December 26, 2013

Party of Five 3.23, Promises, Promises: Seven Days Without a Drink Makes One Weak

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 12:54 pm by Jenn

"Charlie, we just got a fax from the viewers. It says, 'Your girlfriend is a shrew'"

“Charlie, we just got a fax from the viewers. It says, ‘Your girlfriend is a shrew'”

Summary: Grace has completely taken over the Salingers’ house for her campaign. Claudia is not pleased. (To be fair, they put a fax machine in her bedroom without asking.) Sarah waits to see a doctor to follow up on her injuries from the car accident, and gets into a conversation with the doctor’s nephew, a med student named Drew. She thinks he’s cute. Julia and Griffin are considering ways to spend his money, while Bailey and Sarah are trying to figure out how to distract themselves (well, him) for long periods of time so he doesn’t want to drink. He’s gone a week without drinking, so he’s ready for Sarah to duck out to do something else.

Julia skips class so she can go see Griffin. Sarah goes on a date with Drew, though he takes her to a movie she already saw with Bailey. Grace struggles to stay organized because there are children living in her campaign headquarters. Apparently Bailey and Callie are still sleeping together, or at least sharing a bed, though he’s been trying to avoid her. She’s mad that he keeps hanging out with Sarah. Callie wants to help Bailey in Operation Stay Sober, but he points out that she’s always avoided helping. In fact, she’s more of an enabler.

Claudia ends up hanging out in the basement since it’s the only place in the house that the campaign hasn’t reached. She and Julia are shocked to see a picture of Grace and Owen in the paper, with a story about how Grace is a friend to orphans. Callie jumps into trying to help Bailey, attempting to convince both of them that they don’t need beer to have fun. (Yes, Callie, drinking pizza IS fun.) Julia’s at Griffin’s for sex, and he sees a school assignment she failed, probably because she skipped class to hang out with him.

Bailey goes to Sarah’s building to visit her but catches her and Drew together. He admits that he really wants a drink right now, and is only abstaining because he made a promise to her. Sarah decides to ditch Drew and stay with Bailey. Charlie wants to take the family to some event with Grace so everyone can see how much of a family they are. She, however, doesn’t feel right about what the article said about her and orphans. Claudia’s mad that Charlie wants to exploit the family to help Grace. She even says that she feels like a whore. Claudia claims that Grace doesn’t even like the kids, which Charlie denies.

Bailey feels sufficiently distracted from wanting to drink, but Sarah’s also distracted – by the thought of going out with Drew again. She tells Bailey she’ll keep helping him, but he has to do some things for himself. Mainly, he needs to rid his life of things that make him want to drink. Julia plans to skip school again for more Griffin-centric fun, but he tries to get her to go to class without actually telling her to go to class.

Callie confronts Bailey for sleeping on the couch instead of in their bed, thinking he either drank or spent the evening with Sarah again. Apparently she thinks that she’s the only one who can help him. Bailey tells her that her version of help isn’t helpful. Living with her makes him want to drink, since he spent so much time drinking there. Claudia tries to make amends with Grace, but she’s too busy. Claudia says that a reporter wants to meet her, Grace, and Owen downtown that afternoon for a photo op.

Callie goes by the high school to tell Sarah to back off. She’s mad that Sarah told Bailey to get rid of the bad influences in his life. Callie thinks she’s using the accident to guilt Bailey into coming back to her. Sarah insists that she’s just trying to do what’s best for Bailey. “What’s in it for you?” Callie asks, because she can’t conceive of a world where people are nice to each other for selfless reasons. Even without plans with Griffin, Julia skips school again. She blames senior slump, saying that everyone’s slacking off. Griffin disapproves, but Julia points out that he’s never been the most industrious person.

Grace is confused as to why the reporter hasn’t shown up to see her, Claudia, and Owen. Claudia wants them to take advantage of the situation to spend some quality time together. Grace, however, sees it as a waste of time. Claudia confesses that she made the whole thing up, wanting to prove that Grace wouldn’t spend time with her and Owen unless it served the campaign. Bailey’s moving out of the apartment, and of course Callie handles it maturely. She comes home drunk and requests one last romp in the sack with Bailey. She tells him that she always wanted a guy like him, but he hurt her more than anyone else has. Bailey says she deserves better.

Charlie confronts Claudia for her stunt with Grace, but Claudia refuses to admit that she did anything wrong. She notes that she was right about Grace not caring about the family – not like Kirsten did. Charlie makes excuses for his girlfriend, saying that Claudia’s not being fair by taking Grace away from the campaign. He promises that they’ll do something fun, like go to Disneyland, once the campaign is over. Grace overhears them.

Julia gets ready for school while Griffin tries to apologize for getting on her case about doing the same things he used to do. He’s always liked how studious she is. He also likes that she’s smart but still wants to be with him. Griffin jokes that they need someone to be the brains and someone to be the looks in the relationship. Bailey finishes packing up, then says goodbye to Callie, leaving her on her home. Grace tells Charlie that the campaign is her top priority right now; she can’t go to Disneyland with the family despite Charlie’s promises to Claudia.

Sarah helps Bailey move back into the Salingers’ house, so he offers to take her to dinner. She already has a date with Drew, though. Maybe he can spend some time with his little brother and sister? Julia takes a makeup test to salvage the one she failed, and somehow uses it to seduce Griffin. I don’t know. Let’s just say that she can go to school AND have a boyfriend! Who knew?

Thoughts: The reporter who wrote about Grace and orphans is a tiny bit brilliant. Or maybe I’ve worked in marketing too long.

I was going to suggest in the last episode that Bailey move back home. He kind of needs babysitters right now.

Callie to Sarah at the high school: “Are you at, uh, recess or whatever?” Callie, you’re only, like, two years older than her. Don’t be like that.

’90s music alert: “Crash Into Me,” Dave Matthews Band.

December 14, 2013

Party of Five 3.21, Hitting Bottom: Crash and Burn

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 1:15 pm by Jenn



Summary: It’s been four days since Bailey’s intervention, and the family hasn’t heard from him. Sarah confesses that she called, even though the interventioners said they wouldn’t, but Callie told her that he didn’t come home the night before. Claudia and Sarah suggest talking to Grace, but Charlie’s adamant that they stick to their bottom lines and cut off ties with Bailey. Claudia thinks they need to be sympathetic because he inherited his alcoholism. Charlie still refuses to budge.

Bailey misses his wrestling team’s divisional championship, leading to a forfeit. Coach Russ is very unhappy. At school, Julia’s surprised by an unexpected visit from Griffin, so I GUESS WE’RE DOING THIS AGAIN. Sigh. Bailey tracks down Russ to apologize for missing the meet, but Russ won’t accept his apology. He was sure they were going to win divisionals this year, for his first time in 15 years of coaching, and Bailey let them down.

Claudia wonders if her parents went through the same thing the family’s going through with Bailey. Charlie’s just tired of the whole thing and doesn’t want to revisit the past. Claudia, however, is desperate to know more. Julia fills Griffin in on all the family’s issues; she went by Bailey’s building the day before and caught Charlie sitting outside. She notices that Griffin’s limping, and he tells her that he injured his knee while he was with the Merchant Marines. Since he can’t work anymore, he got fired. Now neither of them has a plan for the future.

Bailey stumbles home, drunk, and pretends that he wasn’t going to ask Callie if his family left him any messages. He tells her that he was out partying to celebrate the wrestling match he won. Callie’s trying to study, but Bailey wants sex. She has to literally tell him she said no, and he taunts that she’s being a prude. (Real nice from the guy who saved her from being raped.) Callie says that his family’s right about him having a problem.

Claudia goes to Avery, begging to know if Diana ever said anything about Nick’s alcoholism. Avery tries to avoid the topic, wondering why she wants to know the bad things her father might have done. She admits that her happy memories of her father now seem fake, like she’s remembering things the way he wants her to. She wants to know what Nick was really like.

Griffin’s staying in a horrible motel, since he doesn’t have a job and can’t afford anything better. Julia suggests that he go after the Merchant Marines for money since his accident was their fault. Then he can take his time finding a job, or use the money to travel somewhere. And if he wants to travel with her, well, that’s just icing on the cake. Charlie goes to pick Owen up from daycare, but Bailey’s already retrieved him. Bailey lets Owen eat junk food while he gets drunk and complains about their brother and sisters.

Julia takes Griffin to meet a lawyer, but he’s clearly not the best they could do. Griffin thinks he’s great, though, since he’s been successful in the past. Julia thinks the case is too important for them to rely on the guy. Griffin blasts her for doubting his instincts once again. Later that evening, Julia goes home and learns that Bailey never took Owen home. They’ve been gone for four hours. Sarah and Julia think they should call the police, even if it means Bailey gets busted for driving drunk. Finding Owen is more important than Bailey losing his license.

