Season 4, Episode 21: Free and Clear

Transcribed by Rachel

Daphne's apartment
Daphne is dyeing Charlie's hair. She offers to read his tarot cards while they wait for the dye to set. He asks if she actually believes in them. She does, they told her she was going to meet him. She is a little surprised to see the cards he pulled. Something is going to change. A messenger is going to come and he's going to have to make a decision. Whichever road he chooses is going to affect his soul forever. Or not she says and starts taking out the foil on his hair.

Probation office
Bailey asks his probation officer for a new challenge. He's sick of homerooms, he needs an assembly. She looks at his file. He's done. He's not only completed his community service, but his application for an early return of his license was granted. Bailey thinks that's a little ironic since Charlie is better and he doesn't need to commute to college anymore. He offers to continue giving speeches. The PO tells him to go get a life.

Charlie with his new blond highlights comes in to find Joe. He asks Charlie what bet he lost. All kidding aside, Joe got an offer on the restaurant. He didn't want to say anything until he knew it was for sure. He's never there and his life is in LA with Frannie. He doesn't want to pull the rug out from underneath them, but giving up the restaurant doesn't mean they'll forget his dad. Joe thinks it's a good chance for all of them, a fork in the road. Charlie chuckles at the irony of it all. Joe says they should try to figure it out.

Marriage counselor
Julia and Griffin disagree when the trouble began. He thinks it was Charlie getting sick and she thinks it was the business going bad. Griffin states that they moved into the shed because Charlie needed them. They would have moved in no matter how the business was. Julia thinks Griffin blames her for needing to help Charlie. Griffin admits that he does a little. She's upset that he's trying to put it on her. The only thing that matters is he slept with Rosalie. She says there is nothing to work out, because the only thing is whether or not she can forgive him and she doesn't know right now.

Grant High School
Claudia and her fast-speaking skills have been drafted for the debate team. The cutest boy from the opposing team ( a prep school) is checking her out.

Claudia goes up against him the debate. He crucifies her. She can't find the answers in her notes and gets completely flustered.

Sarah and Bailey's Apartment
Bailey comes home from picking up the jeep. He's completely excited. He took it out on the interstate, washed it and bought a bunch of paper towels. You can never have too many paper towels, for your car or home. Natalie is on a play date. Bay invites Sarah to Sausalito for pizza, but she has work to do. She tells him that Charlie called, maybe he would go for pizza. As Bay goes to call him he says even if Charlie won't, he might be scraping bottom for paper towels.

Grant High School
Outside the school Claudia's opponent tries to catch up with her. He apologizes. When he gets nervous he gets aggressive. He freaked out because she looked so cute. Cute and smart. He invites her to a tea dance at his school the next night. He'll pick her up at seven, he got her address off the roster.

Living room
Charlie is explaining to Bailey, Julia and Claudia about the restaurant sale. The offer is very good and they will all benefit. They either sell or they have to buy Joe out. Julia says they'll figure a way, they have to Bailey adds. They'll take a second mortgage on the house. Charlie wants them to consider all the options, a second mortgage would put them pretty deep in debt. Claudia says she can't imagine seeing the restaurant with anyone else's name on it. Bay asks how they can take it away when Charlie just got back, the whole time he was sick that was the goal. It's not fair to him. Julia asks if he wants to give it up, and Charlie says he doesn't. Claudia calls a vote. Bay, Julia and Claudia all quickly raise their hands and then Charlie reluctantly joins them.

Bailey and Sarah's Apartment
Bailey tells Sarah how moved Charlie was, he didn't know what to say.

Charlie is helping Daphne tie the cake she jumps out of in the back of his truck. He's tells her that he couldn't let the kids down, they were so supportive of him keeping the restaurant, but he isn't sure that is what he wants to do. It's happening really fast, they'll do the paperwork that afternoon. Daphne exclaims how great that must be to finally have the it back in the family.

Bailey and Sarah's Apartment
Bailey says how great it must be, to have a job that you love, that you're proud of. (He's still talking about Charlie and the restaurant.) Sarah agrees that that would be great. Instead Bay has to drive up north to pick-up a part for 3G's garbage disposal.

Charlie continues with his feelings on being in charge again. Now it's like it's his entire life. Didn't he say he wanted to keep it? He doesn't know, did he ever say he wanted it because Charlie doesn't think he ever did. She thinks he better say something before he signs a bunch of papers.

