May 20, 2013

Party of Five 2.7, Where There’s Smoke: Charlie Doesn’t Do the Crime, Griffin Doesn’t Do the Time

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 8:41 pm by Jenn

Hee, Bailey looks like he has arms growing out of his neck

Hee, Bailey looks like he has arms growing out of his neck

Summary: Griffin and Julia go parking, though they’re kind of bored. She decides they should just go home, but he doesn’t want to. He also doesn’t want to talk about it. Joe is still bugging Charlie about work stuff, despite being in Canada. At least Charlie and Kirsten’s love life is back on track. They’re interrupted by a call informing Charlie of a fire at the restaurant. But the next information Charlie gets is from an insurance agent, letting him know he’ll be getting a $50,000 payout. That’s twice what it would cost for outside renovations, so they just made a $25,000 profit. Charlie remarks that if he knew he’d get that much money, he would have lit a fire a long time ago.

Julia goes to Griffin’s to get him for school, but he hurries her out. His father, Major Holbrook, follows him outside, yelling about how he keeps getting in trouble for cutting class. Griffin tells Julia that if he had the money, he’d leave the country. “Maybe we’ll go to war soon,” he hopes. Bailey and Will take a ballet class (on their football coach’s advice), and Will winds up dancing with Sarah. Claudia goes to the principal’s office for a schedule change and meets a girl named Jody, who’s your stereotypical middle-school bad girl. Upon learning that Claudia may be working in the office, Jody quickly latches on to her.

Griffin finds Julia at the restaurant and notices that Charlie’s now carrying around a huge wad of cash. He tells Julia that his father plans to make him enlist in the Army as soon as he turns 18. Julia urges him to get his grades up and graduate. Will casually asks Bailey if he would mind if Will asked Sarah out. Bailey’s totally fine with it. $1,200 is missing from the restaurant, which means some of the renovation workers won’t get paid. Julia decides not to mention that Griffin was in the restaurant. Then the news gets worse: The fire is suspected to be arson.

Will and Sarah have already had a date, so that was quick. He tries to convince Bailey that it wasn’t a big deal. They saw the ballet version of Romeo and Juliet, and Sarah cried at the end. Will thinks it’s crazy that she wants to dance so badly but is so horrible at it. He didn’t think they hit it off that well. Charlie tells Kirsten and Claudia that the insurance agent thinks he set the fire – he’s suspicious because Charlie was turned down for a loan, then upped the restaurant’s insurance. (They were underinsured in the first place.) Claudia and Kirsten are suspicious.

Griffin complains to Julia more about his father, who he says has gotten worse since Jill died. Julia asks if he noticed anyone strange hanging around the restaurant the day before. Griffin’s all, “Oh, someone stole money? How horrible. I definitely don’t know anything about that!” She suggests that the thief might realize stealing the money wasn’t worth it and will just return it. Jody tries to get Claudia to stamp a note for her so she can skip school. Claudia has morals and says no. Bailey sees Will and Sarah together at the coffeehouse and tries to hide how sad it makes him.

The insurance agent and an investigator check out the restaurant and discover that the fire was caused by a coffee machine that wasn’t turned off. Charlie was the last one in the restaurant and forgot about it. Kirsten notes that that means the fire was an accident. The agent adds that there was a bunch of paper next to the pot. Also, the water was shut off, which means the coffeemaker got hotter than usual. Kirsten blurts out that she left the pot on, and Charlie had no idea. Charlie plays along.

Julia offers Griffin money so he can leave town. The police are currently at his house, trying to find out what he knows about the theft at the restaurant. Major Holbrook accuses Griffin of taking the money, so Griffin grabs it from a drawer and throws it down. This leads to his arrest. Major Holbrook looks stunned that he was actually right. Word gets back to Charlie, who’s desperately trying to find insurance papers in the house. Julia begs him to defend Griffin and get the charges dropped. She’s angry that Major Holbrook left him in jail overnight and won’t hire him a lawyer. Charlie doesn’t care about Griffin possibly going to prison since he himself is facing the same fate.

Bailey and Will go back to ballet class; the former is mad that the latter didn’t mention he had another date with Sarah. He confronts Will for saying his first date with Sarah was boring, then turning around and going out with her again. Bailey swears he’s not upset. Will says Sarah knew he wouldn’t be. Jody writes graffiti in the girls’ bathroom, like all the bad girls do, and Claudia takes her marker to correct her spelling. (Heh.) She gets caught with marker in hand, but Jody takes the blame, saying Claudia just took it from her.

Griffin pleads guilty in court but could be released on bail (despite being a flight risk). Julia’s the only one there to support him. Charlie sort of thanks Kirsten for lying on his behalf, saying the coffeemaker was the only part of the plan he didn’t think he would need to explain. Basically, he’s calling Kirsten on believing that he’s guilty – otherwise, why would she cover for him? Bailey, Will, and Sarah all hang out at a pool hall together, which has to be awkward. Julia asks Major Holbrook to come to Griffin’s sentencing, but he’s not interested. She tries to use her parents’ death to sympathize with him about losing loved ones. He’s lost his daughter, and now he could lose his son, too.

Claudia’s hurt that Griffin would steal money from the family, and she wonders why Julia isn’t mad. Julia’s trying to understand him. Charlie tries to appeal to the insurance agent, reminding him how much money he’s gotten from the restaurant over the years. The agent tells him that they can’t pay out money in a situation that seems fishy. Charlie accuses him of trying to save his company money. He pulls out the “that restaurant was my father’s and it means everything to me” card, saying there’s no way he would burn down something so important.

Jody managed to go a whole day without getting in trouble, so she figures Claudia did something to help her out. Looks like Claudia has a new best friend. And now she has her first experience with peer pressure, when Jody gives her a cigarette. Julia gets to visit Griffin in lockup, and he tells her his father brought in a lawyer and is going to sort things out. Griffin won’t be going to prison, but he will be going to a military school for six months. She asks why he stole the money, and he says it was partly so the Army couldn’t take him, and partly to prove that his father was right about him being dumb.

Apparently Charlie’s dramatics worked, because the insurance company pays out $25,000. He doesn’t get a profit, but he can cover the restaurant’s repairs. He jokes darkly that that means he got away with arson. Kirsten has her own equally dark joke, giving him a can of gasoline with a bow on top. She tells him that even though she did suspect him of committing the crime, it didn’t matter; she was still going to stick by him. “I never knew being crazy about somebody means exactly that,” she says. The two of them decide to cross “have sex in a burned-out restaurant” off their bucket lists.

Bailey tries to tell Will how he really feels about him dating Sarah, but Will’s too distracted by watching Sarah practice in a dance studio. Bailey decides to keep his mouth shut. Julia visits Griffin as he’s leaving for military school; he was planning to go without saying goodbye. He encourages her not to keep in touch because he knows he won’t keep up with writing her letters. Just before Griffin gets in the car, he tells Julia he loves her. “Okay,” she replies.

Thoughts: Jody is played by Marla Sokoloff, who only played rebellious girls in the ’90s. (See also: Full House, The Baby-sitters Club movie.)

The insurance agent is played by Richard Fancy, who’s probably best known as Mr. Lippman from Seinfeld.

Will has clearly never heard of the Bro Code.

Dude, Jody, at least wait until you’re off school property before you pull out a cigarette.

Trivia: Griffin’s middle name is Chase (which is his father’s first name).

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