While Bailey puts Owen in the car to drive him home, Claudia tells Sarah what she learned from Avery about Nick’s drunken activities. Charlie isn’t happy that she went to see Avery. Bailey finally arrives with Owen, and Charlie tears into him for taking Owen out without letting them know. Bailey has the nerve to be offended that his siblings thought he would drive drunk with his little brother in the car. He lies that he hasn’t been drinking, but it’s obvious that he has, so Charlie’s fury is completely justified.

The two brothers start fighting physically, and their sisters pull them apart. Charlie makes it clear that Bailey isn’t going to have contact with Owen anymore. He runs off, but Sarah’s the only person who thinks they need to go after him – after all, he’s about to drive drunk again. She runs after him, but Julia goes to Griffin’s, where his comforting of her turns into sex. Meanwhile, Charlie goes to Avery’s to yell at him for what he told Claudia. He thinks Avery’s making Nick into a monster as revenge (since he was in love with Diana), but Avery admits that he censored himself.

Sarah chases Bailey to his apartment, though she’s not sure he’s even home. Charlie returns home before heading to work and tries to get Claudia and Owen to come with him. Claudia doesn’t want to go to her father’s restaurant since he’s responsible for Bailey’s alcoholism, and she doesn’t want to make it look like she forgives Nick.

Bailey comes home, but when he sees Sarah waiting for him outside the apartment, he heads right back out. Sarah begs him to let her drive, promising to take him wherever he wants to go. She jumps in the car with him, refusing to leave him alone. He speeds off, almost immediately running a red light and crashing the car.

Sometime later, Charlie rushes to the hospital, where Sarah’s been admitted for observation; she may have a concussion. She’ll be okay, but Bailey left after bringing her in. He’s gone right back out to buy more beer, trying to ignore his broken windshield. Julia’s still at Griffin’s, where he’s worrying that she’s going to regret sleeping with him. She assures him that she needed this, and she feels like things will work out with them this time. He asks her not to second-guess him anymore. Julia tells him they’re a team now.

She goes home the next morning, not sorry at all that Charlie didn’t know where she was all night. He tells her about the accident and Sarah getting injured. Julia tries to convince both of them that Bailey must have sobered up by now. Charlie admits that he thought he was doing the right things, and that eventually Bailey would come around, but he didn’t do enough to think about the other people involved.

Claudia pipes up that it’s Nick’s fault, and Charlie finally tells her to shut it. He apologizes, but really, she needed to hear that. He tells her that Nick passing the alcoholism to Bailey didn’t make Bailey drink. Claudia counters that Nick was a bad husband and father, but Charlie points out that he stopped drinking and changed. He reminds her that he’s made a lot of mistakes, too. He doesn’t want Owen to see him the same way Claudia now sees their father. Meanwhile, Bailey goes back to the hospital to see Sarah, cries over hurting her, and asks her to help him.

Thoughts: This is the episode I remember the most from the series. Basically, when I think of the show, this is the episode I think of.

Why must they continue to make me have to deal with Griffin? What have I done to deserve this?

’90s music alert: R.E.M.’s “Bittersweet Me,” the Cranberries’ “Empty.”

Julia’s exactly right: If the Merchant Marines are responsible for Griffin’s injury, and if they fired him for a disability, he should sue. I’m sure he could get a better lawyer, though. There must be a ton of lawyers who would take on a case like that.

Julia, re: the lawyer: “I feel like he’s selling me a used car. I feel like he’s selling me my used car.” Heh.

December 7, 2013

Party of Five 3.20, The Intervention: “You Are a Thief and a Liar and a Drunk”

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 1:11 pm by Jenn

Every viewer by the end of this episode

Every viewer by the end of this episode

Summary: It’s noon, but Bailey’s already drinking. Julia calls his apartment to beg him to come to family dinner, having already left a bunch of messages that Callie didn’t relay. He agrees to dinner, probably to shut her up. Dinner, however, is actually an intervention, which Sarah and Grace are going to attend. Claudia doesn’t like the idea of an ambush and ganging up on Bailey. Grace says that might be the only way they can get him to see that he has a problem.

Julia questions Grace’s expertise in interventions, but Charlie’s willing to take whatever they can get, since she has some experience dealing with alcoholics through her job. Time passes, Bailey doesn’t show up, and Julia calls him again, but he doesn’t answer the phone. Eventually the Salingers have no choice but to go home. Charlie thinks they’re out of options, and Grace says that Bailey probably knew what was going to happen. Julia calls her on participating when she didn’t think it was going to work.

The Salingers come up with a new idea, but Claudia doesn’t want to be part of it. Charlie and Julia insist that she’s the only one who can get Bailey to come to the house under the impression that Claudia needs his help. Julia tells her that the rest of them are willing to do whatever it takes to get Bailey help. Claudia reluctantly calls her brother and tells him that Owen fell down the stairs and is unconscious. “Shame on you,” she tells the others.

Bailey and Callie rush to the house, where Julia asks for their car keys so they can drive Owen to the hospital. Bailey runs around looking for Owen as the rest of the interventioners gather. They admit that Owen’s fine (he’s at Ross’) and they lied to get Bailey to the house. Bailey’s understandably furious that they lied to him about an emergency. Charlie quickly says that they want to take Bailey to rehab, but Bailey refuses to go anywhere. He demands Callie’s keys, but Charlie isn’t going to let him leave.

Bailey storms into the backyard, where he finds Sarah. He thinks she’s trying to get revenge because he slept with Callie. She says she cares about him, and he gets her to admit that she thinks he’s an alcoholic. Bailey says that everyone’s wrong, and he’s not going to stay and listen to them all accuse him of having a problem. Sarah points out that he won’t be trying to run if he didn’t have a problem. He needs to stay and change their minds.

Inside, Callie defends Bailey to the others, noting that the family never comes over to spend time with him. Julia says they couldn’t know what was going on because Bailey pulled away from them. Callie warns that Bailey will never talk to the family again. Charlie asks her to stay, but Callie demands her keys, threatening to call the police if Julia doesn’t hand them over. She tells Bailey that this is a family situation, so she’s leaving. Charlie uses this as a way to break Bailey down, noting that his friend just bailed on him.

Bailey tells the interventioners that they can’t base his behavior on what happened at Owen’s birthday party, since that was an abnormal situation. He doesn’t drink any more than any other college student. Charlie says he’s always drunk, but Bailey lies that he hasn’t had anything to drink since the party three days ago. Julia interprets that to mean that he’s broke. Bailey looks for an ally, but even Claudia won’t side with him, saying it’s like he’s turned into someone else. “Maybe I am. Maybe that’s the problem,” Bailey says – they don’t like that he’s taking care of himself for once.

He continues that he’s always looking out for the others; he got Charlie out of having to go to school, and now he’s going to school himself. He’s always been the one who cleans up all the family’s messes but can never do anything just for himself. Bailey wants to have fun and not worry all the time. He also doesn’t want people always telling him that he’s doing something wrong. He goes to the kitchen to cry by himself.

Sarah wants to follow him, but Julia doesn’t know what they would say. Claudia again expresses her problems with the way they’re handling things; Bailey doesn’t have anyone on his side. She begs to end it. Sarah and Julia say that Bailey isn’t ready to listen, but Grace points out that he’s the only one who’s been talking so far. They need to make him listen and take down all his excuses. Julia replies that Grace doesn’t know or love Bailey the way the rest of them do. Grace notes that that’s why they’re there, so they need to keep going.

Everyone goes to the kitchen to do just what Grace said they should: They confront Bailey about his drinking and out-of-control behavior. Sarah brings up what Will said about Bailey’s drinking when he visited. Julia announces that they’re done with Bailey’s excuses. Charlie reveals that they’ve compared stories, so they’ve all heard everything Bailey’s said. Bailey gets defensive about being ganged up on, but even though Claudia agrees, she won’t side with him.

Julia brings up Sam’s accusations that Bailey stole, saying outright that Bailey is “a thief and a liar and a drunk.” Bailey says she’s jealous because he’s in school when Julia’s dropping out. He feels sorry for her. Then he hits a nerve, asking if she’s going to take a year off to get pregnant again. Charlie jumps in to shut him up, but Bailey’s not going to hear about his screw-ups from someone who’s screwed up even more. He’d love to tell Grace about all of Charlie’s faults, like cheating on Kirsten and sleeping around.

