October 4, 2014

Party of Five 5.13, Fillmore Street: There’s a Difference Between Forgiveness and Justice, Sarah

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 3:07 pm by Jenn

This red panda is laughing at Julia and Sarah's horrible decisions

This red panda is laughing at Julia and Sarah’s horrible decisions

Summary: Albert has been arraigned, and the next step is for the prosecutor to help Bailey and Sarah get ready to testify. A woman corners Sarah at the courthouse, introducing herself as Albert’s sister, and tells Sarah that he only turned to robbery to provide for his child. Ned and Julia run into each other at the library, and he says he’s willing to give her some space. She makes excuses for his behavior, saying that just lashed out because he was scared. She’s happy that he cares so much.

Charlie meets with an insurance agent named Beth who totally wants to jump his bones. Bailey’s furious that Albert’s sister talked to Sarah, who thinks the sister wanted to make her feel guilty for pressing charges. She’ll still testify, but she’s confused about things. Kirsten sets up a meeting with an adoption agency while Paul gets depressed over news about orphans. She would rather adopt domestically, since it’s faster; Paul thinks they should go international and save a child.

Griffin surprises Julia at her dorm, wanting to check out her car, which she lied about dinging up. She chases him off, and he’s disappointed to learn that she’s still with Ned. Claudia goes to the music store where Griffin’s jerky ex-band mate Cody works and asks him to come back to the band. Cody doesn’t want to play with someone who’s not as into rock as he is. If she’s not planning to show up at a club on Fillmore Street the next night, off a rumor that Taj Mahal will do a surprise performance, she’s not cool enough for him.

Griffin and Ned run into each other and bicker over Julia. Amazingly, punches aren’t thrown. At his school, Charlie chats with his vice principal, Valerie, who wants him to come to a City Council meeting to show support for arts funding. And if he wants to hang out and have coffee and maybe make out before that, she wouldn’t say no. Charlie asks a student with a crush on him to babysit Diana. Bad move, Charlie.

Kirsten and Paul meet with someone at an adoption agency who tells them someone has already picked them as parents. They could have a baby as soon as next week. Sarah sees Albert at the DA’s office and feels bad for him. Okay, Joey Potter, don’t go there. Griffin tells Charlie that growing up with an abusive father gave him a sixth sense about violence, and he thinks Ned is hitting Julia. Charlie thinks Griffin’s just upset that Julia’s moving on. Julia wouldn’t be with someone who hurts her.

Claudia shows up at the Fillmore Street club, and Cody blathers about playing music and being soulful. If Claudia can learn to play like Taj Mahal, he’ll come back to the band. She asks him to help her. He tells her to close her eyes and focus on the groove. Ned confronts Julia for not telling him that Griffin was on campus; he’s worried that they’ll get back together. She assures him that Griffin isn’t a threat. Ned interprets that as Julia accusing him of being paranoid. He points out that she and Griffin haven’t actually divorced yet.

Bailey tells Sarah that the prosecutor helped him get a restraining order to keep Albert’s family away. He thinks Sarah was scared by the incident, but she’s moved on to feeling bad for the guy who robbed her at knifepoint. She argues that he never hurt anyone; he ran away instead of using the knife. Bailey doesn’t care – Albert should go to jail. He doesn’t care about Sarah’s sympathy for the guy.

Paul comes home at the end of a bad day, telling Kirsten that he performed surgery on a girl whose brain tumor went undetected for a long time because her parents couldn’t afford a doctor. He hates that those parents almost lost their daughter because they don’t have money, while he and Kirsten get to adopt because they do have money. Kirsten reminds him that they have to think in absolutes: There’s an actual child they’re supposed to bring home. Paul says he doesn’t want him this way.

Sarah makes the horrible move of telling the prosecutor that she no longer things Albert was the guy who robbed her. Then she says it’s him, but she doesn’t want to send him to jail. The DA reminds her that she’s the victim, not Albert. Sarah argues that he’s a human with a family. They should be working to fix whatever makes him steal, not punishing him for it. Bailey thinks his testimony will be enough, but the prosecutor thinks Albert will go free if Sarah backs down.

