October 19, 2013

Party of Five 3.13, Christmas: From Now On Our Troubles Will Be Out of Sight

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 1:09 pm by Jenn

There are more people in the Salingers' house than in their nativity scene

There are more people in the Salingers’ house than in their nativity scene

Summary: Claudia organizes a nativity scene, telling Owen the story of Jesus’ birth. She and Julia find some of Kirsten’s things, which Charlie’s packing up to send to Chicago. They think he’s moving too quickly and not letting himself feel sad about the breakup. Charlie disagrees – he needs to move on. Jake makes a surprise appearance at the house with a bunch of presents, but only Claudia is happy to see him.

Charlie leaves for work, and the girls tell Jake that they don’t have a Christmas tree because they need Charlie’s truck to get one, and he’s never around. Bailey and Charlie have both been grumpy lately, so Julia and Claudia aren’t really in the Christmas spirit. Jake convinces them to go out and get a tree with him. At his place, Bailey stocks up on beer and prepares to ignore his family, Sarah, and Callie over the holidays.

Stuart brings Claudia a huge present because he’s still in love with her. She’s still clueless about that. The present is a very nice wooden music stand, and it’s enough to smack Claudia out of her denial that Stuart likes her as anything more than a friend. Julia encourages her to buy him an impersonal gift to send the message that she’s not interested.

Jake goes to the restaurant and calls Charlie out for trying to stay busy to distract himself from his breakup. He wants Charlie to spend more time with his sisters, since it’s Christmas. Charlie wants to make a new start so he doesn’t have to keep paying for his old mistakes. Jake can relate, but he also knows that Charlie’s new start won’t be enough.

Coach Russ finds Bailey working out at the gym at 7 p.m. on his Christmas break. He’s concerned that Bailey doesn’t have a place to go to the holidays. Since Bailey doesn’t want to go home, Russ invites him over to his house on the next day. Over at the Salingers’, Jake spends some time with the rest of the family; they invite him to stay longer. He tries to read Owen The Night Before Christmas but has trouble with the words. The next morning, Julia sees him having trouble picking up and reading his watch.

At Coach Russ’, he makes dollhouse furniture for his daughter, and he and Bailey talk about their families. Julia and Claudia talk about Jake’s problems, which Julia pretends aren’t a big deal. She picks out a lame present (some kind of party favor) for Claudia to give to Stuart. At the restaurant, Charlie helps serve a meal to the homeless, meeting a guy named Pete who’s pleased to be treated with respect for once. Charlie doesn’t think it’s a big deal since everyone deserves that. Pete admits that he served time for dealing drugs, and now he can’t get a job. Charlie thinks he deserves a second chance.

Claudia gives Stuart his present, and he’s thrilled because he collects them. Coach Russ learns that his daughter can’t make it out for Christmas because of a snowstorm, so now he and Bailey are both alone for the holidays. Bailey’s all, “I’ll be your kid! Let’s go to a hockey game, New Dad!” Charlie gives Pete some clothes and helps him look through the want ads for a new job. Julia gives Jake a clock that speaks the time and offers to take him to a doctor. He tells her that he has a degenerative problem and is going blind. He asks her not to tell anyone.

Julia goes straight to Bailey’s place and tells him what Jake told her. She blasts him for avoiding the family, especially since she’s been the one trying to run the house. He tells her he’s busy and won’t be home for Christmas. Julia insists that he cancel his plans and come spend time with his family. Charlie learns that Pete has schizophrenia and hasn’t been taking his medication. When Pete arrives to get some more help from Charlie, he says that he hid the clothes Charlie gave him because they make him “too conspicuous.”

Stuart hand-delivers Claudia a flowery thank-you note, and she finally decides that it’s time to break it to him that she just wants to be friends. He blasts her for leading him on. Bailey breaks up his and Russ’s Sad Lonely Guy Extravaganza before it can turn into the Sad Lonely Guy Christmas Eve Extravaganza.

The Salingers have Chinese food, and Julia puts up a stocking for Jake. The family invites him to spend Christmas with them every year. Charlie mopes upstairs by himself, but Claudia wants him to come downstairs and set up the lights, which is always his job. If he doesn’t do it, it’ll be like saying he isn’t there.

Speaking of not there, Jake tries to leave in the middle of the night, but Charlie catches him. Jake insists that he’s not running away – he didn’t plan on staying so long, and he has to go home for a doctor’s appointment. Specifically, he has to have chemotherapy. Charlie wants to help, because that’s his thing this week. Jake doesn’t want to stick around and make his grandchildren watch him die. He tells Charlie that he loves all of the Salingers, then leaves.

In the morning, Claudia opens her present from Jake, a necklace that belonged to his mother. Charlie has to tell her that Jake left during the night, but instead of telling her the truth, he says that Jake went to see his daughter. Claudia’s upset since the family has done so much for him. Bailey brings Coach Russ over for the day, so now Jake’s having a Sad Lonely Guy Christmas and Russ is the Salingers’ honorary grandpa.

Stuart comes by and apologizes for getting mad at Claudia. Since he’s Jewish, he has no plans for the day, and he’s never had a big family Christmas, so Claudia invites him to stay. Julia compliments Bailey for inviting Russ over, but he says he had to. He won’t accept Julia calling him a good guy. She tells him that if he’s going to beat himself up for the bad stuff he does, he should cut himself from slack for doing nice things. Bailey just wants a drink.

