October 26, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 23, 2013

Party of Five 1.16, Aftershocks: Shaken and Stirred

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 4:57 pm by Jenn

A plot all about refrigerators? Is it my birthday already??

A plot all about refrigerators? Is it my birthday already??

Summary: Charlie catches Bailey and Jill in Bailey’s bed and makes it clear that there will be no teenagers having sex in their house. Bailey notes that Charlie had sex in the house as a teenager. Charlie tells Jill that her house may not have rules, but the Salingers’ does. The fight ends when there’s a big earthquake that rattles the kitchen and knocks out the power. Everyone’s okay, but Jill starts babbling about a past earthquake.

Julia’s over at the coffeehouse with Justin, who doesn’t think the two of them can just be friends after their kiss. Julia reminds him that he’s dating Libby. Libby, by the way, has no idea what’s going on between the two of them. Kirsten relays a phone message to Charlie about a woman who’s encouraging him to make a decision. He tells her the woman is a designer and wants Charlie to partner with her. He doesn’t plan to accept since he needs $7,000 to help with startup costs. Kirsten offers to loan him the money.

The next day, an electrician comes over to fix the fridge, which was fried during a power surge. The model is discontinued, so they’ll have to get a new one. Bailey decides Charlie can be the adult and take care of. Jill shows up babbling about something else this time. Charlie guesses she’s high on speed, and was the night before during the earthquake. Jill denies it, but Charlie’s pretty sure, having had a roommate who was a speed addict.

Justin and Julia are in the school’s darkroom when an aftershock hits, jamming the door closed. They take the opportunity to make out. Jill asks Bailey if Charlie’s rude to her because he liked Kate better. She mentions that he accused her of using drugs. She swears she’s just jumpy because of the earthquake. Bailey assures her that he believes her claims that she’s not doing drugs. Justin and Julia make it out of the darkroom, and he announces that he’s going to dump Libby. Julia objects, not wanting her to get hurt. She suggests that they wait.

Bailey confronts Charlie over his accusations, blaming the earthquake and Jill’s coffee habit for her jumpiness. He thinks Charlie’s just looking for a reason to make Bailey dump her. Charlie notes that if he wanted to make something up, he would go to Bailey with it, not Jill. Claudia gathers the family for a meeting about emergency procedures in the case of another earthquake. No one cares.

Charlie and his possible design partner, Gwen, look for a workshop; Kirsten suggests working out of the Salingers’ shed and using their rent money to hire another carpenter. Gwen thinks it’s a great idea. Libby comes to the Salingers’ crying: Justin broke up with her. He said they were better as friends and denied being interested in someone else. She asks Julia to talk to him and either talk him into changing his mind or find out what Libby did wrong. “He really likes you,” Libby says.

Bailey tries to take a look in Jill’s purse, but she catches him and realizes he thinks she lied about the drugs. He says he wants to believe her, then looks through the purse, finding drugs. Jill says the drugs are her brother’s, then admits that they’re hers but she doesn’t take them all the time. Bailey makes it clear that he disapproves, so Jill says she’ll just stop taking them.

Kirsten asks Charlie how the design company is coming along, but Charlie thinks she’s second-guessing his decisions. She notes that she’s invested in the company, so she thought she’d have some say in how it’s used. Charlie suggests that she stay a silent partner. Justin tries to ask Julia out, but she already has plans with Libby. “You dumped her and now I’m dating her,” she remarks. She plans to tell Libby about her and Justin.

Jill misplaces her sunglasses, which are actually on her head, and from the reaction Bailey gives, she thinks he’s always going to think she’s high from now on. There’s another aftershock, but it’s small. Hours later, when Bailey and Julia get home, Claudia blasts them for not following the emergency procedures. Julia promises that if something major were to happen, they would rush home to be with her. Bailey adds that the house is really sturdy.

Charlie gives Kirsten her money back so she’ll have to stay out of his business. He wants to work on the company by himself. Julia starts to tell Libby about her in Justin, but they’re interrupted by the guy himself. Libby thinks he came by the Salingers’ to see her. Then she figures out he’s there to see Julia. Bailey brings Jill by the house on their way somewhere else, and she sneaks into a bathroom and takes some kind of pill. Claudia’s in the bathtub (apparently she’s sleeping there) and sees her.

