June 28, 2014

Party of Five 4.23, Fools Rush In: The In-Betweeners

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , , at 1:14 pm by Jenn

This is Natalie's father. I KNOW!

This is Natalie’s father. I KNOW!

Summary: Bailey’s moving forward with his plan to move in with Annie, while Sarah tries to find another roommate for the house she’s spending the summer in with her friends. A waiter at the Salingers’ restaurant does something nice for her, and Sarah asks Bailey for more information about him. She thinks he might like to stay at the beach house. Bailey’s like, “His name is Eric. He’s probably a jerk.” (No, seriously, this is his response.)

Daphne tries out a tear-away valet outfit on Charlie, who’s disappointed that she didn’t actually get a job as a valet. As Barney Stinson learned, it’s tough dating a stripper. Griffin’s stuck at the guest cottage, with his bum leg, and Julia’s tired of babysitting him but still feels obligated. Charlie and Daphne have dinner with Paul and Kirsten, because that’s not an awkward setup at all. Paul and Kirsten are a little intrigued, but Charlie’s embarrassed.

Claudia and Jamie study together, and he uses 200 words to try to ask her to prom. She thinks he’s asking her to have sex, which she’s definitely not ready for yet – she doesn’t even have her learner’s permit yet. When she realizes what he really wants, she accepts. Annie clears out some closet space for Bailey, though now he’s a little less excited about how many things are changing. To try to make himself more confident, he answers the phone “Annie and Bailey’s residence,” but the caller hangs up.

Griffin races an old woman to the cashier at a grocery store, but loses. He’s rewarded, though, when he’s revealed to be the thousandth customer of the month and gets a trip to L.A. After dinner, Daphne tells Charlie she’s upset that Kirsten and Paul were so fascinated with her life. Charlie points out that if she’s not okay with her job, she can quit. She shoots back that he’s the one who’s ashamed to be dating a stripper. She wishes he’d defended her.

Bailey learns from Eric that Sarah invited him to be her new roommate. Bailey tries to scare him into backing out by telling him that Sarah’s tough to live with. Charlie and Paul go play racquetball together, and seriously, they spend too much time together for people who have been with the same woman. Paul talks about his bachelor party, which featured a stripper; Charlie’s never been to one. Paul assures him that most are tamer than he thinks, and the guys leave the stripper alone.

Bailey picks up Natalie from school, making sure that she’s okay with him moving in. She just wants to make sure he’ll always kiss her good night even though he’ll be staying in the apartment. Nearby, a man watches them from his car. That’s not creepy at all! Griffin tells Julia about his L.A. trip, which will have to take place this weekend if he doesn’t want to have to wait another three months. He’s excited that something good is finally happening. Julia can’t go, though, and doesn’t think Griffin should travel with his injured leg. He’s mad, so she says she’ll try to change her schedule.

Charlie tracks Daphne down at a bachelor party in a bar, where she’s trying to keep a guy’s hands off her. Things get tense, and Charlie steps in to be Daphne’s white knight. The guy’s a jerk and Charlie ends up hitting him, then rushing Daphne out. As Bailey, Annie, and Natalie are being domestic, they get a surprise visit from the man at Natalie’s school. He’s Natalie’s father, Jay.

Daphne blasts Charlie for ruining the bachelor party, which might get her fired. He can’t believe she’s not grateful to him for saving her. He basically orders her to quit stripping. Bailey listens uncomfortably as Sarah gives Eric a tour of their apartment, so apparently Bailey didn’t scare him off. Sarah’s more interested in Jay’s sudden arrival anyway. Griffin and Julia head to L.A., trying to ignore the amorous couple behind them on the plane and the loving gay couple seated next to them.

Claudia’s currently the only happy Salinger, as she looks at prom dresses. Charlie warns her not to let her expectations get too high. At his first prom, his date had an allergic reaction to her corsage and wound up at the hospital. Then he was vomited on and had to pay for his rented tux. Now Claudia isn’t so happy anymore. In L.A., a guy tries to flirt with Julia, but Griffin scares him off. However, the guy’s cheesy lines inspire Julia and Griffin to have some fun mocking him.

Daphne storms into the Salingers’ house to tell Charlie that she’s still mad about him crashing the party, but she’s a little grateful for the way he tried to protect her. However, he needs to back off and let her live in the moment like she always does. Julia and Griffin keep goofing off, pretending to be foreigners who have just met. They even end up kissing.

Bailey sits around all day waiting for Annie to come back from spending time with Jay and Natalie. He can’t believe that she wants to hang out with Jay after she tried so hard to keep him away from their daughter. Annie, however, thinks that since Jay has moved to be closer, has gotten a job, and has been in AA for eight months, he’s a new person.

Bailey thinks Annie will eventually get back together with Jay. He also thinks Jay is just putting on appearances, and reminds Annie of the bad things he’s done in the past. He’s worried that he’ll lose Annie and Natalie. Annie promises that Natalie will stay in Bailey’s life, but she needs to make sure her daughter has what she wants.

Sarah tries to comfort Bailey, but she also needs to know when he’s moving out so Eric can move in. Bailey admits that he’s dealing with things he’s never had to deal with before – divorced exes with custody and child support issues. All he wanted was to move in with Annie, but now he’s on the outside. He’s decided to stay put for now until the Motts sort out their issues.

Kirsten tries to gauge the seriousness of Charlie and Daphne’s relationship, promising that she’s not going to express her opinion about them being together. Charlie tells her that he knows it’s weird, but it works for them. They’re both in between things right now, but they’re both okay with it. In L.A., Julia and Griffin are the closest they’ve been in months to the way their relationship was when they first got married. They don’t want to go home the next day.

Jay shows up at the restaurant to thank Bailey for everything he’s done for Annie and Natalie. But now he wants his family back, so he’d like it if Bailey would go away. He reveals that he never signed the divorce papers. He’s going to ask Annie to take him back. Charlie tracks Daphne down at another party, though this one is a kid’s birthday party, and this time Charlie just wants to know why she hasn’t been in touch. He’s confused as to why she wants space. He bugs her until she reveals that she’s pregnant. Kirsten is going to be so ticked.

Thoughts: As you can see from the picture, Jay is played by John Slattery from Mad Men. That’s right, Roger Sterling was on Party of Five.

Daphne can unsnap her bra with her teeth? I’m pretty sure that’s physically impossible.

Sarah, you don’t want to live with Eric. He has no personality.

’90s music alert: Fastball’s “The Way.”

May 24, 2014

Party of Five 4.20, Square One: Take Me Back to the Start

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 2:43 pm by Jenn

I'd buy cheese from her

I’d buy cheese from her

Summary: Charlie has just shared his good news with his family and Kirsten, and everyone’s incredibly happy. “You guys saved my life,” he tells them. They assure him that they would do it all again if they had to. Charlie’s excited to go back to his normal life, as if he was never sick. Julia tells him he can. They all decide to have a party the next night to celebrate.

Julia fills Griffin in, telling him that now that Charlie’s better, things will get better for the two of them as well. Since they moved in to take care of the family, now they can move out. Griffin points out that they still don’t have a lot of money, but Julia thinks that if he keeps working at the garage, they’ll be fine. He’s surprised that she’s okay with him staying there (remember, the liar told her there’s nothing going on between him and Rosalie).

