June 11, 2015

Party of Five 6.24, …That Ends Well: Get Thee Behind Me, Salingers

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 7:48 pm by Jenn

No more of these weirdos

No more of these weirdos

Summary: Everything looks fine with the baby Kirsten’s supposedly pregnant with despite not showing. The doctor casually tells her and Charlie that they’re having a boy, thinking they wanted to know. They’re happy with the news. At home, Kirsten shows Owen the sonogram, and he asks if he can name the baby. Charlie’s on board, though Kirsten’s hesitant. Owen knows it would be a big deal to give the baby a meaningful name, like Charlie did with Diana.

Downtown, Claudia tells Bailey that she’s decided to go to Juilliard. He tells her he’ll be just a train ride away, in Pennsylvania. Unlike her brother and sister, Julia wants to make a big deal out of her announcement that she’s moving across the country. Justin thinks she’s going overboard. No one cares what you think, Justin. Julia wants to announce her plans at a family dinner, hoping everyone will be as excited as she is.

The Salingers, plus Kirsten and Justin, gather for dinner at the restaurant. Bailey hijacks Julia’s big night to tell her that he’s going to Pennsylvania; everyone else already knows. Julia blurts out that she was planning to move, too. Claudia realizes that everyone’s leaving, revealing that she’s going to Juilliard. Owen just wants to know who’s staying with him and Charlie while everyone else goes to the East Coast.

Back at the house, Julia tells Bailey her worries about how the family will stay a family when everyone’s scattered. Bailey thinks Julia will have other opportunities, but he has to take advantage of what he has right now because it won’t come back. Julia tells him that she already said yes to the internship. Bailey complains that he’s always the one who backs down, but this time, he won’t. Who says anyone has to back down? What is wrong with this family??

Charlie can’t believe he spent so much time thinking about what would happen after Bailey left when now everything is going to be different. After their parents died, Charlie resisted being a family guy, and now he’s the only one who’s left. Because…living in different geographic areas means you’re not a family? Whatever, I only have to care about this for another half hour.

Everyone spends the night moping, and the next day, Justin jabs at Bailey that he got what he wanted. Julia turned down the internship so Bailey can go to Pennsylvania. WHY? WHY?? These people are insane. Justin tells Bailey that Julia’s plans are about more than just her career. They’re both moving to D.C., partly so Julia can be her own person and make decisions for herself. Holy cow, did I just side with Justin on something?

Owen tells Charlie that he’s picked a name for the baby. It’s in honor of someone who means a lot to him, and who he looks up to and owes a lot to. The name is Stewie, after a kid he knows. Stewie’s really good at soccer and flicking boogers. That’s quite a legacy to look up to, unborn baby boy Salinger. Charlie wonders exactly how Owen is indebted to the kid.

Claudia’s decided not to go to Juilliard, because Bailey is a big baby and is the only one who’s allowed to get what he wants. She wants to pay Bailey back for how much he’s taken care of her over the past six years. Her older siblings stayed to keep the family together, so now she wants to repay the favor.

Now Bailey’s playing martyr, telling Charlie that he’s not going to go to Pennsylvania. If he goes, Julia and Claudia won’t, and he doesn’t want them to give up what they want. Plus, the guilt would be too much for him to handle if he left. Charlie thinks there could be another solution, but Bailey’s already resigned to giving up his dream so his sisters can be happy. “It’s not okay, it’s just how it is,” he says. I roll my eyes.

At the house, Charlie calls a family meeting and tells everyone that for years he’s always tried to think about what their parents would do. He thinks they would tell their children to do what they want to do. Charlie notes that if their parents were alive, all of the kids would have split up long ago. The family has stayed together longer than most because of their parents’ deaths. Now they need to be okay with taking care of themselves.

Bailey’s reluctant, since things work so well when they’re close to each other. Charlie asks if they plan to live around each other forever. When their parents died, the kids clung to each other, but now six years have gone by. They want each other to be happy, which means they did something right. They have to trust that they’ll still be a family when they’re not right next to each other. If the Salingers could survive everything they’ve gone through, they can handle some distance.

Charlie leaves, and the other Salingers discuss keeping in touch and coming home for special occasions. Kirsten and Charlie pack up their place, talking about how different it’ll be to live in the Salingers’ house again. Charlie isn’t looking forward to raising little kids in a house with a lot of stairs. Kirsten reminds him how happy the family was living there. She notes that the others are going to new places, but Charlie’s going somewhere he knows. Charlie says he’ll always think of it as his father’s house, not his own.

Charlie’s solution is to sell the house, an idea that stuns Bailey. Julia isn’t sure about selling the home they shared with their parents. She needs a place that she knows everyone will come back to together. Charlie wants to start his own traditions. Also, the house is pretty expensive. The money from the sale will benefit everyone.

Griffin learns of the sale from Julia and sees it as the push he needs to find a new place to work. He’s not sure why he’s stayed so long anyway; it’s weird to work where you used to live with your ex-wife. Plus, he has a girlfriend, and it seems they’re getting pretty serious. He and Julia muse about having kids in the future, but not with each other. Julia thinks their kids will be friends.

