Season 3, Episode 20: Intervention

Transcribed by Marley Gibson, writer for the Compuserve TV Zone (GO TVZONE)

As if any written summary can truly convey what you miss from a television show, it's nearly a travesty to even attempt to summarize this week's episode of "Party of Five." The writers pulled an excellent script out for this topic and the acting was supurb. If you can get your hands on a tape of so. If you can't, I hope this summary (a bit more detailed than most I would do) will give you some insight to the powerful and emotional episode.

At his apartment, Bailey opens the refrigerator. He reaches for the milk, but it has soured, so instead he grabs a beer and teases Callie with the rotten milk. She's not amused. Julia calls and he doesn't want to talk to her, but Callie doesn't feel like covering for him, so she hands the phone over. When Julia mentions the number of times she has called, he fakes like he hasn't gotten any of her messages. She wants him to come to the restaurant for a family dinner. He doesn't want to, but finally agrees to be there.

The Salingers are all at the restaurant, including Sarah and Grace (okay...Owen's not there.) Sarah tells them Bailey is going to know it's not a family dinner as soon as he walks in and sees the restaurant empty and her there, as well. She's very nervous. Claudia doesn't think ganging up on him is a good idea but Grace says that's what an intervention is all about. Julia asks in a snippy tone when did Grace became such an expert on alcoholism and Charlie says she sees a lot of it at the homeless center. They hear the door open, but it's just a couple coming in for dinner. Charlie tells them they're closed for a private party and they understand. Predictably, everyone sits around waiting, no one eating, Claudia falling asleep on the table...and Bailey never shows.

Grace and Charlie are in the bathroom at home later and Grace tells him she thinks the family dinner was a bad idea and it wasn't strong enough to lure him in. She doesn't think another attempt at a family dinner will work. Julia steps in, interrupting and says if Grace knew Bailey so well than what's her better idea. Julia is trying to be sarcastic, but Grace avoids the tone in her voice and tells Julia they need to find something he can't say no to.

The next moring, the family is in the kitchen. Again, Sarah is there and Charlie is trying to get Claudia to call Bailey. She refuses to call him and go along with this plan to trick him because she thinks it's cruel and she doesn't think she can do it. She asks Sarah why she can't call him, but Sarah says it won't mean anything unless this comes from Claudia. Claudia is near tears and says it's cruel to do this - even if they are trying to help. Charlie and Julia agree this is the only way to get him there to the house and he needs help. Finally, Claudia gives in. Weeping profusely, she calls Bailey. Nearly screaming, she tells him Owen fell down the stairs, hit his head and isn't moving and she doesn't know what to do. Everyone watches. He says he'll come right over and Claudia hang up the phone, ashamed of what she has just done.

A little while later, a frantic Bailey crashes through the front door, with Callie close on his heels. He rushes upstairs, calling to Claudia and Owen, but then finds Claudia at the bottom of the staircase. Claud doesn't know what to say and wonders why Callie is there. Julia runs in, acting like she just got there as well and asks for his car keys because her car won't work, so she can get them to the hospital. He hands her the keys - which are Callie's because she drove him over to the house. Bailey continues asking about Owen and what happened. Then Charlie, Grace and Claudia come out of the kitchen. He asks what's going on and Julia tells him Owen is find and he's at Ross's. Then they explain they told him the story to get him there so they could talk to him. Charlie tells him they're all worried about his drinking and they're going to get him help at a rehab center or something. Bailey can't believe they would tell him Owen was hurt to get him over there and he was so worried that something was terribly wrong with Owen. He glares at Claudia, as if to say "how could you?" Bailey announces he's taking off, but Julia won't give him the keys. Charlie blocks the door as Bailey screams, "Let me out of here!!"

Bailey runs out the back door, where he finds Sarah waiting on the swing. "So you too, huh?" he asks. He thinks she's trying to get back at him for Callie. She tells him it's not about revenge, it's about all the drinking. "You think I'm an alcoholic, don't you?" he asks. She looks him square in the eye and tells him he's got a problem and then finally says she does think he's an alcoholic. He moves to leave again and Sarah challenges him to stand up to them and prove them wrong, if indeed he isn't an alcoholic.

Meanwhile, back in the front room, Callie is speaking her mind to Julia, Charlie and Claudia. She informs them they don't have a clue what's going on in Bailey's life. She asks Julia for her keys so she can leave and Julia gives them to her. Bailey walks in and wants to leave with Callie, but she tells him this is not her thing, it's a family thing and way out of control. She leaves.

