January 17, 2015
Party of Five 6.3, Bye, Bye, Love: No One Ever Is to Blame
Summary: Charlie and Kirsten come home from work to find Diana with a guy they’ve never met. He’s Victor, and he’s secretly been nannying, though I’m not sure how Daphne pays him since she was fired and hasn’t found another job. Oh, and she didn’t tell Charlie and Kirsten she was fired until now. At the house, Sarah gets a phone call from Mindy, a high school friend of her biological mother, Robin. Sarah wants to meet her and find out more about her birth family. Bailey is very supportive.
Julia meets with Evan, who wants more details in her writing about her family’s reactions when her father lost his temper. He thinks Mrs. Salinger enabled Mr. Salinger, and that Julia has inherited that. Kirsten objects to Charlie giving Daphne money, since it gives her an excuse not to find a new job. He suggests that she try to get Daphne a job as the assistant to Kirsten’s boss. At school, Claudia, Alexa, and other popular kids talk about how someone’s writing trash about them on the Internet. Alexa’s boyfriend, Cameron, isn’t fazed.
Charlie tries to reach out to Myra, a girl in his woodshop class who’s doing poorly in school. He offers to give her extra time on a project; if she doesn’t do well on it, she’ll fail. Myra doesn’t care. At home, Julia brings up a childhood memory of her mother telling her and Claudia to hug their father so he wouldn’t get mad about a broken bowl. She doesn’t remember Mrs. Salinger ever telling Mr. Salinger to stop being angry. Bailey tells Julia to stop talking about their parents like that, especially with Owen in the room.
Sarah meets Mindy and hears some stories about Robin. She looks through a playbill from a performance Robin did of Cyrano; she wrote a note on it to Mindy that she felt like her life was about to change. Mindy wonders if she was talking about having Sarah. Daphne gets the job Kirsten helped her with, admitting to Kirsten that she lied about her professional skills: “All I know how to do is make long-distance phone calls and steal office supplies.” Claudia thinks Cameron is behind the Internet trash-talking, but isn’t sure why he’s doing it.
One of Julia’s classmates, Isabel, apologizes for being so mean to her because of how Julia has a book contract already. Julia confides that her editor wants her to blame her parents for things she’s not mad at them about. Charlie gives Myra a new assignment for her big class project: build a guillotine. She thinks he’s taking pity on her, but he says it’s because he’s sick of everyone else’s uncreative projects. He adds that he’s hard on students so they’ll work hard to leave, because the alternative is coming back there to teach, like he did.
Kirsten helps Daphne with her job, though Daphne’s clearly more interested in playing with Diana. Kirsten finishes things up for Daphne, criticizing her for telling Diana how to do things instead of learning to do them herself. Victor’s like, “Hey, what great advice!” Sarah reads Cyrano, gushing over how romantic it is, and how Robin must have felt speaking the lines to her co-star, William. She’s done the math and thinks William could be her father. He has a studio in New York, and she’s made plans to go see him.
The next day, Bailey reads some of Julia’s notes and discovers that she’s painting their father as controlling. She denies that she’s making him out to be a villain – no one is a bad guy, even Ned. Bailey doesn’t like that she’s putting blame on their parents and looking in the past for answers. Myra starts working on her guillotine, and chats with Charlie a little, mentioning that she’s alone at home a lot. Some secrets of Alexa’s have made it online, and she and another friend, Rhiannon, think Claudia is responsible. After all, the trash-talk didn’t start until she joined their group.
Daphne goes to Kirsten at work to announce that she quit. She’s not comfortable working a job that requires her to do the same thing every day. Kirsten’s like, “Welcome to the world of being an adult.” She warns that Daphne’s leaving a good job when she doesn’t know what she wants, and she might have trouble getting another good job. Julia tells Isabel how much Evan annoys her by acting like her writing is just words, rather than experiences that actually happened to her. Isabel thinks he’s cold because his wife committed suicide. That’s news to Julia.
Sarah promises Bailey that she’ll be back after spending a few days in New York, but he wants to know what happens next. Does she expect to get answers to all of her questions? Bailey assures Sarah that he’s supportive of her wanting to meet her father, but he’s worried that she’ll end up disappointed. He’s connecting her search with their own relationship problems. Sarah can’t tell him honestly that there’s no connection.
Julia meets with Evan, telling him that she decided not to look more into her mother because her book is about her own experiences. Evan wants Julia to be honest in her writing. She accuses him of seeing the story personally – like something happened to him and he’s looking for someone to blame. Evan knows she’s talking about his wife. She tells him that since she can’t tell him how to feel about his wife, he can’t tell her how to feel about her mother.
Alexa apologizes to Claudia for her false accusations, since Claudia has now been trashed on the website. Cameron has also trashed himself, criticizing his inability to be grateful for the things he’s been handed in life. Sarah tells Bailey that she wants to look for her father so she can feel young and spontaneous. So her search does go back to their relationship, and how she feels stuck in an adult life when she’s only 20. Sarah feels like she left her ID and passport in New York, and she has to go retrieve them so she and Bailey can travel somewhere else together.
Evan tracks down Julia on campus, and she quickly apologizes for their fight. He admits that he’s always trying to make sense of why his wife killed herself, which involves blaming people. He just wants Julia to be honest about the way her parents might have let her down. She’s not blaming them, just trying to understand them. Julia can be disappointed in them and still love them, like she did when they were alive.
Charlie runs into Myra as he’s leaving for the night, and she asks for help with her homework. Julia packs up to move out of the Salingers’ house; Isabel offered to let her move in while she looks for her own place. Sarah urges her to talk to Bailey about their recent arguments. She knows that Bailey doesn’t like change because he wants stability around him. She thinks Julia should stay in the house. At their place, Kirsten tells Charlie that she thought she’d accepted not having a child of her own, but she still wants one.
Bailey’s happy to hear that Julia’s going to stay at the house after all. She assures him that asking questions about their parents is just as hard for her as it is for him to hear them. She feels closer to them now; it’s like she’s letting them be themselves instead of making them out to be something else. Bailey takes Sarah to the airport, promising that he’ll never stand in her way when she wants something. She invites him to come along, but he thinks she needs to do this on her own. He promises that he’ll be there waiting for her when she comes home from finding what she’s looking for. (Spoiler: She won’t come home. This is her last episode.)
Thoughts: ‘Bye, Sarah! Enjoy your failed spin-off!
Lots of recognizable guest stars in this one: Myra is played by Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under). Victor is played by Wilson Cruz (My So-Called Life). Rhiannon is played by Jodie Sweetin (Full House).
So is Charlie ever going to talk to Daphne about how she kept quiet about losing her job? Their relationship is so weird.
Would a student actually be allowed to build a guillotine? That sounds unsafe.
’90s music alert: “Never Saw Blue Like That” by Shawn Colvin.