January 4, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 14, 2013

Party of Five 3.21, Hitting Bottom: Crash and Burn

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 1:15 pm by Jenn

Ouch

Ow

Summary: It’s been four days since Bailey’s intervention, and the family hasn’t heard from him. Sarah confesses that she called, even though the interventioners said they wouldn’t, but Callie told her that he didn’t come home the night before. Claudia and Sarah suggest talking to Grace, but Charlie’s adamant that they stick to their bottom lines and cut off ties with Bailey. Claudia thinks they need to be sympathetic because he inherited his alcoholism. Charlie still refuses to budge.

Bailey misses his wrestling team’s divisional championship, leading to a forfeit. Coach Russ is very unhappy. At school, Julia’s surprised by an unexpected visit from Griffin, so I GUESS WE’RE DOING THIS AGAIN. Sigh. Bailey tracks down Russ to apologize for missing the meet, but Russ won’t accept his apology. He was sure they were going to win divisionals this year, for his first time in 15 years of coaching, and Bailey let them down.

Claudia wonders if her parents went through the same thing the family’s going through with Bailey. Charlie’s just tired of the whole thing and doesn’t want to revisit the past. Claudia, however, is desperate to know more. Julia fills Griffin in on all the family’s issues; she went by Bailey’s building the day before and caught Charlie sitting outside. She notices that Griffin’s limping, and he tells her that he injured his knee while he was with the Merchant Marines. Since he can’t work anymore, he got fired. Now neither of them has a plan for the future.

Bailey stumbles home, drunk, and pretends that he wasn’t going to ask Callie if his family left him any messages. He tells her that he was out partying to celebrate the wrestling match he won. Callie’s trying to study, but Bailey wants sex. She has to literally tell him she said no, and he taunts that she’s being a prude. (Real nice from the guy who saved her from being raped.) Callie says that his family’s right about him having a problem.

Claudia goes to Avery, begging to know if Diana ever said anything about Nick’s alcoholism. Avery tries to avoid the topic, wondering why she wants to know the bad things her father might have done. She admits that her happy memories of her father now seem fake, like she’s remembering things the way he wants her to. She wants to know what Nick was really like.

Griffin’s staying in a horrible motel, since he doesn’t have a job and can’t afford anything better. Julia suggests that he go after the Merchant Marines for money since his accident was their fault. Then he can take his time finding a job, or use the money to travel somewhere. And if he wants to travel with her, well, that’s just icing on the cake. Charlie goes to pick Owen up from daycare, but Bailey’s already retrieved him. Bailey lets Owen eat junk food while he gets drunk and complains about their brother and sisters.

Julia takes Griffin to meet a lawyer, but he’s clearly not the best they could do. Griffin thinks he’s great, though, since he’s been successful in the past. Julia thinks the case is too important for them to rely on the guy. Griffin blasts her for doubting his instincts once again. Later that evening, Julia goes home and learns that Bailey never took Owen home. They’ve been gone for four hours. Sarah and Julia think they should call the police, even if it means Bailey gets busted for driving drunk. Finding Owen is more important than Bailey losing his license.

While Bailey puts Owen in the car to drive him home, Claudia tells Sarah what she learned from Avery about Nick’s drunken activities. Charlie isn’t happy that she went to see Avery. Bailey finally arrives with Owen, and Charlie tears into him for taking Owen out without letting them know. Bailey has the nerve to be offended that his siblings thought he would drive drunk with his little brother in the car. He lies that he hasn’t been drinking, but it’s obvious that he has, so Charlie’s fury is completely justified.

The two brothers start fighting physically, and their sisters pull them apart. Charlie makes it clear that Bailey isn’t going to have contact with Owen anymore. He runs off, but Sarah’s the only person who thinks they need to go after him – after all, he’s about to drive drunk again. She runs after him, but Julia goes to Griffin’s, where his comforting of her turns into sex. Meanwhile, Charlie goes to Avery’s to yell at him for what he told Claudia. He thinks Avery’s making Nick into a monster as revenge (since he was in love with Diana), but Avery admits that he censored himself.