Bailey says he's staying and he knows this is about Owen's birthday party. He says, yes he drinks and sometimes he does drink too much, but that's it. He says he hasn't had anything to drink in 3 days. "What does that tell you?" he asks. "Honestly, that you're broke," Julia says with a stone expression. Bailey can't believe they think that little of him but Claudia tells him that it's like he's someone else. Bailey says they're upset because he's out living on his own and he's not taking care of them anymore. "I can't ever do anything I want to do. Anything that's mine," Bailey says, defending his actions. "Like you're drinking?" Grace pipes in. Bai says he wants to have fun and be able to take some chances with his life without them telling him something is wrong with this life. He doesn't think it's too much to ask. He is in tears and quite angry.

Bailey walks into the kitchen crying, heeving, sobbing. "Shouldn't we go in there?" Sarah asks the group. "And say what?" Julia says. Claudia doesn't think they should be doing it this way and wants to stop. Julia says Bailey isn't ready for them to stop. Grace tells Julia he's not going to give them a chance, they've got to make him listen. "I'm sorry. I know it's hard, but that's why you're here, isn't it?" Grace asks. Charlie says yes and goes into the kitchen. The rest of them follow him. Charlie says no one is going anywhere.

Julia tells Bailey that he drinks all the time. He admits he was drinking at the birthday party, it was a bad day. Then Sarah brings up the coffeehouse and the club and that Will said Bailey was drunk the whole time he was visiting. Bailey lashes out, accusing Will of lying and how would Sarah know what Will thought? Sarah admits that Will came to her house to talk to her about Bailey and his problems. Julia steps in, saying Bailey is using excuses and they aren't going to work anymore, everyone has compared stories. He says four examples of him drinking don't prove anything. He asks Claudia if she wants to add anything. Julia steps back in, "You need more? Fine. Sam gave you a job and you stole from him," she tells him. "You're a thief and a liar and a drunk and I want you to get better and I want to help because I love you," Julia pleas. Angry, Bailey then turns and attacks Julia's life and her dropping out of school and thinks she's jealous of his life. "What are you going to do. Take a year off so you can get pregnant again?" he asks. Julia is horrified! "That's enough," Charlie shouts.

Bailey doesn't want to hear about screwing up from Charlie of all people. He starts in on Charlie's life and how he cheated on all his women. "You cheated on Kirsten!" He then reveals Charlie's infidelities that cost him his relationship with Kirsten and almost cost him the business and their livelihood. He says Charlie doesn't know how to be faithful. Bailey is obviously aiming this tidbit of informaton towards Grace's ears. "Just shut the hell up Bailey!" Charlie yells. "God Bailey, what are you doing?" Sarah asks. He says he doesn't even know why she's there. "It's like take a hint. I don't love you. I don't think I was ever in love with you....if I was, why am I still with Callie? How could I be in bed with you and be so turned off that I couldn't even do anything," he says. Sarah is hurt and embarassed. "That's enough Bailey, you can stop now," she says through tears. When he turns to look at Claudia, she very soundly snaps at him, "What?!" He turns and leaves the kitchen.

Bailey is in family room staring out the window. "Someone has to talk to him again," Grace says to the group. Everyone leaves the room, leaving Charlie and Grace alone. Charlie admits there were other women in his life and that he screwed so many things up in the past, but he's not the same guy now. Grace says this isn't the time or place for this discussion and she really doesn't want to know. Charlie wants her to know it wasn't like Bailey made it sound. Grace says it's fine but Charlie wonders why she's still standing across the room, far from him.

Sarah and Julia are in the laundry room. Sarah doesn't know why she's there and she wants to go. "I end up being this pathetic person that is just waiting around to see some glimmer of the person he used to be. And I'm done," Sarah tells Julia. Julia says Sarah can't leave because Bailey will think he's winning and it won't work. "Sarah if you leave that is so much worse than if you had never come here to begin with," Julia says. Sarah relents and stays.

Claudia comes down the stairs. Bailey is on the phone leaving a message on the answering machine for Callie to come get him as soon as she gets home. The doorbell rings and Julia rushes to answer it. The man apologizes for being late and when he comes it, it's Joe. He flew in to be there for this. Bailey is surprised they called Joe. He doesn't know how Joe can help. Bailey tells them he doesn't want to hear any more of this. Charlie lashes out, out of frustration over everything and yells at him. "We're done trying to reason with you. You're going to check yourself into a rehab center. We're going to get in the car right now..." Charlie stresses. Bai asks what he's going to do, cut him off financially. So Charlie says fine, it's done. Bailey says he'll just get a job and he's already got a place to stay, all he needs is to get out of there! Charlie blocks the door and when Bai tries to push past him, Charlie shoves him back. "You son of a bitch," Bailey screams and then goes to punch at Charlie. However, Charlie dodges him and Bailey's hand goes clean through the stained glass window in the inner door. Claud screams and Sarah rushes to look at his hand but he pushes her away. It's bleeding, but it's not nearly as bad as it could have been. He runs to the kitchen.

