Additional Cast

Strause......Lenny Wolpe
Avery Baltus......James Sloyan
Gary Prescott......Neil Roberts
Ross......Mitchell Anderson

2 Synopses of Season 3, Episode 8
Not So Fast

Avery and Claudia

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

At Salingers, Bailey is at the bar talking to Charlie. He tells him he cheated on Sarah. Bailey is questioning why he did it. Charlie can't believe what he's hearing, as he thought everything was okay with them. Bailey is frustrated because Sarah is only 16 and still in high school and there are some things they don't do at Charlie a knowing look. Charlie is surprised that they don't....and says, "so, technically, you didn't cheat on her." Bailey breaks a sweat and is feeling sick. Charlie begs him whatever he does, don't tell her - it will only make matters worse. Charlie knows from experience - three times of experience. Bailey assures him he's not going to tell her. Instead, he's going to break up with her.

Opening Credit - Alexondra Lee has been added to the opening credits

At a book signing for Gary Prescott, Julia approaches, wanting her copy of his book signed, telling him how much his writing means to her and how she's seen him at several appearances. She tells him she's a writer, too and even has a meeting at Stanford to try to gain admission to the creative writing program. He just so happens to be on the faculty of Stanford and invites her to stop in on one of his classes while she's there for her interview. Julia is giddy.

At a music competition, Charlie, Claudia and Ross are awaiting the results of the competition. An older man walks up and introduces himself as Avery Baltus. Ross immediately recognizes the name and is thrilled to meet him. He tells Claudia how much he enjoyed hearing her play and tells her he used to play with her mother. Claudia is thrilled to meet him. The winner is announced and Claudia is obviously disappointed when it isn't her, although she knows she didn't play her best.

Bailey is outside the school waiting for Sarah. She sees him and comes up to the jeep. He reaches over and takes a small piece of paper out of her hair. She explains she was working on a float - you know, boring high school stuff that Bailey hates. He wants to go somewhere and talk, but she is being quite defensive. She is still hurt at the way he yelled at her and then walked away at the dance. All of a sudden, Bailey turns pale and tells her he's going to be sick - no, really sick...and then he promptly throws up. As he's bent over, Sarah tells him she wants to be mad at him, but she can't be while he's in this condition. She offers to drive him home.

Julia has gone to Prescott's class and is talking to him afterwards. He asks her how she started writing and she tells him of when she was little and Bailey and his friend Will would play games and not let her play because she was a girl. In order to have something to do, she would write adventure stories to entertain herself. Her mother found them one day and read them and told her what a great writer she was. Prescott tells her every writer needs someone like that and Julia tells him she has a short story she would like to share with him. He would like to read it.

Avery, Charlie and Claudia are seated at Salingers, listening to Avery tell stories about their mother, Diana. Avery is complimentary of Charlie's success with the restaurant and tells him his parents would be most proud. He continues in complimenting Claudia's music and tells her he's been watching her, mainly because of who she is, but also because he thinks she has a real talent. He thinks she can be as good, if not better, than her mother.

Bailey is sitting in bed scratching. Sarah is rushing around the apartment trying to accommodate him. Seems Bailey has the chicken pox. Sarah insists on going out to the store and getting things for him. She tells him she's not mad with him now, because he's sick, but will be when this is over. He tells her he doesn't want her there, but she's not listening to him.

Julia sits at the kitchen table writing out a story to send to Gary Prescott.

In the wee small hours of the morning, Charlie wakes up to Claudia practicing her violin. She tells him she must have forgotten the time. She explains to Charlie that Avery sees Diana in Claudia when she is playing - something about the way the violin rests on her chin. This gives Claudia great strength and confidence, knowing that her mother is right here (pointing to her chin) with her at all times.

Commercial Break

Bailey has fitful sleep, scratching constantly. Callie comes into the room. In another apartment the "Macarena" is blaring and thumping through the walls, driving Bailey crazy. Callie laughs at him for having contracted the chicken pox and warns him that she "doesn't do sick." She sees a box at the end of the bed that Sarah put together for him...a sweatshirt, homemade chicken soup and a tape of songs that make you feel better. Bailey tells her he doesn't want Sarah there and if he had had the strength, he would have told her to leave. Callie raises an eyebrow to this.

Charlie is in the kitchen on the phone with Bailey. He doesn't think any of them have had chicken pox and tells him it's best they all stay away from him until this has passed. Avery is there going over music with Claudia. Charlie watches on, telling Claudia she is going to be late for school. Avery tells Claudia if she's serious about her music, she has to change her entire schedule: her eating habits, her sleeping pattern, discipline, etc.

Sarah is back at Bailey's and wakes him up with a surprise....a board game called "Moral Dilemma." (The Macarena continues to blare from the next apartment.) Bailey appreciates her helping him, but doesn't want her doing all of this. Callie comes in and wants to play the game, too. As Bailey yells "no," the two girls set up the game.

