Season 5, Episode 9: Gifts




The credits: scott bairstow, jennifer aspen, jacob smith, tim griffin, paul willson, denise dowse, john demita, larry hankin, tim dekay, lynsey bartilson, joanna garcia, 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 tammy ader and julia dahl, directed by joe ann fogle.

Transcribed by Rachel

Upstairs at the Salingers'
Owen finds Charlie in the hallway. Diana is crying and he can't sleep. Charlie says he's trying to make the baby stop. He goes in and picks her up. The Nora, the night nurse comes in and tells him not to pick her up. She needs to learn how to put herself to sleep. Charlie says he doesn't want her to cry. Nora disagrees with him, she has 26 years of nursing experience. Daphne comes in and tries to get Charlie to come back to bed. Charlie wants it done the way he wants it done. Nora says if that's the case she'll leave. Daphne tries to appease her. She pulls Charlie aside. They were lucky to find Nora, she raised six kids and she knows what she's doing. Nobody will be perfect, not even him. Between Diana's colic and her crying, Daphne needs some sleep. She doesn't know what losing her mind is like, but she's pretty sure it feels like this. Charlie agrees. He reminds Nora that the baby's next feeding is in a half hour, they are trying to keep her on a schedule. Daphne pushes him back to the bedroom.

Stanford
Julia comes to Ned's room. He seems pleased to see her. She wants to talk to him. She's been thinking about him constantly and now she needs to talk about it. She's spent five years trying to keep a family together, so to hear him say he hates his family it makes her crazy. But, she gets that he's angry so he should talk to her and she'll help him, not judge him. She's selfish and she wants him in her life. He says it's a deal. They hug. As he pulls away he says they can't do it today. Richie's sitter bailed and he has to go to Oakland to stay with his brother. She can't believe she's making up with him and he has to run off to a family he resents. Ned responds that Richie is the sun and he's just a planet that revolves around him. Julia asks if it'll be the whole weekend, but it isn't. It'll just be tonight. They are going to a diner to eat. Julia remembers it from one of Richie's stories the week before. She asks if she can join them, but Ned doesn't think it would be a good idea. He's okay, but not a lot of fun. Julia looks disappointed.

Salinger's
Bailey's accountant Art comes down to the restaurant. Bailey tries to give him lunch, but Art says Bay may not want to spot him after he hears what Art has to tell him. Bailey is worried, but it isn't anything bad. The profit margin at Salinger's has been steady for so long Art always put the same percentages in. It turns out the restaurant has been much more profitable under Bailey and he has gotten a huge refund from the IRS. Bailey isn't upset, he can't believe he made more money than Charlie did running the place. Art tells him that he made more than Charlie, Joe or his dad. Bailey is visibly stunned.

Kitchen
Daphne is trying to get Diana to stop crying. She bribes her with a bike, but it has no effect on the baby. Griffin is sitting at the counter looking at the want ads. Nora asks him what kind of job he's looking for. He has a job at a repair shop, but he's always looking for something interesting. He notes an interesting ad. It's for a free flight courier. They fly you across the country in exchange for delivering something. Daphne announces that Nora's coffee break is over and hands the baby who is still crying back to her. Nora asks is she shouldn't use a pacifier like Mr. Salinger said. Daphne says she should do whatever she thinks, Nora is the boss. As she turns to leave Griffin asks if Claudia has called. Daphne says she talked to her for like 3 seconds yesterday. He asks if she said how miserable she was. Daphne says she doesn't have to, it takes one to know one. She yawns and heads up to her bedroom. Griffin picks up the phone.

Men's clothing store
Bailey is looking for a suit. A salesman assists him, finding him a gorgeous black cashmere suit. Bailey tries it on just to see how it feels. We next see him sitting in the dressing room in his shirt and boxers. He's thinking, just staring up at the suit. The salesman comes in and gives him a pitch about being remembered as a great dresser, not a cheapskate after he's food for the worms. This seems to make an impression on Bailey and he buys the suit.

