Season 6, Episode 1: Don't Let Go

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Written by: P.K. Simonds
Directed by: Steven Robman

Co-starring Charles Hutchins as bird guy, Charles C. Stevenson Jr. as prospective minister, Debi Parker as minister, Neil Barton as security guy

Transcribed by Rachel

The whole family is in the alley behind a theater that Bailey has rented for the wedding. They are moving columns, there are doves, this is going to be quite a wedding. Sarah asks Bailey why they are waiting to go into the building. He has the key, but it won't work. He has called security to come open the door. A man comes over with his doves. He can't release them in the theater, they'll disappear. Bailey asks him if he can tie weights to them, but the man says it won't work. The security guard shows up. He can't believe no one called Bailey. An inspection the day before showed cracks in the foundation and the city sealed it up. They're going to need to shore it up and that's going to take at least a couple weeks. Bailey just talked the to the woman the day before and she didn't say anything about that. The security guard apologizes, but there isn't anything he can do. He leaves.

Claudia asks what they are going to do. There are only four days before the wedding. Charlie says there is plenty of time. If they put their heads together they'll come up with something. Kirsten agrees, then says they could have the wedding at home. Julia and Sarah agree but Bailey doesn't. The backyard is rotten luck for weddings. Hopefully this is the last wedding Charlie is going to need and isn't that how it should feel? Charlie agrees and Bailey moves on to find a new location.


Charlie and Kirsten are picking up her parents. She tries to warn Charlie that her parents aren't totally supportive of their marriage. Ellie greets Charlie, but Gene is more reluctant. They head out.

Joe arrives and is greeted by Claudia. Bailey comes in; he needs her to work on music. When they couldn't guarantee the band a time, they cancelled. Claud has it covered. She'll get Cody to do it. He can do whatever they want. Bailey isn't sure about the "Doom Patrol" doing a wedding dance. Julia comes in and greets Joe and then Sarah. Bailey makes a smart remark about Joe being there, but what he really needs is someone on rentals. Joe says he'll take care of it. Bailey says he's a lifesaver. Bay is heading out to check out a banquet space. He asks Julia to get numbers for all the guests so they can keep them up to date about what's happening. Sarah asks what she can do, but Bailey leaves without speaking to her. Claudia asks what the matter is, but Sarah says that Bailey is just stressed out about the wedding.

Julia asks Claudia how long the letter she's reading has been there. It's from the Stilman Press and Julia had asked her about it. She looks at the's been there for 9 days. Evan Stilman wants to see her, or he did 9 days ago. Claudia is sorry, it must have gotten in the wrong pile. She leaves. Joe comments that weddings are stressful for everyone.

Stilman Press
Julia comes into Evan's office. He points out that usually when he contacts an unpublished author they at least make an effort to come see him. She tries to explain that it went to her summer address and now she's back at school. He's distracted, putting papers in his briefcase, but tells her that it isn't going to work. He looks for her story. It isn't going to work. Julia wonders why he wanted to see her. Evan responds that 1 out of 4 women get hit, he's pretty sure that's the number, and people write what they know, so he sees a lot of stuff like hers. He has to be honest; it makes him a little bit nuts. She doesn't understand. Evan goes on. Somewhere, something happened that made her, a capable person, someone who didn't run when somebody else raised his hand to her. There had to be a good reason and none of the stories that he gets tells that reason. She asks if she should rewrite it. He apologizes. He's being opaque. He has an imprint, non-fiction trade paperbacks. If he got a proposal that answered that question, that he might be interested in. Julia is in shock. A book? Yes. He wants a book that will show how people like Julia, how her life, right from birth brought her to this point. One of his winter titles just croaked, so he has an open slot. He would need the proposal soon. Julia still can't believe he wants her to write a book. He points out that it isn't "Angela's Ashes," it would only be a few thousand copies. Can she do a proposal ASAP?

Cody's apartment
Claudia begs Cody to play at Charlie and Kirsten's wedding. She points out that he's the most handsome man in her life, her best boyfriend. Her brother is getting married and that only happens once in a lifetime...or sometimes twice, but it's a previous engagement over-riding type of situation. Cody agrees to blow off his other gig. Claudia thanks him and turns to leave. Cody can't believe that's it. She tells him that she has a huge list of things she needs to do for the wedding. He understands, but he feels like he never sees her anymore. They're together for a few hours and then it's her curfew. She tells him that she's just not ready to do the sleepover thing. That is part of it. She promises that she'll make more time for him after the wedding is over. She can't believe how bummed he is. To make up for it, she'll stay...for a few more minutes, anyway. They kiss.

