June 14, 2014
Party of Five 4.21, Free and Clear: The Possibilities Are Endless
Summary: Daphne wants to help Charlie celebrate his recovery by doing his hair. She also does a tarot reading, telling him that the cards said she would meet him. Unfortunately, she’s new to reading, so she’s not sure what his cards say. She thinks they mean that something new is coming his way, and he’ll have to pick a path. Whichever one he chooses will affect his soul forever. “Or not,” she adds. Yes, those would be the options.
Bailey asks for a new challenge with his community-service speaking, but it turns out he’s completed all his hours. He’s also been approved to get his driver’s license back early. Now he doesn’t need it as badly as he did before, so he doesn’t know what to do with himself. Charlie and his horrible new tips meet with Joe, who tells him he’s gotten an offer to sell the restaurant. He thinks it would be a good idea to sell, since the Salingers could use the money. He sees it as a fork in the road, echoing what Daphne said earlier.
Julia and Griffin see a marriage counselor, trying to figure out when their marriage started falling apart. (I’d say it was right around the time they said “I do,” but what do I know?) Julia thinks Griffin’s mad at her for moving them into the “guest cottage,” since he believes they would have wound up there even if Charlie hadn’t gotten sick. Julia notes that it doesn’t matter – he cheated, and there’s nothing she could have done to deserve that.
Claudia’s about to take part in a debate tournament at school, and her friend thinks one of their prep-school opponents is checking her out. Whether he is or not, he destroys her in their debate. Bailey’s on a high from having his license back, and he tries to get Sarah to go for a ride with him, but she’s busy. Claudia’s debate opponent, Jamie, tells her he became more aggressive than usual because he was taken aback by her intelligence and cuteness. He invites her to a school dance the next night.
At the house, Charlie tells his siblings about the offer on the restaurant. They think they should buy Joe out and run it by themselves. This would be risky, though, and require them taking out a second mortgage on the house. Everyone but Charlie is willing to give up the money in order to keep their family’s restaurant. Bailey points out that while Charlie was sick, he was working toward getting the business back. The vote is three against one, so Charlie gives in and makes it unanimous.
Back at his apartment, Bailey tells Sarah that Charlie was moved that they all wanted to keep the family restaurant. Charlie confirms this to Daphne, happy that his siblings were so supportive. Bailey wishes he had a job like Charlie’s – one he could be proud of and know he could do as long as he wanted. Charlie admits to Daphne that he’s not sure he wants to keep the same job forever. He doesn’t remember things the way Bailey does. Daphne thinks he should say something before he signs any paperwork.
Julia takes Claudia shopping for a dress for the dance, and Claudia makes herself nervous about her big date. Julia wishes she had a romance like her sister’s. Bailey winds up at some random diner, chatting with the guy who runs the place. Bailey encourages him to try a special promotion, then gives him marketing advice. Julia and Griffin have another counseling session, and she remembers how he used to reach for her when they were leaving somewhere, so they could hold hands. She knew back then for sure that she was in love with him. She wants them to get back to that place.
Charlie tries to talk to Claudia about the restaurant sale, like, way to upset her right before her big date. Bailey joins the discussion and tells Charlie that he’s not the only one who gets to make the decision. After all, he’s the one who ran things while Charlie was sick. When Julia arrives, everyone jumps on Charlie, asking what their father would think if he knew Charlie wanted to sell. Charlie says that he can’t spend his whole life keeping the restaurant going just because it was their dad’s. He’d always feel stuck.
Joe comes over while Claudia cries because Jamie’s running late and wouldn’t tell her why. Joe cheers her up with a Godfather impersonation. Then he recognizes Jamie’s name – his parents run a restaurant and were Mr. Salinger’s rivals. The Burkes allegedly reported Salinger’s to the Health Department and bribed a food critic for a good review. Mr. Salinger retaliated by stealing their best manager. Claudia thinks Jamie’s jerkiness is in his blood.
Bailey asks Sarah what she’s seen that’s made him the happiest over the past year. They both know it’s when he was running the restaurant. He wishes Charlie would see the same thing. Bailey wasn’t just a substitute caretaker – he built up the business. Sarah confirms that he wants them to buy the restaurant so he can run it himself. Hey, Bailey, maybe you should SAY SOMETHING, if that’s what you want?
Julia tells Griffin about the sale, and how they’ll have some money. She’s considering using her share to go back to school. Griffin balks, since he’ll be the only one making money again. Julia makes it clear that she’s not going to let him stop her. He shoots back that this isn’t exactly her trying to get them back to the place they used to be. Jamie finds Claudia at school and apologizes for standing her up; his parents made him when they found out she was a Salinger. Then they start fighting about who’s responsible for the families’ rivalry.
Back to counseling for Julia and Griffin, who argue about her college plans. He’s mad that she keeps punishing him for cheating. She notes that she has a hard time making plans for the future that involve him because she can’t trust him. Griffin feels like Julia thinks she spend the last year “slumming around” with him. He can’t make plans for the future because he doesn’t have any options. He had to give up his garage because things were too hard. He’s made more sacrifices than Julia has.
Charlie disagrees with Bailey’s desire to run the restaurant on his own. He points out that Bailey’s only 19, and hardly any people his age can commit to something they want to do the rest of their lives. If they sell the restaurant and Bailey doesn’t succeed, they’re all in trouble. Bailey thinks that Charlie can’t admit that Bailey did a better job running the restaurant than he’s done. He really loved the job, and he deserves a chance to go back to it.
Ross goes to the Salingers’ to tell Claudia that he did some digging and knows that the history of their families’ rivalry isn’t all accurate. Either way, he really likes her, and he doesn’t care if their parents hated each other. Then he kisses her. Charlie and Joe summon Bailey to the restaurant to sign paperwork; he thinks it’s for the sale, but it’s to put the restaurant under his charge. Charlie finds it strange that this is something Bailey actually wants, but he’s supportive.
Charlie gets rid of his horrible hair dye, telling Daphne that he has no idea what he’s going to do with his life. But since he doesn’t have to go work at the restaurant right now, they might as well hook up. Right before their next session, Julia admits to Griffin that she was trying to punish him when she made her decision about college without consulting him. She knows he’s not the only person to blame for their problems. Maybe they should clean the slate and start over. But Griffin is upset that Julia’s making the rules and invalidating his feelings.
Bailey takes Sarah to the restaurant to talk through some of his plans. He also wants to celebrate with her, since she got him to ask for what he wanted. Now that he has the security of a job and a future, he feels better about working things out with Annie. That’s not what Sarah wants to hear. Charlie and Daphne chat in bed, and he’s definitely happier than he’s been in a long time. He notes that this is the first time he’s had sex since he got sick. The song playing in the background is “The Weight,” which is ironic, since that’s what Daphne will be gaining very soon…
Thoughts: Jamie is played by ’90s kid actor Ross Malinger, who’s probably best known as Tom Hanks’ son in Sleepless in Seattle.
You know your love life sucks when you’re jealous of a 15-year-old.
Thank you, Charlie, for fixing your hair. I couldn’t take you seriously with those streaks.
Shut up, Griffin. Shut up a million times.