Season 5, Episode 2: Separation Anxiety
Claudia at school
- Rating: 7.2/11
- Additional Cast
Mr. Reeves......Richard Gilliland
Josh Macon......Adam Scott
Owen Salinger......Jacob Smith
Mrs. Reeves......Alyson Reed
Martha Levinson (Charlie's Lawyer)......Isabella Hofmann
- Featured Music
(song when Sarah is stressing over not getting mail from her mom)?
Truckin' by the Grateful Dead (Daphne peeing)
Have You Seen Me Lately by Counting Crows (last song)
The credits: scott bairstow, jennifer aspen, richard gilliland, adam scott, jacob smith, alyson reed, willie garson, rodney eastman, with isabella hofmann, and heather mccomb, lynsey bartilson, joanna garcia, bodhi pine elfman, 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 tammy ader, directed by daniel attias.
Transcribed by Rachel
Charlie is pacing back and forth when Kirsten comes in carrying a box. She's packing the ultimate care package for Claudia. He interrupts her to play a phone message from Daphne. Daphne (with very loud rock music in the background) asks Charlie to stop calling her. He's making her crazy and she can't think. Charlie's upset. He's making her crazy?!? She's camping out on some guy's couch that Charlie doesn't even know. He goes to the phone. Kirsten asks what he's doing. He hangs the phone up. It's been disconnected. Kirsten says it was a stupid thing to do. Charlie worries that she'll just take off, even leave the state or country. Then he'll never find her.
University Food Service
Julia is getting oriented to her work study job in food service. Josh greets her. The supervisor is not happy. He usually doesn't let friends work together. He'll be keeping his eye on them. He leaves. Josh offers to show her around. Julia comments that she shouldn't have put on her application that her family owns a restaurant. Josh admits that his friend works in the work study office. Josh is going to have to write his term paper and do his laundry for a month, but the friend got her assigned there. He figured they were both writers and stuck in work study, so they might as well have some fun. As he pulls comparisons from King Lear Julia looks on with somewhat adoring eyes. He offers to get her reassigned, but instead she follows up with a feminist perspective of the play.
Bailey brings take-out home to his and Sarah's new apartment. She asks if he has the mail and then quickly goes through it. She hasn't gotten a letter from her mother in two months. Bay asks why she's interested. She doesn't read them. He's watched her. She just puts the unopened letters in her drawer. She doesn't because she knows what they'll say. She shouldn't have moved in with him, etc. But, she likes to get them. She's worried about her parents. They could be sick. Her dad's family has a history of heart disease. Bailey wonders if she misses them. She's just worried. He says Sarah is allowed to miss them.
Charlie is explaining to the lawyer about his arrangement with Daphne. After the baby is born, if she doesn't want to be the mother, then Charlie will be . . . the mother. The lawyer asks if he got that in writing. No, but Daphne knows how important the kid is to Charlie. It took him a long time to figure out what he wanted with his life, but after the cancer everything came into focus. The lawyer stops him. He had cancer? Charlie reassures her that he got a clean bill of health 8 months ago. He's covered for insurance through his brother. The lawyer questions why his job doesn't have health benefits. Charlie admits that he doesn't have a job. The lawyer says there is no point in her taking the case because she's never seen a judge award custody to an unwed, unemployed father. Unless he finds a job, the judge will give the baby to the mother.
Daphne dances while her friend Dave plays the drums. She's so glad to be hanging out with him again. She sits down in a bean bag chair while they start to reminisce about when she lived upstairs from him. On her 21st birthday he, Stan and Isaac played the Beatles' Birthday song for 12 hours. They decide to call the guys and have them come over. Dave leaves, he forgot to pay the bill and the phone is disconnected. He has to go use the pay phone. He runs up the steps as Daphne calls after him. She can't get out of the bean bag chair.
Bailey has brought Julia leftovers from the Kiwanis meeting. Bay thinks her dorm looks great. She comments on how much he hated college. He says it was hard splitting time between college and the restaurant. She doesn't think 3 hours a day is too bad. Bailey is shocked to find out she's working. He wants her to have the full college experience. At least one of them should have the real thing. She should be in class and in the library when she isn't. Julia protests, but Bailey won't hear of it. He writes her a check and tells her to quit the job.
