May 9, 2015

Party of Five 6.19, Isn’t It Romantic: Indecent Proposals

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 1:08 pm by Jenn

I bet Daphne made these

I bet Daphne made these

Summary: Apparently Adam has gone to an artists’ colony in Mexico, but Julia isn’t mad, since the stuff he said about her not doing things for herself was true. Claudia’s surprised that she’s stopped working on her book. Julia says it just has problems and people don’t get it; otherwise, it would have been published. The sisters suddenly spot Ned and everything goes into slow motion. They leave before he can see them.

Bailey has signed up for three classes but is now considering going back to school full-time. He’s thinking of going to Stanford, which is where Holly wants to go to med school. She tells him she’s probably not going to be able to go after all – she has to work full-time to pay her rent, but that violates her student visa, which has now been revoked. After exams in a few weeks, she has to go back to England. Holly’s optimistic that her lawyer will work things out for her.

Kirsten makes Charlie breakfast in bed to commemorate the first anniversary of the day they got back together. Charlie’s too overworked to remember the anniversary. He offers to skip a meeting that night so they can celebrate. Claudia encourages Victor and Ross to talk, since Ross knows a little about custody issues, and Victor now wants custody of his daughter, Charlotte. Victor quickly catches on that Claudia’s trying to hook them up. He notes that he and Ross aren’t automatically compatible just because they’re both gay.

Holly’s lawyer doesn’t have good news for her, and she can’t think of any other options to keep her in the U.S. Bailey suggests a green-card marriage. Holly doesn’t want to put any pressure on their relationship, since they haven’t been back together that long. Plus, they could get caught lying. Bailey says that people only get caught when they don’t love each other. Holly can start keeping some of her things at his house, and everything else will stay the same.

Julia’s jumpy knowing that Ned’s in town, and she’s considering being proactive by going to see him before he can ambush her. Griffin hears her and Claudia talking and objects to the idea of Julia visiting him. Julia insists that he’s not going to hurt her, but Griffin notes that she’s scared anyway. He tries to get her to promise not to see Ned. Charlie and Kirsten’s romantic evening is interrupted when Daphne and Diana show up a week ahead of schedule. Daphne says they may be back in town for good.

Julia ignores Griffin’s concerns and goes to see Ned, blasting him for taking away a year of her life. After only about a minute, she leaves. Daphne tells Kirsten that Luke travels a lot and there’s nothing to do where they live, so she decided to come for a visit. She wonders how Charlie and Kirsten find time for each other. Kirsten admits that she’s not sure how she manages to be as patient as marriage requires her to be.

Bailey calls for information on getting married, pretending he’s looking for a fishing license when Will walks in. Will’s not as dumb as he used to be, and he easily figures out that Bailey wants to marry Holly so she can get a green card. Bailey insists that he’s only being helpful; he doesn’t really want to get married. Will’s happy that Bailey has finally made a solid decision about something. If he felt the way Bailey does about Holly, he’d get married, too.

Claudia’s matchmaking has been half successful, as Ross is now interested in Victor. Claudia tries to let him down easy, telling him that Victor would rather stumble across a guy he likes than be set up. Kirsten tries to talk to Charlie about Daphne, but he doesn’t think they should worry about her. She just needs to be patient while Luke gets settled. Kirsten feels bad that Daphne’s alone with Diana in a place she doesn’t see as home. She doesn’t think Daphne will stay at the base long if Luke keeps traveling.

Holly’s annoyed to learn that Bailey discussed their marriage with Will. He tells her to relax – this could be fun! There’s almost no chance the INS will catch on! This is a totally brilliant, not-at-all-risky plan! Bailey thinks a honeymoon will be a good way to convince the INS that they’re a legitimate married couple.

Ned goes to the Salingers’ to apologize to Julia, telling her that his abuse landed him in jail for two weeks. He’s trying to become a better person, and has made a vow not to date anyone until he’s sure he won’t hurt her. He wishes people would stop looking at him like he’s a monster. Julia points out that it’s not up to her to make him feel more human. Griffin walks in and chases Ned off.

Ross tries to chat with Victor when he comes to the house to meet Claudia, who claims she forgot he was coming. Ross calls Victor on saying Ross wasn’t his type because he’s too smart and sweet for him. He thinks Victor has the wrong idea about love – working for it is hard, but it’s worth it. After all, he worked hard to adopt his daughter, and he doesn’t love anyone more than her.

Luke makes a surprise visit to San Francisco with the news that he wants to be home more. Charlie admits to Kirsten that he got Luke to see what Daphne needed. Kirsten isn’t impressed – she needs Charlie to make the same kinds of promises about being home more. Otherwise she’ll feel like a single mother, too.

Griffin thinks Julia’s crazy for wanting to talk to Ned, but she wants to forgive him. She thinks that will help her forgive herself. After all, she did love Ned, and she wants to feel like that wasn’t the wrong decision. Griffin thinks that forgiveness will make Ned believe that his abuse was okay. Holly tells Bailey that she appreciates him for coming up with a solution to her problems, and she loves him, but she can’t marry him. She doesn’t want a relationship where they’re confused about what’s real.

Julia finds a website for victims of abuse where people can share stories of their experiences. She wants to upload her book so people can read it. She’s added an afterword about seeing Ned again, and now thinks the book is “good enough.” She thinks it’s ready, and hers is the only opinion that matters. Claudia runs into Victor at a coffee shop and apologizes for trying to fix him up with Ross. Then she spots Ross and realizes that the two of them have decided to go on a date after all.

Charlie comes home from work early and promises Kirsten that he’ll work shorter hours a few nights a week. She doesn’t think he’ll be able to keep that promise. Thanks, Kirsten! Will has a proposal for Bailey and Holly: He’ll marry Holly so she can get her green card without jeopardizing her relationship with Bailey. Holly agrees to this, clearly not having thought this through. Julia gets positive feedback about her book, from women who are happy to have someone to relate to. One woman says that now that she can count on herself, she’s never alone.

Thoughts: How is Victor single, though? He’s such a catch!

“Person I abused, don’t you feel sympathy for me?” Go away, Ned.

“I know I told you that you should take over the factory, but now I’m mad that you did.” You go away, too, Kirsten.

November 15, 2014

Party of Five 5.19, Judgment Day: Disorder in the Court

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:30 pm by Jenn

The judge. Wait, that can't be right

The judge. Wait, that can’t be right

Summary: Things are chaotic at the Salinger house, because Charlie is the only adult and we’re all supposed to think Owen would be better living with Bailey. Kirsten announces that she’s found a place to live. Griffin’s also planning to find a place, though now Charlie’s okay with him staying, since he’s been trying to help Julia. Just as everything calms down, Charlie receives a subpoena: Bailey’s suing for custody of Owen.

Julia’s been hanging out at the house a lot, and when she realizes just how many times she’s had dinner there recently, she decides that she should stop avoiding school so much. Sarah complains to Bailey that his lawyer interrogated her at his office, even though she’s on his side. Bailey worries that she’s not on his side anymore. She admits that she doesn’t think suing Charlie is the best option. Her parents’ divorce was barely contentious but still went horribly. Sarah warns that Charlie might never forgive Bailey for his actions. Bailey’s more concerned with what Owen needs.

Griffin tours an apartment, not knowing that Kirsten’s always interested in it. The landlords are a married couple, and each offer the place to Griffin and Kirsten. Julia runs into Ned, who sends her on a guilt trip by telling her that Richie asked about her. She tells him to stop acting like things are normal. They’re over, and she won’t give in to his attempts to manipulate her. Ned seems to think that Julia will change her mind about him in time.

Charlie goes to the restaurant to confront Bailey for suing him. He can’t afford a lawyer to counter the suit, but he thinks Bailey would lose in court anyway. Bailey suggests that they hire a judge to mediate, which means neither of them would need a lawyer. Charlie doesn’t have much of a choice, since there’s a subpoena. He wonders when Bailey decided that beating him was more important than anything else.

All of the Salingers except Owen attend the mediation, where Owen’s teacher testifies about the help he needs to deal with his dyslexia. Charlie says that he didn’t follow the teacher’s suggestions because he wanted a second opinion. Bailey accuses him of trying to hide from the truth. Claudia speaks about Charlie’s schedule and how much she helps around the house. Julia’s upset that Bailey put something in the court records about Charlie’s cancer and follow-up treatments.

The judge asks if Charlie has the time to help Owen with his learning disability. Claudia admits that he doesn’t, and she wouldn’t be able to help enough to give him the time he needs. Kirsten and Griffin both arrive at the courthouse to testify and decide not to insert themselves in the drama. They mention that they’ve both found a great place to live, and that they’d like to move on from their current lives.

