June 6, 2015

Party of Five 6.23, All’s Well…: Everything Good Is on the East Coast, I Guess

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

One episode left! One episode left! This frog is pumped!

One episode left! One episode left! This frog is pumped!

Summary: Bailey’s planning to spend some quality time with Owen, which must mean he’s feeling guilty about something. He confesses to Victor that he got into a summer college program that could lead to a spot in a business school. The only problem is that the college is in Pennsylvania. And we all know how Salingers feel about leaving San Francisco. Victor urges Bailey to ask Owen for his opinion, since he would have to go to Pennsylvania, too.

Julia’s weighing her own options for the summer: school, more conferences, or counseling abuse victims. She also has an interview with the National Organization for Women. Griffin gets bored and wishes Justin were having to listen to this instead. Over at Todd’s, he and Claudia have fallen into that part of the relationship where they keep having sex and losing track of time. She suggests that they live together next year, since they both plan to be in San Francisco. Todd thinks they should wait until they have a “practical reason” to move in together.

Daphne and Luke are in town so Luke can mansplain that Charlie’s selling off pieces of the factory so all the employees can have a stake. Daphne tells Charlie that they keep looking at apartments but she doesn’t like any of them. She misses Diana, and she knows Luke’s fed up with her being so grumpy about it. Julia interviews for an internship with NOW that sounds like a combination of her three other options – she’d be writing, counseling, and doing public speaking. The catch is that she’d have to move to D.C.

Bailey tells Owen about the possible move to Pennsylvania, though Owen questions whether he actually gets a vote. He announces that he wants to stay in San Francisco. Typical Salinger! Bailey still wants to go, though. Owen doesn’t like that idea either. Claudia tells Julia that she and Todd are having sex, assuring her sister that they’re being safe and everything is good. However, that increased intimacy in their relationship has made other parts of her life more complicated.

Charlie comes home to find Daphne upset. She loves Luke, but everyone else she loves is in San Francisco. Since she could never ask him to give up his job, and he could never ask her to give up Diana, she feels like she needs to break up with Luke. Bailey discusses Pennsylvania with Joe, who tells him about the dreams he gave up to help with the restaurant when he was younger. He doesn’t want Bailey to give up his own dreams. Joe reminds him that other people can take care of Owen.

Claudia has a lesson with Ross, but she’s too distracted to play well. She confides that she got into Juilliard but isn’t going to attend because of Todd and expenses. Ross tells her that money and a boy aren’t good reasons to give up something so huge. He thinks Todd would understand. Julia tells Justin about the internship offer and how perfect it would be for her. He notes that she would be closer to him, but he gets that it would be tough for her to be away from her family. Julia thinks that the rest of them will still have each other, so it’ll be okay. She’s going to D.C.

Bailey brings up Pennsylvania to Charlie, who’s annoyed that Bailey let him believe they might become business partners. Bailey can’t decide what to do since getting what he wants would mean Owen’s unhappy. Charlie reminds him that they had that big custody battle, so Bailey better not expect to be able to just pass Owen back to him. Parenting means sacrificing, and Owen deserves the best, so Bailey better give him that.

Justin’s not so sure about Julia living in D.C., because it can be dangerous, and humid, and also he won’t be there. Bailey looks into colleges he could attend closer to home. The guy who helped him get where he is now is like, “You want to go somewhere that’s not Wharton? Are you crazy?” Todd confronts Claudia for not telling him that she’s thinking about going to Juilliard. He found out from Ross when he asked their boss for a signature on an aid application. But Todd’s not mad that she wants to go – he’s mad that she’s hesitating. If it were him, he’d definitely go.

Julia’s annoyed that Justin seems to be trying to prepare her for the big, bad world. He actually wants her to ask him to leave Yale and come to D.C. with her. Apparently she’s on board with that, which I just don’t get. Charlie berates Bailey for having his head somewhere other than their business. Bailey whines that he’s finally close to getting what he wants, but he can’t have it because what Charlie wants is in the way. Basically, he wants Charlie to let him back out of the promise Bailey made to take Owen.

Charlie talks to Owen about the possibility of him coming to live with him and Kirsten. Owen likes the idea of being a kind of big brother to Diana, like Charlie was to the other Salingers. Claudia admits to Todd that she asked him to live with her partly because she wanted a reason to stay in San Francisco. She didn’t want to hurt him by leaving. Todd thinks he hurt her, though, because he let her feel guilty when she should have been excited. He points out that they don’t have to break up, and they still have the whole summer to spend together before she leaves for New York.

Julia laments to Justin that she and her siblings will grow apart if they don’t see each other every day. I CAN’T HANDLE THESE PEOPLE’S CO-DEPENDENCE ANYMORE. Charlie tells Bailey that he’s made the decision for him about Wharton: He’s going. Charlie has given Bailey’s job to Luke, which allows Daphne to move back to San Francisco. Charlie will take Owen, and possibly move back into the Salingers’ house. He tells Bailey that he’s earned the chance to do something for himself. Bailey’s touched by his brother’s generosity.

Thoughts: Dear Salingers: You are ADULTS. You do not have to live within five miles of each other forever. Go live your own lives!

Julia, don’t laugh at Justin for cautioning you about finding an apartment in a safe neighborhood in D.C. Some parts of the city are flipping scary.

Julia was at Stanford. Claudia got into Juilliard. Bailey could go to Wharton. Why so many overachievers in one family? How did that happen?

Part of me thinks Owen deserves a vote in where he lives. But part of me is like, “Bailey gets to make the decisions. Suck it up and go to PA.” And then there’s the rest of me, which stopped caring two seasons ago.

There’s just one! Episode! Left! I’ll probably post the recap during the week instead of waiting for next weekend. That way I can get started on my next show sooner (and be rid of this one already). I’m too excited to wait!

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.

May 2, 2015

Party of Five 6.18, Too Cool for School: Taking Classes, Building Things – the Family Business

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

This little duckling says, "There are only six episodes left!"

This little duckling says, “There are only six episodes left!”

Summary: Things are going well at the furniture factory with Charlie in charge. Gus reveals that a company wants to buy him out, and he’s considering the sale. Charlie’s annoyed that Gus put him in charge and is now taking away what he’s worked so hard to build up. He has a ton of ideas that he hasn’t been able to start working on yet. Gus thinks the sale will give him more time for that.

Owen wants to take Victor to school to talk about his life for show-and-tell. Victor refuses multiple times, then runs off. One of Julia and Adam’s professors objects to Julia’s use of stream-of-consciousness writing, but Adam stands up for her. He’s defensive about there not being rules in writing. Bailey meets with a woman who I guess is a career consultant or headhunter; whoever she is, she tells him he needs a business degree to do the kind of job he wants.

Charlie meets with people from the company that wants to buy the factory, and though the offer is impressive, he’s hesitant to take a job where he’ll need approval for his ideas. Claudia and Todd spend some time together before he goes to New York for a few days. He’ll be working with an old friend who happens to be a woman, so of course Claudia’s jealous. He assures her that she hasn’t been in love with him for a very long time.

Bailey tells Holly that he really, really doesn’t want to go back to college. She thinks he just needs to find something that really interests him. She’s pre-med and fascinated by everything she reads about for her classes. He just needs to find his own “pre.” Charlie tells Kirsten that he’s not sure he can take a job where someone’s always looking over his shoulder. Plus, he’ll have to make popular items, not the things he wants to make. Kirsten jokingly suggests that Charlie buy the factory, and he admits that he’s considered it.