Sarah has a rough adjustment to temporary caregiver, because as we know from past experience with Natalie, she’s not the easiest child to get along with. Bailey promises that he’ll help out. Sarah wants him to start now, since Natalie thinks Annie’s coming home early. Sarah doesn’t know how to explain to her that Annie has another ten days in rehab.

At the garage, Rosalie tries to talk to Griffin, but he tells her that he and Julia are going to try to work things out. Rosalie’s confused, since he previously told her that he and Julia were over. She wouldn’t have slept with him if she knew he and Julia were going to reconcile. She doesn’t think he ever wanted her in the first place. Griffin says he’s “kind of stuck here.” Rosalie confirms that Julia doesn’t know the whole story.

Bailey and Sarah suck as parents and are unable to enforce any rules. Natalie says she can’t fall asleep in their apartment, so they take her to her own bedroom. Later, Bailey heads to the restaurant to help Charlie plan his celebration. Joe calls to say he’ll have to miss the party since his flight was canceled. Bailey suggests postponing the party so Joe can be there, and since he’s busy with Natalie anyway.

Julia awkwardly asks Griffin if he wants to have sex. At first he accepts, but changes his mind. Charlie’s friend Kevin hired a stripper for Charlie’s party without telling him, and no one told her the party’s been postponed, so she shows up at the Salingers’ house. She’s perfectly willing to strip for an audience of one, or show off one of her other talents (which include pedicures and tarot card readings). Since Kevin paid, she wants to earn her fee.

Bailey, Sarah, and Natalie play cards while Natalie gives the other two makeovers. Bailey and Sarah start play-fighting, and if this were a romantic comedy, this is probably where they would kiss. Instead of taking off her clothes, the stripper, Daphne, chats with Charlie, surprised that he’s willing to take his normal life back after beating cancer, as opposed to going off and doing something adventurous. He says he likes routine.

Natalie still won’t sleep, but Bailey and Sarah have kind of stopped caring. Sarah shares a small moment with Bailey, disappointed that it’s interrupted by a call from Annie. While Griffin quits his job, Joe arrives in San Francisco, and the Salingers try to reschedule their party. Unfortunately, they’re all busy at various times and can’t make anything work. Joe isn’t sure why they’re making a big deal out of it anyway. Charlie says he wanted his normal life back for so long, and now that he has it, he also wants something special.

Griffin tells Julia he quit, and she wonders if it’s because he still has feelings for Rosalie. She can tell that there’s something he hasn’t said. He claims that he just doesn’t like being there. Later, Griffin goes to confession, feeling horrible that he did something to hurt Julia when she’s been hurt so many times before. He wishes he could make his affair go away. Even if Julia doesn’t know what happened, he does.

Sarah manages to get Natalie to sleep by a decent hour. She asks Bailey what he thinks will happen with him and Annie, but he’s not sure what Annie wants. Sarah is: She knows Annie will want things to go back to the way they were. Charlie tells Kirsten that he wants to travel and do exciting things; she can understand because she felt the same way when she started dealing with her depression. He invites her along. After all, they had fun on their road trip. Kirsten tells him she can’t justify it now, since he’s not sick anymore and she’s, you know, married.

Natalie enjoys family time with Bailey and Sarah, and now that it’s clear Sarah’s falling for her ex again, it’s no surprise – guys who are good with kids tend to become more attractive. Of course, that’s when Annie calls. Since Natalie fell asleep on top of her, Sarah has to sit there and listen to Bailey talk to his girlfriend.

Julia suggests that she and Griffin do what Bailey and Sarah do – they can manage an apartment building and get a place to live. Griffin decides it’s time to tell her that despite his earlier claims, he did, in fact, sleep with Rosalie. She doesn’t know how to respond. Sarah disagrees with Bailey getting Natalie’s hopes up about winning a big prize at a carnival. Sarah plans to skip the fair, but Natalie wants them all to do fun things together, since Bailey said that would help the time pass.

Charlie runs into Daphne at the mall, where the poor stripper has to dress in a cheese costume and hand out free samples. She’s disappointed that he didn’t end up doing anything exciting, and hasn’t even had his party. She decides to do something fun with him. Bailey and Natalie take Sarah to the carnival, and they have more happy family fun times together.

Julia gives Griffin the silent treatment, which is more than his butt deserves – shouldn’t she have barred him from the property? He insists that things will get better if they find their own place. She tells him she doesn’t know how she feels yet. Part of her wants to forgive him, and she might be able to do that someday, but right now she’d be crazy to keep living with him. “I’m scared of you,” Julia admits. She only feels safe with her family.

Daphne takes Charlie out to the woods, and he burns a bunch of things that remind him of his illness. He feels dumb, but she thinks this is the best way for him to feel like he’s moving on. He realizes that he was wearing the shoes he has on when he heard his diagnosis, so he burns those, too. More clothes come off, and Charlie asks Daphne for some tips on stripping. And then Social Services shows up and is like, “Why are you naked in the woods with a stripper?” Just kidding, but that would have been a nice twist.

Thoughts: ’90s music alert: “Adia” by Sarah McLachlan. That’s two of her songs in two episodes. Also, “A Change Will Do You Good” by Sheryl Crow, which is so, so appropriate for this episode.

Bailey says he has a meeting with the tenants’ board to see if he’ll be fired for never being in the building, but he was never hired in the first place. Sarah was hired and he just works and shares her paycheck. The whole point was that he can’t get a job because he has a conviction on his record.

“Hi, Jennifer Aspen. We’d like you to play a stripper on Party of Five. You won’t have to actually take your clothes off but you’ll need to come in for a fitting anyway. It’s for a cheese costume. Wait, don’t hang up!”

May 17, 2014

Party of Five 4.19, Go Away: “Once That First Bad Thing Happens”

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 3:18 pm by Jenn

This puppy is very happy for Charlie

This puppy is very happy for Charlie

Summary: It’s time for another episode of Griffin and Julia Are Awkward Around Each Other and Should Just Break Up Now. She presents him with Rosalie’s “something’s happening” note***, and he pretends he doesn’t know anything about it. Since he told her he was at the movies, Julia asks what movie he saw. Griffin doesn’t reply. She tells him that the next time he uses a friend as an alibi, he should inform that friend. Griffin admits that he was with Rosalie, but says they’re just friends. Julia notes that he wouldn’t lie about his whereabouts or stay out until 2 a.m. if they were just friends.

The next day, Charlie undergoes tests that will tell him whether or not he’s in remission. It’ll take a couple days for the results to come back, and his doctor tells Bailey and Julia to find a way to get him to relax and distract himself while he waits. While Julia gives Griffin the silent treatment, Sarah tries to convince Bailey that Charlie’s results will be good. Annie visits, on edge because she’s trying not to drink, and Bailey snaps that she can’t rely on him the way she is.

Charlie’s doctor calls to tell him there was an irregularity in his CAT scan, so he’ll mean more tests. He worries that it means he’s not in remission. His doctor says it’s possible but unlikely. Charlie points out that getting cancer at the age of 28 was also unlikely. (Which…no, but okay, Charlie.) Julia hangs out in the house while Griffin hangs out in the “guest cottage”; when he comes inside, she suggests that he move out. FINALLY.