Bailey then turns on Sarah, wondering why she’s there. “Take a hint: I don’t love you,” he says – if he did, why would he still be with Callie? If he loved Sarah, he would have been able to sleep with her. Claudia’s the only person left in the room who Bailey hasn’t bashed, but she just glares at him until he walks out. They leave him alone to cool down for a while, though Grace tells Charlie that they need to keep going. He tries to defuse what Bailey said about him sleeping around, but she pretends she’s okay.

Sarah decides that she needs to leave; she can’t take Bailey yelling at her anymore. He can yell at his family and still be loved, but if Sarah hates him, she has no reason to stay. It’s been too long since she’s seen a sign of the person he used to be. Julia begs her to stay because if Bailey realizes that she’s left, he’ll think he’s winning, and that the others don’t have the guts to keep going. Sarah says she tried. Julia tells her that if she leaves, it’ll be worse than if she never came at all.

Claudia approaches Bailey, who’s trying to get a hold of Callie to get a ride home. The doorbell rings, but instead of Callie, it’s Joe. Charlie tells Bailey that they’re done reasoning with him. Instead, he’s laying down the law: Bailey goes to rehab or else. Bailey points out that he doesn’t have an ultimatum. The brothers fight, and Bailey ends up putting his hand through the window in a door.

Joe is the next to give confrontation a try, cornering Bailey while he’s cleaning himself up. Bailey expects Joe to tell him how disappointed his father would be. Joe replies that Mr. Salinger would say, “Not my son, too.” Nick was also an alcoholic. Bailey doesn’t believe him, but Joe was there when Nick was drinking (he got sober 18 years before he died). Bailey accuses Joe of lying the way the rest of the family did.

The rest of the group comes out and Bailey tells them that Joe’s lying about Nick. Charlie and Julia also deny that Nick could have been an alcoholic, but to be fair, Julia wasn’t born yet and Charlie was a little kid. Joe tells them about how Nick would stay at work late and Joe had to drive him home. Julia doesn’t remember her father ever drinking, which Joe notes is an indication that he had a problem.

Claudia’s extremely upset about this revelation and runs off. Joe apologizes for blindsiding her, but she appreciates knowing the truth about her father, even though it changes her perception of him. “Everything you remember about him is still true,” Joe assures her. Claudia wonders why Nick stopped drinking. Joe tells her that Mrs. Salinger threatened to leave, so he got sober.

Bailey stays outside alone, and Sarah goes out to say she’s sorry for what just happened. He remembers that when they were looking for her birth mother, Sarah wondered what she’d inherited, and asked Bailey got from his. Now he knows that he got his alcoholism from his father. Sarah sadly says that she doesn’t know how to help him. Bailey tells her that she doesn’t have to – he has things figured out now.

Charlie tells Julia and Grace that he now remembers Diana driving Nick to work sometimes, which had to have been because Nick had left his car at the restaurant. Julia asks if they fought, and Charlie says it was never in front of him, and he never knew what the fights were about. Julia recalls that Nick never used liquor when he cooked, and he never used alcohol when he gave toasts. “Everything means something else now,” she says. Still, the fact that Nick got sober makes her hopeful.

Everyone’s out of ideas of what to say to Bailey, but Grace thinks that the revelation about Nick will do the trick. Bailey comes back inside and says he’s tired. Charlie thinks this means that he’s ready to get help. The interventioners apologize for the lie about the emergency and for saying anything hurtful. Julia promises that they’ll support Bailey in whatever happens next. Bailey, however, doesn’t think he needs help – he can see now that he’s turning into Nick, and that’s Nick’s fault. Now he doesn’t have to make excuses for who and how he is.

Claudia finally gets involved, telling Bailey that if he doesn’t get help, she won’t have any more contact with him. “I love you the best,” she says. “This is the only thing I have that I can take away from you, to make you stop.” If he doesn’t agree to get help right now, he needs to leave. Bailey looks at her for a minute, then walks out of the house.

Thoughts: Everyone in this episode is terrific, but I have to give special notice to Lacey Chabert, especially for the scene where she calls Bailey. Girlfriend cries on cue. She also gets herself so upset about the lie that she sounds genuinely upset that something happened to Owen.

Hey, Julia? Leave Grace alone. I don’t like her either, but your animosity toward her doesn’t even make sense.

Speaking of Grace, wouldn’t she know a real interventionist? I mean, they did okay on their own, but wouldn’t she know someone who could help them out?

They also should have talked to and brought in Coach Russ. I think Bailey would have really listened to him and been upset about disappointing him.

November 30, 2013

Party of Five 3.19, Point of No Return: Putting the “Party” in “Party of Five”

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 2:56 pm by Jenn

Not pictured: Julia, praying this isn't Owen's first memory

Not pictured: Julia, praying this isn’t Owen’s first memory

Summary: Owen’s birthday is coming up, so the Salingers spend part of their family dinner planning for the party. Claudia thinks they should all work together, but since everyone else hates each other right now, they decide to split up the tasks. Julia tells Sam that she’s decided to spend her summer backpacking around Europe, though it ruins their plans to hang out together for a few months. She invites him along. Claudia runs into Avery at a music store and learns that he has a son her age named Marcus. She offers to show him around San Francisco.

Bailey relays a message to Charlie and Grace that Grace’s parents are in town and want to have dinner. Charlie tells him that he’ll have to babysit Owen. Bailey needs to study, so he’s okay with having a reason to stay in for the night. Grace, however, doesn’t want to have dinner with her parents, who have spent her whole adult life disapproving of her decisions. Claudia goes to Avery’s house and meets Marcus (who prefers Marc). Claudia has less in common with him than she does with his father.

Owen accompanies Charlie and Grace on their dinner out with Mr. and Mrs. Wilcox, since Bailey is MIA. Of course, Owen chooses that night to be on his worst behavior. When they get home, Julia’s there (and why couldn’t she babysit?), and she tells Charlie about the Europe trip she and Ben are taking over the summer. He and Grace both object, not that Julia wants to listen to Grace about anything. Charlie calls Bailey and Callie’s apartment, but Callie tells him that Bailey’s out at a party and probably won’t be home for a while.

Bailey resurfaces the next morning at the restaurant, telling Charlie he just lost track of time at the party. Charlie advises him to see the situation as a wakeup call. Julia whines to Sam about Charlie and Grace, including Grace noting that it would be illegal for Sam and Julia to travel internationally before she turned 18. Ben casually remarks that “those people” would know a lot about the legal situation. Julia’s Something is Not Right Radar goes off.

Bailey interviews a clown named Coco, but he won’t accept the $80 that’s all Bailey can pay him. Callie wonders why Charlie didn’t give Bailey money, and Bailey admits that he did, but he spent it at the bar the night before. Julia mentions Sam’s comment to Sarah, who tries to give him the benefit of the doubt that he’s not racist. Julia can’t think of another explanation. She takes Owen’s cake over to the house, arriving just before Grace’s parents stop by. Grace thinks they’re there to criticize her once again, but they actually like Charlie and how happy he makes Grace. (Also, he has a nice house, so she’s not slumming it anymore.)

Unable to get a clown for $80, Bailey goes to Julia for money. She reminds him that she loaned him money and got him a job with Sam, so he’s out of chances with her. He apologizes and admits that she and Sarah were right when they accused him of partying too much. He’s not going to drink for a while. Julia agrees that she can get judgmental. Claudia goes by Avery’s house again and invites him and Marc to a concert. Marc isn’t interested.

Sam and Julia go shopping for their backpacking trip, and when she brings up his comment from earlier, he basically outs himself as a racist. (Except he’s not really, because he has black employees! He’s practically Martin Luther King, Jr.!) He notes that Julia locks her doors in certain districts, scoffing when she says it’s because they’re unsafe, not because mostly black people live there.) Sam says that if his jokes make Julia uncomfortable, he won’t make them in front of her anymore.

Armed with more of Julia’s money, Bailey debates hitting the liquor store. The next morning, he’s so hungover that he can’t shave without cutting himself. It’s the day of Owen’s birthday party, and Grace’s parents come over to help set up. Grace wants to kick them out, telling Charlie that they’re only being nice to him because they don’t all know each other that well yet. Sam also shows up for the party, to Julia’s surprise. The clown Bailey didn’t hire seems like a moot point, since Mr. Wilcox is enough entertainment for the kids. Mrs. Wilcox invites Charlie and Grace to join them on vacation that summer.

Grace is mad again, telling Charlie that she’s spent her whole life doing the opposite of what her parents like. Now she’s dating someone they like, and she thinks her parents feel she’s finally gotten in line. Charlie doesn’t see what’s wrong with letting them think they’ve “won.” Grace can’t come up with a reason but wants to be upset anyway. She runs into Bailey, who’s gotten a clown costume and is going to provide entertainment himself. Oh, and he’s drunk. He tells Grace that more people would like her if she weren’t so horrible.