Kirsten objects to testifying against Charlie, blasting Bailey for making her come. The judge asks if Charlie ever discussed a plan for how he would raise Claudia, Owen, and Diana on his own if Daphne ever left. Griffin admits that Charlie has more on his plate than he can handle. Someone from Social Services testifies that things at the house are chaotic. He’s also surprised to hear that Owen broke his arm; they’re supposed to be notified of serious injuries.

During a break, Julia complains to Claudia about how the whole session is people attacking Charlie. Claudia thought she knew that was how things would go. Ned shows up (and how did he know Julia was there?) to announce that he’s seeing the counselor he and Julia saw together, and is willing to take full responsibility for everything bad if it means he gets her back. Julia continues to refuse, telling Ned to leave.

Bailey points out that Charlie’s been complaining about having to take care of the family from the minute he moved back home after their parents’ death. Julia notes that that was a long time ago. Charlie thinks he’s what’s best for Owen – he’s the only father Owen has had for the past five years. Bailey points out that Owen wants him, not Charlie. Julia tells Bailey to stop. Charlie admits that he hated giving up his own life, but he did give it up. Now he has a life of his own – Diana – and Bailey’s punishing him for it. By turning on him, everyone’s taking away his new life.

Back in court the next day, Claudia and Julia tell Bailey that Charlie hasn’t talked to either of them since they left the day before. Sarah testifies that Bailey has a lot of time to spend with Owen, Bailey’s been working hard with him, and they have room for Owen in their apartment. The judge focuses on the fact that Sarah’s a 19-year-old college student with no childcare experience beyond babysitting. Bailey thinks Charlie spoke to the judge about this on his own.

Kirsten starts moving into her new apartment, which is also apparently Griffin’s new apartment. Someone testifies about the safety of the neighborhood where Bailey lives, which is reasonable, because of all that stuff with Albert. Julia testifies about Bailey dropping out of college. Then Bailey’s alcoholism comes up, as well as how Sarah was injured when Bailey got his DUI. The social worker returns to state that they don’t like to remove kids from their homes unless things are horrible, since changing a residence can be traumatic.

Griffin wants Kirsten to take the apartment, which was a little too expensive for him anyway. She agrees to let him stay until he finds another place to live. They agree not to talk about the Salingers since they’re trying so hard to move on. At Stanford, Julia spots Ned talking to another girl and pretends she’s fine with it. Bailey thinks he’s going to lose the case, so he wants to make Owen testify that he wants to be with Bailey. Claudia and Sarah chastise him for dragging a five-year-old into their family’s mess.

Julia goes back to counseling, admitting that she feels tempted to go back to Ned. She asks if he’s making progress, and the counselor asks how he would know. He says he can’t comment on another patient’s treatment, even if say if he’s in treatment. Julia realizes that Ned lied about going back to counseling.

Owen goes in to meet with the judge, begging Bailey to stop the process. Bailey assures him that everything’s okay and no one’s fighting. He realizes how bad things are, sending Owen home with Sarah. Charlie mocks that Bailey’s just putting on a performance as a caring father because he knows he can’t win. Bailey yells that it took a subpoena to make Charlie realize that Owen needed more attention. “I’m not the one who lost his kid in the mall! I’m not the one who knocked up some stripper!” he says.

The judge announces that she’s already made a decision. If she could, she’d give Owen a break from both brothers, but instead she’s going to send him to live with Bailey. Of course, Charlie handles this badly. Bailey tells him that he only did this to get Charlie to realize that he can’t give Owen what he needs. At Stanford, Julia runs into Ned again, and he tells her he’s not going to press her to get back together, but he’d like to be friends. She agrees to hang out that night.

At the house, Charlie hears Owen on the phone with Bailey, telling him how well he did on a school assignment. He pretends he wasn’t talking to Bailey, but Charlie assures him it’s okay. Griffin helps Kirsten move into her apartment while they talk about how much the Salingers try to take care of each other. They kick themselves for talking about the Salingers while trying to move on. Griffin things they need to avoid each other to really move on. At home, Charlie urges Owen to tell him whatever he needs, even if it’s something that might make him mad.

Ned goes to Julia’s dorm room, where the counselor is waiting for him. Julia reveals that she called the school and the police to report Ned’s abuse. If he comes near her again, he’ll be charged with assault. She also called his family so they can make sure he gets help. After Julia saw Ned with the other girl, she wanted to make sure he doesn’t hurt anyone else. Ned wants to say something, but she tells him that no one’s listening.

Charlie and Bailey meet to hand off Owen, but Charlie doesn’t want to have a conversation with his brother yet. At school, Julia starts to eat by herself in the cafeteria, then asks to sit with a group of people. Charlie takes care of Diana while Bailey takes care of Owen, having finally gotten what he’s been fighting for.

Thoughts: The judge is played by Roxanne Hart, who’s been in a ton of stuff, and whose name makes me think of Roxie Hart. Hence the picture for this recap.

Kirsten’s apartment is way too nice for a place Griffin could afford. It’s also probably big enough for two people. It’s like an entire floor of a house.

Can’t Owen just hang out with Bailey more while still living with Charlie? This whole thing is so dumb. The judge’s decision makes no sense to me.

Aww, Griffin and Kirsten are sweet as friends. They do need to leave the Salingers behind, though.

Good for Julia. Unlike some people on this show, she makes good decisions.

November 8, 2014

Party of Five 5.18, Driven to Extremes: Changes of Mind

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

By the way, Maggie drives a VW Beetle, so Ned was driving Julia around in a Punch Buggy. Sigh

By the way, Maggie drives a VW Beetle, so Ned was driving Julia around in a Punch Buggy. Sigh

Summary: Claudia visits Griffin at work to let him know that he was right about Ned abusing Julia. She fills him in on the events of “Fam-i-ly,” adding that Julia’s not talking to anyone in the family. Claudia wants Griffin to do something, but he knows that’s a dead end. She yells at him for letting Julia stay where she is and get hurt. Griffin replies that Julia has to make her own decisions now, even if it means she continues to be abused.

Bailey meets with a lawyer to discuss becoming Owen’s guardian. The lawyer points out that Bailey’s live will be examined to determine whether he’s a fit guardian. Bailey’s like, “Nothing bad will come up!… Oh, wait. DUI. Forgot about that.” The lawyer doesn’t think he’ll be able to get custody. He encourages Bailey to talk to Charlie and change his mind without taking the situation to court.

Ned’s annoyed to hear that Julia has plans to spend some time with Maggie. She promises that she’s not going to leave him like Maggie did. She understands his problems and knows he’s working on them. Ned has to be reassured that no one’s going to change Julia’s mind about being with him. Bailey asks Claudia to pick a side between him and Charlie – or, more accurately, he asks her to side with him. Of course, Claudia doesn’t want to give a vote.

Charlie walks in and challenges Bailey to call him a bad parent to his face. He agrees that Owen has problems, but blames Bailey. Claudia says that Owen didn’t start acting out until Diana came along. Not that that means it’s Charlie’s fault, of course. Charlie says that if Bailey wants to know who Owen’s guardian is, he can talk to a lawyer. Bailey says he did. Charlie’s angry that Bailey’s seemingly taking steps to break up the family.

Maggie and Julia head to a museum, stopping at a gas station on the way. When Maggie leaves to go inside, Griffin jumps in the car and drives off with Julia. He tells her he’s just taking her somewhere to talk, and Maggie and Claudia helped him arrange things. Griffin basically says he didn’t want to get involved, but he couldn’t ignore Claudia and Maggie’s pleas. Then he brings up Jill, who also never wanted help, until she was so far into using drugs that she was beyond help.

Bailey turns to Kirsten as a potential ally, but Kirsten, like Claudia, doesn’t want to choose sides. She’s determined to figure out her own life apart from the Salingers. Bailey asks her to look at Owen’s tests as a child-development specialist, but she knows he’s trying to start a custody battle with Charlie. She warns that that would do more damage to Owen than he’s facing from a learning disability.

Ned surprises Maggie in her dorm room, and she tells him Julia’s still at the museum. “You know Julia – she doesn’t know when to quit,” she says. Ned spotted Maggie alone at the cafeteria and wants to know where his girlfriend is and who she’s with. Maggie sticks to the museum story. Ned insists that everything’s fine with his relationship, and he’s totally not worried about where Julia is, or whether she’s with someone who might talk her into leaving him.

Griffin and Julia’s car (well, Maggie’s car) breaks down in what appears to be San Francisco’s only desert. She tells Griffin to go walk for help while she waits in the car. She replies that he can’t tell her what to do anymore. Griffin protests that he was ever able to tell her what to do – Julia always did whatever she wanted. Maybe she was “looking for someone to beat the selfishness right out of [her].”