Charlie’s anxious about his test results, so Bailey advises him to get out of the house for a while. Charlie wants more than that. Julia remembers family trips to a cabin in Tahoe, and she, Bailey, and Charlie decide to spend some time there. Claudia declines their invitation, wanting some alone time. She says she’ll ask Kirsten to come stay with her and Owen. Because Kirsten doesn’t have a life or a husband or anything that doesn’t involve the Salingers.

The older Salingers head to the cabin and immediately get into a routine, reminiscing about the time they spent there as kids. Back at the house, Claudia gets an application from a boarding school in Massachusetts and tells Kirsten that she sent for it. At the cabin, Julia and Charlie start a snowball fight with an unsuspecting Bailey. Sarah visits Annie to see how she’s doing with Bailey out of town. She knows what Annie’s going through since she went through it with Bailey. Annie tells Sarah to find someone else to help.

Griffin goes to see Rosalie, reporting that Julia kicked him out. He complains that Julia has misinterpreted what’s going on (she hasn’t) and that she’s done some equally bad things (she hasn’t). “Nothing’s entirely the other person’s fault,” he says, delusional. Rosalie tells him she wants him. The older Salingers read horrible books and decide not to call home to check on their other siblings. Those other siblings are currently playing hide and seek with Kirsten, who wants to know why Claudia’s running away before she knows Charlie’s condition for sure.

Natalie goes to Sarah to report that Annie fell asleep on the floor and can’t be woken up. At the cabin, Bailey and Julia remember the first time Charlie babysat them at the cabin. They had an “indoor laser-beam snowball war.” Charlie doesn’t think that’ll distract him this time around. He confesses that he had to have additional tests done because something was found on his CAT scan. He wishes his life were still simple enough that he could just be afraid of the dark.

Sarah has Natalie make coffee while she soaks Annie in the bathtub to revive her. Kirsten tells Claudia that she needs to talk to a new therapist so she can discuss her fears. Claudia admits that she’s scared about Charlie dying, and she doesn’t want to be okay with it. After her parents died, she tried to get back to her normal life, but she’s not going to pretend she’s okay with losing someone else.

Julia and Bailey are upset that Charlie walked away from his life to come to the cabin and pretend he’s okay. Because neither of them is doing the same thing, of course. Bailey confides that Annie’s drinking again and he feels bad for leaving her while things are so bad. He knows self-preservation is good, but he feels guilty. Before their parents died, Bailey was rebellious; afterward, he turned into an adult overnight. He wishes he could have been someone else so he didn’t feel bad about taking care of himself instead of Annie.

Julia wonders if she would be different, too, if their parents had lived. She feels like she’s in a rush to do everything. Before, she was always looking to the future. Now, she wants everything right away because she doesn’t know what tomorrow will bring. Julia feels like she’s stopped thinking things through. Bailey’s surprised to hear that she regrets getting married so quickly, because Bailey hasn’t been paying attention. She didn’t think what getting married actually meant; she just loved Griffin and accepted his proposal.

Sarah tries to get Annie to promise that she won’t try to drive Natalie anywhere, or try to cook something. Annie says she hates herself for acting this way in front of her daughter, but that just makes her want to drink. She’s not even in good enough shape to get herself to a meeting. Sarah suggests that she try rehab. That would require finding someone to look after Natalie, whose father isn’t in any better shape. Annie blasts Sarah for thinking that everyone can afford the kind of help she needs.

Rosalie invites Griffin to stay with her, but he’s afraid of what could happen. Then he talks himself into accepting since Julia had to have known where he would end up when she kicked him out. (I think she expects you to end up in divorce court, Griffin, so do whatever you want. Also, shut up. I’m sick of hearing from you.)

The phone rings at the cabin in the middle of the night, making the Salingers worry that something happened back home. Fortunately, it’s a wrong number. Charlie remembers that the phone always used to ring late at night because their parents always needed to get in touch with each other. After they died, middle-of-the-night phone calls became emergencies. For 24 years, Charlie thought things would always turn out well, but he doesn’t think that way anymore.

The next day, Kirsten tells Claudia that despite her years of graduate work in child psychology, she doesn’t know how to help. She sometimes tries to figure out how she would feel if she had to go through her day knowing Charlie was dead. It’s a way of preparing herself in case it actually happens. But she knows that they won’t really be able to live with that reality unless it happens, so they need to tell themselves he’ll be okay. Claudia doesn’t like dealing in hypotheticals.

As the older Salingers prepare to leave the cabin, Julia tells Bailey that she used to think about how, when she turned 30, she would have lived longer without her parents than with them. After that, anything that happened would be up to her. But why is she waiting until then? Bailey regrets bringing Charlie to the cabin, but he was glad to relive some happy times (though he doesn’t want to return). It was strange to revisit a place they used to enjoy before their lives fell apart. “Once that first bad thing happens,” everything is different.

As soon as he gets home, Bailey goes to Annie’s apartment, promising that he’ll be around from now on. But her apartment’s empty – she went to rehab. Sarah has another surprise for Bailey: They’ll be taking care of Natalie while Annie’s gone. Julia goes to the garage to tell Griffin that she’s not sure what she wants to have happen, but his affair was probably partly her fault. (Um, I’m sorry?) She believes him if he promises he didn’t sleep with Rosalie. She’d like him to come back home.

Charlie meets up with Claudia, Owen, and Kirsten at the house, so they’re all there when they get a message from his doctor. She asks Charlie to call, giving her home phone number. He goes up to his room to be alone when he calls. When his doctor gives him his test results, he starts crying…but out of happiness. He’s in remission.

Thoughts: Doesn’t Annie have a sponsor who can help her?

“Why are you doing this?” Because you cheated, you jerk.

Charlie and Julia throwing snowballs at bailey is the cutest thing I’ve seen on this show in a long time.

“Stop trying to help me! I don’t have the money to be helped!” Shut up, Annie. Sarah’s a saint to put up with you. She doesn’t even like you! Also, now you can never be mean to her again, since she’s taking care of Natalie.

’90s music alert: Sarah McLachlan’s “Building a Mystery.”

Test to see if someone has a soul: Play the last scene of this episode. If the person isn’t moved, yell, “What’s wrong with you?” and splash him/or with holy water.

April 12, 2014

Party of Five 4.14, Of Human Bonding: Other People’s Problems

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

I don't know why your brilliant plan didn't work, Bailey. Everyone loves badminton

I don’t know why your brilliant plan didn’t work, Bailey. Everyone loves badminton

Summary: Charlie’s at the hospital for treatment, chatting with a fellow patient named Kevin who claims that having cancer makes him more attractive to women. After all, women like movies about guys who have cancer. Charlie admits that he almost looks forward to coming to treatment because he gets to spend time with people who understand what he’s going through.

While Julia starts an office job, Sarah asks Elliot about his sexual history, hoping that her lack of experience won’t be a disadvantage. It sounds like a moot point anyway, since they’re having trouble finding time to spend together. Bailey buys Natalie a badminton set, looking for a way for them to bond. Natalie isn’t appreciative, and Annie doesn’t like her attitude.