Kitchen
Charlie has sneaked home during the afternoon, missing a 7th grade assembly. Nora is getting ready to feed the baby. Charlie asks her what she's giving her. It's formula mixed with chopped cereal. Charlie corrects her. Diana is on breast milk, solely. Daphne comes in, she's also surprised to see him home. Charlie continues. He knows she raised 6 kids, but Diana is his baby and this is the way he wants things done. Daphne tries to stop him, but Nora tells "Mrs. Salinger" to let him continue. He says he wants it done the way he wants it done or it isn't going to work out. Nora says she thought that was the case. She's done here and she leaves. Daphne can't believe he did this. Charlie tells her not to worry, they'll figure something out. Daphne heads for the phone. She's going to call the agency and get them to send over that Margaret lady. Charlie can't believe Daphne would let a woman who lit a cigarette in front of them take care of their baby. If they can't trust the agency, then they need to call Kirsten. Charlie says he doesn't want to keep running to Kirsten. Daphne says she needs some help. She boiled an empty pot that morning and almost burnt the house down. Yesterday she went to the Food King and got to the door before she realized she had forgotten the baby in the car. Charlie is disturbed by this. Daphne needs some sleep. She can't continue this way. They need some help.

Diner
Ned and Richie are at the diner for dinner. The waitress obviously knows them and places their usual orders. Julia appears and asks if the seat next to Richie is reserved. Ned is not pleased to see her. He tells her to sit next to him. Richie likes to sit by himself. Julia sits down and says hello to Richie. He doesn't make contact with her, but he gets very upset. He accidentally spills his water which agitates him even further. As things get out of control Ned asks Julia to leave. Richie begins to quote lines of poetry as his agitation increases. Finally Ned climbs in next to Richie trying to calm him. Julia looks in through the window from the street, upset at what happened.

Kirsten and Paul's apartment
Charlie asks if she can just come over for a few hours. He feels really bad to even ask, but they need a couple of hours just to catch up on their rest. If she and Paul have plans, she shouldn't worry about it. Kirsten says that Paul did mention he might come home early and they would catch a movie, but he says that a lot of times and it doesn't pan out. She just ends up staying at home by herself watching reruns on television. She figures she could just as well do that at their house. He asks if she is sure. She says there is no one she would rather spend the night with than Diana.

Stanford
Ned finds Julia in the library. She asks if he's mad about last night. He tells her she shouldnít have shown up. She apologizes. He asks her to drop it, they need to get to the concert, they sell out so fast. Julia just has to check out a few books. She puts the books up on the counter and asks about the poetry Richie was saying the night before. Does he always do that? Her card keeps beeping and Ned asks if there is a problem. It must be desensitized. He pulls his card out for her to use. Julia asks again about the poetry. Ned says it's just something he does. The circulation assistant tells him he has $10 in late charges. Julia tells him she'll pay the late charges while he goes to get them seats. He leaves. The circ assistant points out that they are all poetry books. She can only check out 4 from a call number. Julia looks over the books and picks four to keep.

Junior High
Bailey comes down to the shop classroom to tell Charlie about his good fortune. Charlie thinks it's great. Bay wants to put some money back into the place. He thinks they could get Charlie started on that wine cellar, do a full scale renovation, bring him back full-time. Charlie points out that he has a job. Bailey doesn't want to bring somebody else in to do it. Charlie tells him that he has a job that he happens to really like. Bailey is always acting like this is some kind of temporary gig. Bailey didn't mean that. It's just that things are going really great for him and Charlie is the guy that made it happen. At least he can celebrate with him. He wants to take he and Daphne out for a real 4 star meal. Charlie says between Owen and Diana they are dead on their feet. Bailey offers to take Owen off of his hands for a few days and a night out away from the diapers and spit up. Charlie agrees.

Hanover
Claudia's friends are confused. Why doesn't she ever want to spend any time with them any longer? Does she hate them? Claudia ignores them while she puts photos in her album. Griffin comes in with a ferret in a cage. Claudia is thrilled to see him. She introduces him to her friends, Hallie and Parker. He's Griffin, her brother-in-law, sort of. They think he's extremely good looking. The ferret's name is Herbert and his owner died, so Griffin is delivering him to his new owner. Claudia asks if she can go with him. He asks if she can do that, go off campus over night. She says it's no problem.

Bailey and Sarah's apartment
Bailey has given Sarah a beautiful velvet dress. Bay picks out a great looking white couch for the apartment. Sarah points out that she's a college student, where is she going to wear such a dress? Bailey tells her they are taking Charlie and Daphne to Cafe Milan that night. She can't. She has to type a manuscript for a professor. Bay says they can drop it off at a typing service, he'll pay. It's worth to him to have her for the evening. He's not doing it for her, he's doing it for him. What's money for if they are all going to be worm food someday? Sarah wants to know what worms have to do with this. He asks again and she admits she can't resist his dimples. He kisses her, obviously pleased.

