April 26, 2014

Party of Five 4.16, I Give Up: No More Pretending

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 2:51 pm by Jenn

Nope, sorry, I don't buy it

Nope, sorry, I don’t buy it

Summary: Kirsten’s at the Salingers’ house to get snorkeling equipment before she goes on vacation. Charlie ribs her for taking his stuff while he’s sick, because Charlie’s kind of a jerk now. Claudia gets him to sign something for school; he doesn’t look at it, but Kirsten does, seeing that Claudia got an F on something. Charlie tells her not to do it again.

Bailey’s in class, struggling to answer a professor’s question, when he’s saved by the ringing of his comically large cell phone. It’s a restaurant-related call, but he asks the caller to help him out with the professor’s question. While Charlie battles a cold, Julia finds the ad Griffin placed in the paper selling the bike shop. She thinks the placement is perfect since it’s right next to a lingerie ad. It doesn’t really matter, since they won’t get anything from the sale, but at least they’ll be out of debt.

At school, Claudia leaves class after a pop quiz she didn’t take. Griffin meets with a potential buyer who he soon learns runs the franchise that contributed to his garage’s downfall. Griffin doesn’t want to sell to him, but he doesn’t have much of a choice. Kirsten and hubby Paul are packing for their trip when Charlie calls to ask Paul a medical question. His cold is getting worse, and his symptoms worry Paul. He tells Charlie to go to the hospital to be on the safe side. Kirsten goes to meet him.

Annie asks Bailey to speak at Natalie’s school for career day, so he rearranges his school schedule. Kirsten calls to tell him about Charlie. Griffin tells Julia he doesn’t want to sell to the franchise guy, but she points out that he’s taken money from worse people. Sarah interrupts to tell them that Charlie’s in the hospital (she heard from Kirsten, who called the apartment looking for Bailey). The Salingers rush to the hospital, where Kirsten tells them Charlie might have pneumonia.

In the morning, Julia, Bailey, Kirsten, and Paul gather at Charlie’s bed, and Paul tries to ease everyone’s worries. At school, Claudia uses Charlie’s hospitalization to get out of class. Griffin meets with a guy who appraises everything in the garage to figure out how much he can make on the sale. If he sells all his tools, which he wasn’t planning on, he could get a lot more money.

While Claudia skips school, Bailey and Julia take a few seconds to try to catch up on each other’s lives. Charlie’s doctor wants to change his radiation schedule – stop it now and extend it in the future. Charlie’s not happy to have to spend more time in treatment, especially since he only had a couple weeks left. He’s also mad that his doctor didn’t warn him about possible complications like this.

Griffin meets with the franchise guy, now more willing to sell to him. Bailey’s struggling in one of his classes, but he doesn’t have time to worry about it because of all his other responsibilities. He tells his professor he’ll turn in his late paper when he gets the chance. Julia brings Owen (hey, it’s Owen! He’s still alive!) to the hospital to visit Charlie, but Charlie’s in a bad mood and doesn’t want to see him. He just wants to be alone.

At the house, Julia tells Bailey that Charlie’s depressed, which isn’t going to help his recovery. Bailey thinks it’s reasonable for him to be in a bad mood while he’s sick. Claudia begs off of going with Bailey to see Charlie, lying that she saw him last night. Besides, she needs to focus on her schoolwork.

Kirsten visits Charlie; she and Bailey both sneak in food since Charlie hasn’t been eating well. Paul isn’t surprised at all to find his wife there. Bailey has Paul look at Charlie’s chart; he’s recovering but doesn’t seem to feel better. Paul confirms that he’s improving, not addressing the fact that Charlie’s clearly depressed and no one is doing anything about it..

Kirsten thinks he’s acting weird – he’ll say that something is a good sign, but he seems to be downplaying things. She thinks Paul is trying to keep her from spending so much time with Charlie, especially since she delayed their vacation to stay with him. Paul denies her accusations but says that there isn’t anything Kirsten can do for Charlie. Kirsten replies that Charlie’s depressed, and if there’s anything she has experience with, it’s that. She wants to stay until he’s doing better.

Bailey tries to talk to Charlie, but again, he wants to be alone. He doesn’t want another visit from Owen either. Claudia spends the day at the movies. At home, Bailey tells Julia that she was right about Charlie being depressed. He thinks someone in the family should always be with him since the nurses don’t know how to help him. Julia notes that this means a lot of juggling of responsibilities. Bailey has already made a decision to ease that: He’ll quit school.