Julia asks Adam why he got so defensive with their professor. He doesn’t like that she accepts everything their teachers say and lets them pass judgment on her. Julia points out that that’s kind of the point of college. Claudia tries to find out more about Victor, who claims there’s nothing interesting about him. She encourages him to open up about whatever he’s obviously trying to keep from Owen. Victor won’t budge.

Charlie goes over his business proposal for the factory with Bailey, who’s supportive but realistic. It’s going to be super-expensive. Downtown, Claudia spots Victor in a heated argument with a woman who he appears to buy something from. Holly invites Bailey to sit in on a class with her, but he’s made up his mind that school is a bad fit for him. Classes make him feel dumb. Adam picks a fight with his professor over his use of language and whether his story is clear. Apparently he just turned in a story by Samuel Beckett to make a point. I don’t know. Shut up, Adam.

Charlie tries to get a bank loan, but he doesn’t have enough collateral. Bailey peeks in on a biology class but finds it over his head. Then he’s drawn to an economics class, which is much more his speed. Claudia and Todd talk on the phone about Victor, but they’re interrupted when his friend Mabel picks up the line. It turns out they got caught in a rainstorm and she needed dry clothes. Plus, she lost her purse, so Todd’s letting her spend the night.

Bailey tells Charlie that he spoke to some venture capitalists who think he can come up with enough collateral for the factory sale. Charlie announces that he can’t ask everyone involved to take such a big risk just so he can make his own designs. The sale will give him lots of money and allow him to spend more time with Kirsten. Bailey thinks Charlie should go through with buying the factory – it’s right for him. Charlie says that there are things that are more important.

Claudia hears Victor on the phone, threatening to go see someone for a face-to-face confrontation. She admits that she saw him fighting with the woman downtown. Victor accuses her of suspecting that he was buying drugs. She has no right to interrogate him or invade his privacy. Julia’s distressed because Adam could get kicked out of school, but he doesn’t care. She tells him she’s at least committing to school. Adam shoots back that she’s begging for approval. He may not commit to school, but he commits to himself.

Bailey stays up late reading an economics textbook, interested in learning more about what the professor was talking about in the class he audited. Holly guesses that it’s more interesting to him now than a couple years ago because he’s had real-world experiences and knows how to apply it. He admits that he’s considering going back to college after all.

Bailey, Claudia, and Julia stage a sort of intervention on Charlie to urge him to buy the factory. They’re willing to put up their shares of the restaurant as collateral. Bailey thinks it would be riskier not to take the chance. They’d like to own a piece of Charlie’s business and be a part of something that’s growing. Charlie worries that something will go wrong and they’ll lose the restaurant. Julia and Claudia say that the family’s different now, so maybe the family business should be, too.

Claudia apologizes to Victor for prying into his personal life, but he thinks she has a right to know what’s going on. He tells her that the woman he fought with was Valerie, his sort-of girlfriend from when he was a teenager in Brooklyn. She got pregnant and wanted to marry Victor, but he’d started to realize he was gay.

Victor wouldn’t help her with the baby, so Valerie moved to San Francisco to live with her parents. Later, when Victor matured, he moved here to see Valerie and their daughter, but her parents have kept him away. The thing she gave him was a picture of their daughter. Valerie’s parents don’t think Victor wants to be a father, but that’s what he wants more than anything.

Julia goes to see Adam, but he’s split town. Todd brings Claudia flowers and a huge model of the Empire State Building to try to convince her that he doesn’t want to be with Mabel. She just wants assurance that she doesn’t need to worry, which he easily gives her. Bailey’s more anxious than Charlie to hear back from Gus about which buyout offer he wants to take. When Gus accepts Charlie’s offer, both brothers are super-excited. Charlie takes a moment to look at his designs and think about what he’ll get to make in the future.

Thoughts: Adam gives English majors a bad name. There’s always at least one who thinks he’s above critique and, you know, actually learning stuff. Why go to college at all if you’re not going to listen?

Also, this plot is turning out just like the Joey/Oliver Hudson (I can’t remember his character’s name and I’m not interested enough to look it up) plot from Dawson’s Creek that this was already similar to.

Everyone being supportive of Charlie is so sweet. I’m such a softie for supportive families.

March 21, 2015

Party of Five 6.12, Bad Behavior: Teach Your Children Well. Or Not at All. Whatever

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 1:26 pm by Jenn

Julia's new boyfriend. Maybe this one won't be a big mess

Julia’s new boyfriend. Maybe this one won’t be a big mess

Summary: Bailey comes home after a night out and pretends he got up early to go to the gym. Owen notices that he’s wearing the same clothes he wore the day before. Will and Victor know that Bailey’s been hooking up all week; they approve. Will mentions that he’s in a new relationship with a woman named Deborah, and things are going slowly. They’re about to go even slower since Deborah’s sister is coming to visit. Bailey offers to entertain the sister so Will and Deborah can be alone.

Daphne accidentally interrupts Charlie’s work presentation, then saves it by making a sale. Julia has trouble with a class assignment that doesn’t give her any specifications. One of her classmates gets right to work while Julia faces writer’s block. Victor tries to clarify arrangements for a sleepover Owen’s having with a friend, but the friend’s father changes the plans to keep his kid from going to the Salingers’. Julia’s surprised to see that her classmate wrote something good in a short amount of time. She asks him for tips to overcome writer’s block.

At a concert, Claudia runs a guy named Todd, who she used to compete against in strings competitions. He’s stuck with music and is surprised that she gave it up. He invites her to sit with him. Charlie tells Kirsten that Daphne’s a surprisingly good salesperson. Kirsten falls asleep, but I don’t think it’s personal. Deborah’s sister Megan wants to go to a club after their double date with Will and Bailey; Deborah objects, but Bailey agrees to go. After he leaves, Deborah tells Will that she doesn’t like Bailey.

Claudia hangs out with Todd, who plays violin on hip-hop tracks for a living. He asks her to a party, and she balks until he assures her that he just wants her to meet some of his friends. Julia tracks down her classmate, Adam, who works on a historical ship. She’s thinking about using him as her character in the writing assignment she’s struggling with. She reveals that she’s figured out that he doesn’t really go to her school.

Victor tells Bailey that he thinks Owen’s friend’s father had a problem with his son spending the night under the guardianship of a gay man. Bailey decides that he doesn’t want his brother hanging out with homophobes. Victor advises him to explain things to Owen so he gets what’s going on. Charlie goes to a work party with Kirsten, who encourages him to leave early to help Daphne get some furniture ready for a convention.

Todd praises Claudia after a jam session, telling her she may already have a job offer in the works. He tells her that this job involves really listening to the music and trusting your instincts. He kisses her, but she runs off. Adam tells Julia about his dead father and runaway mother, who left him with no money. She thinks he should apply for financial aid. Adam’s worried that he’ll get busted for auditing classes; he doesn’t want to take the risk.

Bailey’s late to the restaurant, and Will accuses him of hanging out with Megan. Apparently Bailey slept with her the previous night, and she was a virgin before that. Now Megan’s upset that Bailey didn’t call her. Bailey tells Will that Megan basically begged him for sex, and if he hadn’t slept with her, someone else would have. Will still thinks Bailey’s a bad guy for…sleeping with a virgin, I guess. I don’t know.

