December 7, 2013
Party of Five 3.20, The Intervention: “You Are a Thief and a Liar and a Drunk”
Summary: It’s noon, but Bailey’s already drinking. Julia calls his apartment to beg him to come to family dinner, having already left a bunch of messages that Callie didn’t relay. He agrees to dinner, probably to shut her up. Dinner, however, is actually an intervention, which Sarah and Grace are going to attend. Claudia doesn’t like the idea of an ambush and ganging up on Bailey. Grace says that might be the only way they can get him to see that he has a problem.
Julia questions Grace’s expertise in interventions, but Charlie’s willing to take whatever they can get, since she has some experience dealing with alcoholics through her job. Time passes, Bailey doesn’t show up, and Julia calls him again, but he doesn’t answer the phone. Eventually the Salingers have no choice but to go home. Charlie thinks they’re out of options, and Grace says that Bailey probably knew what was going to happen. Julia calls her on participating when she didn’t think it was going to work.
The Salingers come up with a new idea, but Claudia doesn’t want to be part of it. Charlie and Julia insist that she’s the only one who can get Bailey to come to the house under the impression that Claudia needs his help. Julia tells her that the rest of them are willing to do whatever it takes to get Bailey help. Claudia reluctantly calls her brother and tells him that Owen fell down the stairs and is unconscious. “Shame on you,” she tells the others.
Bailey and Callie rush to the house, where Julia asks for their car keys so they can drive Owen to the hospital. Bailey runs around looking for Owen as the rest of the interventioners gather. They admit that Owen’s fine (he’s at Ross’) and they lied to get Bailey to the house. Bailey’s understandably furious that they lied to him about an emergency. Charlie quickly says that they want to take Bailey to rehab, but Bailey refuses to go anywhere. He demands Callie’s keys, but Charlie isn’t going to let him leave.
Bailey storms into the backyard, where he finds Sarah. He thinks she’s trying to get revenge because he slept with Callie. She says she cares about him, and he gets her to admit that she thinks he’s an alcoholic. Bailey says that everyone’s wrong, and he’s not going to stay and listen to them all accuse him of having a problem. Sarah points out that he won’t be trying to run if he didn’t have a problem. He needs to stay and change their minds.
Inside, Callie defends Bailey to the others, noting that the family never comes over to spend time with him. Julia says they couldn’t know what was going on because Bailey pulled away from them. Callie warns that Bailey will never talk to the family again. Charlie asks her to stay, but Callie demands her keys, threatening to call the police if Julia doesn’t hand them over. She tells Bailey that this is a family situation, so she’s leaving. Charlie uses this as a way to break Bailey down, noting that his friend just bailed on him.
Bailey tells the interventioners that they can’t base his behavior on what happened at Owen’s birthday party, since that was an abnormal situation. He doesn’t drink any more than any other college student. Charlie says he’s always drunk, but Bailey lies that he hasn’t had anything to drink since the party three days ago. Julia interprets that to mean that he’s broke. Bailey looks for an ally, but even Claudia won’t side with him, saying it’s like he’s turned into someone else. “Maybe I am. Maybe that’s the problem,” Bailey says – they don’t like that he’s taking care of himself for once.
He continues that he’s always looking out for the others; he got Charlie out of having to go to school, and now he’s going to school himself. He’s always been the one who cleans up all the family’s messes but can never do anything just for himself. Bailey wants to have fun and not worry all the time. He also doesn’t want people always telling him that he’s doing something wrong. He goes to the kitchen to cry by himself.
Sarah wants to follow him, but Julia doesn’t know what they would say. Claudia again expresses her problems with the way they’re handling things; Bailey doesn’t have anyone on his side. She begs to end it. Sarah and Julia say that Bailey isn’t ready to listen, but Grace points out that he’s the only one who’s been talking so far. They need to make him listen and take down all his excuses. Julia replies that Grace doesn’t know or love Bailey the way the rest of them do. Grace notes that that’s why they’re there, so they need to keep going.
Everyone goes to the kitchen to do just what Grace said they should: They confront Bailey about his drinking and out-of-control behavior. Sarah brings up what Will said about Bailey’s drinking when he visited. Julia announces that they’re done with Bailey’s excuses. Charlie reveals that they’ve compared stories, so they’ve all heard everything Bailey’s said. Bailey gets defensive about being ganged up on, but even though Claudia agrees, she won’t side with him.
Julia brings up Sam’s accusations that Bailey stole, saying outright that Bailey is “a thief and a liar and a drunk.” Bailey says she’s jealous because he’s in school when Julia’s dropping out. He feels sorry for her. Then he hits a nerve, asking if she’s going to take a year off to get pregnant again. Charlie jumps in to shut him up, but Bailey’s not going to hear about his screw-ups from someone who’s screwed up even more. He’d love to tell Grace about all of Charlie’s faults, like cheating on Kirsten and sleeping around.
