November 9, 2013

Party of Five 3.16, I Declare: Mistakes Were Made

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 1:13 pm by Jenn

T.S. Eliot disapproves of Bailey's choices

T.S. Eliot disapproves of Bailey’s choices

Summary: Charlie and Grace spend their first date in the back of his truck, admiring the scenery at an overlook. Apparently the overlook wasn’t the first choice, but Charlie took a while to find the right spot, one that wasn’t too romantic or too unromantic. Grace isn’t sure they’re ready for a relationship, but he tells her that they’ll take things slowly and see what happens. They start by holding hands, then throw the “take things slowly” thing out the window and start kissing.

Claudia looks through pictures of Ross’ daughter and finds one of her English teacher, Mr. Archer. Ross tells her that they’ve been dating for a couple of months. Despite his attempts to downplay it, Claudia can tell that he’s really happy. Bailey meets with a professor who tells him that he’s failing his poetry class and needs a B+ on an upcoming paper to pass. He’s advised to give up either wrestling or partying to focus on his grades. Bailey decides he should give up partying.

Claudia writes a response to an advice letter from a kid at school who’s questioning his sexuality. In it, she mentions that a lot of people are gay, including one of the school’s teachers. She doesn’t name names, so the other kids who write for the paper try to guess who it is. Claudia tries to stop them by telling them it’s Mr. Archer. Julia gets an acceptance letter from Stanford, and her siblings toast her with champagne. Amazingly, Bailey only takes a sip, announcing that he’s not drinking anything else until he writes a ten-page paper on Prufrock. Julia isn’t as happy about getting into Stanford as the other Salingers are.

Bailey comes home to find a big party in the apartment, so there go his plans to focus on schoolwork. Despite her annoyance last week that Bailey isn’t being mature and focused enough, Callie tells him to relax and have a beer. She refuses to end the party, playing the “it’s my lease” card. Charlie and Grace have completely thrown out their “take things slowly” plan and have progressed to…let’s call it pre-sex. He worries that they’re moving too fast and will regret it tomorrow if they have sex tonight. “When did you get so sensible and forward-thinking?” Grace wonders.

At school, Julia tells Sarah about her acceptance to Stanford. Sarah, unfortunately, was rejected, but is still happy for Julia. Julia thinks it was just luck and that she didn’t earn her spot. Bailey tries to work on his paper but is interrupted when the landlord arrives to yell at Callie for her party. He’s at the end of his rope and wants Bailey and Callie out by the end of the month. Bailey panics because now that’s one more thing to deal with. While changing at Grace’s apartment before helping paint a community center, Grace and Charlie glimpse each other half-dressed.

Ross reads Claudia’s article and blasts her for mentioning that one of her teachers is gay. She argues that she wanted to encourage him to come out and be himself. The way things are now, he’s setting the example that it’s okay to lie about who you are. In turn, he’s also lying about Ross. Julia shares her Stanford acceptance with Sam, admitting that she can’t get excited about it. She’s not sure when she decided that going to college was the right choice for her. Your academic success doesn’t define you. Sam tells her it’s okay to decide she’s done with school.

Bailey and Callie’s landlord turns off their heat, and the library’s closed, so Bailey has nowhere else to work on his paper. Callie tries to tempt him with brandy, saying it’ll warm him up. Bailey’s down to two days before the paper’s due, which means he has to write five pages a day. Well, he really just has to do the outline tonight, and he can do the rest of the paper tomorrow. He’ll just drink enough brandy to warm up.

Shockingly, Bailey wakes up the next morning hungover and with no outline written. Also, the water’s been turned off. There’s only beer in the fridge, so Bailey drinks out of a watering can. Callie plans to use law books to work on a letter to the landlord (smart girl). Bailey’s panicking over his paper, so she offers to help. Julia casually tries to talk to Charlie about not wanting to go to college, and he encourages her to take some time for herself. He means the summer, since in the fall, she’ll be going to Stanford.