Claudia’s feeling down and tells Charlie that it doesn’t really feel like Christmas in the house. She thinks he’s moping because he doesn’t like what his life has become. He promises that he likes taking care of her, even if it’s not enough to make him feel fulfilled. Marrying Kirsten would have made him feel like he’s getting more out of life. At this point, he just wants something small that feels like his own.

Julia and Russ put together dinner, and when the family sits down, they decide someone should say grace. No one says anything, so Owen sings out, “Pa-rum-pum-pum.” Grace stops by with some bread for Charlie, who thinks it’s a great present, even though she says it’s just “something small.” Later that night, Bailey calls Sarah while Charlie spends time with Grace. Ben plays “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” on the piano, and Claudia and Julia sing along while they clean up the kitchen.

Thoughts: Claudia, DO NOT take relationship advice from Julia.

Grace and Charlie might not have much chemistry, but man, she sure is a good influence on him. Remember when he was kicking homeless people out of the restaurant?

I’m not sure if it’s the way she’s wearing her hair, but Lacey Chabert suddenly looks more grown up.

First Artie, now Stuart – what’s with Jewish guys liking Claudia?

August 10, 2013

Party of Five 2.22, Spring Breaks, Part 2: Starring Charlie Salinger as Dustin Hoffman

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , , at 1:06 pm by Jenn

The first six pleas didn't wear her down, but the seventh one did

The first six pleas didn’t wear her down, but the seventh one did

Summary: Charlie’s stalking Kirsten now, which is definitely the next logical step in their non-relationship, now that she’s marrying someone else. Julia and Justin’s relationship is majorly strained, but they still have to present a scene together for English class. He tells her to pick something for them to do. She says they’ll rehearse during school, even though they don’t have much filling up their spare time.

Charlie, Bailey, and Joe pack up the restaurant as Claudia mopes around. Kathleen shows up to start redesigning, and Bailey stands up to her, pointing out that the Salingers still own the restaurant. Kathleen replies that she’ll lose money if she delays: “I don’t want to feel like a chump for not calling in unpaid loans.” (Burn on you, Charlie.) Bailey goes looking for Sarah but instead finds Matt, who’s ticked at him for the way he’s been treating Sarah. He reveals that he wants them to work things out, though it sounds like it’s mostly because he pities Bailey.

Claudia hangs out at the coffeehouse with Jody and her new boyfriend, who are that typical middle school disgustingly sweet couple. At home, Bailey slams Charlie for not standing up to Kathleen. Charlie says he didn’t want to make a scene, but Bailey thinks he should have demonstrated to Claudia that he doesn’t want to lose the restaurant. He’s sick of worrying about so many people all at once. If he were Charlie, he’d try harder to fix things.

Julia hangs out with Ian, saying she wishes she knew what her future held, though she’s fine not knowing what might happen with Ian. She liked their kiss, but she’s not sure if it’s because it was different or because of who she was kissing. Ian gives her another chance to figure it out, then a third.

Sarah goes to the Salingers’ to complain that Bailey didn’t wait for her when she went to see him. (What? Shut up, Sarah.) He’s mad that she told Matt about his life; she made it sound like she just puts up with him. He’s not sure he still makes her happy. Sarah thinks he means that she doesn’t make him happy anymore. Bailey admits that not much in his life still makes him happy. Sarah wants to fix that, but he recognizes that their relationship is more bad than good now, so they need to end it.

Charlie summons Jake to the restaurant to tell him how bad things have gotten. Jake’s surprised, but Charlie wants his input since he’s a businessman. He has one night to solve things before the sale goes through. Speaking of doing things at the last minute, Julia and Justin get together to go over the scene they’re supposed to perform for class. She spots a hickey under his turtleneck and gets mad, because it’s okay when she makes out with someone else, but not when he does.

Ross stops by the Salingers’ and finds Claudia playing her violin in the basement, where it’s been since “Hold on Tight.” She claims that she hasn’t been playing it regularly. The Salingers go to the restaurant for their last family dinner there, but no one wants to stay. They’ll be continuing their tradition elsewhere, and with Joe. They all leave so they don’t have to be around when the restaurant closes at the end of the night.

Bailey tells Will about his breakup, saying “it wasn’t fun anymore.” Will thinks he’s crazy. Bailey repeats what he said to Charlie about being sick of worrying about people whose problems aren’t his. Plus, this will make it easier for him to leave for college on the East Coast in September. Julia runs into Justin at the coffeehouse and finally admits that he’s not the only person who’s been kissing someone else. They’re not sure why things are broken between them, which…really? It’s pretty obvious. And also, Griffin. So anyway, they’re done, too.

Kirsten goes to the house to yell at Charlie for sending her roses just two days before her wedding to someone else. He tells her she’s making a mistake. She points out that he doesn’t get a vote in the matter, and he needs to consider what she wants. Charlie thinks she’s moving too fast (fair enough), but Kirsten accuses him of only wanting her back because he can’t have her. He admits that that’s partly true. He loves her and is ready to make a commitment. She says he’s the one who’s kidding himself, and he only wants her because the rest of his life is so bad.

At school, Bailey runs into Sarah, who wants to talk about their relationship. He refuses, since that’ll just make things harder. Julia sees them, finds out from Will what’s going on, and tries to talk to Bailey about the breakup. She tells him she and Justin are also over. She loves him, but it wasn’t enough. Their split makes sense because something happened, but Bailey looked for problems and a reason to break up. Julia tells him not to look for more issues when things are already bad.

