Season 5, Episode 16: Party of Freud
- Rating: 7.0/11
- Additional Cast
Ned Grayson......Scott Bairstow
School Psychologist......Gregory Itzin
Michelle Lo......Melissa Chan
- Featured Music
Looking for Answers bySusan Tedeschi (Charlie asks Daphne to come back with him)
Home by Switchfoot (Claudia talking to Griffin first time)
Crazy Life by Toad the Wet Sprocket (Sarah telling Bailey about her poetry teacher)
California by Scott Thomas Band (Ned and Julia eating in new apt.)
The credits: scott bairstow, jennifer aspen, gregory itzin, melissa chan, and jacob smith as owen, edited by stephen potter, 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 christopher keyser & john romano, directed by steven robman
Co-starring Ashley Edner as Sharon, Brandon Michael dePaul as Hughley, Sean Nadeau as Ray.
Transcribed by Rachel
Julia comes to find Ned in his room at Stanford. She's concerned because he hasn't been going to class or answering his phone. He's been thinking about stuff away from everyone. She asks about his face, but when she tries to see it, he pulls away from her. She tells him that she can talk to him. She asks if he is still angry with Griffin. He pulls away again and asks if this is how she felt when he hit her. She says it isn't the same. He doesn't know because this is bad. He doesn't know if it is him or her or them together, but if it's something like that that makes him . . . he doesn't like it when he gets angry at her. The two of them isn't good and he wants it to be over. He wants her to leave him or he'll leave her. She says he can't make a decision like this on his own. He says he can. She says it isn't fair, he can't punish her for the fact that he gets angry. He doesn't want her to end up like him (beat up) and he can't be sure of that unless she goes away. She has to go away. She leaves.
Daphne is holding Diana with Charlie at a sidewalk cafe. The baby laughs and coos. Daphne thinks she looks a little like her. Charlie agrees and points out that Diana knows her. She's never that comfortable with strangers. Daphne thinks she is a stranger. Charlie tells her there is no harm done, the baby doesn't blame her.
Bailey is meeting with Owen's kindergarten teacher, Miss Lo. She tells him that she isn't supposed to have favorites, but she liked Owen the minute he came into her class. He's very bright and creative. She asks if he was surprised she called him in. He thinks it's just the usual parent-teacher conference. That's in the fall, she called him because she's observing something that could be a problem. Bay asks what kind of problem. Owen was already reading when he started school, but he has problem with word order. These are typical problems for children with LD, learning disabilities. Bay points out she said earlier that Owen was bright. That is typical. Children who are bright, but are still having problems. Bay asks if it could be related to stress because with the new baby at home Owen has been having a hard time. She doesn't think so, but that is what the tests will tell them.
Charlie is on the phone with Kirsten. He tells her how good Daphne was with the baby. He says that he's going to see if Daphne will come back to San Francisco. Kirsten says it's great, but she's upset.
Claudia and Griffin are in the shed. He tells her that she doesn't have to hang around with him. He's not going to run out and beat somebody else up. She says it's okay, she'll stay just in case. She asks if he's called Julia again. He doesn't see the point right now. She asks if he's still in love with Julia. He doesn't answer. She doesn't think it's fair. You can't care and care about someone and they don't do anything back. He says it isn't that simple.
Julia finds Ned in the library. She tells him she's not leaving him. That isn't what two people who care about each other do. He says he's not going to get into it with her. She did this last year. She was in a relationship and when things got bad, she walked away. She's not doing that again. She doesn't what to say that every person she chooses is a bad person or that she gives up on every relationship when it gets bad. She loves him, she loves the way he takes care of her. She hasn't had that for a very long time. She agrees that he has a problem. He gets angry and he hits. But, they can get help for his problem. She will stand by him and stay with him if he'll get help for his problem.
