Julia & Griffin
Kirsten & Claudia
Dr. Rabin......Brenda Wehle
Young Charlie......Matt Koruba
Young Bailey......Jake Dinwiddie
Young Julia......Courtney Stewart
Building a Mystery by Sarah MacLachlan
Black & White by Sarah MacLachlan
Charlie is finishing up his tests to see if he's in remission when Bailey and Julia show up. Dr. Rabin says it was pretty hard on him, he should go home and get some rest. Charlie says there is no way he'll be able to sleep. Dr. Rabin tells him what she tells all of her patients. "This is not the final answer." Yes, they may find out that they haven't gotten everything, but that is not a death sentence. They will just have to fight harder the next time. "With chemotherapy and more radiation," Charlie points out. She tells them they'll cross that bridge later. Julia asks when they'll know. The doctor says in a day or two. They should pamper Charlie, rent a bunch of movies, chill out. She'll call as soon as she knows something. Charlie will keep his fingers crossed. Dr. Rabin does as well.
Julia comes in to get some clothes. Griffin asks how it went at the hospital, but Julia doesn't want to talk about it. She doesn't want to talk to him about anything.
Bailey & Sarah's apartment
Sarah reassures Bailey that Charlie is going to be okay. She can't base it on anything except how much she wants it to be true. Bailey says he's going to go check up on Annie, but there's a knock and Annie's at the door. She is not in great shape and is surprised to see that Bay is there. He was supposed to be back at 5:30 and she called and he wasn't there. Bay says he just got home and he was just getting a clean shirt for the restaurant. Annie says that the clock was moving so slowly while she waited for him to get back. Does he have any idea how much people on soap operas drink? She needs him to take the money out of her wallet so she can't go to a bar. Bailey says he can't put that on her. She can't need him? She isn't allowed? Bailey says that she can't rely totally on him. What if Charlie gets bad news and Bay needs to be with him? Annie says that she can't do it without him, but Bailey says she has to and she needs to stop asking him. He leaves.
Owen tries to tell Charlie a "knock, knock" joke. The phone rings and Owen answers it. Charlie asks who's there and Owen says "Rabbit". Charlie takes the phone, it's Dr. Rabin. There was an irregularity on his test...
(straight into next scene)
Dr. Rabin tells Charlie that there was an inconclusive spot on his CAT scan. It could be scar tissue left from the tumor, or it could be more cancer. He'll need to do a gallium scan to get a clearer picture. She says it would be premature to assume that the cancer is still there. Charlie wants to know if it's possible. She says it is, but it's not likely. Charlie points out that he's 28 and has cancer and "not likely" isn't much of a comfort anymore.
Julia is doing her homework at the kitchen table when Griffin comes in. She asks him what he's doing there. He has to go to the bathroom. What's he supposed to do, hide in the shed? He also has to eat and shower and do his laundry. She says that she's hiding in the house, so why doesn't he leave. She can't be around him and he can't hide in the shed. He wants to talk about it, she's the one who's always trying to get him to talk. He reaches out for her, but she doesn't want him to touch her after he's been with someone else. He asks why she's acting that way. She says that there is too much going on right now, all the stuff that's going on with Charlie. She has to take care of herself and him being around makes it so much worse. She can't think about it, she just wants him to leave.
Salinger living room
Bailey and Claudia are watching an old movie when Charlie comes in. Bailey asks where he's been. Charlie says he's just been out. Bay asks if he's heard anything, but Charlie says no. Bay points out that it's late, he'll have to wait another day. Is Charlie okay with that? Charlie isn't, he just wants to get out of there. Bay encourages him to go, he'll stay there with Claudia and Owen. Besides, Julia and Griffin will be there. He should have a night out on the town, go see a movie. Charlie says he needs to really get away, to drive until he runs out of gas, some place in the middle of nowhere. "Yeah," Julia says, "like that cabin outside Tahoe we used to go to." "That's exactly the kind of place," Charlie says. Bailey says he should go and Bay will go with him. Julia says she wants to go too. They try to convince Claudia, but she wants to stay at home. She can get Kirsten to come stay with her and Owen. The three older Salingers agree to go away, far away.