Jody slams Claudia for ditching her and her boyfriend, but Claudia doesn’t really care. She announces that she’s not ready for a boyfriend, and she doesn’t want to do the sort of things Jody and her guy do. Jody won’t slow down just because Claudia isn’t ready, and she doesn’t appreciate Claudia being ticked off all the time about it. Claudia says she misses Jody, but Jody doesn’t miss her because she has someone else. So there’s the third breakup of the episode. Justin and Julia do their scene in class, and of course it’s about breaking up.

Jake goes to the Salingers’ house and tells Bailey that Charlie talked to him about the restaurant. Bailey thinks that was a mistake; Charlie needs to clean up his own mess. Jake tells Bailey he has a proposal. Charlie stalks Kirsten again, this time to her FREAKING REHEARSAL DINNER, and declares his love again. Kirsten’s fiancé and his ridiculous mustache want to beat Charlie up. Charlie remarks that he’s taller. SHUT UP, STALKER. He tells Kirsten he can’t really prove himself to her or guarantee anything. Kirsten suddenly says, “Yes,” but Charlie keeps talking, saying she should marry Michael and be happy. Kirsten slaps him.

When Charlie gets home, Bailey gives him his acceptance letter to Hampshire State, the college he wanted to go to on the East Coast. He tells him that Jake agreed to pay his tuition. Now, though, Jake is willing to pay off the owners of the building that houses the restaurant so the sale won’t go through. But Jake will only either do that or pay for Bailey’s college, not both – and Bailey has to decide which. He cries and tells Charlie he hates him. Charlie tells him to pick college; their sisters will never have to know.

Because Charlie isn’t the only Salinger stalker, Julia sneaks into Justin’s bedroom and tells him she’s having a horrible time dealing with the breakup. She got used to hearing their names spoken together, and when she just hears her name, she feels like something’s missing. Justin comforts her, telling her it’ll get easier. Julia wonders if they made a mistake. He tells her they can’t stay together just because it’s too hard to be apart. She doesn’t want to think about him falling in love with someone else, but he reminds her that she’ll always be his first love.

Claudia laments to Ross about her life, admitting that she overheard Charlie and Bailey’s conversation and is worried about Bailey going away to school. She also admits that she’s been playing her violin again, but she hasn’t let anyone know because she doesn’t want the pressure she felt before. She feels like she needs to go back to her music. Ross agrees to work with her again. Kirsten’s wedding starts, but she panics and goes outside to get air. And guess who’s sitting outside the church in his truck?

Bailey goes to Sarah’s apartment and tells her he’s not going to Hampshire: He’s letting Jake use the money for the restaurant. Sarah’s confused, since she thought getting away was all Bailey wanted. He tells her that he’s spent two years fighting to keep the family together, so he can’t be the first one to leave. They’re supposed to be a family no matter what. Also, he doesn’t want to leave Sarah. “Being with you and taking care of all of them – it’s kind of who I am,” he says.

The Salingers meet up at the closed restaurant, and Bailey reveals that he and Sarah are back together. He starts to tell his sisters about Jake’s money, but Joe beats him to it, telling them the building isn’t going to be sold. Bailey and Charlie pretend that the seller just changed his mind. Charlie tells Bailey that he knows what he’s giving up, but Bailey doesn’t see it that way anymore.

Kirsten comes in, still in her wedding dress, and everyone thinks she and Charlie just got married. She tells everyone she changed her mind: “Always a bride, never a bride.” I’m sure her ditched fiancé will find that hilarious. The Salingers celebrate their saved restaurant with a family dinner, and I guess all their hostility toward each other is gone and everyone’s happy and sunny and la la la, whatever, season 2’s over.

Thoughts: Wait, season 2’s over? I feel like I just started it!

I kind of admire Bailey for the breakup. If it’s that bad, it’s time to call it quits. I mean, he did it for the wrong reasons, but still. Too bad Julia and Justin took so long to figure that out.

I think I noted before that the high school’s mascot is the possum, but I’m just now realizing what a dumb mascot that is. Do they play dead when the opposing team shows up?

I’ll say this about Kirsten: She has good taste in bridesmaids’ dresses.

July 29, 2013

Party of Five 2.20, Happily Ever After: Better Homes and Gardens

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 8:21 pm by Jenn

Another depressing episode. Here's a super-fluffy puppy from Cutearoo

Another depressing episode. Here’s a super-fluffy puppy from Cutearoo

Summary: The Salingers have dinner together (at home, not at the restaurant) and discuss Jake, who’s been away on business two days longer than he said he would be. Bailey wonders if he’s run off again and they just haven’t figured it out yet. Claudia panics, thinking something bad happened. At some other point in time, Kathleen gets ready for a local news award ceremony, which Charlie can’t make it to. Apparently she’s recovered from her suicide attempt.

Jake comes home, and Bailey blasts him for being gone and not contacting them. Jake apologizes, saying he’s not used to having to tell people about his comings and goings. Julia has the option of writing a story instead of taking a test, and though Justin offers to work with her, she wants to take the test. Justin writes his own story about a couple drifting apart. Julia decides she’s sick of her bedroom décor, so in Justin’s story, he writes that his female protagonist blames her relationship problems on the house.