Julia watches carefully as Sam chats with the Wilcoxes, but he doesn’t say anything racist. Bailey emerges in his clown costume, cracking up Charlie. As he leaves for work, Sam brags to Julia about how awesome he was to the Wilcoxes. Bailey brings out the cake, then promptly drops it. One of the kids starts crying, so Bailey yells at him. When Charlie tries to drag Bailey inside, Bailey shoves him into a bench. Claudia follows Bailey when he storms off, but he doesn’t want to listen to her “stupid, whiny voice.”

That night, the sober Salingers clean up after the party, and Charlie tries unsuccessfully to lighten the mood. Owen attempts to wake Bailey up to show off his new hat, but Bailey’s down for the count. Even after the big mess of the day, the Wilcoxes are still gracious and lovely to Charlie. Mr. Wilcox mentions that he’s done a lot of research into addiction and treatment because his sister’s an alcoholic. Charlie denies that Bailey has a problem; after all, he’s just a college kid.

Sarah arrives (having delayed coming to the party in an attempt to avoid Bailey) and Julia tells her about the party disaster. They go to talk to Bailey, but he’s taken off. Claudia goes back to Avery’s, where Marc is rude to her because her relationship with Avery is so good. She starts crying, and he’s all, “Oh, crap. Crying girl. What do I do?” He invites her in to hang out. Sam comes back to the house after work, and Julia surprises him by telling him she can’t be with someone who thinks racist jokes aren’t a big deal. He’s made her life better, but that doesn’t matter now that she knows how he really is.

Julia tells Sarah about the breakup, and they talk about how something awful in a person’s personality should make it easy to end things, but it’s not that simple. Charlie tells Grace that he gets what she was saying about her parents getting involved in things that aren’t their business. Grace admits that she thinks her father is right about Bailey having a problem.

Charlie continues to deny it; Bailey’s young and has bad judgment, but that’s how Charlie was at that age. Grace reminds him that Bailey got violent, which makes this very different. Julia chimes in that even when Charlie drank at Bailey’s age, he was still himself. Callie calls to let the Salingers know that Bailey hasn’t turned up at the apartment. Charlie’s sure that he’ll call as soon as he gets home.

Thoughts: Marcus Baltus? Poor kid.

Is Grace implying that her parents won’t like Charlie once they get to know him better?

Guys, next time, take Bailey’s keys.

Sarah’s pretty awesome to stay behind after the party and help clean up, especially since she didn’t technically come to the party.

November 23, 2013

Party of Five 3.18, MYOB: You Can’t Spell Bailey Salinger Without B.S.

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 3:02 pm by Jenn

"You have to bring a six-pack when you come over. New house rule"

“You have to bring a six-pack when you come over. New house rule”

Summary: Grace settles in to sleep in Charlie’s creaky bed, but instead of finding her boyfriend next to her, she finds Owen there. The next morning, Julia’s cold to Grace because she’s mad that Grace moved in but Charlie won’t let Sam in the house. Charlie tries to get Claudia to spend more time with Grace so at least one of his sisters will be nice to her. Bailey and Callie are sleeping together again, which I guess makes him think she might agree when he asks her to help him out with rent. She tells him he’ll have to pay her back by the end of the week: “Just because you sleep in my room now doesn’t mean you’re being kept.”

Julia and Sarah line up to get concert tickets, though Sarah no longer wants to go to the concert. She doesn’t want to listen to love songs while she’s still missing Bailey. Julia encourages her to call him, but Sarah doesn’t want to talk to him unless he makes the first move. While Bailey searches the Salingers’ basement for something to sell, Julia brings up Sarah. Bailey’s too preoccupied thinking about money to listen to her. Julia gives him a concert ticket and tells him to meet her that night.

Claudia goes by Grace’s office, pretending that it was her idea for them to spend some time together. Bailey and Sarah run into each other at the concert, having been set up by Julia. They’re mad but decide to stay. Charlie’s happy to learn that Grace and Claudia having been hanging out. They go grocery shopping with Owen, and when Grace and Owen are left alone together in line, another shopper mistakes Grace for a nanny. She’s offended. Bailey gets drunk at the concert, then gets mad at Sarah when she says she likes the music, accusing her of sleeping with one of the band members. He tries to play it off like he just wants her to be happy.

Julia goes out with Sam, who’s shorthanded at work; she suggests that he hire Bailey to help out. He needs money, and he’s totally reliable and definitely won’t show up to work drunk or hungover. Owen shares Charlie and Grace’s bed again, and Grace finally says that she doesn’t think the co-sleeping is a good idea. She remarks under her breath that Owen has more of a right to be there than she does. At school, Sarah blasts Julia for setting her and Bailey up. Julia doesn’t think Bailey’s drunkenness and loudness were out of place considering the setting. Sarah tells her that Will noticed his behavioral changes, too. Julia insists that nothing’s wrong.

Bailey shows up to his new job late but enthusiastic (and seemingly sober). Sam has concerns. Claudia does some work at Grace’s office, but Grace isn’t interested in just spending time together or chatting. Claudia grows concerned when she hears Grace tell someone that she’s only staying with Charlie (“a friend”) temporarily. At Sam’s that night, he tells Julia that some expensive alcohol was stolen from one of his worksites. They both know he thinks Bailey was responsible. Charlie changes the Salingers’ outgoing answering-machine message so Grace is mentioned. When Claudia comments on it, he asks if she’s trying to cause trouble.

At school, Julia sends Sarah a note to let her know she wants to discuss Bailey’s problems. Claudia screwed up a mailing at Grace’s office, which means everything has to be redone. Grace blasts her for taking on a project she wasn’t sure she could handle. (She’s 14. I’m sure she could handle stuffing envelopes.) Claudia notes that she’s a volunteer, but Grace can’t deal with sloppiness and tells her to leave. When Claudia gets home, she tells Charlie what happened, and he immediately asks what she did wrong. She lets him know that Grace is telling people she’s “staying with friends. Temporarily.”

Sam questions Bailey about the missing alcohol, but of course he says he didn’t see anything. At home, Charlie bugs Grace about getting change-of-address cards and forwarding her mail to the Salingers’. Then he brings up what Claudia told him about Grace only staying there temporarily. She says she doesn’t belong in the house or the neighborhood. The family doesn’t like her and people think she’s “the help.” She feels like a hypocrite when she goes to work and helps poor people while she lives with a white family in a nice house. Owen interrupts and Charlie snaps at him, which makes Grace mad again.

Julia and Sarah ambush Bailey at his place to confront him over his drinking and possible liquor larceny. Bailey’s mad that Julia’s siding with Sam over him. She wants to keep him from self-destructing, as the Salingers have always done for each other. Bailey tells her she’s off the hook and kicks her and Sarah out. Julia warns that she’s not going to just drop this. Later, Bailey goes to the restaurant to complain to Charlie about Julia’s treatment of him. He laughs off his sister’s concerns, and Charlie’s not going to question him since he did his own share of partying in college. Plus, Julia’s always on people’s cases, so why should this be any different?

Claudia’s back to being cold toward Grace at the house, saying bitterly that Grace should be fired for putting dishes away in the wrong place. Grace gives a non-apology, unable to let go of the time and money Claudia’s mistake cost her organization. Claudia says that she only wanted them to be friends. Sarah tracks down Callie to talk about Bailey’s drinking, but Callie thinks she’s being blamed for being a bad influence. Sarah notes that she’s putting aside a lot of hostility to approach Callie. She still loves Bailey, and if Callie does, too, that’s actually good, because she might be able to help him turn things around.

Charlie and Grace discuss their living arrangements, and while he admits that they may have rushed into them, he can’t exactly pick up everything and move. Grace’s location won’t affect the people she helps at work. Grace disagrees – it changes her to live in the Salingers’ house. Owen comes in to share the bed again, so Grace decides to sleep on the couch. Julia tries to talk to Charlie about Bailey, but he’s mad that she’s suddenly willing to be civil to him. He accuses her of being mad that Bailey’s enjoying his life. “You don’t know everything,” he says. “Neither do you,” she shoots back.

At the apartment, Callie asks Bailey for the rent money, but he doesn’t have it. He asks if she’s going to join Julia and Sarah in the anti-Bailey club, but she assures him that they’re still friends. When Bailey goes to get a beer, Callie suggests that he cut back, but he doesn’t take her seriously. And now that she’s boxed in as his only friend, there’s not much she can do. Charlie finds Owen sleeping on the couch with Grace, and he and Grace laugh over the fact that he wanted to be with her, not Charlie. He claims that the family needs her there at the house. She agrees to stay.

