Season 5, Episode 11: Rings of Saturn
- Rating: 7.9/12
- Additional Cast
Ned Grayson......Scott Bairstow
- Featured Music
Quiet Little Place by K's Choice (Bailey and Sarah were talking about the camping trip)
Lullabye Baby Blue by Keb Mo (when Daphne left at the end)
The credits: scott bairstow, jennifer aspen, yvette nipar, paul jenkins, gary le'roi gray, jacob smith as owen, with tim dekay, and heather mccomb, edited by richard freeman a.c.e., production designer bill eigenbrodt, director of photography joe pennella, co-producer valerie joseph, producer daniel attias, producer paul marks, supervising producer steven robman, consulting producer p.k. simonds, co-executive producer tammy ader, executive producer ken topolsky, executive producer john romano, written by mark richard, directed by lou antonio
Transcribed by Rachel
The camera pans an empty park coming to rest on Daphne sitting on a park bench with Diana in her stroller next to her. Daphne hears a band playing and gets up to walk towards it. She wanders away leaving the baby unattended. Finally she begins to notice the baby's cries. She looks around the park not seeing the stroller. She sees it and returns to the bench. The scene closes with her holding Diana's hand, the baby still in the stroller.
Charlie is running around trying to get ready for school. Claudia has packed lunch for both of them. Daphne is no where to be found and he is supposed to go pick up Owen. Claudia offers to stay with the baby, but Charlie doesn't want her to miss her first day back at Grant. He instructs her to put some diapers in his bag. He'll take the baby to work with him.
Sarah and Bailey's apartment
Bailey is getting Owen ready to go home. They talk about how much fun they had together. Bailey tells him he'll have fun with Charlie as well. Charlie is excited to have Owen back. He loves him a lot and no baby will ever change that. The phone rings. It's Charlie. He knows he should be on his way over, but Daphne isn't there and she is supposed to be watching Owen and the baby. Bailey can't believe that Owen is standing there ready to go home and Charlie isn't coming. Charlie is sorry, but he can't miss another day of work. He asks Bailey to help him this once. Bailey agrees.
Maggie is practicing eating with chopsticks and failing miserably. Julia comes over and helps her. Maggie has a new boyfriend and he is taking her to a nice sushi place and she doesn't want to embarrass herself. Julia is surprised to hear she's dating someone. Maggie points out that Julia has already stolen one boyfriend from her. Julia hopes if things work out with Henry that they might be able to be friends again. Maggie doesn't know, but she thinks it might be possible. She asks Julia to not tell Ned. Julia thinks he'll be happy, but Maggie says to just leave him out of it.
Paul brings Kirsten to the hospital to work as a volunteer. He knows how happy children make her, so he thought she might be able to help out with the kids at the hospital. She isn't sure, but when she goes in the playroom she is instantly drafted to work with Michael, a particularly difficult young patient.
Sarah and Bailey's apartment
Bailey has decided to take Owen camping per Charlie's promise to the little boy. Sarah thinks it is a bad idea. They should go do something Bailey knows something about. Bailey disagrees, Owen won't want to go to a restaurant management seminar. If Charlie Salinger can go camping in the winter, then Bailey Salinger can too. They are going to rough it, taking only sleeping bags and a tent. Sarah thinks they are crazy, but the brothers seem enthusiastic about the plan.
Daphne has gone to talk to a priest about her feelings toward the baby. He asks if the baby is baptized. Daphne admits that she isn't, Daphne hasn't even gone to mass for 15 years. The priest thinks she should start there. He asks about her husband. She admits that she isn't married to the father. She tries to tell him about how she feels about the baby. She tells him about what happened in the park. He can't believe that she doesn't love her baby. She asks for help, she's scared. He tries to help, but the phone rings. Daphne gets up and leaves while his back is turned.
