September 21, 2013

Party of Five 3.9, Gimme Shelter: Well, Gimme Dinner, At Least

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:20 pm by Jenn

"Am I convincingly seductive in flannel?"

“Am I convincingly seductive in flannel?”

Summary: Charlie’s trying to pick a slogan for the restaurant. Claudia’s still ticked at him for not letting her go to the conservatory. Julia has four days to finish her college applications and figure out where she wants to apply early, so she needs lots of silence. She picked a bad time for that, since the roof is now being fixed. Charlie attempts to pull a Freaky Friday and switch lives with Owen.

Bailey wants to join his college’s hockey team, but he hasn’t played on a team since junior high, so the coach advises him to play intramurals this year and try out for the team again next year. Bailey’s disappointed. The roofers are up in Julia’s room and had to move some of her stuff around, so she’s not in a good mood. The roofers, brothers named Sam and Alec, don’t really care that they’re inconveniencing her.

Sarah’s day is going much better – she’s trying to get a job as a backup singer, and the audition led to a job in a carper commercial. Bailey’s decided not to try out for hockey again next year, since he wasn’t good enough for the good players this year. Alec tries to flirt with Julia, taking her up to the scaffolding to enjoy the fictional view of Marin. He talks about how his parents cut him off when he turned 18, so he went to work for his brother. He and Julia are starting to connect when he starts smoking a joint and she decides to leave.

Bailey and Sarah go to a bar so he can drink to forget about being rejected from the hockey team. He pretends that’s not the problem, though, saying he’s drinking to celebrate her commercial job and whatever’s going well in his life. Charlie picks a slogan, and it turns out the options were all submitted for a contest. The winner is a performance artist named Jim, who gets coupons for a year’s worth of dinners. He decides to use them for meals for some homeless friends. The other patrons are not pleased.

Along with the roofing, Sam has painted Claudia’s room black for her, which Julia objects to. Sam tells her to chill out. Julia ignores him and tells him to repaint. Bailey’s hungover and wants to skip class, which is no surprise. He gets a letter from the school’s wrestling coach inviting him to try out. Sarah tells him to go for it, but Bailey isn’t encouraged by a team that will be made up of people the coach has never met.

Grace comes to the restaurant to discuss how Charlie kicked the homeless people out of the restaurant the night before. (One of them told her.) Charlie argues that they weren’t clean enough to dine there, and he gave them food to go, so he didn’t do anything wrong. If his other customers leave because of the homeless ones, he goes out of business. Grace wonders how he would treat customers of other races. He reminds her that he gives her organization a lot of free food, so she might want to rethink her attitude.

Bailey meets the wrestling coach, Russ Petrocelli, who, like Bailey, is a former football player. Bailey starts working with the team, and he sucks. Alec invades the Salingers’ fridge, clearly stoned, because no one sober spends that much time thinking about pimentos. Julia puts on her disapproving face. Russ thinks Bailey has some potential as a wrestler and tells him to come to a meet the next night.

Julia tells Sam to talk to Alec about getting high at work, since there are kids in the house. Sam thinks she needs to stop worrying about how other people choose to live their lives. He just wants to finish the job so he can make some money. Claudia bashes Charlie for the homeless fiasco, having read about it in the paper. There’s also an editorial from Grace calling for a boycott of the Salingers’ restaurant. Charlie tells the family that the article didn’t get the story exactly right, but they don’t believe him.

Bailey goes to the wrestling meet, which is poorly attended because the team is on a losing streak (one which has carried over from their last season). Julia sees that Claudia failed a test and lectures her on not doing her schoolwork because she’s mad about Charlie saying no to the conservatory. Alec then lectures Julia on ratting him out to Sam; it was a waste of time because Sam doesn’t care. One of Charlie’s employees wants to quit because of the homeless fiasco, and now one of his regular patrons is skipping dinner there.