Claudia is practicing in her room when Charlie walks in. He watches her for a moment then tells he he wants to talk and is very insistent about it. Claudia is keeping a practice journal and notes a break in order to "talk with her brother." Claudia tells Charlie that Avery is very tight with the board members of the "conservatory" and he wants her to study there. She even went there during lunch with Avery. Charlie states he is sick of hearing about Avery and takes her violin away from her to get her attention. He very much resents the influence Avery has on Claudia's life.

Back at the apartment, with the Macarena *still* blaring underneath, Sarah, Bay and Callie are playing this board game. As Callie reads questions, Sarah predicts how and why Bailey will respond. He resents her analyzing him. Callie is getting a giggle out of watching the two of them. When Callie starts reading a question about temptation, Bailey loses his cool, knocks the game off his bed and dives under the covers.

Charlie enters the house with an overnight package addressed to Julia. It's from Prescott. Julia is both excited and trepidatious. She asks Charlie to open the packet and read the letter to her, but be careful, because she wants to save the letter. Charlie begins reading the letter and pauses. It's not good and he apologizes to Julia because of that. He read to her that Prescott isn't "sugar coating" his opinion of her writing and suggests she doesn't submit this with her application to Stanford. Julia is shocked and disappointed.

Commercial Break

Julia is in the bathroom the next morning getting ready when Claudia comes in. Claudia tells her she looks very nice and then tells her she read the letter Prescott had sent her - after all, it was just sitting out. Julia says... "fine, just start a website." First, she feels Prescott was wrong about her, then she doubts her abilities and says maybe ther is nothing special about her as a writer.

Claudia visits Ross at his classroom and talks to him about her future. She wants him to talk to Charlie for her and she slips in that maybe it's time she get a new teacher as well, which doesn't seem to set right with Ross. Claudia tells Ross he's the only one who understands what this means to her. Ross doesn't know how he feels about all of this - it's all happening so fast and he doesn't know how he feels about Avery's influence over her.

The next morning, Bailey wakes up (again, the Macarena is blaring from the apartment downstairs) and Sarah is there with him. He covers his head with the blanket when he sees her there. She tells him that he's always the one who takes care of people and he's not used to having someone take care if him. The music is driving Bailey nuts and he starts screaming about it. Sarah give up and heads straight for the window. She climbs out onto the fire escape, climbs in the window of the apartment downstairs, turns off the music and climbs back in Bailey's window. He's shocked that she did this for him. She tells him she'd do anything for him. Bailey is feeling something. Callie walks out of her room dressed only in a sweatshirt with a big stain on the front. Sarah asks if that's the sweatshirt she gave him and Callie said yes...and that the chicken soup stain would come off with a little soaking. Sarah picks up her stuff and runs out the door.

Julia is at Stanford interviewing for admission and the man asks her what makes her special. She is still rattled by the letter she received and doesn't really know how to answer that question. The interviewer tries to set her mind at ease but nothing seems to be working. Julia is obviously upset and tries to explain she wants to be a writer. He suggests she submit a writing sample with her application. She tells him she doesn't really like to have people read her work and he tells her that won't get her far in her career. She covers, saying there are a lot of things she would like to do, then realizes this interview is going no where and asks if they can just stop.

Bailey is chasing Sarah down the sidewalk and she jumps into her car. She is furious at him, screaming that she spent so much time making him soup and putting the tape of music together for him and he gave it all to *her.* She screams that he is whiny, insensitve and miserable to be around. As she peels off, he's left standing there in the street as she drives off.

Claudia and Avery come in to see Charlie, who is having coffee in the living room with Ross. The conservatory people would like to have Claudia and she can start as soon as December. Avery says he knows this is best for Claudia, but Charlie and Ross both feel Avery is pushing her into this. Charlie thinks Avery is trying to recreate Diana in Claudia and Avery's response is he knew Diana and he knows that *this* is what she would have wanted for Claudia.

Julia is sitting on a bench on campus with her head in her hands, crying. A postman walks by and she asks him for directions, as she's lost.

Commercial Break

Bailey wakes up and Callie is moving around in the kitchen. He asks her to make him a sandwich, but she doesn't have time, as she's leaving. He sits up and states it would have been nice if she had asked him how he was feeling or if she could do anything to help him. She apologizes and tells him she just isn't good with sick people. Handing him some take out menus, she tells him she has to leave and does.

Julia is in the basement, digging through a box of her mother's stuff....

At the restaurant, Julia shows Charlie a folder full of incredible pictures. They are pictures that were taken by their mother. Julia has been thinking about her mom constantly these days - trying to figure out what she wants from life and realizes, when she found these pictures, that her mother wasn't one hundred percent sure about music when she went off to school. Julia explains to Charlie that she some how felt she was apologizing to her mother in her mind for not knowing what she wanted, but that in finding these pictures, it was her mother's way of telling her it was okay, because she was searching too.