Ned and Julia are headed back to her room. When they get there she says they can't go in. There is a monkey on the door which is their "stay out" sign. Julia tells him that Maggie is in there with her boyfriend. Ned is stunned to learn Maggie is dating again. Julia tells him that Maggie said he would be upset. He gets upset trying to explain that he isn't upset.
Charlie and Daphne's bedroom
Daphne digs out some papers and calls the bank. She wants to leave a savings bond to an infant. She makes plans to go down and sign the papers to leave the bond to Diana.
Ned finds Julia outside reading. He was thinking about it and he is upset. This must have been going on for quite some time. Was he the last to know? Julia tells him she just found out herself. He doesn't like the idea of the three of them in the room together talking about Ned. He doesn't want them to become friends and he doesn't want to share her with anyone else. Julia tells him to deal with it.
Kirsten is back to visit Michael. His legs are both in braces, but Kirsten has brought him a contraption so he can put his own socks on. He's never been able to do it and it quite pleased when he's successful.
Bailey and Owen's camping trip is not going well. Bailey is trying to start the fire using pages town from his atlas. Owen complains about being cold. Bay tells him to do some jumping jacks. After more complaints Owen does some exercises. He promptly knocks part of their dinner into the dirt. As Bay berates him for not being careful a woman named Theresa from the next campsite comes over with her daughter, Karen. They have finished eating and have quite a bit left over. Would Bay and Owen like some? Owen asks what they are having. Bailey tells him that's rude, but Theresa says they are having Salisbury steak and potatoes au gratin. The brothers are grateful.
Daphne is rocking the baby. Charlie told her she could take some time if she needs it. He needs to know ahead of time if she is doing errands. If she needs to go to the bank... Daphne is surprised to hear he knows she went to the bank. They called and needed a social security number for the bonds she bought. He gave them his. She says that's a good thing. He thinks Diana should know her first investment was from her mom. Charlie can't believe that she is planning 20 years in advance when she can't even give him a days notice. Daphne says she is thinking ahead, she's thinking about Diana, about her happiness.
Bay and Owen are getting ready for bed. They have a very small pup tent. Owen doesn't think their sleeping bags will fit. They should get a nice big tent like the people next to them. Bay tells him to quit complaining and go to sleep. Owen tells him he's mean.
Ned brings Julia to a private dorm. He has put a deposit down on a single room for her. He wants her to have a room with some privacy. Julia can't believe he is still upset about Maggie's boyfriend. Ned can't believe she wouldn't want to have a place where they can be alone. She asks why he isn't getting the single. The waiting list for men is much longer. She thinks they should have discussed it first. It's a gift, they shouldn't have to discuss it. He wants her to think about it, he put down a non-refundable discount.
Charlie is changing the baby's diaper. He's out and asks Claudia to get him some more. She pulls a bag out from the supply closet. Daphne went out and bought a huge supply of diapers, wipes, etc. Charlie wonders aloud what she's doing.
Bailey is hanging up their wet sleeping bags and taking down the tent when Theresa comes over. Karen kept her up with nightmares. She asks if Owen has nightmares. He doesn't, but his daily life is practically a nightmare. He has a lot to deal with at home. Bailey tells her how hard the trip is, how Owen says he hates him. She sympathizes and offers for them to stay the next night in their tent. Bailey says no, they are going home. She tells him they should stay. Even though Owen is telling him he wants to go home, he really wants Bay to make the trip great.
Julia is packing her things. Maggie is surprised she's moving out, she thought they were working things out. They are, but wouldn't Maggie like some privacy? Maggie thought she had a lot of friends in the dorm. She was even looking forward to becoming friends with Julia again. She knows it probably isn't her place, but moving into a single room with her boyfriend, isn't that like being married? Didn't she do that last year?
Kirsten is there to say goodbye to Michael and his family. They share a tearful goodbye and hug. After he leaves Paul is there. Kirsten notes that goodbyes will come with the job.