Charlie’s called to Owen’s school after Owen gets in a fight, and undergoes scrutiny from Owen’s teacher about whether he’s doing his recommended three hours of reading a night. Charlie hasn’t been, since he thinks Owen feels stupid for having to take so long to do something his friends do so easily. He thinks they’re labeling Owen. The teacher says Owen’s friends are the ones labeling him. Owen confirms this to Charlie, adding that fighting must be an appropriate way to deal with things since Charlie and Bailey fight all the time.

Julia flags down a passing car while Griffin’s off getting help, but the guy isn’t interested in helping her once she makes him think Griffin’s still around. Owen gets frustrated while doing homework, and Charlie finally sees the extent of his reading problems. Julia catches up to Griffin and complains that everyone sees Ned as a monster. Griffin challenges his love for someone he hits. He adds that even if Julia thinks Ned has changed, he’ll go back to his abuse. He thinks Julia stays with him because he takes care of her, so she doesn’t have to take care of herself.

Julia turns the conversation back to Griffin, wondering why he hangs around, getting involved in the Salingers’ problems, a year after they broke up. Griffin says he gave up their life together so she could have what she wants. Now he feels horrible because she chose Ned over him. They finally make it to a phone, and Griffin taunts that Julia probably wants to call Ned before they call to get a ride. Julia says that Griffin doesn’t know her and never did, “you don’t know me” being the go-to line for an unwinnable argument.

Kirsten goes to the Salingers’ pretending she wants to ask Charlie how Owen’s doing. She admits that Bailey gave her Owen’s tests, and she thinks he has a serious problem. She’s staying out of the brothers’ battle but does want to help Owen. Charlie has talked to some sort of expert and has bought Owen a bike to help him with hand/eye coordination and confidence. Kirsten’s like, “Yeah, that’ll help him with his reading. Good job.” Charlie thinks giving Owen more attention will fix everything.

Ned goes to get Julia, yelling at Griffin to stay away from his girlfriend. Poor Griffin has to keep waiting for a ride because Ned’s a jerk. Claudia goes to the restaurant to tell Bailey how screwed up everything is now with the family. Bailey tells her he’s only fighting Charlie because he truly believes he knows what’s best for Owen. Claudia’s more concerned with Julia’s situation, and how her brothers are too distracted to do anything for her.

Julia tells Ned that nothing happened with Griffin; he just wanted to talk. Ned thinks they should call the police for kidnapping her. Julia insists that they just went for a drive, and refuses to let Ned do anything. Bailey tells Sarah that he’s worried that Kirsten’s right about how his fighting with Charlie is going to affect Owen. He wanted to help his brother, but now he doesn’t feel comfortable going to the house. Bailey wants to find a better way to do things.

Charlie takes Owen to the park to ride his new bike, but he’s distracted by Diana and isn’t watching when Owen tries to ride on his own. Owen heads toward the parking lot and falls, hurting his arm. Ned tries to get Julia to skip a study group to spend time with him. Julia objects, so Ned passive-aggressively, then straight-out aggressively, tells her to call her classmate to say she’ll be there. Then he whines that Julia’s mad at him and complains that she made him drive out to get her the previous night. Julia gives in.

Bailey, Sarah, and Claudia meet Charlie at the hospital, where Owen’s treated for a broken arm. Bailey thinks Owen’s injury is proof that Charlie can’t parent two kids at once. He says that everyone else can see that Owen needs more than Charlie can give him. Ned arranges a romantic night for him and Julia, but it’s ruined when Maggie shows up. Julia called her to take her away from Ned. Ned’s angry, of course, but can’t do anything without proving everyone right about him.

At the house, Charlie asks Claudia if she’s on Bailey’s side. Claudia says that she, Bailey, and Julia had three people raising them – their parents and Charlie. Then the three older Salingers took care of Claudia and Owen. Now Owen just has Charlie, and his focus is split because of Diana. Single parents everywhere yell at their TVs.

Maggie takes Julia to their former shared room, wishing she’d been brave enough to warn Julia about Ned. She’s happy Griffin got through to her, but Julia says he didn’t. She thought she would be safe from bad things if she chose a life with Ned. Instead, she lost herself. The next day, Bailey goes back to his lawyer with x-rays, arguing that Owen’s not safe with Charlie. He wants to move forward with a custody case.

Thoughts: Griffin mentions the Salingers’ cabin in Tahoe. They still have that? Shouldn’t they have sold it to pay bills or tuition or something?

Owen’s school nickname is Slowen. Kids are awful.

Has Owen’s school never heard of resource classes? I think that’s what they’re called. All through my school years, there was a resource room where kids who needed extra help with certain subjects could get one-on-one attention and extra time. That’s exactly what Owen needs.

Hey, Kirsten, you don’t live at the Salingers’ anymore. Try knocking instead of letting yourself in. P.S. Your hair finally looks nice.

I have to say, I appreciate that a show featuring college students shows them actually doing schoolwork.

So after all the fights with and warnings from her family and Griffin, Julia just randomly sees the light? That’s anticlimactic.

November 1, 2014

Party of Five 5.17, Fam-i-ly: One of Us! One of Us!

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 1:33 pm by Jenn

Creeeeeeepy

Creeeeeeepy

Summary: Claudia’s reading to Owen in her old tent, which Bailey objects to; he should be working on his dyslexia by doing the reading himself. Charlie’s willing to let Bailey take Owen after school to help him with his homework, but Bailey says that’s not the best time for him to work. The brothers start fighting, disagreeing about whether Owen should be retested, and a program Bailey thinks Owen should be part of. He says again that he thinks Owen should be living with him. Charlie refuses to ever let that happen. Owen hears the whole fight.

Julia and Ned are at their new apartment, since she’s not really allowed to be anywhere else. Claudia has left multiple messages on the answering machine, desperate to talk to her sister about what’s going on with their brothers. Ned hangs up on her, telling Julia to call her family if she really wants to be involved with their problems. Claudia tells Charlie about how distant Julia’s been, and how she wouldn’t answer even when Owen called. Charlie tells her to leave Julia out of it, and let Owen talk to him if he’s upset.

Just then, Julia arrives and promises that everything’s fine. She offers to help out with the kids for the day and stay for dinner. Bailey tells Sarah he’s set up a meeting with a social worker so he can argue that Owen would be better off with them. Sarah has plans with her mother, who’s getting remarried and has just cut non-immediate family from the wedding. On her way to meet her, Sarah stops by the Salingers’ with drums for Owen; Bailey thinks they’ll help him with phonics. (South Park covered that.) Charlie questions whether she’s really willing to commit to help raising Owen.

Julia goes to the restaurant to talk things over with Bailey; she’s on Team Charlie, since he has experience raising kids. Bailey doesn’t care what she thinks – she’s not actually involved. He thinks she just came to town because it was “convenient.” When she moved home last year, when Charlie was sick, Julia felt stuck. Now she’s home to give her vote, but Bailey doesn’t think she deserves one.

Sarah’s nervous about her mother marrying into another family full of people Sarah doesn’t know (her stepfather-to-be has three children). Mrs. Reeves likes the idea of giving Sarah siblings for the first time. She’ll have family if anything happens to her parents. Julia tries to talk to Charlie about Owen; now she’s edging toward Team Bailey, knowing how difficult it was for Charlie to take care of everyone last year. Charlie thinks she’s encouraging him to quit after running the family for five years. “Quitting’s sort of your MO, not mine,” he snaps.

Julia goes back to school and tells Ned all about her mess of a family. He gives her a picture of the two of them, calling it a big step in their relationship. Claudia calls again, and when Julia doesn’t answer, she tells Charlie she’s going to cut school and go to Stanford. Unfortunately, a social worker is at the house for a surprise visit. He reveals to Charlie that Bailey visited to express concerns over Owen’s living situation.

Claudia does, indeed, cut school to track down Julia at Stanford. Maggie’s there to hear Claudia’s list of concerns: Julia’s distanced herself and become quiet. Julia insists that she just wants to avoid home because no one cares about her opinion. Sarah’s future stepsister, Sally, is working on a family tree and asks Sarah to help fill in her mother’s side. Sally is excited to be getting a new family, but Sarah’s still hesitant.

Charlie confronts Bailey for calling a social worker, who could take Owen away from both of them. Bailey promises that he just wanted to ask some questions; he didn’t make any accusations. Charlie says that if anything happens to tear the family apart, he’ll blame Bailey. While visiting Julia to borrow some notes, Maggie brings up what Claudia said about Julia’s recent behavior. She knows it all stems from Julia’s relationship with Ned. Julia plays dumb, then asks Maggie to stay out of her business.

Maggie then goes to the Salingers’ house and tells Charlie and Claudia that she thinks Julia’s in major trouble. She tells them about her own relationship with Ned, and how it mostly seemed fine but was actually abusive. He convinced Maggie that he loved her better than anyone else could. Then one day they had a huge fight and he threw her into a TV – and that wasn’t even the worst thing he did to her. Charlie remembers an injury Griffin mentioned and that Julia downplayed, and Maggie says she had the same experiences.

