October 25, 2014
Party of Five 5.16, Party of Freud: What Does Everyone Have Against Therapy?
Summary: Julia tracks down Ned after he’s hidden out for a few days in the aftermath of his fight with Griffin. He’s realized that he now knows how Julia felt after he hit her. He’s not sure where his rage comes from. He’s decided that they need to end things. Julia refuses to let him decide that for them; it’s like he’s punishing her for what Griffin did. Ned says he doesn’t want her to get hurt again, and the only way to ensure that is for her to go away.
In L.A., Daphne’s happy to be back with Diana, though she’s worried about the effects of her leaving. Charlie points out that Diana’s too young to get what’s going on or remember that Daphne left. Owen’s teacher calls Bailey in to discuss the possibility that Owen has a learning disability. Bailey wonders if he’s just stressed out about all the changes at home. The teacher wants to test Owen to find out what’s going on.
Charlie calls Kirsten to tell her how great things are going with Daphne. Kirsten’s like, “I’m so glad your awesome life is so awesome. I’m still crashing in your attic, you know.” Claudia hangs out with Griffin, who’s trying to give Julia space. She wonders if he’s still in love with someone who obviously doesn’t care about him anymore. Julia tells Ned that their relationship isn’t over just because he says it is. She walked away from her marriage, and she’s not giving up on another relationship. Ned’s not a bad person, and if he gets help, Julia will stay with him.
Charlie wants to spend more time with Daphne, who has to go to work. She’s not sure what he expects from his visit. Charlie tells her he wants her to come home with him. He thinks they can work through her problems, which stem from her mother abandoning her. Daphne appreciates knowing the truth about her childhood, but she can’t make excuses for who she is. Charlie tells her she’s giving up, and she needs to fix what’s wrong: “You’re not doomed unless you decide to be.” Anything Daphne does from here on is her own fault, not her mother’s.
Ned and Julia see a university therapist, and he admits that he can be abusive. Bailey learns that Owen has a learning disability that can be improved with lots of work. Bailey promises that he’s willing to help his brother. Owen’s teacher invites him to volunteer in the classroom. The therapist tracks Julia down on her own to tell her about a group session she might want to attend with other abused women. Julia declines, denying that she’s a victim of violence – Ned just gets angry, but she’s not afraid of him. The therapist is like, “Yeah, I’ve never heard that before.”
Kirsten decides to go visit her parents for a while, which is probably a really good idea. Claudia thinks Charlie will be disappointed, but Kirsten feels like she’s in the way. She admits that she’s been sitting around, waiting for something to happen that isn’t going to. In L.A., Daphne tells Charlie that she’s decided to go home with him and get therapy. They just have to leave immediately before she changes her mind. Charlie tells her to tie up all loose ends first.
Bailey hangs out in Owen’s classroom, and one of the students tries to fix him up with Owen’s teacher. Owen cutely reminds his brother that he already has a girlfriend. In therapy, Ned discusses his angry father, and how he thinks that’s where his own anger comes from. The therapist points out that anger isn’t the issue – it’s the ability to control anger. Ned doesn’t want to talk about Richie, but the therapist guesses that he showed violence as a child, and their father blamed Ned.
Sarah complains to Bailey that her poetry professor isn’t giving them serious assignments. Bailey doesn’t think he’s the right person to have this discussion with, since he wasn’t so great at school. He knows he was smart, but he didn’t get grades that reflected that. He thinks that’s why he’s so focused on helping Owen. After therapy, Ned complains to Julia that the therapist is twisting things around and making his “temper” problem bigger than it is. He yells at his roommate, then tells Julia he wants to live with her so he doesn’t have to deal with annoying people.
Daphne’s not done tying up her loose ends, and Charlie quickly realizes that she doesn’t want to finish tying them up. She tells him she believed him when he said everything could work out, and that no damage had been done to Diana. Daphne’s putting an end to the “disease” her mother passed on to her, but if she goes home, tries to change, and fails, she’ll have passed the disease on to Diana. She doesn’t want to take the risk. She tells Charlie they need to sever all ties right now.
Bailey takes Owen to school, telling him Charlie will pick him up from the apartment that night. Owen’s not thrilled by that news. Charlie and Diana go home, and Charlie tells Claudia that it’s up to Daphne what happens next. She gives him the news that Kirsten left, thinking Daphne would be coming home. Charlie reacts like everything is totally fine.
Ned goes to his next therapy session alone, not wanting Julia to hear everything about his life. He blames her for making him angry, but the therapist calls him out: “You hit because you’re a hitter.” He tries to get Ned to admit that he’s hurt someone else, since that would mean Julia isn’t to blame. The therapist asks if Ned wants to hurt Julia even worse next time because he’s so out of control. Ned doesn’t, and he agrees to have a real conversation.
Charlie throws Griffin out of the house, ordering him to leave Julia alone. Everything in Charlie’s life is complicated, but this is simple, and has a solution: Griffin beat up Julia’s boyfriend, so he needs to leave. Claudia tries to defend Griffin, but Griffin says Charlie’s right. Bailey tells Sarah that he’d like to raise Owen. Sarah isn’t sure Bailey’s thought this through completely, but Bailey just wants to be there for Owen more than Charlie’s been able to.
Ned finds an apartment for him and Julia, but she’s clearly not that excited about living there. He tells her he’s going to find a way to deal with his anger other than therapy, which just makes his anger worse. It looks like his plan is to just avoid getting angry. Charlie goes to Bailey and Sarah’s to get Owen, and tells them Daphne didn’t come home with him. Bailey comes up with a list of reasons for Owen to spend the night at the apartment. Charlie has no idea what’s going on with Owen and decides it’s not worth arguing over right now.
Griffin packs up to leave the Salingers’ as Claudia promises she’ll keep in touch. Owen’s teacher calls Charlie to talk about Owen, but he doesn’t understand anything she’s talking about. She’s confused until he tells her she’s mistaken him with Bailey. Also, why is Owen seeing a psychologist? Julia and Ned move into their new place, and he tries to get her to agree to stop talking to other people about their problems. (Red alert! Red alert! Isolation is classic abuser behavior!)
Bailey and Charlie meet up at Owen’s school so they can argue about their brother’s problems in front of him. Bailey has accepted that Owen has dyslexia, but Charlie hasn’t. He says his opinion rules because he’s Owen’s guardian. Bailey decides it’s time to announce that he wants to take Owen in. He thinks he also has dyslexia and can work with Owen. Charlie doesn’t have the time or ability to help Owen, but Bailey does. If Charlie wants what’s best for Owen, he’ll let Bailey take him. That’s not exactly the way to approach things, dude.
Thoughts: The therapist is played by Gregory Itzin.
Daphne, please get therapy anyway. “Failure is better” is a horrible way to approach things. You make me sad.
I’d like to hear from Maggie about Ned. She dated him, and before that she knew him for years. I want to know about her experiences with him.
Once again, Claudia has no storyline. I’m surprised Lacey Chabert was willing to stick around to keep doing nothing.
These late-’90s hairstyles aren’t working for me. Please brush your hair, Claudia and Kirsten.