April 19, 2014
Party of Five 4.15, Here and Now: It’s Not You
Summary: Sarah and Elliot are studying, or at least that’s what they’d be doing if she wasn’t trying to make out with him. He’s totally not interested. Bailey comes home and Elliot takes advantage of the distraction, then heads off to work out with him. Griffin wants to stage a big reopening for his bike shop, and run a commercial. It’ll cost a couple thousand dollars, but he’s willing to spend the money to save his business.
While they’re working out, Elliot asks Bailey about his relationship with Sarah, and how they never slept together. Sarah comes to collect her boyfriend, since he’s been gone longer than expected. Annie and Natalie arrive as well, but that doesn’t make Bailey want to leave either. At the house, Charlie gets a visit from Kevin, who’s just gotten test results but hasn’t opened them yet. The results will tell him if he’s in remission or if he still has cancer.
Griffin and Julia brainstorm details for the commercial while Claudia looks for items for a school time capsule. Better luck getting a good plot next time, Claud. Griffin suggests Julia to appear in the ad since “motorheads” like sexy women. She likes that he thinks she’s sexy, so that’s one problem of theirs fixed.
Bailey and Annie clip coupons while Natalie uses two of her dolls to reenact Bailey and Elliot’s interactions. Annie thinks Bailey’s okay hanging out with Sarah’s new boyfriend because they’ve both moved on. Bailey notes that Elliot and Sarah haven’t had sex yet. Natalie starts singing “Bailey and Elliot, sitting in a tree,” making Bailey wonder if there’s a reason Elliot hasn’t slept with Sarah.
Charlie and Kevin go out to a beach so they can have nice scenery when Kevin finds out his fate. Fortunately, the news is just as good as the view: Kevin’s in remission. There’s hugging, and somewhere, Natalie changes the names of her dolls. Julia puts on some skimpy clothes and helps Griffin with the commercial; they’re both awful. “I’m just glad to be doing a shoot where the actors keep their clothes on,” the cameraman says.
Kevin shows Charlie a computerized version of one of his chair designs, then suggests that they go into business together on design software. After all, they’re both going to end up in remission. Bailey tries to gauge whether Elliot’s gay by quizzing him on interior design terms. Bailey is clearly an enlightened man of the ’90s. Now he’s confused, though, because Elliot isn’t much help in the decoration department, and he likes sports and hates musicals. Well, then, I guess he’s straight!
Claudia’s classmates present ideas for contributions to the time capsule, but Claudia hasn’t thought of anything. She appears to be having a bit of an existential crisis. She admits that she doesn’t know what matters to her right now, let alone what will matter in 2026. Her teacher assigns her to write herself a letter to help her figure it out.
Julia and Griffin are in a good mood thanks to their successful commercial shoot, so they take advantage of an empty house. Charlie and Kevin go to treatment together (Kevin still has six weeks to go despite being in remission), and Kevin talks about how the success rates of treatment for Hodgkin’s are 75%. Charlie’s clearly wondering if he’ll be one of the 3/4 with Kevin.
Elliot goes by the restaurant to ask Bailey why he was asking weird questions earlier. Hilariously, they have the conversation at a small table for two in front of a fireplace. Elliot admits that Bailey’s suspicions about him might be right: He thinks he might be gay – “like you.” He thought Sarah would help him figure things out.
Elliot guesses that Bailey is treating Annie as a beard the way he’s treating Sarah like one. Bailey calmly tells Elliot that it’s cool if he’s gay, but Bailey isn’t. He was just trying to figure out if Elliot is. Now Elliot’s confused again. Back at their apartment, Sarah tells Bailey to stay away so she and Elliot can have a night alone.
Annie pressures Bailey to tell her that her boyfriend is questioning his sexuality. Bailey wants to leave that up to Elliot. Sarah announces that Elliot called to say he has something important to discuss. Bailey thinks he’s going to come out, which Annie notes is definitely not what Sarah thinks is going to happen tonight. Bailey doesn’t want to ruin her good mood, so he keeps quiet.