Ned's house
Ned and Julia are at his house watering the plants. Richie's nurse was hired to feed Richie, not the plants. Ned leaves and Richie comes in. Julia tries to talk to him again, but he just walks away. She calls out in verse. He responds, comes back and gives her a bottle of water. He leaves as she calls out a thank you.

Cafe Milan
The foursome is seated and looking at the menus. Bailey suggests a couple of appetizers, but Charlie recommends moving straight to the entree, the service is so slow there. Bay pulls out the wine list as Sarah comments on the prices. Bay admits that they are a little inflated, but as he has said, some day they are all going... Sarah says if he mentions worms again she's leaving. Bailey suggests a couple of entrees. Charlie just wants whatever is fastest. It is clear that he and Daphne are too tired to enjoy the evening. He shouldn't have let Bailey talk them into coming. Daphne says they are existing on about 20 minutes of sleep a night. Charlie comments on her colic and Daphne remembers she didn't tell Kirsten about the colic medication. Charlie doesn't think Kirsten would forget, but Daphne isn't sure she told her. She gets up to call, but they can't remember where they left the medication. They decide they should just go home. Sarah asks if they can't just get it to go, but Bay points out it isn't KFC. As he leaves, Charlie compliments Bailey on his nice suit.

Living Room
Kirsten is singing to a calm, sleeping Diana. The doorbell rings. She lays the baby down and goes to see who it is. It's Paul. He traded shifts to get the night off. He told her he was going to try to make it home early and when he got there he found her gone. She can't believe he's mad at her for missing an appointment he didn't even make. He was trying to surprise her. Charlie asked her... Paul cuts in. It's always Charlie. She tells him to calm down, he'll wake the baby. Tomorrow night, he doesn't care what he has to do, he'll be home at 6 p.m. and the Salingers will just have to do without her for a day. Charlie and Daphne walk in catching the tale end of the conversation.

Hanover
Claudia and Griffin are driving the ferret to its new home. Griffin tells her about his boarding school experience. It's not the school, she likes that. It's just hard to be so far away from home. She feels like she's not where she's supposed to be. Does know that feeling? Know it, it's the story of his life. She tells him how her mother taught her how to take care of Owen. To put him to stop crying she would take these empty spaghetti jars and fill them with colored water and put them on the window sills in his room so they would put bright colors all over the walls and ceiling and he would sit there for hours totally content and she wouldn't feel so jealous knowing that she had helped him to stop crying. Griffin says her mom was a smart lady. She asks Griffin to teach Owen how to take care of the baby so he can feel included. Griffin agrees.

Sarah and Bailey's apartment
Owen tells Bailey how hard it is to sleep at his house. As they enter the apartment he asks who his baby-sitter is going to be. Bailey says there won't be a baby-sitter. He asks if Owen wants to go to the video store later. Owen is pleased when Bay says they can get a 3 Stooges movie. The phone rings and Owen moves to pick it up. He accidentally dumps his chocolate ice cream cone on Bailey's new white couch. Bay gets the phone. It's the bursar's office at Berkeley. Owen is trying to clean up the mess. Sarah has 20 minutes to pay her tuition bill or she can't register for classes. Bay asks if they take credit cards.

Hanover
Griffin and Claudia show up at their delivery site, a taxidermy operation. The man inside is working on some kind of small animal. Claudia tries to make small talk, expressing her condolences. The guy admits he isn't a relative, the woman didn't have any. That's why she wants Herbert, the ferret, buried with her. An alarm goes off in the back. He has to go get it, it's a mold. As he leaves Griffin and Claudia exchange a glance. They don't want Herbert stuck on a piece of wood for all eternity. They take off with the ferret.

Sarah and Bailey's apartment

Sarah comes home extremely angry. She can't believe it! He thinks she's talking about the stain on the new couch, but she's upset about him paying her tuition. She showed up at 5 to 5 p.m. to find out Sarah Reeves Merrin is taken care of. She works all those crappy jobs so she can pay. He tells her she can pay for other things now. She disagrees. When you pay for something, you own it, like their apartment. She may live there, but it is his apartment. He wants it to be theirs he wants to share it, she taught him that. She disagrees. She has nothing to do with how the restaurant is doing. He disagrees. She has everything to do with it. She has held him together so many times and that is what makes it all work. This is his way of saying thank you and maybe she could too.

Kitchen
Charlie comes home, calling for Daphne and Diana. A voice calls out from the kitchen. Charlie comes in telling about walking into the teachers' lounge and finding two of the teachers going at it on the couch. He's surprised to find Kirsten with the baby. He asks if everything is okay. Where's Daphne? Kirsten says everything is fine and Daphne is upstairs sleeping. He leaves to go upstairs.

