Season 4, Episode 18: True or False

The credits: guest starring paige turco, ever carradine, robin gammell, terri hanauer, laura gardner, andrew & steven cavarno, producer paul marks, producer steven robman, supervising producer tammy ader, supervising producer ellen herman, consulting producer lisa melamed, co-executive producer michael engler, co-executive producer p.k. simonds, executive producers mitchell burgess and robin green, executive producer mark b. perry, executive producer ken topolsky, written by ellen herman, directed by lou antonio.
Transcribed by Rachel

Claudia's room
Claud is working on homework. Charlie comes in to talk to her about her problems at school. She says she's back and everything is fine. He says no, she's back and he's back, but they need to figure out what's going on with her. He's made an appointment for them to see a psychologist. If she doesn't like the therapist, they'll find someone else. Claud says she's fine, but Charlie says that everything is okay now, but if he gets sick again or if he isn't around, she can't disappear again. She says she'll be fine, she doesn't have to talk to anybody. He wasn't asking, he was telling.

Annie's apartment
Bailey finds Annie and her apartment in disarray. He tried to call. He tries to kiss her, but she pulls away saying she has the flu. Bay apologizes for not being around, but he's been running between the restaurant and the hospital. He asks what's wrong with her phone, he got a recording saying it's disconnected. Annie thinks it's an excuse until she picks the phone up. She must have forgotten to pay it, Bay says. She can just send the check and they'll hook it up again. He brought her a present for her birthday. She says her birthday isn't until July. It's for her 2nd AA birthday. He couldn't wait until the meeting. It's a gold star charm on a chain. He misses her. So does she.

Opening credits

Bailey is on the phone trying to get Annie's phone hooked up again when Julia walks in. She realized that Bailey is a unisex name and she could go take his classes. Bay points out that they already talked about it and he's not going back. She isn't doing it for him, it's for her. She got a letter from Justin and she doesn't regret not going to college, but she'd like to take one of his classes.

The Shed
Julia tells Griffin about her plan as they clean up dinner. He asks if she's going to work. The class is at night, so she can still temp. As long as they keep living in the shed they can live on his salary. He points out that they hardly see each other as it is and now she'll be gone 3 nights a week. She says she won't do it, but Griffin tells her to go ahead. She talks about going to the library like some people talk about going to Las Vegas. He'll work late and put in some overtime.

Dr. Schultz's office
Dr. Schultz, the psychologist, is talking to Claudia and Charlie about what was happening at home when Charlie was in the hospital. She asks Claudia to tell her about how it felt to see him in the hospital. She asks if it's hard for Claud to tell people how she feels. She tells her to use the phrase "I need you right now because. . . ." Claudia points out that it isn't a complete sentence, but the doctor says she should complete it. Claud tries it on Charlie and can't complete the thought, tries again and then tells him she's taking driver's education and needs him to teach her how to drive. Charlie agrees to help out.

San Francisco State
Julia is in Bailey's comparative literature class. When the professor asks a question about Madame Bovary, Julia whispers the answer to the guy sitting next to her. He answers the first question right, but bungles the second response and Julia answers. Professor Sinclair asks who she is. When she says she's Bailey Salinger he doesn't recognize her. She's been out lately. He says it's good to have her back.

Motorcycle Shop
Griffin keeps coming in the office to ask Rosalie procedural questions. On his 3rd trip in she asks why he keeps coming in every 2 seconds. He leaves.

Somewhere outside San Francisco
Claudia is driving the truck in a jerky manner while Charlie asks about the therapy session. He feels bad that she thinks she screwed up on him. She asks where the turn signal is. He continues to talk while she jerks to a halt. She asks him to stop talking because it's hard for her to concentrate on the driving. She looks over at Charlie and he looks sick. She says they should go home, but he says he'll just need a moment. Claudia's face falls.

Bailey and Sarah's apartment
Sarah thought Bay would be spending the night at Annie's, but she's still sick. Sarah asks how long she's been sick. Bay asks why. She's seen Annie recently. Bay asked if she seemed . . . he doesn't know what he's saying, he's paranoid. Sarah wasn't going to say anything, but last week she gave Annie a one week extension on her rent until she got her next paycheck, but then she saw Annie take Natalie to school every morning in a cab. Bay asks if she seemed. . . .

The shed
Julia wakes Griffin up on her way in. She went out after class and got into a huge argument about whether or not Madame Bovary was a good person. She says that sometimes she wished she went to college. Instead of what, Griffin asks. What is that supposed to mean she responds. Nothing.

Bailey's bedroom
Bay wakes up to the sound of knocking. He checks the clock, it's 3 am. Annie is at the door. She took her garbage out and locked herself out of her apartment. Can she have the extra key? Bay offers to come upstairs, but she just wants the key. After she leaves he goes out into the Dumpster and tears open the top bag. There's an empty bottle of vodka in it.