Julia finds a new co-worker, Jeannie, crying in the bathroom because her husband wants to go to a basketball game on their anniversary. They’ve been married ten years and Jeannie is totally over all of it. That doesn’t help Julia feel better about where her marriage stands. Sarah takes her car to Griffin’s garage for some repairs and asks for some relationship advice. She’s confused because Elliot’s no longer trying to get her into bed – is he losing interest? Griffin worries about what that means for him and Julia.

Charlie’s late getting home from treatment, which worries Julia and Claudia. It turns out he’s at a batting cage with Kevin. Kevin admits that he’s always avoided seemingly dangerous activities because of fear of injury, but now that he has cancer, he’s more adventurous. Bailey buys ice cream to try again to win Natalie over. Annie tells him to stop bribing her and give it time. Bailey points out that they’re letting Natalie call the shots, which Annie didn’t want.

Charlie finally makes it home, and his sisters bug him about disappearing. Griffin tries to get romantic with Julia while she’s doing laundry, but she’d prefer if he would help her with her chores. She points out that they’ve barely talked in the past few weeks, so he’s going to have to do something else to make her want to have sex.

Kevin makes breakfast for the Salingers before he and Charlie go fishing. They also plan to go camping, which Julia and Claudia object to because of all the horrible things that could happen or the ways Charlie’s health could worsen. Charlie puts his foot down. Bailey’s latest bribe is hockey night at the restaurant, and this is the one that cracks Natalie’s resolve. (Though maybe it’s the promises of grilled cheese and a Shirley Temple.)

Julia and Jeannie bond over their husbands only having sex and electronics on the brain. They decide to have a girls’ night together. Hockey night is a success, both with patrons and with Bailey and Natalie’s relationship. Sarah doesn’t want to go, so Elliot tells her to go do something else while he hangs out with Bailey and Griffin. Bailey ruins things with Natalie by accidentally singing a song her father used to sing. Annie tells him to stop trying to be Natalie’s father.

Julia and Jeannie wind up at the restaurant as well, and things between Julia and Griffin are super-awkward. (Also, Griffin is unable to display basic human manners.) Fed up with their wimmin-folk, Griffin and Elliot split to find fun somewhere else. Charlie and Kevin get ready for their fishing trip, though Charlie’s realized that some of Claudia’s fears about their remote location and possible illness are reasonable.

After some time at the restaurant, Julia, Sarah, and Jeannie go out to find something else to do and stumble across Griffin’s bike outside a strip club. Yep, that’s where he and Elliot went to escape their significant others. Julia is very displeased with her husband. Once they’re back home, Julia points out that Griffin didn’t do a very good job of hiding where he was; was he trying to hurt her? Griffin says he was just trying to get away, and this isn’t the first time he’s gone to a strip club. (Ohhh, wrong answer.)

The next day, Sarah confronts Elliot as well, but he’s a little more apologetic. Part of Sarah’s problem is that he went to look at naked women he doesn’t know but he doesn’t seem to be interested in seeing his own girlfriend naked. Natalie wanders off and Bailey finds her in the laundry room, trying to call her father. Apparently he changed his phone number and didn’t give the new one to his daughter. Natalie’s understandably upset.

Charlie and Kevin meet up again at treatment, having called off the fishing trip. Kevin isn’t upset since he knows Charlie needs to take care of himself. Jeannie thanks Julia for their night out, praising her for just walking out on Griffin at the strip club. She wishes she’d stood up to her own husband before last night, when she announced that it’s over. Julia’s all, “You can end a marriage? That’s an option?”

Annie tells Bailey that the situation with Natalie and her father makes her feel helpless. Bailey says it makes him angry since Jay’s bad decisions keep hurting Natalie, and she takes it out on Bailey. Annie keeps defending Jay, blaming his behavior on his alcoholism. She claims that no one’s better off without a father.

Claudia rents Charlie A River Runs Through It to make up for his missed fishing trip. She and Julia continue mothering their brother, who pulls a Jeannie and tells them to back off. They tell him they just want to make sure he’s okay. Charlie asks if they would leave him alone if he said he was okay. They’re great when he’s feeling bad, but they hover when he wants to do something that makes him feel good.

Charlie continues that Julia and Claudia make him scared to take a chance. They caution him against doing anything that could make him feel worse, not thinking that he could actually feel better instead. Julia’s fine with Charlie doing something new, but she feels like she’s the only one taking his illness seriously. She’s the one sacrificing so he can go out and have fun. Charlie tells her that when he’s in bed, he’s not living – he’s “just waiting.”

Bailey tells Natalie that he knows how she feels not having her father around since his is also gone. He knows that their fathers still love them and think about them. Natalie can hold on to her good memories of her dad, and Bailey will never try to take his place. Charlie wants to do something with Kevin, but Kevin’s health isn’t good enough right now for an adventure. Charlie offers to just hang out instead, though Kevin encourages him to go have the adventure on his own.

Julia tries to talk to Griffin, who turns things into a fight. She’s fine with that since it means they’ll at least be communicating. They admit that they’re not even sure why things are so bad. (I think I have a few ideas…) Sarah thinks she’s finally worked out what’s going on with Elliot: He’s nervous because she’s a virgin, and he doesn’t think she can be fun. She suggests sexy clothes to solve the problem. Elliot admits that he’s not as experienced as she thinks. He’s a virgin, too.

Bailey looks in on Natalie while Annie’s putting her to bed, and she asks if he’ll be there when she wakes up. He promises he will. Then she sings the song her father used to sing her. Julia and Griffin go to bed silently. The next day, Charlie goes parasailing by himself.

Thoughts: Bailey, trust me, low-fat, sugar-free ice cream is no way into a child’s heart.

Way to make laundry even less sexy, Griffin.

Annie, shut up. “You’re doing too much. You’re doing too little.” You and Claudia go whine to each other and let everyone else have fun. P.S. Natalie is absolutely better off without that sorry excuse for a father.

April 5, 2014

Party of Five 4.13, Parent Trap: Deal With the Consequences

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 1:25 pm by Jenn

The Salingers need to look at this polar bear cub and chill out for a while

The Salingers need to look at this polar bear cub and chill out for a while

Summary: We open with Bailey and Annie’s bedroom talk, so…great. Fortunately, Natalie interrupts and tries to get into bed with her mother. Annie hasn’t told her about seeing Bailey, so she doesn’t want Natalie in the bedroom. Bailey has to hide under the bed while Annie reads her daughter a story. Julia runs the house some more, again, assigning Griffin to pick Owen up from daycare. Griffin objects since he’ll have to close the shop. Everyone notices that Claudia is dressed up.

Charlie goes to the doctor to get medication for a rash, but the doctor isn’t very sympathetic. Bailey tries to take care of stuff at the restaurant while talking to Annie on the phone about how they can have a sleepover that night. He can’t, though, since he has to work. She’s annoyed that he works so much and goes to class during the day. Way to be understanding about his situation, Annie.

Claudia takes her new look to the coffeehouse to apologize to Reed for their fight***. He tells her to let it go, then notices her weird hair (which is supposed to be curled, but isn’t really). Griffin has to take Owen to the garage because Claudia wasn’t at the house to look after him. Griffin has money problems, which is totally brand new and not a boring storyline at all. He also can’t get much done with Owen around.