Kirsten’s late getting to the convention, which Daphne has jazzed up with naked women (might as well put pretty women in a bed to sell the bed, right?). Julia finds Claudia practicing her violin in the shed, apparently trying to hide that she’s playing again. She tells Julia about Todd and how stable and adult he is. She wanted to kiss him back, but after the situation with Derek, she’s not sure she can trust her instincts.

Owen tries to avoid Victor, eventually calling him an extremely offensive word he learned from his friend. Victor calmly asks him not to use it again. Owen doesn’t know what the word means, but he knows it’s bad. His friend said Victor would turn him gay. Victor’s annoyed that Bailey didn’t explain things to Owen. Victor tries to use people’s likes and dislikes to explain that everyone is different, and it doesn’t make anyone good or bad.

Kirsten arrives at the end of the convention, and she and Charlie bicker about how they’ve been unable to be there for each other at work functions. He points out that he was able to make time to go to Kirsten’s work party. One of them will need to make a concession. “Are you volunteering?” Kirsten sasses. Adam blasts Julia for using him for her assignment, because a professor figured things out and he’s been banned from campus.

Victor confronts Bailey for not talking to Owen, who now has that new vocabulary word. Bailey claims that he just got Owen out of the house because he didn’t know how to explain things with him. Victor reminds Bailey that he’s not Owen’s parent. He’s considering leaving so Bailey will have to take care of his brother instead of passing him off to someone else.

Julia tells Adam that she talked to someone on the school’s board (uh-huh, sure), and if he applies, he might get a spot. Adam admits that he never finished high school. His mom left and he had to work to support himself. Julia encourages him to finish and then apply to college. Adam doesn’t want her help. Bailey finally pretends to be a responsible adult, telling Owen that he’ll always be there for him.

Claudia asks Todd to meet her for a talk, which he commandeers by admitting that he’s still the same geek he always was. His sister has been helping him seem cooler, but he realized he couldn’t keep up the charade forever. Claudia asks him to help her get the job he thought she might get offered. Julia bugs Adam again, advising him to let her help him study for the GED. She accuses him of being afraid of having his work judged along with everyone else’s. He accuses her of being afraid to try new things. When she agrees to work on that, he makes her create a character on the spot.

Charlie calls Kirsten at work so they can discuss staying connected while they’re both so busy. Their conversation veers toward phone sex, so…I guess that’s their solution. While cleaning up the kitchen at the house, Bailey casually grabs a beer from the fridge and takes a few sips. Dun dun!

Thoughts: Adam is played by Sean Maher (Firefly). Todd is played by one of my childhood crushes, Thomas Ian Nicholas (Rookie of the Year, the American Pie movies).

As a writer, Julia would know to NEVER read someone’s writing without asking. Adam was right to try to avoid her.

Victor: “You know how some people like D.C. Comics and some like Marvel?” Owen: “Right. I like both.” You heard it here first, folks: Owen is bi.

Ugh, I hated this he’s-not-really-a-student plot on Dawson’s Creek, too. At least that one had Roger Howarth as an entertainment factor.

March 14, 2015

Party of Five 6.11, Fear and Loathing: Use Your Words (or, Failing That, Kick Someone in the Chest)

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 1:19 pm by Jenn

Charlie wants to build this? Cool! I don't think it'll make a comfortable chair, though

Charlie wants to build this? Cool! I don’t think it’ll make a comfortable chair, though

Summary: Claudia’s packing for a big East Coast college trip, which is news to Bailey. She’s still planning to apply to college early so she can get away from high school. Julia knows about the trip since she wanted to go visit Justin at Yale, but she didn’t realize it was happening so soon. Claudia’s determined to go on her own if no one can accompany her. Julia volunteers to chaperone her, all excited about a sister road trip.

Kirsten calls Charlie at work to report that the surgical procedure she wanted is going to be mostly covered by insurance. This means they might be able to conceive without fertility treatments. She schedules the surgery, though she’s worried about Charlie making a tight deadline at work. Owen tells Victor about a kid named Morgan who’s been bullying him. He doesn’t want Bailey to know. Victor encourages him to stand up to Morgan, which will definitely, 100 percent work.

Claudia and Julia head to Yale; Julia’s staying at Justin’s apartment while Claudia stays on campus. Since Victor is now effectively raising Owen, Bailey has more time for sex with Holly. Yay? She wants to spend more time together, because being apart for 48 hours was too much for her. He’s hesitant to push things too much. Charlie’s late picking up Diana, thanks to work, and discovers that Luke has moved in with Daphne.

Julia meets Justin’s girlfriend, Laura, who’s full of energy and has turned Justin into a runner. (She also broke the nose of a guy who once tried to assault her, so: new role model.) Charlie’s still working on finding ways to spend money, with no luck. He’s also stressing over Daphne’s new living situation, and the possible complications of Kirsten’s surgery. Kirsten thinks he should be focusing on his work project instead.

Owen stood up to Morgan, but it didn’t work. Womp womp. Claudia meets up with her student guide, Peter, who thinks they should skip the standard freshman tour since it won’t tell her what she really wants to know about college. He’s going to take her on the insider’s tour instead. Claudia, if he makes a move, pull a Laura.

At a bowling alley with Owen, Victor encourages Bailey to take Holly up on her suggestion that they spend more time together. Bailey doesn’t want to change their schedule since then they won’t be casual. (Because nothing says “casual relationship” like a schedule.) Owen runs into some musclehead, spilling ice cream on him, and when Victor steps in, the musclehead threatens to hit him. Victor bends the guy’s arm back, so now Owen has a new role model, too.

Daphne takes Diana to visit Charlie at work, because that’ll help him meet his deadline. Daphne suggests that they alter their custody arrangement so Diana spends a few nights with her. After all, Charlie’s working later hours, and Diana’s already falling asleep at Daphne’s. Charlie declines, and Daphne immediately guesses that it’s about Luke. Charlie’s worried about leaving his daughter alone with a guy they don’t know well. He doesn’t think Daphne’s being as responsible as she wants to be.

Julia has dinner with Justin and Laura, hearing all about Laura’s goodwill work in Kenya. When she leaves the table, Justin tells Julia how being with Laura has made him a better person. He admires how she’s already planned out her life. He’s been thinking about proposing, and has decided that he’ll just do it instead of talking about doing it. Julia’s like, “No, yeah, she’s totally great! I’m not exhausted just listening to her talk!”

Outside Holly’s building, Bailey – who has apparently become a stalker – sees her with another guy. Daphne goes to Charlie’s to get Diana, but he’s dozed off and lost track of her. Fortunately, Diana’s just wandered into the bathroom to play with the toilet paper. Daphne remarks that things like this happen, “even to responsible parents.” Nice one. Claudia’s enjoying her time with Peter, experiencing actual college things like attending classes and hanging out at coffee shops.

Victor teaches Owen some self-defense, reminding him that violence is always a last resort. Owen would also like to learn some wrestling moves in case words aren’t enough. Claudia stops in at a restroom before going to class with Peter, but he surprises her by meeting her inside. She’s understandably upset, lecturing him that a girl being nice to him doesn’t entitle him to anything. Peter tells her that it’s a co-ed bathroom and he wasn’t there to do anything sketchy.

