Rating: 7.7

Additional Cast

Byron......Rider Strong
Ellie......Kathleen Noone
Gina......Alanna Ubach

Featured Music

Things You Left Behind by Bonnie Hayes
Powerworld by Sam Philips
Alice Childress by Ben Fold Five
That Summer Feeling by Jonathan Richman

Synopsis of Season 3, Episode 1 from Julie Gumm
Summer Fun, Summer Not

Will, Bailey, Sarah and Julia are walking down by the wharf. The guys are all excited about a trip to Mexico. They want to "have an experience." Suddenly Julia stops and looks at a group of guys. Standing there is Griffen. She walks up to him and asks him when he got back. He's been in San Francisco for a couple days. His roommate's dad got him a job as a merchant marine and they just got in from Bangkok. Julia asks him if he got any of her letters but he says he didn't. He thought it wasn't a good idea to call considering Justin. Julia tells him they broke up. "Wow, you broke up. Didn't know," he says.

Kirsten is in the kitchen decorating a cake with a canoe, etc. Charlie walks in with a letter from Kirsten's mother. Charlie says he has to admire Elle's persistence. Kirsten throws the letter in the trash.

Claudia arrives back from camp. She grew two inches. Everyone else is busy cutting the cake when Claudia announces that she met a boy and fell in love. They're all surprised.

Sarah and Julia are in the family room talking. Sarah says something about the look on Griffen's face. Julia tries to act disinterested and pretend that she's not waiting for his call. The phone rings, but it's just a survey.

At Salinger's Charlie asks Claudia about the whole boyfriend thing. He's suprised she didn't mention it in any of her letters. She shows Charlie and Kirsten a picture of them. Actually, it's just Bryon (they ripped it in half and exchanged halves). Kirsten finds it strange that Bailey didn't get to meet him when he picked Claudia up. She says that Bailey missed him by ten seconds.

Will, Bai, Sarah and Gina are at the coffee shop talking. The guys are all excited about the trip. But Gina is upset that Will is going to spend his last few days without her. So, he invites Gina and then Bai says that if Gina is going then Sarah's going. So, the girls get to go but Bai isn't exactly thrilled.

Kirsten's mom rings the doorbell. Kirsten says she's not talking to them. Her mother asks if she doesn't even get a hug. Kirsten says no, "Not if she came to criticize." She and Charlie are together, they're not getting married and Ellie better get used to it. Then Ellie says she came because she has no place else to go. Her marriage is over.

Julia is laying in bed staring at the phone and clock. It never rings.

Cluadia and Kirsten are in laundry room. Kirsten is venting about how cruel her dad is to throw her mom out. "Men, they can be heartless bastards can't they," says Claudia (in the shows most hilarious moment). She says Byron tried to pretend he forgot to get her a goodbye present. But she found his tennis bandana in her bag. Then Kirsten tells Claudia this story about how when she was at camp and everyone coupled up she made up all these stories about "Keith" her boyfriend back home. She wished she had someone to tell her it was OK and that she didn't have to make up stories. Claudia looks pitifully at her and says, "You poor thing, how awful for you." Then she sniffs the bandana and croons, "It still smells like him."

Will, Bailey, Sarah and Gina are in the jeep headed for Mexico. The guys are singing "La Cocaracha." (Or however you spell it.) They girls tell them to shut up, they're hungry. Sarah is reading a guide book and tells them that they found a nice place they can stay. The guys tell them, "No way." They're sleeping on the beach. The girls want a room so they don't get bug bites or murdered. Bailey says that the whole point of the trip is to take chances. The egine light comes on. Will says, "We're screwed."

Julia is at the wharf when Griffen walks up. He asks if she was looking for him and she says she wasn't--she has an internship at nearby publishing house. She asks if he's having a good time with friends. He says he is, and that's why he didn't call. She asks if he and his friends are doing anything that night. "Do you want to get together. You and me," he asks. "Uh huh, definitely, if you want to," she replies. "Ya, I want to," he says.

Charlie tells Kirsten he wants Ellie gone. "For god's sake, what am I supposed to say. `Sorry your life's a mess. Can I call you a cab?'" Kirsten says. She goes outside to talk to her mom. Then Ellie tells her that she had an affair eight years ago that lasted five weeks. Last week Kirsten's dad was fixing the dresser when he found a letter. He came down stairs with her stuitcase, put it down and asked for her housekeys back. Kirsten says, "Good for him" and leaves.

The doorbell rings. It's Byron, to see Claudia. Julia, Charlie and Kirsten are all shocked that he actually exists. Claudia figures out that they thought she made him up. "We're going out. Don't wait up," she says.

The jeep is being towed and Will and Bailey start fighting. "It's a whole glass is half empty mentality," says Bailey. The tow truck driver tells them they're stuck until tomorrow. "No problem," Bailey and Will say in unision.

Griffen and Julia are walking on the wharf. While they're talking Griffen slips and says something that clues Julia into the fact that he did get the letters. So he knew she and Justin broke up--and had known since last Spring. "You don't really want to see me do you?" she asks. "No, I do. It's just..." "You just didn't know how to let me down easy? Don't sweat it Griffen. You're off the hook," Julia says as she leaves.

Kirsten is disgusted at her mother but Charlie is more sympathetic. Kirsten can't understand why he's being so sympathetic. "She doesn't even like you. She hates you," she tells Charlie.