The other Salingers help Jake with some gardening, but they end up throwing dirt at each other. Jake ends things by spraying the others with a hose. Later, someone named Lauren calls the house looking for him. He lets the call go to the answering machine, then picks up and addresses the caller as “sweetheart.” Julia clears a bunch of things out of her room, and Justin continues narrating her story, lamenting that she’s getting rid of things he gave her. He kisses her, but it’s awkward.

At the restaurant, Charlie turns on the TV to watch Kathleen’s award ceremony. She wins and announces that she loves him. At home, Bailey checks the answering machine and hears Jake’s conversation with Lauren. Oh, and by the way, Lauren is Jake’s daughter. Claudia and Julia are happy about Kathleen’s win and recognition of Charlie, but Charlie isn’t excited. His day perks up when he reads a good review the restaurant got.

Justin takes Julia shopping at a thrift store so she can redecorate her room. They end up fighting, and he continues his story, which now involves a weed the couple is trying to destroy. Bailey stalks Jake as he meets with Lauren, then stalks Lauren to tell her they’re related. After he tells her how, she tells him she once found a picture of Bailey’s mother and suspected that they were sisters. Lauren confirms that Jake was in and out of her life, but he stayed in touch. Bailey’s surprised that even with their spotty relationship, she still wants him around.

Julia reads Justin’s story but doesn’t seem to get that it’s about their relationship. She doesn’t like that the characters use a magic potion to get rid of the weed. Justin has decorated her bedroom with glow-in-the-dark stars so she can pretend she’s looking up at real ones. Julia says they’re “still just plastic on the ceiling.”

Now that Kathleen’s publicly declared her love for Charlie, her mother wants to meet him. He admits to Kathleen that he missed her speech because Kirsten came by the restaurant. Kathleen guesses that she wants to get back together with Charlie. Apparently this is Charlie’s way of breaking up with a mentally unstable woman.

At home, Bailey confronts Jake over Lauren and orders him to move out. Jake thinks he can explain himself, but Bailey doesn’t want to deal with a man who abandoned one family to go have another. He doesn’t think things will stay as great as they’ve been, and he can’t sit around and let the others love Jake while he waits for things to fall apart.

After Jake leaves, Bailey shares the news with the rest of the family. Julia remembers how she and Claudia found two wedding rings in Jake’s things. Bailey and Julia are in favor of making Jake leave, but Charlie and Claudia think that was going too far. Claudia thinks Bailey’s jealous because she has Jake to spend time with, so she doesn’t need her brother as much anymore. Charlie wants to give Jake the benefit of the doubt that his bad behavior is in the past. Claudia thinks his love is enough, but Bailey doesn’t want to risk him disappearing again.

Justin’s story continues with an Answer Hag telling the protagonists that there’s something that can fix things. They just have to figure out what it is. Charlie talks over his problems with Owen, because why not confess your lies to someone who never talks? Kathleen packs up the things Charlie’s left at her place and finds his little black book. She looks up Kirsten’s number and calls her, but Kirsten’s answering machine says she’s out of town.

Justin tells Julia that he keeps trying to fix things, but she’s not doing anything. He’s constantly been there for her and even ignored the fact that she went out of town. He knows that what happened was awful, but it’s completely changed their relationship. There’s a dance the next night, and Justin wants to go, but if Julia doesn’t, they’re not going to work out. Julia says she’ll go.

As Claudia tends to the new garden, Bailey tries to apologize for ruining her chance to have a good relationship with a grandparent. She tells him she’s never talking to him again, but he knows that’s not true. He says that when she’s ready, he’ll be there, unlike Jake. Claudia points out that she’s the one who’s losing out, not Bailey.

This makes Bailey go see Jake and tell him that having him in the house has been great, which makes him wonder if he’s wrong about Jake. He doesn’t want to be the person who makes a bad decision and hurts the family. Jake tells him that during his first marriage, he would go for long drives and try to talk himself into going home to try to fix things, but he never listened to himself. “That’s what happens,” he says. He confirms that Bailey’s assessment of him is correct. Bailey asks him to keep in touch.

As Justin’s protagonists try to find something to save their marriage, Justin finds pictures of himself and Julia that makes him think things will get better. In the story, the couple’s laughter gets rid of the weed. Claudia says goodbye to Jake, noting that she’s around the age her mother was when he left her. She wishes they had more time to talk to each other about her mom. They agree to keep in touch and keep sharing stories.

Justin and Julia meet up at the dance, but she quickly becomes uncomfortable with their closeness and leaves. Kathleen gives Charlie his things, then tells him she knows he lied about Kirsten. He gives her the old “it’s not you, it’s me.” He promises to pay back the money she put into the restaurant, but she has a different idea: She’s assembled an investment group, and they’re buying the building that houses the restaurant. Charlie has three months to get out. “This has nothing to do with you,” she says. “Huh. It sounded so true when you said it.”

Thoughts: Somewhere along the way, Justin became awesome, and now it’s totally wasted on Julia. Boo.

Owen status: alive.

Is Neve Campbell super-short or is Brenda Strong super-tall? In their one scene together in this episode, they stand next to each other and it looks weird.

Julia, you can wear your hair up or down, but not both at the same time.

There’s a scene where Claudia gives some very Julia-like body language, and I don’t know if Lacey Chabert did it on purpose, but it’s a nice touch.

The Salingers don’t seem to care that they have an aunt they never knew about.