Charlie comes over to Daphne's apartment. He thought they could go take a walk. She can't, she has to go to work. He can't believe she has to work at this time of day. She does telephone solicitation, this is when people are home. She asks what he's doing, what does he want. He comes and tells her this stuff she needs to face and now he wants to hang out. What does he want to happen? He wants her to come back with them. He went to a psychiatrist and she said it makes sense. Everything she is feeling or can't feel is about what happened to her. They can deal with it together. Daphne says no. She thinks he is a sweet man and she wants the truth, it's a lot easier to hate her mom than herself, but this is who she is. That's what he proved. Children grow up all the time with defects that aren't their fault. He should just think of her as someone with a bad heart. He says that is giving up. She can talk to the psychiatrist or anybody else, but she isn't doomed unless she chooses to be and it's not like she has a fatal disease. If she did she would fight it, try to survive. He is happy she got all the facts, but from this point on she can stop blaming her mom and start blaming herself.
Ned and Julia are at a therapy session. The therapist reminds them that although he works for the university, anything they say remains confidential. He asks what they wanted to talk to him about. Ned hesitantly says that he hits sometimes, he hit Julia.
Miss Lo tells Bailey that the district psychologist will follow up, but it looks like Owen has a processing disorder. They had him draw a picture about a story they read. What he said about the story was brilliant, but the picture was just a bunch of scribbles. It is way below the level of other kids his age. The good news is he can do what any other kid can do, the bad news is it will be harder for him and the people around him. There is a study routine they should do each night, two to three hours. It should be the same people in the same room. She also suggests that he come to class, volunteer. It's been a long time since they had any fathers. Bailey comments on the father term. She apologizes, he knows what she means. He does.
Julia and Ned's therapist is waiting outside her class. She asks if something is wrong. He says no, he just wanted to talk to her. He reminds her again that it's confidential. He asks if she knows that the university also has a group for women in a similar situation. They can get advice or additional counseling. Julia thanks him, but doesn't think she needs that. He isn't trying to push her, but there are a lot of things that go on when someone is the victim of violence, issues of self-esteem. She cuts him off, she isn't a victim of violence. He tries again, but she cuts him off again. Is this some kind of group for battered women? She doesn't need that. Ned just has trouble controlling his anger sometimes. If he talks to Ned, he'll see that. The therapist says that Ned isn't there right now, if this is the kind of help she needs, if she's afraid of Ned. She asks if he thinks that's why they came to him. She accuses him of patronizing her. He doesn't know anything about them. She says she'll see him at the session.
Claudia asks Kirsten if she wouldn't happen to know anything about the imagery of birth and death in Shakespeare's The Tempest. Kirsten says no, setting down her suitcase. Claudia asks what's going on. Kirsten is going away for awhile. She hasn't seen her parents for a while and now seems to be the time. Claudia says that Charlie will be bummed. He's been counting on Kirsten and he'll be disappointed to find her gone. Kirsten doesn't think so. She'll kind of be in the way. She doesn't like herself very much right now. She's just sitting there rooting for all the wrong things. It's rotten timing. Claudia doesn't understand. Kirsten asks her to give Charlie a note. She'll be gone a couple of weeks. Claud asks if he can call her in Chicago. He can, if he wants.
Daphne bursts into Charlie's hotel room. She's making a rash, throw caution to the wind kind of decision. She's ready to go back to San Francisco. She's packed her bags, get her on a plane. She's not going to let her mother have the last word on her life. Charlie thinks it's great. She says they have to go right now, because she isn't sure. She has all of her things packed up. He says they won't do it that way. This is the final move and they have to get it right. Is she owed money at her job. She should pick up her final pay check, go home and pack up all of the stuff and he'll go get a U-Haul. He'll have her home by midnight.
Bailey is lying on the floor with the other kids drawing around him. Owen is sitting on a chair not participating. Miss Lo checks on "Mr. Salinger." Owen says he's just plain Bailey. A little girl asks if he's Owen's father. Owen says he's his brother. Bay says he's nobody's father. He isn't even married. The girl says he could be Miss Lo's boyfriend. She had a boyfriend, but he couldn't get his act together and get a job so she dumped him. She can asks if he wants her to. Owen reminds him that he has a girlfriend. Bay asks why Owen isn't tracing. Owen wanted the red marker. Hughley (the kid from the basketball game) offers the red back to Owen. He takes it and thanks Bailey for coming.
