January 4, 2014

Party of Five 3.25, You Win Some, You Lose Some: Make Me Feel Better About Not Trusting You!

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 4:40 pm by Jenn

"I don't need you, Charlie. My constituents and views on social policy will keep me warm at night"

“I don’t need you, Charlie. My constituents and views on social policy will keep me warm at night”

Summary: Bailey finds Coach Russ in the campus gym and reveals that he’s an alcoholic, which is why he was such a poor athlete this year. He feels bad for lying, especially after Russ was so kind to him. But now he’s sober and going to AA meetings. Russ advises him to stick to recovery, because he can’t come back to the wrestling team if he doesn’t go to meetings. Bailey’s thrilled that he’s allowed back on the team at all.

Justin got into Yale, though I feel like they might have rejected him if they saw his ridiculous haircut. Julia teases him about it, saying they let in anyone who applies. Grace’s mother is in town for Grace’s election, which is right around the corner. Charlie wants to plan a victory party, but Grace isn’t in favor of allowing children to attend. (Sorry, Owen.) Justin tells Julia that his reward from his parents for getting into Yale is a plane ticket and money to travel Europe for two months. Hey, that’s where Julia wanted to spend her summer, too! You know, before Griffin came back into her life.

Bailey’s enjoying making amends as part of his recovery. If only there were a step that allowed him to break up Sarah and Drew. She admits to him that she’s a little annoyed having to get to know Drew, since she and Bailey already knew each other so well when they started dating. Also, he’s so busy that they haven’t been able to find much time to spend together. The good news, at least for Bailey, is that Sarah and Drew broke up.

At Griffin’s new bike shop, Julia tells him that Justin invited her to go to Europe with him. But they’re just friends! They’re both dating other people! It’s not at all weird for exes to travel together like that! Griffin notes that he just got back to town, so he and Julia would be jumping into another separation. Julia reminds him that she wanted to go to Europe before he came back. He asks if she’s asking permission to go, but she points out that she doesn’t need his blessing.

Claudia and Grace find themselves talking about Kirsten, which can’t be awkward at all for Grace. Claudia reveals that Kirsten couldn’t have children. Charlie overhears Bailey making dinner reservations for two, and Bailey casually tells him he’s going out with Sarah. He’s not sure if she wants to get back together, and isn’t sure she could want to after everything they’ve been through.

Julia accuses Griffin of not trusting her, but he says he doesn’t trust life, whatever that means. He’s just afraid of the two of them being apart because of all the things that could keep them apart. Bailey goes to see Sarah but instead has to make awkward conversation with her mother. Mrs. Reeves appreciates that he’s trying to turn his life around. She reveals something that Sarah didn’t tell Bailey: Sarah got into Brown. Mrs. Reeves is looking forward to putting 3,000 miles between her daughter and Bailey.

Grace brings up Kirsten’s non-childbearing abilities to Charlie, wondering if that’s why they broke up. Charlie says that Kirsten wanted kids but couldn’t medically. Grace doesn’t get why that’s different from what’s going on between her and Charlie, since the result of both pairings is a lack of kids. How about because you hate Owen and Claudia, and Charlie has to take care of them? Whatever, I’m 25 minutes from having to deal with Grace ever again.

Bailey comes home late and Claudia questions him, but he promises that he didn’t drink. He shares that Sarah got into Brown and will be moving across the country. Claudia thinks Bailey should call her, but Bailey sees her choice in college as a message that she’s moving on. He calls his sponsor instead of Sarah. Owen causes disruptions at campaign headquarters, because apparently no one watches the child. Charlie sees Grace brush him off.

Julia turns down Justin’s Europe invitation because Griffin guilted her into staying in San Francisco. He shows up at school and tells her that he wishes he could let her (read: give her permission to) go to Europe, but he can’t (read: doesn’t trust her). However, he’s come up with a way to feel comfortable with it (read: force himself to trust her and/or force her to stay faithful).