Charlie and Kirsten's apartment
Charlie tries to get Kirsten and her parents going. They're late for their reservation and they have to meet Bailey afterwards. Daphne comes in with the baby. She apologizes for not calling, but she couldn't find the baby thermometer. Ellie comes over and introduces herself. She asks to hold the baby, but Daphne says she can't. Her whole training regimen will be toast if she does that. Gene wonders what she's talking about. Daphne is keeping the baby while Charlie and Kirsten go to Mexico for their honeymoon. They'll be gone for 11 days and she's never had the baby all to herself for longer than a day. Kirsten tries to get them moving, but Daphne keeps on talking. Finally Kirsten tells her the thermometer is in the bathroom and Daphne heads out in search of it. After she leaves Gene makes a smart remark. Ellie tries to quiet him. Charlie asks what Gene means. He can't believe the home that Charlie has made for his daughter; an out of wedlock child being taken care of by a woman that Gene wouldn't trust to take care of his house plants. Kirsten tells him to be quiet. Gene asks if she wants him to lie, to stand up at his own daughter's wedding and pretend. Kirsten does.

Sarah and Bailey are looking at a beautiful church. He asks her what's wrong. She doesn't think they'll want to get married at 8 am. The minister comes in and asks if they've decided. Bay doesn't think they can wait any longer for Charlie. Sarah tries to get him to come back the next day, but Bailey is afraid that all that will be available is midnight. They'll take it. The minister asks if they are the lucky couple. Bailey says it's his brother, but Sarah adds that someday, maybe it'll be them. Bailey doesn't say anything. Sarah asks what's wrong. Is it wrong to hope for someday? He says it isn't, but it's better to know and that's why it hurts, because he knows. He walks away from her.

Sarah and Owen are making party favors for the wedding. Bailey comes in and asks if they are actually getting anything done or if they are just talking. After he leaves Owen asks why Bailey is so mad at her. Is it because she gave that ring back? Sarah thinks it is. He asks if he should be mad too. Sarah doesn't think so. She didn't give his ring back. But if she did? Should he be mad? He could be, because if he loved her enough to ask, then she should love him enough to say yes. Who says? Sarah doesn't know.

Cody's apartment
Claudia comes over to see Cody, but instead she catches him kissing the new girl in Cody's band. She leaves without saying anything to him.

Charlie and Kirsten's apartment
Charlie and Kirsten are kissing when there is a knock at the door. Kirsten hopes it isn't her parents saying they hate their hotel and will stay with them. It's Bailey. Charlie apologizes, he forgot to tell Kirsten Bay was coming over. Bailey booked them a banquet room at the Fairmont. Kirsten thinks that's kind of formal. Bay tells her it's a beautiful space and he got a great price. There isn't much competition at 9 am. Kirsten can't believe they're having their reception at 9 am. Charlie forgot to tell her that Bailey got them a church at 8 am. Bay says they won't do better at this point. She asks if they can talk about it. Bailey says that's fine, but he's seen everything and if they want a special wedding. Charlie suggests that they do it in the backyard. If they tried hard they could make it special. Kirsten knows how Bailey feels about it, but it's starting to feel like it's not their wedding. They appreciate lots of what Bailey is doing, but Charlie and Kirsten really want a casual wedding. It would be more them. Bailey thinks the obvious answer is for them to do it themselves. They protest, but Bay says no harm, no foul. He leaves.

Stilman Press
Julia is waiting outside for Evan when he leaves for the night. He tells her that it's late and he won't get to it, so she can just leave it in the slot. Leave what? The proposal. Julia laughs. She's pretty happy with the first page, but other than that... Evan doesn't understand. To be honest she doesn't know how she will be able to do it with all the schoolwork she's doing. He asks if there is a writing program at Stanford. Can't she count it as coursework? She could, but there would still be her other requirements as well as extra curriculars. Maybe she should transfer, go to a college all about writing. She asks how she could do that, it's already October. Evan is on the board at CFA and he thinks they could probably find her a spot. The College of Fine Arts? A number of great writers went there. Evan wonders if they can take care of it tomorrow, he's very late for dinner. Julia apologizes, then stops. If she does this then she's throwing her whole life into writing. What about her liberal arts? Transferring is huge; does that make sense for her? He points out that he only met her the day before and they don't even know if she'll be writing the book. Does any of it make sense? He doesn't know. He drives away.

Bailey and Sarah's bedroom
Bailey doesn't know why Charlie and Kirsten ever asked him to plan the wedding. As time went on it was clear that they had a different idea of what they wanted, that they felt like the wedding was Bailey's instead of theirs. Sarah says that it was. Bailey was trying to make it his own. Every time he pushed for it to be a bigger production, every time he talked about what it meant for two people to make this promise... All she said was that she wanted to wait. She just said that she wasn't sure yet and that is her right. It's her right to say no. She has been soaking up his anger for 4 months and the only reason she didn't tell him to stop was that she still loves him, even though he has treated her like some kind of beast. She turns over and puts out the light.