Sarah chases Bailey to his apartment, though she’s not sure he’s even home. Charlie returns home before heading to work and tries to get Claudia and Owen to come with him. Claudia doesn’t want to go to her father’s restaurant since he’s responsible for Bailey’s alcoholism, and she doesn’t want to make it look like she forgives Nick.

Bailey comes home, but when he sees Sarah waiting for him outside the apartment, he heads right back out. Sarah begs him to let her drive, promising to take him wherever he wants to go. She jumps in the car with him, refusing to leave him alone. He speeds off, almost immediately running a red light and crashing the car.

Sometime later, Charlie rushes to the hospital, where Sarah’s been admitted for observation; she may have a concussion. She’ll be okay, but Bailey left after bringing her in. He’s gone right back out to buy more beer, trying to ignore his broken windshield. Julia’s still at Griffin’s, where he’s worrying that she’s going to regret sleeping with him. She assures him that she needed this, and she feels like things will work out with them this time. He asks her not to second-guess him anymore. Julia tells him they’re a team now.

She goes home the next morning, not sorry at all that Charlie didn’t know where she was all night. He tells her about the accident and Sarah getting injured. Julia tries to convince both of them that Bailey must have sobered up by now. Charlie admits that he thought he was doing the right things, and that eventually Bailey would come around, but he didn’t do enough to think about the other people involved.

Claudia pipes up that it’s Nick’s fault, and Charlie finally tells her to shut it. He apologizes, but really, she needed to hear that. He tells her that Nick passing the alcoholism to Bailey didn’t make Bailey drink. Claudia counters that Nick was a bad husband and father, but Charlie points out that he stopped drinking and changed. He reminds her that he’s made a lot of mistakes, too. He doesn’t want Owen to see him the same way Claudia now sees their father. Meanwhile, Bailey goes back to the hospital to see Sarah, cries over hurting her, and asks her to help him.

Thoughts: This is the episode I remember the most from the series. Basically, when I think of the show, this is the episode I think of.

Why must they continue to make me have to deal with Griffin? What have I done to deserve this?

’90s music alert: R.E.M.’s “Bittersweet Me,” the Cranberries’ “Empty.”

Julia’s exactly right: If the Merchant Marines are responsible for Griffin’s injury, and if they fired him for a disability, he should sue. I’m sure he could get a better lawyer, though. There must be a ton of lawyers who would take on a case like that.

Julia, re: the lawyer: “I feel like he’s selling me a used car. I feel like he’s selling me my used car.” Heh.

November 2, 2013

Party of Five 3.15, Significant Others: Nothing Says “Mature and Focused” Like a Drinking Problem

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 1:21 pm by Jenn

I'm not sure the drunk guy should be playing with pointy things

I’m not sure the drunk guy should be playing with pointy things

Summary: Bailey wins a wrestling match at a meet, but his team isn’t as happy about it as he is, since they lost the meet anyway. He wants to take everyone out to celebrate with beer (of course). The other wrestlers can’t go because of family and school obligations. Julia and Sam are still dating, and it’s still weird. She tries to get him to invite her to a party his friends are having; he’s reluctant to take her, probably because IT’S WEIRD THAT HE’S DATING A GIRL IN HIGH SCHOOL.

Charlie’s receiving a citizenship award at a homeless benefit, but he doesn’t want to accept it because he didn’t vote for the mayor presenting it and he doesn’t want to thank rich people who are patting themselves on the back for helping poor people. He thinks Grace deserves the award more. She tells him to feel like he’s giving the rich people “positive reinforcement.” Claudia and Bailey play poker at the house, and she mentions that he said he was going to move out of his apartment before he and Sarah broke up. Now, though, things are looking up, so he’s staying put.

Julia passes for an adult at the party, so clearly, Sam hasn’t told anyone about her. She’s a little jealous when she sees Sam talking with an “old friend” who happens to be female (and not in high school). At the benefit, Charlie finds out that he’s considered kind of a big deal. He tries to be humble, and Grace tells him to give her some credit, since he was just talking to someone from the mayor’s office and didn’t mention that his homeless-feeding program was her idea.