Salinger kitchen
As Charlie takes his morning medication he asks Claudia if she wants to go out to Krissy Field and work on some 3 point turns. Claud says he doesn't have to do it with her, he needs his rest. Charlie says he can do it, but Claud says Sarah is going to do it. She told her that she needed to learn how to drive and Sarah insisted. Plus, she has this very cool convertible. She thanks Charlie for the day before, but she has it covered.

Bailey and Sarah's apartment
Bailey and Sarah are discussing what happened the night before. Sarah says he needs to talk to Annie because it isn't just about her, it's about Natalie too. Bailey thinks maybe she wants his help and showing up in the middle of the night was her way of telling him. He doesn't know how to confront her. She is so sensitive. If he asks her she'll just withdraw. What if he's wrong? What if it's in him imagination? Sarah says it isn't. They both wish he was wrong.

Motorcycle Shop
Rosalie turns the lights off on Griffin. He was putting in some overtime since Julia is out. He gets up and cracks his back. She comments on how gross that is. He cracks his knuckles. Then she pulls back her double-jointed thumb. They laugh. She's going out to get a bite to eat. She turns to leave when Griffin says he's hungry too and leaves with her.

San Francisco State
Professor Sinclair is lecturing on Madame Bovary again. He asks when Madame B. first commits her adulterous act. Julia states that it's when they first look at each other.

(the scene blends into the next)

Rosalie sits down at a booth. She wants him to sit next to her, but he thinks they shouldn't because he's married. She says that nothing is happening. He sits down next to her. She picks up a crayon and writes "Something is happening" on the placemat. He folds it up and puts it in his pocket. He kisses her.

Bailey and Sarah's apartment
Bay can't believe Claudia wants Sarah to teach her how to drive. She's a terrible driver. Claudia points out that he can't, Julia's busy with school and Charlie isn't feeling too great. Bay is surprised to find out that she hasn't even asked Sarah, who isn't home. Annie shows up with the key. Claudia asks her if she can help out with the driving lessons. Bay says no. It's very uncomfortable and Claudia leaves. Annie asks why Bailey acted so scared at the thought of her being in a car with Claudia. What is he trying to say to her? Bay doesn't know. He has faith in her and he believes in her, so if she's having a problem they can deal with it. If she isn't honest with him, that just makes it worse. If she's drinking he can help her. She gets upset and leaves.

Dr. Schultz's office
The doctor asks Claudia about what kinds of things she used to talk to Charlie about. Would he be the person she would talk to if she was really upset? Claudia said things were hard after her parents died and she turned to him sometimes. It made it a little less terrible to talk to him. She doesn't do it much anymore because he's sick, it would be a burden to him. The doctor asks if she misses talking to him. Claudia can't talk to him now. The doctor asks her to try, he may miss her too. Maybe he can make it all a little less terrible.

The shed
Julia keeps Griffin up reading. She is working on her Madame Bovary paper. She wants to tell him about it, but she thinks he's too tired. Griffin says he'd like to hear about it. She thinks that everyone thinks Madame Bovary is a sleazebag because she cheated on her husband, but she had a reason...she was lonely. Flaubert gives her this horrible death, vomiting up all that black putrescence which is supposed to signify the blackness of her soul. Griffin asks if putrescence is a sexually transmitted disease.

Salinger kitchen
The next morning Claudia finds Charlie in the back yard. He was about to start building a bench, but he has time to talk to her. She asks if he will go to Krissy Field and work on the turns with her. He'd love to. She would like to spend the whole day together. Charlie is pleased. It is the kind of thing Dr. Schultz said she should be doing.

Professor Sinclair's office
The professor wants to know if "Bailey" bought her paper off the Internet. She's very smart in class and the paper is excellent, but he looked at her mid-term and she's identified the D'Ubervilles as an Irish folk band. Julia laughs. She did? She says that she did write the paper, but Bailey didn't. She's Bailey's sister, Julia. He dropped out. She's taking his brother's classes for him the professor asks. Not all of them, just this one. He asks if she's in college. She says she was supposed to go to Stanford, but didn't at the last minute. He asks why. She says it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Motorcycle shop
Rosalie and Griffin are making out in the supply closet. Despite numerous interruptions they can't keep their hands off each other. She asks him to come to her place, but he keeps thinking of Madame Bovary. She's never read it. Neither has he. He says he can't do it. She says that it's all in French. He means go to her place because that makes it so official. He apologizes and then starts making out with her again. He tries to go back to work, comes back to her again and then says he'll come over tomorrow night.

Somewhere outside San Francisco
Charlie is urging Claudia on. She is driving much smoother now. He tries to get her to go 35 mph. She says she can't do it, but she does. They both get excited and she puts her hands up in exultation. The car swerves into the side of the road and Charlie pulls it back. She's okay.