Charlie decides to take the night off to spend time with Diana and Kirsten. Kirsten’s surprised to hear that he’s put his big project on hold for a while. She thinks he’s giving up because he hasn’t come up with any ideas he likes. Charlie says he’s just focusing on more important things right now. Kirsten encourages him to face challenges rather than avoid them. He’s dreamed about making furniture for years, and this is the first time he’s gotten the chance to actually do it.

Bailey asks Holly for clarification on their dating arrangement, which she says is open, but only between each other (whatever that means). He wonders if she would tell him if she wanted to go out with someone else. She asks if he would want her to. He would, so Holly says she will if that ever happens. Bailey questions her recent social activities, and she says she’s spent some time with a co-worker, but nothing’s going on between them. She’s not happy with him for stalking her.

Julia confides to Claudia that she doesn’t think Justin should propose to Laura, since they haven’t been together that long. Claudia announces that she doesn’t care. She’s skipping the rest of the trip and going home tomorrow. Julia asks what she can do to make things better. Claudia asks her to go back in time and stop her from going into the bedroom with Derek.

Charlie drops Diana off with Luke, seeing that Luke has done a lot of decorating in Diana’s room. He agrees to let Luke and Daphne keep Diana overnight. So I guess putting up pictures of sheep is all it takes to prove you’re responsible! Justin thanks Julia for being supportive of his decision to propose to Laura – he’s officially decided to do it. Julia pretends to still be supportive.

Owen is sent home from school for using his newfound self-defense moves on Morgan. Bailey confronts Victor for not telling him about the bullying, and for teaching Owen to fight. Victor thinks he’s justified in using violence if using words has failed. He spent years feeling ashamed and afraid because of the way other kids treated him. If Owen can get through his childhood by taking care of himself this way, he should.

Julia tracks down Claudia and asks for more information on her decision to go home early. Claudia refuses, ordering Julia to leave her alone. Julia also refuses. Claudia cries, unable to figure out what to say. Kirsten’s surgery goes well, and Charlie tells her that the doctor thinks it could be successful. Kirsten admits to being scared because conception is dependent on her now; there are no more excuses for failure. Charlie admires her courage, saying he also has no more excuses for his career.

Bailey tells Holly that he needs to face his fears about commitment – they should become exclusive. Holly knows he’s not over Sarah, and that she’s a rebound for him. She knew that going in, but she thought dating for long enough would help him work through his breakup with Sarah. Holly wants Bailey to take more time before he gets into another serious relationship. However, she can’t promise she’ll still be available when he’s ready to commit.

Charlie gets up in the middle of the night to work on a design after having a Frank Gehry-inspired dream about unfinished work. Julia and Claudia are also up late, getting ready to head home. Claudia asks Julia if it took her a long time to trust another guy after she and Ned broke up. She thinks that’s what’s hurting her the most. She’s ready now to tell Julia what happened with Peter.

Thoughts: What a waste of a title. No one went to Las Vegas!

Hello, Charles Esten’s biceps! How you doin’?

Victor, please teach Claudia some self-defense as well. Maybe it’ll help her feel better.

February 21, 2015

Party of Five 6.8, Fate, Hope and Charity: Fate Is a Poor Excuse for Becoming a Stalker

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 1:32 am by Jenn

I want to like you, Holly, but...

I want to like you, Holly, but…

Summary: Bailey has dinner with some really annoying girl, ditching her to talk to Joe, then Tracy. He’s disappointed that he can’t spend more time with his married girlfriend. He tells the annoying girl that they’re dating, but she doesn’t care. Charlie’s 30th birthday is coming up, and though he tells Kirsten he doesn’t want to make a big deal about it, he kind of wants to make a little deal about it. At school, Claudia and her friends plan Homecoming, but she splits when Derek shows up.

Brian tracks down Julia to apologize for kissing her. She’s happy to forget about it and move on. Bailey wants Charlie to move some of his things out of the Salingers’ basement so Will can live down there. Charlie would rather talk about how he’s dating two women at once. Then suddenly there’s a third woman in the picture; she’s at the wrong house, but Bailey wonders if they were meant to meet. He asks her on a date for the next night, bugging her when she keeps saying no.

Back at the house, Bailey invites Daphne and Griffin to Charlie’s birthday party. Somehow, they realize that he’s figured out that they’re…dating? Is that what they’re doing? Julia gets down about some critiques of her book, then gets more annoyed when Evan doesn’t show her any sympathy or give her support. Later, Julia and Brian encounter each other again at Evan’s house, and he tries to make her feel better about the critiques. Hey, do you think the show is trying to tell us that Julia and Brian are a better match than Julia and Evan?

Bailey’s fated woman, Holly, must be crazy because she agrees to go on a date with him. We’re supposed to think they’re cute, but it’s gross. She’s all type A and a control freak like Bailey, but she gave in to a guy who harassed her, so I can’t root for her. Julia has also figured out that Griffin and Daphne are…whatever, and she assures him that she’s fine with it. Griffin says it’s just casual, and he can’t picture them actually dating. Julia wonders if he could picture her with him before they got together. She encourages him to tell Daphne how he feels about her.

In the Salingers’ basement, Charlie finds a model of a house he made back when he was in architecture school. Claudia tells Alexa that she’s quitting the Homecoming committee because of Derek. She doesn’t get how Alexa can hang out with him like nothing happened. Alexa points out that Claudia didn’t tell anyone that he assaulted her; Derek didn’t get punished, so Claudia can’t expect other people to punish him.

Brian says goodbye to Julia before heading back to college, admitting that he doesn’t want to hang around and watch his father date someone he’d like to be with. Evan overhears them talking about the kiss but doesn’t say anything. Bailey wants to go out with Holly again, but she likes the idea of ending on a high note and keeping their good memories of each other. Their date is interrupted by Tracy’s husband, who confronts Bailey in the restaurant and punches him.

Julia pushes Evan to talk about her kiss with Brian and how she kept it from him. She wants to make sure he knows that the kiss didn’t mean anything to her. Evan believes her and isn’t surprised that Brian’s interested in her. Claudia’s an outsider at school again, now that she doesn’t want to spend time with the popular kids. Myra’s snuck in some alcohol, and Claudia decides to join her for a drink.

Bailey tracks down Holly, which is REALLY GROSS, and tries to get her to see that he’s really a good guy. He only hooked up with Tracy to get Sarah out of his system. Holly thinks they’re a mismatch because Bailey’s not mature enough to know that a meaningless affair is a bad idea. Julia’s upset that Evan’s always so nonchalant about everything and never shows emotion. Evan admits that the kiss bothered him, but he doesn’t see the point in complaining about it. Julia would like him to give her more emotion than he would any other random person in his life. Otherwise, why be together?

Myra’s alcohol loosens Claudia up, and when Derek starts to leave to get his own bottle, she announces that girls should be careful around him. She accuses Alexa and Cameron of knowing his true nature and not saying anything. She’s tired of the view she’s gotten from being in the top tier. Griffin goes to see Daphne at her job and asks her to go somewhere to talk. She knows what he wants to talk about, so she asks to go for a ride on his motorcycle instead. He puts his only helmet on her and lets her drive. She’s bad at it, and they crash.