The cabin is a rustic two story affair with a large porch on the front. Everything is still the same, right down to Valley of the Dolls, Julia's introduction to adult fiction. They divide up the chores with Julia putting away the groceries, Bay making up the beds and Charlie going out to get the firewood. As Charlie pulls some logs off the pile he remembers making a snowman as children. He was about 15, Bay 6 and Julia 5.
Kirsten asks Owen if he wants to help open the mail. Claudia asks if there is anything for her. There is, an application to Phillips Academy in Andover. Kirsten asks if that's in Massachusetts. Claudia says it is as she runs upstairs with the application.
Julia, Bailey and Charlie are hiking around the lake as Bailey deliberates on the meaning of the naming of GORP. Charlie points out it would be a good time to attack. He and Julia arm themselves with snowballs. Julia throws and hits Bay squarely in the back. When he blames Charlie, Charlie points out that it was Julia and she hooked it. He fires away and hits Bay right on the chest. Bailey arms himself as Charlie grabs Julia and holds her. Charlie says that she started it, he was just helping with her technique. Bay hits Julia and then they both turn on Charlie. Some big brother he is? As they start to pelt him he protests that he has cancer. They fall in a pile together laughing.
Sarah comes to check on Annie. Annie knows that Bailey is gone. She called the house and talked to Kirsten. Sarah wants to come in, she's worried about Annie and Natalie. She was with Bailey through everything last year and she knows that Annie can't do it alone. Annie bitterly remarks that that isn't what Bailey thinks. Sarah offers to drive her to a meeting. Annie tells her to find another little project and closes the door.
Griffin shows up. He didn't know where else to go after Julia threw him out. He's been walking around all night. He tells her about Julia finding the note and how he can't make her understand. It's like Julia wants to believe the worst. Griffin says there are things she's done that he's forgiven her for or at least tried to understand. Julia hasn't wanted him in such a long time, and then Rosalie was there...Rosalie says that she wanted him and she still does.
They are all sitting on the couch in front of the fire reading. When Julia checks her watch it's 7 pm. They can't believe the day has gone by so quickly. It's dinner time. Charlie asks if they should call home and check in. Bay points out that they have the number and if there was a problem Kirsten would call. Julia agrees. Charlie compliments Bay on his fire.
Owen is IT for hide and seek. While he counts Kirsten and Claudia hide under Charlie's bed. Kirsten asks why Claud would apply to a school out of state now. Claudia says that it's when the applications are due. "But," Kirsten says, "don't you want to wait until we know what's going to happen to Charlie." "Charlie would want me to go to a good school," Claudia responds. Kirsten doesn't think he would want her 3,000 miles away. She can't help that it's in Massachusetts. Kirsten says that there is going away to school and there is running away and that is what this seems like. She's leaving before they know how things are going to turn out. Owen calls out for them. Claudia gets out from under the bed and ends the game and the conversation.
Natalie comes down and says Annie is asleep on the floor and she can't wake her up. Sarah runs upstairs with her.
They've finished dinner. Bay wants to know if it was as good as their dad's, but Jule thinks it was better; there was twice as much garlic. Julia asks if Charlie is okay. He says that he's tired. Bailey says they have to wake him up. Julia suggests a game of Risk. Charlie says they should play. Bay says that the whole point of them coming up was to get Charlie's mind off of stuff. He just isn't feeling very good. Bailey reminds them of the first time Charlie babysat for them. There was a big blizzard. Their parents had gone out to a movie and the power went out. The kids freaked out and Charlie created an indoor laserbeam snowball war to snap them out of it. The cabin was a soaking mess, but they laughed until the lights came back on. Charlie isn't in the mood. They ask if he can't just try, it worked before. Charlie says that it isn't like before, they can't just distract him. He's sick now. Bailey says they know, but Charlie says they don't. He tells them about the spot on the CAT scan. It could be bad, so he doesn't want to play any games. He isn't some kid afraid of the dark. He wishes that was all he had to be afraid of, wouldn't that be simple.
Sarah asks Natalie to make a pot of coffee while she gives Annie a cold shower.