One of Sam’s friends tells Julia that the woman Sam’s talking to is Karen, and Julia should totally know who she is. Another friend fills in that they were once engaged and lived together. Bailey stocks up on beer and ends up buying a winning lottery ticket. (He spends the $5 winnings on more beer.) Even Callie is sick of his crap, and was kind of looking forward to him moving out. Bailey claims that he needs time to regroup after his breakup. Callie tells him he has a month and a half.

After the benefit, Charlie talks to the guy from the mayor’s office, Michael, again. He expositions that he didn’t thank the mayor in his speech, and he talked Grace up. Michael wonders if he and Grace are dating, because if they’re not, he’d like to ask her out. Charlie says they’re “not really” together, but it’s starting to look like he wants them to be. Bailey wants to try to enter an all-stars match, but Coach Russ doesn’t think he would make it. Bailey asks for positive reinforcement. (Grace would be proud.) Russ tells him he would have to work his butt off for the next 48 hours. Bailey’s up for that.

Charlie comes up with a lame reason to get Grace to come over to his house, then ups the ante to dinner and a movie. Grace doesn’t get the hint that he’s angling for a date. Claudia pops up and invites herself to join them, because Claudia never gets a plotline. Now Grace is game, even though she’ll be doing laundry while at the house. Julia yells at Sam for accepting a dinner invitation from Karen, especially since he never told her about Karen in the first place. Sam invites her along.

Bailey goes on a training binge with a reluctant teammate, Teddy, who just wants to go home and study. Bailey thinks they should calm themselves mentally, and what better way to do that than with a big pitcher of beer? Grace ditches Charlie and Claudia to go to a concert with Michael, so now Charlie has the sads. Sam, Julia, and Karen go to dinner, and it looks like Julia’s calmed down about her boyfriend almost marrying another woman. Karen’s happy that they’re happy because she’s also found someone new. Oh, and they’re getting married. Now Sam’s not happy.

Bailey and Teddy stay out late, and Teddy eventually leaves to study and/or sleep. Bailey’s well on his way to having a nice little hangover the next day. Julia thinks Sam reacted badly to Karen’s engagement because he’s still in love with her. He insists that all their past is in the past, especially since she’s with someone else, so there’s no reason to keep talking about it. He tries to distract her with the idea of having a romantic day together.

Callie presses Bailey to bump up his move-out date since she already has a new roommate lined up. Bailey yells at her that he’s too busy with wrestling and won’t be going anywhere. Charlie visits Grace at her office and finds a bouquet of flowers from Michael. Grace isn’t in because she stayed out late the night before with her new buddy. Sam impulsively wants to take Julia to Lake Tahoe for the weekend, forgetting that she probably has homework (and might need Charlie’s permission). She knows he wants to leave town so they don’t have to deal with their issues.

Bailey’s late for practice, and with only one day left to get ready for the all-stars tryout, Russ doesn’t think he’s serious about it, or mature enough. Bailey insists that Russ let him try out. Apparently he’s forgotten than Russ doesn’t listen to whiny teenagers, and that whining isn’t going to make him look any more mature. Crying won’t help either. Bailey says that this is the only thing he has left that matters to him.

From the friendzone, Charlie listens to Grace talk about how Michael shouldn’t be sending her flowers because he doesn’t make a lot of money. They’re going to dinner at a restaurant run by a couple Michael helped get political asylum. Charlie tries to get into her head, telling her that “political” guys like Michael aren’t always honest. Grace is all, “Thanks for looking out for me – you’re such a good friend!” Later that night, when Charlie calls her, Michael picks up the phone.

Bailey’s moved his maniacal training to the Salingers’ house, still trying to drop weight just hours before the tryouts. He asks his siblings to come along to support him, but they already have plans. He’s upset that he’ll be the only one there without family or friends, but to be fair, he didn’t give them much notice. Claudia nicely says she can come, because she has nothing to do, because she has no plotline.