50s Restaurant
Charlie and Claudia are having lunch. He wonders if it would be completely insane to get her a car when she gets her license. She's very happy about this until Charlie says that their parents' got him a car when he was 18 and he thinks it would be silly to wait. He would like to know what she's driving if...he wants to know that stuff. As he goes to pay the bill Claudia is upset again.

AA meeting
Annie's birthday is announced, but she isn't there. Bailey says she won't be there.

Annie's apartment
Bailey is pounding on the door. He asks if Nat is there. Annie opens the door. Natalie is at a sleep over. Bay comes in where he sees Annie has been nursing a bottle of vodka. He says she missed her birthday. Her birthday isn't until July she responds. She asks if he thinks Natalie knows. She doesn't think so. She would do anything for her. She hates fighting. Bay doesn't want to fight. She says it's the first time. Bay tells her not to lie. He doesn't even know if she's lying to him or herself. She's made it two years and she could go on, but is her life ever going to get any better? She asks Bailey to try it. She says he can handle it, just one to take the edge off. He says no and slaps away the glass. He says he can't do it and leaves.

Dr. Schultz
Claudia tells about the driving lesson. It was really great, just like before. Claudia puts a positive spin on everything, but she doesn't talk about her real fears. It's what the doctor wanted her to say, right?

San Francisco State
Professor Sinclair tells Julia that she can't keep auditing the class. It's against policy, which the professor doesn't understand because it doesn't seem like the masses are rushing to sit in on his comparative literature class. He does have a solution. He needs to hire a research assistant at minimum wage for 10-15 hours per week. She would need to sit in on his classes. Julia jumps at the chance.

Salinger backyard
Charlie is finishing up the bench. Claudia asks how it's coming along. He says great as long as nobody over 2 feet ever tries to sit on it. He screwed up the legs. She wants to tell him about her session. He asks how it went. She says that the doctor thinks she needs more stuff in her life. She should do things with friends, schoolwork and practice her violin instead of spending all of her time with him. He says it makes sense. Claudia says she needs to get a life. The driving thing was fun, but she won't be able to do it for a while. Charlie says okay.

The Shed
Julia tells Griffin about her job. She has access to all of the on-campus things. He tells her to call and say she'll take the job. She already did. She's going to the library to put together a preliminary bibliography. She asks to borrow Griffin's jacket, it's always freezing there. He says he's really happy for her. She says she knows.

Annie finds Bailey finishing up the receipts. She came to apologize. If she apologizes, maybe he'll come back. She can't take it if he disappears again. That's why she slipped. Bay points out that Charlie was sick and he had to be there. She knows, but last time she didn't know when he would be back, it could have been months or years. She couldn't cope with that. If she doesn't have him, she doesn't have anything. Bay says she can't say that, she can't make him the center of her life. She knew she shouldn't get involved with him, but he talked her into it. All of a sudden he was there. He talked her into quitting her job, telling Natalie . . . . He points out that there was no way to predict that Charlie would get sick. She understands, but he was the center of her life and then boom, he was gone. She just needs to know how long it will be this time unless he's walking away for good. No, of course he isn't. He has to finish up work, it'll take about an hour and then he'll come by her place.

San Francisco State library
Julia is working on her bibliography as two girls giggle about some guy. She goes to put on Griffin's coat when Rosalie's note falls out. Julia looks at it.

Rosalie's apartment
Griffin walks up to the door and is greeted by Rosalie. He doesn't know what he's doing there. She says they don't have to do anything, she just wants to be with him for a while. They can just talk or eat Chinese food or dance. He asks if she dances much. She says no, neither does he. She grabs his hand and pulls him inside.


This is what I like to call a set-up episode. A lot of things are happening here, but we don't get the pay-off within this episode. The story between Charlie and Claudia is significant because she has been the primary casualty of Charlie's illness. As we saw in previous episodes she is having a very hard time facing the fact that Charlie might die. She does fine until he talks about "if he isn't around." It is also interesting to note that Charlie never says "if I die" but rather more general statements like about knowing what kind of car she's driving. He obviously has not resolved his fears of death either.

The Madame Bovary parallels were well drawn. Julia is so excited about being back in an academic setting that she doesn't see that the story is unfolding in her own life. As she becomes more involved in the class her statements about college change from "I didn't want to go" to "Maybe I should have gone" to "It seemed like a good idea at the time." Perhaps she is finally being honest with herself. We are continuing to see the development of a more mature Julia.

Bailey and Annie have come to a difficult point in their relationship. I'm not sure where this is going, but I did not think Annie's demands were fair. Perhaps because we see things from the perspective of the Salingers it is difficult to understand the motivations of the other characters. I did think Paige Turco's acting in the scene where Bailey confronts her after she skipped the AA meeting was excellent.

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