Kirsten comes in where Claudia is pretending to sleep. Kirsten is going to set up another appointment for Claud to see someone. But, she's already seeing a therapist. Kirsten doesn't think it's helping. Claudia needs to see someone to talk to about what she's afraid of. "About Charlie dying?" Claudia asks. "Yeah," Kirsten answers. "About how I'm going to handle things? Maybe even make me okay with it?" Claudia doesn't want to be okay with it, because it isn't okay and it never will be and she doesn't want someone to try to tell her so. It was the same when her parents died. People told her to try to get back to normal and she tried and was doing pretty good until this happened. She's not doing it anymore. She's not going to be okay with people leaving her ever again.
Julia comes back downstairs and tells Bailey that Charlie is drifting off. She asks Bailey if he knew about the test results. Bay says he didn't. Julie didn't either. "What was he thinking?" Julia asks. "That he could just get in a car and drive away from all of it?" Bay says he was trying to do the same thing. Julia asks what he wants to change. Bay says all the stuff with Charlie. She points out that he just says he didn't know about Charlie so what's going on with him. Bailey gets up and goes out on the porch to get more firewood. Julia follows and presses him. He admits that Annie is drinking again and he just left. He needed to save himself. He was taking care of himself and that's a good thing, so why does he feel so bad? "Because that's you, Bay," Julia answers. "Why, why is that me?" Bailey questions. He wasn't always like that. When he was 15 he used to screw around all the time. Julia points out that that is just being a kid. Yeah, until their parents died. Bailey was 15 one minute and 45 the next. Maybe he could have been someone else and maybe he wouldn't be beating himself up over this and maybe for a second he would think it was okay to take care of himself. Julia thinks maybe it is the same way with her. If their parents were still there maybe she wouldn't be in such a rush to do everything. When she was in junior high she used to plan things 5 years at a time. Now immediate gratification takes too long. She wants what she wants now, because tomorrow is too far away. She stopped thinking things through. She went off to Europe, gave up of Stanford, got married. . . . She did it so fast. Too fast. Bay asks if she thinks she made a mistake. She never thought about what it meant to be married, she just loved him. Bailey notes that he and Charlie aren't the only people running away.
Sarah and Annie discuss her situation. Sarah is scared for Natalie. Annie needs help. Annie knows. She hates herself for being this way in front of Natalie, but all that does is make her want to drink more which makes her hate herself even more. She can't even get herself to a meeting. Sarah says she needs to go somewhere, to check herself in somewhere. Annie wonders where she'll leave Natalie. Should she leave her at home alone, send her to her alcoholic father, check her into a hotel? There are good answers for people with money or people to help them. But, there are no good answers for Annie who doesn't have either.
It's late and Griffin says he should leave. Rosalie asks where he's going to go. He has to find a place. She tells him he can stay there, but he says no, he can't trust himself. She kisses him. He stops her. She asks what he's afraid of, hurting her (Julia)? Griffin points out that she is already mad at him. She kicked him out knowing where he would go and she already thinks they're doing it, so. . . . They kiss again and Rosalie starts undressing him.
Everyone is asleep when the phone rings. They all race downstairs. Julia says it's three o'clock in the morning, who could it be. Charlie thinks something has happened. Bailey answers it. It's a wrong number. Julia comments on phone calls in the middle of the night. Charlie says that the phone used to ring in the middle of the night all the time. It would be their dad hung up at the restaurant or their mom with a dead battery after rehearsal. . . until that night when the police officer called. "There's been an accident, son." He said it real slow, twice. March 22nd, 1994 at 11:45 pm. That's when phone calls in the middle of the night stopped being nothing and nothing has ever been nothing since then. If he pulls up at day care and doesn't see his brother, he's been kidnaped. If his sister is late from her music lesson, she's been hit by a bus. The doctor says an irregularity turned up in your test results, you're going to die. Julia and Bay tell him not to do this to himself. Charlie says he went 24 years thinking everything would turn out okay until March 22nd and now he knows.