Claudia shares the news with Charlie and Julia, who tell Bailey. They’ve figured out that the pills were painkillers their mother took for a back injury. Bailey jumps to Jill’s defense, refusing to listen to their accusations. Charlie and Kirsten go fridge shopping; he picks one out quickly but she uses a consumer guide to decide which is their best option. They fight and Charlie notes that they’re not even spending Kirsten’s money.

Julia tries to talk to Libby at school, but Libby thinks she just wanted Justin because he was taken. Julia says she couldn’t help what happened. Libby points out that if Julia were really her friend, she would have put the brakes on things. She makes it clear that their friendship is over. At home, Charlie and Kirsten agree that their recent fights haven’t been about money or faith in each other; they just have different ways of doing things. She offers him a loan again, but Charlie and Gwen are working on getting a bank loan instead.

There’s a rumbling, and Claudia thinks it’s another aftershock, but it’s the sound of a refrigerator being delivered – Kirsten bought one. Actually, two fridges are being delivered, since Charlie bought one, too. (Isn’t this fridge subplot just fascinating?) Julia and Justin are free to be together now, but neither of them is that excited anymore. Julia thinks the person who said “all’s fair in love in war” is the person who won, not the person who got hurt. She’s now found out what she’s willing to do to others in order to be happy. Justin thinks things will work out.

Bailey visits Jill at the coffeehouse and tells her that Claudia saw her taking pills. He’s upset that Jill lied about not using drugs, then again about stopping. He’s decided he can’t be with her anymore if she won’t get help. Jill swears that she did try to quit, and she only lied because she thought Bailey would leave her. She needs his help to get clean. He says he’ll stay with her. When he gets home, he finds everyone else in the family sleeping in Charlie’s truck because Claudia thinks it’s safer than being in the house.

Thoughts: The last character I saw Megan Ward play was a fashion magazine editor. That character would most definitely not approve of Jill’s torn jeans.

I really felt for Julia in this episode. She was kind of in a no-win situation – she either lost Libby or she lost Justin. I felt for Bailey, too, since he had to choose to either believe his brother or his girlfriend. I thought the way he addressed Jill at the end was very mature. And also ironic, considering what happens to Bailey in the future.

Maybe you shouldn’t keep old painkillers around, guys?

I’m sure social services would love to know that Charlie let a one-year-old sleep in a truck. Especially since in an earlier scene, you can see people’s breath.

March 17, 2013

Party of Five 1.15, It’s Not Easy Being Green: A Disaster Waiting to Happen

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 4:54 pm by Jenn

"Ben said all advisors visit their students at home. It's totally normal!"

“Ben said all advisors visit their students at home. It’s totally normal!”

Summary: Julia’s in driver’s ed and is paired to drive with Justin. He wants a different partner, but the teacher won’t give him one since he thinks Justin just wants to spend time with his friends. Justin makes it clear that he doesn’t plan to give Julia a second chance. Bailey and Will study together, but Bailey hasn’t done everything he was supposed to, since he’s been spending so much time with Jill. He promises to do it in study hall, though Will doesn’t trust him.

Kirsten brings her advisor, Ben, home (which is now the Salingers’ house) and introduces him to Charlie. They’re happy because the topic for her dissertation was approved. Charlie notices that the two of them are pretty chummy. Claudia takes Artie to a choral rehearsal at school; the director is looking for a replacement for the sick lead in the school’s production of Oliver, and Claudia thinks she’ll get it. She wants to be an actor instead of in the orchestra, which would doom her to a fate as a band geek.

Charlie’s annoyed to learn that Kirsten is taking Ben along while she searches for a daycare center to do her research for her dissertation. Kirsten just laughs off Charlie’s jealousy. Julia’s a horrible driver and her teacher is sexist, so she and Justin threaten to report him for sexual harassment. Artie reveals to Claudia that the director pressed him into auditioning, and he did so well that he was given the role. Claudia gets to be his understudy. Julia thanks Justin for his help with the teacher; it seems like he’s softened toward her.