July 21, 2013

Party of Five 2.18, Before and After: The A Word

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 3:32 pm by Jenn

This episode is sad, so here's Godzilla eating potato skins

This episode is sad, so here’s Godzilla eating potato skins

Summary: Bailey and Sarah are hanging out when he decides to bring up the subject of sex. (He’s in favor of it, in case you were wondering, and sooner rather than later.) She’s also in favor of it and says she was just waiting for him to say something. She’d like it to be special, though, so they won’t be doing it right now. Speaking of sex, Julia is now experiencing the consequences of having it with Justin: She’s pregnant and has just made an appointment to have an abortion. She doesn’t want to talk to Justin about it.

At school, Justin presses Julia to talk about her pregnancy, but she notes that that won’t change anything. He tells her he loves her and that he doesn’t think the pregnancy was either of their faults. Something probably happened with the condom, which was an accident. Justin also wants to go with Julia when she has the abortion. She tells him Charlie’s going to take her, and she’ll call when it’s over. Then she just goes back to her homework.

There’s a burst pipe in the Salingers’ basement, which leads Charlie to complain to Jake about how the house is falling apart. Jake offers to help out with paying for repairs. Charlie finds Julia’s pregnancy test in her trash can and gets distracted. So I guess she didn’t talk to him about taking her for the abortion after all. Sarah tells Bailey that her parents are going out of town for the night, which leaves them an empty house to fool around in. “We can spend the night together,” they say multiple times.

Charlie confronts Julia about the pregnancy test, and she tells him she’s having an abortion and Justin will go with her. Meanwhile, Sarah and Bailey get ready to have sex in her very fancy apartment. Suddenly he thinks she’s made the situation into too big of a deal. She talks about how she’s about to share a moment with him that she’ll never have with anyone else, and after tonight, she’ll really be a woman. He tells her he’s feeling too much pressure, so they should wait.

Julia’s called back to see a doctor, but the next thing we see is her running out of the clinic. Justin’s waiting for her outside and is surprised to see that she came by herself. She tells him that she couldn’t go through with it – and actually, she’s not sure she wants to anymore: “What if this is something that I want?” She thinks Justin’s upset with her for changing her mind. (For the record, I don’t think he is. He’s just confused.)

At school, Sarah assures Bailey that she’s fine with them not having sex the night before. Now he wants to try again, just without all the decorations and pressure. They’ll hang out at his house and see how things go. Sarah reminds him that he wanted to have sex quickly. Now, though, Bailey wants it to be spontaneous.

Julia runs into Sarah at her doctor’s office, then goes home with some information on pregnancy. Bailey checks on his sister, having heard from Sarah that she looked upset. He thinks Justin’s pressuring Julia to have sex. She must have gone to the doctor to get birth control. Julia tells him that the birth-control ship has sailed, and he’s too late with the advice. (Which is ironic, since she’s also late.)

Justin comes over to tell Julia that he’s on board if she wants to have the baby. He might be able to graduate early and get a job at the station where he’s been interning. Even if they have to sacrifice, they’ll get something in return. They love each other and can provide for a baby, so why not? Later, Julia shares the idea with Charlie, saying that she can’t do that to Justin. She’s considering adoption instead. She runs through multiple options, and Charlie’s supportive of whatever she decides, as long as she’s ready to be a mother. Julia thinks this is similar to Charlie parenting Owen. Charlie disagrees, telling her she’d be throwing away a lot of potential.

Julia calls Justin back over, and he ends up crying alone in the backyard while Claudia complains that no one wants to talk to her. Claudia goes to question Julia and finds her info from the doctor’s office. She asks if Julia’s going to have the baby, getting upset when Julia hesitates. At school, Bailey tries to get Sarah to come over to the house, but to talk to Julia, not to have sex. Bailey wants Sarah’s input on Julia’s pregnancy, but Sarah won’t discuss it.

Speaking of not wanting to discuss it, Claudia doesn’t want to talk to Julia about possibly not keeping the baby. She notes that their parents kept Owen even though he wasn’t planned. She’s worried about how to react if people say Julia committed murder by having an abortion. Julia says she wouldn’t go through with it if she believed it was murder. Bailey and Sarah try to…um, be spontaneous in his car, because I’m sure that’s what she had in mind when she said she wanted her first time to be special. She puts a stop to it.

Charlie asks to go with Julia when she has the abortion the next afternoon. He confides that he once went with a girlfriend to have an abortion. He’s sure Julia won’t spend forever thinking about this, since Charlie hasn’t thought about it in years. She asks about the girlfriend, but Charlie hasn’t kept in touch with her, so he wouldn’t know if she still thinks about it.

Justin comes over again and Julia tells him that they’re both responsible for the pregnancy. She doesn’t want him touching her, so he thinks she’s mad at him. She says that they created the baby together, but it’s inside her, so he has no idea how she feels. Even though he really wants to empathize, Julia tells him to go home and stop worrying about her. He’ll get over it soon, and no one will ever look at him and remember what he did. Julia will never be able to get rid of what she’s about to do.

In the morning, Sarah comes by and Julia laments that the two of them aren’t as close as they were before Sarah and Bailey started dating. Julia doesn’t have any other women to talk to (Kirsten’s away), so she tries to confide in Sarah about how scared she is. Sarah stops her, saying she’s not the person to talk to about abortion. If her birth mother had had one, Sarah wouldn’t be here. So because she’s adopted, apparently she’s not allowed to give her opinion.