Sarah comes by the Salingers’ to tell Bailey her big college news. Except she’s not going to Brown – she’s going to Berkeley. Bailey says that he thinks she might be better off staying away from him, but Sarah thinks that’s crazy. He’s thrilled, and they end up kissing. Charlie finally answers Grace’s question about the difference between their relationship and his with Kirsten: Kirsten loved Claudia and Owen, but Grace can’t stand them. Grace blames the chaos of the campaign but can’t promise that things will get better after it’s over. Charlie can’t let her stay around if it’s not going to work out.

While Charlie is making a healthy, mature decision, Julia is making a horrible one: She’s marrying Griffin. (They’re in Nevada, for some reason.) Then they return to his awful apartment for their wedding night. He talks her into waiting until the next day to tell her family. The next day happens to be election day, and though Grace and Charlie have broken up (yay!), he’s still going to support her.

Julia and Griffin come to the house and surprise the Salingers with news of their marriage. “You’ll get used to it,” Julia tells Charlie, whose response should be, “Awesome, I don’t have to support your dumb butt anymore.” Bailey shares the news with Sarah, trying to convince her that they should take inspiration from Julia and Griffin’s reunion and get back together as well. Despite their kiss, Sarah friendzones him. Bailey promises to do anything to win her back, but she wants both of them to move on.

While Julia packs up some things to move in with Griffin, Charlie asks her to explain why they eloped. He knows Julia wouldn’t have gotten married if their parents were around. She replies that she would be a completely different person if their parents hadn’t died. Charlie wishes she’d given marriage more thought. Julia says that it made things fall into place; she can go anywhere and do anything and still have Griffin. In other words, she can go to Europe with Justin without Griffin getting mad. A totally reasonable motive for getting married!

Grace wins the election and has her victory party at her now-ex-boyfriend’s restaurant. It sounds like Grace didn’t tell her mother about the breakup. It also sounds like Grace’s mother likes Owen more than Grace does. Charlie tells Grace that he wishes things could have been different. “No, you wish I could have been different,” she replies. And that’s why I won’t miss her. At home, Claudia begs Charlie and Bailey to help her give Julia a positive sendoff. As a wedding present, they give her their mother’s wedding ring.

Thoughts: ‘Bye, Grace! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Could you be a doll and take Griffin with you? No? Rats.

Justin and Julia suddenly have chemistry. How did that happen?

First Griffin thinks Yale is in Massachusetts; then Bailey thinks Brown is in Connecticut. Was that supposed to be a running joke (that didn’t run very far) or just a comment on how people don’t know where Ivy League schools are?

When I was 14, I thought Julia and Griffin were so sweet together. Now I’m all, “He’s nuts! What do you see in him??”

When did I get to the end of the season? I feel like I just started it. Oh, well – I’m halfway through the series!

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December 28, 2013

Party of Five 3.24, A Little Faith: You Are Not Alone

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 3:08 pm by Jenn

Come play with us, Bailey...forever and ever and ever...

Come play with us, Bailey…forever and ever and ever…

Summary: It’s time for spring break, and Sarah’s headed to Vail with her parents. Bailey’s bummed to be left behind in San Francisco with nothing to do. Julia and Griffin leave their spring-break destination up to chance, randomly picking Carson City, Nevada on a map. Grace and Charlie are supposed to do a TV news spot about her campaign, but she’s not feeling well, so she leaves him to field questions, as her “campaign manager.”

Ross has jury duty during spring break, which means he can’t go to L.A. with Claudia for an elite performance. Charlie also can’t go, and Julia’s already taken off. Claudia remembers that Joe and Franny live in L.A., so she suggests that she stay with them. Bailey pops up, and since he doesn’t have anything else to do, he offers to go with Claudia. He promises that Charlie can trust him since he has so much to prove right now. Meanwhile, Julia and Griffin have motorcycle trouble in Nevada.

Charlie thinks Grace has the flu, but the combination of a late period and three mornings of feeling sick make her think it’s something very different. On their flight to L.A., Bailey struggles not to order a drink. When they arrive, Claudia jumps right into rehearsals; she’s a featured soloist with a chamber orchestra. Bailey’s boredom and simple presence annoy Claudia, so she tells him to go sightsee.