Will waits for Bailey at the coffeehouse, but he’s late because he was out with Jill. The guys are supposed to go to a concert, but now Bailey doesn’t want to go since Jill said the band isn’t good live. Instead, he wants to go to a party with Jill. In bed that night, Charlie tries to talk Kirsten into going away to Joe’s ski cabin. She’s too busy thinking about things she wants to tell Ben about her dissertation. Also, she doesn’t think it’s necessary for them to have sex every night.

In the morning, Charlie’s cranky because Kirsten’s spending the day with Ben, Claudia’s cranky because Artie knows nothing about being an orphan, and Will’s cranky that Bailey’s spending so much time with Jill. Bill’s cranky because he made pancakes and no one wants them. Thurber’s the only one who’s happy, since he gets the pancakes.

Julia runs into Libby in the school bathroom; they’ve been out of touch since Julia started hanging out with Nina. But Libby’s made some new friends and is even sort of dating someone. Hey, Julia is, too! Libby encourages her to arrange things so Julia can spend lots of time with her crush. Claudia helps Artie run lines, though she doesn’t think he’s good at the part. She thinks if she were a boy, she would have gotten the role.

Will and Bailey study together, but Bailey doesn’t know anything. Jill gives them a copy of the test they’re studying for. Will has a conscience, so he doesn’t want to accept it. Charlie confronts Kirsten over a movie-ticket stub he found in her pocket while he was doing the laundry. She explains that she and Ben went to a movie while they had a break. Charlie blasts her for lying to him, which is pretty ironic considering the source. Kirsten agrees with me. At the coffeehouse, Julia spots Libby with her new boyfriend. If you’ve ever seen TV before, you’ve already guessed it’s Justin.

Artie goes to the Salingers’ to try to make up with Claudia. She’s still being dramatic and says he stole the role from her. It’s cold and raining outside, so she tells Artie to use that for his character development. Jill crabs to Bailey that Will’s a goody-goody; she thinks Bailey judges her for the rules she’s willing to break. Both of them should stop feeling superior since they do bad things all the time. Julia asks Justin for private driving lessons, which he doesn’t seem to get is probably a euphemism.

Charlie apologizes to Kirsten for their fight the night before, saying he’s confused about things now that they’re living together. He just doesn’t want her to keep it from him when she spends non-working time with Ben. Kirsten is okay with this, and things seem fine until Bill gives Kirsten a message from Ben telling her to dress up for dinner that night. This is the first Charlie’s heard of a faculty dinner she’ll be attending with Ben. He announces that he doesn’t want Kirsten to go. Kirsten objects to being ordered around. Charlie’s sure that Ben’s interested in her.

The day before Oliver opens, the director tells Claudia that Artie’s lost his voice – can she fill in for him? Justin gives Julia driving lessons (not a euphemism…yet), and when she tells him how awesome he is for helping her, he figures out what’s going on. Julia notes that she didn’t exactly drag him into helping her. Justin says he thought the driving lessons were only driving lessons. And now there won’t be any lessons, since he’s with Libby.

There’s a new waitress named Eliza at the restaurant, and she flirts with Charlie a little. He offers to drive her home at the end of the night. Will finds Bailey playing basketball by himself the night after the test and asks him if he used the one Jill stole. Bailey admits that he did for a few questions. He repeats what Jill said about Will breaking some rules but thinking others should be honored. He taunts that at least he has a girlfriend. Bailey also notes that he never said anything bad about Will’s last girlfriend. Will warns that Jill is “a disaster waiting to happen.” Bailey tells him to go to Hell.

Ben drives Kirsten to the faculty dinner, suggesting that they leave early and go to a jazz place. She reminds him that she’s dating Charlie. Meanwhile, Charlie’s taking Eliza home, and she’s so grateful that she invites him upstairs. When he gets back home, Kirsten reveals that she called the restaurant to talk to him about something and was told that Charlie left with Eliza. Charlie admits that he wanted to get back at Kirsten, and he came close to sleeping with Eliza, but he didn’t.

Claudia practices singing outside, while standing in a bucket, so she can make herself sick. She feels horrible for stealing Artie’s role and thinks she should be punished. “Out of the bucket,” Charlie orders her. She won’t go, so he picks her up and carries her inside. “I’m a sinner!” she screams. At school, Libby suggests to Julia that the two of them double date with Justin and Julia’s crush. Julia bows out without telling Libby about her crush.