Justin comes over yet again, but Bailey won’t let him in the house, telling him Charlie’s going to take Julia to her appointment. He tells Justin to give her time. Justin complains that everyone’s treating him like he’s irrelevant. He knows Julia’s sad, but so is he, since he’s losing something, too. He wishes someone would ask him how he feels about the situation. A few hours before the appointment, Julia starts feeling strange and tells Charlie they need to leave now.

Claudia looks through the basement at some damaged things, avoiding telling Jake why everyone’s been so secretive lately. She tells him that Charlie’s taking care of things. She also doesn’t want to tell him what’s going on because she doesn’t want him to look at Julia differently. Charlie and Julia return home and she reveals to Bailey that she didn’t have the abortion – she miscarried. She asks him to call Justin and tell him to come over. Claudia tells Julia she’s not mad anymore, and not just because she didn’t have an abortion.

Julia tells Justin about the experience, and he says he knows she wouldn’t have called him even if she’d had the time. She regrets the way she’s treated him since she found out she was pregnant. He thinks things would have been easier to handle if they’d shared it, so now he’d like Julia to share it with him. Justin admits that he feels a little bit of relief, but she doesn’t feel the same way. She would have gone through with the abortion if she’d still had the choice.

Bailey and Sarah deal with leaks in the attic, turning his old football helmet into a bucket. He finds the sound of the rain romantic and invites her to sleep over (and he means literally sleep). Charlie checks on Julia, expressing his disappointment in not being more helpful. She promises that he did everything right; she was the one who made the mistake of having sex. He tells her he can put this behind her now. Since neither of them is tired, they decide to stay up late and talk.

Thoughts: The word “abortion” is not said at all in this episode. Nowadays that doesn’t usually happen; no more coming up with euphemisms like “handle it” and “take care of it.”

I’m usually pretty neutral on Neve Campbell and Michael Goorjian, but they were very good in this episode.

Similarly, Bailey and Justin usually bug me, but I thought they were both very mature here.

I see Charlie still doesn’t have any idea who’s sleeping in his house at any given time. So he’s learned nothing. Wonderful.

July 13, 2013

Party of Five 2.16, Comings and Goings: I’ll Be There for You

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 2:55 pm by Jenn



Summary: Bailey gives Sarah a recap of the events at the end of “Benefactors.” Sarah’s mad because she found out from a classmate that Bailey’s planning to go to college on the East Coast. Bailey tells her that he applied to the school before the two of them were dating, and he didn’t think he would get in anyway. He promises that leaving won’t change their relationship. Sarah doesn’t see it that way, and doesn’t think his behavior is any better than Jake’s.

By the next morning, Claudia is already BFFs with Jake. Charlie and Julia try to remind her that he’s not the most trustworthy person, so she shouldn’t expect him to stick around. Julia doesn’t think they need him around since they’re doing fine on their own. Claudia says that’s not the point. She has plans with Jake that afternoon and won’t listen when Julia protests. Charlie tells her to tag along if she has that much of a problem with it.

Bailey tries to make up with Sarah, who points out that he’s only ever talked about state schools. He tries to downplay the idea of a long-term relationship. Plus, he’s not leaving for six months, so they have plenty of time together before then. Sarah says that’ll make their separation hurt more. Charlie and Emily go shopping for…phones? Okay, phones. She complains that she can never get a hold of him. A salesman suggests that he get a beeper, the perfect piece of technology for juggling your two girlfriends.

Jake takes Claudia and Julia shopping at a flea market, which Julia uses as a metaphor for not being able to trust old things. Jake buys Claudia a little picture frame and gives her a picture of her mother to put in it. Julia says he’s just trying to buy her love. In other gift news, Kathleen has bought Charlie a new watch. He offers to fix a window in exchange, but she doesn’t need him for house chores (just sex). Charlie’s beeper goes off and he’s summoned to Emily’s to kill some bugs. And while he’s there, they might as well have sex.

Bailey goes to see Sarah’s band perform and realizes that there’s a surprise guest: Robin. Bailey introduces mother and daughter, and Sarah immediately knows who Robin is. The next day, Bailey asks about their reunion, but Sarah isn’t forthcoming. She plans to use her newfound connection with Robin to avoid having to spend time with Bailey.

Claudia wants Jake to move in with the Salingers, but her brothers object, saying it’s too soon. She wonders if they’ll just wake up one day and decide it’s time to invite him to move in. She’s worried that he’ll die before they can all make amends. Robin’s in a play, and after it closes in San Francisco, she’ll be going on tour. Sarah doesn’t get why Robin came looking for her right before she was going to leave town. Robin says this is just a start, and they can pick up their relationship when she gets back. She also reveals that Bailey found her a month ago.

Claudia’s guilted her brothers into agreeing to let Jake move in, but no one told Julia, who turns him away. Then she yells at Claudia for trying to get to know the man who abandoned their mother. “What gives you the right to forgive him for her?” she asks. Julia’s heard stories about how hard it was for their mother to be left, and she can’t understand Claudia’s selfishness in trying to befriend Jake.

Charlie and Kathleen go to a movie, where Charlie runs into Emily. He pretends they’re there for business purposes, seeing an Italian film because they’re planning a party with an Italian theme. Oh, did he mention that Kathleen’s engaged to a guy from Italy? After they leave, Charlie tells Kathleen that Emily’s an “old friend.” Claudia leaves a message for Jake at his hotel so she can cancel plans they had for the next day. She doesn’t want him to call back.