After Maggie leaves, Charlie calls Bailey over to fill him in. They realize that Griffin was right about Ned the whole time. The brothers decide to go confront Ned, so at least they finally agree on something. Charlie then changes his mind, thinking they should just pull Julia out, since getting into a confrontation with Ned could be dangerous. Bailey accuses him of denying what’s happening so he doesn’t have to admit that they didn’t catch on to their sister’s abusive relationship.

With the guys off on their mission, Sarah’s left to pick up Owen. She winds up taking him to dinner with her mother and stepfamily. Mrs. Reeves thinks this is a bad idea, since they’re all supposed to discuss the wedding, but the stepfamily is very welcoming. Mrs. Reeves complains that the Salingers always call on Sarah to fix their messes. She should be focusing on her family, not someone else’s family.

Charlie and Bailey burst into Julia and Ned’s apartment and order their sister to pack up and come with them. Bailey pulls Ned out of the shower and starts to get violent, but Charlie restrains him and orders Ned to stay in the bathroom. Charlie and Bailey again tell Julia to come with them, but she refuses to let them have a vote in her life when she’s not allowed to have a vote in theirs. Julia insists that Ned’s getting help, and they’re going to make things work: “I’m not quitting on him. Charlie tells Julia that if Ned really loved her, as she says he does, he wouldn’t hit her. Julia sobs, saying that Ned does love her. She kicks her brothers out.

Mrs. Reeves is still upset that Sarah hasn’t spent more time with her soon-to-be-family, but Sarah thinks the choices she’s making are fine. Mrs. Reeves chose Sarah when she adopted her, and Sarah’s choosing the family she wants. Mrs. Reeves realizes that she can’t expect her daughter to respect her choices if Mrs. Reeves doesn’t respect Sarah’s. She tells Sarah to invite Bailey to the wedding.

On their way home, Charlie laments the fact that their father isn’t there to fix things. Bailey thinks Julia’s staying with Ned to prove Charlie wrong; after all, he called her a quitter. He was also super-critical of her and Griffin last year, even though they were working so hard to help out. Bailey taunts that Charlie then turned around and got a stripper pregnant. Charlie pulls the car over to lecture Bailey that their parents wouldn’t approve of any of their choices. He just wants Julia to live up to her potential.

Back at the house, Charlie and Bailey have to tell Claudia and Sarah that Julia admitted there’s a problem but wants to stay with Ned. Now they have to let her figure things out herself. Bailey compares it to his alcoholism – he knew he had a problem but took a long time to realize how bad it was. The family intervened, but he had to hit rock bottom before he got help. Claudia notes that in this instance, rock bottom will probably mean Julia gets hurt.

Owen wakes up from a nightmare and goes straight to Bailey. He asks to sleep over at Bailey’s, where no bad guys can hurt him. After all, Bailey promised he could stay there. Charlie’s mad again, though Bailey insists he only promised to try to let Owen stay with him. Sarah tries to help out, and Charlie tells her to stay out of it. Shut up, Charlie. She calls Charlie on trying to exclude her from the family when she’s just as involved as anyone else.

Outside the house, Sarah laments to Bailey that her mother expects her to already love her new stepfather and his family. She loves the Salingers, and Bailey promises that she’s one of them. Owen asks Claudia if their brothers are mad at him, since he always hears them yelling his name. She assures him that they love him so much, they both want him to live with them. Meanwhile, Charlie puts Diana to bed, probably happy that one person in the family isn’t mad at him.

At Stanford, Julia approaches Maggie and asks how many times Ned hit her. Maggie doesn’t have a number, just saying, “Too many.” She blamed herself until she found out that Ned was also hurting Julia, which made it his fault. When Ned joins them, Julia pretends they were just talking about notes. Then she leaves her friend and goes off with her boyfriend.

Thoughts: Hey, it’s jerky Charlie! Welcome back! Now go away again.

To be fair to him, though, the rest of the family can’t judge his parenting skills based on what happened last year. He had cancer. How was he supposed to take care of everyone else when he couldn’t take care of himself?

Someone owes Griffin an apology. Actually, a lot of people owe him an apology.

Ned and Julia’s apartment has super-high ceilings. So they either live in a cheap apartment with really nice ceilings, or they live in a really nice apartment that they can somehow afford. I don’t know which is less likely.

October 25, 2014

Party of Five 5.16, Party of Freud: What Does Everyone Have Against Therapy?

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

Since Daphne won't go to therapy, Diana will probably be there in 15 years

Since Daphne won’t go to therapy, Diana will probably be there in 15 years

Summary: Julia tracks down Ned after he’s hidden out for a few days in the aftermath of his fight with Griffin. He’s realized that he now knows how Julia felt after he hit her. He’s not sure where his rage comes from. He’s decided that they need to end things. Julia refuses to let him decide that for them; it’s like he’s punishing her for what Griffin did. Ned says he doesn’t want her to get hurt again, and the only way to ensure that is for her to go away.

In L.A., Daphne’s happy to be back with Diana, though she’s worried about the effects of her leaving. Charlie points out that Diana’s too young to get what’s going on or remember that Daphne left. Owen’s teacher calls Bailey in to discuss the possibility that Owen has a learning disability. Bailey wonders if he’s just stressed out about all the changes at home. The teacher wants to test Owen to find out what’s going on.

Charlie calls Kirsten to tell her how great things are going with Daphne. Kirsten’s like, “I’m so glad your awesome life is so awesome. I’m still crashing in your attic, you know.” Claudia hangs out with Griffin, who’s trying to give Julia space. She wonders if he’s still in love with someone who obviously doesn’t care about him anymore. Julia tells Ned that their relationship isn’t over just because he says it is. She walked away from her marriage, and she’s not giving up on another relationship. Ned’s not a bad person, and if he gets help, Julia will stay with him.

Charlie wants to spend more time with Daphne, who has to go to work. She’s not sure what he expects from his visit. Charlie tells her he wants her to come home with him. He thinks they can work through her problems, which stem from her mother abandoning her. Daphne appreciates knowing the truth about her childhood, but she can’t make excuses for who she is. Charlie tells her she’s giving up, and she needs to fix what’s wrong: “You’re not doomed unless you decide to be.” Anything Daphne does from here on is her own fault, not her mother’s.

Ned and Julia see a university therapist, and he admits that he can be abusive. Bailey learns that Owen has a learning disability that can be improved with lots of work. Bailey promises that he’s willing to help his brother. Owen’s teacher invites him to volunteer in the classroom. The therapist tracks Julia down on her own to tell her about a group session she might want to attend with other abused women. Julia declines, denying that she’s a victim of violence – Ned just gets angry, but she’s not afraid of him. The therapist is like, “Yeah, I’ve never heard that before.”

Kirsten decides to go visit her parents for a while, which is probably a really good idea. Claudia thinks Charlie will be disappointed, but Kirsten feels like she’s in the way. She admits that she’s been sitting around, waiting for something to happen that isn’t going to. In L.A., Daphne tells Charlie that she’s decided to go home with him and get therapy. They just have to leave immediately before she changes her mind. Charlie tells her to tie up all loose ends first.

Bailey hangs out in Owen’s classroom, and one of the students tries to fix him up with Owen’s teacher. Owen cutely reminds his brother that he already has a girlfriend. In therapy, Ned discusses his angry father, and how he thinks that’s where his own anger comes from. The therapist points out that anger isn’t the issue – it’s the ability to control anger. Ned doesn’t want to talk about Richie, but the therapist guesses that he showed violence as a child, and their father blamed Ned.

Sarah complains to Bailey that her poetry professor isn’t giving them serious assignments. Bailey doesn’t think he’s the right person to have this discussion with, since he wasn’t so great at school. He knows he was smart, but he didn’t get grades that reflected that. He thinks that’s why he’s so focused on helping Owen. After therapy, Ned complains to Julia that the therapist is twisting things around and making his “temper” problem bigger than it is. He yells at his roommate, then tells Julia he wants to live with her so he doesn’t have to deal with annoying people.

Daphne’s not done tying up her loose ends, and Charlie quickly realizes that she doesn’t want to finish tying them up. She tells him she believed him when he said everything could work out, and that no damage had been done to Diana. Daphne’s putting an end to the “disease” her mother passed on to her, but if she goes home, tries to change, and fails, she’ll have passed the disease on to Diana. She doesn’t want to take the risk. She tells Charlie they need to sever all ties right now.

Bailey takes Owen to school, telling him Charlie will pick him up from the apartment that night. Owen’s not thrilled by that news. Charlie and Diana go home, and Charlie tells Claudia that it’s up to Daphne what happens next. She gives him the news that Kirsten left, thinking Daphne would be coming home. Charlie reacts like everything is totally fine.

