Dr. Fong......Charles Chun
Dee Dee......Lauren Dahl
Serious Richard by Vonda Shepard
Famous by Heather Nova
Restless by Laura Carson
Charlie is looking for ice while Julia is on the phone with the temp agency. Griffin asks for coffee while Claudia comes in all decked out in a skimpy dress, lots of make-up. She asks Julia if she can borrow her earrings. Charlie needs something cold, he pulls up his shirt to show a large rash on his stomach. Griffin slides down the milk jug which Charlie puts on his stomach. Claudia pronounces that gross while Julia complains about no one noticing she was on the phone. She needs to get going. She'll drop Owen off at day care and Griffin will pick him up. He protests, he can't have Owen at the shop. Julia tells him to run Owen home and Claudia will watch him. She asks Claud if she's wearing make-up and Charlie asks if she's taller. She is, because she is wearing Julia's boots. Julia tells Claudia to take off her earrings.
Dr. Rabin pronounces it a rash. Charlie knows that, but is it normal? There is no normal, everybody responds to radiation differently. Charlie knows that, he responds with nausea, fatigue and mouth sores. Can't she give him something for the rash? She asks if the cortisone is helping, but it isn't. She understands his frustration, but everything takes time. He should call her if he needs anything.
Bailey is on the phone with Annie while he deals with the fish vendor. She is letting Natalie spend the night at a friend's house so they can be alone. The vendor is trying to leave Bailey with 25 lbs of salmon instead of 12 lbs of tuna and 12 lbs of salmon. The conversation gets confused between the vendor, Annie and Bailey. He has to work all night at the restaurant. But, she got his favorite food, this was what he wanted. He hangs up and tries in vain to stop the vendor.
Claudia finds Reed and tries to apologize for her behavior. He says it's okay, but she feels bad for screaming at him. With him and Charlie and everything else, she freaked. He says it's okay, he gets it. He asks if she did something different with her hair, it looks nice. He gets up and leaves as she smiles.
Griffin is on the phone calling Claudia. She wasn't there when he brought Owen home. Owen is getting into oil and other things around the shop. Mac, the supplier walks in and asks if that's Griffin's son. It's his brother-in-law. He introduces Mac as the "guy who gives us parts for the shop." Mac points out that giving isn't really part of the deal. Griffin's check bounced, again. He expects payment in full in cash by the end of the week or he'll take back the diagnostic computer. Griffin points out that his business is based on being fast. If he doesn't have the computer he'll lose his customers and never be able to pay Mac. Just get him the money. Griffin has taken his eye off Owen and he knocks over the whole row of bikes. Owen! Griffin yells.
Dr. Fong's shop
Charlie and Kirsten peer through a display case. Kirsten announces that if Paul saw her at an herbalist, he would file for divorce. Dr. Fong comes in and greets them. Charlie tells him that he's not a firm believer. Fong asks to see his tongue. He looks and states that Charlie has Hodgkin's disease. Charlie is surprised. It took his doctors weeks, tons of tests and they missed it the first time. Fong also comments on Charlie's rash. How did he know that? Little bumps on Charlie's neck, the doctor says showing him in the mirror. He asks if Charlie is undergoing radiation. Western medicine will poison your body to cure it. He gives Charlie some herbs. Will they cure him? They'll help his rash, first things first.
Bailey instructs the chef to make three salmon specials: poached, mousse and sushi. Mercy announces that Annie is there. He is way too busy tonight. Bailey says they should tell Natalie. Annie doesn't want to, Nat's only 7 and Annie won't turn her world upside down so they can sleep together. Natalie believes that mommies and daddies sleep together. If she gets up in the morning she'll think Bailey is her new daddy. Her real daddy left. Bay says he won't leave, but Annie points out they've only been together 3 months and she has to be careful what she promises her daughter.
Owen is running through the living room shouting "damn, damn, damn, you owe me money" as Julia gets home from work. She asks what he's saying. Claudia proclaims " damn you own me money damn" in a disinterested tone. Griffin tells Julia that Owen was at the shop all day because Claudia didn't come home when she was supposed to. She never said she'd babysit. Julia asks why no one has given Owen a bath, he's covered in oil and has anyone started dinner? Griffin says he is not going to work all day and then come home and make dinner and watch after screaming kids. He goes back to the shop.
Salinger kitchen(the next morning)
Julia asks what the terrible smell is. Charlie is brewing Dr. Fong's herbal tea. Claudia comes in looking for her bag and complains as well. Julia looks at the list of ingredients: water buffalo gallstones, human placenta. She inquires where the eye of newt is. Charlie snatches the bag away from her. Claudia notices that there is cow dung in it as well. Owen comes in and gives his own pronouncement of "PU!" After they leave Charlie admits that it is really gross and holds his nose while he drinks it.