Sarah confronts Bailey over not telling her that he found Robin a month ago. He tells her that Robin said she didn’t want to meet her. Sarah admits to being angry over being surprised that Robin’s leaving, since people only ever leave. The next day, Bailey blasts Robin for meeting Sarah, then going away. He’s also mad that he’s being blamed for Robin’s actions. Robin is unsympathetic since she’s not the one who made Sarah any promises.

Charlie and Emily have a parent-teacher conference (not a euphemism), and she’s all business. She’s figured out that Kathleen isn’t just a business associate, so they’re done. (Do you think Charlie can get his money back for the beeper?) She advises him to be more careful with people. Bailey tells Julia what’s going on with Sarah and college, and she confirms that he’s not a horrible person for wanting to go to school on the East Coast. This is the best thing that’s ever happened to him, and he can’t be happy. Then he realizes that Sarah’s actually the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

Claudia complains to Charlie that his breakup with Emily has brought out her mean side in class again. She knows Emily found out about “bachelorette #2.” She doesn’t want Charlie’s excuses, since “people never change.” She shouldn’t have expected him to do anything other than mess up his relationship. Claudia wishes that her brother would surprise her just once. Bailey tells Sarah that he’s decided not to go to school on the East Coast. Charlie spies on Kathleen as she comes home from a date with another guy.

Jake returns to the Salingers’ with a letter explaining why he’s leaving town. He doesn’t see a point in staying when no one wants a relationship with him. He gives Julia his pocket watch, which her mother loved as a child. Of course, Julia doesn’t want it. Jake reminds her that they don’t have a big family, so they need to stick together. He predicts that one day she’ll regret not knowing him, but it’ll be too late. Julia points out that he waited 30 years to reconnect. Jake wants to try to be there for the family because the kids are as close as he’ll get to reuniting with his daughter.

Charlie confronts Kathleen over her date, but she points out that he has no right to be upset since he was seeing someone else, too. Charlie tells her that’s over, but Kathleen knows it’s only because Emily busted him. He says it’s different because he feels bad about what happened, but Kathleen doesn’t.

Bailey and Julia let Jake play with Owen, and Claudia is surprised to see them all getting along after what Julia said to her. Now she’s the one caring about their mother’s feelings. Julia says that she thinks their mother would have told Jake it was too late for them, but not too late for him to connect with his grandchildren.

Robin asks Sarah to look after her cat while she’s on tour. Sarah’s still bitter about Robin leaving and wants assurance that Robin isn’t going to just disappear. Robin says they just have to let things happen. She’s okay with leaving because she knows she’ll be back, even if Sarah doesn’t. Sarah needs to have some faith.

Jake moves into the house, telling Claudia and Julia that he travels a lot on business, so he won’t be around all the time. He promises he’ll always come back. Julia notices that he has two wedding bands, and Jake explains that he thought he’d lost one once, so he bought a replacement. He gives them to the girls to wear as necklaces.

Kathleen goes to the restaurant to tell Charlie that she likes to keep her options open, i.e., date lots of guys all at once. But she doesn’t want to be the kind of person who doesn’t care. She suggests that she and Charlie trade little black books and become exclusive. Charlie agrees, making Kathleen laugh because he actually has a little black book.

Bailey fills out an application for a state school, trying to come up with a word that best describes him. Sarah tells him she’s taking care of Robin’s cat temporarily. She tears up his application and tells him to go to school on the East Coast. She knows he’ll be back.

Thoughts: Sarah, pretending to be okay with spending just the next six months with Bailey: “So we can spend pretty much every minute together?” Bailey, run!

Carroll O’Connor + flat cap = so cute.

I want to make fun of Emily for being girly about bugs, but…I’m girly about bugs. I mean, I’m not calling someone over to my place to kill them or anything, but I kind of wish I could.

Salingers, there is no room in your house for Jake. Claudia already SLEEPS IN A FREAKING TENT.

July 7, 2013

Party of Five 2.15, Benefactors: Kind and Generous

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 2:49 pm by Jenn

"What am I doing on this show?"

“What am I doing on this show?”

Summary: Bailey is called to his guidance counselor’s office, and he freaks out that his college acceptance is in jeopardy. The counselor tells him that he’s been chosen for a huge scholarship. The person funding the scholarship wants to take Bailey to dinner, and when Sarah notes that they’ll probably go someplace fancy, Bailey freaks out again. Sarah also notes that $10,000 a year will be more than enough for a UC school. Bailey obviously hasn’t told her that he plans to go to school on the East Coast.

Charlie and Emily have breakfast together, since she’s busy that night. He takes a long time to get the hint that she doesn’t want to see him again after whatever she’s doing later. Julia struggles in a computer-programming class, but for some reason doesn’t want Justin to help her. She thinks he’s so competitive that he’ll brag about being better at something than she is. She plans to find a tutor, which sparks the interest of some nerdy guy.

Claudia doesn’t see the point of Charlie dating Emily if it doesn’t get her any advantages in class. She keeps bugging Charlie while he’s organizing a party at the restaurant for a TV producer. Julia agrees to let the nerdy guy, Miller, tutor her, but it soon becomes clear that he’s a bit of a stalker. (She really shouldn’t have given him her password, in that case.)