Bailey got an A on his test because he’s a slimeball. He’s also not talking to Will. Jill feels bad about causing a rift between them, but not that bad, since she still gets to sleep with Bailey. She hides some pot in her locker without letting Bailey see. Claudia takes Artie flowers, telling him she doesn’t deserve to be Oliver. He reveals that he stole the role from her in the first place because he thought she looked cool auditioning. Also, he’ll be better soon, as will the original Oliver, so Claudia won’t be filling in for very long anyway.

Julia runs into Justin and tells him she’s happy that he and Libby found each other. He kisses her, then bolts. Kirsten tells Charlie that she has a new advisor – she found out that Ben was interested in her after all. But she’s upset with Charlie for not trusting her. Claudia makes her debut as Oliver, with her siblings and their significant others in the audience.

Thoughts: I can’t believe an episode with “green” in the title came up on St. Patrick’s Day.

Also, God help me, when I hear “it’s not easy being green,” I don’t think of Kermit. I think of this.

Ben is played by Mark Moses (Desperate Housewives, Mad Men).

“If girls were treated the same as boys, I’d be the star of the show.” Claudia, just…no. Okay?

So it turns out Bailey and Julia were right when they said Kirsten shouldn’t move in. Who knew?

January 12, 2013

Party of Five 1.2, Homework: Everybody Loves Kirsten

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 2:28 pm by Jenn

Libby is totally one of those take-off-her-glasses-and-put-down-her-hair-and-she's-hot girls

Libby is totally one of those take-off-her-glasses-and-put-down-her-hair-and-she’s-hot girls

Summary: Sexy music plays as Bailey checks out Kirsten, who calls him irresistible. Well, not him – Owen. Exposition tells us that she’s been the Salingers’ nanny for two-and-a-half weeks. Bailey would rather spend time with her than go to school. Speaking of school, Julia’s there with her friend Libby, wishing they were in the popular crowd. Julia wants to live by the “80 and dying test” – when she’s 80 and dying, what will she look back on and regret not doing? Not regretting anything right now: Charlie, who’s in bed with a woman it sounds like he’s doing construction for.

Bailey finally makes it to school and tells his friend Will about his obsession with Kirsten. Will reminds him that he needs to concentrate on schoolwork so he can write a paper and not get placed on academic probation. At home after school, Claudia quizzes Bailey on family members’ names so she can make a family tree. She wonders what happened to their mother’s father, who left their mother when she was a child and may or may not still be alive. Julia and Libby go out to a party, asking Charlie to give Libby’s mother various cover stories if she calls.

Bailey asks Charlie if she’s ever been with an older woman. Of course he has. He advises Bailey to make it clear to whoever he’s crushing on that they can talk about things despite their age difference. Julia and Libby go to the cool kids’ party but can’t bring themselves to actually go in. Julia suggests pretending they’re looking for someone. Kirsten searches the Salingers’ yard for her lost keys and gets to chatting with Charlie. There’s clearly some attraction there.

Claudia announces to Bailey and Charlie that she’s going to find their grandfather, Jack. They’re skeptical that she can hunt down a guy who’s been out of the picture for 30 years. She feels bad for him since no one’s ever bothered to look for him. The next morning, Bailey finds Kirsten reading a story to Owen, even though he’s asleep. Bailey tries to strike up a conversation about psychology, admitting that as a child he had an imaginary friend, Lloyd W. Loomis. Lloyd’s father was a baseball player, so Bailey took him in. Kirsten says Bailey must be very nurturing.

A PI arrives to help Claudia in her search for Jack. He’ll need $500 up front, then $100 an hour plus expenses. Claudia wonders if the PI could get the job done in 15 minutes. The PI offers her a free tip: Try the VA, since Jack served in WWII. Julia and Libby go to school on four hours of sleep, still excited about their fun time at the party. A popular girl invites them to another party that night, but Julia gets a big class assignment. Claudia goes to the VA and tries to guilt someone into helping her.

Charlie and his girlfriend don’t get along quite as well with the lights on; she’s way older and more sophisticated. Plus, he’s finished the work in her house, so they don’t really have a reason to spend time together anymore. Claudia and her ugly red plaid hooded maxi dress find a guy on a boat, but instead of seeing their conversation, we fast-forward to her going home, where Julia’s redecorating her room. She wonders if Claudia’s violin awards really make her happy. Claudia says they do.