Instead of writing the paper she told Bailey she was working on, Julia goes to Sam’s to confront him for acting so weird lately. She knows it’s all because of Karen; the only time Sam’s been nice to her recently was when they went to dinner with her. Julia accuses him again of still being in love with Karen. Sam tries to deny this, but he has to admit that she might be right. He misses the feeling of his whole life being about one person. Julia’s all, “Well, thanks for that.” But she also gets it, because why would he feel like that about her so soon into the relationship? (Yeah, I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that YOU’RE 17.)

With coaching from Russ and support from Claudia, Bailey wins his match at the tryouts. He’s not as happy as he should be, since he doesn’t have a girlfriend there to congratulate him. Claudia suggests that they go celebrate, but Bailey lies that he’s going to hang out with his friends. Julia and Sam have a hard time remembering when they realized they liked each other, but they can easily remember when they realized they liked Justin and Karen. And yet, Julia and Sam are still together. I don’t get it.

Grace tries to plan a date with Michael while she’s with Charlie at the restaurant, and finally Charlie can’t take it anymore. He asks her straight out to stop seeing Michael. He tells her that she matters to him, but Grace still doesn’t get it. “I know we’re friends, but I don’t know what else,” she says. Finally she understands that he wants to be more than that, which is what she wanted before, when he was still hung up on Kirsten. Bailey gets drunk at a bar (I know, I’m shocked, too) and talks to some poor stranger about wrestling and how it lets him feel like he’s on top.

Thoughts: Karen is played by Corinne Bohrer, who I will always think of as Veronica Mars’ mom.

Bailey needs a girlfriend – he’s much more annoying when he’s single.

Dr Pepper, Julia? On a date with adults? At least order iced tea, or just water. Are you trying to make yourself seem younger?

If Bailey makes Claudia cry, I will punch him in the face. Though I’d probably have to wait in line for that.

October 19, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 12, 2013

Party of Five 3.12, Desperate Measures: Worst Road Trip Ever

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , , at 1:12 pm by Jenn

Tone it down, guys. She's not dying of cholera

Tone it down, guys. She’s not dying of cholera

Summary: Claudia can’t open a jar. I hope Lacey Chabert’s agent feels proud of himself. Charlie’s is that he’s going to Chicago to see Kirsten. This means Julia’s in charge of Claudia and Owen, which is probably a bad idea. Charlie isn’t sure when he’ll be coming back, which is an even worse idea. When Sam comes over to work, Julia gives him a mix tape (adorable) of songs that include the word “roof.” He awkwardly asks her out, which distracts her from Claudia, who doesn’t feel well. Julia accepts Sam’s invitation to go skiing, which I guess means Claudia’s now in charge of Owen.

Bailey’s wrestling much better, and I don’t just mean with his alcohol issues. In fact, Coach Russ is using him as an example of how much you can accomplish if you work hard. He tells the team that for the next three days before a big meet, they can only drink water, no alcohol. Charlie arrives in Chicago, but Ellie doesn’t want him there; Gene’s out of town and she’s having enough trouble handling Kirsten on her own. Except when Kirsten shows up, she seems fine, and very happy to see Charlie.

Sarah and Bailey are somehow still together. She tells him that her parents have given her separate billing on their shared credit card, which means she can make purchases and pay for them without her parents knowing. What this really means is that she can use the card to rent a hotel room and try to have sex with Bailey again. He uses wrestling as an excuse to stay abstinent before the next meet. Julia asks Claudia to watch Owen while she goes skiing, but Claudia’s feeling really sick now and refuses. Julia refuses her refusal.

Bailey goes home cranky, and Callie guesses that it’s because he and Sarah had yet another fight. He doesn’t want to discuss it with her, of all people. He’s also annoyed because there’s no beer; she says he drank it all. (Red flag! Red flag!) Callie calls him out for either treating her badly or wanting her in bed, with no in between. He ignores her and goes out to buy beer. In Chicago, Kirsten tells Charlie that she’s been doing better since she started a new medication about a month ago. He wonders why she didn’t tell him before now. She says she didn’t want to jinx things.