Thoughts: Who let us little white girls get away with that XXL trend in the ’90s? Claudia’s sweatshirt could fit two linebackers.

Charlie should have at least warned Grace that Owen might get into bed with them. That’s something I would want to know about in advance.

Oh, right, now I remember why I didn’t like Grace.

Charlie gives Bailey a beer at the restaurant. Couldn’t he get in a lot of trouble for that? Can’t restaurants lose their liquor licenses for serving minors?

November 16, 2013

Party of Five 3.17, Misery Loves Company: Musical Beds

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 3:38 pm by Jenn

This is what a happy couple looks like, apparently

This is what a happy couple looks like, apparently

Summary: Julia gets ambushed at school when she’s called to the guidance counselor’s office to discuss with her and Charlie her decision not to go to Stanford. They think she should defer for a year to give herself more time to make up her mind. The guidance counselor know she’s struggling because of Libby’s death, and has sided with Charlie that Sam isn’t influencing her well. Julia fights back, so Charlie decides to just order her to go to Stanford. As long as she lives in his house, he can tell her what to do.

Callie wants to put a bar in the apartment, even though it takes up a lot of space in the living room. Also, aren’t they supposed to move? Will makes a surprise visit and acts weird. At the house, Julia packs, telling Claudia she’s going to stay with Sam. After all, if she doesn’t live in Charlie’s house, he can’t boss her around. Will’s acting weird because he just broke up with his girlfriend, who was cheating on him. He asks why Bailey and Sarah broke up, but Bailey doesn’t want to depress him. Will thinks they should bond over their shared pain. Bailey disagrees, saying they need to distract themselves.

Charlie talks through his Julia problems with Grace, wondering what his parents would do if they were there. Since Charlie, unlike Julia, is an adult and can do whatever he wants, he agrees to let Grace spend the night. They go to her apartment first and find the building on fire. Julia surprises Sam at has place, saying she wants to make him dinner, watch I, Claudius, and, you know, move her stuff in. Sam recoils, so Julia clarifies that she’ll sleep on the couch. Grace is upset about the fire and all of her stuff possibly being destroyed, but at least she has Charlie’s bed to sleep in, even after he decides to sleep on the couch – he’s not ready to share a bed with someone who’s not Kirsten.

Bailey, Will, and Callie drink and play pool at a bar, successfully distracting themselves from their problems. (Yay, alcohol!) Will can’t hold his liquor and passes out. (Boo, alcohol!) Claudia’s not that thrilled to see that Grace spent the night at the Salingers’. She tells Charlie that Julia moved to Sam’s, so now Charlie has another crisis to deal with. Grace can’t move back home for a while, so she decides to ask her sister if she can stay with her. Charlie tells her she can stay at the Salingers’ as long as she needs, even if it means he keeps sleeping on the couch. (Maybe he can take Julia’s room.)

Bailey and Will are hungover, so Bailey turns to the hair of the dog. Will thinks he’s crazy. Julia turns into a happy homemaker, but Claudia interrupts her and Sam’s domestic bliss to confront her for ditching all her house chores, including watching Owen. Julia’s surprised to hear that Grace is living at the house; Charlie can move his girlfriend in but Julia’s boyfriend can’t be there? She’s also annoyed that Claudia took public transportation to get there. She invites Claudia to stay for dinner and get a ride home from Sam afterward.

Will takes Bailey to a coffeehouse to sober up, since he’s been drinking all day. They run into Sarah, who’s turned off by Bailey’s drunken behavior. While Charlie does the fatherly thing with Owen, Grace takes over the couch so Charlie can have his bedroom back. (Guys, the attic’s empty.) They start kissing, and Charlie decides that he’s ready to share a bed (or at least he needs to make himself ready, so no one has to sleep on the couch). When Claudia notices in the morning that the couch wasn’t slept on, she thinks it means Grace stayed somewhere else. Wrong!

Will visits Sarah at home and notices that she still has a bunch of pictures of Bailey up. They talk about Bailey’s drinking, which Sarah says ramped up after everything that happened with Callie. She has to break it to him that Callie’s the reason she and Bailey broke up. Will wants to intervene, but Sarah can’t bring herself to get involved in Bailey’s issues. Claudia goes to Bailey and Callie’s to ask her brother to help Charlie and Julia work things out. The family’s falling apart, and Bailey’s always been the one to keep things together. Bailey won’t get involved.

Sam and Julia’s love nest is further upended when Sam wants to watch a hockey game, but Owen’s over and playing with loud toys. Charlie and Grace go to her apartment, which is pretty much unsalvageable. All she has is a bedspread she’d ordered a few weeks earlier. Will tries to talk to Bailey about his newfound love of drinking, and how that’s all he ever wants to do. Bailey tries to blow off his concern, but when Will keeps pressing the issue, Bailey turns on him, saying he was just trying to show his friend a good time.

Charlie goes to Sam’s apartment, having gotten a note from Julia telling him that Owen would be spending the night. He announces that both of his siblings will be going home with him. Claudia’s also there, and upset that all the yelling has made Owen start yelling, too. Charlie threatens to call Social Services to force Julia to come home. Julia calls his bluff, lets him take Owen, and pretends she’s not a drama queen.

The next morning, Sam cooks Julia breakfast to soften the blow when he tells her she can’t stay there anymore. He likes the idea of living with her, just not when she’s there to stick it to her brother. He likes his life the way it is, without all the Salingers’ loud drama. Will finds Bailey working out and decides to try a different tack with his concern: asking Bailey straight out if he’s okay. Bailey claims he is, of course, so Will apologizes for overreacting. He wants to spend one more night hanging out with Bailey before he goes back to school, but Bailey says he has to study.

Julia returns home, admitting to Claudia that Sam made her leave. Claudia doesn’t care that she’s back. Grace goes to look for a new apartment, but Charlie thinks she should just stay at the Salingers’. He likes that her presence has made him change some of his old habits, which needed to be changed. It’ll be a fresh start for both of them, but they can help each other. At Bailey and Callie’s, Callie has her own suggestion for a change: She wants Bailey to move into her bedroom. He seems on board with that.

Thoughts: Grace calls her landlord after the fire, and the hold music is “Disco Inferno.” The person who wrote that in is both brilliant and evil.

I feel worse for Owen than anyone else in the family. He’s had to go through so much upheaval. Mom and Dad are gone. Charlie moves back in. Kirsten moves in, Kirsten moves out. Kirsten moves back in, then sits in a chair and cries all day. Bailey moves out. Julia moves out and Grace moves in. Everyone’s yelling all the time. Poor little guy.

It’s sad that Will, who’s seen Bailey the least over the last year, is the first to notice that something’s wrong.

Two episodes ago, Callie was over Bailey’s partying; now she’s encouraging it. Why the change?

November 9, 2013

Party of Five 3.16, I Declare: Mistakes Were Made

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 1:13 pm by Jenn

T.S. Eliot disapproves of Bailey's choices

T.S. Eliot disapproves of Bailey’s choices

Summary: Charlie and Grace spend their first date in the back of his truck, admiring the scenery at an overlook. Apparently the overlook wasn’t the first choice, but Charlie took a while to find the right spot, one that wasn’t too romantic or too unromantic. Grace isn’t sure they’re ready for a relationship, but he tells her that they’ll take things slowly and see what happens. They start by holding hands, then throw the “take things slowly” thing out the window and start kissing.

Claudia looks through pictures of Ross’ daughter and finds one of her English teacher, Mr. Archer. Ross tells her that they’ve been dating for a couple of months. Despite his attempts to downplay it, Claudia can tell that he’s really happy. Bailey meets with a professor who tells him that he’s failing his poetry class and needs a B+ on an upcoming paper to pass. He’s advised to give up either wrestling or partying to focus on his grades. Bailey decides he should give up partying.

Claudia writes a response to an advice letter from a kid at school who’s questioning his sexuality. In it, she mentions that a lot of people are gay, including one of the school’s teachers. She doesn’t name names, so the other kids who write for the paper try to guess who it is. Claudia tries to stop them by telling them it’s Mr. Archer. Julia gets an acceptance letter from Stanford, and her siblings toast her with champagne. Amazingly, Bailey only takes a sip, announcing that he’s not drinking anything else until he writes a ten-page paper on Prufrock. Julia isn’t as happy about getting into Stanford as the other Salingers are.