At their therapy session Ned relates how critical his father was of him. Nothing he did was ever good enough for him. That has to mean something, doesn't it? Because he was angry all the time. The therapist says it isn't a question of being angry, but rather how you control that anger. He asks if his father ever hit him. Ned says no. He asks about Richie. What was he like? Ned doesn't want to talk about his brother. He asks again if Richie was ever violent. Some autistic children exhibit bouts of aggressive behavior. Ned says he doesn't know. Julia says it's okay. The therapist asks again. Ned says Richie isn't responsible for his behavior. The therapist agrees. Ned is responsible for what he does. He's just trying to understand why Ned does what he does so he can help him. Ned is angry at his father, what did he do. What did he do when Richie got violent. Did his father blame Ned when Richie got violent. Ned says he isn't going to do this. The therapist pushes him further. Is this why he loses his temper, when things aren't going the way he would like them to go? He might lose his temper too if he had grown up the way Ned did, hit by his brother and blamed by his parents.
Sarah and Bailey's apartment
Sarah doesn't get why professors in college who have PhDs and know like a million things that students don't make stupid assignments. Her poetry professor assigned them a paper on Madonna's second album. She can learn about Madonna on her own time. She's taking poetry to learn about Emily Dickinson. Bailey asks Emily who? What label is she on? Sarah gives him a look. He was kidding. She gives him another looks. Seriously, he was kidding. She must remember that he at least half-sucked at school. She doesn't remember him being on the inner-school math squad, but he had his moments. School was hard for him. He could have died from homework that other kids zipped through. He thinks that's why he has to be there for Owen. He understands how he feels, he knows what he's going through. He needs to make sure Owen gets all the help he can.
Ned and Julia are in his room. He's upset after the therapy. It's all getting twisted around. The therapist takes everything and turns it against him. Julia says they are just trying to put all the pieces together. Ned says he just loses his temper. Julia doesn't think so. Ray comes in. He asks what's going on. Ned tells him to get out. He picks up his stuff and leaves. Ned feels foolish for how he feels. He wants to get out of there. He can't do therapy and come home to Ray or Maggie. He just wants to come home to Julia.
Charlie arrives at Daphne's apartment to find that she hasn't finished packing. He asks what is going on. She says they should have left that morning. He asks what the problem is. Does she need to hear about what the psychiatrist said again? She doesn't want to. He asks if she listened to what he said. She says she did. They get into a bit of a shouting match. She listened to everything and she believed him and that's why she can't go. He doesn't understand. Because he said that Diana doesn't blame and no damage has been done. It's not that her mother abandoned her, but that she did it when Daphne was old enough to understand. She passed the disease to Daphne, but if Daphne goes home with them and goes into therapy and it doesn't work out, she could pass it along to Diana. Charlie thinks that's a lot of ifs, but Daphne isn't willing to take that risk. She is already attached to Charlie. This is it, there's no more good-byes. He can never come there again and she can't ever hold her again, never hold her or tell her that she loves her. He should take her and go. Charlie takes the baby and leaves.
Bailey takes Owen to school. He can't come that day, but he'll come one day a week, two if he can help it. He'll pick Owen up after school and then after they do their homework, Charlie will come and get him. Owen asks how Bay knows he'll do great in school and with Charlie. Bay says it's because he's smart and so it Owen. He hugs Owen and sends him into school
Charlie comes home. He calls out, but Claudia is the only one home. Claudia is a little on edge. Charlie asks if she got his message about Daphne. She did. He makes light of it. He asks if Kirsten is around. Claudia tells him that she went to Chicago when it seemed like Daphne was coming back, but she left him a note that's upstairs and she said he could call her at her parents'.
Ned comes for a session by himself. The therapist asks where Julia is. Ned says he told her she didn't have to come. The therapist thinks that's a mistake. He points out that it's difficult and embarrassing, but they should be going through it together. Ned says she's part of the problem, she makes him angry. The therapist interrupts him. It's just the two of them, Julia isn't part of it. He hits because he's a hitter. Ned says he doesn't know anything about him or their relationship. He asks if Ned has ever hit anyone else. Ned doesn't answer. He pushes and Ned says he hasn't. He asks if Ned wants to know about the statistics about beaters who put their wives or girlfriends in the hospital. Ned tells him to cut it out. Does he want her to end up with a broken nose or a broken arm? Maybe things really get out of control and she gets a concussion or worse. Ned says no. So, they need to sit down and talk about how not to let it get any worse.
