September 15, 2013

Party of Five 3.8, Not So Fast: Unwritten

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 3:08 pm by Jenn

I bet this is how Bailey got sick

I bet this is how Bailey got sick

Summary: Charlie and Bailey are at the restaurant, and Bailey has just revealed that he cheated on Sarah. He says he’s not sure why, but as he keeps talking, it becomes clear that it’s because a) he feels like Sarah’s younger because she’s still in high school and b) she won’t sleep with him. Charlie advises him not to tell her, but Bailey already has another plan: He’s going to break up with her.

Julia goes to a book signing for an author named Prescott who she’s practically been stalking. She’s gotten back into writing and is preparing for an interview at Stanford so she can get into their creative-writing program. Prescott teaches there and offers to take her under his wing. Claudia criticizes her performance in a competition just as Avery joins her, Charlie, and Ross. Claudia doesn’t win, but Avery thinks she’s more talented than the other players.

Bailey meets Sarah at school, but she’s not interested in talking to him. Then she notices that he’s sick and decides to have some compassion. Julia tells Prescott that she started writing as a kid; Bailey and Will would go off and play without her, so she would entertain herself with adventure stories. Her mom loved them, so Julia kept writing. Prescott agrees to read the short story she planned to submit with her Stanford application.

Charlie, Claudia, and Avery hang out at the restaurant, and Charlie realizes that Avery’s been following Claudia around and listening to her play. For some reason, he doesn’t think that’s TOTALLY CREEPY. Avery thinks Claudia has the potential to be as good a musician as her mother was. Bailey has chicken pox, and Sarah has assigned herself to be his nurse, so I guess he can’t dump her now.

Julia stays up all night writing, and Claudia practices her violin for hours, wondering if the similarity of her chin positioning to her mother’s is genetic or not. She feels closer to her mother when she plays. You may be surprised to learn that Callie has no compassion for Bailey while he’s sick. Charlie’s surprised to hear that Sarah is acting as Bailey’s nurse, but it’s a good thing she is, because none of the other Salingers has had chicken pox, so they need to stay away.

Avery brings Claudia a bunch of her mother’s music and basically becomes the equivalent of a crazy boxing coach. Sarah buys a game called Moral Dilemma, in which players answer questions about ethical decisions. That’s exactly what Bailey needs right now. He’s especially worried when Callie and Sarah decide they want to play the game together.

After school, Claudia practices for two-and-a-half hours, recording her time in a practice journal so she can keep track of the minutes she loses. She tells Charlie that Avery took her to visit his conservatory earlier that day. Charlie’s annoyed with Avery taking over Claudia’s practice routine and encouraging her to work harder.

Bailey reluctantly plays Moral Dilemma with Sarah and Callie, and of course, Sarah’s winning. He doesn’t like one of the questions, so he flips the board and declares the game over. Prescott sends Julia’s story back to her with his comments and a note saying she shouldn’t submit the story. It’s too awkward and “young.” Later, Claudia reads the letter and encourages Julia to ignore what Prescott said. She does well in English, so she can’t be a bad writer. Julia says that doesn’t matter in the real world. She’s worried that she’s not actually a good writer – or good at anything at all.

Next Claudia discusses her own talent with Ross, telling him she might need to get a new teacher in order to reach her full potential. She asks him to talk to Charlie and get him to agree. Ross thinks Avery is pushing her to make changes too quickly, and he points out that they barely know Avery. Claudia thinks that knowing that he played with her mother is all the information they need.

Sarah thinks Bailey doesn’t want her to take care of him because he doesn’t like having to depend on anyone. He’s annoyed that his neighbors keep playing the same song over and over – they must have put it on and left – so Sarah goes through the window and onto the fire escape to enter the neighbor’s apartment and turn it off. She tells Bailey there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for him. Callie appears, wearing a sweatshirt Sarah gave Bailey, and this makes Sarah run off.

Julia goes to her Stanford interview but can’t think of an answer when the interviewer asks what makes her special. Noticing that she’s nervous, the interviewer says they’ll have a conversation instead. He learns that she spent the summer working at a publishing company and asks her to submit some writing when she applies. Julia tells him she might want to do something else, though she can’t think of anything she honestly wants to do.

Bailey chases Sarah to her car, where she complains that she spent a lot of time putting together a care package for him, but he gave everything to Callie. Avery has managed to get Claudia a spot at his conservatory, but Charlie and Ross object. Ross points out that Claudia quit playing last year to be a normal kid. Charlie thinks Avery is pushing Claudia to be like her mother. Claudia yells at Charlie for exerting so much power, thinking he’s getting back at her for telling the Bennetts about Kirsten.

Julia leaves her interview in distress while Callie continues to fail to show compassion to Bailey. He calls her on it, but that doesn’t make her any nicer. At the Salingers’, Julia finds some photos her mother took while she was Stanford and tells Charlie that she was a visual arts major, not a music major. Julia felt like she let her down by not knowing what she wants to do with her life, but now she knows that her mother didn’t know either when she was Julia’s age.

Bailey gets concert tickets for Sarah, possibly infecting everyone in San Francisco with chicken pox at the same time. “We’ll have fun. If I live,” he tells her. She doesn’t want them, but he tells her to keep them because by the time the concert comes around, she’ll have remembered how much she loves him. Er, how much she loves the singers. Sarah tells him to stop taking her for granted, then drives him home.

Claudia has decided she’s going to the conservatory no matter what Charlie thinks. He tells her that he’s tired of hearing her talk about what their mom would let her do or how she would act. He feels like he’s not the only parent in the house anymore. Charlie shares Julia’s discovery that their mother wanted to be a photographer, telling Claudia that “it takes time to figure out who you want to be.” He thinks she’s trying too hard to be like their mother.

Charlie says that Claudia can take more lessons, but she can’t go to the conservatory. She says that won’t be enough, adding that if he makes that decision, she’ll hate him. He doubts it. Later, Avery comes by the house with a tape of Mrs. Salinger playing a piece Claudia’s been working on. Claudia wanted someone to play with who understands her, so he suggests that she play with her mother.

As Claudia plays, Julia writes Prescott a letter to thank him for reading her story. She tells him she’s no longer going to read the last page of a book to find out how things turn out. She’s okay with whatever happens in her life, even if she doesn’t become a writer: “I haven’t read the last page yet.” And then Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” starts playing, and – oh, wait, wrong decade.

Thoughts: Male professors don’t take that much interest in high school girls. Or at least they shouldn’t.

Avery is also creepy. He’s halfway to becoming a Romanian gymnastics coach. And now he’ll never go to the Olympics!

Seeing Bailey’s spots makes me even more grateful that I never had chicken pox.

“Does passing out on the street count as littering?” Hee. Scott Wolf needs more funny lines.

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