Bailey makes dinner (Kirsten’s favorite meal) and freaks out when Kirsten wants to sit next to Charlie. Kirsten remarks that if Bailey sits there, he won’t have room for Lloyd. No one’s ever heard of Lloyd and teases Bailey. Charlie and Kirsten start talking, freaking Bailey out more. After dinner, they take out the trash together and kiss while talking about how great Bailey is. In the morning, Kirsten apologizes to Bailey for outing Lloyd, but Bailey admits that he made Lloyd up. He’s about to announces how he feels about her when she gets a phone call and solidifies a date she made…with Charlie.

Julia and Libby failed the quiz they took in class the day before, surprising their teacher. Julia admits that she didn’t do the reading. The teacher offers the girls the chance to redeem their grades with a paper. Claudia goes back to the man on the boat, pretending she’s selling cookies. They hit it off well, and Claudia sees that the man likes violin music.

Bailey’s mad at Charlie (shocker), accusing him of encroaching on Bailey’s “territory.” He announces that he’s interested in Kirsten. Charlie’s surprised, not least because Bailey’s 16 and Kirsten’s in grad school. He adds that Kirsten asked him out, so she’s obviously not waiting around for Bailey. Bailey slams Charlie for always getting whatever he wants. Bailey always has to take care of other people, and just this once, he wants something that’s just his. It may not work out, but there’s a teeny chance it will. Plus, Charlie will land some random woman the next day and he’ll forget all about Kirsten. Charlie tells him to screw himself.

Julia tries to talk Libby into going to a party instead of writing their papers. Libby points out that Nina DiMayo and the other popular kids don’t even know Julia’s name. She doesn’t see the point in hanging out with people who are always drunk. Julia slams her for being a nerd, but Libby points out that Julia makes straight A’s. Julia knows everything could be over before she’s had any fun, so the whole thing is a waste of time.

At home, Claudia announces to her siblings that she found their grandfather. He’s been living on a sailboat in a San Francisco marina the whole time. Her brothers and sister pick apart her supposed evidence. Claudia thinks Jack needs to get to know all of them before he finds out they’re his grandchildren. The others say they want to believe her, but it seems unlikely that Claudia actually found him. She’s adamant that she’s right and chastises them for never trying to find him. She gives Owen a bath and talks about how nice it would be to have another family member around, “just in case.”

Julia and her very ’90s Blossom-type hat are on their way to the party while Bailey tries to write his own super-important paper on his very ’90s computer. She sits down with him and helps him. Over time, this turns into her writing most of the paper for him. Julia leaves for the party, but the next day at school, she tells Libby she didn’t go. She also didn’t write her paper. Libby offers to let Julia use her paper to come up with her own ideas, but Julia declines.

Bailey goes to Jack’s boat and tells him Claudia thinks he’s their grandfather. He’s sure Jack isn’t…right? Later, he picks Claudia up from school and tells her he saw Jack. He’s not their grandfather, and Bailey thinks Claudia knew that the whole time. He tells her that Claudia’s siblings need to be who she wanted Jack to be for her. He doesn’t think they’re doing that bad of a job. Claudia doesn’t want to talk about it. Julia runs into Nina at a bus stop and they start chatting, easily hitting it off.

The Salingers gather for their family dinner, which Charlie’s missing for his date with Kirsten. What Bailey doesn’t know is that Charlie picked up a shift at work so he could cancel the date. Kirsten’s clearly disappointed. Bailey’s pleased and thanks Charlie, who pretends he didn’t do anything. Claudia’s surprised that Charlie and Kirsten were going to go out. Then she suggests that they all spend a day on a sailboat. There’s a whole metaphor about freedom and blah blah blah, the episode’s over.

Thoughts: The popular girl who invites Julia and Libby to the party is played by Brittany Murphy.

Charlie’s much-older girlfriend (or whatever) is played by Laura Innes. Yes, that Laura Innes. The one from ER. I know!

Whoever styled Libby as a nerd did a great job. She has the big glasses and the unstylish clothes, but she’s not over-the-top like most nerds you see on TV.

Isn’t the grandfather’s name Jake, not Jack? That would explain why Claudia can’t find him.