The four teens check into the Star Motel. One bed and a roll away. Sarah is disgusted, "the chance of bed bugs is significantly higher if the motel is not associated with a guide book. I didn't see a sticker in the lobby," she says. The guys are excited over the minibar and the free doughnuts in the lobby. Gina suggests that the guys drop them off at a bus station in the morning. Sarah concurs.

The next morning they asking Claudia how her date went. She's giving them all the cold shoulder. "You don't actually think I'm going to have a conversation with you guys about Byron," she asks. "Why is it some impossible that I have feelings about guy stuff. Well, I do. So you better just get used to it," she says and stomps out.

Bailey and Will are at a roadside bar somewhere in Mexico, drinking beer and looking at women. Bailey says there's a cock fight tonight they should go to. The woman who sold him the beer wrote the directions on his hand. While Bailey talks about how he likes it better without the women. Will is busy writing what Bailey thinks is a journal. Turns out he's making a list of all the stuff he has to pack for college. Bailey is kind of peeved by this.

Charlie finds Ellie in the house and asks,"Did you have lunch." She replies with, "Is there no one else in the house you can have a conversation with, is that why you're here?" Charlie tells her that as he sees it they have something in common. They've both made mistake and hurt people by doing something they wish they could take back in a second. Ellie doesn't agree. Charlie can't believe how Ellie's treating him; he's the only one trying. "Doesn't that count for anything," he asks. "No, not in her book," Ellie replies.

Griffen finds Julia during her lunch break. "I just wanted to let you know I didn't toss your letters. I read every one of them, over and over. Nearly drove myself crazy," he says as he pulls the stack of letters out of his pocket. He practically has them memorized "...here's 6 pages on how hard it was to break up with Justin... I just kept waiting for you to write `I miss you, I wish you were here, I love you' or somehting. But you didn't. This is stuff you write to a friend. I didn't know what you were thinking about me," he says. He pulls out the picture she sent him "It's OK to put the picture by your bed," she tells him. "Yeah?" he says.

Will and Bailey are driving around in a bad neighborhood looking for the cock fight. Will is mad because they're lost and Bailey won't ask for directions. says Bailey is lost. "We're not going to visit your grandmother we're going to watch roosters peck each other to death," says Bailey. "Directions are for people who only care where they are going, not people who care where they are in the moment."

Kirsten comes down in the middle of the night to get something to drink. Ellie has just made plane reservations. She's going to stay with Kirsten's sister but she expects the same reception. "This is what I don't understand. You and Charlie. All the terrible things he did to you and you forgive him Why?" Ellie asked Kirsten. "Because I love him," she replies. Ellie asks whether or not she loves her. "If you can forgive a man who left you at the altar why can't you forgive me," Ellie asks. Kirsten says she wishes that her parents could be happy again but Ellie won't wish the same thing for her and Charlie.

Bailey and Will come out after the cock fight. All that's left of the Jeep is a window. The guys start yelling at each other. Bailey wants the trip to continue but Will is ready to give up. He leaves for the bus station.

Griffen and Julia are sittin on the top of a mountain. She leans over and kisses, but he's not into it. "Wait," he says. Julia asks him what's the matter, why doesn't he want to kiss her. He tells her he doesn't know and she gets mad because she can't figure him out. "What do you want from me?" she asks. "Don't you know. I'm in love with you," he says. "Then what are we doing?" Julia asks. Griffen says that when they talked that afternoon he was really happy. Then he got to thinking about it and he got freaked out. "Before there were always things in the way, now there's nothing, it's up to me. If I don't get it right than it's over and there's nothing. I don't want to have nothing," he explains. Julia doesn't know what to say.

Bailey and Julia are at the beach with a bunch of people for the end of the summer party. Bailey tells Julia he had to take the bus back. Julia is just staring at the ships. She tells Bailey that things didn't exactly work out with Griffen. "Maybe it's not such a bad thing. What's past is past. Maybe I'll meet someone great. Maybe I'll jsut take a breather," she says.

Kirsten's mom comes to the restaurant. o say goodbye. She tells Charlie that she hopes he and Kirsten will be happy. She apologizes for the day before. "I'm going to get off your back Charlie. No more letters, nor more insults." That isn't exactly enough for Charlie. He wants her to give him some credit for once, for turning things around. "I hope my husband loves me as much as my daughter loves you," Ellie tells him.

Sarah comes up to Bailey at the beach party. She volunteers to take a trip with him to Yosemite before the weather turns. She tells him she can learn to do guy stuff like chug beer and belch. She likes the idea of being his best friend because he's her best friend. "OK, let's get started," he says. They chug and belch.

Claudia and Byron are sitting by the campfire talking about football. He gives her his jacket because she's cold. She's totally into wearing his jacket.

Bailey is throwing rocks in the ocean. Will brings him a beer. Will tells him that his mother is taking the college stuff better than Bai. He explains that Bai grew up years ago because he had to. Will is just catching up. "Ten years, one best friend. That's pretty impressive," Bailey says. Will tells him that things aren't going to change. "Some stuff doesn't change," he says.

Julia is sitting on a tree. Griffen walks up, sits down and says, "They're out of beer." She asks him if he's just dropping by, or what. "Well, I was planning on staying, but there's this whole beer thing." Then Julia tells him she's scared too, because he flakes out and leaves and comes back. Griffen interrupts to say he's staying. "Whatever happens, I'll risk it," he says. "OK," Julia replies. "I wonder if one of those dots out there is my ship....ah, who cares," he says. Then he kisses her on the forehead.

Next episode

Back to Season 3 Episode Guide