maybe she should have put on more clothes, because her parents, Ellie and Gene, are there for a surprise visit. (Surprise! Your daughter’s not a virgin!) They insist on staying in a hotel, but say it in that way that means they’re expecting to be invited to stay at the house.

Julia and Claudia are supposed to go see a dressmaker after school, but Claudia refuses to let Griffin chauffeur them. Julia goes home instead, just in time for Bailey to open his SAT scores. He got a 900, and Julia gets $5 from Will for correctly guessing that Bailey would get under 950. Bailey’s hurt, but Will points out that he doesn’t need a very high score to get into the college he wants to attend.

Griffin wants to hang out with Claudia, but she’s a brat again. He gives her a bracelet he made her as a peace offering. She throws it back at him, so Julia blasts her for being rude. Claudia tells her she preferred Justin, and since they’re in her house, she gets to choose who she’s nice to. Julia says that whoever she dates is none of Claudia’s business. Also, Claudia’s a brat.

The Salingers play musical rooms to accommodate Ellie and Gene, who reveal that they sleep in separate beds. Kirsten wonders if that means they don’t have sex anymore. Charlie and I are both trying not to think about it. Speaking of sex, Charlie tries to get romantic with Kirsten, which I’m sure she really wants a) after talking about her parents’ love life and b) while they’re in the next room.

Charlie and Gene play golf, and Kirsten and Ellie tag along but don’t play. The men discuss Charlie and Kirsten’s honeymoon in Mexico, though Charlie would like to go to Europe. Gene pushes him to set an actual date; otherwise it’ll never happen. As soon as he retires, he plans to take Ellie to a baseball game in every Major League park. They’ll make a vague route, but let themselves be flexible. Charlie agrees that detours make things interesting.

Bailey wants to transfer out of an advanced class and take woodshop, then go to a state school, giving up his dream of going to college on the East Coast. The teacher whose class he’s transferring out of tells him not to run away just because things got difficult. Charlie and the Bennetts go to Chinatown, but Ellie gets food poisoning, though Kirsten thinks it’s revenge because she didn’t get to choose the restaurant. This means the rest of the day’s plans are ruined. Kirsten comes up with alternate plans, and Charlie tells her she sounds just like her mother.

Claudia extends an olive branch to Griffin, asking if he can help her with a school project. She tells him she and Justin were friends, which is why she’s been so cold to Griffin. Bailey’s teacher has locked her keys in her car, so she asks him for a ride home to get her spares. (Red flag #1). He tells her he’s thinking about retaking the SAT. She quickly offers to tutor him, inviting him to study at her house. (Red flag #2). Then she tells him to call her Maggie. (Red flag #3. Bailey, get out!)

Griffin and Claudia are such good friends now that he invites her to hang out with him and Julia. Julia quickly objects, but Claudia doesn’t seem too hurt. Kirsten and Charlie start talking about their sex life again; she’s trying to convince herself that they’re spontaneous, unlike her mother. Somehow, her list of ways they’re different from her parents leads to sex. I don’t want to think about it.

Maggie tutors Bailey, who notes that she’s the same age as Charlie. Despite all the signs that Maggie is totally crossing the line with this whole situation, she does give Bailey some good encouragement, telling him that he’s not facing anything incredibly difficult, or even that hard. He needs to keep an open mind because sometimes the right answer is the last one you would expect. At home, Charlie appreciates Julia’s efforts to do something Griffin likes by getting tickets to a car show.

Griffin is currently out with Claudia, doing that thing where you make up stories about strangers. She shows him that she’s wearing the bracelet he gave her. Charlie shows Gene a picture of his father and grandfather at Ebbets Field, one of the parks he and Ellie will need to visit before it’s torn down. This is the first Ellie’s heard about Gene’s post-retirement plans. She tells Charlie and Kirsten about Gene’s past plans, which he never saw through. Gene gets annoyed and storms out.

Kirsten is also annoyed, blasting her mother for embarrassing Gene. Ellie says this isn’t the first time he’s told someone they’re selling the house and going on some adventure. Everyone always supports his ideas because he’s a dreamer. Then Ellie has to come in and bring him back to reality. She’s annoyed that he can never make a decision more than a day in advance. Ellie doesn’t like that she’s always been the bad guy with Kirsten and her sister. Kirsten loves Gene, but Ellie made her responsible. She thinks Charlie and Kirsten have a similar relationship.