Claudia follows two girls into their science class. She tries to strike up a conversation with them, but they are very cold to her. The teacher asks a question about the night before's homework. Each of the two girls profess to not know the answer. When Claudia is called on she professes to not know either. When a second question is asked Claudia ends up giving the answer. She looks uncomfortable.
Charlie meets with a former customer at the restaurant who offers him an internship. He can start in the stockroom and then move from department to department. He'll get credit for his classes at SF. That isn't what Charlie is looking for. He needs a real job. The guy says it doesn't work that way. Charlie has only taken a couple of classes and he designs as a hobby. It takes more to become a real architect. But Charlie doesn't have a couple years.
Bailey rings the doorbell, but no one answers. Nobody's home at 11 pm. Now Sarah is worried. They are always home at 11 watching Nightline. Bailey says they should go in. Sarah can't. She makes Bailey go in. The apartment is empty, but while Bailey is in there the answering machine picks up. It is a message for Sarah's mother from a man saying she left her watch there the night before. Sarah comes in asking if everything is alright.
Sarah says she feels like she's on another planet. Bay asks if she recognized the voice. Sarah knows who it was, a man who wanted to spend the night with her mother. Her father gave her that watch.
Charlie asks the nurse where Daphne is. He called to remind her, but she didn't come. The nurse says she has an appointment the next day at 2 pm. Will Ms. Jablonsky be able to come then? Charlie admits that he has no idea what Ms. Jablonsky will be doing.
Daphne's friend Isaac pulls a beer out of the fridge where we see a note reminding Daphne about her doctor's appointment. He comments as he sits down that she's put on a little weight. She retorts that it's temporary. So is his, he says as he pats his stomach. He weighs at least 300 pounds. She asks him to please turn down the music. She gets up and tries to get into the bathroom, but Dave and Stan are having a debate about whether or not Jerry Garcia is in rehab or dead. She finally just sits down and uses the toilet while they continue to argue above her.
Charlie is on the phone with his lawyer. The fact that Daphne didn't even show up for the doctor's appointment has to count for something. Fine, he'll have a job by the end of the day.
Josh catches up with Julia. She wasn't at work today. She tells him she quit. He thinks it was about him. She tries to tell him it isn't. They should get some coffee. She's kind of schizophrenic, one day she can't stand him, the next she's all over him. She comments that it's kind of fickle, but he thinks it's just mean. She says it isn't that way, it's complicated. There's stuff he doesn't know. She opens up her door to expose Ned in his underwear. He greets her. Josh asks who he is. She closes the door and says Ned is her boyfriend.
Claudia comes to science class early to ask her teacher to please not call on her. She's willing to write down the answer to every question he asks, but please . . . she doesn't want to talk in class. He tells her that he won't tell her how to learn if she' won't tell him how to teach. The other students start to file into class. Claudia goes to her desk.
Sarah's mom welcomes her home. She's surprised to see her. She had given up. Sarah comes in. She tells her mom she knows about the affair. Her mom says it isn't an affair, it's a relationship. She's been separated from Sarah's father for two months. She stopped writing the letters because she didn't know how to explain. Sarah says she didn't even know they were having trouble. Her mom assumed she was reading her letters.
Julia is studying in the library when Josh comes in. He asks why she didn't tell him she had a boyfriend. Did she want to embarrass him? She could have mentioned it the first time he asked her out. She says she didn't because her relationship is essentially over, but she's having a hard time with it. When she thinks about him she has a hard time leaving the other guy behind. Does he understand? He says he doesn't. She responds that she doesn't either.
Charlie comes in with the news that he has gotten an emergency teaching credential and is teaching shop at Woodrow Wilson Jr. High. Bailey is stunned. What about Charlie's plans to become an architect? They always made fun of the shop teacher. Charlie says it doesn't matter. He needs a job and he'll do whatever is necessary to get him baby. He needs to borrow some money for the lawyer because he doesn't get paid for two weeks. Bailey readily agrees to help him, but Charlie shouldn't give up his dream. Bay will help pay for school. Charlie accuses him of using his checkbook to try to solve everybody's problems. Charlie has to show the court that he can support his baby, it doesn't matter what plans he has to give up, he'll do it. Whatever it takes to keep his baby.
