November 15, 2014
Party of Five 5.19, Judgment Day: Disorder in the Court
Summary: Things are chaotic at the Salinger house, because Charlie is the only adult and we’re all supposed to think Owen would be better living with Bailey. Kirsten announces that she’s found a place to live. Griffin’s also planning to find a place, though now Charlie’s okay with him staying, since he’s been trying to help Julia. Just as everything calms down, Charlie receives a subpoena: Bailey’s suing for custody of Owen.
Julia’s been hanging out at the house a lot, and when she realizes just how many times she’s had dinner there recently, she decides that she should stop avoiding school so much. Sarah complains to Bailey that his lawyer interrogated her at his office, even though she’s on his side. Bailey worries that she’s not on his side anymore. She admits that she doesn’t think suing Charlie is the best option. Her parents’ divorce was barely contentious but still went horribly. Sarah warns that Charlie might never forgive Bailey for his actions. Bailey’s more concerned with what Owen needs.
Griffin tours an apartment, not knowing that Kirsten’s always interested in it. The landlords are a married couple, and each offer the place to Griffin and Kirsten. Julia runs into Ned, who sends her on a guilt trip by telling her that Richie asked about her. She tells him to stop acting like things are normal. They’re over, and she won’t give in to his attempts to manipulate her. Ned seems to think that Julia will change her mind about him in time.
Charlie goes to the restaurant to confront Bailey for suing him. He can’t afford a lawyer to counter the suit, but he thinks Bailey would lose in court anyway. Bailey suggests that they hire a judge to mediate, which means neither of them would need a lawyer. Charlie doesn’t have much of a choice, since there’s a subpoena. He wonders when Bailey decided that beating him was more important than anything else.
All of the Salingers except Owen attend the mediation, where Owen’s teacher testifies about the help he needs to deal with his dyslexia. Charlie says that he didn’t follow the teacher’s suggestions because he wanted a second opinion. Bailey accuses him of trying to hide from the truth. Claudia speaks about Charlie’s schedule and how much she helps around the house. Julia’s upset that Bailey put something in the court records about Charlie’s cancer and follow-up treatments.
The judge asks if Charlie has the time to help Owen with his learning disability. Claudia admits that he doesn’t, and she wouldn’t be able to help enough to give him the time he needs. Kirsten and Griffin both arrive at the courthouse to testify and decide not to insert themselves in the drama. They mention that they’ve both found a great place to live, and that they’d like to move on from their current lives.
Kirsten objects to testifying against Charlie, blasting Bailey for making her come. The judge asks if Charlie ever discussed a plan for how he would raise Claudia, Owen, and Diana on his own if Daphne ever left. Griffin admits that Charlie has more on his plate than he can handle. Someone from Social Services testifies that things at the house are chaotic. He’s also surprised to hear that Owen broke his arm; they’re supposed to be notified of serious injuries.
During a break, Julia complains to Claudia about how the whole session is people attacking Charlie. Claudia thought she knew that was how things would go. Ned shows up (and how did he know Julia was there?) to announce that he’s seeing the counselor he and Julia saw together, and is willing to take full responsibility for everything bad if it means he gets her back. Julia continues to refuse, telling Ned to leave.
Bailey points out that Charlie’s been complaining about having to take care of the family from the minute he moved back home after their parents’ death. Julia notes that that was a long time ago. Charlie thinks he’s what’s best for Owen – he’s the only father Owen has had for the past five years. Bailey points out that Owen wants him, not Charlie. Julia tells Bailey to stop. Charlie admits that he hated giving up his own life, but he did give it up. Now he has a life of his own – Diana – and Bailey’s punishing him for it. By turning on him, everyone’s taking away his new life.
Back in court the next day, Claudia and Julia tell Bailey that Charlie hasn’t talked to either of them since they left the day before. Sarah testifies that Bailey has a lot of time to spend with Owen, Bailey’s been working hard with him, and they have room for Owen in their apartment. The judge focuses on the fact that Sarah’s a 19-year-old college student with no childcare experience beyond babysitting. Bailey thinks Charlie spoke to the judge about this on his own.