Bailey wakes up to find Annie brushing her teeth. He tries to entice her back into bed. He didn't get there until 3 a.m. She has things to do. He tempts her with breakfast in bed, featuring a "mean Denver omelet." She says she'll make some calls.
Grant High School
Claudia slips a letter into Reed's locker.
Julia brings coffee out to Griffin who is getting ready to go to work. She tried to wait up for him, but she fell asleep. You're never supposed to go to bed mad. She remembers once she came downstairs, the TV was on, coffee burning on the stove and both of her parents asleep at the kitchen table. She doesn't know if they worked that one out, but they tried. Griffin isn't mad, he's frustrated. He had a bad day and wants to tell her and there's all these other problems: Owen's crying, Charlie's throwing up, Claudia. . . . Who knows what she's doing, Julia answers. How did this happen? They couldn't keep their hands off of each other, they even made love under the tree. Julia hushes him, no one knows about that. Now, they're like this old married couple, not even talking. Never go to sleep angry she says.
Grant High School
Two girls are reading Claudia's letter to Reed. He traded his locker to one of them to avoid Claudia. Claudia tries to get the letter back to no avail. Reed comes up and tells them to leave her alone and snatches back the letter. Claudia watches him walk away with a look of hero worship.
Salinger living room
Charlie is sitting on the couch watching TV and scratching. Kirsten comes in with a book she found on acupuncture and meditation. He thanks her and reminds her of a camping trip they took to Yellowstone. The mosquitoes were really bad and they didn't bring the nets she recommended. This is the same, only a million times worse. She asks if he is drinking his tea. He has, but he's still itching. It's like a horror movie. He has to sit there while this thing (cancer) eats him alive. He questions whether the herbs let alone the radiation will help, after all it's only light. Kirsten tries to comfort him, but to no avail.
Julia is at the shop paying bills. She comments that they don't have much money in their account. Griffin had decided to borrow money from the money he's holding for Howie. Julia thinks the scheme is a terrible idea. Howie beat him up on his wedding day, what would he do if he caught Griffin stealing his money? They argue. Griffin says Julia should support him and if she can't she should just stay at home.
Outside Bailey's apartment
Annie is just getting home while Bay is off to the restaurant. She's mad because she rescheduled a job interview that morning when she and Bay went back to bed and when she got there they had already given someone else the job. Bailey is incredulous that she would reschedule the interview. She needs a job, so staying in bed with him was a bad idea. He thought her "things to do" were shopping or getting her car washed. She did it for him, but he doesn't want her to do things for him that hurt her. She feels she can't win with him. First he complains they are never alone and then she changes everything and he still isn't happy. She walks off in a huff.
Claudia comes in and thanks Reed for sticking up for her. He says it's no big deal. He read her letter and he tells her that she's gotten the wrong idea. They're not together. Even though he forgave her, he's not her boyfriend. He likes her and they're friends. . . . She says that he's not looking at it the right way. Jane Eyre and Rochester didn't recognize their feelings right away either. Reed points out that that's fiction. She asks if he really asked the girl to trade lockers. He apologizes and leaves.
Julia, Griffin, Claudia and Owen are eating dinner in silence. Julia tells Owen to stop playing with his food. He continues and she tells him to stop again. Claudia sighs and leaves the table. The silence continues until Griffin picks up the remote and turns on "Wheel of Fortune." The look on Julia's face says that she can't believe the point her marriage has come to.
The next morning Julia is on the phone with the temp agency when Claudia tells her that she isn't going to school. Julia barely listens and says fine as long as she's there when Owen gets home. Claudia asks if she wants to know why, but Julia won't be bothered. Claudia passes Charlie in the hall and starts to tell him, but he tells her to let Julia deal with it.
Charlie is still itching and picks up the book Kirsten gave him to scratch his back. He sits down and starts reading the book.
Bailey is raking when Annie comes up and says she's ready to tell Natalie. The way she's been acting, making excuses, etc. is like when she was drinking. Hiding him under her bed is like when she would keep her bottles down there. Bay points out that two days ago she had so many reasons not to tell Natalie, is she just doing it for him? She points out that AA says to take responsibility for the choices you make and deal with the consequences. She has to be straight with Nat. Bailey agrees.
Charlie is sitting on the floor meditating when Kirsten comes in. She can't believe it, she must be in the wrong place. Could this be Charlie Salinger meditating? He never struck her as the type. He points out that he probably never struck her as the cancer type either. She asks if it's helping. He isn't sure. He's supposed to have a mantra to help him focus, but he just keeps thinking "God I hope this works." He read an article about a plant in Mexico that cures cancer in mice. He doesn't know if he should get on a plane. Does it just cure cancer in mice? Or just in Mexican mice? He's at a point where if he heard swinging a black cat over his head three times would help he would go out and get the cat. He asks if Kirsten thinks he's crazy. She doesn't know, but since they've been talking, he hasn't been scratching.
