The family visits
Charlie in the hospital
I Shall Believe by Sheryl Crow
Feelin' Again by John Hiatt
Montana by Black Toast
World Keeps Spinning by Behann Johnson
San Francisco State
Bailey is in history lecture. His professor calls on him and he obviously has no idea. Thankfully Bay is saved by the bell, his cell phone. It's Mercy at the restaurant. Bay takes the call in the hall and after fixing the situation, he asks her why the Korean peace agreement failed.
Griffin is making his breakfast while Julia looks for the ad for the shop in the paper. Charlie says to look under "Business Opportunities" while Griffin suggests "Pathetic Failures." As Julia announces it's in the perfect spot Charlie sneezes all over the want ads. The ad is above the fold with bold type and more importantly...near a large lingerie ad. Charlie sneezes again. Julia asks if he's talked to the doctor. Charlie tells her that it is a cold, not cancer. He asks Griffin what he can get for the shop. Griffin doesn't know, but he and Julia agree it would be good just to get out of debt at this point. From now on, whatever they make they can keep. They can start being married to each other, instead of the shop.
Claudia's teacher picks up her quiz. She's left the page blank. Her teacher tries to find her, but Claudia's disappeared into the crowd at the school.
A man is looking at the shop with Griffin. Griffin notices that he is from the shop down the street. The guy owns the franchise. Griffin is upset that he would even think Griffin would sell to him. The guy points out that if another independent buys it, he'll just drive him out of business as well. Griffin's best bet is to sell to him.
Paul and Kirsten's apartment
Paul can't believe that Kirsten would take recreational equipment from a guy laid up with cancer. Kirsten says he insisted. The phone rings. It's Charlie looking for some medical advice. If he calls his doctor, she'll charge him $50 for a phone consult. His cold isn't any better and now it hurts to breathe. Paul says he doesn't want to alarm Charlie, but he should go to the hospital, immediately. Kirsten asks if he needs her to take him, but Charlie says he can get there himself. After she hangs up Kirsten starts putting on her coat. When Paul asks where she's going. She says she's going to meet Charlie at the hospital.
Annie asks Bailey to speak to Natalie's class the next morning at nine. He agrees to do it. He'll just have to check on the gas leaks in the morning, cram for his mid-term that night and get another extension on his paper. Annie offers to type his paper for him. Bay answers the phone. It's Kirsten. Charlie's in the hospital. Bailey leaves immediately.
Julia and Griffin are discussing the franchiser's offer. Griffin doesn't want to take his money, but Julia points out he took Howie's money. She asks why he even asked her since he'd made up his mind already. It's her money too. Sarah appears at the door. She tried to call, but the line had been disconnected. Kirsten had called the apartment looking for Bailey. She called the house and talked to Claudia. Charlie's in the hospital. Claudia's on her way. Kirsten didn't say why...
Bailey rushes in looking for Charlie. He runs into Julia who can't find him either. Kirsten finds them. Charlie just got to sleep. It's pneumonia, but if they catch it in time...he was more susceptible because of the radiation. He's on heavy antibiotics. Nobody knows anything yet. Bailey says he wants to see Charlie. Julia, Kirsten and Bailey enter Charlie's room to find him hooked up to monitors and on oxygen. None of them notice Claudia who walks up behind them and then leaves without coming into the room.
Charlie's hospital room
Bailey and Julia are still there when Charlie wakes up the next morning. They ask how he feels. He answers, "Not good." He asks about Claudia and Owen. Owen is at home with Sarah and Claudia said she had to go to school. Charlie says she probably just wanted to get another "F." Paul and Kirsten show up. They ask how he is. Charlie has a coughing fit and asks if it answers their question. Paul looks at his chart and says it looks like things are doing okay. His beeper goes off. It's the travel agent. Charlie asks how long he'll be in the hospital. Paul tells him he should talk to his doctor. Charlie asks again. His color has room for improvement, but it doesn't look that bad. No one seems reassured.
Grant High School
Claudia's teacher Ms. Ramos catches her in the hall. She asks if Claud is coming to class. It's in 5 minutes and she's headed the wrong way. Claudia says she's kind of out of it today. Ms. Ramos asks what's the matter. Claudia says her brother is sick. That's the sort of thing she should get a note from her family about. But, her teacher offers to have a word with the office. Claudia leaves school.
Griffin is meeting with an assessor. The shop is worth a lot more if it's sold all together, but he wants to know why Griffin is selling. If there isn't a compelling reason not to sell it as a business he should do so, the assessor will get him 10 times as much as a unit.