Charlie and Grace go back to the community center, and this time they’re the only two left working there. Well, except Owen, who I’m sure is really a big help. Oh, and Grace’s grandmother, who’s unaware that she was asked along so Grace and Charlie wouldn’t be alone together. Julia tells her school counselor that she’s not going to Stanford; instead, she’s going to take some time to figure out what she wants to do with her life. She declines the counselor’s advice to rethink her rash decision.

Ross is still ticked at Claudia, so their lesson together isn’t much fun. As Claudia’s getting ready to leave, Mr. Archer arrives to cancel a date with Ross so he can go visit his mother. Ross tries to invite himself along, but Mr. Archer pretty insistently says he can’t come. Ross realizes that Mr. Archer isn’t out to his mother. He doesn’t appreciate his boyfriend keeping their relationship a secret; it seems like Mr. Archer is ashamed.

Bailey and Callie go to a bar, and a drunk Bailey reads the letter Callie plans to send to the landlord, bluffing legal action. Bailey’s paper is up to seven pages, thanks to his write-a-page-drink-a-beer method of motivation. (Not recommended.) Charlie and Grace keep Owen and Nana out late painting, so Nana offers to take Owen to get some food. Now that their buffers are gone, Charlie and Grace have nothing to keep them from kissing each other.

The next day, Grace visits Charlie at the restaurant, and I guess they hooked up, because he wishes it were four months from now so they could feel steadier in the relationship. Grace thinks they’ve moved at the right pace, since they were slow enough when they were just friends. Now, though, she’s willing to slow down again, since she knows what her reward will be when she and Charlie hook up again.

Claudia tries to play matchmaker for Ross and a waiter at the restaurant, but Ross doesn’t want any more of her “help.” She tells him he made the right choice with Mr. Archer. Ross replies that unless she’s been in his position, she can’t say what the right thing is. After all, she wasn’t that accepting when he came out to her, so she should understand what rejection is like. Ross gets what Mr. Archer’s going through, since he was once in the closet himself, but he couldn’t let himself be put back there by Mr. Archer. Claudia reiterates that he made the right choice.

Julia tells Sarah about her plan to turn down Stanford, which Sarah thinks is a reaction to Libby’s death. Julia admits that she’s had doubts through the entire application process. Sarah blasts her for applying anyway – Julia might have taken Sarah’s spot. Charlie overhears and tries to get Julia to discuss her decision with him, but she won’t talk about it. Bailey wakes up hungover again, but at least the heat’s back on. The bad news is that his paper sucks.

At school, a boy tells Claudia that he likes her writing, and that lots of people are talking about her response to the letter from the boy questioning his sexuality. Of course, that boy is him, and he’s relieved to have told someone that he might be gay. Claudia feels good about helping him. Charlie asks Julia again to talk to him about Stanford, and she tells him she’s tired of being the reliable A student. She’s always done things by the book. Charlie thinks she’s going through a phase, and she’s making a mistake by not wanting to go to Stanford.

Sam arrives, announcing that he supports Julia’s decision, so Charlie thinks she’s turning down Stanford because of him. He kicks Sam out, telling Julia that if she’s letting Sam screw things up, Charlie needs to stop it. Julia blasts him for the way he parents: “I’m sure Mom and Dad would approve.”

Bailey misses his poetry class but arrives later to ask his professor for an extension. The professor says no, so Bailey considers dropping the class. The professor says that’s a mistake, but that’s what Bailey does best, right? Charlie goes to Grace’s apartment and mentions that the weather is nice – much like it’ll be in four months, past the awkward part of their relationship. In other word, he’s ready for some more sex.

Thoughts: Doesn’t Bailey have other classes to go to? Did he skip all of them to write his paper? That’s…bad.

Also, if he can’t write a page an hour, he probably shouldn’t be in college. He should also know that when you’re writing about poetry, you can just make stuff up and people can’t really argue with your interpretation.

Charlie thinks Julia wants to do volunteer work. Charlie also needs a kiss-blocker at the community center. SO TAKE JULIA, YOU DUMMY.

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