Julia and Griffin return to San Francisco to get the motorcycle fixed, thinking that would be faster than doing it in the small town where they broke down. Unfortunately, the shop where they take the bike is days away from closing up. Julia’s eager to get back on the road, while Griffin enjoys talking bikes with the shop owner. In L.A., Bailey tries to call Sarah to keep himself distracted, but she’s out actually doing stuff, like he should be.

He also can’t reach Charlie, who’s with Grace at a doctor’s office to see if she’s pregnant. (The home test she took was inconclusive.) Charlie wants to think ahead in case there’s going to be a baby, but Grace can only focus on what it would mean for her potential political career. Having an abortion or being a single mother would lose her voters. Charlie suggests that they get married, which is apparently his solution for everything. Grace is too stunned to respond.

Bailey is late picking Claudia up for dinner, so she’s left alone at the auditorium. Julia’s still excited about the motorcycle trip, and tells Griffin it was fate that they had to turn back because otherwise they would have gotten caught in a huge rainstorm. Griffin thinks it’s also fate that they went to the bike shop because he wants to buy it. Joe and Franny show up at Bailey’s hotel room, where he’s clearly drunk. He finally realizes that he forgot to get Claudia, but Joe’s not going to let him go anywhere. Bailey asks him not to tell Claudia that he fell off the wagon.

Joe and Franny retrieve Claudia for dinner and an overnight at their house. She quickly gets suspicious and figures out that Bailey drank. Julia reads up on running a business, mostly to make Griffin realize how bad he would be at it. (Julia, however, seems to understand all of it.) Grace is thrilled not to be pregnant, and Charlie should be, too, because now he isn’t tied to that horrible woman for 18 years.

Claudia has the hotel room cleared of alcohol and ensures that the minibar won’t be restocked while they’re there. She wants to skip the reception for her performance since there will be alcohol. Bailey says he’ll drop her off and leave, but Claudia notes that he can just go somewhere else to get drunk. He tells her that people slip up all the time; at least he’s admitting it. He’s spent the past two weeks wanting to drink to make things better, but now he knows that won’t happen. Maybe he needed to slip up to really get sober.

Julia wants to go somewhere else for what’s left of spring break, so she’s going to head off on her own. Griffin’s too busy with his new shop to care. She gets mad that his taking on a new project ruins their plans to…I don’t know, spend the next year slacking off together? Griffin notes that she’s always pushing him to want more than just her, and now he does. Charlie finally gets around to asking what he should have when he and Grace first got serious: Does she want kids? She doesn’t.

Claudia’s performance goes great, but afterward she goes back to glaring at Bailey. She wants to go back to the time when he worried about her instead of the other way around. The performance was a huge deal to her, and it made her feel alone. She knows she can’t rely on Bailey anymore. He basically tells her that she can’t change what’s happening, and she needs to grow up and maybe help him out for once.

Instead of going off on a solo road trip, Julia ends up at the restaurant, moping. She asks Charlie if he thinks she’s selfish, since she’s upset about the bike shop ruining her and Griffin’s plans. She thought they wanted the same things, but now he wants something else. Charlie advises her to decide what she wants more: Griffin or the things she planned on. If it’s something they can work out, then they should work it out. Nice advice, Charlie – now take it yourself.

Claudia and Joe return to the hotel after a day out together, discussing Walter Alcott and Bailey’s ditching of AA. Joe tells Bailey that he thought he would die young and alone, but he wound up finding Franny. He thinks God was looking out for him. Bailey needs to find something to believe in other than himself. Bailey disagrees, saying that no one’s looking out for people. Joe says someone was looking out for him, and also for Nick when he got sober. Bailey won’t accept that it was God.

Joe continues that part of Nick is in Bailey, which has to mean something. He went to the intervention and revealed that Nick was an alcoholic because he wanted to give Bailey hope. Nick stopped drinking, so Bailey can, too. Claudia agrees that Bailey might have inherited the good parts of Nick on top of his alcoholism. Bailey wonders what this has to do with God. Joe says again that part of Nick is inside Bailey; he didn’t disappear. That means someone’s looking out for them. Bailey can feel his father anytime he struggles to stay sober. He’s not alone.