Bailey comes home to find a big party in the apartment, so there go his plans to focus on schoolwork. Despite her annoyance last week that Bailey isn’t being mature and focused enough, Callie tells him to relax and have a beer. She refuses to end the party, playing the “it’s my lease” card. Charlie and Grace have completely thrown out their “take things slowly” plan and have progressed to…let’s call it pre-sex. He worries that they’re moving too fast and will regret it tomorrow if they have sex tonight. “When did you get so sensible and forward-thinking?” Grace wonders.

At school, Julia tells Sarah about her acceptance to Stanford. Sarah, unfortunately, was rejected, but is still happy for Julia. Julia thinks it was just luck and that she didn’t earn her spot. Bailey tries to work on his paper but is interrupted when the landlord arrives to yell at Callie for her party. He’s at the end of his rope and wants Bailey and Callie out by the end of the month. Bailey panics because now that’s one more thing to deal with. While changing at Grace’s apartment before helping paint a community center, Grace and Charlie glimpse each other half-dressed.

Ross reads Claudia’s article and blasts her for mentioning that one of her teachers is gay. She argues that she wanted to encourage him to come out and be himself. The way things are now, he’s setting the example that it’s okay to lie about who you are. In turn, he’s also lying about Ross. Julia shares her Stanford acceptance with Sam, admitting that she can’t get excited about it. She’s not sure when she decided that going to college was the right choice for her. Your academic success doesn’t define you. Sam tells her it’s okay to decide she’s done with school.

Bailey and Callie’s landlord turns off their heat, and the library’s closed, so Bailey has nowhere else to work on his paper. Callie tries to tempt him with brandy, saying it’ll warm him up. Bailey’s down to two days before the paper’s due, which means he has to write five pages a day. Well, he really just has to do the outline tonight, and he can do the rest of the paper tomorrow. He’ll just drink enough brandy to warm up.

Shockingly, Bailey wakes up the next morning hungover and with no outline written. Also, the water’s been turned off. There’s only beer in the fridge, so Bailey drinks out of a watering can. Callie plans to use law books to work on a letter to the landlord (smart girl). Bailey’s panicking over his paper, so she offers to help. Julia casually tries to talk to Charlie about not wanting to go to college, and he encourages her to take some time for herself. He means the summer, since in the fall, she’ll be going to Stanford.

Charlie and Grace go back to the community center, and this time they’re the only two left working there. Well, except Owen, who I’m sure is really a big help. Oh, and Grace’s grandmother, who’s unaware that she was asked along so Grace and Charlie wouldn’t be alone together. Julia tells her school counselor that she’s not going to Stanford; instead, she’s going to take some time to figure out what she wants to do with her life. She declines the counselor’s advice to rethink her rash decision.

Ross is still ticked at Claudia, so their lesson together isn’t much fun. As Claudia’s getting ready to leave, Mr. Archer arrives to cancel a date with Ross so he can go visit his mother. Ross tries to invite himself along, but Mr. Archer pretty insistently says he can’t come. Ross realizes that Mr. Archer isn’t out to his mother. He doesn’t appreciate his boyfriend keeping their relationship a secret; it seems like Mr. Archer is ashamed.

Bailey and Callie go to a bar, and a drunk Bailey reads the letter Callie plans to send to the landlord, bluffing legal action. Bailey’s paper is up to seven pages, thanks to his write-a-page-drink-a-beer method of motivation. (Not recommended.) Charlie and Grace keep Owen and Nana out late painting, so Nana offers to take Owen to get some food. Now that their buffers are gone, Charlie and Grace have nothing to keep them from kissing each other.

The next day, Grace visits Charlie at the restaurant, and I guess they hooked up, because he wishes it were four months from now so they could feel steadier in the relationship. Grace thinks they’ve moved at the right pace, since they were slow enough when they were just friends. Now, though, she’s willing to slow down again, since she knows what her reward will be when she and Charlie hook up again.

Claudia tries to play matchmaker for Ross and a waiter at the restaurant, but Ross doesn’t want any more of her “help.” She tells him he made the right choice with Mr. Archer. Ross replies that unless she’s been in his position, she can’t say what the right thing is. After all, she wasn’t that accepting when he came out to her, so she should understand what rejection is like. Ross gets what Mr. Archer’s going through, since he was once in the closet himself, but he couldn’t let himself be put back there by Mr. Archer. Claudia reiterates that he made the right choice.

Julia tells Sarah about her plan to turn down Stanford, which Sarah thinks is a reaction to Libby’s death. Julia admits that she’s had doubts through the entire application process. Sarah blasts her for applying anyway – Julia might have taken Sarah’s spot. Charlie overhears and tries to get Julia to discuss her decision with him, but she won’t talk about it. Bailey wakes up hungover again, but at least the heat’s back on. The bad news is that his paper sucks.

At school, a boy tells Claudia that he likes her writing, and that lots of people are talking about her response to the letter from the boy questioning his sexuality. Of course, that boy is him, and he’s relieved to have told someone that he might be gay. Claudia feels good about helping him. Charlie asks Julia again to talk to him about Stanford, and she tells him she’s tired of being the reliable A student. She’s always done things by the book. Charlie thinks she’s going through a phase, and she’s making a mistake by not wanting to go to Stanford.

Sam arrives, announcing that he supports Julia’s decision, so Charlie thinks she’s turning down Stanford because of him. He kicks Sam out, telling Julia that if she’s letting Sam screw things up, Charlie needs to stop it. Julia blasts him for the way he parents: “I’m sure Mom and Dad would approve.”

Bailey misses his poetry class but arrives later to ask his professor for an extension. The professor says no, so Bailey considers dropping the class. The professor says that’s a mistake, but that’s what Bailey does best, right? Charlie goes to Grace’s apartment and mentions that the weather is nice – much like it’ll be in four months, past the awkward part of their relationship. In other word, he’s ready for some more sex.

Thoughts: Doesn’t Bailey have other classes to go to? Did he skip all of them to write his paper? That’s…bad.

Also, if he can’t write a page an hour, he probably shouldn’t be in college. He should also know that when you’re writing about poetry, you can just make stuff up and people can’t really argue with your interpretation.

Charlie thinks Julia wants to do volunteer work. Charlie also needs a kiss-blocker at the community center. SO TAKE JULIA, YOU DUMMY.

November 2, 2013

Party of Five 3.15, Significant Others: Nothing Says “Mature and Focused” Like a Drinking Problem

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 1:21 pm by Jenn

I'm not sure the drunk guy should be playing with pointy things

I’m not sure the drunk guy should be playing with pointy things

Summary: Bailey wins a wrestling match at a meet, but his team isn’t as happy about it as he is, since they lost the meet anyway. He wants to take everyone out to celebrate with beer (of course). The other wrestlers can’t go because of family and school obligations. Julia and Sam are still dating, and it’s still weird. She tries to get him to invite her to a party his friends are having; he’s reluctant to take her, probably because IT’S WEIRD THAT HE’S DATING A GIRL IN HIGH SCHOOL.

Charlie’s receiving a citizenship award at a homeless benefit, but he doesn’t want to accept it because he didn’t vote for the mayor presenting it and he doesn’t want to thank rich people who are patting themselves on the back for helping poor people. He thinks Grace deserves the award more. She tells him to feel like he’s giving the rich people “positive reinforcement.” Claudia and Bailey play poker at the house, and she mentions that he said he was going to move out of his apartment before he and Sarah broke up. Now, though, things are looking up, so he’s staying put.

Julia passes for an adult at the party, so clearly, Sam hasn’t told anyone about her. She’s a little jealous when she sees Sam talking with an “old friend” who happens to be female (and not in high school). At the benefit, Charlie finds out that he’s considered kind of a big deal. He tries to be humble, and Grace tells him to give her some credit, since he was just talking to someone from the mayor’s office and didn’t mention that his homeless-feeding program was her idea.

One of Sam’s friends tells Julia that the woman Sam’s talking to is Karen, and Julia should totally know who she is. Another friend fills in that they were once engaged and lived together. Bailey stocks up on beer and ends up buying a winning lottery ticket. (He spends the $5 winnings on more beer.) Even Callie is sick of his crap, and was kind of looking forward to him moving out. Bailey claims that he needs time to regroup after his breakup. Callie tells him he has a month and a half.

After the benefit, Charlie talks to the guy from the mayor’s office, Michael, again. He expositions that he didn’t thank the mayor in his speech, and he talked Grace up. Michael wonders if he and Grace are dating, because if they’re not, he’d like to ask her out. Charlie says they’re “not really” together, but it’s starting to look like he wants them to be. Bailey wants to try to enter an all-stars match, but Coach Russ doesn’t think he would make it. Bailey asks for positive reinforcement. (Grace would be proud.) Russ tells him he would have to work his butt off for the next 48 hours. Bailey’s up for that.