Department store
Julia is helping Claudia buy a lovely white dress for her dance. She wonders what a prep school tea dance will be like. There will be close dancing, waltzes with him putting his arm around her waist. Julia thinks it would be kind of romantic. Claudia gets nervous just thinking about it. Every time she thinks about him she loses sensation and starts to hyperventilate. Julia knows what it's like. Claud tells her how he went to the bus, turned and kissed his hand. He closed his fist and then threw the kiss to her. Julia is clearly thinking about more romantic times in her own life.

Bailey comes into a diner looking for the used parts place which has become a tanning parlor. He sits down at the counter and starts chatting with the owner. He asks about their traffic. When the owner says he's having trouble getting people in for dinner midweek, Bailey tells him about the promotional evenings he did at Salingers.

Marriage counselor
Julia and Griffin are sitting in silence. The counselor would like them to direct the conversation. Julia says she was shopping with her little sister and she started thinking about something he used to do. Griffin thinks it's something bad, but it isn't. He used to hold out his hand for her. One time in the Castro he held it out and an old lady took it. He was half way down the block before he knew it wasn't her. She loved how that felt, she knew she was in love with him then. She wants that feeling back. She holds out her hand and Griffin takes it. She's going to try to get past all of it, so they can get back to the way things are. She's really going to try to forgive him.

Charlie finds Claudia getting ready for the dance. He thinks she looks great. She's very nervous. He tries to tell her something, and then blurts out that he doesn't want to buy the restaurant. Bailey comes in looking for a pipe wrench. Claud tells Bay that Charlie changed his mind. Charlie points out that he didn't really change his mind because he didn't ever really want it. Anyway, it kind of is his decision because he's the one . . . Bailey interrupts him to point out that he, Bailey is the one who kept everything together the past few months, got the restaurant in the best shape it's been in for years and probably is the reason they got such a good offer. Charlie appreciates that. Julia comes in and is surprised to hear what's going on. Charlie knows what the restaurant means to him, but this would become his whole life--keeping the restaurant open to honor their dad, but there was never a point where he decided he wanted to run a restaurant. They died and he got stuck and it was okay for a while, but now when he thinks this might be all he gets, keeping someone's memory alive, that isn't enough and he isn't going to do it.

Claudia is crying and Joe asks if it's about the restaurant. Julia says it isn't. Claudia got stood up. She waited an hour and then he called and said he couldn't come. She's charging him for the stupid dress. Joe takes on a "Godfather-esque" voice. He asks for his name. Claudia says it's Jamie Burke. Joe knows that name. His dad, Jack Burke, was a big enemy of Joe and their dad. He owned a bar and grill and when he lost a lot of business to Salingers he called the health board on them. They were rivals for years. Claudia feels better, Jamie couldn't help it. It's in his blood.

Bailey and Sarah's Apartment
Sarah comes home to find Bailey moping on the couch. He asks when she saw him the happiest in the past year. She brings up some of their maintenance mishaps. No, he means professionally. That's easy, the restaurant. Of course, why can't anyone in his family see that. Charlie doesn't want to run it so they're done, no one even asks Bailey what he might want to do with it. They just see Bay as a caretaker. He did more than just babysit the place, he made it better. Sarah points out that he has to tell them that he wants them to buy it for him.

Julia and Griffin are discussing the sale. He asks what she'll do with her share. She's decided to go back to school. Griffin is surprised. They never talked about it. He points out that it will be hard. It'll be at least 4 years of him supporting her. She can't believe that he won't support her on this.

Grant High School
Jamie comes to apologize. He couldn't last night because his parents where there. They wouldn't let him go because she's a Salinger. He likes her and they shouldn't let this rivalry ruin it. She tells him about her expensive dress. He's pleased that she was looking forward to it. Jamie apologizes for his father holding what her dad did against her. Claudia defends her dad and they get into a big fight.

Marriage Counselor
They start fighting. Julia thinks he's angry that she wants to go to school and Griffin thinks she's just making decisions because she's still punishing him. He feels like he's begging for forgiveness all the time. He wants to know if this whole year was just an experiment for her. If it didn't work out, she could just go back to school. That's what everybody expected her to do anyway. She didn't think that way. Griffin says he doesn't have anything to go back to. They stuck with Charlie no matter what, but the business they just dumped when it got bad. He isn't lucky like her. This is it for him.