A nice couple with young kids checks out the house while the Salingers consider whether or not to sell to them. Claudia’s the first to say that she thinks things will be okay. They still have the restaurant, and plenty of other mementos and memories of their family. “I’ve had 17 years here. That’s enough.” The couple wants to make an offer on the house, and the Salingers accept.

The siblings, Kirsten, and Diana spend one last night in the house. They tease Charlie and Kirsten about having to name the baby Stewie. Everyone separates to have memories in different rooms. Kirsten remembers her and Charlie’s first engagement. Claudia remembers putting up her living-room tent for the first time. Julia remembers teaching Charlie to dance in the kitchen. Griffin comes in and Julia gives him glasses they got for their wedding, so he can toast good things with his girlfriend.

In the backyard, Charlie remembers a late-night project/singalong with Bailey and Julia. In Owen’s room, Bailey remembers tending to his brother when he was a baby. He tells Owen stories about his babyhood, when they shared a room. Charlie and Kirsten spend their last night in their old room, reminiscing about the first time they had sex in his parents’ bedroom. Julia and Claudia share a room for the last time, not wanting to sleep because they’ll miss their last hours together.

In the morning, Bailey, Julia, and Justin decide to turn their drive to the East Coast into a road trip. Kirsten feels the baby move for the first time, and everyone gathers to celebrate. Charlie suggests that they let Owen name the baby Stewie, but give him the middle name Nicholas and call him Nick. Nice compromise.

As the furniture is taken from the bedroom, Kirsten notices the kids’ height charts on a doorframe. Julia remarks on how fast they grew. Claudia spots a mark for their father, and notes that Charlie’s taller than him. Everyone shares a nice last moment together, and then they’re out of our lives, FINALLY.

Thoughts: Letting a child name a baby is so, so risky. Always retain veto power.

Heh, even the show can’t explain why Griffin’s still hanging around the Salingers.

Wow, this show was a lot more boring than I remembered. Thanks for reading my recaps! I promise that the next show will be a lot more interesting.

P.S. This was my 1,000th post!


  1. I tried to rewatch the show a few years back but stopped in the middle of season five. Kudos to you for sticking it out. Loved your recaps! 🙂

  2. *Crystal* said,

    I loved your recaps. I recently binged on Netflix. Always thought this was the best 90s drama and I stand by that. Well I stand by the first 4 seasons anyway I agree that S5 is when they lost it. I liked several episodes of S6 but some of the stuff I hated from five still lingered so it still had a bitter taste.

    Owen should have never left Charlie to start. Also I can’t help but think daphne stroyline with the baby should have belong to Kristen especially with the dangers of it all. She had to get surgery and use hormones to get pregnant. Daphne’s storyline should have ended at the finale of four instead of what they gave us. It was ridiculous. Once they kept her around, gag me, I was appreciate though that they seemed to co -parent well enough and daphne was included in the family. As a child of divorce I highly appreciate when all sides can co excist at party’s and holidays.

    Griffen was just not needed in the later seasons. It was weird. Especially because the Claudia and later daphne thing. Like WTF. I felt like PO5 tried to channel some of the ridiculous of the other 90s dramas like 90210 and such when it should have stayed more gritty and grounded.

    I thought the finale two episodes were amazing though. Maybe because it brought on the feels for me. I was okay with Claudia, Julia and Bailey finally getting time to discover themselves but I’m still not sure why all 3 had to end up on the east coast so far away to make that possible. That seemed a bit ridiculous to me. My only real complaint would be that we never got to see Charlie and Kirsten officially adopt Owen and that’s something I wanted to happen from S1 on. Owen deserved parents and not siblings.

    • Dave said,

      It baffles me that Season 5 seemed like they wanted to reboot several old characters instead of going in a new direction with new characters. Daphne, Griffin and Justin in those latter seasons just made it felt like they ran out of ideas and were trying to bring back the magic of those first few seasons.

      I still think Season 3 was the best as they handled Bailey’s alcoholism and Julia’s pregnancy about as balanced as you can on TV.

      I said this in my earlier post but the show worked best when all 4 main siblings lived together as the conflict drove the show. Anyone with a brother or sister can totally relate to them driving you nuts yet you’re still there for them no matter what. Season 4 is when they all started to split up and I feel the show lost something after that.

      Still an underrated show yet it feels like a punchline when it’s mentioned now by the public, but then again it was the smaller cult audience who were the only one’s to get it in the 90’s.

  3. *Crystal* said,

    Also meant to say as a kid I remember loving Bailey and Sara but as I watched the second time all I could think was and people say, “Charlie treated Kirsten bad.” Man, it’s just funny how the second time around I had so much more appreciation for Charlie and less appreciation for Bailey. I think Bailey treated Sara way worse then any mistakes Charlie ever made with Kirsten. I was actually glad when Sara left because she should have done it sooner. Sara loved Bailey and I feel like she let him walk all over her and make the decisions.

  4. Sunni said,

    Watched the show years ago. Tried to rewatch but enjoyed your summaries instead! BTW you did a great job!!

  5. sally said,

    Thanks for the recap. I watched for the first time the last few weeks. The show got too boring to keep watching but I was curious how it all ended.

