Season 4, Episode 2: Past Imperfect

Bailey in court

Claudia the possum

The credits: guest starring richard gilliland, andrew keegan, cristine rose, michael cudlitz, alyson reed, clyde kusatsu, andrew & steven cavarno, sandy faison, mark derwin, charley lang, cecily adams, michael bryan french, amanda carlin, producer paul marks, co-executive producer michael engler, co-executive producer p.k. simonds, executive producers mitchell burgess & robin green, executive producer mark b. perry, executive producer ken topolsky, written by p.k. simonds, directed by ken topolsky.
Transcribed by Sandy

The episode opens with Julia rushing around to get ready for her interview for a volunteer position at the museum. Griffin quizzes her on the Moderns while she darts about. When Julia decides her attire is too muted for the Modern Art section, Griffin saves the day by suggesting the perfect scarf to go with her suit. But the shoes to go with the scarf are at the Salingers' house. Griffin offers to open the shop late and drive her to the house to get what she needs. Julia kisses Griffin and tells him she loves him.

Bailey is sorting recyclables in the garden (to keep from thinking about going to jail) when Sarah comes in looking stricken. She tells Bailey she's received a subpoena. Bailey, who has already received his, meets this news relatively calmly. What horrifies Sarah is that she knows everything the prosecution needs to send Bai to jail. If he goes to jail, she says, "I'll be the one who sends you."

Meanwhile, Charlie and Claudia are Owen-wrangling, trying to rescue the bowl full of goldfish from Owen, who drops it on the floor. Claudia tugs Julia unwilling into the room, and Charlie tells her he needs her to take Owen to daycare, because Charlie and Bailey need to meet with the defence attorney. Julia can't because of her interview, and when Charlie is ticked off, tells him that he's being unfair: when she wanted to help, he pushed her away.

In the meeting with the defence attorney, Bailey resists the idea of cross-examining Sarah. He doesn't want to attack her character, and besides, he did cause the accident. Charlie overrides Bai's objections and tells the lawyer to do his job. "It'll be okay, right Bai?" Bailey has no answer.

Claudia is at school and tries to attract Reed's notice at their lockers. When she can't catch his eye, she says she can't remember her new combination. He opens the lock while she tells him she has no head for numbers. She hates math. And English, too. "Don't you hate everything?" she asks him.

Julia gets home from her successful interview and Griffin congratulates her on her triumph. Julia looks around the living room of the apartment: it looks like a duffel bag exploded all over the furniture. Schuyler comes out of the bathroom brushing his teeth with a fingertip. Griffin introduces Schuyler, a friend from the ship. Griffin explains that Schuyler will be staying with them for four days until his ship leaves port. Pulling his finger out of his mouth, he offers to shake Julia's hand (with *that* hand); Julia passes up the chance to shake his hand. "Four days," marvels Julia. Schuyler puts his finger back in his mouth.

At school, Claudia waits by the lockers but Reed doesn't come by. She decides to open his locker. Peeking inside, she finds, along with the stinky running shoes, a copy of D.H. Lawrences _The Plumed Serpent_. Back at the apartment, Griffin is rubbing Julia's aching feet, and offering to make broiled salmon (already marinating n the fridge) for dinner. Taking in this blissful scene, Schuyler comments that it's wonderful when a good man finds an even better woman. He just can't tell which is which.

Charlie picks up Owen from daycare. One of the mothers asks if he knows about the meeting regarding Jennie. One of the kids came home with bruises, and the other parents suspect abuse. At the coffee house, Bailey and Sarah discuss what will happen at the trial. What if she tells the court she can't remember what happened, Sarah wonders. Who's to say she can, if she says she can't remember? "Let's break a windshield over your head and see how much you remember," she says. Getting Bailey to ask her questions such as the prosecutor would ask, Sarah makes a convincing display of not remembering anything of the accident. Bailey looks unhappy with this solution, but says nothing.

Charlie takes Owen to the pediatrician and is very relieved when the doctor can find no indication of harm to the little boy, or indeed any distress on the subject of daycare or Jennie. In fact, the pediatrician says he could hardly get Owen to shut up about Jennie. Over breakfast, Julia is rushing off to her first shift at the museum, and reminds Griffin that he had said he would do the grocery shopping and pick up her drycleaning. Julia says she will only have a short time for dinner that night, and is going to the restaurant at lunch to catch up on Bai-stuff. She rushes out to the museum. "Break a statue," says Griffin, for luck.

At lunch, Charlie and Julia are discussing how to pay for Bailey's legal defence. Bailey isn't talking. Charlie thinks that with the total of their savings and chequing [checking, for the Americans on the List] accounts, they should have half of what they need. He doesn't want to mortgage the house, but he thinks they could sell their mother's piano, since no one is using it anyway. Julia offers to contribute from Griffin's settlement funds. Charlie thanks her, but doesn't think that will be necessary. Bailey listens with an increasingly unhappy expression on his face.

On the field where the cheerleaders and the football are practicing, Claudia is having trouble keeping her balance, perched as she is on the shoulders of her squad mates. She complains she can't see, and the squad leader tells her to "focus, Claudia!". What Claudia's focusing on is Reed. He brushes past her later to get to the water cooler, and when she tries to engage him in a conversation about _The Plumed Serpent_, he asks, "Who's D.H. Lawrence?"

Sarah's is in court for pre-trial examinations. Her parents are aghast that she has changed her story, and warn her about possibly going to jail for perjury. Sarah's answer is that she can't remember, and no one can make her say anything different. Bailey watches this exchange with her parents.

