December 20, 2014

Party of Five 5.24, Haunted: “Sort of a Mother, But Not Really”

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:23 pm by Jenn

Daphne, first take care of this goldfish. Then we'll let you take care of a baby

Daphne, first take care of this goldfish. Then we’ll let you take care of a baby

Summary: Julia takes a break from studying to try to call Perry, who she hasn’t spoken to for a few days. Julia’s trying to work on an essay for a scholarship. Sarah’s going for the same scholarship and is also having trouble with the essay. Bailey’s annoyed that Claudia’s hanging out with Cody, but promises that everything’s okay between them. He changes his mind when she comes in with her hair dyed red, and wearing a leopard-print tube top. Bailey calls her an idiot for changing her hair to please a guy.

Over at Charlie and Kirsten’s, the happy little family is still happy – so much so that Charlie basically sees Kirsten as Diana’s mother. Kirsten loves Diana but isn’t trying to replace Daphne. Julia and Perry meet up and finally talk about their kiss. Julia knows she’s not gay, but she likes the way she feels when she’s with Perry. She feels like Perry helped her love writing again and got her to move on with her life. They agree to be friends and writing buddies again.

Claudia complains to Charlie about how Bailey’s been acting, both with her and as the head of the family. He tells her to go easy on him. He also likes her new look, which is surprising. Sarah tells Bailey that she can’t work on her essay while she’s taking care of things around the house, so she’s going to go out of town for a couple days. Suddenly Daphne arrives at the house, looking for Charlie. Bailey sends her to the high school, then calls to warn his brother.

Julia wonders why Josh keeps putting up with her, so he says he’s doing research for a story about a “haunted” (hey! Like the episode title!) woman who keeps rejecting a neurotic guy who wants to go out with her. Julia says that the woman is the neurotic one, and she’ll go out with Josh. Bailey didn’t reach Charlie in time, since Charlie was on a field trip, so he’s surprised to see Daphne at school. She announces that her mother died. She’s now clear on a lot of things, including what she wants.

On their date, Josh and Julia run into Perry, and Julia downplays the reason they’re there together. Perry’s surprised they’re on a date since Julia said she wasn’t interested in Josh. Sarah has difficulty getting ready for her special distraction-reducing vacation because she’s distracted by stuff around the house. I think it’s supposed to be funny. It’s not, really.

Charlie hasn’t told Daphne that he and Kirsten are back together, and is just now telling Kirsten that Daphne’s in town. Kirsten wonders if Daphne wants Diana and/or Charlie back. She’s also upset that Charlie’s so happy that Diana might get her real mother back. Cody clearly couldn’t care less about Claudia’s new look, which includes henna tattoos on her hands. As they’re rushing to leave a party and get Claudia home on time, she bumps into a guy who spills his beer on her.

Julia goes to Perry’s to confront her for her attitude about Josh and Julia’s date. She thinks Perry believes she only went out with Josh to avoid being alone, or to prove that she’s straight. Perry notes that Julia has a lot of complaints about her. When she saw Josh and Julia together, she thought it was nice that they might end up together. Perry blah blahs something about writers looking inside themselves to get what they need.

Of course, Bailey smells beer on Claudia and thinks she was drinking. He’s like, “Could you please not do that, please? Did I say please?” Claudia sasses that not everyone in the family is an alcoholic. Bailey thinks she believes she’s more grown-up when she dresses like one, but it’s not working. Claudia plays the “you’re not my dad” card. Sarah calls home from her distraction-reducing vacation, unable to stop thinking about the things she’s not supposed to be thinking about.

Josh asks Julia out again, trying not to be offended by the fact that she cut their previous date short. Julia wants to hold off for a while. She thinks Perry was right about her going out with Josh so she wouldn’t have to be alone. Now she’s pulling a Kelly Taylor and choosing herself so she can figure out who she is on her own. Josh says that he may not be able to wait for her, but Julia’s willing to risk losing out on a good relationship.

Daphne goes to Charlie’s, discovering that he’s living with Kirsten. The two women aren’t exactly warm toward each other, but Kirsten says that Charlie wants Daphne to be in Diana’s life. She promises that she’s never tried to take Daphne’s place. Daphne says she never even thought about that, but it’s not clear if she’s telling the truth.

Sarah returns from her distraction-reducing vacation minus one laptop and her almost-completed essay. She thinks it’s a sign that she’s not supposed to apply for it. Bailey tracks down the computer, but Sarah admits that she didn’t write anything. She can’t answer an essay question about who she is when she had to leave her life to try. Sarah isn’t sure of her identity – “sort of a mother, but not really? Maybe a wife, but not quite?” She thinks she’s afraid to be comfortable in that role because she’s so young. Maybe she does know who she is, but she’s afraid to admit it.

Daphne tells Charlie that part of the reason she came back was to make him happy, but he’s already happy with Kirsten. He makes it clear that he won’t be leaving Kirsten. Daphne wants to focus on Diana, and hopefully fix things before they get too screwed up. Charlie assures her that she can spend as much time with Diana as she wants. Daphne’s disappointed that she’ll have to work out visitation with Charlie and Kirsten.

While Claudia sneaks out to see Cody, Julia writes Perry a letter thanking her for encouraging her to be herself. Daphne visits with Diana, but it’s clear that Kirsten is more of a mother to the baby than her real mother is. Kirsten, however, thinks that Charlie, Daphne, and Diana are going to become a family again. Charlie tries to assure her that Daphne’s just there for the baby. Downtown, Bailey passes a jewelry store and takes a long look at an engagement ring.

Thoughts: I don’t think Claudia’s tube top would be acceptable under most schools’ dress codes. My high school barely had a dress code, and I know that wouldn’t pass.

Bailey thinks that Claudia “shouldn’t make a habit out of drinking.” Way to parent, Bailey.

I’m sorry, no – Daphne has no interest in Diana. She barely looks at her and won’t even hold her. I don’t believe for a second that she wants to be a mother. She only came back because she feels bad that she left. She doesn’t want to change her life to make her daughter fit in it.

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