Ned goes to his next therapy session alone, not wanting Julia to hear everything about his life. He blames her for making him angry, but the therapist calls him out: “You hit because you’re a hitter.” He tries to get Ned to admit that he’s hurt someone else, since that would mean Julia isn’t to blame. The therapist asks if Ned wants to hurt Julia even worse next time because he’s so out of control. Ned doesn’t, and he agrees to have a real conversation.

Charlie throws Griffin out of the house, ordering him to leave Julia alone. Everything in Charlie’s life is complicated, but this is simple, and has a solution: Griffin beat up Julia’s boyfriend, so he needs to leave. Claudia tries to defend Griffin, but Griffin says Charlie’s right. Bailey tells Sarah that he’d like to raise Owen. Sarah isn’t sure Bailey’s thought this through completely, but Bailey just wants to be there for Owen more than Charlie’s been able to.

Ned finds an apartment for him and Julia, but she’s clearly not that excited about living there. He tells her he’s going to find a way to deal with his anger other than therapy, which just makes his anger worse. It looks like his plan is to just avoid getting angry. Charlie goes to Bailey and Sarah’s to get Owen, and tells them Daphne didn’t come home with him. Bailey comes up with a list of reasons for Owen to spend the night at the apartment. Charlie has no idea what’s going on with Owen and decides it’s not worth arguing over right now.

Griffin packs up to leave the Salingers’ as Claudia promises she’ll keep in touch. Owen’s teacher calls Charlie to talk about Owen, but he doesn’t understand anything she’s talking about. She’s confused until he tells her she’s mistaken him with Bailey. Also, why is Owen seeing a psychologist? Julia and Ned move into their new place, and he tries to get her to agree to stop talking to other people about their problems. (Red alert! Red alert! Isolation is classic abuser behavior!)

Bailey and Charlie meet up at Owen’s school so they can argue about their brother’s problems in front of him. Bailey has accepted that Owen has dyslexia, but Charlie hasn’t. He says his opinion rules because he’s Owen’s guardian. Bailey decides it’s time to announce that he wants to take Owen in. He thinks he also has dyslexia and can work with Owen. Charlie doesn’t have the time or ability to help Owen, but Bailey does. If Charlie wants what’s best for Owen, he’ll let Bailey take him. That’s not exactly the way to approach things, dude.

Thoughts: The therapist is played by Gregory Itzin.

Daphne, please get therapy anyway. “Failure is better” is a horrible way to approach things. You make me sad.

I’d like to hear from Maggie about Ned. She dated him, and before that she knew him for years. I want to know about her experiences with him.

Once again, Claudia has no storyline. I’m surprised Lacey Chabert was willing to stick around to keep doing nothing.

These late-’90s hairstyles aren’t working for me. Please brush your hair, Claudia and Kirsten.

October 18, 2014

Party of Five 5.15, Whatever Works: “Don’t Forget What He Did”

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 2:50 pm by Jenn

Look at those tables turning! Just look at them!

Look at those tables turning! Just look at them!

Summary: Griffin is at Bailey and Sarah’s, telling the two of them and Charlie that Ned is abusing Julia. Charlie and Bailey refuse to believe that that’s possible. Charlie thinks Griffin’s just upset because they’re in the middle of the divorce process. Sarah, however, thinks it’s possible; one of the women in her victim support group was also hiding the signs of her abusive relationship. Bailey decides that they should ask Julia straight out. Meanwhile, Valentine’s Day is coming up, and Ned has something special planned for Julia.

Bailey meets with Sullivan, who’s working on a business deal and wants Bailey to work with him. Charlie’s with a psychiatrist to discuss Daphne; the police report his lawyer gave him revealed that she was abandoned by her mother for 18 months when she was three. He thinks that explains why Daphne had so much trouble connecting to Diana. The psychiatrist agrees. Bailey tells Sarah about Sullivan’s deal, which has something to do with partnerships and new locations. The two of them can’t figure out their schedules for a fancy celebratory lunch, so Bailey has it with Owen.

Claudia goes bowling with Cody and his annoying friends, though she’s not dressed for bowling and clearly wants to be anywhere else. She’s upset that this is Cody’s idea of a date. Charlie tells Kirsten that he feels bad about the things he said to Daphne, since he now knows why she acted the way she did. He thinks it would help her to know what happened to her when she was a kid. Kirsten is skeptical that the information will magically make Daphne want to come back.

Charlie then goes to Julia’s with Bailey so they can talk to her about what Griffin told them. Julia is, unsurprisingly, upset about the accusations and lectures her brothers about getting so involved in her personal life. She tells them that Ned’s always there for her, unlike her busy family and dead parents. Kirsten turns down money from Paul, wanting to get a job and support herself. You know, while she lives in her ex-boyfriend’s house. She tries to get some advice from Charlie, but he’s focused on his plan to go find Daphne.

Bailey’s too busy to meet with Sullivan anywhere than at Owen’s basketball practice. Yes, this is exactly the sort of person Sullivan will want to go into business with. He tells Bailey they need to meet with someone in person to close the deal. Oh, no, Bailey will have to leave Owen for 20 minutes! Cody tries to make up with Claudia by giving her a pick used by a guy who played with Coltrane. He tells her that no one has ever made him feel embarrassed about his friends before; he’s never met someone who made him care that much about how he comes across.

Griffin’s late to sign his divorce papers, and when he arrives, he blasts Julia her for lying to Charlie and Bailey about Ned. He refuses to sign the papers unless Julia promises that she and Ned are over. Julia tries to find away to get divorced without Griffin’s cooperation. Kirsten questions Charlie’s motives for looking for Daphne – does he just want Diana to have her mother back, or does he want to get back together? She warns that he could shake up her world by telling her about her mother. He needs to give things more thought before he jumps in.

Claudia tries to visit Cody at the record store, but he’s been fired for stealing. Yep, he stole her Valentine’s Day present. Amazingly, there’s a less professional meeting place than a child’s basketball practice: a strip club. The deal is on, but clearly Bailey shouldn’t be working with these people, especially since they look down on him for not drinking with them. Sullivan tells him to lighten up and appreciate what he has.

Griffin ambushes Ned at school and sarcastically congratulates him for fooling everyone about who he is. He orders Ned to stay away from Julia, which is about as successful as you’d expect. Ned boasts that they’re going to spend Valentine’s Day playing strip poker. Griffin responds by punching him in the face a bunch. Cops are called and Julia approves of them arresting Griffin. Charlie takes Diana and goes in search of Daphne, easily tracking her down. She refuses to talk to him, so he throws the information about her mother into her car.

Julia takes Ned to be treated for the wounds Griffin inflicted, apologizing for her ex’s behavior. She says he’s not the sort of person who would get violent. Ned’s like, “And I am?” Claudia gives Cody back the pick and chastises that he was supposed to prove that he was worth her going up against Griffin. Instead, Griffin’s awesome and Cody’s a loser. Sullivan calls Bailey while he’s at Owen’s basketball game, and Bailey ignores the call to focus on his brother.

Griffin calls Julia from jail, begging for her help. He promises that he didn’t visit Ned with the intention of hurting him. “Don’t forget what he did,” he says. Julia hangs up on him. Daphne shows up at Charlie’s hotel room to ask why he gave her the information on her mother. She feels like he’s trying to make a parallel between that and what she did to Diana. Charlie says it’s an explanation for the way she acts. He urges her to trust Diana because she’ll never leave, which means Daphne doesn’t have to protect herself by leaving first.

Daphne does leave, so Charlie decides to go home. Daphne tries to call Charlie later, finding herself unable to talk to him. Bailey talks to Sarah about how he feels torn between family and business. Sarah’s surprised that he’s not 100 percent sold on Sullivan’s deal. Bailey notes that he’s getting chances earlier than most people his age, since he had to grow up so quickly after his parents died. He’s afraid that if he passes things up, they won’t come back around for a while. But he also doesn’t want to miss any time with Owen.

Claudia gets Griffin out of jail and tells him how much the family needs him. Julia takes super-good care of Ned, feeling guilty that Griffin’s the reason he’s hurt. Owen hangs out with Bailey at the restaurant, revealing that he likes spending time there. Bailey tells him that when he’s an adult, he could run the place.

Daphne goes back to Charlie’s hotel room just before he heads home and asks if there was anything in her mother’s police report about a marionette. For years she’s had nightmares about one, and it turns out it’s part of a childhood memory. She doesn’t feel better knowing it was real. As a child, Daphne was told that her mother was gone because she was sick. Now she feels like she doesn’t know anything about her life.

Thoughts: If the writers are going to keep giving Claudia dumb storylines, they should just send her back to boarding school and write her out.