Julia goes back to the bike shop, telling Griffin she didn’t want to go on the trip without him. She admits that she’s frustrated because she feels like the only one who doesn’t know what she wants. On their way home from the airport, Bailey and Claudia’s cab pauses outside an AA meeting place. Bailey decides to attend, and Claudia tells him she’ll wait up for him.

Thoughts: ’90s music alert: “Every Day is a Winding Road” by Sheryl Crow. Very appropriate for the scene where Julia and Griffin pick their road-trip destination.

Ross probably could have gotten out of jury duty. Some judges will let you go if you have a vacation planned and have already bought plane tickets, especially if Ross was the only person who could have gone with Claudia.

Griffin, if the bike shop was doing so much business, why was it closing? And why was it worth only $10,000?

I appreciate seeing a woman on TV who doesn’t want kids, since that’s pretty rare, but why did it have to be someone so annoying?

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 21, 2013

Party of Five 3.22, Leap of Faith: A Change is Gonna Come

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

Resist peer pressure, Bailey! (Is it still peer pressure if it comes from a kangaroo?)

Resist peer pressure, Bailey! (Is it still peer pressure if it comes from a kangaroo?)

Summary: Bailey leaves Sarah at the hospital and goes to the Salingers’ house, where everyone yells at him. He’s hit bottom, and he’s ready to stop drinking. Julia isn’t sure if she believes him, so he gives her his fake ID so he can’t buy beer anymore. She tells him to destroy it himself, and he does. The next morning, Julia goes to visit Griffin, arriving just as he gets a phone call from his lawyer telling him the Merchant Marines have settled his case for $100,000. I’m sure he will use that money responsibly and in moderation.

Things at the Salingers’ house are much lighter than they’ve been, now that they don’t have to worry about Bailey. Grace tells Charlie that a hotel is being donated to her program to be turned into low-income housing; she wants him to help her with all the construction plans. He’s very enthusiastic. Bailey gets a visit from Sarah, who’s now out of the hospital and hasn’t told her parents the truth about the car accident. He’s in the process of getting rid of all the beer in the apartment. He tells her that if she wants to ditch him, she’s allowed, but she wants to stick around to remind him of what could have happened. Bailey plans to start attending AA tonight.

Griffin and Julia go to see Major Holbrook to tell him about Griffin’s new windfall. The major’s like, “Congratulations for hurting yourself and getting money for it.” At the restaurant, Grace and some friends discuss a City Council member’s recent sex scandal, which has left a vacancy. Her friends think Grace should run for the seat. Grace and Charlie agree with each other that she doesn’t have the time, but the friends think the campaign could get her a lot of support in the new hotel project.

Griffin tells Julia that while she was out of the room, his father asked to borrow some money – he has a lot of credit card debt. Griffin said he’d think about it. Julia’s shocked that he didn’t agree right away, because I guess she’s forgotten how he was an abusive monster when Griffin was younger. She thinks he would feel good if he got to help his father. Bailey goes to his first AA meeting, where everyone seems warm and supportive. But one of the group members is Walter, and seeing him spooks Bailey enough to make him run away.

Sarah picks Bailey up from the meeting, but he doesn’t want to talk about it. Grace has now decided to run for City Council, even if it means handing off the hotel project to someone else. Charlie’s concerned that they won’t get to see each other very much. She offers to make the house her campaign headquaters so she’ll still be there a lot of the time. When Bailey gets home, he tells Charlie about his encounter with Walter. Charlie tells him not to use that as an excuse not to go to AA. Bailey says that he was affected in a different way – he realized that he and Walter are a lot alike.