Kirsten takes Charlie to an herbalist to get treatment for his rash. The herbalist immediately diagnoses both his rash and his Hodgkin’s. He offers some remedies (but only for the rash, not the cancer, unfortunately). Annie shows up at the restaurant during the dinner rush, hoping to spend some time with Bailey when he has a minute. Bailey doesn’t have a minute. He also wants them to sit Natalie down and tell her about their relationship. Annie refuses, not wanting to introduce Natalie to someone who might not stay in her life.

Owen comes home with a new vocabulary thanks to things he’s overheard at the garage (“you owe me money” and “damn”). Charlie makes tea with his new herbs, stinking up the house. His sisters think he’s being messed with. Bailey’s finally ready to spend some alone time with Annie in the morning, but she has stuff to do. He convinces her to rearrange her schedule to spend some more time with him.

At school, Claudia slips a note into Reed’s locker. At the house, Julia catches Griffin leaving for work without saying goodbye; he came home late and they didn’t get to talk. He tells her that he wants to talk to her at the end of each day, but Julia has so much to deal with. Clearly, the honeymoon’s over. Julia wants to make sure they never go to bed angry.

A couple of girls find Claudia’s note and giggle over it. It turns out one of the girls swapped lockers with Reed. Reed catches them and tells the girls to leave Claudia alone. Kirsten visits Charlie, who tells her that the herbs haven’t helped his rash. He’s frustrated that he has to put up with something he has no control over. He’s starting to wonder if the radiation treatment is as useless as the herbs.

Julia goes to the garage to help out with some administrative work and stumbles across Griffin’s ledgers, seeing how much he owes. Griffin wants to use the money Howie’s stashing with him to pay off some debts without Howie knowing. Julia knows that’s a horrible idea. Griffin tells her to support him or “just stay home.” Yeah, the honeymoon’s definitely over.

Bailey learns that the thing Annie rescheduled to spend time with him was a job interview. He thinks that was a horrible idea and tells her not to do that again. Annie snaps at him for getting mad at her for trying to make time to be with him. Obviously she’s also mad that he won’t do the same for her, but whatever, shut up Annie.

At the coffeehouse, Claudia thanks Reed for coming to her rescue. He’s read her note and wants to make it clear that the two of them aren’t going to be anything more than friends. Claudia thinks that eventually they will be. After all, Jane Eyre and Rochester made it work. Reed’s like, “Sweetie, that didn’t really happen.” She wonders if he asked to trade lockers to get away from her.

Julia, Griffin, Claudia, and Owen have a silent, awkward dinner at the house. Claudia leaves the table early so Griffin turns on the TV. The next morning, Claudia refuses to go to school, but Julia’s so busy that she doesn’t do anything about it. Charlie reads a book. (No, really, that was apparently significant enough to devote five seconds to.)

Annie decides that it’s time to tell Natalie about her relationship with Bailey. She feels like sneaking around with him is too similar to how she snuck around when she was drinking. Bailey worries that she’s doing this for him, but Annie wants to do what AA taught her: take responsibility for her choices and deal with the consequences.

Kirsten drops by the house again and finds Charlie meditating. Both of them are surprised at this new behavior. He read an article about a plant in Mexico that cures cancer in mice, and he’s so desperate that he’s considered finding out if it works for humans. Kirsten notes that at least he’s distracted enough not to scratch.

Howie visits the garage and asks for a check for the bulk of what’s in his and Griffin’s account. He’s not too pleased with Griffin’s attempts to say no. It’s time for Annie and Bailey’s big talk with Natalie. Annie starts by saying that Bailey’s going to be spending more time with them; he already eats dinner with them a lot, and now he’ll be sleeping over. “You’re not my daddy,” Natalie tells Bailey.

Griffin answers the phone at the Salingers’ and learns that Claudia skipped school. He tells her she can’t avoid her responsibilities because of a fight with a boy. Charlie’s sick and Julia’s working hard to keep things under control. Julia overhears and yells at Griffin for yelling at Claudia. She tells him he’s like his father. Charlie shouts for everyone to shut up because he’s meditating. Claudia tries to talk to him, but he’s too busy.

In the morning, Bailey takes donuts to Annie and Natalie, but Annie doesn’t think it’s a good time for him to be around her daughter. Charlie’s rash is gone, and he thinks meditating is what cured him. Julia wonders if it was the detergent she’d briefly been using. Womp womp! Now that Howie has taken back his money, Griffin has to give up all his fancy garage equipment.

At school, Claudia tells Reed that she’s okay just being his friend. He notes that she takes everything wrong – anything nice that he says is interpreted as more than just a gesture of friendship. Charlie tells Kirsten that he really thought his meditation had cured him; it made him feel better about going to radiation today. He finally felt in control of something, and capable of beating cancer. Kirsten doesn’t think the details matter.

Griffin wants to discuss Julia’s accusations, but he’s still mad about how Claudia skipped school, so I don’t think this is going to go well. Julia remembers how Griffin acted one time when he came over after a fight with his father. He complained that his father made others feel bad because he had a bad day. Griffin says the situations are different, somehow. Then he reveals that Howie took his money back and Griffin lost his equipment.

Griffin continues that Julia doesn’t get how hard things are for him. But Julia does, because she completely understands being 19 and having real adult responsibilities. She knows they both want the other to fix things. Julia has to go back to the house to tend to Owen, and she asks Griffin to come with her, but he wants to go to bed.

Charlie meditates again, and Julia tells him it’s helping. Natalie won’t come out of her room while Bailey’s in the apartment, but Annie’s sure that she’ll eventually adjust. She and Bailey find it ironic that they went through all this to spend more time together. They try to figure out when they can spend more time together, but they still have busy schedules. Meanwhile, Julia’s lost time with her partner, too.

Thoughts: If your relationship has advanced to where your boyfriend is spending the night, yeah, you need to tell your kid. You should probably tell your kid before your boyfriend starts spending the night.

Bailey: “What am I supposed to do with 25 pounds of salmon?” Serve it to your customers? I mean, I’m no restaurant manager, but I imagine your chef might have some ideas of what to do with fish.

One of the giggly girls is soap actress Tamara Braun. Her teeny ’90s pigtail buns are scary.

“Will you guys shut up? I’m meditating!” made me laugh.

March 22, 2014

Party of Five 4.11, S’Wunnerful Life: More Like It’s a Not-So-Wonderful Lie

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 3:03 pm by Jenn

Reminder: Only one of these people is old enough to rent a car

Reminder: Only one of these people is old enough to rent a car

Summary: Charlie’s back at the doctor’s, and learns that his white blood cell count isn’t good. If it doesn’t come up over the weekend, he might have to suspend treatment, which would drag things out even longer. Will is in town for Christmas break, telling Bailey all about his super-fun frat hazing. Annie stops by, and Will, not knowing who she is, hilariously calls her “ma’am.” Natalie pops up as well, and it looks like Bailey didn’t mention her to Will. He’s even more confused when Annie and Bailey celebrate because she passed her insurance adjuster’s test.

Claudia and Sarah help Julia make the shed look nicer since Justin’s coming by for a visit. They decide to decorate for Christmas. When Justin arrives, Julia tells him the shed is now a “guest cottage,” and that she and Griffin are moving in because Charlie’s sick, not because, you know, they have to. Charlie loans Kirsten his truck to pick up an armoire at her great-aunt’s house. Charlie invites himself on her day road trip, thinking it’s a good way to recharge, like his doctor told him he should. Claudia and Kirsten can’t talk him out of it.

