October 11, 2014
Party of Five 5.14, Stand by Me: Please Stop Making Bad Decisions, Everyone
Summary: Julia and Ned go skinny-dipping in Stanford’s pool, because apparently she said she wanted to take more risks. She tells him they can’t hang out the next night because she’s going to Justin’s parents’ anniversary party. Of course, Ned doesn’t like that she’ll be hanging out with another ex. She promises that he has no reason to worry, especially since Justin has a girlfriend, but Ned invites himself along anyway.
Charlie and Kirsten take Diana to the park, in an inevitable step toward the three of them becoming their own little family. Kirsten says that finding out Paul doesn’t want to adopt makes her feel like she’s learning she can’t have kids all over again. Charlie encourages her to work things out with her husband.
Sarah tells Bailey that she promised to help Albert find a job. She’s officially gone farther than Joey Potter ever did. Bailey’s understandably upset – she’s helping the man who robbed her at knifepoint. A neighbor, Mr. Belmont, asks after Owen, thinking he was Bailey and Sarah’s son. Sarah’s like, “You know who does have a son? Albert.” Sarah, get it together.
She tells Bailey that her victim support group encouraged her to take control, so she’s letting Albert come over to search for a job. Bailey decides to stay home to be there, too, but Sarah doesn’t want him around, making Albert feel like criminal. Bailey’s like, “Uh, that’s what he is.” Sarah asks him to back off so she can face her fears. He gets her to agree to at least meet Albert somewhere public.
Griffin asks Justin to visit him at work so they can discuss Julia’s relationship with Ned. Griffin announces that Ned’s abusive, and Justin wonders why he’s not currently a) with Julia or b) beating the crap out of Ned. Griffin explains that he has to keep his distance. Justin figures out that Griffin wants him to rescue Julia instead. He’s not interested in getting involved, but Griffin points out that it must be really bad if he was willing to turn to Justin.
Claudia goes to Cody’s record store, because for some reason, this plot is still a thing. They’re all, “Why does Griffin want us to stay away from each other? It’s not like we like each other. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” They decide that they’re allowed to do whatever they want. Kirsten suggests a vacation so she and Paul can work on their relationship, but he doesn’t think it can be salvaged. She agrees that they’re over.
Julia and Justin reunite at the anniversary party, and he reveals that his girlfriend cheated on him with her ethics professor. (That’s called irony, folks.) Ned warns Justin to keep his hands to himself. Mrs. Thompson asks Justin and Julia to dance with each other, “for old time’s sake,” so she’s probably on some list of Ned’s now. Ned cuts in before Justin can ask Julia anything about Griffin’s suspicions.
Albert doesn’t get Sarah’s message changing their meeting place, and he winds up at her and Bailey’s apartment after all. Now she’s not so eager to help the criminal. She helps him with some job applications, cautioning him not to put his arrest on one, since it only asks if he was ever convicted of a crime. It probably won’t matter anyway, since he has little education and no job experience.
Kirsten goes back to Charlie for another conversation about her marriage. He offers to let her stay at the house while she figures out what she’s going to do next. Justin and Julia hang out (sorry, Ned), and this time he asks her about how things are going in her relationship. He finds Ned “intense” and “possessive.” Julia doesn’t get the hint. She runs into Ned’s roommate and tells Justin she has to leave before the roommate tells Ned he saw her with another guy.
Griffin announces to the band that he’s booked them a gig. They finally have a lead singer: Cody’s friend Melanie. Cue jealousy from Claudia. Sarah admits to Bailey that Albert came to the apartment and asks him to be proud of her for helping him, or at least happy that she’s facing her fears and feels safe. Bailey’s like, “I’m still a little stuck on the fact that a robber was in our apartment, but okay.”
Ned yells at Julia for meeting with Justin, couching it in disliking that she’s discussing their relationship with other people. There’s some classic abuser language, and then he slaps her. “It’s my fault,” she says, apologizing for doing things with Justin that Ned didn’t like. The whole thing is disturbing.
Charlie goes with Kirsten to meet with the same lawyer he talked to when he thought Daphne might keep Diana from him. Kirsten blames herself for the marriage falling apart, and the lawyer wonders if Charlie had any bearing on things. The lawyer then sends Kirsten out of the room and asks Charlie if Daphne’s departure had anything to do with the information she gave him. Charlie says he never looked at it.
Justin calls Julia to try to get her to meet him, but she tells him she’s sick. Ned’s in her room the whole time. Kirsten takes the room in the Salingers’ attic and they laugh over memories of the early days of them knowing each other. Justin goes to Julia’s dorm but finds only Ned there. Justin fails to goad him into admitting that Julia makes him mad sometimes. They discuss what Griffin’s said about Ned, but Justin decides not to pursue it.
Sarah and Bailey are woken up by a gunshot and call the police. Griffin’s band does their gig. Melanie has a really annoying voice and Claudia tries to upstage her. A detective tells Bailey and Sarah that some apartments were robbed, and Mr. Belmont was shot when he walked in on the burglar. Of course, that burglar was Albert. Sarah blames herself for bringing him over, but that’s not the worst part: Bailey’s gun is missing.
Sarah’s mad that Bailey got a gun after she told him not to, but Bailey points out that that’s not really the issue here. Sarah’s like, “Albert couldn’t have shot anyone without a gun.” Bailey’s like, “Albert couldn’t have gotten the gun if you hadn’t let him in.” They’re at an impasse over who’s really to blame for what happened. Hey, how about we blame Albert?
Claudia and Cody make awkward small talk, and she learns that he and Melanie aren’t just friends – they’re dating. Claudia realizes that that’s the real reason Griffin wanted her to avoid Cody. She babbles until Cody kisses her, so I guess he and Melanie are over? I’m confused. Whatever, I don’t care enough.
After spending the night thinking about it, Charlie digs up the information on Daphne. He tells Kirsten that it’s full of things Daphne might not even know about her own life. If she’d known them, things might be different. He’s decided that he needs to find her. Bailey and Sarah visit Mr. Belmont, then discuss security measures in their apartment. Bailey offers to move, but Sarah wants to learn to feel safe no matter where she is. She assures him that he makes her feel safe, too.
Julia returns to her dorm and learns that Justin came by. Ned claims he’s not mad, but it’s probably only because Justin’s going back to school and won’t be around anymore. He sings “Stand by Me” so the episode can get a title, and they dance. Knowing what we know about him, it’s creepier than it’s meant to be.
Thoughts: The Kirsten/Paul stuff was especially interminable because I know how things end up for her. So thank goodness that’s over.
Didn’t Justin’s parents have another kid? Why is she never mentioned? She must be hanging out with Owen somewhere.
I guess we should be grateful that Sarah didn’t ask Bailey to give Albert a job at the restaurant. That would have been a disastrous conversation.
Melanie’s former band was the Julienne Fries. Ugh, no. It should be Julienne and the Fries.
’90s music alert: Griffin’s band plays Counting Crows’ “Rain King.”