Season 5, Episode 12: Witness for the Persecution

The credits: scott bairstow, freddy rodriguez, chad todhunter, mary ward, phill lewis, scott jaeck, jacob smith as owen, with tim dekay, and heather mccomb, edited by david dworetzky, 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 john romano & allan heinberg, directed by ellen s. pressman

Co-starring David Tom as Heath, Marcus Toji as Protz, Brian Skala as Saterno.

Transcribed by Rachel

Julia is sitting in her room at Stanford. Ned calls . She still hasn't answered his call. As she is erasing the message Maggie comes home. Julia starts packing, favoring her right arm. Maggie asks if it still hurts. Julia is going home for a few days so if anyone asks, including Ned, Maggie doesn't know where she's gone. Maggie tells Julia she doesn't have to tell her what's going on, but it's clear that Maggie is concerned.

Claudia is changing Diana's diaper while Charlie moves some boxes around. Claudia wonders how anyone could be so small. Charlie comments that Claudia was never that small. She asks if he really remembers. Of course he does. He was in high school. He had to give up a whole weekend, 49ers tickets and everything to stay home and babysit Bailey and Julia. Bay was five years old and a real pain in the butt. Claudia asks what he's doing with the boxes. Daphne left a bunch of stuff and he wants to have it ready when she sends for it. Claudia asks if he's sure that she won't come back. Charlie is, it's over. Claudia offers to pack the stuff up, but Charlie says he doesn't need any help. Claudia wonders if Diana knows that her mother has left. She apologizes to Charlie for bringing up a sore subject. Charlie doesn't think she knows, it's been a week. He tells Claudia to hurry along to school. She hands him the baby and he sits down in the rocking chair.

Outside the house
Griffin is getting his bike out of the garage when he notices Julia has come home. She winces as she gets her back out of the car. He asks if she pulled her shoulder. She says no, then yes. She had an accident behind the dorm. He looks at the car for damage, but she isn't forthcoming with details, doesn't want him to bother. Claudia comes down to go to school and is pleased to see Julia. She asks what Julia is doing home. She was missing everybody. Claudia asks where Ned is, but Julia says she doesn't want to talk about him. They walk back to the house while Griffin watches. He takes her bag into the house.

Woodrow Wilson Junior High
Charlie hurries in for his class with Diana in tow. Ms. Walsh, the vice principal comes up as his students are filing in. She asks if Diana is a new student. Charlie apologizes for bringing the baby, but he has his younger brother and sister at home as well. She understands and knows that he is a single parent. He wonders how, but she heard it in the teachers' lounge. She takes him down the hallway and shows him a day care set up by some single parents at the school. It is a nice looking room with several children at play. Charlie isn't interested. He doesn't want to put her in day care. Ms. Walsh points out that it's hard for single parents, she knows, she is one. There is also a support group. Charlie says he's doing fine. If it isn't a problem, he will just keep the baby in the room with him. She says she thinks they can stretch the policy a little. He thanks her and she tells him to call her Valerie.

Salinger house
Charlie comes in to the dining room to find Claudia has set up her tent for Owen. Bailey and Sarah come in with Owen. Charlie greets him, but he runs past him to check out the tent. Bay points at the tent and says it's like old times. Charlie agrees, telling him Julia is home as well. Bay and Sarah are pleasantly surprised. Julia comes in with the baby. Sarah comments that they are almost at finals time, but Stanford must be on a different schedule. Julia says she wanted to study at home. Sarah takes the baby from her. Bay goes over to talk to Charlie. Char asks about Owen. Bailey says Charlie has his work cut out for him. He will get over Charlie not coming for him, but maybe Bailey should take him now and again. How many plates can Charlie keep spinning in the air? Charlie says he can handle it. Bailey points out that Daphne left, whatever happened between them, Charlie loved her, had a baby with her, it must hurt. Charlie gets that he's concerned, but it isn't necessary.

Bailey and Sarah come in the dark restaurant still talking about Charlie. Sarah says he has a Superman complex. Bailey thinks he should cut himself some slack. Bay needs to find a disk with the accounts. He looks behind the bar, but it isn't there. He heads for the office. Sarah looks around the dark restaurant. Bay walks into the office to find it's been tossed. He calls out to Sarah, walking back into the dining area he finds a man holding Sarah at knife point. She is terrified. The man will cut Sarah if Bay doesn't listen to him. Bailey offers the man his money, watch, everything. The man tells Bay to get on the floor which he does. He takes the money and pulls Sarah to the door with him. He finally pulls the necklace off her neck and pushes her to floor. He runs out the door. Bailey runs to comfort Sarah.