Ned and Maggie are debating Joni Mitchell and Jewel while Julia studies under a tree. She leaves for class. Maggie moves in and kisses Ned as Josh walks by.
Sarah has been reading the letters her mother sent. She always thought the letters would be about her, how she was ruining her life by being with Bailey, but after a while they weren't. They just said come back. She should have. After she left they had nothing else. Bailey says they didn't break up because she left. She feels guilty because she didn't read the letters like she should have, like a normal person would have. Bailey says she can't know that.
Mr. Kropp is called out of class. He calls on Claudia to take over the class. She does so reluctantly. One of the girls asks what she would get if she mixes a shot of vodka with a pitcher of beer. Claudia says vomit, lots of it. The class laughs. She then launches into the lesson using Melrose Place as an explanation for what happens between the two compounds they are studying.
Dave is playing the drums while Daphne tries to sleep. She asks him to please buy something other than beer the next time he goes to the store. She sees the note about the doctor and is upset with herself. She goes to use the phone, but it's still disconnected. She asks him again to stop with the drums. He asks what's wrong. She's tired, her back hurts from sleeping on his futon and she's hungry. She hasn't eaten any real food for 2 days and she's worried she's hurting the baby. He offered to let her crash, but he doesn't know anything about babies. If she wants service, she should find a hotel. He goes back to his drums.
San Francisco street
Sarah waits on a street corner for her dad who is out jogging. He invites her in, but she says they can talk outside. She says it's weird for this to be his home. He agrees, but he's better off. She isn't. She asks if they can't do something, if they would talk together or if Sarah was there. She really needs them to be together. Her dad accuses her of being selfish. He lost her and a marriage, her mother lost something too. None of them have a family anymore. She wants it to be about her, but it isn't. People change and they grow, she'll grow too.
Josh walks in the lounge to find Ned, Maggie and Julia all studying together. He knows it isn't any of his business, but he likes Julia even though she doesn't like him. Julia says she likes him (and she sees where this is going). He is trying to figure out what to do when someone is being crapped on and they are totally clueless. Maggie says to tell them. Josh thinks that's funny coming from her. Ned gets in his face a little bit while Julia tells him to cool it. He states that he saw her roommate kissing her boyfriend. Ned and Maggie are confused. Ned asks Maggie if she kissed Julia's boyfriend. She says no and asks Julia if she has a boyfriend. Julia responds, not really. The boys get in a shoving match. Maggie tries to break it up while Julia escapes to their room.
Charlie's lawyer is amazed at how little teachers get paid. She hopes the baby's mother isn't an investment banker. Charlie laughs, hardly. Until she got pregnant she was just doing things here and there to get by. The lawyer asks what kinds of things. He says they met when Daphne came to his house as a singing telegram. She also does kids' birthday parties and bachelor parties. The lawyer asks if she takes her clothes off. Charlie says she doesn't take them all off. He appears uncomfortable at the direction of the conversation. She asks about any arrests for solicitation. Well, there was one time when she first came to town. She was really young and working as a dancer at a club that was being run as a cover for an escort service.
Kirsten and Owen meet up with Charlie after his appointment. He tells Kirsten about the meeting. He feels bad that he told the lawyer everything. It's the kinds of things you tell someone when you're getting into a relationship with them, your worst experience, stupid things you did when you were young. He asks Kirsten what she's thinking. Jerry Springer, that's what she's thinking. These crazy people who turn on each other. It's not like he had a choice?
Claudia is brushing her teeth when one of the girls from her science class comes in. She says that she know they all hate her because she's a brainiac, but she can't forget what she knows. The girl asks if they can go over that night's assignment. Claudia agrees and uses mascara as an example for the assignment. The toilet flushes and the other girl walks out. She asks what a catalyst is. Claudia pulls out her lipstick.
