December 21, 2013
Party of Five 3.22, Leap of Faith: A Change is Gonna Come
Summary: Bailey leaves Sarah at the hospital and goes to the Salingers’ house, where everyone yells at him. He’s hit bottom, and he’s ready to stop drinking. Julia isn’t sure if she believes him, so he gives her his fake ID so he can’t buy beer anymore. She tells him to destroy it himself, and he does. The next morning, Julia goes to visit Griffin, arriving just as he gets a phone call from his lawyer telling him the Merchant Marines have settled his case for $100,000. I’m sure he will use that money responsibly and in moderation.
Things at the Salingers’ house are much lighter than they’ve been, now that they don’t have to worry about Bailey. Grace tells Charlie that a hotel is being donated to her program to be turned into low-income housing; she wants him to help her with all the construction plans. He’s very enthusiastic. Bailey gets a visit from Sarah, who’s now out of the hospital and hasn’t told her parents the truth about the car accident. He’s in the process of getting rid of all the beer in the apartment. He tells her that if she wants to ditch him, she’s allowed, but she wants to stick around to remind him of what could have happened. Bailey plans to start attending AA tonight.
Griffin and Julia go to see Major Holbrook to tell him about Griffin’s new windfall. The major’s like, “Congratulations for hurting yourself and getting money for it.” At the restaurant, Grace and some friends discuss a City Council member’s recent sex scandal, which has left a vacancy. Her friends think Grace should run for the seat. Grace and Charlie agree with each other that she doesn’t have the time, but the friends think the campaign could get her a lot of support in the new hotel project.
Griffin tells Julia that while she was out of the room, his father asked to borrow some money – he has a lot of credit card debt. Griffin said he’d think about it. Julia’s shocked that he didn’t agree right away, because I guess she’s forgotten how he was an abusive monster when Griffin was younger. She thinks he would feel good if he got to help his father. Bailey goes to his first AA meeting, where everyone seems warm and supportive. But one of the group members is Walter, and seeing him spooks Bailey enough to make him run away.
Sarah picks Bailey up from the meeting, but he doesn’t want to talk about it. Grace has now decided to run for City Council, even if it means handing off the hotel project to someone else. Charlie’s concerned that they won’t get to see each other very much. She offers to make the house her campaign headquaters so she’ll still be there a lot of the time. When Bailey gets home, he tells Charlie about his encounter with Walter. Charlie tells him not to use that as an excuse not to go to AA. Bailey says that he was affected in a different way – he realized that he and Walter are a lot alike.
Griffin has given his father money, and now he feels closer to him, since they’ve talked and bonded. He and Julia go out to buy Major Holbrook a new car radio. Grace backs out of doing the hotel job with Charlie, worried that it would look bad to the press if she gave her boyfriend a project. Griffin and his father work on installing the new radio together, with Julia assisting. Major Holbrook (now retired from the military) is thinking of starting up a private security business, and he’d like Griffin to work with him. I’m sure he wouldn’t need any money to start it up, though.
It’s Walter’s three-year anniversary at AA, which means it’s been three years since Nick and Diana died. He gives a little speech, apologizing for the damage he’s done. It sounds like he might feel responsible for Bailey’s drinking problems. Walter talks about how it doesn’t matter what brought everyone to AA as long as they’re there. God takes care of them all and loves them, even when they struggle to love themselves.
Major Holbrook goes by Griffin’s place in search of signatures for paperwork for his new business. Julia assures him that Griffin really wants to work with him. Major Holbrook basically confirms that he just wants the money. Grace has a second phone line installed at the Salingers’ house, and Claudia predicts that Julia will be mad because she’s always wanted one. She tells Charlie that it’s kind of a big imposition for Grace to make the house her campaign headquarters. Charlie says he agreed to it to make everyone happy. Claudia notes that he doesn’t look happy.
Outside their next AA meeting, Walter approaches Bailey to discuss sponsors. Bailey misinterprets the conversation to mean that Walter wants to be his sponsor. Walter offers to go to a different meeting if his presence makes Bailey uncomfortable, but Bailey says it doesn’t matter. Julia tries to tell Griffin that she’s not sure his business deal with Major Holbrook isn’t a good idea, but he’s defensive and thinks she’s mistaken about what’s going on.
Grace has her first press conference, to announce that she’s running for City Council, and when she gets home, Charlie gives her some feedback about her platform and her demeanor. She doesn’t appreciate it. Sarah joins the Salingers for family dinner (which Bailey’s late to), telling them that Bailey’s no longer asking her for rides to AA meetings. When Bailey arrives, Claudia tells him that she wants to go to a meeting with him. He announces that he’s not going to them anymore. He claims it’s not because of Walter, but it totally is. Bailey doesn’t like the idea of surrendering to a higher power since God has never done anything for him.
After dinner, Sarah asks Bailey why he never told her about Walter. She tells him he has to keep going to meetings, no matter what. He has a disease and needs to get well. Bailey replies that he wanted AA to be his cure, but he can’t get past the God part. A newspaper reporter calls the Salingers’ house to talk to Grace, but only Charlie’s there. The reporter asks for a response to an attack by Grace’s opponent, who said that Grace just wants to run to look like a do-gooder. Charlie gives a nice speech about how much Grace cares and wants to stand up for people who can’t stand up for themselves.
Griffin and his father look at office space for their new business, though Griffin’s hesitant to spend so much money so soon. Major Holbrook comments that he’s not surprised that Griffin can’t commit to the project. Alone at his apartment, with Callie out of town, Bailey tries to distract himself from thinking about drinking. Eventually he asks someone to come over and study. Grace is happy with Charlie’s support in the newspaper and asks him to be a campaign consultant, because I guess he has all sorts of experience with that?
Sarah is Bailey’s study buddy/distracter, and he thinks he’s on the right track to getting sober without going to AA. But right now he doesn’t even think he can go grocery shopping alone without buying beer. Over at Griffin’s, Julia urges him to make up with his father, but Major Holbrook isn’t the only one who’s realized that things haven’t changed. Griffin tells a story about a co-worker who thought Major Holbrook was dead, since Griffin never mentioned him. He vows to be a much better father to his own children than his father was to him.
Thoughts: The real estate agent who shows Griffin and his father office space is played by Carolyn Hennesy, AKA Mrs. Valentine on Dawson’s Creek (and Diane on General Hospital and Barb on Cougar Town). I recognized her voice before I recognized her, possibly because she had very ’90s hair.
Sarah and Griffin are much more forgiving than I would be.
TV writers: Plots about local elections are not interesting.
So I guess Bailey didn’t get arrested for drunk driving? How did he manage to dodge that?
Owen status: unknown. Uh-oh…