Kevin is totally into his new business idea, but Charlie’s much more reserved and practical. Oh, and also shortsighted, since he doesn’t think anyone will want to design furniture on a computer. Griffin and Julia meet with someone at a TV station about running the commercial, but he thinks they’re pulling a prank, since it’s so horrible. He lets Griffin know that he got exactly $2,000 worth of an ad.
Bailey comes home to learn that Elliot dumped Sarah but was crying too hard to explain why. She demands that Bailey tell her Elliot’s reason from breaking up with her. Claudia tells Charlie that her teacher liked her letter so much that she’s putting it in the time capsule. She’s also going to read it at the assembly when the time capsule is buried, then in 2026 at her class’ 25th reunion. She asks Charlie to come to the assembly. Charlie’s offended that she can think ahead 25 years.
Griffin shops his commercial around to various stations, but gets the same response he did at the first one. He’s not surprised that he’s failed at something once again. He still plans to stage the reopening though; he’s determined to be successful. Julia points out that they’re out $2,000, which they had to borrow in the first place, and they wound up without a usable commercial. Their money problems are killing them. “You’ve gotta get rid of the shop,” she announces.
Griffin turns her orders around on Julia, saying that once again she’s not supporting him. Julia denies this, saying that the shop is ruining their lives. Griffin refuses to quit. She tells him she’s not going to work a bad job to finance his dying business venture – “I’m done.” She’s only a few months late in getting there.
Sarah confronts Elliot at the coffeehouse, having learned from Bailey that he might be gay. She’s furious that he made her feel like something was wrong with her while he was lying about who he was. Elliot says he was just trying to figure things out, and he thought Sarah would be able to help him come to some conclusions. “You made a pass at my ex-boyfriend,” Sarah replies. She’s mad that she finally found a great guy, and he doesn’t want to be with her.
Sarah continues that Elliot might not know for sure that he’s gay. Elliot says he knows (which is weird, because wasn’t he confused just a day ago?). They bond over not being able to understand men. Griffin’s reopening is completely lame, and Julia tries to comfort him by telling him it’s not because of him, it’s because of his competition. He notes that he used to have $100,000, and now he doesn’t, so he obviously did something wrong.
Sarah tells Bailey that she’s thinking of placing a personal ad because she can’t find a boyfriend. (Isn’t Elliot only the third or fourth guy she’s ever dated? Calm down, Sarah.) Bailey suggests that they go see a movie together, since they haven’t for a while. Sarah remembers that the last time they did was right before he told her he slept with Callie. Besides, she has plans with Elliot to see Oliver – he lied to Bailey about not liking musicals.
Kevin asks Charlie about his business idea again, not sure why Charlie is really against it. Charlie admits that he can’t look that far into the future like Kevin can. They no longer have cancer in common. Since Kevin is in remission, Charlie thinks his chances of recovery are now worse. If three out of four people recover, Charlie might be that fourth who doesn’t. “You took my place,” he says.
Claudia skips out on the time capsule-burying assembly, so her teacher reads her letter for her. It talks about how it doesn’t matter what’s important right now, and how people should make good memories. Meanwhile, Sarah and Elliot hang out together, Bailey and Annie have sex, Griffin puts his shop up for sale, and Charlie does some sketches. Claudia’s letter states that nothing lasts forever, so we have to wait and hope for the future.
Thoughts: I love that the first person to figure out Elliot’s gay was the seven-year-old.
Griffin should have spent some of that commercial money on a hairstylist.
Bailey lives in San Francisco but has apparently never met a gay person (other than Ross). Though I like that he didn’t freak out when he thought Elliot was into him. No gay panic for the Salingers!
Claudia has a goth classmate with this idea for the time capsule: “This is a picture of me as Mother Death from the Vampire Festival, and it should definitely go into the time capsule because, well, I really like the idea of burying myself and then rising from the dead in 25 years.”
But Sarah, isn’t it better to be dumped not because your boyfriend doesn’t like you but because he doesn’t like any women? It’s the epitome of “it’s not you, it’s me.”