August 23, 2014
Party of Five 5.7, Tender Age: Thanks for the Heart Attack
Summary: Bailey tries to convince Sarah to spend Thanksgiving with the Salingers, but she’s still mopey because of their relationship issues. Charlie and Owen stop by a toy store while out running errands, then take a break so Owen can ride on a carousel. Charlie calls Daphne at home, where she’s trying to take care of Diana and deal with Thanksgiving stuff. When the carousel stops, Owen isn’t on it. Charlie starts wandering the mall but can’t find his brother.
Julia invites Ned to her family’s Thanksgiving, promising that her brothers won’t ask about his intentions with her. Charlie goes back to the toy store, but Owen hasn’t returned there. Kirsten wants to spend Thanksgiving with the Salingers, but Paul thinks it’s time to set some boundaries. (Seriously. Thank you, Paul.) Kirsten points out that their only other Thanksgiving option is with boring people who don’t even eat Thanksgiving food. Paul gives in.
Charlie finally goes to mall security, where no one’s helpful, including Charlie, who can’t remember what Owen was wearing. Claudia calls home, but Daphne’s the only one there. I guess Claudia isn’t going home for Thanksgiving since she was just there; her teacher, Mr. Kroop, invited her to his house. Daphne then takes a call from Charlie letting her know that Owen’s missing. She and Bailey can’t remember what he was wearing either. Bailey and Griffin head off to the mall to help with the search.
The security guard continues to be unhelpful, not even helping Charlie look at the security screens. Charlie finally orders him to call the police. Julia and Ned bring home groceries, because these people are dumb enough to leave Thanksgiving shopping until the last minute. Enjoy your radishes and jelly beans, everyone. Only one police officer arrives to look for Owen, which doesn’t make Charlie feel any better. The officer says Owen’s considered of a “tender age” because he’s under ten. Thanks for the episode title; you’re still not helpful.
Bailey and Griffin arrive in time to learn that since Owen’s been gone more than an hour and a quarter, he might have been kidnapped. Happy Thanksgiving, Salingers! Julia, Ned, Paul, and Kirsten come to the mall next, and everyone splits up to pass out pictures of Owen and question people. Bailey yells at Santa, apparently thinking that a guy who sees hundreds of kids a day will remember what each of them looks like. Bailey also yells at Charlie for losing their brother.
Julia, Griffin, and Ned team up with another cop, then split up when Griffin suggests that he and Julia look in an airplane store. Kirsten takes a minute to deliver an emotional monologue to Paul. A cop tries to assure Charlie that they’ll probably find Owen, then shares that he has kids the same age as Owen and Daphne. Charlie beats himself up for being on the phone with Daphne instead of paying attention to Owen. The cop tells him that when his shift ends (which is soon), Missing Persons will take over, and they won’t be able to devote a lot of time or manpower to finding Owen.
Bailey leaves a message for Sarah asking her to come join the search. Claudia calls home again, and Daphne pretends everything’s fine – they just needed something from the store, and nine people decided to go together. Daphne has decided to cook dinner by herself, which is insane. Bailey and a cop finally encounter someone who might be helpful, except she doesn’t speak English, so her daughter has to translate. The woman saw a boy being dragged out of the mall (and…didn’t tell anyone?? Nice).
Everyone regroups in the security office, where the police have decided to expand the search to the neighborhoods around the mall. Griffin and Ned end up going to a construction site, where things start to get tense. Ned’s annoyed that Griffin knows the Salingers so well. Claudia calls home yet again, and this time Daphne can’t keep up the lie, so she tells Claudia that Owen’s missing. Claudia then calls Bailey and tells him she’s coming home. He tells her to stay put.
Kirsten picks a fight with Paul over a rude shopper, then snaps at him when he tells her to calm down. Happy Thanksgiving, Paul! This is totally what you’re in for the rest of your life, because Kirsten is an honorary Salinger! Bailey yells at Charlie because Daphne told Claudia about Owen, because I guess Bailey thinks Charlie controls Daphne? Charlie knows Bailey’s really mad at him for losing Owen in the first place.
A cop makes things worse by revealing that a boy was just brought into a hospital in a coma, having been beaten. Sarah shows up just in time to go over there with Bailey. It’s not Owen, but some other family is going to have a horrible Thanksgiving. Everywhere searchable has now been searched, and the mall is closing in 15 minutes, but Charlie refuses to go anywhere until those 15 minutes are up.
Bailey tells Sarah that if they had a baby together, no matter when, he would love and protect it at any cost. Griffin and Ned return to the mall, and Ned comforts Julia, who’s panicking for the first time. After 15 minutes, the cops make Charlie leave. Charlie plans to drive around until he finds Owen, and the cop he’s been talking to says he’ll do the same. Just then, they learn that a child turned up at a homeless shelter. It’s Owen – oh, and Bailey was right about what he was wearing, just for the record.
Charlie confronts the homeless man who brought Owen to the shelter, but the man says he was trying to get Owen to stop bugging him. He’s offended that anyone thinks he might have harmed a child. Owen approached him at the construction site, and the guy couldn’t get a name or address out of him, so he took him to the shelter for turkey. Charlie lectures Owen for leaving the carousel and not telling the homeless man his name, but Owen isn’t apologetic. He’s mad that everything’s about Diana right now, and he wanted to do something on his own.
Now that the big crisis is over, everyone gathers to have Thanksgiving together, except Griffin. He doesn’t want to spend any more time with Ned. He tells Julia that despite Ned’s helpfulness, he doesn’t like the guy. Paul apologizes to Kirsten for being hard on her, and she thanks him for joining the search. Paul reveals that Owen’s disappearance has made him realize that he couldn’t handle being a father. Bailey thanks Sarah for showing up during the search, which helped him feel better. I guess their problems are solved?
This time when Claudia calls the house, she gets to talk to Owen. Too bad she has to spend Thanksgiving with her teacher instead of her family. So apparently Daphne cooked everything by herself while also taking care of an infant? Huh?
Thoughts: What a horrible Thanksgiving episode. Unless the message is “be thankful that your children aren’t missing.”
I’m sure mothers everywhere would love to know how Daphne prepared the entire meal by herself while taking care of a baby.
Hey, Ned, maybe be helpful before you complain about Griffin being close to the family. And then sit at the kiddie table with Paul.
’90s music alert: Alanis Morissette’s “Thank You” (how appropriate).