May 3, 2014
Party of Five 4.17, Of Sound Mind and Body: What Do You Mean, You Don’t Want to Raise Your Wife’s Ex-Fiancé’s Siblings?
Summary: Charlie’s still in the hospital, and Kirsten’s still visiting him. He tells her he still plans to write out a will, and asks her to take in Claudia and Owen if he dies. He thinks Bailey and Julia would be too young to raise them. Plus, Kirsten wants kids, so she would get to be a parent. She agrees to talk to Paul about it. Meanwhile, an empty Salinger house gets a phone call from Claudia’s school about how she’s been skipping classes.
Claudia hears the answering machine message later and rushes to delete it before Julia can hear it, but she’s too late. Bailey and Julia confront Claudia for her truancy. They’re especially mad because they’ve been working so hard to keep things together while Charlie’s in the hospital. They’ll be meeting with her and guidance counselor that afternoon. After Claudia leaves the room, Julia and Bailey agree not to tell Charlie what’s going on with her. Griffin works at his old bike shop, totally flirting with Rosalie.
Bailey visits Charlie, telling him he thinks making out a will is morbid. When Julia arrives, Bailey jokingly calls dibs on Owen, telling Julia she can have Claudia if Charlie dies. This is all Charlie needs to bring up that exact topic, and how he wants Kirsten and Paul to take the kids. Bailey’s offended that Charlie thinks he was mature enough to head up the family but that Bailey and Julia aren’t. Charlie says that recent events have shown how stressful the responsibility is; it’s too much for Julia and Bailey.
Rosalie tells Griffin that she accepted an expired coupon from a customer, and the difference in the price will have to come out of her pocket. Griffin offers to complete the work under the table and keep quiet about it. Sarah, in her only appearance of the episode, goes to the restaurant to demand that Bailey fix a flooding issue at the apartment building. Bailey will have to skip the meeting at Claudia’s school to do so. But Julia might have to miss the meeting, too, since Owen’s babysitter has locked herself out of her car and can’t get to the house. Claudia actually shows up for the meeting, but she’s there alone.
Later, back at the house, Bailey and Julia learn that neither made the meeting. Julia notes the irony of insisting to Charlie that they’re responsible when they both proved exactly the opposite. Griffin gets home from work late, letting Julia believe he made overtime for his extra hours. When Claudia arrives, she blasts Julia for missing the meeting; she thinks they haven’t made her a priority. Kirsten makes dinner for Paul, who spent the day working on a child who was injured while not wearing a bike helmet. So this is the perfect time to bring up raising someone else’s kids!
Bailey and Julia meet with Claudia’s guidance counselor, who’s very concerned that they haven’t responded to her phone calls or letters. They cover for her truancy again, but prove that they’re not on the same page about her whereabouts. Bailey insists that Charlie will get everything under control when he’s out of the hospital. The guidance counselor wasn’t aware that he was hospitalized – or that he has cancer. Julia and Bailey promise to fix things.
Griffin and Rosalie have lunch together at work, and she talks about how sexy she thinks motorcycles are. She asks Griffin for a ride sometime. At the hospital, Kirsten tells Charlie that she had a dream about being on a boat with him. He went underwater and she saved him from drowning. From there, she reveals that Paul doesn’t want to be responsible for Claudia and Owen. In fact, he doesn’t want kids at all.
Claudia and Owen are the only people home that night when the Salingers get a visit from Child Protective Services. Julia’s temping, and Claudia doesn’t know where, which means she wouldn’t be able to reach her in an emergency. Claudia knows where Bailey is (the restaurant), but the CPS guy, Jimmy, doesn’t care since he doesn’t live there. He immediately takes Claudia and Owen to his office.
As soon as Bailey and Julia hear what happened, they rush to CPS. Kirsten also arrives, having gotten a call from Jimmy. Bailey tries to take Claudia and Owen, but Jimmy won’t let them go. Claudia’s school called to report her truancy and lack of supervision. He’s also concerned that Claudia seems to be the only one looking after Owen. Until CPS can work things out, the kids will be staying with Kirsten and Paul.
The next morning, Griffin offers to skip work and spend time with Charlie while Julia and Bailey deal with CPS. Julia declines, because how can she complain about Griffin’s lack of concern for her family if she doesn’t? Bailey and Julia give Charlie the news about CPS, trying to downplay the situation. Charlie decides to leave the hospital and go to CPS himself to sort everything out. His doctor refuses to let him go.
Claudia allegedly gets ready for school while Kirsten hangs out with Owen. Kirsten tries to get Claudia to open up, asking her where she goes when she skips. Claudia says she sometimes pretends she’s a tourist on a family vacation. She’s worried that her older siblings hate her. Kirsten assures her that they don’t.
Bailey and Julia meet with Jimmy, asking for a little slack considering their current circumstances. Jimmy’s like, “You have two children you’re neglecting. You don’t get slack.” He asks for their plan in case Charlie dies, but they don’t have one. He knows they’re in over their heads. Claudia’s been left in charge of Owen, but she can barely take care of herself. Jimmy wonders if anyone actually spends time with Owen other than driving him to and from daycare. He thinks the family is verging on “complete disaster,” and he wants to help prevent it.
Griffin and Rosalie flirt some more, so I’m sure Julia’s glad she told Griffin to go to work. Rosalie kisses him, not caring that he’s married: “I’m not perfect either.” Claudia goes to see Charlie for the first time since his hospitalization and apologizes for screwing up so much. Because Charlie’s a jerk now, he just yells at her for failing to stay under CPS’s radar. She tells him she skipped class because she couldn’t stand to pretend things were normal.
Julia and Bailey arrive to report that their meeting with Jimmy didn’t go well, and that they’re not sure what’s going to happen. It’s possible that Claudia and Owen will be removed from the house permanently. Later, as Julia takes Claudia back to Kirsten and Paul’s, Claudia says that she doesn’t have anyone. Julia has Griffin and Bailey has Annie, but Claudia’s alone. The next day, Julia visits Griffin at work, giving Rosalie her first glimpse of her crush’s wife.
Julia takes Griffin to CPS with her as she tells Jimmy that Claudia and Owen shouldn’t be punished for the adults’ mistakes. Jimmy points out that they’re not being punished; CPS wants to figure out what’s best for them. Julia says that they were thrown into a parenting position, but now that they know what to do and what not to do, she and Griffin should be allowed to take the kids if Charlie dies. She knows how to parent – she had a great mother.
Jimmy asks Julia if she’s thinking about college, since she’s 18. He notes that she and Griffin are also still living with the Salingers. Griffin promises that they’re not going anywhere – by which he means he isn’t. Julia returns to the hospital just as Charlie’s finally being released and gives her brothers the good news that CPS is backing off. Meanwhile, Griffin goes back to work and makes awkward conversation with Rosalie.
Julia asks Charlie to put her and Griffin in the will as Claudia and Owen’s guardians. Charlie wants her to understand how big a sacrifice they’d be making, but Julia doesn’t see it that way. She likes the rewards that come with taking care of someone. Charlie agrees, probably praying that he never dies, or that Paul changes his mind. The older Salingers pick up the younger ones and go home together, leaving Kirsten behind.
Thoughts: This is the first episode where I’ve noticed Neve Campbell’s Canadian accent. It comes out on “sorry” and “tomorrow.”
What’s that, Bailey and Julia? You want to raise Claudia and Owen? ON WHAT MONEY?
“What’s wrong with you – they cancel your soap?” DON’T EVER JOKE ABOUT THAT, GRIFFIN.
I like Jimmy. CPS workers are often portrayed as villians, but he really wants to help.