November 22, 2014
Party of Five 5.20, The Wish: Lights Out
Summary: Julia helps Bailey continue moving Owen’s things out of the Salingers’ house a few weeks after he received custody. Bailey and Charlie are still on shaky terms, but Charlie’s trying to act like everything’s okay. Bailey invites him to visit Owen at his place any time he wants. Claudia joins her siblings, obviously looking for some acknowledgment, but no one catches her hints. Then she opens the fridge and finds a sign wishing her a happy 16th birthday. She’s excited that her friends and family will be getting together that night at Bailey and Sarah’s to celebrate.
Apparently parenting only one child hasn’t made things all that much easier for Charlie, as he accidentally leaves Diana’s diaper bag in his vice principal’s car. Claudia asks Griffin to come to her birthday party, but he resists since he’s still trying to separate himself from them. She offers to bring him a piece of cake instead. A waitress at the restaurant complains to Bailey about some new rules at work, which have been implemented by a manager named Lauren. She makes Bailey hang around to go over more issues.
Sarah gets things ready for Claudia’s party, which is going to get crashed by the high school’s ice hockey team. Sarah thinks that’s awesome since Claudia could use some time with boys. Lauren bugs Bailey some more about work stuff, like running tabs for longtime customers and never asking them to pay. He tells her she can implement new policies, but she needs to be a little nicer. Griffin decides to go to Claudia’s party after all, and he and Julia take an elevator up to the loft together.
Bailey’s about to leave the restaurant when the power goes out. Over at his apartment building, the power outage traps Julia and Griffin in the elevator. Elsewhere in the city, Charlie and Diana get stuck in a traffic jam. The hockey team manages to make it to the party, though. Owen notices that the power’s out all over the city. The mayor quickly declares a state of emergency and a 9:00 curfew. Charlie ditches his car in an alley while Bailey and Lauren bicker over whether they should still give their customers their bills.
Julia decides to take advantage of the situation to get Griffin to talk things out. She admits that she’s upset with him for the way he treated her when she was with Ned. She was in a bad situation, but Griffin didn’t let her handle it on her own. However, she’s grateful because he ultimately helped her. On a hunt for diapers and formula, Charlie encounters a police officer, who suggests that he stop by a hospital. The hockey team hangs out with Owen while Claudia awkwardly avoids them. Sarah tries to get her to loosen up – it shouldn’t matter if she’s a virgin and the guys aren’t.
Charlie gets what he needs at the hospital, where he also runs into Paul. He asks Charlie to donate blood since there’s a shortage. Griffin asks Julia why she didn’t call him after everything with Ned. She says she was embarrassed that he saw her in such a bad place. Griffin’s surprised that she cared about what he thought – she rarely cared about his opinion before. “I’m just a nuisance to you,” he says. Julia’s surprised that he did so much for her after claiming not to love her. She has more than just basic respect for him now.
Claudia’s still jumpy, so Sarah tells her to stop acting like the guys are enemies. They’re just paying attention to her and being nice. Claudia denies that she’s afraid, then says that she has every right to be, since she’s never had sex and so many bad things can result. Sarah’s like, “Been there, and it’s so much more awesome than you think.” She decides it’s time to give Claudia a version of the talk (and I don’t buy that Julia never did, but whatever). Bailey and Lauren fight some more – each is mad that the other is so controlling. She quits, leaving him alone to close up.
Sarah tells Claudia that she waited a long time to have sex, which for some people is part of being safe. Claudia clearly isn’t at the right place yet, but when she is, she won’t be scared anymore. Until then, she shouldn’t be nervous around the hockey players. Bailey’s hesitant to leave the restaurant until the power comes back on, since the alarm won’t work, but Sarah convinces him to stay. Lauren returns, admitting that she has trouble forming positive relationships with people, and often drives people away. They accept that they’re both control freaks and decide to have dinner together.
Charlie and Paul note how weird it is to be back in the hospital where Charlie’s life changed so much. He appreciates that Paul has always been so kind to him. Paul finds it strange that Charlie would worry about how he’s handling the split with Kirsten. Julia and Griffin consider an escape through the elevator shaft, but it’s not feasible. Instead, they’ll just bring in some sexual tension and make out a little.
Claudia tries to help a hockey player decide what to give his girlfriend for her upcoming birthday. She advises him to give her something that means a lot to him but that he never wanted to give away. (She totally means virginity, you guys.) Bailey and Lauren discuss their control issues, and Bailey wonders if that’s what was in play during the custody battle. Was he really looking out for Owen, or did he just think he was the only one who could do things right? Lauren tries to hide her disappointment when Bailey confirms that he has a girlfriend.
Griffin tries to stop things before he and Julia can go too far, but she wants him to stop worrying about making a mistake. Somehow, all the way in another part of town, Bailey and Lauren catch Griffin and Julia’s sexual tension and look like they might kiss. Just then, the power comes back on, which they should totally take as a sign. He agrees to forget about her quitting her job. Griffin and Julia finally make it out of the elevator, but he decides not to stay for the party. Julia gets him to change his mind.
Paul catches Charlie on his way out of the hospital so he can announce that Charlie and Kirsten belong together. Charlie laughs, but Paul thinks it was obvious the entire time he was with Kirsten. She told him that she hated letting Charlie go, but was able to move on because of Paul. He told himself that he was helping her move on, but she was always on a path back to Charlie. Paul wants him to realize that he’s protesting too much.
Bailey makes it to the party, which has turned out to be a big success. Claudia’s happy that Griffin showed up after all. Charlie and Diana arrive last, and since Kirsten’s there, Charlie has some thinking to do. So does Julia, who kind of wishes she were 16 again, and Griffin, who is much more practical. She asks him to pretend that things are carefree again, just for the night. Charlie tells Bailey that he can see how happy Owen is with him.
Sarah asks Claudia if she feels any older. Claudia does, since a boy asked her to “park” with him, but she asked to postpone the date for a couple years. Her birthday ends on a good note, with everyone singing “Happy Birthday.” She makes a wish as she blows out her candles, not worried that it won’t come true.
Thoughts: Lauren is played by Julie Warner (Doc Hollywood, Tommy Boy).
Charlie, don’t put a baby in the front seat! Come on!
Ahh, elevators, The go-to contrivance to trap characters together. What would TV shows do without them?
Sarah: “Offer them some nachos.” Claudia: “What if they ask me a follow-up question?” Hee.
’90s music alert: Lit’s “My Own Worst Enemy.”