Cody’s been looking very Jesse Pinkman. That’s not good.

Hey, guys, I think Griffin’s redemption arc is complete. He used to be completely likable; now he’s the most sympathetic person on the show.

October 11, 2014

Party of Five 5.14, Stand by Me: Please Stop Making Bad Decisions, Everyone

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 3:30 pm by Jenn

"You two look like nice kids. You would certainly never let a criminal into the building. Well, one of you wouldn't"

“You two look like nice kids. You would certainly never let a criminal into the building. Well, one of you wouldn’t”

Summary: Julia and Ned go skinny-dipping in Stanford’s pool, because apparently she said she wanted to take more risks. She tells him they can’t hang out the next night because she’s going to Justin’s parents’ anniversary party. Of course, Ned doesn’t like that she’ll be hanging out with another ex. She promises that he has no reason to worry, especially since Justin has a girlfriend, but Ned invites himself along anyway.

Charlie and Kirsten take Diana to the park, in an inevitable step toward the three of them becoming their own little family. Kirsten says that finding out Paul doesn’t want to adopt makes her feel like she’s learning she can’t have kids all over again. Charlie encourages her to work things out with her husband.

Sarah tells Bailey that she promised to help Albert find a job. She’s officially gone farther than Joey Potter ever did. Bailey’s understandably upset – she’s helping the man who robbed her at knifepoint. A neighbor, Mr. Belmont, asks after Owen, thinking he was Bailey and Sarah’s son. Sarah’s like, “You know who does have a son? Albert.” Sarah, get it together.

She tells Bailey that her victim support group encouraged her to take control, so she’s letting Albert come over to search for a job. Bailey decides to stay home to be there, too, but Sarah doesn’t want him around, making Albert feel like criminal. Bailey’s like, “Uh, that’s what he is.” Sarah asks him to back off so she can face her fears. He gets her to agree to at least meet Albert somewhere public.

Griffin asks Justin to visit him at work so they can discuss Julia’s relationship with Ned. Griffin announces that Ned’s abusive, and Justin wonders why he’s not currently a) with Julia or b) beating the crap out of Ned. Griffin explains that he has to keep his distance. Justin figures out that Griffin wants him to rescue Julia instead. He’s not interested in getting involved, but Griffin points out that it must be really bad if he was willing to turn to Justin.

Claudia goes to Cody’s record store, because for some reason, this plot is still a thing. They’re all, “Why does Griffin want us to stay away from each other? It’s not like we like each other. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” They decide that they’re allowed to do whatever they want. Kirsten suggests a vacation so she and Paul can work on their relationship, but he doesn’t think it can be salvaged. She agrees that they’re over.

Julia and Justin reunite at the anniversary party, and he reveals that his girlfriend cheated on him with her ethics professor. (That’s called irony, folks.) Ned warns Justin to keep his hands to himself. Mrs. Thompson asks Justin and Julia to dance with each other, “for old time’s sake,” so she’s probably on some list of Ned’s now. Ned cuts in before Justin can ask Julia anything about Griffin’s suspicions.

Albert doesn’t get Sarah’s message changing their meeting place, and he winds up at her and Bailey’s apartment after all. Now she’s not so eager to help the criminal. She helps him with some job applications, cautioning him not to put his arrest on one, since it only asks if he was ever convicted of a crime. It probably won’t matter anyway, since he has little education and no job experience.

Kirsten goes back to Charlie for another conversation about her marriage. He offers to let her stay at the house while she figures out what she’s going to do next. Justin and Julia hang out (sorry, Ned), and this time he asks her about how things are going in her relationship. He finds Ned “intense” and “possessive.” Julia doesn’t get the hint. She runs into Ned’s roommate and tells Justin she has to leave before the roommate tells Ned he saw her with another guy.

Griffin announces to the band that he’s booked them a gig. They finally have a lead singer: Cody’s friend Melanie. Cue jealousy from Claudia. Sarah admits to Bailey that Albert came to the apartment and asks him to be proud of her for helping him, or at least happy that she’s facing her fears and feels safe. Bailey’s like, “I’m still a little stuck on the fact that a robber was in our apartment, but okay.”

Ned yells at Julia for meeting with Justin, couching it in disliking that she’s discussing their relationship with other people. There’s some classic abuser language, and then he slaps her. “It’s my fault,” she says, apologizing for doing things with Justin that Ned didn’t like. The whole thing is disturbing.

Charlie goes with Kirsten to meet with the same lawyer he talked to when he thought Daphne might keep Diana from him. Kirsten blames herself for the marriage falling apart, and the lawyer wonders if Charlie had any bearing on things. The lawyer then sends Kirsten out of the room and asks Charlie if Daphne’s departure had anything to do with the information she gave him. Charlie says he never looked at it.

Justin calls Julia to try to get her to meet him, but she tells him she’s sick. Ned’s in her room the whole time. Kirsten takes the room in the Salingers’ attic and they laugh over memories of the early days of them knowing each other. Justin goes to Julia’s dorm but finds only Ned there. Justin fails to goad him into admitting that Julia makes him mad sometimes. They discuss what Griffin’s said about Ned, but Justin decides not to pursue it.

Sarah and Bailey are woken up by a gunshot and call the police. Griffin’s band does their gig. Melanie has a really annoying voice and Claudia tries to upstage her. A detective tells Bailey and Sarah that some apartments were robbed, and Mr. Belmont was shot when he walked in on the burglar. Of course, that burglar was Albert. Sarah blames herself for bringing him over, but that’s not the worst part: Bailey’s gun is missing.

Sarah’s mad that Bailey got a gun after she told him not to, but Bailey points out that that’s not really the issue here. Sarah’s like, “Albert couldn’t have shot anyone without a gun.” Bailey’s like, “Albert couldn’t have gotten the gun if you hadn’t let him in.” They’re at an impasse over who’s really to blame for what happened. Hey, how about we blame Albert?

Claudia and Cody make awkward small talk, and she learns that he and Melanie aren’t just friends – they’re dating. Claudia realizes that that’s the real reason Griffin wanted her to avoid Cody. She babbles until Cody kisses her, so I guess he and Melanie are over? I’m confused. Whatever, I don’t care enough.

After spending the night thinking about it, Charlie digs up the information on Daphne. He tells Kirsten that it’s full of things Daphne might not even know about her own life. If she’d known them, things might be different. He’s decided that he needs to find her. Bailey and Sarah visit Mr. Belmont, then discuss security measures in their apartment. Bailey offers to move, but Sarah wants to learn to feel safe no matter where she is. She assures him that he makes her feel safe, too.

Julia returns to her dorm and learns that Justin came by. Ned claims he’s not mad, but it’s probably only because Justin’s going back to school and won’t be around anymore. He sings “Stand by Me” so the episode can get a title, and they dance. Knowing what we know about him, it’s creepier than it’s meant to be.

Thoughts: The Kirsten/Paul stuff was especially interminable because I know how things end up for her. So thank goodness that’s over.

Didn’t Justin’s parents have another kid? Why is she never mentioned? She must be hanging out with Owen somewhere.

I guess we should be grateful that Sarah didn’t ask Bailey to give Albert a job at the restaurant. That would have been a disastrous conversation.

Melanie’s former band was the Julienne Fries. Ugh, no. It should be Julienne and the Fries.

’90s music alert: Griffin’s band plays Counting Crows’ “Rain King.”

October 4, 2014

Party of Five 5.13, Fillmore Street: There’s a Difference Between Forgiveness and Justice, Sarah

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 3:07 pm by Jenn

This red panda is laughing at Julia and Sarah's horrible decisions

This red panda is laughing at Julia and Sarah’s horrible decisions

Summary: Albert has been arraigned, and the next step is for the prosecutor to help Bailey and Sarah get ready to testify. A woman corners Sarah at the courthouse, introducing herself as Albert’s sister, and tells Sarah that he only turned to robbery to provide for his child. Ned and Julia run into each other at the library, and he says he’s willing to give her some space. She makes excuses for his behavior, saying that just lashed out because he was scared. She’s happy that he cares so much.

Charlie meets with an insurance agent named Beth who totally wants to jump his bones. Bailey’s furious that Albert’s sister talked to Sarah, who thinks the sister wanted to make her feel guilty for pressing charges. She’ll still testify, but she’s confused about things. Kirsten sets up a meeting with an adoption agency while Paul gets depressed over news about orphans. She would rather adopt domestically, since it’s faster; Paul thinks they should go international and save a child.

Griffin surprises Julia at her dorm, wanting to check out her car, which she lied about dinging up. She chases him off, and he’s disappointed to learn that she’s still with Ned. Claudia goes to the music store where Griffin’s jerky ex-band mate Cody works and asks him to come back to the band. Cody doesn’t want to play with someone who’s not as into rock as he is. If she’s not planning to show up at a club on Fillmore Street the next night, off a rumor that Taj Mahal will do a surprise performance, she’s not cool enough for him.