Bailey is waiting on the sidewalk for Sarah. He has a huge scab on his head, where, apparently, he fell asleep in line trying to get tickets to hear "those Hey Macarena guys." People let him ahead of them in line, probably because they thought they were going to catch something from him - some infectuous disease. Sarah doesn't want the tickets. He tells her to use them as a book mark or something to get food out of her teeth...there is time for her to change her mind and remember how much she actually loves him. She tells him he takes her for granted and she doesn't want him doing that anymore. Bailey tells her he will agree to anything right now and asks her to take him home.

Charlie lays down on Claudia's bed with her. She's listening to a violin piece over the headphones. Claudia wants to quit school and attend the conservatory. Charlie explains that he tries to set rules but he's having a hard time competing with his mother....and being told what mom would want and how she would want things. He shares with her the fact that Diana didn't, in fact, know she wanted to be a musician. Charlie feels Claudia is wanting to be just like her, but she's only 13 and has the rest of her life ahead of her. Charlie won't let her go to the conservatory. She cries and says she'll hate him for this.

In the backyard later, Claudia is practicing her violin in the moonlight. Avery arrives and knows that Charlie has told her no and hopes he will change his mind. He has a present for her and pulls out a tape player with some very sad and beautiful violin music on it - Mendelsohn - and it's a recording of Diana. Avery suggests Claudia play along with it, which she does, shutting her eyes and concentrating, while the tears slip out of her closed lids as she bows with her mother. Avery is mesmorized by the sight.

In the kitchen, Julia sits at the computer, formulating a response to Gary Prescott, all the while the sweet, haunting violin music is playing in the background. She tells him in the message that all her life she has read the last page of a book first, because she wanted to know what was going to happen. She has decided not to do that anymore. Maybe she'll be a great writer, maybe she won't, she doesn't know she hasn't read the last page.

Camera pans out and fade away with the violin still playing....

The End

from Julie Gumm

Bailey tells Charlie he cheated on Sarah and Charlie can't believe it. He asks with who. Bailey says the question isn't with who, it's why. Bailey says Sarah's beautiful and smart but she's 16 and she's still in high school and everything they do is still high school and some things they don't do at all. Bailey's really sweating it out (literally). He says he knows what he has to do. Charlie tells him not to tell her because it never works, he tried it three times. "No, I'm not going to tell her. I'm going to break up with her," Bailey says.

Gary Prescott is signing books at the bookstore. Julia brings a book for him to sign. He says he's seen her before. She's attended some of his readings. Julia tells him she has a meeting with someone at Stanford to beg herself into the creative writing program. He teaches there, which of course she knew. He invites her to sit in on one of his classes.

Claudia, Ross and Charlie are at a competition waiting for the votes to be counted. Just as Claudia is picking apart her piece, this Avery guy comes up and says she did great. Avery used to play with Mrs. Salinger. Claudia doesn't win the competition but Avery tells her that no one there has her talent.

Bailey is waiting for Sarah after school. She's still mad about the dance. He wants to go somewhere and talk but she's giving him a hard time. He tells her he's feeling lousy and then he pukes. She feels sorry for him and tells him to get in the jeep so she can drive him to the doctor.

Julia is at this Prescott's class and they're talking about writing. He asks her when she started writing. She says that Bailey and Will would always go off and play without her so she started writing these adventure stories. Her mom found them and told her they were really good. She volunteers to show him the short story that she is going to submit with her application. He says he'll look at it.

Claudia, Avery and Charlie are eating at Salingers. Avery is telling them stories about her parents. He says he wishes Claudia's mom could hear her. Avery said he's been watching Claudia for a long time--first because of who she was and then because of how good she was. He tells her she could be as good as her mom, probably even better if she put her mind to it.

Bailey and Sarah are at his apartment. She's babying him. Turns out he has chicken pox. She's not forgetting the dance thing, she's just putting it aside. Bailey says its a bad idea and tries to get her to leave. Instead, she runs out to get groceries.

Julia is writing at 3 a.m. Claudia is downstairs practicing. Charlie comes down. Avery told her that she and her mother have the same chin hold thing. She wonders if that's a genetic thing. She thinks its cool to think that while she's playing her mom is right here (pointing to her chin) playing with her.

Bailey is shivering in bed as Callie walks in. She tells him she doesn't do sick. Sarah left a care package which Callie tells him is really sweet. "She must really love you." It has chicken soup, a sweatshirt and a tape of songs about feeling bad. Bai says he doesn't want any of it and Callie can have anything out of there that she wants.