Bailey has dinner with his benefactor, a Mr. Williams, and asks why he was chosen for the scholarship. Mr. Williams explains that he heard what happened to Bailey’s parents. He asks if Bailey wants to talk about them, and Bailey says he likes to, though most people assume he doesn’t. Mr. Williams wonders what Mrs. Salinger would think of him. He knows she was a musician, but claims it’s because it was in Bailey’s transcript.

Charlie chats with the birthday party’s guest of honor, Kathleen Isley, after the party at her house. She gives him one of her presents to thank him for bringing a cake even though she didn’t order one. She also invites him to stick around once he’s off the clock, but he declines. Kathleen’s a little surprised, since she’s “usually very hard to say no to.” The next morning, she sends him an Armani suit and invites him to a reception that night.

Bailey and Sarah go to the cemetery where his parents are buried; he realized at dinner the night before that he hasn’t been there for almost two years. He’s suspicious because of all the questions Mr. Williams was asking. At the gravestone, they find yellow roses that were recently left. Charlie and Emily go jogging together, and afterward he tries to get himself invited over to her place. She’s annoyed that he’s trying to move things along so quickly.

Bailey asks his siblings about the flowers at the cemetery, but none of them left them. Julia has another tutoring session with Miller, this time at the coffeehouse, which totally makes sense since there are so many computers there and everything. Whatever, she understands the work. Miller suddenly kisses her, and Julia realizes that it was for the benefit of some other nerds. She realizes that that’s the reason he volunteered to tutor her. Charlie puts on his new suit and goes to meet Kathleen. After the reception, they go back to her place for sex.

Bailey tracks down Mr. Williams at a hotel, having figured out that Mr. Williams is really Jake Gordon – his mother’s father. He doesn’t get why Jake concealed his identity. Jake says he thought Bailey would be better off not knowing who he was. Bailey bitterly says that that must be why he didn’t come see them before now. Jake admits that he didn’t even know Mrs. Salinger was dead. He’s surprised by how much pain he feels over losing someone he didn’t even know. Bailey brings up the idea of Jake meeting the other Salingers, but Jake objects – he came looking for an adult daughter, not grandkids. He can’t give the kids what they need, other than money.

Claudia thinks Charlie spent the night with Emily, and asks if he was “generous.” (She reads Cosmo.) She hopes the evening’s activities reflect favorably on her in class. Justin tries to help Julia in class, but he’s smarmy about getting good grades, and they start fighting. He tells her to do her work by herself, but, of course, she doesn’t know how to do that.

Bailey schemes to find a way to get Jake in the same room with the rest of the family. Sarah thinks it’s a bad idea – he might still not want to get to know them, and Claudia will be hurt if he walks away. Bailey thinks it’s worth taking the chance, since he’s family, and they’ve been waiting for him to come around for two years. Sarah can understand his desire to get to know his family.

Julia asks Miller for help again, despite her instincts. She offers him money, but he’d rather barter: tutoring in exchange for a date. Julia bargains him down to a date only if she gets an A on their next test. Charlie visits Emily at school and breaks up with her, but now she’s ready to move forward in the relationship and wants to keep seeing him. Julia aces her test but gets her teacher to subtract a few points so she can have an A- instead of an A.

Charlie goes to Kathleen’s to talk about their…whatever they have, but she’s busy and asks him to wait half an hour. Bailey tells Jake that he doesn’t want his money and doesn’t want to get to know him if he’s not willing to get to know the rest of the family. He doesn’t even know what to tell his siblings; he can’t really say that their grandfather only wants to know him and pay for him to go to school. Bailey plans to just forget that he ever met Jake. Mrs. Salinger used to say that Jake made things worse in her life, and now Bailey knows what she meant.

Miller argues that Julia’s A- is still an A, so she owes him a date. She doesn’t get it since they’re never going to have a relationship, and they don’t even like each other that much. He admits that he just wants a date, since he’s only ever had one. He also wants to show Julia that he’s a nice guy, so she can let her friends know, and eventually everyone in school will realize that he’s different from the way they think he is.

Emily gives Claudia some soup to take to Charlie, who apparently has a cold. And now we know what happened after Charlie gave Kathleen that half hour. Claudia confronts him over ditching Emily, but he doesn’t feel the need to explain himself. Of course, Claudia only cares about how this will affect her grade.

Bailey’s sad over his decision to avoid Jake and refuse his money, though he insists to Sarah that he’s fine with it. He talks about a crooked tooth that Jake and Charlie both have, and that Mrs. Salinger also had. Emily visits Charlie at the restaurant, arriving just before Kathleen, who’s booked him another party to cater. He doesn’t tell Emily about their personal relationship (or whatever you want to call it). Emily asks him to go on another date, then spend the night.

Julia and Miller have their date, and he successfully shows her that he’s not as dweeby as she thought. She even tells him he can kiss her, but he wants to save kissing for someone he has a romantic relationship with. The Salingers gather for family dinner, but this week they have a surprise guest: Jake.

Thoughts: Jake is played by Carroll O’Connor, who was waaaaaay too good for this kind of show.

Kathleen is played by Brenda Strong (Desperate Housewives, Dallas, Seinfeld). She seems way older than Matthew Fox here, but they’re actually only six years apart.

Trivia: Julia’s middle name is Gordon.

I love when people on TV buy clothes for other people and they fit perfectly, even though the buyer would never know the other person’s measurements.

There’s a great reaction shot of Owen when Claudia confronts Charlie – it’s like he’s thinking, “Dude, what’d you do?”