Charlie finds Daphne asleep in the chair in their room. He comes in and closes the door soundly so she wakes up. He can't believe she called Kirsten again. They decided the night before they weren't going to call her for baby-sitting anymore, but that isn't even the point. Diana wants her mother. Tired or not, why isn't she taking care of the baby. She didn't call Kirsten. Kirsten just showed up all on her own, so Daphne took the chance to get some sleep. She climbs into the bed and goes back to sleep.

Hanover
Griffin and Claudia released Herbert back into the wilderness. He says he has to get back to the airport before the courier service figures out that he did and cancels his flight. She asks him to give Owen and Diana a hug for her. She wishes he hadn't--she's glad he came, but now she just feels worse. They hug and he walks back to the car. She waves good-bye. He keeps walking back to the car and then stops. Does she have a credit card? She says Bailey did. He tells her she has 5 minutes to grab anything she can. She thanks him, obviously thrilled.

Stanford
Julia comes into Ned's room excited. She's been looking at poetry books and she thinks Richie used it to answer her. Ned tries to stop her, finally throwing the book across the room. She's stunned at his anger. She comes in there like Nancy Drew thinking she has figured it all out. She can't believe he's angry at this. Is he so afraid of finding out that Richie might be capable of communication? He pulls out a composition book. He has been trying for years to figure out if there is a pattern to Richie's poetry, but there isn't. He might as well be spewing train schedules. She's looking for something to make him worthy of love. The reason to love him is just because he is Richie, his brother. She leaves.

Entryway
Daphne comes downstairs carrying the baby to find Claudia and Griffin coming in the house. She's surprised to see them. Claudia takes the baby. Daphne asks if Charlie knows. Claudia calls for Owen, but Daphne tells her he's at Bailey's for a couple of days. Claudia doesn't understand. The door closes. They turn around to find Charlie. He can't believe she came home. She's getting on a plane tomorrow and going back to Massachusetts. He turns to Griffin. He was in Boston, did he do this? Griffin tells Charlie how miserable she was, how lonely she was. Claudia says that Griffin cares about her. And Charlie doesn't? He doesn't want her to go to an exclusive school that is going to do great things for her? She wants to be home. She's been trying to tell him that. She wants to be home with her niece and her brother. Charlie can't believe that she would waste a whole year's tuition to come home and raise the kids. She points out he isnít doing such a bang up job without her. Why is Owen over at Bailey's? He says she isn't going to turn it around on him. She's getting on a plane tomorrow.

Kirsten and Paul's apartment
Kirsten comes in apologizing. She's 15 minutes late. Paul says it's fine, but he has to know something. Is it because she wants to be with them or that she doesn't want to be with him. She talks about how he tells her that when he's at the hospital he feels stressed out like he should be at home and when he's home he should be at the hospital. She feels the same way about being out looking for a job or being at home not looking for a job. The only time she doesn't feel like that is when she is with the baby. She has an incredible sense of calm come over her and she feels like there isn't anywhere else in the world she should be.

Sarah and Bailey's apartment
They are lying in bed looking at their suit and dress hanging up. She says it's not a bad looking suit, but the dress makes her feel like a kept woman. Maybe it's the velvet. He doesn't know what's going on with him. Maybe it's making more money than his dad. It scared him. He didn't know who he was or who he should be, he just started throwing the money around. Sarah says that doing things for people he loves isn't nuts. Bailey admits that things are changing. She thanks him for the dress and he says she's welcome. They snuggle.

Stanford
Julia points out that spending time with her brothers or Claudia, Ned can learn so much about her. That's all she was trying to do. Ned says that isn't they way to find out about him. He's right there. She should learn about him from him. He doesn't think he has ever had a birthday that was his, that wasn't ruined somehow by his bigger brother Richie ruining it. That's the one day of the year that's supposed to be his, but it has never been. Call him selfish, but he wants his birthdays and everything else to be his now, including a great girlfriend. He doesn't want to share her. She agrees and says she understands. He thanks her and starts kissing her.