Griffin has given his father money, and now he feels closer to him, since they’ve talked and bonded. He and Julia go out to buy Major Holbrook a new car radio. Grace backs out of doing the hotel job with Charlie, worried that it would look bad to the press if she gave her boyfriend a project. Griffin and his father work on installing the new radio together, with Julia assisting. Major Holbrook (now retired from the military) is thinking of starting up a private security business, and he’d like Griffin to work with him. I’m sure he wouldn’t need any money to start it up, though.

It’s Walter’s three-year anniversary at AA, which means it’s been three years since Nick and Diana died. He gives a little speech, apologizing for the damage he’s done. It sounds like he might feel responsible for Bailey’s drinking problems. Walter talks about how it doesn’t matter what brought everyone to AA as long as they’re there. God takes care of them all and loves them, even when they struggle to love themselves.

Major Holbrook goes by Griffin’s place in search of signatures for paperwork for his new business. Julia assures him that Griffin really wants to work with him. Major Holbrook basically confirms that he just wants the money. Grace has a second phone line installed at the Salingers’ house, and Claudia predicts that Julia will be mad because she’s always wanted one. She tells Charlie that it’s kind of a big imposition for Grace to make the house her campaign headquarters. Charlie says he agreed to it to make everyone happy. Claudia notes that he doesn’t look happy.

Outside their next AA meeting, Walter approaches Bailey to discuss sponsors. Bailey misinterprets the conversation to mean that Walter wants to be his sponsor. Walter offers to go to a different meeting if his presence makes Bailey uncomfortable, but Bailey says it doesn’t matter. Julia tries to tell Griffin that she’s not sure his business deal with Major Holbrook isn’t a good idea, but he’s defensive and thinks she’s mistaken about what’s going on.

Grace has her first press conference, to announce that she’s running for City Council, and when she gets home, Charlie gives her some feedback about her platform and her demeanor. She doesn’t appreciate it. Sarah joins the Salingers for family dinner (which Bailey’s late to), telling them that Bailey’s no longer asking her for rides to AA meetings. When Bailey arrives, Claudia tells him that she wants to go to a meeting with him. He announces that he’s not going to them anymore. He claims it’s not because of Walter, but it totally is. Bailey doesn’t like the idea of surrendering to a higher power since God has never done anything for him.

After dinner, Sarah asks Bailey why he never told her about Walter. She tells him he has to keep going to meetings, no matter what. He has a disease and needs to get well. Bailey replies that he wanted AA to be his cure, but he can’t get past the God part. A newspaper reporter calls the Salingers’ house to talk to Grace, but only Charlie’s there. The reporter asks for a response to an attack by Grace’s opponent, who said that Grace just wants to run to look like a do-gooder. Charlie gives a nice speech about how much Grace cares and wants to stand up for people who can’t stand up for themselves.

Griffin and his father look at office space for their new business, though Griffin’s hesitant to spend so much money so soon. Major Holbrook comments that he’s not surprised that Griffin can’t commit to the project. Alone at his apartment, with Callie out of town, Bailey tries to distract himself from thinking about drinking. Eventually he asks someone to come over and study. Grace is happy with Charlie’s support in the newspaper and asks him to be a campaign consultant, because I guess he has all sorts of experience with that?

Sarah is Bailey’s study buddy/distracter, and he thinks he’s on the right track to getting sober without going to AA. But right now he doesn’t even think he can go grocery shopping alone without buying beer. Over at Griffin’s, Julia urges him to make up with his father, but Major Holbrook isn’t the only one who’s realized that things haven’t changed. Griffin tells a story about a co-worker who thought Major Holbrook was dead, since Griffin never mentioned him. He vows to be a much better father to his own children than his father was to him.

Thoughts: The real estate agent who shows Griffin and his father office space is played by Carolyn Hennesy, AKA Mrs. Valentine on Dawson’s Creek (and Diane on General Hospital and Barb on Cougar Town). I recognized her voice before I recognized her, possibly because she had very ’90s hair.

Sarah and Griffin are much more forgiving than I would be.

TV writers: Plots about local elections are not interesting.

So I guess Bailey didn’t get arrested for drunk driving? How did he manage to dodge that?

Owen status: unknown. Uh-oh…

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.

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