Charlie comes up with a lame reason to get Grace to come over to his house, then ups the ante to dinner and a movie. Grace doesn’t get the hint that he’s angling for a date. Claudia pops up and invites herself to join them, because Claudia never gets a plotline. Now Grace is game, even though she’ll be doing laundry while at the house. Julia yells at Sam for accepting a dinner invitation from Karen, especially since he never told her about Karen in the first place. Sam invites her along.

Bailey goes on a training binge with a reluctant teammate, Teddy, who just wants to go home and study. Bailey thinks they should calm themselves mentally, and what better way to do that than with a big pitcher of beer? Grace ditches Charlie and Claudia to go to a concert with Michael, so now Charlie has the sads. Sam, Julia, and Karen go to dinner, and it looks like Julia’s calmed down about her boyfriend almost marrying another woman. Karen’s happy that they’re happy because she’s also found someone new. Oh, and they’re getting married. Now Sam’s not happy.

Bailey and Teddy stay out late, and Teddy eventually leaves to study and/or sleep. Bailey’s well on his way to having a nice little hangover the next day. Julia thinks Sam reacted badly to Karen’s engagement because he’s still in love with her. He insists that all their past is in the past, especially since she’s with someone else, so there’s no reason to keep talking about it. He tries to distract her with the idea of having a romantic day together.

Callie presses Bailey to bump up his move-out date since she already has a new roommate lined up. Bailey yells at her that he’s too busy with wrestling and won’t be going anywhere. Charlie visits Grace at her office and finds a bouquet of flowers from Michael. Grace isn’t in because she stayed out late the night before with her new buddy. Sam impulsively wants to take Julia to Lake Tahoe for the weekend, forgetting that she probably has homework (and might need Charlie’s permission). She knows he wants to leave town so they don’t have to deal with their issues.

Bailey’s late for practice, and with only one day left to get ready for the all-stars tryout, Russ doesn’t think he’s serious about it, or mature enough. Bailey insists that Russ let him try out. Apparently he’s forgotten than Russ doesn’t listen to whiny teenagers, and that whining isn’t going to make him look any more mature. Crying won’t help either. Bailey says that this is the only thing he has left that matters to him.

From the friendzone, Charlie listens to Grace talk about how Michael shouldn’t be sending her flowers because he doesn’t make a lot of money. They’re going to dinner at a restaurant run by a couple Michael helped get political asylum. Charlie tries to get into her head, telling her that “political” guys like Michael aren’t always honest. Grace is all, “Thanks for looking out for me – you’re such a good friend!” Later that night, when Charlie calls her, Michael picks up the phone.

Bailey’s moved his maniacal training to the Salingers’ house, still trying to drop weight just hours before the tryouts. He asks his siblings to come along to support him, but they already have plans. He’s upset that he’ll be the only one there without family or friends, but to be fair, he didn’t give them much notice. Claudia nicely says she can come, because she has nothing to do, because she has no plotline.

Instead of writing the paper she told Bailey she was working on, Julia goes to Sam’s to confront him for acting so weird lately. She knows it’s all because of Karen; the only time Sam’s been nice to her recently was when they went to dinner with her. Julia accuses him again of still being in love with Karen. Sam tries to deny this, but he has to admit that she might be right. He misses the feeling of his whole life being about one person. Julia’s all, “Well, thanks for that.” But she also gets it, because why would he feel like that about her so soon into the relationship? (Yeah, I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that YOU’RE 17.)

With coaching from Russ and support from Claudia, Bailey wins his match at the tryouts. He’s not as happy as he should be, since he doesn’t have a girlfriend there to congratulate him. Claudia suggests that they go celebrate, but Bailey lies that he’s going to hang out with his friends. Julia and Sam have a hard time remembering when they realized they liked each other, but they can easily remember when they realized they liked Justin and Karen. And yet, Julia and Sam are still together. I don’t get it.

Grace tries to plan a date with Michael while she’s with Charlie at the restaurant, and finally Charlie can’t take it anymore. He asks her straight out to stop seeing Michael. He tells her that she matters to him, but Grace still doesn’t get it. “I know we’re friends, but I don’t know what else,” she says. Finally she understands that he wants to be more than that, which is what she wanted before, when he was still hung up on Kirsten. Bailey gets drunk at a bar (I know, I’m shocked, too) and talks to some poor stranger about wrestling and how it lets him feel like he’s on top.

Thoughts: Karen is played by Corinne Bohrer, who I will always think of as Veronica Mars’ mom.

Bailey needs a girlfriend – he’s much more annoying when he’s single.

Dr Pepper, Julia? On a date with adults? At least order iced tea, or just water. Are you trying to make yourself seem younger?

If Bailey makes Claudia cry, I will punch him in the face. Though I’d probably have to wait in line for that.

October 26, 2013

Party of Five 3.14, Life’s Too Short: “I Liked Who I Was Then”

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 5:21 pm by Jenn

Life's too short for me to keep looking for a good picture from this episode, so enjoy these Avenger pugs instead

Life’s too short for me to keep looking for a good picture from this episode, so enjoy these Avenger pugs instead

Summary: Bailey and Sarah are still together, somehow, and she’s surprised to hear that he plans to keep living with Callie. At the restaurant, Claudia and Grace laugh over Charlie’s high school yearbooks; he’s about to go to his ten-year reunion. He complains that he won’t have anything good in his life to brag about. At school, Julia and Justin run into the long-unseen Libby, congratulating her on getting into Harvard. After they leave her, Justin mocks her for spending so much time studying after they broke up. He’s also jealous that she already knows what she’s doing with her life.

Charlie hangs out with a couple friends who are immature even for guys Charlie would hang out with. They remember that he was voted least likely to marry and most likely to have kids. Sarah finds one of Callie’s hairs in Bailey’s bed and decides to leave. When Callie comes home, she decides to stay so Bailey and Callie can’t do anything with each other. Charlie and his friends sneak into the high school to play basketball and be dorks. Charlie enjoys remembering the thrill of being a star basketball player. Julia’s at the coffeehouse with Sam when Justin pulls her aside to deliver some bad news: Libby committed suicide.

At school the next day, Justin feels horrible for the mean things he said about Libby the other day. He tells Julia that she called him over Christmas break but he didn’t call back. Julia admits the same thing. Bailey and Sarah discuss Libby on a date that night, but he cuts things short to go home and write a paper. Sarah asks him to stay, claiming that she wants to keep talking about Libby, and not that she’s trying to keep him from being alone with Callie. She manages to be offended when he thinks differently.

Charlie doesn’t seem to enjoy himself at his reunion, where he learns that even the class dork has a family. He reconnects with an old girlfriend, Lori, and tells her that she was the first girl he ever confessed his love to. She remarks that in high school, everything felt like life or death, but looking back now, everything seemed easy. Bailey’s birthday present to Sarah is a fake ID so they can spend more time together (and, you know, drink). She’s upset that he didn’t spend more time thinking up something romantic to write in the card, like she always does for him. He thinks the week he took getting the fake ID should count for something.

Justin’s very shaken by Libby’s death and wonders if she already had a plan in place when she talked to them in the hallway. He keeps imagining himself and Julia finding out and rushing to stop her. Julia tells him that they couldn’t have known, so they can’t blame themselves. He just wants an explanation for why a 17-year-old girl with her whole life ahead of her would want to end it. Charlie and Grace meet up for coffee, and he confides that a friend offered him a job in insurance. The job isn’t that appealing, but he likes the idea of spending time with his friends again and reclaiming the glory of his high school days. “I liked who I was then,” he says.

Julia visits Libby’s mother, who expresses the same feelings Justin did about not knowing that Libby was feelings suicidal. Julia tells her that Libby kept a journal, but Mrs. Dwyer can’t bring herself to read it, so she gives it to Julia. Julia takes it with her, reading about Libby’s desperation to get into Harvard. Sarah and Bailey have a grumpy night out with Sarah’s fake ID. She doesn’t make things any better when she dances with another guy. Julia reads Justin Libby’s diary entry from the day she got her acceptance letter from Harvard. She was under a ton of pressure and had very low self-esteem.

Bailey and Sarah fight over her choice of dancing partners; he thinks she was trying to make him feel the way she felt after he slept with Callie. She admits that part of her wants revenge. Bailey’s upset because he keeps trying to make things up to her but can never do enough. Sarah notes that it’s only been three weeks. “I want to know how long I have until we’re even,” she says. He asks her what she wants, and she says she wants to be in love with someone else, but she can’t.