Charlie and Daphne's bedroom
Daphne is lying on the bed when Charlie comes in. He was trying to talk to Claudia again with little result. She keeps saying what a big help she'll be with Diana. Daphne points out they could use it. Charlie says they can handle it. They have to handle it. Daphne has been meaning to talk to him about that. She called the agency back and the only name they could come up with was Margaret and she knows how he feels about her. She tells him to go ahead and hit the roof. He's tired of hitting the roof. He's bothered by how quickly she will hand Diana off to anybody. She doesn't care what she eats, forget about her medicine. All she wants to do is sleep and he keeps thinking it's the post-partum thing, but it isn't. There's something wrong. She's her baby and he doesn't even think she knows that. He feels like she isn't connected. Daphne admits that is how she feels. When he comes home at the end of the day he's just bursting to be with her. She knows that all day he has been wanting to be with Diana, counting the minutes down. The whole time she has been counting the same minutes just wishing she was someplace else. He looks into her eyes and he sees first steps and ballet recitals. When she looks into them she sees diapers and all that crying. When she first got pregnant she knows he said if she couldn't handle it, he would, that it would be okay, but he never thought that would be okay. He thought that when she saw his hazel eyes and her crooked chin that would be it and they would all just live happily ever after. Deep down inside she thought the same thing, but it isn't happening. Charlie comments that the baby is crying. She points out that she didn't even hear her. Charlie gets up and goes to the baby.


Notes:

I have pretty mixed feelings about this episode. Maybe Iím out of my usual routine, but my sense it when it was good it was great and when it wasnít, it was kind of lame. Iíll be the first to admit the I am not the biggest fan of Tammy Aderís writing and that may have something to do with my feelings, but when I look down at my watch and canít believe the show is only half over and then again at 45 minutes... that isnít a good sign.

So here it goes:
What I liked was the storyline with Charlie and Daphne. Weíre seeing what happens with two people who have had pretty different experiences coming into a common experience. Yes, weíve all seen Charlie as the struggling young surrogate father, but what we didnít see was the young Charlie raised in a family with good parents and a ton of love. I think this is where he is coming from in his intentions towards Diana. He sees himself in a place to do a lot of the things he couldnít with Owen because he was a deer caught in the headlights. This is his little girl and he wants everything to be perfect for her.

On the other hand Daphne probably didnít have that kind of a childhood. When she got pregnant she said her family wouldnít want to have anything to do with her. I think this may be indicative of a lot of things about her. I think she is easily the most fascinating thing to come down the pike in Salingerville in a long time and I hope they keep her around. I want to know what makes Daphne tick and in the end I want Diana to have a mother who loves her.

Paul and Kirsten are getting to an interesting place in their lives. I hope itís clear to them that something has to change because I get it loud and clear. Kirsten needs and deserves to have children in her life. Either Paul needs to change his tune or I think he needs to take his leave. Itís too bad for them, but Kirsten is such a loving person. She shouldnít be sitting at home watching reruns on television.

I feel for Claudia. I never got why Charlie had such a hang-up about her going to the conservatory and now she has to stay at school, but then again heís always been kind of a black and white guy. It was nice to see Griffin and Claudia interacting together. He is the obvious choice for seeing her pain and itís a good use of his character.

Okay, I admit it... Iím really starting to like Ned. Iím not wild about the situation (i.e. Griffin and Julia apart), but heís one fascinating dude. Iíve seen the sibling of a special needs child up close and they are doing a pretty bang-up job at portraying what can happen. Itís easy to focus so much attention on the child that really does need a lot of extra help that the other one gets left behind in the shuffle. Julia may be just what Ned needs right now and it might also teach her some love and patience because Iíve never seen Julia Salinger as being the big giver on this show.

Baileyís money. I donít get this one. Would he have made so much money since he took over in March that there would be this big check now? Why is it an IRS refund? Wouldnít he have to pay more in taxes on a bigger profit margin? Why is he spending it on himself and Sarah? Why isnít he paying off the second mortgage on the house? Donít get it at all!

Okay, this episode caused me so many cases of suspended disbelief Iím not sure I should catalog them, but what the heck... this may be my crabby review of this season:

1. Griffin wasnít at school for 4 years. Try like 7 months.
2. You can only check out 4 books from a call number. No, believe me, I work in a library and it isnít standard procedure.
3. A night nurse? I realize Owen had a nanny, but their dad ran a restaurant and their mom was a professional violinist. And the nurse is there all day too?
4. I donít think my dad, a principal, would be too pleased with his new shop teacher who already doesnít come to work much running out on a 7th grade assembly. Can anyone say crowd control?
5. And finally, the biggest suspension of disbelief... you die in California. You want your ferret stuffed and buried with you, so you send it to a taxidermist in MASSACHUSETTS!?! That makes sense.

Copyright 1998 by Rachel Vagts. All rights reserved.

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