Bailey and Owen are in the tent looking at the stars with the telescope. It's set up so they can see the rings of Saturn. Their conversation is interrupted by Karen. Bailey apologizes, he thought they were asleep. Neither of them are. Bay says they'll keep it down. Owen asks Bailey if he'll tell him about other cool things like Saturn. Bailey promises he will.
Charlie and Daphne's bedroom
Daphne is lying on the bed with Diana talking to her about traveling to New York and Paris. Charlie comes to the door and listens as she talks about going to college and becoming a lawyer. Charlie will be so proud, poor Charlie. Charlie makes himself known. Poor Charlie? She was just talking to Diana. He tells her to put the baby down so they can both get some sleep. Daphne says she isn't done, she needs to talk to her about boys and the back seats of cars and guys who stare. Charlie says goodnight, walks out and turns back to watch them on the bed together.
Charlie and Kirsten are in the cafeteria at the hospital. Charlie tells her that Daphne was saying goodbye, to the baby and to him. Kirsten asks if he's sure. He is, he's been replaying everything, the savings bond, the diapers. Kirsten asks if he's asked her to stay. He hasn't, he isn't sure he wants to. She doesn't want to stay and he's tired. He's been working so hard to make her be a good mother to Diana, but she just doesn't want to. Kirsten asks if he'll let her go. He doesn't know.
Ned comes over to help Julia move. None of her stuff is packed. Julia talked it over with Maggie and she doesn't want to move. Ned says they decided this already and his deposit is non-refundable. Julia tells him he isn't listening to her. He continues to pull her stuff out to be packed. She tries again to make him understand that she doesn't want to move. It's her room and her life and she doesn't want to go. He retorts that it was her room and it's their life and she can pack her stuff now. She tells him no and pulls her suitcase back. The struggle for the bag and he hits her across the face with his hand. She stands there stunned for a moment and then walks out the door. Ned continues packing, not noticing she left.
Julia is in the bathroom. When she comes out of the stall one of the girls from her floor is fixing her face. Julia asks to borrow some powder which she puts on her cheek. The girl tells her to keep the powder, she looks like she can needs it. Julia starts to cry again.
Sarah and Bailey's apartment
Bailey and Owen come back from their trip in a very good mood. Bailey instructs Owen to tell Charlie he got the cold from sleeping in the rain the first night. He tells him to just keep it between them about the second night. Owen asks if it's because they had to sleep with those women. Bailey clarifies that they didn't sleep with the women. He asks Owen if he understands that when adults say they slept together it means something different. Owen asks if he's talking about kissing. Bay admits that is part of it.
Kirsten and Paul's apartment
Paul tells Kirsten to call Michael if she wants to. She says he's with his family. Paul notes that they are a family, but it doesn't feel like it. She thinks you have to have kids to be a family and he doesn't think it's a family because she isn't happy. She says it isn't because she doesn't love him. He says that she won't be happy until they have a baby so he thinks they should adopt a child. She asks why he is opening a door that they have kept shut. They talked about it and shut it for good. It doesn't help for him to do it. He didn't realize how unhappy she would be without kids and he knows how unhappy he would be without her.
Charlie and Daphne's bedroom
Daphne is folding her clothes. Charlie asks where he should put them. She says in her drawer. She talks about the amount of laundry. Charlie says he knows she's leaving. He's been wondering for a while and now he knows it. If this is what she wants, then he wants to know when so he can start to figure out their life without her. She says she wasn't hiding anything from them. She was waiting for the right time to leave, not that there is ever a good time. She just couldn't figure out the best time to go. She tells him about what happened in the park. She's afraid that she will always be the kind of mom who can and will walk away. That's not the mom that Diana or Charlie needs. The question is not when she will leave, the truth is she's already left. She asks him to not let Diana hate her. They both cry.
Ned calls and leaves a message for Julia. He wants to talk about the moving thing.
Bailey and Sarah's apartment
Bailey says the next time he goes camping he's taking the right equipment. Sarah comments on the telescope, but Bailey brushes over it. The next time Sarah is coming with them. He says they slept out in the cold all night. Sarah comments that Owen is the happiest she's ever seen him. Bay says he loved it too. Everything was going wrong and then things changed around. It never felt better than that.