Griffin and Ned run into each other and bicker over Julia. Amazingly, punches aren’t thrown. At his school, Charlie chats with his vice principal, Valerie, who wants him to come to a City Council meeting to show support for arts funding. And if he wants to hang out and have coffee and maybe make out before that, she wouldn’t say no. Charlie asks a student with a crush on him to babysit Diana. Bad move, Charlie.

Kirsten and Paul meet with someone at an adoption agency who tells them someone has already picked them as parents. They could have a baby as soon as next week. Sarah sees Albert at the DA’s office and feels bad for him. Okay, Joey Potter, don’t go there. Griffin tells Charlie that growing up with an abusive father gave him a sixth sense about violence, and he thinks Ned is hitting Julia. Charlie thinks Griffin’s just upset that Julia’s moving on. Julia wouldn’t be with someone who hurts her.

Claudia shows up at the Fillmore Street club, and Cody blathers about playing music and being soulful. If Claudia can learn to play like Taj Mahal, he’ll come back to the band. She asks him to help her. He tells her to close her eyes and focus on the groove. Ned confronts Julia for not telling him that Griffin was on campus; he’s worried that they’ll get back together. She assures him that Griffin isn’t a threat. Ned interprets that as Julia accusing him of being paranoid. He points out that she and Griffin haven’t actually divorced yet.

Bailey tells Sarah that the prosecutor helped him get a restraining order to keep Albert’s family away. He thinks Sarah was scared by the incident, but she’s moved on to feeling bad for the guy who robbed her at knifepoint. She argues that he never hurt anyone; he ran away instead of using the knife. Bailey doesn’t care – Albert should go to jail. He doesn’t care about Sarah’s sympathy for the guy.

Paul comes home at the end of a bad day, telling Kirsten that he performed surgery on a girl whose brain tumor went undetected for a long time because her parents couldn’t afford a doctor. He hates that those parents almost lost their daughter because they don’t have money, while he and Kirsten get to adopt because they do have money. Kirsten reminds him that they have to think in absolutes: There’s an actual child they’re supposed to bring home. Paul says he doesn’t want him this way.

Sarah makes the horrible move of telling the prosecutor that she no longer things Albert was the guy who robbed her. Then she says it’s him, but she doesn’t want to send him to jail. The DA reminds her that she’s the victim, not Albert. Sarah argues that he’s a human with a family. They should be working to fix whatever makes him steal, not punishing him for it. Bailey thinks his testimony will be enough, but the prosecutor thinks Albert will go free if Sarah backs down.

Charlie’s babysitter, Amanda, shows up at the Salingers’, where Beth is already waiting for Charlie (she was going to bring over paperwork). Valerie shows up next, and Claudia predicts a fight. Griffin returns to Julia’s dorm and asks her straight out if Ned’s abusing her. She tries to get him to leave, but he’s not gone before Ned shows up. The guys face off again, and this time punches are thrown. Julia continually tells Griffin to get out.

When Charlie comes home, Beth, Valerie, and Amanda yell at him for not thinking each of them was romantically interested in him. (Amanda, you’re 16. Your dad probably had to drive you over. Shut up.) Charlie tells them he’s too focused on Diana to date right now. Beth’s even more turned on now. Kirsten’s understandably upset about having to turn down the adoption, and she tells Paul that she doesn’t think he’s ever going to be on board. He basically admits it.

Cody’s back in the band, but Griffin doesn’t want Claudia to hang out with him. He thinks she should decide between Cody and the band. Bailey makes some jabs at Sarah for deciding not to testify against Albert, pointing out that people shouldn’t have to suffer because of other people’s bad decisions. Sarah wants to cling to her belief that people deserve second chances. Bailey doesn’t like that she thinks it’s okay to excuse people’s behavior and let them go unpunished.

Julia goes to see Griffin, telling him she’s not mad that he’s concerned. She informs him that she’s having a lawyer draw up divorce papers. She doesn’t want Griffin to keep trying to take care of her – she needs him out of her life. They need to stop worrying about each other. Charlie meets with Kirsten, who tells him that Paul backed out of the adoption. She’s not sure how to forgive him, or if she can keep fighting for their relationship. Julia goes back to school and prepares to move on with her life (with Ned, of course). Sarah tracks down Albert at his home and introduces herself.

Thoughts: Adoptive parents everywhere are laughing hysterically over Paul and Kirsten getting approved to adopt in, like, four episodes.

Ugh, Claudia, don’t fall for a music snob.

I think this episode is the first time in years that Griffin has mentioned Jill. I almost forgot she existed.

’90s music alert: Sheryl Crow’s “My Favorite Mistake” plays during Ned and Griffin’s fight, and if that doesn’t perfectly describe Julia and Griffin, I don’t know what does.

September 27, 2014

Party of Five 5.12, Witness for the Persecution: Every Superman Has His Kryptonite

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 1:16 pm by Jenn

He's not a criminal! He's a cutie pie!

He’s not a criminal! He’s a cutie pie!

Summary: Ned has been trying to get in touch with Julia, and this time he’s apologizing, but only because they fought. She erases his answering-machine messages before Maggie can hear them, then tells her roommate she’s going home for a few days. Julia asks Maggie not to tell Ned where she is. Claudia takes care of Diana while Charlie reminisces about his sister’s birth – he was mad that he had to give up 49ers tickets to babysit Julia and Bailey. Claudia thinks Diana can sense that something’s wrong, since Daphne isn’t there.

Griffin’s leaving as Julia arrives at the house, telling him her shoulder hurts because she had a car accident. It’s not the best lie since her car’s right there and nothing’s wrong with it. Charlie has to take Diana to class with him because he hasn’t yet broken down and called Kirsten for help. The vice principal, Ms. Walsh (also a single mother), lets him know that the school has just started a faculty daycare. Charlie wants to keep the baby close, though, and Ms. Walsh says she’ll see if he can get permission to keep Diana in his classroom.

Claudia sets up her old tent for Owen, which gives Charlie and Bailey déjà vu, especially since Julia’s home. Bailey tells Charlie that Owen’s still mad about not having Charlie’s undivided attention. He offers to let Owen stay with him a few nights a week, but Charlie gets defensive. Bailey thinks he should be more upset about Daphne leaving.

Later, at the restaurant, Sarah tells Bailey that Charlie’s struggling with a Superman complex, thinking he should be able to handle everything. Bailey finds his office trashed, and when he goes back to the dining room to talk to Sarah, he discovers that an intruder is holding her at knifepoint. Bailey gives up all his money and his watch, begging the guy not to hurt Sarah. The robber makes Bailey get on the ground, then heads to the door, still holding on to Sarah. As he leaves, he steals her necklace and pushes her back inside, unhurt.

Bailey and Sarah call the police, and a kind detective named Danner takes their statements and gives Sarah the name of a trauma counselor. Bailey’s more angry than scared, and Danner thinks he could benefit from counseling, too. Bailey insists that he’s fine. Sarah, what was that you were saying about a Superman complex?

Charlie meets up with Kirsten at a diner, and she tells him she and Paul are starting the adoption process. She’s super-excited, saying that the baby’s already changing everything without even being there. Charlie’s like, “Wait till there’s actually a baby.” He doesn’t get why everyone expects him to fall apart and need help.

Sarah wakes Bailey up in the middle of the night, having heard something, and decides she needs counseling. Bailey thinks a security guard at the restaurant is the way to go. He offers to take Sarah to class in the morning, but she wants to be able to live her life normally. Claudia picks up her violin for the first time in a long time to play Diana a lullaby. She hears Griffin playing his guitar in the “guest cottage,” and they play together a little. He invites her to play with his new band.

Sarah confides in Julia that she’s having trouble getting past the robbery, so she wants to see a counselor. She hasn’t been able to have a helpful conversation with Bailey; he just wants to talk about getting revenge. Sarah hates that she feels like she did something wrong, when she’s the one who was the victim of a crime. She actually feels ashamed. Julia doesn’t respond, but she clearly can sympathize.

Ned arrives at the house and hangs out with Claudia and Diana. Julia pulls him away and announces that he will never hit her again. She’s upset that they’ve always been able to talk through their problems, but this time, he got physically violent. Ned denies that he struck her. Julia orders him out of the house and away from her sister and niece.

Ned admits that he did something wrong by getting so upset, but he still denies hitting her. He was just angry that Julia seemed to be rejecting him. He grabs her injured shoulder to keep her from leaving, saying that that’s all he did the other night – he tried to make her stay. He was just worried that she would leave him. Ned can’t believe that Julia would ever believe he would hurt her.