Charlie, Kirsten, Julia, Claudia, and Victor convene at the hospital; Daphne’s mostly okay, but Griffin has a head injury and needs reconstructive surgery on his hand. He may not be able to fully use it. Plus, Griffin doesn’t have insurance, so he’ll have to be sent to a hospital with lesser facilities. Julia authorizes the surgery, declaring that the Salingers will figure out a way to pay for it. Bailey arrives late and runs into Holly, who works there and finally finds it creepy that he’s always around. Victor visits Daphne, who cries and asks, “What have I done?”

Evan shows up, ready to do actual boyfriend stuff for Julia. He knows she’s right about his problems showing emotions; she’s not the first person to mention them. He asks her to bear with him while he works through them. Julia, however, has realized that she has the bad habit of dating men who ask her to bear with them while they deal with their issues. She thought he was the opposite of Ned, who couldn’t control his feelings. She can’t keep dating someone who requires so much work.

Charlie spends the morning of his birthday on the roof of the hospital, telling Kirsten how seeing Griffin made him remember when he was in the hospital. He’s decided to start focusing on what’s important to him. He’s going to quit teaching and will eventually go back to architecture. Whenever anything bad happened to him, Charlie would try to trust fate; if he held on long enough, things would get good again. He’s going to try to remember that.

Holly tries to be nice to Bailey (nicer than he deserves), but he’s snotty to her because she said he wasn’t mature enough for her. He thinks he should get a pass because he made a mistake. Acting like an idiot got him a date with Holly, so she can’t say that being reckless is all bad. Julia tells Griffin that the doctors are hopeful, but no one’s 100 percent sure what kind of recovery he’ll have.

Thoughts: Holly is played by Rhona Mitra. When I looked up what she’s been in to find out what she’s known for the most, I realized that I’ve never actually seen her in anything.

Rejected Homecoming theme: the Heart of the Sea. SO ’90s.

Bailey, bugging Holly: “Sometimes you just can’t take no for an answer.” Well, you’d better learn to. Alert to all men: Bailey’s behavior in this episode is not cute. Asking a woman out multiple times and ignoring her when she declines is not romantic. You are not the star of an adorable Hollywood movie. Shut your mouth and walk away.

February 14, 2015

Party of Five 6.7, We Gather Together: Regrets Only

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 1:27 pm by Jenn

A lot of people on this show could use some time with this crew

A lot of people on this show could use some time with this crew

Summary: Charlie’s back in the principal’s office, eager to do something about Myra and her mother’s accusations. The principal, Mary Anne, tells him that they won’t file charges if Charlie resigns. Charlie refuses – quitting would be like saying he’s guilty. Mary Anne disagrees, arguing that it would be like saying it never happened. If charges are filed, all the other parents will immediately see Charlie as guilty, whether he is or not.

Julia spends the night at Evan’s, then wakes up to find his son, Brian, in the house. Brian is also a college student, and he’s not thrilled that his father’s dating someone so young. He’s been reading Julia’s manuscript and wonders how she could have so many life experiences in so few years. Evan is disappointed to learn that Brian dropped out of college, but Brian thinks it’s just because Evan can’t get his tuition back. Evan accuses him of ruining his college career out of spite. Brian shoots back that Evan cares more about other people’s children than his own.

Joe has no Thanksgiving plans, so he wants to have a meal at the restaurant. Bailey invites him to have dinner with the rest of the Salingers. Tracy stops by the restaurant to confront Bailey for avoiding her calls. He tells her he doesn’t want to get involved with someone who’s already married. Tracy thinks her husband’s already cheating, so why shouldn’t she have some fun, too? Bailey still resists, but he doesn’t look happy about it.

Claudia returns to school after playing sick for a while to avoid Derek. He admits that he had too much to drink and got “out of control,” but it was all in fun. Claudia clearly doesn’t agree. Victor tries to help Daphne look for a job, but she’s distracted at the sight of Griffin, who she suddenly has the hots for. Victor thinks she should go for it. Daphne resists, so Victor gets Griffin to give her a ride somewhere. It’s all very high school.

Julia questions Evan and Brian’s relationship, which has been bad for years. (Evan gives the exposition that he was 18 when Brian was born, so don’t go thinking he’s old or anything.) He wonders if the badness is his fault. Joe invites Victor to the Salingers’ Thanksgiving, which already various non-Salingers anyway.

Kirsten agrees with Charlie’s first instinct not to quit, but Charlie’s reconsidering – they could use the money he would get as severance. He also wants Kirsten to avoid stress; she’s already undergone IVF treatments and could be pregnant. Claudia confides in Julia that Derek tried to rape her. Julia comforts her, then urges her to report him. She thinks Derek has probably assaulted other girls, and if Claudia doesn’t say something, he could attack another girl. Claudia’s not ready to speak up.

Charlie and Mary Anne meet with Myra’s mother and a lawyer so Charlie can resign, but Myra’s mother also wants him to apologize. He wonders why she’s offering a deal if she thinks he’s guilty. Myra’s mother says it’s so Myra doesn’t have to face Charlie in a courtroom. Charlie blasts her for being a horrible mother. Mary Anne tries to negotiate wording that Charlie can agree with so he’ll just be saying he regrets how he handled things with Myra.

Claudia tells Alexa about Derek’s assault, now also thinking that she should report him. Alexa thinks Derek should get a pass – he was drunk, he regrets what happened, and an accusation like this could ruin his life. If there was no actual rape, then no one got hurt. Alexa adds that she believes Claudia, but other people won’t.

At Evan’s, Brian accuses Julia of playing house to make her family think everything’s great. Julia tells him to come out and tell her whatever his problem is with her. Brian doesn’t like that his father is dating someone so young, and that Julia’s acting like his mother when they barely know each other. Evan walks out during the argument, which is always mature. Kirsten tells Charlie that she got a false positive on a pregnancy test.

The next day, Charlie and Claudia go grocery shopping and discuss the Myra situation. He’s decided to fight back. Claudia warns that the whole school will find out about Myra’s accusations, and everyone will be talking about him. Charlie knows it’ll be tough for both him and Claudia, but he wants the truth to come out. When they get home, they’re impressed with how nicely Victor has decorated the house. Evan and Brian are both there, so this is going to be awkward.

Will wants Bailey to go on a double date with him; he’s caught the attention of two ring girls. He reminds Bailey that he wanted to be more spontaneous. Daphne and Griffin start drinking, which can’t end well. Brian blows up at Evan, then runs off. Evan doesn’t see the point in chasing after him since they always have the same conversation. Julia points out that Brian doesn’t have anyone else to chase after him. A drunk Daphne and Griffin head to the basement to look for more alcohol but only find balsamic vinegar. They console themselves by making out.

Myra shows up and promises Charlie that she never made any accusations; her mother made inferences and took things too far. Not that Myra denied them, of course. She’s upset that taking the case to court could lead to Charlie accusing Myra’s mother of being a bad parent, which might get Myra taken away from her. After Myra leaves, everyone else sits down to dinner, which kicks off with Victor singing grace.

After dinner, Bailey goes to Tracy’s to tell her he used to be fun. She kisses him and invites him inside. Charlie goes to Myra’s to tell her mother that Myra’s going to testify that the accusations are false. Both of them want to protect the people they love, so he would like Myra’s mother to do the right thing for her daughter.

Daphne and Griffin have an awkward conversation, avoiding discussing their hookup while agreeing to still be friends. Maybe friends who make out. Claudia tells Julia that she’s decided to keep her assault quiet so people won’t start talking about her. Julia thinks that’s a bad idea, not least because she’s going to have to keep going to school with Derek. Claudia just wants to pretend it never happened.