Bay is holding Sarah as they talk to the detective. Bay says the man was about 25, but Sarah disagrees. He was 21 or 22. The detective tells her to put herself in the scene so she can remember him more clearly. She walks over to where he held her. The detective tells her to visualize what the man looked like. He had a scar. He had short hair, which Bailey confirms. Bay says he was short and skinny. Sarah adds that he had very strong arms. She sits down on the floor, upset. Bay holds her. The detective says she did a good job, she can come down to the precinct to look at some pictures, like in the movies. He also gives her the name of a psychiatrist, someone who works with victims of trauma. Sarah takes the name gratefully. Bailey says it would be good if they caught the guy. The detective tells Bailey he should talk to the psychiatrist as well, but Bailey doesn't seemed convinced. He tells the detective to just find the guy. The detective says that's what they do. After he leaves Bailey complains about his new age attitude. Sarah is too upset to respond.

Charlie comes in with Diana to meet Kirsten. The table is full of forms. Kirsten asks after Bay and Sarah. Charlie is glad no one got hurt. Kirsten says it stays with you though. Charlie comments on her pile of papers. She kind of hems and haws and then admits that she and Paul are trying to adopt a baby. She tells him how amazing Paul has been about it, how he wants to make her happy. He is very happy for her. She apologizes because of what he's going through, but again Charlie makes light of Daphne's absence. He and Diana are doing just fine. They are a family now. He wonders why everyone is making such a big deal of it. Kirsten says they are just concerned for him. Again he says they are fine.

Bailey and Sarah's apartment
Sarah is awakened by a clanging pipe. She wakes Bailey up. She can't go anywhere without being scared. She's going to call the psychiatrist. Bay says he is going to get an armed security guy in the restaurant. He doesn't care what it costs. He caresses Sarah, but she's uncomfortable. He touches the spot where the guy held the knife, but she says there isn't anything there. Bay can't believe someone hurt her. He asks if he can pick her up at school so she doesn't have to walk around after dark. She's not sure that's a good idea. It's her school. She can't be afraid there.

Claudia gets her violin out to play Diana to sleep. It's been a while so she asks the baby to bear with her. It used to work with Owen. She starts to play but there is feedback. She looks out the window. She starts again, but the air is filled with guitar music. She tries to play over it, but finally gives up and plays with the guitar. She walks out of the room still playing, going down to the shed where Griffin is playing. She harmonizes with his acoustic guitar. The music is great. She is surprised to hear him playing. She remembered that he played. He comments that he hasn't done it for a while. She hasn't either. He says he's put a band together. She should play with them. She doesn't know what to say. He tells her to say that she'll be there.

Sarah and Bailey's apartment
Julia has brought over donuts for Sarah. Sarah hasn't been eating or sleeping. She's still upset. Julia knows that's it's hard to forget. Sarah tells her about the counselor. She needs to talk to someone and she can't talk to Bailey. He just goes off on what he wants to do to the guy. Maybe that gets him through it. He's a guy, he needs to smash something or someone. That doesn't work for Sarah. The thief is the one who hurt her and she feels dirty, ashamed. She asks if that makes any sense. Julia doesn't say anything.

Salinger house
Julia comes up the steps and looks in the window to see Ned holding the baby, talking to Claudia. She enters the living room and tells Ned she needs to talk to him. He gives the baby to Claudia and follows Julia out of the room. Griffin comes in and senses the tension between the two.

Julia takes Ned up to her old room. He hit her and nobody hits her. Ned tries to deny it, but she doesn't let him. It doesn't happen, she's not going to let it. Sometimes they don't understand each other, she didn't know about Richie or his troubles with his dad, but they talked about it. Now they disagree about an apartment and he hits her. Ned says he didn't hit her. Julia is incredulous. Ned says it isn't what happened. He hurt her. She can't believe he's denying this. Is he crazy? He says they got excited. She wants him gone. Does he have any idea how she felt when she saw him with Claudia, holding the baby? He can't believe that she thinks he would hurt her sister or the baby. He knows she's mad, but is she nuts? He's the one who went absolutely crazy, she points out. Did she hear him saying what he did was right? Didn't he say he got so out of control that he hates himself for hurting her? She says again that he hit her. He loses control. He's scared that he's going to lose her. He only got the apartment so they could be together and he was frustrated when she didn't want it. He thought that it meant she didn't want them. Julia has had enough and goes to leave. Ned reaches out to pull her arm again. She flinches and pulls away from him. He's sorry. She tells him to leave. That's all that happened the other day. He grabbed her so he wouldn't lose her. How could she think that he would ever hit her? She can't believe that he is denying what he did. Ned leaves.