Griffin promises a customer that he'll have his bike fixed overnight. The customer is impressed. Griffin says that the diagnostic computer helps him work quickly saving everybody money. Howie comes in and asks Griffin to write him a check for $8000 out of the account. Griffin protests that it will empty the account, but Howie points out that it is his money. After he leaves Griffin calls the bank and cancels a $10,000 transfer from the account.
Annie discusses her method of telling Natalie about her relationship with Bailey. He tells her just to be honest. They go into the living room where Natalie is drawing a picture of Bailey by their house. He is as tall as the house. Bailey exclaims, hey you made me tall, thanks. Annie goes on to say that Bailey will start being around more and might spend the night sometimes. Nat keeps drawing, scribbling over Bailey in the picture. She states that he is not her daddy and runs out of the room. Annie goes after her.
Griffin comes in as the phone is ringing. He answers it. They are looking for Charlie to say that Claudia skipped school. Griffin says he'll take care of it. He yells at Claudia who is lying on the couch listening to her headset. He tells her to turn the music off and asks why she wasn't there. She took a sad day, she and Reed had a fight. Griffin is enraged to find out that this is about a boy. Charlie is sick and Julia has so much to worry about around the house, she should be more responsible. He yells that she can't be that stupid. Julia comes in and tells him to stop. She asks if he is going to send Claudia to her room, make her clean the bathroom with a toothbrush, hit her. What has gotten into him? He's acting like his father. Charlie yells from upstairs for them to shut up, he's meditating. Claudia runs upstairs while Julia stares at Griffin.
Claudia comes into Charlie's room where he's meditating. She asks to talk to him for a minute, but he says not now. She asks again, but he's meditating (and scratching).
Bailey brings donuts to Annie and Natalie who are leaving for the day. Natalie won't even look at him and Annie says not now. He watches them leave
Julia comes in with fresh sheets to find Charlie up and getting dressed. He feels much better, he got a good night's sleep, almost feels like normal and his rash is gone. For all of the skeptics, meditation really works. His rash went away the night before, Julia muses. She wonders if it was the detergent because she got a different one on sale and just switched back the day before to the regular one. Charlie is upset and Julia promises to never use coupons again.
The parts guy is there repossessing the computer.
Grant High School
Claudia waits for Reed out by the track. She called him the night before, but she hung up before he answered. She knows he's not her boyfriend, but she does still want to be friends like they were before. She tries to bring up regular conversation about school gossip, but Reed cuts her off. They can't go back because she reads into situations. They can't be friends like they were before. He walks away leaving her crushed.
Charlie and Kirsten are sitting on the swing. Charlie is dejected over the detergent discovery. He finally felt like he was doing something that was helping him, that he was some sort of superhero, Cancer Man. He thought that he could go into radiation with his new secret weapon. For one second he felt like he had some control, but what if he can't. What if he did, Kirsten says. He had a rash and now it's gone and maybe it was the detergent, but maybe it wasn't. Maybe it was the meditation, maybe it was him. Kirsten rubs his back as Charlie tries not to break down.
Julia comes in to find Griffin. He's not like his father. He's been thinking about it all day. Julia points out that he called Claudia stupid. Griffin yells that she was acting stupid. Julia reminds him of a time he came over after his father had gotten mad. He slammed the door of her bedroom so hard a picture fell down and broke. He asked what right his dad had to make them feel bad, just because he had a bad day at work. Griffin says his dad lost it for no reason, but he did because Howie took back all of his money, they repossessed his computer and he'll lose all of his customers. He says that Julia doesn't know how he feels. But she does, she gets that he's in way over his head. He's 19 and he feels like he's 40. Everybody is putting demands on him and he's scared to death that he can't handle them and there's one person to turn to, who's supposed to love him and he wants to ask them to fix it. She feels the same exact way. Julia gets up to get her pajamas. Griffin asks what she's doing. Owen has a cold and she's going to sleep inside. She asks if he's coming, but he says no, someone should get some sleep. She leaves.
He's meditating in front of the fireplace. Julia comes in and asks if he's still doing the meditation thing. He answer that you never know. She tells him that it's helping.
(Vonda Shepard's "Serious Richard plays over montage.)
Bailey and Annie are in her living room. Natalie is in her room. Annie says she'll adjust, it just will take some time. Bailey agrees to give her some time and gets up to leave. Annie comments that they did it to get more time together and now they have less. Bailey says he'll see her at the morning meeting, but she can't go until the afternoon when he'll be at the restaurant. He'll call her if he gets a break.
Julia looks out Owen's window to see Griffin lying awake in their bed.