Will surprises Bailey at work, ready for their double date with the ring girls, and Bailey is suddenly so spontaneous that he cancels plans with Tracy to go out with them. Charlie’s ready to move on from the whole Myra mess, and he tells Kirsten that he’s optimistic that she’ll get pregnant. She thinks they should wait before trying again, but he notes that they fought through their struggles and things turned out all right.

Julia’s meddling worked, and Evan and Brian have patched things up. Plus, Brian has decided to go back to school (partly so he doesn’t have to pay his father back for his tuition). He knows Julia talked Evan into doing some actual parenting for once. Brian still thinks Julia’s too young for Evan, but he doesn’t mind her so much anymore. In fact, he minds her so little that he tries to kiss her. Now that’s awkward.

Thoughts: Brian is played by Eric Mabius from Ugly Betty. He looks so scrawny here.

I can’t remember ever seeing an assault plot on TV where the person who was attacked wants to keep it quiet. Usually the show wants to send the message that you shouldn’t let the attacker get away with it.

They really overloaded the cast this season. There are way too many people on the show. I wonder at what point they knew this would be the last season, and they decided to just do whatever they wanted.

“If you report this, you could, like, ruin his life.” Go away, Alexa. Juliet would have already beaten the crap out of this guy.

February 7, 2015

Party of Five 6.6, Too Close: Maybe Having Children Isn’t Worth It

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 1:39 pm by Jenn

Still a better relationship than Evan and Julia's

Still a better relationship than Evan and Julia’s

Summary: Julia’s anxious for all of Evan’s co-workers to go home so the two of them can get it on. This is a completely normal, professional relationship, guys. She thinks it would be okay to tell everyone. Evan knows tells her how dumb that is, especially for her career. Bailey’s depressed over his breakup with Sarah, so Will tries to put a positive spin on things: He took control and got out of a bad situation.

Kirsten and Charlie have a doctor’s appointment and learn that things are progressing well in their attempts to conceive. Charlie gets an emergency call from a pharmacist – Myra was caught shoplifting condoms and gave his number to the police since her mother wouldn’t answer the phone. Charlie gets her out of jail and makes it clear that her mother will hear about this. Claudia and Alexa work in the school’s darkroom, and Alexa tells Claudia that a guy named Derek likes her. She thinks they should double-date with Alexa and Cameron, who are back together.

Julia tries to get out of Evan’s place before her family starts getting suspicious about all her late hours at the library. She suggests again that they start telling people about their relationship. This time he’s okay with that, and even agrees to have dinner with the Salingers. Charlie goes to see Myra’s mother, showing sympathy for how hard it is to be a working single parent. Myra’s mother thinks things are fine; Myra’s always been able to take care of herself. Charlie disagrees.

At an AA meeting, Bailey talks to his friend John about how annoying his family and friends have been about trying to make him see the good side of his breakup. John’s on their side, though – he thinks Bailey was too dependent on Sarah for his sobriety. Bailey admits that she was a big reason he stayed sober. Now that he’s “free,” he wants to drink again. Claudia takes pictures of Derek at football project, and he invites her to a party he’s having.

Charlie gets Kirsten home from an egg extraction in time to get a call from Myra, who’s desperate to see him. He gently tells her that it’s not a good time. Bailey, Julia, Claudia, Owen, Joe, and Victor gather for dinner at the restaurant and discuss the age difference between Julia and Evan. Claudia thinks it’s weird; Joe doesn’t, which makes sense, since his wife was a lot younger than him. Claudia’s surprised to hear that Joe is now managing the restaurant. Evan never shows, and everyone has to leave.

Bailey goes to a bar and, after almost backing down, asks for a drink. A police officer brings a drunk Myra to Charlie and Kirsten’s place; she told the cop that Charlie was her father. Charlie and Kirsten deny it, but when the cop says he’ll take Myra back to the station, they let her spend the night. Bailey stares at his scotch but doesn’t drink it, instead letting someone else take it. In the morning, Kirsten is maternal toward a hungover Myra while Charlie tells her mother what happened. Kirsten hates that they’re trying so hard to have a baby while Myra’s mother neglects her own child.

Julia passive-aggressively talks to Evan about how he missed dinner the night before because of a meeting that went long. She asks him to pick out a night to reschedule. Evan’s like, “Oh, I’m soooooo busy…” Julia threatens to bring everyone to the office so he can’t get out of it. Evan claims that he just wants to make Julia happy and isn’t trying to get out of anything. Will and Griffin take Bailey to a strip club, and Griffin goes in alone while Bailey works up his courage. Griffin discovers that Daphne has gone back to stripping but promises to keep it quiet.

Outside, Will blasts Bailey for being so mopey when other people have problems. His parents have threatened to kick him out if he doesn’t quit his wrestling internship. He wanted to go to the strip club to get his mind off of his problems. Claudia goes to Derek’s party and gets a lot of attention from him, which bugs Cameron. Claudia notices and asks Derek to go somewhere private. Back at the strip club, Bailey tries to talk to Will about his issues, but Will’s too busy looking at boobs.

Kirsten’s egg extraction was fruitful, and she’ll be able to have some implanted the next day. She and Charlie try to celebrate, but they don’t have time before Myra shows up, upset that Charlie told the principal that she spent the night. He tells her that he was required to, and now he has to take a step back from helping her. Myra blasts him for acting like a friend, then abandoning her. Charlie tells her they can’t be friends outside of school, and she can’t keep coming over unannounced.

Julia addresses her and Evan’s problems again, telling him that she doesn’t care what other people think about their relationship. However, she doesn’t think he’s okay with their differences. She’s worried that he’s ashamed to be with her. Bailey calls up his bar buddy, Tracy, who he had a long conversation with the night before. It seems like he just wants to talk some more, but that quickly goes out the window and they start making out.

Claudia and Derek head to his sister’s bedroom and also start making out. But things move way too quickly for Claudia, and when Derek pulls out a condom, she decides she’s done. Despite her loud repetition of “I’m saying no,” Derek keeps going. Eventually Claudia fights him off and runs away. Also running away: Tracy, who doesn’t want to spend more time with Bailey after they’ve hooked up in a hotel room.

At school, Charlie is called into the principal’s office just as Myra and her mother are leaving. The principal, Mary Anne, asks if Myra ever showed him her diary or discussed her feelings for him. Charlie’s confused. Mary Anne then asks where Myra slept when she spent the night at his place. Did they discuss birth control? Did they talk about whether Charlie found Myra attractive? Mary Anne reveals that Myra’s mother has accused Charlie of having a sexual relationship with Myra, and Myra isn’t denying it. Charlie is understandably offended.

Claudia pleads illness to stay home from school, not even telling Julia what happened with Derek. Daphne goes to see Griffin to make excuses for why stripping is the only job she can keep right now. Griffin points out that he can’t judge since he was there for a show in the first place. Plus, she looked good, so why not strip? Bailey invites Will to move into the Salingers’ house but is disappointed that Will has to travel for work.

Evan finally mans up and makes a dinner date with Julia, in the process letting his office know that they’re dating. Elsewhere, Charlie misses Kirsten’s implantation. Bailey and Tracy meet at the bar again, and he’s shocked to learn that she’s married. She thinks he should have figured it out when they hooked up in a hotel room and she gave him her pager number instead of a home phone number. She invites him to tell her about his day.

