December 27, 2014
Party of Five 5.25, Otherwise Engaged: Yes, No, Maybe So
Summary: Claudia comes home from a night out and finds Sarah studying for a test. Sarah quickly clears out when Bailey comes in to talk to his sister. He’s happy that Claudia has been sticking to her curfew, but he doesn’t like that she goes out every night, so they never get to spend time together. Claudia thinks his real problem is that he doesn’t like how she’s dressing or who she’s hanging out with. She doesn’t think he trusts her. Bailey goes to complain to Sarah, she needs him to handle his own problems so she can focus on her grades, which will affect her scholarship.
Over at Kirsten and Charlie’s, they’re both up late as well. Kirsten’s trying to make sure she has a plan B in case Charlie and Daphne get back together. Charlie assures her that that won’t happen – he’s completely committed to Kirsten. She knows that he could change his mind, so she’s not depending on his word. Julia pops up at the Salingers’ to study in peace, but instead she and Sarah commiserate over how they feel like they’ve screwed up in school this year. They realize that they’re both going for the same scholarship, which can go to up to five people.
Cody takes Claudia to a party to meet more of his friends. They’re watching skateboarding videos, which Claudia finds boring. Justin makes a surprise visit to Julia’s dorm, bringing with him knowledge of what’s on her biochemistry exam. She declines his help, since it would violate the honor code. Plus, she doesn’t want to depend on someone else. Also, Maggie’s there, but she doesn’t do anything. Hi anyway, Maggie.
Charlie meets Bailey at the restaurant so Bailey can ask for advice. He and Sarah both feel like all they do is put out fires and don’t get anything out of life. He wants them to make a life together instead of just getting through each day. Bailey shows Charlie the engagement ring he bought, which makes Charlie laugh – he bought one for Kirsten. Justin tries again to give Julia information about her exam, but she declines again, still wanting to learn to do things for herself.
Bailey makes plans to spend the evening alone with Sarah so he can propose. She has Bailey call to get her grades so she can figure out if she’ll get the scholarship. Her GPA isn’t high enough, so she thinks she’s sunk. Bailey tries to cheer her up, reminding her that he has a special night planned. Sarah realizes that she’s lucky to have found such a great guy. Claudia’s still not having fun with Cody’s friends, but she connects with a girl because she knows about alcohol from the family’s restaurant. She celebrates with a beer.
Charlie has his own special night planned for Kirsten, though she’s not in the mood, despite landing a new job. She already regrets accepting the job since she doesn’t really want it. She doesn’t want a consolation prize, and she shouldn’t have said yes to something she’s not that excited about. Charlie’s like, “So maybe I shouldn’t ask any important questions right now?” Claudia gets sloppy drunk, which turns Cody off. Hey, Cody, maybe do something she wants to do for once?
Kirsten starts cleaning up the living room and finds Charlie’s ring. He admits that he was going to propose but decided to postpone because she wasn’t in the mood. She still isn’t, but he starts to propose anyway. Kirsten thinks the timing is suspicious – she’s recently been worrying that Daphne is a threat to their relationship, so she thinks Charlie’s doing this to reassure her, not because he actually wants to marry her.
After a nice dinner, Bailey takes Sarah to the dock where his father proposed to his mother. Sarah quickly figures out what’s going on. Mr. Salinger used to say that sometimes you need a crisis to let you know what’s important. Thanks to some recent mini-crises, Bailey would like to make all of his problems and all of Sarah’s problems their problems so they can get through them together. He proposes, and after the shock wears off, she accepts.
The next day, Bailey visits Charlie at school to ask how things went with Kirsten, and to report that he and Sarah are engaged. Charlie has to admit that he and Kirsten aren’t. Cody finds Claudia at home, hungover, and apologizes for making her spend time with people who are so different from her. He likes his friends, but he would rather be with Claudia. He liked her better when she was herself, not when she was trying to fit in with a wilder crowd.
Daphne comes over to watch Diana while Kirsten and Charlie go out. Daphne’s upset that Kirsten’s pretending that everything is awesome and the whole arrangement isn’t weird. She acknowledges that she has problems trusting that the people who love her won’t leave her. Kirsten promises that even though Charlie’s life has changed, Daphne can still trust him. Daphne says that no matter what Charlie did after he and Kirsten split up, he never left her, and he never will. She wishes she had something like that.
Julia mopes at the Salingers’, sure that she bombed her biochemistry final. Sarah commends her for going to school and trying new things, even if she didn’t succeed in every area. Julia notices her engagement ring and gets excited that she and Sarah will be sisters-in-law. Charlie and Kirsten go to a dinner he planned to celebrate their engagement. He has to turn away violinists who want to serenade them with “It’s Now or Never” (heh). Charlie tries to explain to Kirsten that he was going to propose because he loves her, not out of obligation. Kirsten interrupts to tell him she wants to marry him.
At the house, Bailey listens to tapes, trying to pick a wedding band, while Sarah starts to melt down, all, “This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife” (well, husband). She tells Bailey that this isn’t what she asked for. Bailey offers to make some changes, but Sarah knows that no matter what happens, Owen will always be the priority. Bailey promises to make things work. “What if I don’t want it to work?” she asks tearfully. She wants to be able to try new things and make mistakes, like Julia can. Right now, other people depend on her to succeed. She can’t be engaged right now.
A few days later, Charlie and Kirsten plan an engagement party at the house, which I’m sure won’t be awkward just after Bailey and Sarah’s engagement has ended. Bailey’s upset that Sarah must feel like there’s something better out there for her. Sarah assures him that he’s the best thing she’s found in her life, so there probably isn’t something better. Claudia asks Bailey not to comment on her wardrobe, since she feels like he’s trying to make her into someone he wants her to be. Then she backs off, telling him she got a pager so he can stay in touch with her better.
Daphne drops Diana off at the house, clearly upset that Kirsten and Charlie are going to get married. Kirsten gets her to admit that she feel left out of their little family. Daphne wants to be in Diana’s life so she and her daughter can both benefit. Kirsten invites her to stay for the party, saying she really wants her to be there. Julia learns that she got the scholarship, despite her certainty that her grades and essay wouldn’t measure up. She laments to Justin that she’s never satisfied with things, and promises to work on that.
Bailey feels like he’s done everything wrong, especially trying to take over the family from Charlie. He thinks he’s made everything worse for the family. Charlie’s like, “I don’t care. Be my best man.” Bailey warns that his controlling ways will cause tension between them, but Charlie needs someone to make the wedding perfect. (Also, Charlie has no friends, so…) Griffin comes by with a present, and Julia invites him to take pictures with the family. He declines, but all the Salingers take pictures with Kirsten. There’s only one shot left when Sarah shows up, and Justin takes it when she’s not facing the camera. Foreshadowing!
Thoughts: That’s it for season 5! Don’t get too attached to Sarah; she won’t be around much longer.
Justin goes to Yale, so why would his biochemistry exam have anything to do with one at Stanford?
What’s with Charlie and Kirsten always getting engaged so quickly? What’s the rush? They just got back together!
Bailey’s rejected first-draft proposal was probably, “Sarah, will you commit to being this stressed out and confused until one of us dies, possibly because you’ve murdered me out of frustration?”
Also, Bailey and Sarah picked September 11th as their wedding day. Now THAT’S an omen.
I love that Claudia gives Bailey her pager number…then the bill for the pager. “I got you a really good deal.” Never change, Claud.