Julia comes home late. Maggie asks if she is moving. She tells her about Ned's messages. Julia doesn't really answer her. Maggie asks if she's okay, but Julia tells her to go back to sleep.
Charlie hears the doorbell ring. It's a taxi picking up Daphne. He listens while she leaves and looks over at the baby who is sleeping next to him.
Tonight had two pretty powerful stories going on with two fairly significant side stories. We missed Griffin and Claudia, but there wasn't really enough room to focus on everyone tonight. It is a time of major changes for the Salingers, but then again . . . when isn't it?
I think I've always known that Daphne would leave. Like she told Charlie, it has never really been a matter of if, but rather when she would go. I'm not sure I would agree that she had already left. To be quite honest, I'm never sure she was there. Charlie wanted so badly for her to be a mother to Diana, but for reasons beyond her control that wasn't possible. I'm sorry to see this wonderful character and actor (Jennifer Aspen) leave. I only hope Daphne reaches some kind of peace and is able to return for the sake of her daughter and my unflagging interest in this character.
As a companion to this struggle we have Kirsten. She continues to try to find her place. I think Paul does love her and feels terrible about her unhappiness. In many ways, she and Daphne are the same. They both aren't terribly happy with their place in life, but it is very hard to remove themselves from the situation. Paul's offer to adopt a child rings a bit hollow with me because he has said how many times he does not want children. That doesn't seem like a very good situation to bring a child into. Maybe it will work, but I don't have a lot of hope.
I'm not sure how I feel about Bailey. I think it was wrong of him to not tell Sarah the truth about the camping trip. She knew he was not being honest with her. She would trust him enough to believe that he wouldn't be on the make with some strange woman while Owen was there. Why not be honest? Bailey is headed down a dangerous path here.
It was good to see Owen happy. I agree with Sarah, I don't think I've seen Owen this happy in a long time. I've heard a lot about Jacob Smith's portrayal of Owen, but I think he's doing a good job. It is really good to finally have Owen as a fleshed out character.
I have to admit I'm pretty interested in Julia and Ned's story line. I was happy to see Heather McComb back as Maggie. Believe me, I know from personal experience that just because things go poorly with your roommate doesn't make them disappear from your life. There was some foreshadowing with her comment to Julia about not saying anything about Henry, her new boyfriend. I thought that was interesting. If Maggie had experienced Ned's anger before, why wouldn't she have said something to Julia? Maybe she was too hurt at first by Julia's betrayal, but I think she would speak up as Ned's behavior became more erratic.
I have often felt that this show does a very good job of building up to a big story. With Bailey's alcoholism they drew on his behavior from the very first season of the show. This fall we have been slowly introduced to Ned. I find that my opinion of him changes weekly. I first find him off-putting and then more sympathetic. I think he is a very angry person who needs some help. I would trust that we are going to see this serious subject dealt with in the same careful manner that Party of Five has handled similar subject matter in the past.
Rachel's nitpick of the night: can someone please explain to me how Charlie is going to get Diana's infant seat, Owen's car seat and his adorable, but adult sized body into the front seat of the truck. It isn't going to happen. Someone, please get this man a family car.
I thought director Lou Antonio had some very nice sequences in this episode. The opening scene was particularly powerful as the camera panned the empty park and then focused in on Daphne. We were able to have a better understanding of what she was feeling through the muted band in the background drawing her away from the baby followed by Diana's intensifying cries. Without words, the scene was incredibly moving.
Tonight was the first effort of new writer Mark Richard. He did a very good job of getting inside the heads of these characters. I'll look forward to seeing more. It has to be difficult to incorporate five years worth of back story and characterization. I missed the credit at the beginning of the show and at no point did I wonder who the heck had written the show. In my book, that's a good thing.
Copyright 1999 by Rachel Vagts. All rights reserved.
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