Thoughts: Myra’s mother is played by Jenny O’Hara, who was also Scott Scanlon’s mom. So…her TV parenting history is pretty sketchy.

Dear people everywhere: If the person you’re dating doesn’t want people to know you’re dating, you are not in a good relationship.

On the other hand, Julia should have been more concerned with the publishing world finding out about her relationship with Evan. She’s definitely going to be accused of sleeping with him to get her book contract.

Who takes a girl to his sister’s room to have sex? Is the creepy doll collection a turn-on for Derek? I guess that’s the least of his problems, though.

January 31, 2015

Party of Five 6.5, The Shortest Distance: The Road to Ruin

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

This is the only road trip I want to be a part of

This is the only road trip I want to be a part of

Summary: Griffin and Will are in the Salingers’ house while Julia and Claudia are discussing the fact that Sarah isn’t coming back from New York. They’re super-nice to Bailey, who says they’re not breaking up and will visit each other. No one has the heart to tell him that that won’t last. Over at Charlie and Kirsten’s, Kirsten, who’s started fertility treatments, tries to boost Charlie’s fertility with bacon and frozen boxer shorts. She expositions that Charlie took a second job to pay for the treatments. Charlie objects to some of her treatment ideas, but can’t say no to having sex twice a day.

It looks like Claudia and Cameron are secretly seeing each other, making out in a storage room at school. She feels bad about dating her friend’s ex. Cameron notes that the only alternatives are telling Alexa about them or breaking up, so if they want to stay together, they need to keep it quiet. He’s sure that Alexa will find another boyfriend quickly. Julia goes to Evan’s office to give him a chapter, but really to make sure they’re okay after their kiss. He’s practically forgotten about it. She seems to want more, but he knows it’s a horrible idea, since he’s her publisher.

Myra thanks Charlie for helping her study, which he won’t have time to do anymore, now that he has a second job. He suggests that she work with Claudia, but Myra’s hesitant since they’re so different. Later, Charlie goes to his second job (something with furniture) and manages to get some extra hours. Bailey visits Will at his office to invite him on a road trip – he and Griffin are driving Sarah’s things to her in New York. He reminds Will that he encouraged Bailey to be more spontaneous and crazy.

Evan has problems with Julia’s latest chapter, giving the critique that they can’t let readers know that she and Ned made up after a fight by having sex. Julia thinks he’s uncomfortable thinking about her having sex with another man. Bailey, Will, and Griffin’s road trip is really boring because Bailey’s a control freak. He’s trying to get to New York in two days, in time for his and Sarah’s anniversary. Will and Griffin aren’t as concerned with making good time, especially if it means fewer bathroom breaks.

Claudia tutors Myra, who makes fun of Alexa for being dumped by a stupid guy. (To be fair, Alexa is acting super-pathetic.) Evan spots Julia at a gym during a workout and can barely keep his clothes on. Claudia goes to Cameron’s house to talk to him, but the conversation is interrupted when she learns that his mom has a guy come over whenever Cameron’s dad works late. Claudia feels bad for her poor widdle boyfriend and doesn’t tell him how badly Alexa’s doing.

Charlie and Kirsten are scheduled to have sex (how romantic), but the fertility drugs’ side effects combined with her meds turn her off. The guys’ moving van breaks down, stranding them at least overnight. Bailey’s determined to get to New York by his anniversary no matter what they have to do. He admits that Sarah doesn’t know he’s coming to visit. Griffin points out that she might not even be there when they arrive. Bailey says he’s making a big gesture so Sarah can’t turn him down – he thinks he’s going to get her to come home.

Daphne finds Kirsten’s medical stuff and asks Charlie if they’re trying to conceive. Hey, guess whose business that isn’t? Right, yours! Go away, Daphne. She’s supportive, or at least pretends she is, and says she got a job. The guys can’t get the van back on the road for a couple days, and Bailey doesn’t take the news well. He knows his chances of getting Sarah back are slim, but he doesn’t know what else to do. Evan and Julia go to a publishing panel; she makes it weird by correcting his presentation of her. Yeah, they should definitely be in a relationship.

Claudia sits with Myra at lunch, though Myra doesn’t really want to socialize with her. She reveals that she found little notes from Cameron in Claudia’s math book, and she’s figured out that they’re seeing each other behind Alexa’s back. Evan chastises Julia for hijacking the panel, since he needed to present her in a specific way to make sure she gets the right publicity. Julia, however, feels like she’s been enlightened by the experience, or something. Charlie gets home late from his second job too tired for scheduled sex. He admits that he almost stayed at work instead of coming home to do something that’s supposed to be fun.

Griffin and Will tell Bailey that they may take a bus home and let Bailey continue the trip on his own. Bailey notes that Will told him to take risks and now doesn’t want to support those risks. Will says Bailey’s still being controlling and isn’t able to handle change. Bailey doesn’t think Griffin and Will have any right to give relationship advice, since they ditched their significant others once they either went back to school or got pregnant. He’s just trying to keep Sarah from walking away. Will tries to get him to see that Sarah’s already gone.

Later, Will and Griffin change their minds and decide to stick to the plan. Bailey, however, has been looking over the route and has realized that there’s a lot of distance still between him and Sarah. And guys, I don’t think he just means physical distance. I think it’s a metaphor. Back in San Francisco, Daphne asks Victor to watch Diana so she can go look for the job she told Charlie she already had. Then she suggests that she sublet Victor’s apartment, since he’s always at the Salingers’ anyway.

Claudia finally tells Cameron that they can’t see each other if it means Alexa suffers. She sees it as choosing herself instead of choosing Alexa over Cameron. She’s never been the kind of person she is right now. Even if it means she’s alone forever, she can’t be with someone if it makes her feel bad about herself.

While Charlie’s at the fertility clinic to give a sperm sample, Kirsten shows up to make things romantic so they don’t feel like they’re just completely a task. Either Julia and Evan spent the night together or he’s in her room before she’s out of bed. He admits that he was worried that they made a mistake, but he feels too good for that. Instead of continuing the trip, Bailey ships Sarah’s things to her and heads home with Will and Griffin.

Thoughts: How much of this episode’s budget was spent on chokers?

Why are Charlie and Kirsten scheduling sex anyway? They’re newlyweds. This is a bad sign.

Yeah, Claudia. You’re going to be alone forever. Girl, you’re 17 and you were with the guy for, like, two weeks. Chill.

’90s music alert: Dave Matthews’ Band’s “Crush.” Good news, guys – I can still recognize it within three seconds of hearing it.

January 24, 2015

Party of Five 6.4, Wrestling Demons: Risks! Consequences! Other Things About Taking Chances and Changing!

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 1:27 pm by Jenn

If I were Bailey and Will, I would do whatever this man said

If I were Bailey and Will, I would do whatever this man said

Summary: Victor has switched from being Diana’s nanny to being Owen’s, and is trying to talk to Bailey about his parenting philosophy. Since Halloween is approaching, he thinks he and Owen should decorate the house as a haunted house. Bailey resists. Owen doesn’t think Victor will last that long anyway, since his nannies never do. (Maybe not, Owen, but sometimes they marry your brother.)