The next day, Charlie and Kirsten hang out downtown, talking about his family. She’s definitely doing a lot better, and he enjoys seeing her smile. Sarah goes to Bailey’s wrestling practice to see him, but he’s skipped it. Julia’s late picking Owen up from daycare because she was shopping for ski clothes. This means she misses a phone call from a doctor letting her know that Julia has been admitted to the hospital with appendicitis. When Julia gets to the hospital, she learns that Claudia had emergency surgery without anyone’s authorization since no one in the family could be reached. And now Claudia doesn’t want to see her.

Kirsten tells Charlie that she’s ready to go back to San Francisco with him. She’s so ready that she wants them to drive there tonight. Charlie’s too happy to think that there’s anything strange about the request, especially since Kirsten doesn’t want to see her mother first. Sarah goes to Bailey’s apartment and finds him hungover from a drinking binge. She worries that he’s out of sorts because of her, but he swears it’s not. Sarah points out that he said he wasn’t supposed to drink or have sex; if he can do one, then why not the other? “I did both,” Bailey admits, coming clean about Callie.

Kirsten calls Ellie to let her know she’s going back to San Francisco. Ellie tries to talk her out of it, saying Kirsten’s doctor doesn’t think she’s well enough for something like that. Kirsten hangs up on her, then tells Charlie that Ellie’s okay with it. Callie wakes Bailey up to tell him that Claudia’s in the hospital; he turned the answering machine down and didn’t get Julia’s message. He’s still really hungover, so Callie takes him to the hospital. When he arrives, Claudia will only talk to him, not Julia.

Sarah comes to the hospital with flowers, having heard about Claudia’s surgery from Julia, who called her when she was trying to reach Bailey. She runs into Callie and tears into her for sleeping with Bailey. Then when Bailey appears, Sarah gives him the flowers and leaves. Charlie and Kirsten drive all day, reaching Nebraska; he wants to stop for the night, but she’s eager to keep going. (She’s manic, Charlie. Learn the signs.)

Bailey to Sarah’s place, but she still doesn’t want to talk to him since she thinks he’s going to break up with her. Instead, he desperately declares his love for her and invites her to hate him. She admits that she does, and she wants to hurt him, but she still loves him. Charlie and Kirsten finally stop at a motel for the night, and she’s not quite as happy as she was before. She insists that she’s fine, but Charlie’s starting to realize that this was a bad idea. He wakes up in the middle of the night to find Kirsten sitting in a chair, crying, like she used to in San Francisco. She tells him she left too soon and needs to go back to Chicago.

Sam goes skiing without Julia, who’s staying at the hospital with Claudia even though Claudia won’t talk to her. Claudia hears her on the phone, admitting to feeling horrible, and finally talks to her. Bailey tells Callie that he and Sarah aren’t breaking up, so their hookups have to stop. Callie notes that the last time he said that was right before they hooked up again. She tells him he’s not worth all the drama. (Dude, seriously.)

Just before they’re about to leave for Chicago, Kirsten tells Charlie that she’s always tried to defend him in therapy, but her therapist eventually got her to see that she can’t be with him. She’s never been able to fully get past him leaving her on their wedding day. Every time she looks at him, that’s what she sees. Back in San Francisco, Julia and Claudia are sisterly again, even making plans to go swimming together. Sam visits, and Julia tells him that since she sometimes has to take care of Claudia and Owen, she may have to cancel plans. He’s okay with it, and even thinks Julia’s awesome for being so responsible.

Charlie returns Kirsten to Chicago, then decides to leave right away. Ellie blasts him for putting Kirsten through something difficult. He doesn’t want to stick around for another round of Ellie Hates Charlie, so he leaves without his things. Bailey and Sarah, on the other hand, are doing okay. Charlie comes home to an empty house and cries.

Thoughts: This episode title makes no sense. It should have been the title of the previous episode.

Salingers, I will adopt Owen and take him off your hands, since apparently no one cares enough to make sure a competent person is in charge of him.

Was Claudia admitted to the hospital from school? Wouldn’t Julia have been contacted at school? That whole plot device doesn’t hold together. How long was she out shopping, anyway? I would think that if no one from the family could be contacted, Claudia would have asked for Ross.