Charlie comes in looking for Daphne, but she's gone. Dave doesn't know where, she just left that morning. Charlie can't believe he would just let a pregnant woman leave. He storms out of the house.
Julia finds Ned. She asks if Maggie is mad. Ned says no, she just needs to meditate for a while. He asks why Julia said he was her boyfriend. Because he was there and it was that or making a big announcement about how she feels about guys. Ned asks what the deal is. Julia tells him she's married. He's stunned. Actually she isn't even married, she's separated, but for the longest time she was wrapped up in this one guy, Griffin and now there is this new guy. Ned says he gets it, but Julia doesn't think so. They have this perfect high school romance. Ned doesn't think so. There are no surprises anymore. If she meets someone new that she likes, she should go for it even if she spent high school with someone else.
Bailey tries to get Sarah to go to a movie. She says she takes a snapshot of life the last time you see a place and you think it's never going to change. Bailey empathizes. She thought she could go back any night at 11 pm and find them watching Nightline. He has a lot of snapshots of his life, lots of them with parents in them.
Charlie comes flying in the house. He's upset. Daphne took off again and he doesn't have any idea where she is. While he calls his lawyer Kirsten tries to get him to listen to her. Finally he looks where Kirsten is pointing out the window. Daphne is sitting in the back yard on the swing. He hangs the phone up and goes out to talk to her. He's very calm. He's glad she's back. She isn't. She doesn't want to be there. They aren't right for each other and if she could go someplace else, but she can't. She thought she could walk away, but no matter how far she walks away the baby is still there. She can't do it by herself, so she's back. Charlie invites her inside, helping her up from the swing and into the house.
If I'm ready with my criticism, I should be ready with my compliments. For a sophomore effort, I must compliment writer Tammy Ader. Much improved from last year's disastrous turn in "The Parent Trap."
The expanding plane of the Salinger saga is going better than I had anticipated. I liked how they drew the siblings into each other's lives. I especially noted that with Bailey first bringing Julia leftover food, being paternal with her and then repeating the whole episode with Charlie at Salinger's. He is continuing in his caretaker role.
It was good to bring the conflict of Sarah's parents back into the story. It's unlikely that being cut off from one's family at 19 would not come up again. I've often wondered how Sarah was dealing with her estrangement from her parents and when that might be resolved.
It's interesting to note that Claudia is known at her school as a brain. She's always been a precocious child, but her recent scholastic efforts had been less than stellar. Perhaps boarding school is just what she needed to get back on track. I do enjoy the expanded story line this affords Lacey Chabert. She's an incredibly gifted young actress. It's unfortunate that this takes her out of the lives of her siblings.
Charlie's devotion to his child is pretty intense. I've been watching the early episodes in syndication the past few weeks and it was very hard for Charlie to give up his dream of architecture to run the restaurant a few years ago. He gives that dream up again with very little thought. Raising his siblings and his brush with death seem to have taught him that there are other things that are precious in life.
I love having Kirsten around. I think it's important for Charlie to have a good friend to support him during this time, but how many 12 hours shifts is her husband pulling? She's there in the morning, she's there at night. I know Charlie has a couple of empty beds, maybe she could rent one of them.
While it's good to see more of Kirsten, I missed seeing Griffin this week. I hope that won't continue. I also hope we see an increased presence for Owen. I thought that was what the recast was all about. He is the 5 in the Party of Five!
Finally, Daphne. We saw a lot of her tonight and a little bit more of who she is. Hey, we even got a last name for her which is more than poor Nina ever got! She's confused and scared and isn't sure how she got here and how she's going to get out. I did notice one telling parallel. When Danny left to go use the phone he left her in the bean bag chair unable to get out. At the end of the show Charlie offers his hand to help her out of the swing and into the house. They may not love each other or be in this for the long haul, but I think Charlie loves her for what she's doing and in his own difficult way cares for her and the baby very deeply. Unfortunately for Daphne that makes him into an insufferable boor sometimes. Hopefully they can strike a balance for the rest of the pregnancy.
Copyright Rachel Vagts, 1998.
Previous episode | Next episode
Back to Season 5 Episode Guide