Claudia plays with Griffin’s band, but the other guitarist, Cody, isn’t very welcoming. (I think the drummer’s high and doesn’t actually know what’s going on.) Cody’s like, “Violins aren’t rock! Girls can’t play in bands!” Griffin kicks him out. Bailey meets with a security guy, Ray, at his and Sarah’s apartment, which Ray thinks isn’t safe despite being in a yuppie neighborhood. Sarah refuses to live in a fortress. She’s even more upset when she sees that Ray brought over some guns.

Kirsten’s gotten the ball rolling on the adoption process, but Paul is too busy to get completely on board. She thinks he’s trying to back out, when really he just has surgery the day she’s set up a meeting. Calm down, Kirsten. Claudia packs up Daphne’s things so Charlie doesn’t have to, though, of course, he says it’s not a big deal and he can handle it and would everyone just leave him alone because he’s totally fine?

Sarah and Bailey discuss how shaken they’ve felt since the robbery. Sarah’s already had a session with the counselor, and she wishes Bailey would set up an appointment. Bailey wants to be more practical by finding ways for them to feel safer. She doesn’t want to stay away from her normal life even when she doesn’t feel safe. Bailey insists that buying a gun wouldn’t make him a different person. He points out that they could have had Owen with them at the restaurant.

Danner calls with the news that the robbery suspect has been arrested, so the next morning, Sarah and Bailey go to the police station to see a lineup. Sarah immediately recognizes the robber. Bailey’s mad at the guy, but Sarah’s just sad – the arrest doesn’t make her feel any better. Claudia tells Griffin that she doesn’t think playing with his band will work out. She thinks the guys are great together, and she doesn’t want to be their Yoko. Griffin tells her he kicked Cody out and kept her because he likes her playing, not because he felt sorry for her.

Julia hears noises in the basement and finds Charlie there, angrily packing up Daphne’s things. He complains about people leaving when you want them to stay. He admits for the first time how upset he is that Daphne left her own child. Julia points out that he couldn’t understand because he’s always stayed. Charlie’s emotional, realizing for the first time how alone he is. Julia urges him to focus on the important parts of his life. He’s not alone, and the family would have fallen apart if he hadn’t survived his cancer.

Julia goes back to school, silently watching Ned in the library. Maggie shows up and asks Julia to tell her what’s going on with them. Julia says she doesn’t know what’s going to happen. Bailey and Sarah have compromised with new locks in the apartment. He tries to comfort her by telling her that the robber, Albert, is off the streets and can’t hurt anyone anymore. They’re going to help put him away, which means they aren’t helpless. But Sarah’s seen a different part of the world now, and she’s not comforted.

Thoughts: Albert is played by Freddy Rodriguez, who’s probably best known from Six Feet Under. Danner is played by Disney actor Phill Lewis.

Griffin’s been on the show for years and we’re just now learning that he plays the guitar?

Sarah, take the whole family with you to counseling, please. Every last one of them.

September 20, 2014

Party of Five 5.11, Rings of Saturn: Make Like a Tree and Leave

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 1:24 pm by Jenn

"And up there, you can just barely make out the last shred of Ned's likability"

“And up there, you can just barely make out the last shred of Ned’s likability”

Summary: Daphne’s at an empty playground with Diana, just staring at all the equipment. She starts to leave without the baby, running back when she hears Diana crying, but not picking her up. At some later point, Daphne’s out when Charlie needs to leave for work and Claudia has to go to school (the local high school, not her boarding school), so Charlie has to take Diana with him.

It’s Owen’s last day with Bailey and Sarah, and Bailey assures him that Charlie’s excited to have him back at home. However, with Daphne gone, Charlie doesn’t have anyone to look after Owen, so he needs to stay where he is. Julia and Maggie are still living together, which must be AWKWARD, though it might get a little less awkward now that Maggie’s starting to date again. Maggie’s even willing to possibly forgive Julia, maybe just a little. She asks Julia not to tell Ned that she’s seeing someone.

Paul asks Kirsten to do some volunteering with the kids at his hospital. She’s hesitant, not wanting him to feel like he needs to help her fill up her time. The current volunteer asks her to keep a troublemaker named Michael in line. Charlie promised to take Owen camping, so Bailey wants to fill in, even though he has no idea what he’s doing. Sarah thinks he’s nuts.

Daphne goes to see a priest for some counseling; she’s distressed about almost leaving Diana. The guy is pretty clueless and keeps pressing her to go to church. Julia and Ned head to her dorm room, but there’s a stuffed monkey on the doorknob, which means Maggie has a guy in the room. Ned’s surprised to hear that his ex has a new boyfriend. He pretends he’s not upset, but Julia’s not an idiot.

At the house, Daphne calls a bank about cashing in a savings bond to leave in Diana’s name. At Stanford, Ned admits to Julia that he’s upset after all – but with Julia, for not telling him that Maggie was dating someone. He’s sure that Maggie’s telling the guy stuff about Ned and Julia. Julia tells him that Maggie’s actually less angry now, and they might be able to repair their friendship. Unless he’s jealous, he needs to deal with it.

Kirsten has hit it off with Michael, and she goes back to the hospital to spend time with him. Bailey and Owen go camping, and since Bailey’s horrible at it, it’s fortunate that a mother (Theresa) and her daughter invite them to eat dinner with them. Charlie and Daphne fight over her leaving the house early that morning to go to the bank, without giving him any notice. She says she’s focusing on Diana’s future.

Bailey and Owen’s tent is too small. This storyline is dumb. Ned takes Julia to a single dorm room he wants them to use as a love nest. Julia thinks he’s being weird about Maggie, but he says he just wants them to have their own place to be alone. She doesn’t like that he’s making decisions without consulting her. Charlie and Claudia find a ton of diapers in the house – it looks like Daphne’s stockpiling them.

Bailey and Owen survive their night camping, and in the morning, Bailey chats with Theresa, who’s impressed with how he’s handling taking care of a kid on his own. Bailey confides that he feels like Owen hates him. Theresa invites them to spend that night with her and her daughter in their tent. Bailey wants to leave, Theresa woman says that’s not what Owen wants – he wants Bailey to turn things around.

Julia’s decided to move out of her and Maggie’s room, which actually disappoints Maggie. She thinks Julia’s giving up the college experience she wanted so she can shack up with her boyfriend. Michael’s discharged from the hospital, and Kirsten’s sad to see him go. Thanks to Theresa’s telescope, Bailey and Owen’s second night camping is much better than the first. Owen’s impressed that there’s so much cool stuff in the world. “When you find out about cool stuff, will you let me know, so we can see it together?” he asks Bailey.

Daphne tells Diana how great her future will be, and what she should and shouldn’t do. She’s clearly planning to leave. Charlie gets that, and the next day he tells Kirsten about it. She presses him to say something to make Daphne want to say, but Charlie isn’t sure he should. If Daphne wants to go, she should go.

Julia tells Ned she’s changed her mind about moving out, but he ignores her. He continues packing her things, even as she refuses to leave or let him control her. Things get so heated that Ned backhands Julia, then continues packing as she leaves the room. Julia cleans herself up in the bathroom, where another girl chatters excitedly about a date.

Bailey asks Owen not to tell Charlie about their camping trip, and definitely not to tell Sarah that they shared a tent with another woman (especially if he’s going to say, “Bailey slept with Theresa”). Paul decides to address the elephant in his and Kirsten’s lives: the fact that they don’t have kids. He knows that a child is the only thing that would make Kirsten feel like they’re a family. She reminds him that they agreed not to have kids since he doesn’t want them, but he doesn’t know how else to make her happy.

At the Salingers’, as Charlie tells Daphne that he knows she’s going to leave. He’s not going to try to stop her; he just wants to know when she’s going so he can have a little notice. Daphne tells him about walking away from Diana in the park and how she just stopped thinking about her. She’s afraid that she’ll always be the kind of mother who can and will leave, which isn’t what Diana and Charlie deserve. “I’ve already left,” Daphne says. She asks Charlie not to let Diana hate her.

Ned tries to call Julia, who’s avoiding him. He’s not apologetic about hitting her; he just wants to talk about the move. Bailey invites Sarah along the next time he and Owen go camping. She tells him that no matter what Bailey thinks he did wrong, Owen’s happy, so everything turned out all right. Bailey’s also pretty happy with the way things went. Julia goes back to her and Maggie’s room but doesn’t tell Maggie what happened. Daphne calls a cab and leaves the Salingers’ house, leaving Charlie alone with Diana.

Thoughts: Shouldn’t Owen be in school of some kind? Isn’t he kindergarten age by now?

If there’s anything that will make me laugh, it’s an eight-year-old who says, “Bring me the next human sacrifice.” Bravo, Michael.

With an abusive boyfriend, the show has now hit almost every big teen show storyline. I think the only one left is sexual assault. There’s still a season and a half left to fit that in!

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