Evan does some editing to Julia’s writing, trying to work while she yaps in his ear. She’d like to have a more personal relationship with the person who’s going to be tearing apart all her hard work. She asks for a joke, but Evan doesn’t seem to have a sense of humor. Bailey tries to get in touch with Sarah, but she’s busy getting her doomed spinoff off the ground.

Bailey runs into Will, who reveals that he’s been in town for a month. He decided to take a year off of school, and has gotten an internship with a pro wrestling organization. Bailey doesn’t get why Will didn’t inform him of these major life changes. He invites himself along while Will picks up someone at the airport.

Kirsten visits Charlie at work and they compare notes on research they’ve done about adoption (him) and fertility treatments (her). Charlie’s a bit overwhelmed by all the work that would go into having their own child. Cameron is still writing trash about his friends on the Internet, and Claudia’s still the only one who knows he’s the wannabe Gossip Girl. Alexa doesn’t like the idea of changing her habits to make the writer stop bugging her.

Victor meets Griffin, who’s still renting the “guest cottage” for his business. Owen gets his sisters to override Bailey’s veto of the haunted house, so Victor tells him they can do it as long as they’re willing to face the consequences. Julia’s friend Isabel tells her that people are spreading rumors that she got her book deal by sleeping with Evan. Julia finds the idea ridiculous; she and Evan have no interest in each other. Isabel isn’t so sure that Julia doesn’t have a little crush.

Bailey and Will go to the airport to pick up a wrestler named Mr. Mayhem. The guy is unfriendly and wants to be taken to Walnut Creek rather than San Francisco, so he can see his wife. Bailey panics because he’s supposed to go to work. He suggests that Mr. Mayhem call his wife and have her meet them in San Francisco. Mr. Mayhem says no, since he wants to surprise his wife, then tosses Bailey’s phone out the window.

In Walnut Creek, Mr. Mayhem lurks around the back of a house while Will explains to Bailey that he and his wife are having issues. She’s also a wrestler, and it seems Mr. Mayhem cheated on her with a third wrestler.) Bailey continues panicking about getting off of his schedule. Will tells him to stop being so uptight. Mr. Mayhem announces that he’s going to hoist Bailey up to a balcony to let him in the house, since his wife changed the locks.

Julia goes to see Evan, who has learned to tell jokes. She notices his body language and how he puts a hand on her arm. Evan offers her tickets to a fundraiser ball, which makes Julia uncomfortable until he explains that he’s not going. Cameron tries to talk to Claudia about his website, complaining that Alexa is obsessed with how she looks. Claudia says that she deserves better than being trashed by Gossip Guy. He needs to be himself and be honest with his girlfriend.

Victor uses connections in the theater community to get creepy decorations for the house. Griffin helps out, surprised to hear that Bailey okayed the haunted house. Victor pointedly tells him that Owen said it was okay. While waiting to see a fertility specialist, Kirsten and Charlie overhear two women talk about how the treatments have affected their relationships and finances. Kirsten tries not to freak out.

Mr. Mayhem nervously waits for his wife, Isis, who erupts when she finds him in her house. She reminds him that she mentioned wanting space when they went to their last counseling session. She thinks he recruiting Bailey and Will from the support group she sent him to. Isis kicks Mr. Mayhem out of the house, then tells Bailey and Will that they’re not allowed to leave until Mr. Mayhem goes away. Bailey stands up to her, they wrestle, and Bailey wins.

Julia (dressed as Tippi Hedren from The Birds) goes to the fundraiser with Isabel, surprised to see that Evan’s there after all. He tells her his date backed out of their dinner – also, it wasn’t really a date, it was his cousin. He’s decided to try having fun for once, and he’ll start by dancing with Isabel. But Julia’s not jealous! No, definitely not jealous!

Charlie blasts Kirsten for pushing him to go to the meeting with the doctor without telling him all the possible consequences of fertility treatments. He notes that she’ll probably have to go off her antidepressants and take hormones that will affect her mood. That’s not the small risk she said the treatments would require. Kirsten promises that she’s okay with the risks. Charlie asks why she wasn’t honest with him from the beginning.

Finally out of the house, Bailey tells Will that he’d rather be boring than get involved in marital disputes between crazy people. At the fundraiser, Julia watches Evan and Isabel dance, totally! Not! Jealous! She asks Isabel to keep some distance, since it’s weird for her to see a friend dance with someone she works with. Isabel says she’d love to date a guy like Evan…unless, of course, Julia has dibs? She urges Julia to stop another woman from getting too close to Evan.

Bailey comes home to the haunted house/loud party he wasn’t aware was going on. Instead of saying anything, he checks his messages – and no, Sarah hasn’t called. Victor takes the blame for the party, lying that Owen said that Bailey might object. Owen keeps quiet, and Bailey doesn’t lecture him about consequences, so Victor’s plan backfired. He tells Bailey that Sarah did leave him a message.

Alexa shows up at the party to tell Claudia that Cameron broke up with her, saying he wants to be himself for once. She was surprised by how different he seemed. Charlie and Kirsten, who are also at the party, talk about having their own child, as opposed to adopting. She’s being trying to ignore the reality that she has an illness that may prevent her from doing things others can do. She recognizes that in some ways, her depression was harder on Charlie than on her.

Julia runs into Evan and hurts her hand, so Evan rushes her to the hospital. Bailey listens to Sarah’s message, which says that she’s sorry they keep missing each other. Julia calls the house to tell Charlie she’s at the hospital and needs her insurance info. Bailey stares at his ties, then tells Victor to keep the party going so there can be a little less control in the house for once. He’d attend, but all he has for a costume is one of his dozens of ties he can’t believe he has at the age of 21.

Cameron arrives at the party and gets an earful from Claudia for breaking up with Alexa instead of being honest with her. Instead of explaining himself, he kisses her. Charlie checks on Julia at the hospital (she has a couple of sprained fingers), then leaves her with Evan, who admits that he was worried about her. Julia pulls a Cameron and kisses him. Evan’s not completely comfortable with this but assures her that he’ll chalk it up to Halloween, when no one’s sure what’s real.

Victor has managed to get Bailey to dress up like a woman. Thank you, Victor. Will stops by the house, and Bailey tells him that his biggest talent is fighting off chaos. Meanwhile, everyone around him has fun. He’s realized that he’s devoted his life to the wrong thing. Now he’s scared because he feels like he’s losing people. Will assures him that their friendship will stay strong.

At home, Charlie tells Kirsten that seeing Julia tonight made him remember how much he likes having siblings. He’d like Diana to have some, too, so if Kirsten’s willing to take the risks, he’s on board for fertility treatments.

Thoughts: They had clearly run out of things for Griffin to do by season 6. He serves zero purpose in this episode.

Tyler Mane (Mr. Mayhem) is 6’8″. If I’d been drinking something when I read that, I would have done a spit-take.

How is childless Victor the best parent on this show? And can we fix him up with Ross, wherever he is?

Whoever put together the recording of this episode left in some very ’90s ads:

  • Josie Bissett selling beauty products
  • Payless Shoes, not only with the shoes in ’90s styles but with the models in ’90s clothes
  • The Bachelor (the movie with Renee Zellweger and Chris O’Donnell, not the reality show), scored with the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Black Balloon”
  • A local news story about something related to The Blair Witch Project
  • Jennifer Love Hewitt’s spinoff, Time of Your Life, featuring Jennifer Garner before she was Sydney Bristow

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