Callie appears to be the only person on this show who does schoolwork.

So after all that, Sarah’s just okay with Bailey cheating on her? We didn’t get to see any discussion other than her saying she still loves him. She didn’t even wait a day before she took him back! Come on, girl.

September 21, 2013

Party of Five 3.9, Gimme Shelter: Well, Gimme Dinner, At Least

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:20 pm by Jenn

"Am I convincingly seductive in flannel?"

“Am I convincingly seductive in flannel?”

Summary: Charlie’s trying to pick a slogan for the restaurant. Claudia’s still ticked at him for not letting her go to the conservatory. Julia has four days to finish her college applications and figure out where she wants to apply early, so she needs lots of silence. She picked a bad time for that, since the roof is now being fixed. Charlie attempts to pull a Freaky Friday and switch lives with Owen.

Bailey wants to join his college’s hockey team, but he hasn’t played on a team since junior high, so the coach advises him to play intramurals this year and try out for the team again next year. Bailey’s disappointed. The roofers are up in Julia’s room and had to move some of her stuff around, so she’s not in a good mood. The roofers, brothers named Sam and Alec, don’t really care that they’re inconveniencing her.

Sarah’s day is going much better – she’s trying to get a job as a backup singer, and the audition led to a job in a carper commercial. Bailey’s decided not to try out for hockey again next year, since he wasn’t good enough for the good players this year. Alec tries to flirt with Julia, taking her up to the scaffolding to enjoy the fictional view of Marin. He talks about how his parents cut him off when he turned 18, so he went to work for his brother. He and Julia are starting to connect when he starts smoking a joint and she decides to leave.

Bailey and Sarah go to a bar so he can drink to forget about being rejected from the hockey team. He pretends that’s not the problem, though, saying he’s drinking to celebrate her commercial job and whatever’s going well in his life. Charlie picks a slogan, and it turns out the options were all submitted for a contest. The winner is a performance artist named Jim, who gets coupons for a year’s worth of dinners. He decides to use them for meals for some homeless friends. The other patrons are not pleased.

Along with the roofing, Sam has painted Claudia’s room black for her, which Julia objects to. Sam tells her to chill out. Julia ignores him and tells him to repaint. Bailey’s hungover and wants to skip class, which is no surprise. He gets a letter from the school’s wrestling coach inviting him to try out. Sarah tells him to go for it, but Bailey isn’t encouraged by a team that will be made up of people the coach has never met.

Grace comes to the restaurant to discuss how Charlie kicked the homeless people out of the restaurant the night before. (One of them told her.) Charlie argues that they weren’t clean enough to dine there, and he gave them food to go, so he didn’t do anything wrong. If his other customers leave because of the homeless ones, he goes out of business. Grace wonders how he would treat customers of other races. He reminds her that he gives her organization a lot of free food, so she might want to rethink her attitude.

Bailey meets the wrestling coach, Russ Petrocelli, who, like Bailey, is a former football player. Bailey starts working with the team, and he sucks. Alec invades the Salingers’ fridge, clearly stoned, because no one sober spends that much time thinking about pimentos. Julia puts on her disapproving face. Russ thinks Bailey has some potential as a wrestler and tells him to come to a meet the next night.

Julia tells Sam to talk to Alec about getting high at work, since there are kids in the house. Sam thinks she needs to stop worrying about how other people choose to live their lives. He just wants to finish the job so he can make some money. Claudia bashes Charlie for the homeless fiasco, having read about it in the paper. There’s also an editorial from Grace calling for a boycott of the Salingers’ restaurant. Charlie tells the family that the article didn’t get the story exactly right, but they don’t believe him.

Bailey goes to the wrestling meet, which is poorly attended because the team is on a losing streak (one which has carried over from their last season). Julia sees that Claudia failed a test and lectures her on not doing her schoolwork because she’s mad about Charlie saying no to the conservatory. Alec then lectures Julia on ratting him out to Sam; it was a waste of time because Sam doesn’t care. One of Charlie’s employees wants to quit because of the homeless fiasco, and now one of his regular patrons is skipping dinner there.