When Julia gets home for her brief dinner break, Griffin and Schuyler are watching the game on t.v. When Julia discovers no groceries and no drycleaning, she tells Griffin that he should have said he couldn't get around to it, but he said he would. "No," he says, "you said I would." Julia goes to the house to get some dinner and clean clothes. Meanwhile Charlie is at a meeting with the other parents about Jennie. Although he and one of the mothers try to point out that the others are being unreasonable, the other parents are determined to think the worst of Jennie, especially since she did not tell them about her police record for shoplifting 18 years earlier.

That night Bailey goes to the Reeves' apartment to convince Sarah not to lie for him on the witness stand. Sarah, afraid of her parents catching her talking to him, sends him away without telling what she plans to do. The next morning Charlie is on the phone with the realty company, trying to have the house appraised for a mortgage. Bai hangs the phone up and tells Charlie he wants to change his plea. Charlie argues against this, saying that a conviction will follow him around for the rest of his life. "What am I doing, Charlie?" Bailey asks. "Sarah's ready to lie on the stand, and my family's practically selling this house, all so that some sleazebag lawyer can get me off for something that I *did*." Charlie continues to resist the idea, but Bai won't listen: "I did it, Charlie. I *did* it."

Griffin and Julia discuss how they should handle the domestic chores. Julia says that she never saw her mother doing the cooking and cleaning; her father did it, mostly because "she sucked at it." When Julia asks if Griffin wants her to do that stuff, he says honestly, "I don't know;maybe."

At school Reed asks Claud if she was asking about D.H. Lawrence because she'd gone into his locker. "Your locker? Why would I --?" Claudia begins, but Reed cuts her off. "Don't go in my locker again." Later Reed relents a little and gives Claudia another Lawrence to read, and they discuss _The Plumed Serpent_.

Julia struggles to make dinner quickly after getting home late from the museum. Although Schuyler encourages Griffin to let Julia do it on her own, Griffin helps her out. When Julia has had enough of Schuyler's "Popeye the Salor Pig" comments, she and Schuyler get into a heated argument. Schuyler thinks Julia orders Griffin around too much, but Griffin yells at them both to cool it and says that whatever their relationship is going to be, he and Julia will figure it out. They're just not ready to show it to the world yet. Schuyler can respect that, or get back on his ship a day early. Griffin tells them he is going to finish making dinner, and they are going to make up. "Try some dip," he advises them.

As Charlie prepares to leave for court, Jennie comes to the house to ask why Owen's not in preschool. She tells him that the parents are ruining her life with their accusations, which she has no defence against, and that if Charlie hides Owen from her, he should be ashamed.

Bailey pleads guilty to 1 count felony DUI with injuries and the prosecutor recommends supervised probation, 3 years' state prison term suspended, 1 year's suspended driver's licence and 300 hours of community service. The judge accepts the state's recommendation, but tells Bailey he thinks that "it's a sweet deal for a kid who got drunk and nearly killed somebody." The judge threatens to throw the book at Bailey if he breaks any law in the next 3 years. Sarah is in her room when her parents come in and say their on their way to her grandmother's. Sarah refuses to go. She accuses her parents of being unhappy that Bailey isn't going to jail. Her father says they're not but that they would do anything to protect Sarah. He admits to thinking her a little naive for thinking that people can change. "People don't change, Sarah," he tells her. Sarah says she's sorry they feel that way, and begins packing her clothes.

Sarah shows up at the Salinger's door, her eyes red from crying; she doesn't really want to talk about her parents, but she decided she can't stay there. "Is there some place..?" she ask Bailey. He takes her upstairs. In the kitchen Claudia asks if Sarah's okay. "Are you okay?" she ask Bailey. Claud thinks Bailey should just get through probation and then put it all behind him. Bai's not sure everything will be back to normal even then. He's haunted by the idea that the judge hated him, without knowing anything about him except the accident. But he fears that's how people are going to see him now: as "an alcoholic who made this horrible mistake. That's what's going to set me apart."

Charlie goes to collect Owen's things from the daycare. He admits to Jennie that pulling the boy out of daycare isn't fair to Jennie, but he doesn't know what's fair. All he knows is that his little brother is the most important thing he has ever had to take care of, and that's he going to do. "I don't care who it hurts. You, me -- I would hurt anyone to protect him." He leaves, and Jennie doesn't stop him.

Julia gets off the phone with Bailey and offers to help Griffin make dinner. They play with the idea of splitting up the cooking, but then Griffin suggests they order in from that new Cuban place down the street. "Sounds great," says Julia. "I'll do the dialing."

Later, Charlie talks to Owen about moving on to a new school, for bigger boys. He compares Owen to Bai, who graduated from high school and went to a new place. "College?" asks Owen, wrinkling his nose. Wouldn't Owen like to be brave like his big brother Bailey? Charlie puts Owen in his lap and asks if he's going to be okay. Owen knods gravely. Charlie tells him he is very proud of Owen "You're a very grown up little boy," says Charlie. "Like Bailey?" Owen asks. "Yes," Charlie agrees. Like Bailey." "And you?" Charlie laughs softly. "Like me." He kisses Owen on the forehead.

The last scene is a shot of Bailey's AA meeting through the windows of the meeting room. The shadows and lights of the traffic on the street cross and recross the figures of the people at the meeting as Bailey greets the others, and then they join in the Serenity Prayer to begin the meeting.

Fade to credits.

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