Avery is over at the house. Charlie is on the phone with Bailey. None of them have had the chicken pox. Charlie is surpised Sarah is taking care of him. Avery and Claudia are going over her arrangements. She promises to be really dedicated. He tells her its more than that--it's listening to music, discipline, etc.

Sarah brings a board game over called Moral Dilemma to play with Bailey. He thinks its a bad idea. Sarah invites Callie to play and she thinks its cool. Bailey says no, but she sits down anyways.

Claudia is practicing again. Charlie asks if they can talk. She's writing down in her journal about "x minutes lost due to misc. brother interruptions". She's talking about the conservatory that she visited and he asks when she went. Avery took her during lunch. She starts to leave to practice and Charlie lays down the ground rules. He tells her he makes the decision for her, not Avery.

The three are playing the Moral Dilema game. Sarah's winning because she knows Bailey so well. The get into this big discussion. Bailey goes off the deep end and shoves the game off the bed and buries himself under the covers.

Julia is watching TV. Charlie brings in a messenger delivery--her story back from the Prescott guy. She's surprised he sent it back so fast. She tells Charlie to look, she can't. "Just read the good parts." Charlie kind of doesn't say anything so Julia knows he didn't like it. The guy says its a "very young" and he would hold off on submitting it.

Julia is gettting ready in the bathroom the next morning. Claudia read the letter and tells her that just because one person didn't like her stuff doesn't matter--maybe he's wrong. "But what if he's not," says Julia. "What if it turns out I'm not special at anything."

Claudia asks Ross to talk to Charlie since he weirded out. She mentions that she'll probably need a new teacher. Ross is kind of surpised but she reminds him that he suggested it last year. Ross isn't sure how he feels about the situation; they don't even know much about Avery.

Sarah is doing her homework at the apartment when Bailey wakes up. She thinks he's being such a brat because he doesn't like taking help from people. He's complaining about the music next door (the Macarena). She climbs out the fire escape and goes next door to turn it off. He's totally shocked that she did that.

Callie comes in wearing the sweatshirt that Sarah brought over with chicken soup all over it. Sarah gets pissed and runs out.

Julia is talking to the guy at Stanford. He asks her what makes her special? She doesn't know how to answer him. She's feeling totally lost since getting Prescott's remarks. He tries to put her at ease by just talking. He suggests she send a writing sample. She skirts the issue suggesting that there's other things she might want to do. She says, "I'm sorry, this is really bad. Can we stop."

Bailey chases Sarah down. She chews him out because he has no idea how much work she went through to put togther that package. "You're whiny, you're insensitive, and you're miserable to be around." And she drives off.

Avery and Claudia come over and they're all excited because they think she can get into the conservatory. Ross is there with Charlie and they're not so sure it's a good idea. The say Avery has only known Claudia four days and Ross tells him about last years "I want to be a normal kid" routine. They think Avery is pushing Claudia. Claudia thinks Ross is mad because she's leaving and Charlie just wants to make the rules.

Julia is sitting on a park bench is crying. She asks a security guy where parking structure B is. She's totally lost.

Bailey asks Callie to make him a sandwich but she's on her way out. He tells her it would have been nice if she would have at least asked "how are you feeling?" She hands him menus from some restaurants that deliver (what a nurturer).

Julia is in the basement and finds a box with a bunch of photographs. She brings them to Charlie at the restaurant. They're pictures that their mom took. She majored in visual arts. They didn't know that. It wasn't until later that she decided she wanted to be a violinist. Julia feels better about not knowing what she wants to be.

Bailey is waiting for Sarah outside her apartment building. He stood in line to get tickets to the Macarena guys for her. "We'll have fun, if I live." She doesn't want them. He tells her to hang on to them because its not for a little while and maybe by then she'll remember how much she loves him. Sarah says, "You take me for granted sometimes you know. Don't do that anymore. Don't buy me things and think it will make it better." Bailey says OK and asks if she'll drive him home.

Claudia is listening to a new violin piece that she's going to learn. She tells Charlie that she's going to switch schools, she doesn't care if he's mad. Charlie says he's having a hard time setting rules because all of a sudden it's like there's another parent in the house--their mother. He doesn't want to make the wrong decision. He tells her about the stuff Julia found out. He thinks it's too fast and worried that it's all about their mom. "I'm not going to let you do it," Charlie tells her. He says she can take it slow by adding a few practice hours.

Claudia's in the backyard practicing when Avery comes over. He says maybe Charlie will change his mind. He brought her a present. It's a tape of her mother playing a piece of music so that Claud will have someone to share the music with. Claudia, with tears falling, picks up the violin and beings to play along with her.

Julia writes Prescott a note thanking him for the criticism. She tells him about her habit of always reading the last page of a book first and that she's not going to do that anymore. "Maybe I will become a writer and maybe I won't. I don't know, I haven't read the last page yet."

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