Julia objects, but Bailey says he’s barely present at school anyway, and is only doing the bare minimum. Julia argues that his education is important. He tells her he’s sick of acting like he can handle everything. It’s easier to let something go and admit defeat. Griffin completes the sale of the shop, but in a nice turn, the franchise guy offers to give him a job.

Bailey and Julia take Charlie some white-noise tapes, so they clearly understand how to take care of a depressed cancer patient. Charlie tells them he’s sick of people trying to cheer him up. He’s tried positive thinking and it hasn’t worked, so he’s done pretending things are going to be okay. Instead, he wants to be able to feel peace about whatever happens.

Griffin tells Julia that their money troubles are over, at least in terms of Howie and the garage, and that he was offered a job. He can’t believe the franchise guy thinks he would want to work in the shop the guy drove him out of. Julia points out that they need money, and Griffin could work on bikes, which is exactly why he bought the garage in the first place. Griffin can’t hear her over all his pride.

Charlie’s doctor reports that he’s doing very well and will be able to go in a few days. He’ll also be able to go back to his original radiation schedule. Later, Bailey notes to Julia that Charlie should be happier about getting such good news. Julia thinks that’ll come later, when he’s out of the hospital and his life is back to normal. The two of them talk about how one of them is always panicked while the other calms him or her.

Julia thinks that things need to be as normal as possible, so Bailey shouldn’t quit school. If things are still bad once Charlie’s better, he can get some help. Julia will even go to classes and take notes for him. Bailey’s decided he’s done with school altogether, and gets what Charlie said about being done pretending. That’s what happened with Griffin and the shop, after all.

At their place, Kirsten tells Paul that she’s decided not to go on their vacation. Paul doesn’t want to go on his own, since that’ll make him look like a jerk, but he’s also a jerk if he tries to get Kirsten to go. He can’t keep himself from wondering if Kirsten still has feelings for Charlie, considering their history. Kirsten admits that she doesn’t know how she feels about Charlie, but she cares enough not to be able to leave town while he’s sick.

Annie visits Bailey at the hospital, giving him the late paper she typed up for him. He’s very appreciative of her kind gesture. Claudia intercepts a message on the answering machine from her school, reporting her for skipping classes and demanding contact with an adult. Of course, she erases it.

Julia and Bailey find Charlie in better spirits, but it’s not all good: He wants to write a will. No matter how okay he is with whatever happens, he needs to make sure his family’s taken care of. He actually feels good about planning for the worst. Charlie would also like a visit from Owen and Claudia.

Griffin takes the job at the shop and reports for his first day of work. He meets a new co-worker, Rosalie, who’s sympathetic toward him having to be an employee at the place he used to run. Claudia has “school,” but Owen goes to visit Charlie, who’s very happy to see him. The reunion is more bittersweet for Bailey and Julia, who understand what could be in their future.

Thoughts: No way are Griffin and Julia debt-free. NO WAY. They don’t have credit cards?

Paul’s kind of a saint. Look how long he went without saying anything about Kirsten hanging out with someone she almost married. Poor guy.

Really, Charlie? You didn’t read any literature saying you might get sick?

’90s music alert: Sheryl Crow’s “I Shall Believe.”

This was the point where I started losing interest in the show in its original run. And honestly, it was mostly because of Charlie. I didn’t want to watch The Ongoing Adventures of a Sick Jerk every week. I really wish they hadn’t written him this way in this storyline.

1 Comment »

  1. Nick Rivers said,

    I don’t remember where my tipping point was with the show, but I think I stopped watching around the beginning of Season 4. I was instead following some recaps provided by a guy named Spex Kowalski and they were hilarious but have colored my recollections of the show a bit. For awhile there I was thinking maybe I was wrong to be annoyed with Charlie because he was all “I can’t XYZ, I have cancer!” to everything that ever happened in his orbit that he didn’t want to deal with, but it sounds from your recaps like he WAS really getting annoying in general, so I feel vindicated now.

    That, plus the fact that Matthew Fox has some domestic violence issues (though to be fair I didn’t learn about those til well after the show) and Charlie was just never my favorite character anyway. I kept watching long after I should because Bailey and Julia were interesting, but since I don’t remember this garage storyline at all, I must have tuned out long before I thought!

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