Bailey, Annie, and Will go out to celebrate her test results, but Will doesn’t want to overindulge so he can stay slim and get a date for a dance at college. What kind of frat is Will in, anyway? He’s a little lost when Annie and Bailey start talking about good schools for Natalie and budgets and savings and other stuff college students don’t usually have to worry about. “I love hanging out with my parents!” Will says.

Julia, Justin, and Griffin look at slides of Julia and Justin’s trip to Europe, but Griffin’s understandable bored. After he goes to bed, the other two talk about how Julia’s now working at a department store instead of at the museum. She lies that the woman who owns the store admired Julia’s work at the museum and hired her immediately to work on displays. Justin’s like, “I guess some people are successful without going to Ivy League schools!”

On their day trip, Charlie and Kirsten start spotting Christmas decorations. Will and Sarah get ready for a tree-trimming party she and Bailey are throwing, and he mentions that Bailey’s suddenly turned into an adult. Will misses the guy he used to be, since he’s not as much fun anymore. As if to prove Will’s point, when Bailey shows up, he turns down their music and asks to borrow Sarah’s computer to type up Annie’s résumé. Sarah and Will get him to head slam with them for a little while. “So you know, I hate you both,” Bailey says, though he’s having fun.

Charlie and Kirsten get lost, so he suggests that they take advantage of their new route to extend their trip a little. Hopefully someone responsible is taking care of Owen. Julia and Justin hang out, and he asks to do some shopping at her department store. She lies that she has meetings all afternoon. She spots a sweater she’d like to get Griffin for Christmas, but when she finds out it’s $60, she tells Justin that she can’t get it because it’s wool and will make Griffin itch.

Kirsten and Charlie stop at the only place to eat for miles, but it’s closed. Charlie’s disappointed because he’s hungry for the first time in a long time. Kirsten notices that he’s cold and tells him they have to leave – being hungry and cold can’t be good for him. Charlie insists that they keep adventuring since those are things he can deal with. Bailey, Sarah, and Will decorate for the party, and Bailey has definitely reverted to the fun guy Will remembers. Annie arrives and announces that she got fired.

Justin goes shopping on his own and catches Julia in her lie – she’s not a decorator, she’s an elf-costumed gift wrapper. He leaves before she can see him. Annie tells Bailey that she fired because her boss caught her scheduling things to become an insurance adjuster. She’s understandably upset about being unemployed right before Christmas, when she needs to buy presents for Natalie and can’t find anyone who’s hiring. Bailey tries to help her stay optimistic, but Annie doesn’t think he understands since he’s still a college student. Plus, he’s the reason she got fired.

Charlie and Kirsten come across an inn; the owner, Glenn, is having a yard sale and sells Charlie a coat for $5. He asks Kirsten and Charlie to help him move his unsold things back inside in exchange for dinner. Kirsten’s hesitant to agree, but Charlie points out that they wanted a coat and food, and here they are, being provided for him. When Charlie goes back to the truck to get his wallet, he pockets the keys, then asks Kirsten if she has them.

Sarah and Bailey’s party starts, but Bailey mopes through it. Charlie and Kirsten make the most of “being stranded” at the inn, enjoying a nice dinner alone. Glenn invites them to spend the night, which, of course, is exactly what Charlie was hoping for. Glenn can’t believe it when they ask for separate rooms; he was sure they were a couple. Sarah and Will wonder why their egg nog is so good, and Bailey informs them that some unknown guests spiked it. (Fortunately, he didn’t drink any.)

Justin and Griffin snipe at each other, but they’re drunk, so it’s funnier than when they used to fight. Justin doesn’t get why he, as a Yale student, is busting his butt, but Griffin the slacker gets to have the terrific life. Justin admits that he’s failing English lit despite being his high school’s valedictorian. Julia listens as he complains about his snooty roommate and how horrible Yale is. Griffin’s like, “Yeah, fine, you win.”

At the inn, Kirsten laments that nothing went right all day, but Charlie disagrees. This was the best day he’s had since he was diagnosed. He thanks her for helping him get away from his life for a little while. Julia pulls Justin away from the party and asks him about Yale, busting him on never telling her the truth about how much he hates it. Justin’s like, “You’re one to talk, LIAR.” They wonder what kind of friends they are if they’re not honest with each other.

Annie crashes the party to apologize to Bailey for their fight. Will interrupts to drunkenly talk about their Graduate-type romance and how Bailey’s looking for someone maternal. Bailey tells him to back off, but while they’re arguing, Annie leaves. When he finds her, he’s worried that she drank. She didn’t, though she admits that she wanted to. She’s worried that Will’s right and she’s desperate for dating a college student. Bailey tells her that their age difference doesn’t matter because he feels more grown-up than Will, and more comfortable with Annie than with people his own age.

Julia and Justin finally start being honest with each other. He regrets going to Yale, and she wanted to live vicariously through him. Now, though, she doesn’t feel like things are so bad – at least she’s not living with an annoying roommate and failing a class at one of the country’s top schools! The two start competing over whose life is worse: Justin’s in cold, bleak New England or Julia’s in a shed.

In the morning, Sarah and Will are hungover, so Bailey gets to be the sober one for once. Will apologizes to Bailey for being a jerk the night before. Bailey doesn’t want an apology for that, though – he wants one for Will being judgmental of his sober life after being so concerned about his drinking the last time he visited. Will does apologize, but I think Bailey’s a little happy that he has to deal with a hangover. After Bailey leaves the room, Will tells Sarah that he didn’t mean his apology. He doesn’t get why Bailey has to go for one extreme or the other.

Kirsten finally “finds” her keys, so she and Charlie set off to get the armoire they were supposed to get the day before. Unfortunately, it looks a lot worse than she thought it would. Charlie offers to fix it up. Bailey and Annie make Christmas decorations with Natalie, because Bailey is now a middle-aged father. He plans to help Annie find a new job and watch Natalie while she’s out on interviews. He’s also going to help her buy Natalie presents.

Julia talks to Griffin about the lies she told Justin, promising that it’s not because she’s ashamed of their life together. Griffin gets it – after all, their life kind of sucks right now. But it’s looking up a little, because Claudia and Owen decorated the shed for Christmas. Kirsten suggests another stop as she and Charlie head home, but he tells her he has an early treatment appointment the next day. She offers to go with him, and he happily accepts.

Thoughts: Glenn is played by the awesome John Michael Higgins, who you would probably recognize from anything by Christopher Guest.

Since when does the shed have a loft? It’s officially nicer than where I live.

Julia, you don’t have to lie about why you don’t want to buy a $60 sweater. That’s a ridiculous price.

Annie, I think the guy with dead parents and a DUI on his record understands suffering.

Thanks for ending the episode with Joni Mitchell’s “River,” show. I’m not depressed at all.

March 1, 2014

Party of Five 4.8, Sickness, Health/Richer, Poorer: Wedding Bell Blues

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

Look, Julia! Firefighters! Marry one of them instead!

Look, Julia! Firefighters! Marry one of them instead!