While Bailey is in the kitchen washing off his hand, Joe attempts to talk to him, but Bailey walks away. It's getting dark outside, as Bailey finds his way into the yard. Joe follows him outside. Bailey thinks Joe is there to tell him how his father would be so disappointed in him. "Go ahead, Joe! Say it..." Joe takes a deep breath and says..."If you're father could see you now, he'd say...he'd say...not my son too. He was an alcoholic," Joe confesses. At first Bailey doesn't believe him. But, Joe continues to explain that Nick was sober for 18 years before he died but for years before that he was an alcoholic. "Upon my life Bailey, it's the truth," Joe says sadly.

"I thought you couldn't get any lower than what they did...but think since he's dead you can say anything you want about him," Bailey cries. Charlie and Julia walk out and overhear the news about their father. They didn't know and don't really want to believe Joe either. They start making all the same excuses for Nick that Bailey was making. Joe tells them Charlie was too young to notice the signs. But, Joe says he had to drive Nick home every night because he was so drunk; and the fights he and Diane had were because of his drinking. Julia never saw him take a drink in her life. Joe says it's because he knew he could never take a just sip. Claudia walks up and overhears the conversation and leaves.

Joe goes after Claudia, finding her on the bottom step of the laundry room. He apologizes that she overheard him like she did. She says it's good she heard and at least she knows who her father really was. Joe tells her that's not who he was. He was an alcoholic who quit drinking long before she was born. "He wasn't perfect Claudia, if he'd been around these past few years you'd probably know that by now," Joe tells her. She asks what was it that made her dad stop drinking. Joe takes a deep breath and tells her Diane said she'd leave if he didn't stop.

Sarah comes out to the backyard while Bailey is out there and says she's sorry about his father, if that's the right thing to say. "I was thinking about us, about you and me," he says. "I finally have an answer to that question you were asking me. When you were looking for your mom and you wondered what you go from her." He takes a breath and she sits in front of him, listening. "Claudia plays the violin and Julia looks like her and Charlie looks like him and this is what I got. This is what my father gave me." He looks up at Sarah, who is weeping. "Why are you crying?" he asks. "Because I don't know how to help you?" she says through her tears. "You don't have to help me. I think I've finally got it figured it out," he says.

Charlie, Julia and Grace are in the kitchen. Julia is looking out into the yard, watching Bailey and Sarah. Charlie is recalling how their mom would have to drive Nick to the restaurant a couple mornings a week because he left his car there overnight. He remembers they fought behind closed doors and his mom's eyes were red a lot of the time, but he just figured it was about the restaurant or money. Julia remembers her dad always left the liquor out of recipes and never toasted anything...not even good news. "But he got better. Because they got through it somehow. I remember them being happy," Julia says, reaching for something...anything. Charlie smiles back and tells her they were happy. Looking out at Bailey again, she says she doesn't know what else to say to Bailey. Charlie doesn't either. Taking a big step, Julia asks, "Grace do you?" Grace thinks it's already been done. "You can't find out something this big and not have it change you."

Bailey returns to the house. Charlie asks him if he's okay and Bailey says he's tired. Charlie states they got a couple contacts at an AA group they can put him in contact with. Then he apologizes for getting Bailey there the way they did. "We didn't know what else to do. We just love you so much. We will be there for you every step of the way," Julia says. She tries to hug him but Bailey pushes her away. He tells them he doesn't need them to take care of him and he doesn't need any AA groups. He feels better. "I'm my father's son which explains a lot of things. I can finally stop looking at myself and thinking `what is going on here, who am I turning into?' because it's him. I'm turning into him and it's not my fault, it's his fault. I'm going to stop beating myself up and I'm going to stop letting all of you beat up on me. This is who I am, this is what I do. I drink," Bailey says with a bit of finality.

"That's it?" Claud asks defiantly. Claudia has been quiet this entire time, not speaking out, but rather listening and feeling guilty at how they got him there. But, she's had it. "No, no, no. I can't take this. You can't do this anymore. If you don't get help I don't want to see you, and you can't see Owen, and you can't come to the house, and I'm not going to come see you, and I'm not going to think about you...I love you the best, you know that. That's the only thing I have to take away from you to make you stop. Either you get help right now or get out of here," Claudia she says with the confidence of an adult. Bailey looks at her for a moment and then walks out the front door.

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