Claudia buys a ticket for the matinee. The guy asks if she should be in school, but she says it's a half day.
Julia and Bailey are waiting for the pay phone. She needs to call Griffin and he needs to call Annie. His cell phone battery is already dead from talking to the restaurant all morning. Simultaneously they ask each other how it's going and together answer, "Don't ask." They see Dr. Rabin and go to see what she has to say.
She's in the middle of telling Charlie they may have to temporarily stop the radiation treatments. The lung biopsy showed that the virus is a particularly strong one and the radiation is depleting his white cell count. They may have to extend the number of treatments. She'll have to wait and see when he gets over the pneumonia. Charlie is very upset. He was pacing himself for the six weeks. He's supposed to be done a week from Thursday and that's all he can handle. She tells him it'll just be a little while longer. She didn't say anything about pneumonia. She says she couldn't predict every complication. Charlie asks how he's supposed to deal with this when no one knows what's going to happen.
The franchise guy shows up. Griffin called him. He's ready to sell.
San Francisco State
Bailey's professor needs to talk to him. He has 2 "D"s and a "0" on the paper. He talked to Bailey's advisor and he's still on academic probation. If Bailey doesn't hand in the paper, he's out of school. Bailey says he's sorry, but he has a lot going on in his life. He needs to get back to the hospital to be with his brother who has pneumonia, then cover for him at his job. Then he has to go to a parent/teacher conference for his little brother who doesn't have any parents and then finally to his other job...the one that pays the rent. He'll get the paper when he gets it, that's the best Bailey can do.
Julia has brought Owen to visit Charlie. She leaves him in the hall while she goes to see if Charlie is awake. He is, but he doesn't want to see anyone, especially Owen. She says that it'll be quick, Owen just needs to see his face...that he's okay. He tells Julia that he's not okay and to just leave him alone. He just wants to sleep.
Julia is trying to tell Bailey how depressed Charlie is. Bay is certain that once the antibiotics have kicked in, he'll be fine. Claudia is sitting at the table eating her breakfast through the conversation. Bailey is going to the hospital. He tries to get Claudia to go with him. He hasn't seen her there yet. She says she was there the night before, but they were in the cafeteria and Charlie was asleep. She would come now, but she has a big assignment due in biology. Charlie had just given her a big lecture about not flunking out, so he wouldn't appreciate her being there during school.
Charlie's hospital room
Kirsten is trying to cheer Charlie up with a "Three Stooges" marathon. Bailey arrives. He smuggled in lattes and Kirsten brought peanut brittle. Charlie says he isn't hungry, even though the nurse said he hadn't eaten since yesterday. Paul shows up. He woke up and Kirsten wasn't there. Bailey asks him to look at Charlie's chart. The doctor says he's getting better, but he doesn't look like it. Paul says that things do look better. A nurse comes in and comments that she thought Paul was on vacation. So did he. Kirsten asks to speak with him in the hall. She asks what he was doing with the chart. It seems like he's putting a spin on things. Is he playing things down so she won't spend so much time at the hospital? Because of the trip? Paul says that he understands that Charlie is sick, but he has his whole family there and they really need this vacation. She can see he's depressed. She may not know about chest films, but she does know how frightening depression is. Paul reassures her.
Bailey tries to make conversation about the restaurant. Charlie asks him to leave. Bay says he'll come back later with Owen. Again, Charlie says that he doesn't want to see him. Bailey leaves while Charlie lies in his bed.
Claudia is again taking in the afternoon matinee instead of school.
Julia is finishing the dishes as Bailey shows up. She's glad to see him. The restaurant has called six times with a refrigerator crisis. Bay says he'll call them later. They have to talk about Charlie. Bay saw how depressed he is. They will need to take shifts. He shouldn't be at the hospital alone. Julia asks what they'll do with Owen, the apartment, the restaurant and school. Bailey says he doesn't have to worry about school, he's going to quit. He's barely there as it is. Julia says he shouldn't make a rash decision. Bailey is sick of being the "no sweat, bring it on" guy. He can't handle it all. It's easier to just not.
Griffin is doing all of the paperwork to sell the shop to the guy down the street. After he gives Griffin the check he offers him a job. Griffin already knows where everything is. Griffin is insulted and turns him down.
Charlie's hospital room
Julia and Bailey have brought him some relaxation tapes so he can get some good sleep. Charlie asks them to leave him alone. What happens after he gets rid of the pneumonia? He'll only have cancer. What is he going to do, knock the cancer out with optimism? He didn't make himself get it, how is he supposed to make himself get rid of it? He's been fighting it every day since he found out and now he's in the hospital. He has done everything he can and now he's done. If he gets better, he gets better and that's great. And if he dies, he dies and that's not so great. So please just let him stop pretending.