Griffin, a bass player and a drummer are jamming in the shed. Claudia comes in with her violin and joins in. First the bass player and then the drummer stop. When Griffin notices he stops. Claudia stops playing and comments that she hates when that happens. The bass player asks what is going on. Griffin introduces Claudia to the other guys, Cody on bass and Heath on drums. Claudia is going to be joining them. For a song, Cody asks. For as long as she likes, Griffin responds. Heath thinks it's cool. Cody gets up and walks out. Griffin follows him. Cody doesn't want her in the band. If Griffin needs to work off his rent by babysitting his ex kid sister-in-law, that's his own business. Griffin says she's a good musician, heck she's a better musician than Heath. Rock bands don't have violinists. She's a fiddle player. Griffin says it's his band and he makes the decisions about who plays with them. Cody says it's either him or her. Griffin invites him to leave.

Sarah and Bailey's apartment
Bailey has a security consultant over to look at the apartment. The consultant can't believe they have never had a break-in, they don't have secure locks on their windows, etc. Bailey comments that they are 8 floors up. But, they have large window ledges that aren't well-lit. Sarah comes in and is surprised to find them there. She says they live in a great neighborhood. Everyone wants to live south of Market. Ray, the security guy says that just means that a lot of yuppies live there. It was a poor neighborhood, so now you have people with a lot of money mixing in with people who need money. It adds up like 2 +2. They have no bars on the windows, no guard dogs. Sarah asks why they are talking about a guard dog. Bailey says they put an alarm behind the bar that goes directly to the police station. Ray thinks that's a good idea for the apartment as well. Sarah is not going to live like that, not with a home built like a fortress. Ray says it is typical for the woman to be resistant which is funny because it is usually the woman who gets hurt. Sarah notices the man brought a briefcase full of hand guns. She is shocked that Bailey is thinking about a gun. Ray just brought them as an option. He packs up his stuff and leaves. Sarah storms out of the room.

Kirsten and Paul's apartment
Paul comes home to find Kirsten on the phone. He can tell that she's been busy. She has. They have a prescreen appointment Wednesday morning and then an at home visit the next day. Paul tries to stop her, he can't do it . . . Kirsten immediately puts on the brakes. She knew he would change his mind. She continues to try to make it seem like it's okay, but Paul interrupts her. No, he just can't do it Wednesday morning. He has surgery. Thursday would be just fine. Kirsten seems relieved.

Charlie comes downstairs to find Claudia packing up Daphne's things. He told her not to do this. She only had homework to do, so she thought she would be useful. He told her it wasn't a big job. She knows it isn't a big job, but he shouldn't have to look at her things. He has it covered. Claudia tries to tell him the system she was using, but he tells her to just go. She leaves as Charlie picks up a shirt to fold. He stares at it for a moment and then puts it in the box.

Sarah and Bailey's apartment
Sarah comes in ready for bed. Bailey asks if they are actually going to go to sleep without talking about this. Sarah asks who is going to sleep. She can't anymore, her mind is too full of scary images. Bailey says his is too. He felt powerless and he never wants to feel like that again. He just needs to do something about that. Sarah says she is. She went to see the counselor and he should too. Bailey says it won't help. What he wants to do is something practical that would make them feel more safe in the loft. She said it herself, sometimes she feels scared walking around. Sarah corrects him, not sometimes, all the time. What should she do, put up walls between her and the people around her? Bailey thinks it is irresponsible to live in their neighborhood with her coming at all times of the day and night and not try to protect themselves. They need to be adult about it. Sarah doesn't know who he is if he needs a gun to be an adult. Bay points out that if they had gone by the restaurant an hour earlier, they would have had Owen with them. Has she thought about that? The phone rings. It's the police. They caught the guy. Bailey and Sarah will come down for the lineup the next morning.

Police Station
Sarah immediately picks the thief out of the line-up. Bailey confirms her identification. Bailey yells at him through the mirror. He tells Sarah that they'll feel better now that they found him. She isn't sure of that.

Griffin is playing the guitar when Claudia comes in. He wants to play something for her. She tells him that the whole band thing isn't going to work for her. He asks why. She points out that they have different tastes in music. Griffin asks if she overheard Cody saying that. She may have heard something. They have something really good going with the band and she doesn't want to mess that up. Cody is a good bass player. Griffin thinks he's a great bass player. She doesn't want Griffin to feel like he's babysitting her. He says he isn't. She asks why he would pick her over Cody. He likes the way she plays the violin. The fiddle, she points out. They laugh.

Living room
Julia is in her pajamas reading on the couch. She hears an noise from the basement. She gets up as the noise continues. She goes to the basement door and calls down. Charlie says it's just him. She asks if he's okay. He tells her to go back to bed, but she goes down anyway. Charlie has thrown the boxes all over the basement. Charlie comments that when you want people to stay, they leave. When you want them to go away they won't. Julia says people are funny that way. Charlie picks up a box and then throws it across the room towards Julia. She flinches. He turns and kicks another box. Julia says he's scaring her. He asks how a mother can leave a child. Julia doesn't know. Charlie knows how hard it is to take care of people, but how can you leave? Julia says he wouldn't know, because he stays. Maybe Daphne will realize what she's done and come back? Charlie says she won't, she's gone for good. He apologizes. Julia asks what for. He lost it. It hit him that he's alone. She says it's okay. She's gone, but now he has to think about what's important. Diana is important and he's important. He has to remember that he almost wasn't there. Charlie nods and cries. Julia says he's important, where would they be without him? He's not alone, he's never alone. He acknowledges that and they hug.