Russ encourages his wrestlers to keep working even though they’re not winning any meets. Eventually, the work will pay off. Bailey’s done with the whole thing, then seems disappointed when Russ doesn’t try to talk him out of quitting. Alec calls Sam at the Salingers’ to tell him he was pulled over for speeding and might have to stay in jail because he had beer in the car. Julia’s shocked that Sam won’t bail him out. She mocks him for thinking he’s too cool to care about people. She’s all, “I don’t like you,” like they won’t be making out within the next 20 minutes.

Sarah had a great day doing her commercial, and even got offered another one. Bailey had fun drinking his beer and moping in his apartment. He doesn’t think this is the best use of her talent. Just because she’s good at something doesn’t mean she has to do it for money: “Prostitutes get paid, too.” Instead of punching him in the face, Sarah lets him keep babbling about how she should stop doing commercials because they don’t make her look like a serious musician.

Charlie goes to see Grace at her office and asks for a truce and some help. She tells him she’s an advocate for the poor, so she’s not about to help someone who’s in his 20s and runs his family’s business. Charlie literally asks, “Who do you think you are?” Grace says that some people need others to take care of them so they can get ahead. Charlie just leaves.

Back at home, he confronts Claudia for publicly disavowing Charlie in the newspaper, saying her father wouldn’t have handled the homeless fiasco the way he did. Hearing the words herself, Claudia realizes how mean they are, but she’s still mad about the conservatory. He notes that things like this aren’t going to make him more sympathetic – in fact, they make him more certain that he made the right decision. He tells her to grow up.

Bailey’s surprised that Sarah didn’t listen to his totally overcontrolling words and is still going to do the second commercial. She blasts him for being unsupportive, because if the situations were reversed, she would support him. Sarah thinks he’s jealous because he doesn’t have anything going on in his life. She also thinks that Bailey’s turning into Callie and only enjoys doing fun things in the moment. She remembers that he used to do productive things.

Alec shows up for work at the Salingers’, but Sam fires him, telling him he can come back when he grows up and gets his life together. He gets to figure out how he’ll pay rent without a job. Julia overhears but doesn’t say anything. Charlie’s also experiencing job problems and has to cut back his employee’s hours because business isn’t so great.

Grace comes over, having looked up the Salingers’ family history, and apologizes for what she said about the family business. She has a suggestion to get the restaurant back on its feet. Charlie doesn’t want her help, which she can understand, but she doesn’t back down. Since the restaurant is empty between shifts, Grace suggests that Charlie serve the homeless then. She even has a bunch of volunteers who will serve them. Charlie wishes she’d brought this to him yesterday.

Claudia repaints her room, telling Julia that the black paint was too depressing and dark. Julia offers to help her. Bailey tracks down Russ and tells him that wrestling isn’t his first choice (or even his second or third), but his first choice doesn’t want him. He’s not sure it’s worth being on a team when he feels that way. Russ says that he didn’t originally want to coach wrestling, but he took the job because he needed the money. He stayed because he grew to love it. Bailey agrees to train with the team.

Charlie and Grace pull off their first homeless meal, finally talking without fighting with each other. She invites him to a movie afterward, and he accepts, noting that this is a strange twist on dinner and a movie. Julia congratulates Sam on how he treated Alec, because I’m sure he was just desperate for her approval. He comments that he’s never had a client talk to him the way she did about Alec. Julia tells him she’s not the princess he thinks she is. Then she asks him to take her up to the scaffolding. I ask someone, anyone, to remind Sam that Julia’s only 17.

Thoughts: There are three familiar guest stars in this episode:

  • Russ is played by Dan Lauria, best known as the father on The Wonder Years.
  • Sam is played by Ben Browder from Farscape and Stargate.
  • Alec is played by Breckin Meyer.

Owen status: alive and cute. He answers one of Charlie’s questions with an adorable, “No, sir.”

Dear Jim, you are awesome. Don’t listen to Charlie. He’s just bitter because he’s not as awesome as you are.