Kirsten starts moving into her new apartment, which is also apparently Griffin’s new apartment. Someone testifies about the safety of the neighborhood where Bailey lives, which is reasonable, because of all that stuff with Albert. Julia testifies about Bailey dropping out of college. Then Bailey’s alcoholism comes up, as well as how Sarah was injured when Bailey got his DUI. The social worker returns to state that they don’t like to remove kids from their homes unless things are horrible, since changing a residence can be traumatic.
Griffin wants Kirsten to take the apartment, which was a little too expensive for him anyway. She agrees to let him stay until he finds another place to live. They agree not to talk about the Salingers since they’re trying so hard to move on. At Stanford, Julia spots Ned talking to another girl and pretends she’s fine with it. Bailey thinks he’s going to lose the case, so he wants to make Owen testify that he wants to be with Bailey. Claudia and Sarah chastise him for dragging a five-year-old into their family’s mess.
Julia goes back to counseling, admitting that she feels tempted to go back to Ned. She asks if he’s making progress, and the counselor asks how he would know. He says he can’t comment on another patient’s treatment, even if say if he’s in treatment. Julia realizes that Ned lied about going back to counseling.
Owen goes in to meet with the judge, begging Bailey to stop the process. Bailey assures him that everything’s okay and no one’s fighting. He realizes how bad things are, sending Owen home with Sarah. Charlie mocks that Bailey’s just putting on a performance as a caring father because he knows he can’t win. Bailey yells that it took a subpoena to make Charlie realize that Owen needed more attention. “I’m not the one who lost his kid in the mall! I’m not the one who knocked up some stripper!” he says.
The judge announces that she’s already made a decision. If she could, she’d give Owen a break from both brothers, but instead she’s going to send him to live with Bailey. Of course, Charlie handles this badly. Bailey tells him that he only did this to get Charlie to realize that he can’t give Owen what he needs. At Stanford, Julia runs into Ned again, and he tells her he’s not going to press her to get back together, but he’d like to be friends. She agrees to hang out that night.
At the house, Charlie hears Owen on the phone with Bailey, telling him how well he did on a school assignment. He pretends he wasn’t talking to Bailey, but Charlie assures him it’s okay. Griffin helps Kirsten move into her apartment while they talk about how much the Salingers try to take care of each other. They kick themselves for talking about the Salingers while trying to move on. Griffin things they need to avoid each other to really move on. At home, Charlie urges Owen to tell him whatever he needs, even if it’s something that might make him mad.
Ned goes to Julia’s dorm room, where the counselor is waiting for him. Julia reveals that she called the school and the police to report Ned’s abuse. If he comes near her again, he’ll be charged with assault. She also called his family so they can make sure he gets help. After Julia saw Ned with the other girl, she wanted to make sure he doesn’t hurt anyone else. Ned wants to say something, but she tells him that no one’s listening.
Charlie and Bailey meet to hand off Owen, but Charlie doesn’t want to have a conversation with his brother yet. At school, Julia starts to eat by herself in the cafeteria, then asks to sit with a group of people. Charlie takes care of Diana while Bailey takes care of Owen, having finally gotten what he’s been fighting for.
Thoughts: The judge is played by Roxanne Hart, who’s been in a ton of stuff, and whose name makes me think of Roxie Hart. Hence the picture for this recap.
Kirsten’s apartment is way too nice for a place Griffin could afford. It’s also probably big enough for two people. It’s like an entire floor of a house.
Can’t Owen just hang out with Bailey more while still living with Charlie? This whole thing is so dumb. The judge’s decision makes no sense to me.
Aww, Griffin and Kirsten are sweet as friends. They do need to leave the Salingers behind, though.
Good for Julia. Unlike some people on this show, she makes good decisions.