Claudia is tuning her violin as Charlie comes in with a laundry basket. Claudia asks if the baby is still sleeping. She is, the traveling really knocked her out. Griffin comes in. He's going to the market, does Claudia need anything? Charlie asks him what he's doing there. Doesn't he have any sense of when it's time to go? Griffin says he must have heard what happened. Griffin needs to pack his things and go. Claudia tries to intercede saying that it's complicated. Charlie disagrees. Everything else in his life is complicated, but this is really simple. Griffin beat up Julia's boyfriend. He needs to get his stuff and get out. Griffin says he was going to say that Charlie was right.
Sarah and Bailey's apartment
Bailey is working with Owen. He pulls Sarah into the other room. He wants to keep Owen with them. Why does Charlie have to be the one to raise Owen? Sarah doesn't follow. Charlie isn't his father, he's his brother just like Bailey. But isn't Charlie his legal guardian? He is, but when they decided that Bailey was only 16, now he's older and taking care of Owen is a bigger deal, a lot of work. Charlie has Diana now. Sarah asks if he knows what it would mean to have Owen full-time. Bailey knows what it would mean to help Owen and have him be on the same level as opposed to always having to struggle and be behind everybody else. How can he not be there for him?
Ned brings Julia to an empty apartment. It isn't great, but it's something they can both afford and there is enough room for them both to work. He thinks this is what they need, to get away from all the other pressures. She agrees. He loves her, even with all the bad stuff between them. She's the only person he can talk to. The therapist makes him feel bad, like a criminal. He wants to find out what is really wrong with Ned. Does she think something is really wrong with him? She doesn't. He only feels ashamed and angry. Why is that a good thing? It just makes it feel worse. He's supposed to try not to be angry. When he's there with her . . . He thinks they can put one desk in the bedroom and one in the living room or both in the living room. Which wall does she want? She picks one.
Sarah and Bailey's apartment
Charlie comes to pick Owen up. He tells Bailey and Sarah that Daphne isn't coming back. Bay asks him to sit and talk, but Charlie says Claudia is at home with the baby, so he should get back. He calls Owen, but Bailey shushes him. Owen is asleep. He can just stay. Charlie says he can just carry him out to the truck. Bailey says they did a lot of work, so he'll just be tired tomorrow and he'll have two hours of work again. Charlie wonders why he has two hours of homework in kindergarten. He thanks him for taking care of Owen, but clearly Bailey doesn't know what he's talking about. Bay says he's had a couple of talks with Michelle. Charlie asks Michelle who. Miss Lo, his teacher, that's her name. Charlie doesn't follow. Bailey acts strangely, but convinces Charlie that he can get him from school tomorrow. Sarah tries to get him to stay and talk, but he goes home. After Charlie leaves Sarah asks why he didn't talk to Charlie. Bailey says he couldn't, not yet.
Claudia tells Griffin to call her and give her the number of where he is. He says he isn't going to do that. She says he will, even if nobody else in the family wants anything to do with him, she does. He cares about her and she cares about him. She thinks it works well. He agrees that they love each other.
Charlie answers the phone. It's Michelle, Miss Lo. Charlie realizes it's Owen's teacher. She says that the psychologist spent a good hour with Owen. Charlie asks why the psychologist was seeing Owen. She said she had told him this was the day that the psychologist would be by the school. She did some multisensory tests. Charlie asks what kind of tests. She answers that they are tests for LD kids. Charlie again doesn't follow. Charlie asks if she is asking him or telling him. She responds that she suffers from Upspeak, it's a condition and she can't help it (her voice goes up at the end of every sentence), but in all of their conversations this has never been a problem. In all their other conversations he's been perfectly nice and now he's teasing her about something she can't help. Charlie figures out that she's been talking to Bailey, not him. He asks her to explain what's been going on.
Ned and Julia are having their first meal of Chinese and pizza. She comments on the strangeness of the menu, but he says this is their lives. His family is a total drag and hers is even worse. She grudgingly agrees to no family. No Maggie, no Ray, nobody but them. If they have stuff to talk about, they talk to each other, solve their own problems. Julia agrees.