Russ encourages his wrestlers to keep working even though they’re not winning any meets. Eventually, the work will pay off. Bailey’s done with the whole thing, then seems disappointed when Russ doesn’t try to talk him out of quitting. Alec calls Sam at the Salingers’ to tell him he was pulled over for speeding and might have to stay in jail because he had beer in the car. Julia’s shocked that Sam won’t bail him out. She mocks him for thinking he’s too cool to care about people. She’s all, “I don’t like you,” like they won’t be making out within the next 20 minutes.

Sarah had a great day doing her commercial, and even got offered another one. Bailey had fun drinking his beer and moping in his apartment. He doesn’t think this is the best use of her talent. Just because she’s good at something doesn’t mean she has to do it for money: “Prostitutes get paid, too.” Instead of punching him in the face, Sarah lets him keep babbling about how she should stop doing commercials because they don’t make her look like a serious musician.

Charlie goes to see Grace at her office and asks for a truce and some help. She tells him she’s an advocate for the poor, so she’s not about to help someone who’s in his 20s and runs his family’s business. Charlie literally asks, “Who do you think you are?” Grace says that some people need others to take care of them so they can get ahead. Charlie just leaves.

Back at home, he confronts Claudia for publicly disavowing Charlie in the newspaper, saying her father wouldn’t have handled the homeless fiasco the way he did. Hearing the words herself, Claudia realizes how mean they are, but she’s still mad about the conservatory. He notes that things like this aren’t going to make him more sympathetic – in fact, they make him more certain that he made the right decision. He tells her to grow up.

Bailey’s surprised that Sarah didn’t listen to his totally overcontrolling words and is still going to do the second commercial. She blasts him for being unsupportive, because if the situations were reversed, she would support him. Sarah thinks he’s jealous because he doesn’t have anything going on in his life. She also thinks that Bailey’s turning into Callie and only enjoys doing fun things in the moment. She remembers that he used to do productive things.

Alec shows up for work at the Salingers’, but Sam fires him, telling him he can come back when he grows up and gets his life together. He gets to figure out how he’ll pay rent without a job. Julia overhears but doesn’t say anything. Charlie’s also experiencing job problems and has to cut back his employee’s hours because business isn’t so great.

Grace comes over, having looked up the Salingers’ family history, and apologizes for what she said about the family business. She has a suggestion to get the restaurant back on its feet. Charlie doesn’t want her help, which she can understand, but she doesn’t back down. Since the restaurant is empty between shifts, Grace suggests that Charlie serve the homeless then. She even has a bunch of volunteers who will serve them. Charlie wishes she’d brought this to him yesterday.

Claudia repaints her room, telling Julia that the black paint was too depressing and dark. Julia offers to help her. Bailey tracks down Russ and tells him that wrestling isn’t his first choice (or even his second or third), but his first choice doesn’t want him. He’s not sure it’s worth being on a team when he feels that way. Russ says that he didn’t originally want to coach wrestling, but he took the job because he needed the money. He stayed because he grew to love it. Bailey agrees to train with the team.

Charlie and Grace pull off their first homeless meal, finally talking without fighting with each other. She invites him to a movie afterward, and he accepts, noting that this is a strange twist on dinner and a movie. Julia congratulates Sam on how he treated Alec, because I’m sure he was just desperate for her approval. He comments that he’s never had a client talk to him the way she did about Alec. Julia tells him she’s not the princess he thinks she is. Then she asks him to take her up to the scaffolding. I ask someone, anyone, to remind Sam that Julia’s only 17.

Thoughts: There are three familiar guest stars in this episode:

  • Russ is played by Dan Lauria, best known as the father on The Wonder Years.
  • Sam is played by Ben Browder from Farscape and Stargate.
  • Alec is played by Breckin Meyer.

Owen status: alive and cute. He answers one of Charlie’s questions with an adorable, “No, sir.”

Dear Jim, you are awesome. Don’t listen to Charlie. He’s just bitter because he’s not as awesome as you are.

1 Comment »

  1. This is too perfect, I’m watching the whole series of party of five online, and Im watching this episode right now. Theres a fight between Claudia and Grace coming up that I think about every few months, *and I don’t know why!!!*

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