January 11, 2014
Party of Five 4.1, What a Drag: You’re Gonna Carry That Weight
Summary: Bailey and Sarah return to San Francisco from a weekend camping trip, and we see that Bailey’s still driving his unrepaired Jeep. Sarah rushes to get inside her building, telling Bailey she’ll see him at college registration the next day. It turns out she’s rushing so her parents don’t see Bailey – she didn’t tell them she was going on the camping trip. They blast her for getting in his car again.
Charlie takes Claudia and her semi-cute new haircut shopping for new clothes; she’s going into high school and wants a new look. She’s even considering trying out for the cheerleading squad, though it’s mostly because she wants to be popular. Owen keeps distracting Charlie by trying on women’s clothes. Claudia wants to get a wedding/housewarming present for Julia and Griffin, letting us know that Julia did wind up going to Europe with Justin, which is just…so weird. So got married and then went away with someone else!
Sarah explains to Bailey that her parents didn’t want her spending time with someone so “irresponsible and dangerous,” so she lied about who she was with. They don’t care that he’s in AA, and blame him for Sarah’s decision not to go to Brown. Bailey wonders how long he’ll be a “persona au gratin.” Go to class this semester, Bailey.
Griffin has rented a very nice new apartment for him and Julia, but since she’s been gone, she hasn’t seen it. He’s worried that his new wife will be too sophisticated, that she’ll come home speaking French and wanting to take him to a “mayonnaise exhibit” (meaning Manet – you should go to class, too, Griffin). He picks her and her definitely cute haircut up from the airport, and she’s happy to see him, so that’s a good sign. Justin isn’t present, which isn’t a good sign.
Owen brings his new affinity for women’s clothes home with him, dressing up in a dress and putting on lipstick. Charlie tells him he’s a boy, so he needs to dress like a boy. Owen refuses. Griffin takes Julia to their new home; she calls him “adorable” for decorating so well. Claudia’s still there, so the newlyweds have to make excuses to get her to leave. (They both have “headaches.” Claudia’s not that dumb.)
Bailey goes to Sarah’s father’s office to try to plead his case. He swears that he’s changed and apologizes for his behavior when he was drinking. Mr. Reeves reminds him that he committed a crime, and almost killed Sarah. Bailey says that he uses that as motivation to stay sober. He also needs Sarah’s support, which means he needs Mr. Reeves to give him another chance. Mr. Reeves gets him to admit that he still wants to drink, and he can’t promise that he never will again. Mr. Reeves can’t trust Bailey if he can’t trust himself. He orders Bailey to stay away from Sarah.
Julia can’t sleep, so she bugs Griffin about how they’re going to spend their first full day together. He reminds her that he has to work. She wonders why Claudia’s the only person in her family who’s visited. Griffin suggests that she go to the house and see everyone the next day. Sarah blasts Bailey for going to her father, but Bailey’s just as angry as Mr. Reeves is. Mr. Reeves has announced that he’s not going to pay Sarah’s housing at school; she has to live at home where he can keep an eye on her.
Claudia starts high school but worries that she’s too short to be a cheerleader. Charlie takes Owen to preschool and brings up his cross-dressing with the teacher, Jenny. Jenny assures him that a lot of boys go through a phase where they wear dresses. Charlie needs to let it go. That probably won’t happen, since Owen is now having tea parties with girls. Julia accepts a delivery at the apartment, getting called Mrs. Holbrook for the first time. She calls the house, but no one answers.
Charlie tries to play baseball with Owen, who wants to watch The Sound of Music. Claudia practices her cheerleading moves. Owen would rather do that, too. Charlie’s surprised that Claudia actually tried out for the squad and will be giving up orchestra if she makes it. Bailey comes home in the middle of the sports/cheerleading madness, followed shortly by two cops who announce that they have a warrant for his arrest. He’s finally facing charges for his DUI.
Charlie and a lawyer get Bailey out on $10,000 bail as they all wonder why the arrest is coming five months after the crime. The lawyer thinks that the DA didn’t have a witness statement or license plate number until now. For some reason, no one suspects that the Reeveses had him arrested. Anyway, Bailey could do jail time, and at the very least could lose his license. Julia goes to the house, but everyone’s out. Charlie and Bailey arrive, telling her they forgot she was back in town, then got distracted by Bailey’s arrest.
Claudia talks to the head cheerleader about pushing back her callback tryout, but she’s told that she’s already made the squad. It’s just not the way she expected: She’s the mascot. At Owen’s preschool, Jenny asks Charlie if Owen is close with any female role models, such as his sisters. Apparently he called some kids “bunnies,” which is what Jenny calls them. She thinks Owen’s dressing in women’s clothes because he wants to be like her, since he doesn’t have a mother to emulate.
Bailey’s lawyer goes over potential witnesses with Bailey, Charlie, and Julia; there’s the cab driver he almost hit, the nurse who admitted Sarah to the hospital, and Sarah herself. But the lawyer thinks that Bailey will get off easy since this was his first offense and he’s in AA. Julia notes that he also said that Bailey could be charged with a felony since he was 19 at the time. Not helping, Julia.
Julia tries to make small talk with Charlie, probably because she doesn’t get to have a lot of stimulating conversations at her new place. She notes that her brother didn’t comment on her new haircut. Get a hobby, Julia. She wants to be helpful with Bailey’s situation, telling Charlie that she’s still a part of the family despite being married and living somewhere else. She’s mad that her family didn’t meet her at the airport.
Sarah goes to the house to see Bailey, upset that he has to face charges for the accident. Bailey assures her that the lawyer is optimistic. Sarah tells him that her father had the police report pulled – he’s the one pursuing the charges. Bailey seems surprised that Mr. Reeves could be that mad about someone almost getting his daughter killed. He begs Sarah to tell her father that he’ll get out of her life, if it means he’ll have the charges dropped. Sarah says she tried that, but it’s too late.
Julia tells Griffin that she feels out of place in their new home, and is still easing into her new life. He tells her that everything’s rented, so it can all be returned or changed. Charlie tries to talk to the DA about Bailey’s case, asking to get some strings pulled to get the charges dropped. The DA quickly agrees that Bailey made a mistake and shouldn’t be punished for his crime. Ha ha, just kidding! Of course she’s going to prosecute him.
At school, Claudia meets Reed Isley, who thinks it’s cool that she gets to be the mascot. He even offers to switch lockers with her since the costume doesn’t fit in hers. It’s official: Claudia’s in luv. Charlie tries to talk to Owen about his cross-dressing, putting it in terms of both of them needing a woman in the house. He promises that he’ll find the right woman who will be good for both of them.
The older Salinger siblings get ready for Bailey’s court appearance. Bailey learns that he got into a class he wanted, which means he could bring up his grades, but he quickly realizes that that’s the least of his problems right now. Claudia advises him not to give up. Everyone heads to court, including Sarah, and Bailey prepares to learn his fate.
Thoughts: Jenny is played by Cristine Rose. She’s been in so many things that it’s easier for me to just link to her IMDB page than list any of her roles.
Reed is played by Andrew Keegan. Wasn’t Kathleen’s last name also Isley?
’90s music alert: Sister Hazel, “All for You”; Counting Crows, “Walkaways.”
I could have sworn that Claudia was already in high school. Maybe the school is only 10th through 12th grades?
Did I mention before that the school’s mascot is a possum. Because it’s a possum. Who wants to play for a sports team called the possums? They’re not exactly known for being intimidating.
I wondered before whether the police ever investigated the DUI. I can see Sarah not naming Bailey as the driver, but her parents knew it was him. Why did they wait five months to press charges?