Bailey then turns on Sarah, wondering why she’s there. “Take a hint: I don’t love you,” he says – if he did, why would he still be with Callie? If he loved Sarah, he would have been able to sleep with her. Claudia’s the only person left in the room who Bailey hasn’t bashed, but she just glares at him until he walks out. They leave him alone to cool down for a while, though Grace tells Charlie that they need to keep going. He tries to defuse what Bailey said about him sleeping around, but she pretends she’s okay.
Sarah decides that she needs to leave; she can’t take Bailey yelling at her anymore. He can yell at his family and still be loved, but if Sarah hates him, she has no reason to stay. It’s been too long since she’s seen a sign of the person he used to be. Julia begs her to stay because if Bailey realizes that she’s left, he’ll think he’s winning, and that the others don’t have the guts to keep going. Sarah says she tried. Julia tells her that if she leaves, it’ll be worse than if she never came at all.
Claudia approaches Bailey, who’s trying to get a hold of Callie to get a ride home. The doorbell rings, but instead of Callie, it’s Joe. Charlie tells Bailey that they’re done reasoning with him. Instead, he’s laying down the law: Bailey goes to rehab or else. Bailey points out that he doesn’t have an ultimatum. The brothers fight, and Bailey ends up putting his hand through the window in a door.
Joe is the next to give confrontation a try, cornering Bailey while he’s cleaning himself up. Bailey expects Joe to tell him how disappointed his father would be. Joe replies that Mr. Salinger would say, “Not my son, too.” Nick was also an alcoholic. Bailey doesn’t believe him, but Joe was there when Nick was drinking (he got sober 18 years before he died). Bailey accuses Joe of lying the way the rest of the family did.
The rest of the group comes out and Bailey tells them that Joe’s lying about Nick. Charlie and Julia also deny that Nick could have been an alcoholic, but to be fair, Julia wasn’t born yet and Charlie was a little kid. Joe tells them about how Nick would stay at work late and Joe had to drive him home. Julia doesn’t remember her father ever drinking, which Joe notes is an indication that he had a problem.
Claudia’s extremely upset about this revelation and runs off. Joe apologizes for blindsiding her, but she appreciates knowing the truth about her father, even though it changes her perception of him. “Everything you remember about him is still true,” Joe assures her. Claudia wonders why Nick stopped drinking. Joe tells her that Mrs. Salinger threatened to leave, so he got sober.
Bailey stays outside alone, and Sarah goes out to say she’s sorry for what just happened. He remembers that when they were looking for her birth mother, Sarah wondered what she’d inherited, and asked Bailey got from his. Now he knows that he got his alcoholism from his father. Sarah sadly says that she doesn’t know how to help him. Bailey tells her that she doesn’t have to – he has things figured out now.
Charlie tells Julia and Grace that he now remembers Diana driving Nick to work sometimes, which had to have been because Nick had left his car at the restaurant. Julia asks if they fought, and Charlie says it was never in front of him, and he never knew what the fights were about. Julia recalls that Nick never used liquor when he cooked, and he never used alcohol when he gave toasts. “Everything means something else now,” she says. Still, the fact that Nick got sober makes her hopeful.
Everyone’s out of ideas of what to say to Bailey, but Grace thinks that the revelation about Nick will do the trick. Bailey comes back inside and says he’s tired. Charlie thinks this means that he’s ready to get help. The interventioners apologize for the lie about the emergency and for saying anything hurtful. Julia promises that they’ll support Bailey in whatever happens next. Bailey, however, doesn’t think he needs help – he can see now that he’s turning into Nick, and that’s Nick’s fault. Now he doesn’t have to make excuses for who and how he is.
Claudia finally gets involved, telling Bailey that if he doesn’t get help, she won’t have any more contact with him. “I love you the best,” she says. “This is the only thing I have that I can take away from you, to make you stop.” If he doesn’t agree to get help right now, he needs to leave. Bailey looks at her for a minute, then walks out of the house.
Thoughts: Everyone in this episode is terrific, but I have to give special notice to Lacey Chabert, especially for the scene where she calls Bailey. Girlfriend cries on cue. She also gets herself so upset about the lie that she sounds genuinely upset that something happened to Owen.
Hey, Julia? Leave Grace alone. I don’t like her either, but your animosity toward her doesn’t even make sense.
Speaking of Grace, wouldn’t she know a real interventionist? I mean, they did okay on their own, but wouldn’t she know someone who could help them out?
They also should have talked to and brought in Coach Russ. I think Bailey would have really listened to him and been upset about disappointing him.