Bailey comes to meet Charlie who is picking Owen up from school. Owen led the Pledge of Allegiance and didn't forget any of it. Charlie says he is surprised to see Bailey there, but it's good because they have to talk about the (under his breath) testing. Bay says he doesn't have to whisper it, he already talked to Owen about how he processes words and sounds differently than other kids. Charlie is upset that Bay talked to him about this. He's only been away a few days and Bailey is deciding that Owen is this and that and talking to him about it. Miss Lo filled him in that afternoon about what she thinks, the diagnosis of a perfectly nice 22-year old with almost zero teaching experience. Bailey asks if he's an expert now. Charlie says he doesn't have to be, he's Owen's parent, that's his responsibility. Bay thinks that maybe he should be Owen's parent. Charlie says he isn't going to deal with this now. He starts walking away. Bay follows. Owen may be dyslexic and Bay could have had that his whole life. He's going to help Owen so he doesn't have to have the same problems Bailey did. It's three hours of work a night and they did it all week. It was great. He wants to be responsible for that. Charlie says that Bay was just babysitting for a couple of days. If something was wrong, Charlie would have seen it. He'll take him in for the testing. Bay doesn't think Charlie will be able to give Owen the same kind of attention. He has a baby and Claudia and a job that doesn't pay and nobody to help him out. If he wants what's best for Owen he would do it. Charlie doesn't buy it. As they drive off Bailey says he wants him.
This was an example of a couple of firsts. This was the first script Christopher Keyser wrote without Amy Lippman. It was also the first John Romano script without cop cars involved. A fine effort on both counts.
We've got a bunch of things going on here. First of all, the Julia story line is taking an interesting turn. The typical thing would be either she wises up and heads for the hills or they go to therapy and he's magically cured and everybody goes home happy. That isn't happening here. I am intrigued with this therapy, but it's so typical for our gal Julia. She's just a little too smart for her own good. She knows that Ned needs help, but somehow she rationalizes that because they are going to therapy she is absolved of any role of an abused person. We also see another example of the Julia who is afraid to fail. When Justin was talking to her about her marriage to Julia she didn't want to be someone who was divorced at 19. That was basically her main rationalization for staying in her marriage. I get the feeling that it is the same reason she is staying with Ned. She is tired of failing at relationships, but sometimes, you have just got to give up the ghost, dear. By the end of the episode Ned has worked to isolate her even further.
The dyslexia story is interesting and folds back into some Salinger family history. The girls are noted for their intelligence. Bailey was always considered to be a little below average. I never had a sense that Charlie was stupid, he just lacked the ability to apply himself. Bay very likely could have an undiagnosed learning disorder and that would make him hypersensitive to helping Owen overcome his. Now, to devil's advocate that, I wonder if our perfectly nice, but 22-year old kindergarten teacher with almost zero teaching experience, who has a disorder of her own is a little quick to diagnose. I guess we'll have to wait and see. I had heard about the custody battle previously and thought it sounded really awful, but this didn't seem so bad. The fact is, Owen has gotten lost in the shuffle lately. I do wonder how the restaurant manager thinks he's going to have more time in the evenings than Charlie the public school teacher who seems to have unlimited personal days to trip off to LA or wherever the crisis of the moment is.
Personally, I am very sad at the latest turn of events with Daphne. I love Jennifer Aspen and I'm really sad to see her go. This has been a compelling story about the long-term damage abuse and neglect can do and has really been on the mark. We can do such awful things to our children, things that might not show up today or tomorrow, but will affect them forever. Of course Charlie is dealing with it in his usual fashion. He has shoved everything into the "I'm fine, I won't deal with it now" corner and instead lashed out at anybody who gets in his way. His victims this week were Griffin and that poor teacher. If she'd known what was up, I'm sure Kirsten would have beaten an even hastier retreat to Chicago.
My final comment for the night regards the laundry. What is it with this family and their washing fetish. When the cast appeared on the Rosie O'Donell show last week Jeremy London commented that he had folded a ton of laundry this season. Here again tonight he was folding the laundry. Later we had Charlie coming through the living room picking up laundry only to have him go over to Bailey's where surprisingly enough, Bailey was carrying a laundry basket. I guess it's just one of those realistic touches we all love so much!
Enjoy that week off and we'll see you again on the 3rd of March.
Copyright ©1999 by Rachel Vagts. All rights reserved.
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