Kirsten finds Claudia trying to dry out the newspaper. They got 5 inches of snow the night before in Tahoe. Kirsten bets it's pretty up there. She tells Claudia that she spent 5 years doing graduate work in child psychology and she doesn't know how to make it better for Claud. She's been doing this thing lately. Every morning when she wakes up she tells herself that he's gone, Charlie. She tells herself that he's dead and she goes about her day seeing how that feels. Claudia says she does it too. Kirsten says that they think that if they try to get to the bad place first, they can try to prepare for it, but they can't know. They can't know what it will feel like until it happens. What is going to make it better is knowing that he's going to be okay. Claudia says that she can't know it (that Charlie will get better). Kirsten knows, so she won't say it.
Julia and Bailey are finishing loading the car while Charlie makes one last sweep through. Bay says they really "crapped up their memories of this place." "Mom and Dad would be pleased," Julia responds. "Serves them right," Bay counters. Julia says he should stop doing that, she's tired of feeling that way about them, isn't he? Bailey doesn't know. Julia says that she used to think about when she's 30 and she's lived as long without them as with them. Things will no longer be about them dying, but that is stupid. What is she waiting for? Charlie comes out. Bailey apologizes for bringing him to the cabin. Charlie says it's okay. They had some great memories there, they just won't come back anymore. "It's weird. You have great memories before the first bad thing happens, you have that kid feeling like the world is wide open and safe. After that first bad thing happens you never get it back." They just lost it sooner than most. They get in the car and leave. As they drive away Charlie sees them as little kids doing snow angels.
Bailey knocks on Annie's door, but no one is home. Bay says he's back and they can deal with it now. He goes into the apartment, but it's empty.
He goes downstairs where Sarah tells him Annie went to rehab. Bailey asks about Natalie. Sarah takes him into her room where Natalie is asleep. Bay asks if Annie asked her to do it, but Sarah says she volunteered.
Julia comes to find Griffin running into Rosalie first. Julia says she doesn't know what she's doing, or how she feels, but she knows what happened is complicated and is not just his fault. She doesn't want to keep blaming other people for things she's done or things that happened to her. She isn't forgiving him, but he said he didn't sleep with her, so she wants him to come home so they can figure things out.
Charlie comes in and checks the answering machine. There's a message from Kirsten that they went out for Chinese. They return as the next message is playing. It's Dr. Rabin. She'll be at her office until 6:30 or she gives him her home number in case he gets back later. Claudia rushes to write the number down. Charlie takes it and goes up to his room to call her. She tells him the results and he asks her to repeat it. He tries to stiffle his tears. He asks her to give him a second. He continues to break down. He gets back on the phone and smiles. He's okay, in fact. . . never better.
There were a number of scenes that were truly genius. The story between Kirsten and Claudia was very well-done. Not only do these two characters have a history of a parent-child relationship, but they are both genuinely invested in Charlie. I felt that the Hide and Go Seek scene was particularly good as it created a unique setting for them to discuss serious issues while keeping Owen in the picture. Too often we see the older siblings confronting the major plotlines with the youngest Salinger out of sight and mind.
I also thought the interaction between the three at the cabin was interesting. We don't often see them interacting without other characters included. After four years it makes sense that they start to look at the death of their parents with some perspective. The wounds aren't completely healed over, but they aren't bleeding any longer either. Charlie's statement about thinking the world is good and safe until that first bad thing happens was right on.
I also liked seeing Annie and Sarah interact. This is an interesting situation, with Sarah and Bailey as roommates with a lot of history between them and Annie the new person in Bailey's life. Further development of this story is highly anticipated by this viewer.
The anticipation of Charlie's medical results was rewarding. I read a lot about this show from many, many sources and I have to honestly admit I did not know whether or not he would be in remission. Matthew Fox continues to be an incredible actor.
Finally, I can't like everything. I felt the flashback scenes were hokey and unnecessary. I realize this production team worked on Sisters, but the scenes didn't really add much for me. I am also struggling with Griffin's infidelity. This is a very young marriage and Griffin and Julia have had a lot to deal with without him running off. I would rather have seen the show deal with Griffin's past, his relationship with his father and how he might break out of that pattern of verbal abuse and anger that we saw earlier in the season. I guess we shall have to wait and see what happen. Six weeks is a long hiatus, but check back on April 22nd when new episodes begin to air again.