March 29, 2014

Party of Five 4.12, Empty Shoes: “Grow Up and Do Your Jobs”

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 1:11 pm by Jenn

Maybe Owen would eat Bananas Foster?

Maybe Owen would eat Bananas Foster?

Summary: At the restaurant, Charlie meets with a man named Bancroft who’s tasting food for a big anniversary party. Julia’s gotten a job as a server and is interfering more than Charlie would like. While Charlie’s berating her for acting like she knows how to manage things better than he does, he gets sick. He winds up in bed, though he tells his siblings that he’s having a normal reaction to his treatments.

Julia worries that Charlie won’t be able to work at the restaurant while he’s in treatment, because the smell of food makes him sick. Julia offers to run things for him, but Charlie needs her to run things at the house. She’s also the only person other than Charlie who has a driver’s license. Julia notes that she and Griffin need money, but Charlie wants Bailey at the restaurant. Bailey accepts his assignment. Claudia’s sad that she can’t help out more.

Julia tries to deal with Owen, who’s being picky about what he wants for breakfast. The only thing he wants is oatmeal, which they don’t have. At the restaurant, Bailey immediately has issues: He’s short on waiters, they’re out of fish, and the place is booked. He’s also trying to juggle schoolwork with his new responsibilities.

At home, Julia brings a bunch of problems to Charlie, who quickly gives her solutions. Later, Bailey does the same, disagreeing with Charlie’s negotiations with Bancroft. He also wants to change the restaurant’s policy on specials, since the waiters have trouble memorizing them. Charlie’s done with him and tells him to do whatever he wants, which is a horrible, horrible idea.

Claudia and Reed hang out at the coffeehouse, where she helps him with a paper and he encourages her to eat better. She appreciates the break from her family issues. Then she takes things a step farther, telling Reed that she loves him. He manages to not run screaming from the coffeehouse, so points to him. He just goes back to working on his paper.

Julia and Bailey both sneak into Charlie’s room, looking for various things, and accidentally wake him up. It’s a good thing, since he’s able to direct them to what they need. They try to offer him movies and CDs and a ride with Griffin, but Charlie just wants to sleep. Bailey questions Julia’s decision to let Owen have popcorn for breakfast.

At school, Claudia unloads her concerns on Reed, telling him that he’s the one thing she has that distracts her from all of them. He decides not to tell her whatever he was going to tell her (probably that he doesn’t want to be more than friends). Sarah stops by the house to ask to borrow something for Charlie for a theater-production class. Charlie thinks Bailey sent her over to “entertain” him. Sarah really does have a design project, though, and just wants to use his drafting table.

Bailey’s restaurant problems continue, partly because Julia’s been out running errands. She’s missed the beginning of her shift and snaps at Bailey for replacing her. She reminds him that she has extra responsibilities right now and needs some slack. Then the waitress who replaced her gets mad that she’s going to be moved. Guys, I’m getting the impression that Bailey is bad at this.

Claudia and Reed play video games at his place, and he asks how things are going at home. He decides to let her stay for another game. Things at the restaurant have calmed down a little, but Julia hasn’t mastered Bailey’s new system for the specials, so she’s screwing up her orders. She yells at him for trying to change things because he doesn’t know what he’s doing. She reminds him that it’s still Charlie’s restaurant.

At home, Charlie takes a look at what Sarah’s been working on for her class and decides to help her out. Claudia falls asleep on Reed’s couch while watching a movie. Bailey also falls asleep working at the restaurant after hours. Julia comes home late and rejects Griffin’s attempts to have sex. (Way to read the room, Griff.) Julia complains that she keeps getting told to do things but is never consulted for her opinion.

In the morning, Charlie’s in a better mood than he has been, still looking at Sarah’s project. His mood changes when Claudia admits that she spent the night at Reed’s. Sarah chastises Bailey for neglecting his responsibilities at the apartment building. Then he gets an earful from Julia, who’s upset that she’s been taken off the anniversary party.