Salinger home
Bailey and Charlie are arguing about the sale of the restaurant. Bay doesn't understand why Charlie thinks he can tell him what he wants to do, that Bailey doesn't really want the restaurant. Charlie knows how it feels to think you want to keep their dad's place going. He's only 19, how can he know what he wants to do? A second mortgage is a 30 year deal and they would all be on the hook for that. He's just trying to protect Bailey from making a bad decision. Bailey doesn't think so. He thinks Charlie is trying to protect himself from feeling bad about not wanting to run their dad's business. He loves the job. He loved it from the first minute and maybe that makes Charlie feel guilty because he knows their dad loved it too. He deserves the chance to run it.

Claudia's room
She hears someone throwing rocks up at her window. She goes down to admit Jamie. He continues the fight, but he doesn't want to try to be right. He has feelings for her. Ever since he first saw her he thinks about her all the time. She knows what he means. She's the coolest person he's met and he wants to get to know her no matter what happened between their parents. They kiss. He says "It ends with us."

Bailey has been summoned to the restaurant to sign some forms for Joe and Charlie. Bay is angry until he looks at the form. They're buying the restaurant for him to run. Bay asks why Charlie changed his mind. Charlie says he didn't, Bay is going to have to prove him wrong, but he also didn't think he had the right to say no to Bailey. Joe says it never even occurred to him, he never saw Bailey come in with their dad. He didn't because their dad always brought Charlie who felt like it was being forced on him. Bailey signs the papers.

Daphne's apartment
She's washing Charlie's dye job out. He's tried enough new things. He's jumped off a cliff and is unofficially unemployed now. She asks what he's going to do next. He doesn't know, not even a clue and he loves it. She asks if he's planning any big moves. He says he isn't except one and moves in to kiss her. She thinks that's a good answer. They kiss again.

Marriage counselor
Julia and Griffin are waiting for the counselor. They start to argue about the time. He gets defensive and asks what she's going to talk about it. She says she was going to say he's right. She was trying to punish him by making the decision about school. He points out that she's always making the decisions for them. She says that she is part of the problem, not just him. She's done things that have gotten them to the point they are. They're even. He wonders what this means, they wipe the slate clean. Griffin is upset, she's doing it again, she's decided that he should just get over it because she did. It's condescending. Maybe they aren't even, maybe he needs to forgive her. He storms out of the room.

Bailey brings Sarah in to show her some of his ideas for changing the restaurant. She asks if that's the reason he brought her down there. No, he brought her down to celebrate. He pulls out a bottle of Perrier. She asks if he shouldn't celebrate with his family. He already did and really it happened because of her, she made him go ask for it. This is more than a job. This is a business and he's in charge of it. It makes so many other things easer to have this security, this future. Suddenly he and Annie make a lot more sense, if they can just get past some of the other stuff. He thanks Sarah.

Daphne's apartment
They are bed after the BIG EVENT. Daphne says that didn't suck. Charlie was a little concerned, he hadn't done it since he got sick. She asks if it was like riding a bike. Definitely not like riding a bike. They laugh. She offers to make him some food but he doesn't want her to go anywhere. They cuddle and she asks what the second time might be like. He wants to find out.


To quote Daphne: "This definitely didn't suck." By itself or as a continuation of "Square One" this was a great episode. We are seeing the fruits of the cancer story line and it's great. The disposition of the restaurant was compelling and I think the scene between Charlie and Bailey was by far one of their best.

Charlie never wanted to run the restaurant. He resisted it at first when their parents died, even using it as one of the reasons he couldn't marry Kirsten. After his illness it is completely logical that he would take the chance to get out. What I found interesting was that he tried to protect Bailey from making a similar decision while not taking into consideration that Bailey is very different from him.

Julia and Griffin's marriage counseling has brought up lots of aspects of their relationship. Their trouble isn't all because Griffin slept with Rosalie. They have had trouble almost since the first moment of their relationship. Griffin was totally right when he said Julia just makes decisions for them. She always has and it is condescending. There is a lot more to this debate than simply Julia forgiving him.

I like Claudia's boyfriend. The family rivalry is a little Romeo and Juliet, but it gives the story a little meat. I do hope that there is some attempt to address what happened to Claudia when Charlie was sick. She was starting to confront some important issues stemming from the deaths of her parents and I don't think this should just be swept under the carpet.

Daphne. I still like her. I didn't like Charlie's hair, but I like what she does for him. She has gotten to the core of his problem very quickly. Charlie doesn't know what to do with himself. He recovers from cancer and he irons the laundry? Facing up to the reality that he doesn't want to run the restaurant and doing something about that is important. I'm very interested to see what he does next and how she plays into it.

Picky detail, where was Natalie? We know Annie is still in rehab, but this little girl was on a permanent play date. That was especially interesting the night Bay took Sarah down to the restaurant.

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