March 15, 2014
Party of Five 4.10, Adjustments: Everyone’s Life is Awful Now
Summary: Charlie’s at the hospital for his first radiation treatment. It doesn’t look fun, to say the least. At home, the other Salingers (and Griffin) try to pitch in, but Charlie wants things to stay as normal as possible. He promises to move stuff out of the shed since Griffin and Julia are going to move in there. Claudia reminds him that he’s supposed to be conserving his energy, but Charlie feels fine, so he doesn’t want to act like he’s sick. He promises Bailey that he’ll speak up when he needs help.
Julia’s annoyed that Charlie keeps acting like he doesn’t need help, but also annoyed that she and Griffin have to stay in the attic until they get the shed ready. She wants to apply for a job at an art magazine, but she doesn’t think they’ll hire her without a college education. Bailey visits Annie, complaining about how Charlie’s working so hard to make things normal. Annie complains back about her jerky boss, who makes her work too many hours on stuff he’s supposed to do. Bailey wants to fix her problems like he wants to fix everyone else’s.
Julia interviews for the job at the magazine and is surprised to be immediately hired. Unfortunately, it’s for an internship, and it pays less than minimum wage. It’s around half of what she expected, so she doesn’t want to take the job, but Griffin thinks they can survive on it if he cuts back on some things. Now they’re all happy again. Bailey collects information for Annie on becoming an insurance adjuster (which is what her boss does), since she’s pretty much almost there already. Annie’s hesitant, but Bailey points out how much better her life would be with a job upgrade.
Charlie has to wait for his next appointment; he’s impatient because he’s so busy and might miss opening the restaurant that night. He chats with another patient who’s surprised that Charlie’s able to work around food while he’s sick. He realizes it’s because Charlie’s only in his second week of treatment, so he hasn’t started experiencing nausea or exhaustion or mouth sores yet. Charlie’s like, “Oh, great, fun stuff to look forward to.”
Bailey quizzes Annie so she can practice being an insurance adjuster. She proves to know her stuff pretty well. He encourages her to take the test right now. In the shed, Julia finds a sink she’d forgotten was there. That means there’s water, which means they might be able to put a shower in the shed. She and Griffin are getting more excited about making a life for themselves in a tiny little living space with no money and surprise visits from Claudia. Speaking of Claudia, she’s mad that one of Griffin’s cutting-back measures at work was firing Reed.
Charlie makes it to work at the restaurant, telling Bailey that he hasn’t felt any side effects from his treatments yet. He thinks he’s going to be in the ten percent of patients who have no reaction. Julia has to walk home from work because she didn’t feed the parking meter enough and her car was towed. She’ll have to spend her whole paycheck getting it back. Also, Claudia’s in the bathroom so Julia can’t take a shower. (Again, I ask: That house only has one bathroom?)
Sarah had a bad day, too, and comes home to find Bailey looking at all of Annie’s paperwork for her potential new career. She wonders why he’s putting forth so much effort, especially when he never puts forth that much effort for himself. It’s also a moot point, since Annie doesn’t show up to take the test. At the house, Charlie starts going through stuff in the shed, and that’s when the side effects of the treatments finally catch up to him.
Bailey tracks Annie down at home and she tells him she couldn’t get away from work to take the test (which he paid for her to take, by the way). Annie’s apologetic but doesn’t seem that sorry to have missed the test. She also pays Bailey back. Julia, Claudia, and Griffin make transportation arrangements to take some things off of Charlie’s plate, but he thinks he’ll still be able to keep up his schedule.
Sarah takes Julia to get her car back, shocked to hear how little Julia gets paid in a week. She needs to get a job that’s less fun so she can make more. Julia says that she always planned to spend the year doing new, fun things. Sarah reminds her that reality isn’t going to allow that: She got evicted, she’s in debt, and she needs to be a grown-up. At school, Reed tells Claudia that he’s had trouble finding a new job and might have to work far away. Claudia offers to pay him to drive her around while she does errands.
Charlie has another treatment, and this time when the tech runs down the list of possible side effects, he can’t say that he hasn’t had any. Annie discovers that Bailey got her test rescheduled by telling the proctor that she had a family emergency. She yells at him and admits that she doesn’t want to take the test – she never did. She doesn’t get why it’s so important to Bailey. Annie’s fine with “getting by” and thinks Bailey is embarrassed that she’s just a secretary.
Bailey goes to the house to distract himself, and helps Griffin move stuff out of the shed. Charlie finds them and snaps at them for messing with his stuff. Julia blasts him for getting mad at the guys for doing what he kept saying he would do, then kept putting off. They know he’s sick, but he needs to let them help him out. Charlie tells her not to lecture him on reality. Bailey heads back home and tells Sarah he’s not helping anyone ever again. Sarah wonders why he’s making Charlie’s illness and Annie’s crappy job about him.
Charlie finds Julia in the house during the day; she tells him she quit her internship because she needs a better-paying job. Reed chauffeurs Claudia around, inviting her to open up to him if she wants to talk about Charlie. Claudia’s trying to stay optimistic. When she tries to pay Reed, he won’t take her money. Charlie takes Owen somewhere but has to pull the car over when he feels sick. Meanwhile, Julia gets a job as a gift-wrapper. At the house, Charlie talks to Griffin about wood, because the writers suddenly remembered that he builds stuff. He allows Griffin to move a bunch of stuff out of the shed.
Bailey runs into Annie in the laundry room and explains why he’s been so involved in her life: He can’t do anything for Charlie, so he found a way to try to help someone else. Annie admits to being worried about failing the test, but Bailey points out how successful she is in other aspects of her life, and how unimportant failing would be. Griffin shows Julia the new, improved shed and they have their first dinner in their new home. As Bailey takes Annie to her test, Charlie goes to treatment and ticks off all the side effects he’s been feeling.
Thoughts: The woman who hires Julia for the internship is played by Moon Zappa.
Julia, ALWAYS ask about salary. Silly girl.
I think they only made Annie work for an insurance adjuster to fit with the episode title.
Wouldn’t it be cheaper for Julia not to have a car, especially with all the public-transportation options in San Francisco?
Claudia’s going to pay Reed to be her chauffeur, which means he makes money and she gets to spend time with him. She might be a genius.
Annie sure complains a lot for someone who’s “fine” with “getting by.”
Remember how Julia used to be a waitress and got a ton of tips? Why not go back to that?