At the house, Julia complains to Charlie about Bailey, who then comes in to unload his problems on his brother. Charlie tells them to shut up and stop dragging him into their issues. “Grow up and do your jobs,” he tells them. Bailey’s the manager, so if he wants to do something, he should do it. Julia needs to shut up about her tables and worry about Claudia’s behavior.

Charlie then goes to the basement, where Sarah’s seen the changes he made to her project. He’s changed the entire design, actually, and tells her it wasn’t working. If someone tried to build a set based on the design, it would actually kill the audience. Sarah appreciates the adjustments and asks for more advice.

Julia calmly approaches Claudia to ask her to help out more at home, and especially not spend the night at Reed’s again. Claudia already has plans with him that night, which means she can’t watch Owen, so now Julia’s in a bind. Bailey works the anniversary party while Julia deals with rude customers (though she’s not exactly polite herself). Claudia waits for Reed at the coffeehouse, but he doesn’t show.

The restaurant’s running low on bananas for Bananas Foster, which means Bancroft is probably going to be upset. Bailey gets a flash of inspiration and tells Bancroft that everyone’s eating the Bananas Foster, implying that it’s safe and boring. He just got a shipment of exotic fruit and recommends serving that instead. Bancroft falls for the ploy.

Julia makes a fuss over a poor tip from her rude customers, and if she weren’t working for her brother’s restaurant, I guarantee she’d be fired on the spot. At the end of the night, Bancroft comes to the kitchen to praise Bailey’s success as Charlie’s substitute. He gives him a generous tip for his troubles, then says he’ll be back next year.

Instead of taking a moment to celebrate, Bailey fires Julia, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to her. He points out that she hates the job, and it’s obvious to the customers. Julia says it shouldn’t matter whether she likes the job or not – she needs it. At home, Griffin’s upset over Bailey’s treatment of Julia, especially since she’s done so much for the family, but Julia doesn’t want her job back anyway. She admits that Bailey was right.

Bailey handles some apartment issues, then has breakfast with Annie, catching up on what she’s been doing while he’s been so busy. She enjoys hearing how he’s been dealing with problems at the restaurant. She’s proud that he was in charge on the restaurant’s highest-grossing night ever. Bailey admits that he hasn’t given Charlie the good news, but Annie thinks he should, since Charlie will be able to relax knowing that Bailey can run things without him.

Charlie works on Sarah’s project some more, putting on some finishing touches he’s always wanted to add to a project. He tells her about how much he enjoyed his classes before he had to drop them to help Joe at the restaurant. At school, Claudia tracks down Reed, who says he didn’t think they had definite plans the night before. He tells her, a little harshly, that he likes her and wants to help her, but he doesn’t want to be her boyfriend.

Bailey chats with Charlie, purposely not telling him anything about the restaurant. Charlie asks for news, so Bailey tells him that the anniversary party went horribly. They definitely need Charlie at the restaurant. Charlie reveals that he heard from Bancroft, who praised Bailey’s work. Bailey again makes it clear that it’s still Charlie’s restaurant, but Charlie tells him that until he can come back, it’s Bailey’s.

Claudia tries to talk to Reed, but he ignores her. He finally tells her that things are too intense for him to spend time with her. Bailey does his thing at the restaurant, proving that he’s learned a lot and can be a success. Julia tries to get Owen to eat something, but he’s being picky again. She also can’t get Claudia to talk to her. Finished with Sarah’s project, Charlie pulls out one of his old designs and gets to work on it.

Thoughts: Owen has developed a bit of an attitude, and I love it.

’90s music alert: Cake’s “The Distance.”

You know who should be in charge? Of, like, everything? Ross. Ross is the only person on this show I would trust to take Charlie’s place.

Oh, Reed. You’re trying, but you’re a jerk. Claudia deserves so much better.

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