Ned is at the library. Julia finds him and stands just watching him. Maggie shows up and asks what is going on with her and Ned. Are they just going through something or is it over? Julia says she doesn't know. She thought she knew, but she doesn't know now.

Sarah and Bailey's apartment
Bailey says they'll get new locks on the doors and windows, but that's it. Nothing fancy. Sarah goes over and locks the door. She comments that they have arrested this one guy . . . Bailey says he has a name now, Albert Terry. They arrested him and they want him in connection with three other crimes. She asks if that makes her safer now. Bailey says they'll go to court and see that he goes away for a long time. They aren't helpless and that's a good feeling. Sarah doesn't know. She looks out the window, whether it's locked or not and she doesn't see the same world anymore. Bay comments that she's shaking. He pulls her close and kisses her on the forehead. They turn to go to bed.


I thought Jennifer Love Hewitt was really great this week. I am generally a fan of her portrayal of Sarah. I think she does a nice job, but she doesn't rock my world. In a cast of very strong performers, she definitely carries her share. That being said, the scenes at the restaurant were very powerful. Maybe it's her experience with the teen horror flicks, but I definitely could feel Sarah's terror at being held at knife point.

I thought this was a good plot. There are serious trade-offs to living in a metropolitan area. Crime is a real possibility. Do you allow it to run your life or do you learn to live with it? Sarah is justifiably terrified after her experience and Bailey is justifiably concerned. Unfortunately Bailey chooses to deal with it in the usual Salinger "deny it and it'll go away" manner. This is not healthy and fortunately for Sarah she realizes that and goes to see the therapist. I was glad to see the handgun didn't come into their home. I have to admit I do not want to see Owen find that gun.

Charlie the good soldier. I thought I might be denied my favorite; the Charlie tears. Of course, in the end I was not denied and it was not only good for me, but good for Charlie too. He has had to deal with so much. When they talked about having to pack up Daphne's things I couldn't help but think about Charlie having to pack up Kirsten's things when she went back to Chicago. It seems like Charlie is always being left behind, more often than not through no fault of his own.

The scene with Julia was really wonderful. These two have been close and here she is able to help him even though she is feeling totally overwhelmed by her own life. She allows Charlie to let out the pain that he has been holding within himself, but at the same time allows him to realize that things may not be as horrible as they seem. He is lucky, he isn't alone, he is valued and loved. This was two good scenes for Julia this week, the other being her scene with Sarah. Nice to see her in some situations other than Ned or Griffin.

I also liked the juxtaposition of Charlie apologizing for losing it with Ned's excuse for his behavior. Charlie did lose it, but he lost it with some boxes in the basement. Ned lost it by throwing Julia across the room and hurting her. There is a difference. I'm not sure Julia got that, but I hope she figures it out very soon.

I liked seeing more of Griffin. Heck, I always like seeing Griffin. Jeremy London is a musician, as is Lacey Chabert and it was great to see them put the two together in the band plot. I also really liked the music they were making. I hope we see more of this.

So I'm not planning on this being a regular feature, but here's my nitpick of the week: What's with the inappropriate use of the cable car bell? We all know that Party of Five takes place in San Francisco. We all know that there are cable cars in San Francisco. Now, it is feasible to hear the bell at Salinger's because the restaurant is supposedly on Filbert Street and a cable car runs past Filbert. The security guy commented on Bailey and Sarah living South of Market. This is in fact a neighborhood that has become very fashionable in the past few years, lots of clubs, etc. It is no where near the cable cars. I've only been to San Francisco twice, but even I can figure that out.

So, second effort from John Romano and Alan Heinberg. I thought it was okay. I'd give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Now, Romano came to the show from Michael Hayes. Is it a coincidence that both of his scripts have had a law enforcement theme (the other was Tender Age). I didn't think the cops were gratuitous and there wasn't any of those Hill Street Blues cop car coming over the hill scenes like last time, but let's not get in a habit, okay? I do get the feeling that the writers are listening to the online discussion about the show. First we have the reappearance of the tent, then Charlie comments that with Julia home, it's like old times. What's strange is that we do have the whole family together for that moment, but the rest of the action centers around each individual story including the Kirsten and Paul thread which stands completely separate from the Salingers. This isn't a criticism of the writers, but rather yet another example of how the show has grown and changed over 5 years.

Copyright 1999 by Rachel Vagts. All rights reserved.

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