Summary: Charlie’s up late working on wedding stuff, or so he tells Julia. She admits that she’s nervous about the ceremony. He points out that she’s already married, so it’s not really that big of a deal. Julia asks him to give her away, and of course he agrees. The next day, Charlie and Nina go to a bookstore so he can research a nice quote for a speech at the ceremony. While Nina’s in another section, Charlie looks at a book on cancer therapy.

Bailey hasn’t told his family about his new relationship with Annie yet, but he wants to bring her to the wedding. However, Annie knows she won’t be able to attend without Natalie wanting to come. Griffin’s already fed up with his deal with Howard, so he gives him back the remainder of the money he borrowed. Howard wants interest, too. Nina wants to go away with Charlie that weekend, but he decides it’s time to tell her about his cancer. She’s very positive, assuring him that he’ll recover.

Julia takes Griffin to the museum after hours to show him a painting that describes how she feels about him. But he’s Griffin, so I don’t think he gets it. Then it’s their wedding day, and Griffin tells Julia that he has to go to the garage before the ceremony. He claims he just needs to make sure Reed closed up properly the day before. Meanwhile, Sarah gets ready for the wedding, telling Bailey for the first time that Elliot’s coming as her date. Bailey’s angry, but Sarah says Julia okayed it.

Prep is underway at the Salingers’, and everyone’s very excited. Griffin is still absent, but Ross is there. Claudia wants to get everything on video. Bailey brings both Annie and Natalie, to everyone’s surprise. They’re even more surprised to learn that Annie is 26 and divorced. Charlie disapproves. He takes a call from his doctor but continues to put off all medical-related conversations until the next week. Nina remains optimistic and unconcerned.

Griffin meets with Howard, who’s still controlling him like a puppet. Griffin doesn’t want to do anything that could land him in trouble because he doesn’t want Julia involved. Howard tells him it’s too late, and when Griffin refuses again, Howard punches him. Over at the house, the festivities begin, but the groom is still a no-show. Claudia worries that Griffin’s gotten into an accident. Bailey tells her not to be negative, but she replies, “Have you met our family?” Julia gets a telegram from Joe, even though it’s the ’90s.

Annie discovers that Natalie got into the wedding cake. Julia pretends it’s not a big deal, and Charlie goes into solution mode, saying they can get another cake. But when he goes to make a phone call, he feels sick and has to sit down. Nina finds him and tells him he just needs to delegate some responsibilities! And drink some coffee! And sing a song and dance a jig and pet some kitties! He’ll be fine! Bailey sees Sarah and Elliot being romantic together and gets jealous, since Sarah doesn’t have to deal with a bratty seven-year-old.

Griffin finally arrives, blaming the bruise Howard left him on a belligerent customer. Natalie says she feels bad, which Annie interprets as guilty, but she actually feels nauseous. Julia confronts Griffin, saying she doesn’t believe his story. He’s an hour late, and the incident he described wouldn’t have taken that long. He admits that he’s having some problems with someone he borrowed money from.

Claudia interrupts to ask what she should tell the impatient guests. Then she runs off to find out why Natalie’s yelling. Well, Claud, it’s because she locked herself in the bathroom. As Bailey’s trying to find a tool to free Natalie, Sarah comments that she has a bit of a knack for drawing attention to herself. “You don’t see it, do you?” she says. Ross tries to distract/calm Natalie with the song “High Hopes.” The guests join in as Claudia films everything.

Charlie slips off by himself, and when Nina finds him, she remarks that she guesses the coffee didn’t work. He angrily tells her that he doesn’t have a hangover, he has cancer. He doesn’t think she gets that, or she gets it so much that she’s trying to cover up her fear. Charlie suspects that she’s in denial. Nina encourages him to tell his family that he’s sick today, but Charlie doesn’t want to ruin the wedding. Which…is already ruined, but it’s a good thought.

Julia and Griffin are still discussing his money problems, which she’s shocked to hear have been going on for a couple months. He says he was protecting her, but that doesn’t make her feel better. Griffin thinks she should have trusted him. He complains that Julia always expects him to screw things up. If Howard hadn’t punched him, Griffin would have gotten away with handling everything alone and Julia never would have found out.

Instead of dumping Griffin right then and there for bragging that he would have been able to keep her in the dark about their finances, Julia tells him that since they’re married, they need to be in everything together. She’s been happy for months and he’s been miserable, so “it doesn’t count.” She doesn’t get how they can go down and recite vows in front of everyone when the first time around meant nothing.

Meanwhile, Nina tries to rally Charlie, who has realized that she’s not going to stick around while he’s going through treatment. She asks for some time to get used to things, and to wait and see what happens. He tells her that he needs a decision now – he wouldn’t be able to handle her leaving in the middle of his treatment. Charlie says that there are things you do for people you like, and things you do for people you love. If Nina can’t deal, she needs to leave now.

Another cake arrives while firefighters try to free Natalie from the bathroom. Ross is still singing, this time “Climb Every Mountain” from The Sound of Music. The firefighters take the door off to get Natalie out. Charlie’s like, “This isn’t even the worst thing I’m dealing with right now.” Claudia retrieves Julia and Griffin, and the ceremony finally begins. Charlie tells Julia that he hopes this is everything she wanted. Griffin and Julia skip their personal vows and go for the traditional ones. Not that it really matters, since he’s already broken the “for richer or for poorer” part.

After the festivities are over, Bailey asks Julia about the vows, but she doesn’t explain. He apologizes for Natalie’s behavior, but not for bringing her without asking, which is really the problem. At this point I don’t think Julia really cares, though. She knows Bailey likes Annie, but she doesn’t get their relationship. He notes that Julia and Griffin aren’t the most conventional couple either, but they work. Charlie sees Nina out, asking her why she’s able to nurse birds back to health but can’t handle sticking around for a human in need. “They’re just birds, Charlie,” she tells him.

Griffin promises Julia that things will change, but they might have to make some sacrifices, such as moving out of their nice apartment. Julia knows that she’ll need to get a paying job. Griffin worries that they won’t make it, which is possibly the smartest thing he’s ever said. Julia thinks they will, since they love each other, but he points out that all failed couples start out in love. She refuses to let them become a statistic. Things are bad now, but they can be optimistic about the future. They just need to decide that they’ll make it. They stand at their altar, holding hands, and when she asks if he believes they’ll make it, he says, “I do.”

Thoughts: Hey, Annie, just because Natalie wants to go to a wedding doesn’t mean she gets to go. Get a sitter.

Julia being excited to see Ross is adorable. I don’t know why, it just is.

I like Julia’s dress. It’s nice enough for a fancy occasion, but not so much that it would have been ridiculously expensive for a second wedding.

Hilariously, while Ross is singing, you can hear Natalie in the background, begging for a different song.

There’s, like, an entire orchestra at the wedding. How much money did Charlie spend on this thing?

February 8, 2014

Party of Five 4.5, Fight or Flight: Birds of a Feather

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

I'm Sarah. I hate everyone now, apparently

I’m Sarah. I hate everyone now, apparently

Summary: It’s the day after the museum gala, and Julia doesn’t want to go to work and face Daniel. Griffin tries to cheer her up with a new dress (which he paid for with what money?). Julia reluctantly wears it, even though it shows a bit of skin. Sarah’s having car trouble, and when Bailey tries to help her, she yells at him for not knowing what he’s doing. Annie drives by and offers to give Bailey a ride. Sorry, Sarah, you’ll have to fend for yourself. Conveniently, Annie needs a favor: extra time to pay her rent this month.