Charlie’s friends are still hanging around, having fun, but not once one of them taunts the other for thinking he’s so great when he sells shoes for a living. This turns into a fight over showboating in a high school basketball game. Then one of them reveals that the other slept with Lori while she was dating Charlie. Suddenly Charlie isn’t that sorry anymore that he and his friends don’t see each other much.

He goes to see Lori and casually mentions how she cheated on him. Apparently she slept with the friend first, and then when she slept with Charlie, she pretended she was a virgin. He notes that they all thought high school was such a great time in their lives, but now they know it wasn’t. He’ll have to stop wishing he was a teenager again. Julia and Justin go to Libby’s funeral, and he asks her to never die. Bailey sits with Sarah and tries to comfort her.

One of Libby’s friends tells the mourners that Libby would want them to keep going and not let their lives stop because hers did. Julia counters that Libby would want them to stop for a minute and make sure they really enjoy what they’re doing. You can’t focus your entire life around one goal, like Libby did. She followed all the road signs to her destination, but when she arrived, all the bad things in her life were still bad. Julia says that she’s sorry Libby was so unhappy, and she’ll miss her. Bailey goes home to Callie, who thinks he’s done enough apologizing to Sarah. He disagrees and plans to wait her out.

At the restaurant, Charlie hangs out with Owen instead of his friends, thinking about a future where the brothers run the place together. Out on a date, Sarah asks Bailey to name the strongest person he knows, character-wise. He picks Claudia, who’s been through tons of difficult stuff but still stands up for herself and isn’t a pushover. Sarah’s all, “Are you calling me a pushover?” She no longer likes who she is with Bailey – she’s lost her self-respect. It’s time for them to break up. Bailey objects, since they’ve gone too much together to just give up. She says that sometimes you have to walk away. They need to want to be happier than they are. Libby’s death has shown Sarah that life is too short not to want things to be better. Elsewhere, Julia mails her college applications.

Thoughts: Sarah, you can get back together with Bailey or you can refuse to forgive him, but not both.

Absolutely no one at that reunion is 28. Not one person.

I usually don’t like floppy hair on guys, but it kind of works on Justin.

Scary – Sarah and I have the same philosophy. If you’re not happy, do something about it.

October 12, 2013

Party of Five 3.12, Desperate Measures: Worst Road Trip Ever

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , , at 1:12 pm by Jenn

Tone it down, guys. She's not dying of cholera

Tone it down, guys. She’s not dying of cholera

Summary: Claudia can’t open a jar. I hope Lacey Chabert’s agent feels proud of himself. Charlie’s is that he’s going to Chicago to see Kirsten. This means Julia’s in charge of Claudia and Owen, which is probably a bad idea. Charlie isn’t sure when he’ll be coming back, which is an even worse idea. When Sam comes over to work, Julia gives him a mix tape (adorable) of songs that include the word “roof.” He awkwardly asks her out, which distracts her from Claudia, who doesn’t feel well. Julia accepts Sam’s invitation to go skiing, which I guess means Claudia’s now in charge of Owen.

Bailey’s wrestling much better, and I don’t just mean with his alcohol issues. In fact, Coach Russ is using him as an example of how much you can accomplish if you work hard. He tells the team that for the next three days before a big meet, they can only drink water, no alcohol. Charlie arrives in Chicago, but Ellie doesn’t want him there; Gene’s out of town and she’s having enough trouble handling Kirsten on her own. Except when Kirsten shows up, she seems fine, and very happy to see Charlie.

Sarah and Bailey are somehow still together. She tells him that her parents have given her separate billing on their shared credit card, which means she can make purchases and pay for them without her parents knowing. What this really means is that she can use the card to rent a hotel room and try to have sex with Bailey again. He uses wrestling as an excuse to stay abstinent before the next meet. Julia asks Claudia to watch Owen while she goes skiing, but Claudia’s feeling really sick now and refuses. Julia refuses her refusal.

Bailey goes home cranky, and Callie guesses that it’s because he and Sarah had yet another fight. He doesn’t want to discuss it with her, of all people. He’s also annoyed because there’s no beer; she says he drank it all. (Red flag! Red flag!) Callie calls him out for either treating her badly or wanting her in bed, with no in between. He ignores her and goes out to buy beer. In Chicago, Kirsten tells Charlie that she’s been doing better since she started a new medication about a month ago. He wonders why she didn’t tell him before now. She says she didn’t want to jinx things.

The next day, Charlie and Kirsten hang out downtown, talking about his family. She’s definitely doing a lot better, and he enjoys seeing her smile. Sarah goes to Bailey’s wrestling practice to see him, but he’s skipped it. Julia’s late picking Owen up from daycare because she was shopping for ski clothes. This means she misses a phone call from a doctor letting her know that Julia has been admitted to the hospital with appendicitis. When Julia gets to the hospital, she learns that Claudia had emergency surgery without anyone’s authorization since no one in the family could be reached. And now Claudia doesn’t want to see her.

Kirsten tells Charlie that she’s ready to go back to San Francisco with him. She’s so ready that she wants them to drive there tonight. Charlie’s too happy to think that there’s anything strange about the request, especially since Kirsten doesn’t want to see her mother first. Sarah goes to Bailey’s apartment and finds him hungover from a drinking binge. She worries that he’s out of sorts because of her, but he swears it’s not. Sarah points out that he said he wasn’t supposed to drink or have sex; if he can do one, then why not the other? “I did both,” Bailey admits, coming clean about Callie.

Kirsten calls Ellie to let her know she’s going back to San Francisco. Ellie tries to talk her out of it, saying Kirsten’s doctor doesn’t think she’s well enough for something like that. Kirsten hangs up on her, then tells Charlie that Ellie’s okay with it. Callie wakes Bailey up to tell him that Claudia’s in the hospital; he turned the answering machine down and didn’t get Julia’s message. He’s still really hungover, so Callie takes him to the hospital. When he arrives, Claudia will only talk to him, not Julia.

Sarah comes to the hospital with flowers, having heard about Claudia’s surgery from Julia, who called her when she was trying to reach Bailey. She runs into Callie and tears into her for sleeping with Bailey. Then when Bailey appears, Sarah gives him the flowers and leaves. Charlie and Kirsten drive all day, reaching Nebraska; he wants to stop for the night, but she’s eager to keep going. (She’s manic, Charlie. Learn the signs.)

Bailey to Sarah’s place, but she still doesn’t want to talk to him since she thinks he’s going to break up with her. Instead, he desperately declares his love for her and invites her to hate him. She admits that she does, and she wants to hurt him, but she still loves him. Charlie and Kirsten finally stop at a motel for the night, and she’s not quite as happy as she was before. She insists that she’s fine, but Charlie’s starting to realize that this was a bad idea. He wakes up in the middle of the night to find Kirsten sitting in a chair, crying, like she used to in San Francisco. She tells him she left too soon and needs to go back to Chicago.

Sam goes skiing without Julia, who’s staying at the hospital with Claudia even though Claudia won’t talk to her. Claudia hears her on the phone, admitting to feeling horrible, and finally talks to her. Bailey tells Callie that he and Sarah aren’t breaking up, so their hookups have to stop. Callie notes that the last time he said that was right before they hooked up again. She tells him he’s not worth all the drama. (Dude, seriously.)

Just before they’re about to leave for Chicago, Kirsten tells Charlie that she’s always tried to defend him in therapy, but her therapist eventually got her to see that she can’t be with him. She’s never been able to fully get past him leaving her on their wedding day. Every time she looks at him, that’s what she sees. Back in San Francisco, Julia and Claudia are sisterly again, even making plans to go swimming together. Sam visits, and Julia tells him that since she sometimes has to take care of Claudia and Owen, she may have to cancel plans. He’s okay with it, and even thinks Julia’s awesome for being so responsible.

Charlie returns Kirsten to Chicago, then decides to leave right away. Ellie blasts him for putting Kirsten through something difficult. He doesn’t want to stick around for another round of Ellie Hates Charlie, so he leaves without his things. Bailey and Sarah, on the other hand, are doing okay. Charlie comes home to an empty house and cries.

Thoughts: This episode title makes no sense. It should have been the title of the previous episode.

Salingers, I will adopt Owen and take him off your hands, since apparently no one cares enough to make sure a competent person is in charge of him.

Was Claudia admitted to the hospital from school? Wouldn’t Julia have been contacted at school? That whole plot device doesn’t hold together. How long was she out shopping, anyway? I would think that if no one from the family could be contacted, Claudia would have asked for Ross.

Callie appears to be the only person on this show who does schoolwork.

So after all that, Sarah’s just okay with Bailey cheating on her? We didn’t get to see any discussion other than her saying she still loves him. She didn’t even wait a day before she took him back! Come on, girl.

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