July 29, 2013

Party of Five 2.20, Happily Ever After: Better Homes and Gardens

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 8:21 pm by Jenn

Another depressing episode. Here's a super-fluffy puppy from Cutearoo

Another depressing episode. Here’s a super-fluffy puppy from Cutearoo

Summary: The Salingers have dinner together (at home, not at the restaurant) and discuss Jake, who’s been away on business two days longer than he said he would be. Bailey wonders if he’s run off again and they just haven’t figured it out yet. Claudia panics, thinking something bad happened. At some other point in time, Kathleen gets ready for a local news award ceremony, which Charlie can’t make it to. Apparently she’s recovered from her suicide attempt.

Jake comes home, and Bailey blasts him for being gone and not contacting them. Jake apologizes, saying he’s not used to having to tell people about his comings and goings. Julia has the option of writing a story instead of taking a test, and though Justin offers to work with her, she wants to take the test. Justin writes his own story about a couple drifting apart. Julia decides she’s sick of her bedroom décor, so in Justin’s story, he writes that his female protagonist blames her relationship problems on the house.

The other Salingers help Jake with some gardening, but they end up throwing dirt at each other. Jake ends things by spraying the others with a hose. Later, someone named Lauren calls the house looking for him. He lets the call go to the answering machine, then picks up and addresses the caller as “sweetheart.” Julia clears a bunch of things out of her room, and Justin continues narrating her story, lamenting that she’s getting rid of things he gave her. He kisses her, but it’s awkward.

At the restaurant, Charlie turns on the TV to watch Kathleen’s award ceremony. She wins and announces that she loves him. At home, Bailey checks the answering machine and hears Jake’s conversation with Lauren. Oh, and by the way, Lauren is Jake’s daughter. Claudia and Julia are happy about Kathleen’s win and recognition of Charlie, but Charlie isn’t excited. His day perks up when he reads a good review the restaurant got.

Justin takes Julia shopping at a thrift store so she can redecorate her room. They end up fighting, and he continues his story, which now involves a weed the couple is trying to destroy. Bailey stalks Jake as he meets with Lauren, then stalks Lauren to tell her they’re related. After he tells her how, she tells him she once found a picture of Bailey’s mother and suspected that they were sisters. Lauren confirms that Jake was in and out of her life, but he stayed in touch. Bailey’s surprised that even with their spotty relationship, she still wants him around.

Julia reads Justin’s story but doesn’t seem to get that it’s about their relationship. She doesn’t like that the characters use a magic potion to get rid of the weed. Justin has decorated her bedroom with glow-in-the-dark stars so she can pretend she’s looking up at real ones. Julia says they’re “still just plastic on the ceiling.”

Now that Kathleen’s publicly declared her love for Charlie, her mother wants to meet him. He admits to Kathleen that he missed her speech because Kirsten came by the restaurant. Kathleen guesses that she wants to get back together with Charlie. Apparently this is Charlie’s way of breaking up with a mentally unstable woman.

At home, Bailey confronts Jake over Lauren and orders him to move out. Jake thinks he can explain himself, but Bailey doesn’t want to deal with a man who abandoned one family to go have another. He doesn’t think things will stay as great as they’ve been, and he can’t sit around and let the others love Jake while he waits for things to fall apart.

After Jake leaves, Bailey shares the news with the rest of the family. Julia remembers how she and Claudia found two wedding rings in Jake’s things. Bailey and Julia are in favor of making Jake leave, but Charlie and Claudia think that was going too far. Claudia thinks Bailey’s jealous because she has Jake to spend time with, so she doesn’t need her brother as much anymore. Charlie wants to give Jake the benefit of the doubt that his bad behavior is in the past. Claudia thinks his love is enough, but Bailey doesn’t want to risk him disappearing again.

Justin’s story continues with an Answer Hag telling the protagonists that there’s something that can fix things. They just have to figure out what it is. Charlie talks over his problems with Owen, because why not confess your lies to someone who never talks? Kathleen packs up the things Charlie’s left at her place and finds his little black book. She looks up Kirsten’s number and calls her, but Kirsten’s answering machine says she’s out of town.

Justin tells Julia that he keeps trying to fix things, but she’s not doing anything. He’s constantly been there for her and even ignored the fact that she went out of town. He knows that what happened was awful, but it’s completely changed their relationship. There’s a dance the next night, and Justin wants to go, but if Julia doesn’t, they’re not going to work out. Julia says she’ll go.

As Claudia tends to the new garden, Bailey tries to apologize for ruining her chance to have a good relationship with a grandparent. She tells him she’s never talking to him again, but he knows that’s not true. He says that when she’s ready, he’ll be there, unlike Jake. Claudia points out that she’s the one who’s losing out, not Bailey.

This makes Bailey go see Jake and tell him that having him in the house has been great, which makes him wonder if he’s wrong about Jake. He doesn’t want to be the person who makes a bad decision and hurts the family. Jake tells him that during his first marriage, he would go for long drives and try to talk himself into going home to try to fix things, but he never listened to himself. “That’s what happens,” he says. He confirms that Bailey’s assessment of him is correct. Bailey asks him to keep in touch.

As Justin’s protagonists try to find something to save their marriage, Justin finds pictures of himself and Julia that makes him think things will get better. In the story, the couple’s laughter gets rid of the weed. Claudia says goodbye to Jake, noting that she’s around the age her mother was when he left her. She wishes they had more time to talk to each other about her mom. They agree to keep in touch and keep sharing stories.

Justin and Julia meet up at the dance, but she quickly becomes uncomfortable with their closeness and leaves. Kathleen gives Charlie his things, then tells him she knows he lied about Kirsten. He gives her the old “it’s not you, it’s me.” He promises to pay back the money she put into the restaurant, but she has a different idea: She’s assembled an investment group, and they’re buying the building that houses the restaurant. Charlie has three months to get out. “This has nothing to do with you,” she says. “Huh. It sounded so true when you said it.”

Thoughts: Somewhere along the way, Justin became awesome, and now it’s totally wasted on Julia. Boo.

Owen status: alive.

Is Neve Campbell super-short or is Brenda Strong super-tall? In their one scene together in this episode, they stand next to each other and it looks weird.

Julia, you can wear your hair up or down, but not both at the same time.

There’s a scene where Claudia gives some very Julia-like body language, and I don’t know if Lacey Chabert did it on purpose, but it’s a nice touch.

The Salingers don’t seem to care that they have an aunt they never knew about.

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