Charlie’s babysitter, Amanda, shows up at the Salingers’, where Beth is already waiting for Charlie (she was going to bring over paperwork). Valerie shows up next, and Claudia predicts a fight. Griffin returns to Julia’s dorm and asks her straight out if Ned’s abusing her. She tries to get him to leave, but he’s not gone before Ned shows up. The guys face off again, and this time punches are thrown. Julia continually tells Griffin to get out.

When Charlie comes home, Beth, Valerie, and Amanda yell at him for not thinking each of them was romantically interested in him. (Amanda, you’re 16. Your dad probably had to drive you over. Shut up.) Charlie tells them he’s too focused on Diana to date right now. Beth’s even more turned on now. Kirsten’s understandably upset about having to turn down the adoption, and she tells Paul that she doesn’t think he’s ever going to be on board. He basically admits it.

Cody’s back in the band, but Griffin doesn’t want Claudia to hang out with him. He thinks she should decide between Cody and the band. Bailey makes some jabs at Sarah for deciding not to testify against Albert, pointing out that people shouldn’t have to suffer because of other people’s bad decisions. Sarah wants to cling to her belief that people deserve second chances. Bailey doesn’t like that she thinks it’s okay to excuse people’s behavior and let them go unpunished.

Julia goes to see Griffin, telling him she’s not mad that he’s concerned. She informs him that she’s having a lawyer draw up divorce papers. She doesn’t want Griffin to keep trying to take care of her – she needs him out of her life. They need to stop worrying about each other. Charlie meets with Kirsten, who tells him that Paul backed out of the adoption. She’s not sure how to forgive him, or if she can keep fighting for their relationship. Julia goes back to school and prepares to move on with her life (with Ned, of course). Sarah tracks down Albert at his home and introduces herself.

Thoughts: Adoptive parents everywhere are laughing hysterically over Paul and Kirsten getting approved to adopt in, like, four episodes.

Ugh, Claudia, don’t fall for a music snob.

I think this episode is the first time in years that Griffin has mentioned Jill. I almost forgot she existed.

’90s music alert: Sheryl Crow’s “My Favorite Mistake” plays during Ned and Griffin’s fight, and if that doesn’t perfectly describe Julia and Griffin, I don’t know what does.

1 Comment »

  1. Enrico said,

    This article was published 7 years ago, but it’s never too late to publish a comment on an episode. I am watching the show with only 22 years of delay…
    I think this episode is an egregious example of how bad season 5 is, compared to the previous seasons. Season 4 was definitely not as good as the previous ones, as it had a major weakness in the not very believable, not very emotionally involving story line on Charlie’s illness, but it still included a nice mixture of strong feelings and light moments.
    This season is so far almost a disaster. Why spend almost half a season on Daphne’s unwillingness to be a mother, when we barely know her?
    And while the plot line on Claudia going to a boarding school was not bad, especially her switch from potentially marginalized geek to popular girl, all at once that plot line is cut short, for no real reason.
    But what is mostly missing from this season is lightness. Everything is so heavy and overly dramatic.
    Ironically, this episode is the only one where we see some lightness in the scene of an army of girls assuming they have a date with Charlie.
    But this does not make up for the awful development of the Julia plot line. The kind and likeable, but still strong and rational Julia is replaced, especially in this episode, by a dumb girl who lets herself be abused and manipulated by a violent idiot. And Sarah, after repeating many times that she is in shock from the incident we saw in the previous epsiode, all at once turns super forgiving towards the person who could have killed her. The episode perhaps aims at contrasting an example of good forgiveness (Sarah) vs. an example of bad forgiveness (Julia), but they are both bad, not believable examples. So the episode’s attempt falls flat. Like almost everything in this season so far. What a disappointment!


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