Hospital waiting room
Griffin cashed the check and paid off Howie. Julia asks where it leaves them. He says with about $300 in the bank. He tells her about the job offer. She points out that it isn't such a bad option. He bought the shop because he liked to work on bikes. Griffin starts to explain why he doesn't want the job, but Julia sees Dr. Rabin and goes to see what is up with Charlie. She asks him to wait until she gets back, but he walks out.
Dr. Rabin is telling Charlie that things look good. He should be able to go home in a couple of days and can resume his normal treatment schedule. Charlie is glad, but not very enthusiastic.
Hospital parking lot
Julia finds Bailey on a bench outside. He doesn't think Charlie seems any better. Julia says to give it time. Let him get out of the hospital and feel normal for a while. Bay says it's Jule's turn to make him feel better for a while. She says that's how they work. One of them gets to be crazy for a while and then the others calm them down. It'll take a while for them to see how this is going to all work out. Bailey should wait to make a decision about school. He should wait until Charlie is home and he can see how busy he is then. She'll help out. She can go to his classes for him. No, he says. The decision is made and he feels good about it. It's like Charlie said, it's so much easier to stop pretending. It's like the motorcycle shop, he's cutting his losses and moving on. It feels good.
Kirsten and Paul's apt.
She's trying to get a hold of Charlie, but it's late and he's turned the phone off. Paul points out that he's getting better. Paul wants to know about their vacation. Kirsten says she couldn't possibly go. She knows that Paul needs to get away, but she would be at the pay phone every 5 minutes checking on Charlie. He should go. He says that she's putting him in a really bad position. He's a jerk if he tells her not to worry about Charlie, but he's an idiot if he doesn't use this vacation time. He wants her. She says that he can't possibly be jealous. He can't? How many times has she been at or near an altar with this man? Those feeling don't just disappear. She agrees with him. She knows that he wants her to tell him exactly how she cares about Charlie. She can't do that. She just loves him and that is why she can't go.
Hospital waiting room
Annie has brought Bailey his mail and some magazines. She also brought his paper with a nice cover and everything. Bailey tells her she shouldn't have and hugs her.
Claudia comes home to an empty house. She erases a message on the answering machine from the high school about her truancy.
Charlie's hospital room
Bailey and Julia come in. The nurse said Charlie wanted to see them. He's even eaten. Bay says he looks a lot better, he's sitting up and eating. He is feeling better. He's been thinking about things and he needs to see Emmett, their lawyer. He wants to write a will. They want to know why, he's feeling better. Charlie points out that it isn't a horrible thing. He has been focusing all of his energy on getting better, but maybe he won't. He's been trying to be okay with what's coming, but it feels wrong. He needs to think about them and he needs to get things in order in case he dies. He wants to know that they're going to be okay. Planning for the worst feels like a good thing, so they should just get Emmett over there and bring Owen and Claud too because he wants to see them.
Griffin shows up for his first day to find a woman cursing at the computer. The time clock isn't installed yet, so she'll just take his name. She recognizes his name from the vendor contracts. She apologizes for being rude, she's Rosalie. They shake hands and both smile.
Kirsten, Julia and Bailey bring Owen to visit. Kirsten explains that Charlie is still a little bit sick, so he might be in bed and Owen should be careful of his tubes. Owen agrees to no rough-housing. When they come in Charlie is sitting up in the chair in his bathrobe. Owen yells, "Charlie" and jumps into his lap. Charlie hugs him, obviously very glad to see him. He asks where Claudia is, but Julia says she had to go to school early. Owen says that Bailey said Charlie's bed has magic tricks. Charlie lets Owen ride up and down on the bed while the others look on.
This was a very good sound episode. Those familiar with the series will recognize both the writer, P.K. Simonds and director Ken Topolsky as people who have been involved with the series from the beginning.
This episode was a good example of how this family works together when things are hard. Julia and Bailey both put their focus on trying to help Charlie through his latest crisis. We also see Kirsten trying make herself and her husband Paul understand why she can't extricate herself from Charlie's life. Claudia's continuing troubles will inevitably be noted. One of the strengths of this series is it's willingness to develop story slowly and carefully.
We also see the genuine love between Owen and Charlie in the last scene. It makes sense that Charlie comes to realize that while focusing on living is important for his recovery, he also has responsibilities to his siblings and needs to prepare in case of his death.
On more of a detail note, in this episode we finally discover Paul's last name and presumably Kirsten's as well. It is Thomas.