  6. Paul Tribble said,

    I was so into this show when it was on ion the 90’s and decided to re-watch on Hulu…OMG, they are all a bunch of selfish, self absorbed narcissistic a-holes! Owen and Claudia deserved me be punched at leats once and episode , Baily is a baby, Julia needs some meds and charlie is just a dick

  7. Dave said,

    I also rewatched the show on Netflix as I sparsely watched it in the 90’s. The first 3 seasons are great and the last 3 are OK. What I realized is the show worked best when the siblings were together in the house and fighting with each other as anyone with brothers and sisters can totally relate. Season 4 is when they started with 4 different storylines of each of their own lives and that is when it lost its luster. Obviously the show will be remembered for the extreme situations that always happened to the characters as it almost became cliche by the end of the show. But the cast had great chemistry and it was very well acted. I do sort of miss the pre-anti hero dramas of the 90’s where good and bad was not blurred. I would still recommend this anymore as it was worth the trip back to the pre-smart phone, pre-internet, pre-social media world.

  8. RK said,

    “Wow, this show was a lot more boring than I remembered.” -Then why did you bother watching it again? Let alone adding your snotty remarks to the recap. Are you unable to use your “talent” for writing in any better way than criticising others work? Maybe time to get a real job then.

    • Jenn said,

      Please tell the person holding a gun to your head and forcing you to read my blog that I’ll pay your ransom after I get a “real job.”

      • Enrico said,

        Hi Jenn. While I understand that it is inappropriate for a user to leave a disparaging comment on your blog (we’re “in your home” after all), I think you should let anyone express their disagreement with your stand on the show, as long as this is done in a respectful way. I will write some more notes on your blog and on the show within hours / days

      • Jenn said,

        In what way was RK being respectful?

      • Enrico said,

        Hi Jenn. While everyone is required to express themselves in a respectful manner (which RK didn’t do in his comment), people are also authorized to express criticism about your blog. There are some things I liked in your blog, but I disagree on some aspects of it. I will soon post a comment on Pof, and on your blog.

      • Jenn said,

        There’s a difference between expressing criticism and insulting me. Please don’t slam me for standing up for myself on my own blog.

  9. Joel said,

    Yea the last season wasn’t the best. Bailey must of been the oldest teenager on TV like, ever!😂

    • Enrico said,

      Hi Jenn, thanks for writing this blog. I will write some considerations on your blog after my comments on the show.

      I am just done watching the show.
      I loved seasons 1–3, and I liked season 4 (with the exception of the ham-fisted and unnecessarily overdramatic storyline about Charlie’s illness).
      I didn’t like seasons 5 and 6. Season 5 contained some dramatic storylines (mainly: Julia’s abusive relationship) which were not really believable, and it generally lacked the humour that gave many episodes of the previous seasons a comic relief. Plus, the season gave a lot of space to an (almost) new character (Daphne) who didn’t add much to the series, and only helped to kill time. But at least the screenwriters tried give the season some juice.
      In season 6, it feels like they didn’t even try: they just piled up an endless sequence of random, hodgepodge, disconnected storylines, that only served the purpose of killing time. Most egregious example: Bailey and Holly’s love story. What was that for?? Which leads me to the other major problem I have with season 6: the abrupt riddance of Sarah’s character. The evolution of Bailey and Sarah’s love story over the previous seasons, if not entirely consistent, was nice to follow. Plus, the evolution of the relationship of Bailey and Sarah was the plotline I liked most in season 4. I understand that Sarah was “wanted” in another series, but after 4 seasons of her presence, it was very disappointing that they made her disappear, and did not mention her anymore shortly after her last appearance. They should have just cut season 6 short: 12 episodes would have been enough.
      I still liked that at the end of the season, at least we saw something that made sense, that is, Claudia’s “coming of age.” And most importantly, I loved the ending of the series. Although perhaps sort of cliché, I loved that a show that started on the background of a tragic double death ends with an unexpected new life to come. I loved that three of the five siblings finally break up with the chains that tie them to their past, by moving away from home, but at the same time they preserve their strong bond by ending up living not far from each other.
      In all six seasons, the chemistry among the actors was amazing. The acting, generally outstanding.
      Despite the weak final two seasons, altogether a remarkable series.

      Jenn, your blog contained very clear, well written, and accurate descriptions of each episode’s contents, and provided often insightful feedback. Perhaps I would have preferred if, starting from season 5, you had provided a more in-depth commentary on the plot lines and dynamics among characters, to help the readers realize how bad the series had become.
      Thanks anyway: the very fact that I read your blog until the end proves I considered it worth reading (and I think that the very fact that you decided to include the show in your blog proves that the series was memorable, despite its flaws).

      • Enrico said,

        p.s. I reread my text. I apologize for the typos and for the clumsy wordings of some sentences. I am sure you’ll understand what I mean! 🙂

  10. Slair said,

    Watching re-runs now… Now I remember why I stopped watching in the first place lol
    Omg the angst … The family of entitled kids, they never want anyone prying into their business but omg their snoots are always in everyone else’s lives 😂

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