Owen and Nina go to a fish place with Charlie so he can get fish for the restaurant. Owen has clearly hit it off with Nina. They find a bird stuck in a net, and Nina helps it. Bailey loans Annie some supplies so she can paint her apartment, and while he’s visiting, he chats with her daughter, Natalie. He talks about something he learned in school about how people in villages help each other. Annie catches on that he wants to give her money to help her pay her rent. She refuses to accept it, but Bailey insists.

Charlie and Nina go to her wildlife refuge, where she tells him that they’ve gotten a huge grant for research in China. She’ll have to go over there for a few weeks. It turns out the money Bailey loaned Annie isn’t his – it’s his and Sarah’s. She was going to use the money to fix her car. She demands that Bailey go get the money back; when he says no, she starts to go herself. Bailey tells her that there are a bunch of tenants who need repairs, so they’ll just use Griffin’s plan from last week to do the work and make the money the landlord would have paid an outsider.

Charlie takes the bird Nina found home with him, which is weird. He won’t let her or Owen name it in case things don’t work out. Really, though, he’s worried that Nina’s trip to China will mean the end of their relationship. Julia wears her new dress to work but covers it up with a sweater. Daniel tells her that she’s being let go for performance issues. Of course, Julia isn’t an idiot, and she knows it’s because she rejected him. She threatens to spread the news, so Daniel’s forced to keep her around, but instead of letting her actually work, he sends her on personal errands.

Claudia finds a feather in Thurber’s mouth, so I guess that bird’s not sticking around. Charlie tries to explain the bird’s supposed death to Owen, but it’s a thinly veiled lecture on how relationships don’t always work out. He wraps it up by saying that he’s always right. Not in this instance, though – the bird’s still alive. Julia attempts to be professional at work, but Daniel’s a cranky little boy. Since most of the employees have left, he tells her to leave, too; he can’t trust her not to take advantage while they’re alone.

Nina visits Charlie at the restaurant, and he finally tells her that he’s upset that she’s leaving the country. But it turns out the grant didn’t come through, so she’s staying. Charlie can’t help being happy over her professional failure. Nina admits that she’s not that sad about it. He berates himself for always expecting something bad to happen. Then part of the ceiling falls down. Julia comes home from work shaken but doesn’t tell Griffin what she’s upset about.

Bailey and Annie return to the apartment building together after an AA meeting, and it looks like there’s some attraction there. Sarah welcomes Bailey home with the news that Annie hasn’t paid her rent in three months – she owes the landlord $2,000. She probably used the same sob story on Bailey as she did on the landlord. Sarah chastises him for thinking he knows Annie because they’re in AA together.

Griffin has a sleepless night worrying about Julia, who still won’t tell him what’s wrong at work. He encourages her to quit if things are so bad. She just tells him not to worry about her, which almost always means, “You should be worrying about me.” Bailey confronts Annie about her rent situation, but she says it’s not his business. He corrects her, since he gave her a big chunk of money. Annie explains that her divorce left her pretty poor, but she’s working on getting to a good place financially.

The restaurant has big roof problems, and Charlie will have to close it for a couple weeks while it’s being fixed. It’ll also cost $4,000. At their apartment, Sarah shows Bailey the eviction notice they’ve been asked to give to Annie. Bailey begs her to stall by pretending that they didn’t get the notice. They just need to give Annie some time to come up with the money. Sarah doesn’t want to risk her job and their home for someone else. She admits that she doesn’t like Annie, and she doesn’t like the time Bailey’s been spending with her.

Claudia and Nina play hide and seek with Owen at the restaurant while the workers fix the roof. Basically, we’re just supposed to see how awesome Nina is and how much she and the kids like each other. Charlie’s upset that she’s distracting the workers from their job. He’s tired of her turning bad things into good things all the time. Sarah goes to Annie’s apartment to deliver the eviction notice, but only Natalie’s awake. She’s pretty cute, so now Sarah feels bad.

Griffin goes to the museum to ask Daniel why Julia’s been so upset at work. Daniel just says that Griffin should tell his wife to wear his wedding ring and stop giving the wrong signals. Griffin attacks him. Julia breaks up the fight and takes the blame. Griffin accuses her of leading Daniel on and then getting mad when he rejected her. She tells him that he came on to her. Griffin doesn’t get why she would defend him then. Julia admits that she was just eager to get the job, so she let Daniel think what he wanted to think.

Annie tells Bailey that she’s being evicted, but he has a solution: The landlord violated the lease by not fixing her wiring and plumbing. She needs to write a letter to the rent control board and tell them everything the landlord has done wrong. It’ll delay the eviction process long enough to allow her to get the money she owes.

Julia apologizes to Daniel for Griffin’s behavior, and he tells her that they need to work on their self-control. She points out that he’s responsible, too. She flirted to get the job, but he gave her the job because he wanted to flirt. Now she’s quitting. Daniel tells her to stop being dramatic and return to being a regular docent. She wasn’t qualified to work for him anyway. After all, she only has a high school diploma. (Because being his assistant would normally require a working knowledge of quantum physics and calculus?)

Annie thanks Sarah for her and Bailey’s advice about writing to the rent control board, not realizing that it was just Bailey’s advice. Sarah’s not thrilled that she gets to stay. Annie thinks the two of them are dating. Charlie goes to the wildlife refuge to talk to Nina, but they end up fighting over how she’s always optimistic and he’s always pessimistic. He challenges her to find a silver lining in his roof problem. She points out that they could have taken a vacation while it was being fixed. Charlie clearly hadn’t thought of that.

Sarah tells Bailey that she knows what he did for Annie. Then she asks straight out if he’s in love with her. If he’s not, why would he do so many nice things for her? Bailey assures her that they’re just friends. (You know, for now.) Julia goes to Griffin’s garage to try to patch things up, and he asks if she’s unhappy with their marriage. She tells him that she likes her job, but she feels so young compared to everyone else. She’s learning a lot about adulthood that she didn’t know before.

Bailey helps Annie paint her apartment, which I’m surprised she’s allowed to do when she was days away from having to move out. Now that Annie knows Bailey’s single, and Sarah’s put the idea in his head that he might be in love with her, they can act on their barely measurable sexual tension and make out. Julia greets a tour group at the museum and is surprised to see that Griffin’s there. She introduces herself as Julia Holbrook. Nina and Owen release the bird she found, which I guess is a metaphor for something, but I don’t know or care what.

Thoughts: Sarah wears a flannel shirt while listening to Sheryl Crow, so she is Queen of the ’90s.

I knew the building Bailey and Sarah live in seemed shady. Seriously, they hired an 18-year-old student to be in charge of stuff like collecting rent checks and making repairs. The landlord’s probably pocketing all that rent money.

Hold up. “I flirted to get what I wanted, but you’re the jerk for returning the flirting.” You’re both jerks! Also, that was flirting?

I didn’t realize Sarah was so against helping people. She’s all, “A poor, single, alcoholic mother is about to be evicted? Why should I care?” The quality of mercy is not Sarah.