Griffin and Claudia come home later than planned, which means Julia couldn’t take him to the car show. She complains that she has to jump through hoops to get her own boyfriend’s attention while he tries to make her sister happy. She just wants him to do something for her instead. After Julia kicks Griffin out, Claudia accuses her of being jealous. Julia shoots back that if Claudia has a crush, Griffin’s not interesting. He’s only spending time with her out of pity, because she has no friends. “That is not a date, Claudia, it’s called babysitting,” Julia says.

Bailey takes a practice SAT but gets a 900 again. He thinks Maggie should have listened when he said he wasn’t good at this sort of thing. She reminds him that they only worked for a day. Bailey calls himself dumb and tells her not to lie to herself. He’s resigned himself to go to a state school. Maggie thinks his home life is part of the problem – no one holds him accountable for his actions. When he fails, no one encourages him or tells him he can do better.

Gene tells Charlie that he and Ellie are adding on to their house so they’ll have room for their grandchildren. (I guess Kirsten’s sister will be providing those grandchildren.) He gets his ideas for great adventures from National Geographic, and doesn’t see the harm in daydreaming. That’s good enough for him. Charlie doesn’t think it has to be good enough – he doesn’t have to give up all of his dreams. Gene knows that Ellie’s right, and he doesn’t think it’s so bad to stay in one place. He wonders why it matters so much to Charlie.

Bailey tells Charlie that he’s not going to retake the SAT after all. Charlie tells him he got around a 900, too. Now Bailey doesn’t have to put himself through the stress of the test again. Bailey tries to bait him to have a reaction to a low score, but Charlie doesn’t. He asks if anyone gave him a hard time when he dropped out of college. Charlie says their father did, but no one was surprised, since Charlie failed all the time. Charlie reveals that when the accident happened, he was planning to move home for a semester. Their mother thought he would be able to turn things around.

Griffin gives Julia a necklace, which she thinks is an apology. It actually belonged to Jill, and was the first present he gave her that wasn’t childish. She followed him around when she was a kid, and he got used to having her around. Griffin starts reminiscing, then tells Julia that he’s more used to dealing with a little sister than a girlfriend.

Gene and Kirsten discuss house renovations while Ellie confronts Charlie, who she thinks is mad at her. She thinks Charlie and Gene are a lot alike. She calls them both lost, but Charlie likes to think of himself as “not finished looking yet.” He wants them to figure out what they want and not settle for anything else. He regrets getting involved in Gene and Ellie’s issues.

Julia invites Claudia to hang out with Griffin while she does homework. She admits that she was jealous and apologizes. Claudia says Griffin doesn’t have to babysit her, but he doesn’t see it that way. They play the piano together, and he tells her he used to play growing up (clearly with Jill). The Bennetts got to the airport, and Gene assures Charlie that they’ll stay in a hotel for the wedding. Kirsten and her parents part on good terms.

Kirsten thinks the whole trip went well (Charlie thinks she’s crazy), and she’s pleased to see that her parents are still happy together, even though they just have each other. She understands that because she only needs Charlie. It’s hard to tell, but Charlie might not agree. Bailey writes a college essay about losing people in his life who made him feel like he could do amazing things. He’s trying to remember his mother’s voice so he can feel her encouragement.

Thoughts: All three of this week’s guest stars have been on soaps (Falcon Crest is technically a soap). Gene is played by Nicholas Pryor (AKA Chancellor Arnold on Beverly Hills, 90210), who’s been on a ton of soaps, including Port Charles, where he was a regular. Ellie is played by Kathleen Noone, who’s been on All My Children, Passions, and Sunset Beach. And Maggie is played by Stacy Galina, who was on Falcon Crest.

Guys, LEARN TO SAY NO. There’s no room in the house for guests! Claudia already lives in a freaking tent!

What horrible school is going to let Bailey in with only a 900?

Kirsten’s kind of funny when she’s freaking out. Is that bad?

I’m not a huge Griffin fan, but he’s great with Claudia.

Here’s an analogy: Griffin’s connection with Claudia is to Julia’s connection with Mrs. Thompson.

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