May 24, 2014
Party of Five 4.20, Square One: Take Me Back to the Start
Summary: Charlie has just shared his good news with his family and Kirsten, and everyone’s incredibly happy. “You guys saved my life,” he tells them. They assure him that they would do it all again if they had to. Charlie’s excited to go back to his normal life, as if he was never sick. Julia tells him he can. They all decide to have a party the next night to celebrate.
Julia fills Griffin in, telling him that now that Charlie’s better, things will get better for the two of them as well. Since they moved in to take care of the family, now they can move out. Griffin points out that they still don’t have a lot of money, but Julia thinks that if he keeps working at the garage, they’ll be fine. He’s surprised that she’s okay with him staying there (remember, the liar told her there’s nothing going on between him and Rosalie).
Sarah has a rough adjustment to temporary caregiver, because as we know from past experience with Natalie, she’s not the easiest child to get along with. Bailey promises that he’ll help out. Sarah wants him to start now, since Natalie thinks Annie’s coming home early. Sarah doesn’t know how to explain to her that Annie has another ten days in rehab.
At the garage, Rosalie tries to talk to Griffin, but he tells her that he and Julia are going to try to work things out. Rosalie’s confused, since he previously told her that he and Julia were over. She wouldn’t have slept with him if she knew he and Julia were going to reconcile. She doesn’t think he ever wanted her in the first place. Griffin says he’s “kind of stuck here.” Rosalie confirms that Julia doesn’t know the whole story.
Bailey and Sarah suck as parents and are unable to enforce any rules. Natalie says she can’t fall asleep in their apartment, so they take her to her own bedroom. Later, Bailey heads to the restaurant to help Charlie plan his celebration. Joe calls to say he’ll have to miss the party since his flight was canceled. Bailey suggests postponing the party so Joe can be there, and since he’s busy with Natalie anyway.
Julia awkwardly asks Griffin if he wants to have sex. At first he accepts, but changes his mind. Charlie’s friend Kevin hired a stripper for Charlie’s party without telling him, and no one told her the party’s been postponed, so she shows up at the Salingers’ house. She’s perfectly willing to strip for an audience of one, or show off one of her other talents (which include pedicures and tarot card readings). Since Kevin paid, she wants to earn her fee.
Bailey, Sarah, and Natalie play cards while Natalie gives the other two makeovers. Bailey and Sarah start play-fighting, and if this were a romantic comedy, this is probably where they would kiss. Instead of taking off her clothes, the stripper, Daphne, chats with Charlie, surprised that he’s willing to take his normal life back after beating cancer, as opposed to going off and doing something adventurous. He says he likes routine.
Natalie still won’t sleep, but Bailey and Sarah have kind of stopped caring. Sarah shares a small moment with Bailey, disappointed that it’s interrupted by a call from Annie. While Griffin quits his job, Joe arrives in San Francisco, and the Salingers try to reschedule their party. Unfortunately, they’re all busy at various times and can’t make anything work. Joe isn’t sure why they’re making a big deal out of it anyway. Charlie says he wanted his normal life back for so long, and now that he has it, he also wants something special.
Griffin tells Julia he quit, and she wonders if it’s because he still has feelings for Rosalie. She can tell that there’s something he hasn’t said. He claims that he just doesn’t like being there. Later, Griffin goes to confession, feeling horrible that he did something to hurt Julia when she’s been hurt so many times before. He wishes he could make his affair go away. Even if Julia doesn’t know what happened, he does.
Sarah manages to get Natalie to sleep by a decent hour. She asks Bailey what he thinks will happen with him and Annie, but he’s not sure what Annie wants. Sarah is: She knows Annie will want things to go back to the way they were. Charlie tells Kirsten that he wants to travel and do exciting things; she can understand because she felt the same way when she started dealing with her depression. He invites her along. After all, they had fun on their road trip. Kirsten tells him she can’t justify it now, since he’s not sick anymore and she’s, you know, married.
Natalie enjoys family time with Bailey and Sarah, and now that it’s clear Sarah’s falling for her ex again, it’s no surprise – guys who are good with kids tend to become more attractive. Of course, that’s when Annie calls. Since Natalie fell asleep on top of her, Sarah has to sit there and listen to Bailey talk to his girlfriend.
Julia suggests that she and Griffin do what Bailey and Sarah do – they can manage an apartment building and get a place to live. Griffin decides it’s time to tell her that despite his earlier claims, he did, in fact, sleep with Rosalie. She doesn’t know how to respond. Sarah disagrees with Bailey getting Natalie’s hopes up about winning a big prize at a carnival. Sarah plans to skip the fair, but Natalie wants them all to do fun things together, since Bailey said that would help the time pass.
Charlie runs into Daphne at the mall, where the poor stripper has to dress in a cheese costume and hand out free samples. She’s disappointed that he didn’t end up doing anything exciting, and hasn’t even had his party. She decides to do something fun with him. Bailey and Natalie take Sarah to the carnival, and they have more happy family fun times together.
Julia gives Griffin the silent treatment, which is more than his butt deserves – shouldn’t she have barred him from the property? He insists that things will get better if they find their own place. She tells him she doesn’t know how she feels yet. Part of her wants to forgive him, and she might be able to do that someday, but right now she’d be crazy to keep living with him. “I’m scared of you,” Julia admits. She only feels safe with her family.
Daphne takes Charlie out to the woods, and he burns a bunch of things that remind him of his illness. He feels dumb, but she thinks this is the best way for him to feel like he’s moving on. He realizes that he was wearing the shoes he has on when he heard his diagnosis, so he burns those, too. More clothes come off, and Charlie asks Daphne for some tips on stripping. And then Social Services shows up and is like, “Why are you naked in the woods with a stripper?” Just kidding, but that would have been a nice twist.
Thoughts: ’90s music alert: “Adia” by Sarah McLachlan. That’s two of her songs in two episodes. Also, “A Change Will Do You Good” by Sheryl Crow, which is so, so appropriate for this episode.
Bailey says he has a meeting with the tenants’ board to see if he’ll be fired for never being in the building, but he was never hired in the first place. Sarah was hired and he just works and shares her paycheck. The whole point was that he can’t get a job because he has a conviction on his record.
“Hi, Jennifer Aspen. We’d like you to play a stripper on Party of Five. You won’t have to actually take your clothes off but you’ll need to come in for a fitting anyway. It’s for a cheese costume. Wait, don’t hang up!”