Charlie and Kirsten's apartment
Daphne tells Kirsten about Diana trying to eat a string of beads. She puked them all over Daphne. Gene watches, aghast. Charlie asks Kirsten if she wants to throw a garter. It's an out-dated tradition, but yes, she does. Charlie asks Daphne if she has a garter at home. She pretends to act horrified, but of course she does. Does he was paper or cloth? She has one with pockets. Kirsten says they'll call her. Daphne leaves. Gene laughs. Ellie tells him she doesn't want to hear it. Kirsten shoots him a look. Charlie says that he's fine, but Kirsten responds that she isn't. Why did her dad chortle? Ellie tries to shut him up, but Kirsten wants to hear what he has to say. Gene was just pointing out the obvious. What? That Daphne used to strip? Does that make him better than her? Kirsten would like to see him handle a tenth of what Daphne has. Gene asks what that means. Ellie tries to shut him up again, before he upsets Kirsten. He can handle it, Kirsten can't. Kirsten can't believe what her mother just said. Ellie knows how her father upsets her. Yeah, Kirsten is upset, but she isn't on the verge of a breakdown. Her mother makes it sound like she's on the ledge. If she can't handle an argument, how can she handle a move like this? Her mother points out that a wedding is a very stressful time even for someone who... Kirsten doesn't even want her to finish that thought. Ellie says it doesn't matter what she thinks, but Kirsten disagrees. She cares what her parents think. If they can't support this, then she doesn't want to see them. They can come to the wedding, but she doesn't want to see them.

High School
Cody comes to find Claudia. He's been trying to call her. He needs to know when and where the wedding is. She tells him to shut-up. She would fire him, but they really need him for the wedding. Hearing him make excuses would really be too much at this point, so he should just call Charlie for the information he needs. She's going to go get on her bus. Cody doesn't understand why she's so upset. She doesn't want to hear that the dancing, kissing girl with the guitar is about them not having sex. He can't believe that she knows about Paige. She's out of the band. Claudia doesn't care. He's so incredibly sorry. She says that she doesn't care. He tells her that she can't act like it's automatically over. He's used to having sex with the people that he dates. She doesn't want to hear it. He tells her that she has to. He listened when she said she wanted to wait and now she should listen to him. He's used to having sex with the people that he dates.

Julia and Griffin are hanging out by the shed. She discusses the dilemma about transferring. If she goes to CFA her whole life will be about writing. It will be a lifetime deal, like Charlie and Kirsten. Griffin wonders if she can't get out of the school...heck, she got out of being married to him. Ending their marriage was one of the worst things she's ever gone through. She never wants to do anything like that again. Griffin doesn't know. They have never been on one wavelength. He's taking it slow, trying to get his business going again. He's keeping his overhead low, not taking any jobs he can't handle, working out of the shed. He's only 21, but look what he's been through. That just tells him that there's still plenty of time.

Charlie comes in to find Bailey doing his accounts. Charlie pulls out the rings. Bay is still his best man, so he needs his props. He should just wait for his cue and not drop any coins on the floor trying to freak Charlie out. They're going to have it at the house, pretty mellow, without any flying doves or anything. He hopes Bay is okay with how it is. It is their wedding, but it matters to Charlie what Bailey thinks. Bay tells him that Sarah thinks he's been so insane over their wedding because he wished it were his. Charlie tells him he doesn't need to apologize. It's more than the Sarah thing. Ever since their parents died, for nearly six years they have been this thing...when they all pull together, it was good. Now it's over. Charlie tries to say it isn't, but Bay points out that he's leaving them. He wants that for Charlie, for him to have his own family, but when Charlie says it's no big deal that bugs Bailey. This is his thing too, and Julia and Claudia and Owen's. It's their thing for saying goodbye, for letting go.

Claudia's bedroom
Julia and Claudia are helping Kirsten get dressed. Claud asks if anyone knows what the wedding is now. All Kirsten knows is that Bailey said something to Charlie and ever since he's been running around getting things ready. Everything has been moved from the backyard to somewhere else. Claudia wonders if they have wasted their times with their beautiful costumes. Kirsten says that Charlie promised it would be beautiful...somewhere, sometime. Kirsten is going to run downstairs and get some film. Julia tells her that she's beautiful.

Kirsten comes down to find Charlie. She takes his breath away. He isn't supposed to see her before the wedding! He knows, but he needed some corkscrews and bar stuff and he didn't have the time to go buy it. She tells him to go. He wants to say something first. He can, but with his eyes shut. This is such bad luck! He tells her that there is no bad luck for them anymore. There are no accidents or mistakes because what they are doing now is wiped away. The breaking up, the cancer, Paul, her parents, whatever, it all brought them right there and this is where he's belonged his whole life. Right here.

Bailey and Sarah's bedroom
Sarah is struggling with her dress. She asks Bay to help her, then keeps working on it. He tells her to stop, fixing it for her. It gets stuck on her bra. She comments that it's been a while. She didn't mean...he realizes it's the truth. It's been a long while. It's totally his fault, he's been so angry with her. She thinks it was her fault as well. She just figured that he wouldn't want to while he was upset with her and he thought she wouldn't be in the mood since she was unhappy. He kisses her neck. She turns and kisses him. They kiss more deeply and he unzips her dress.

On the road
Julia, Claudia and Kirsten are driving in Julia's car. They think they might be lost. Claudia comments that she liked the backyard so much better. Kirsten is looking for a set of wooden steps. Finally they see them. They get out of the car; they are the last ones there. Claudia wonders if they might have missed the whole thing. They're so late. Kirsten points out the obvious as they walk to the edge of the parking area. Below, along an ocean cliff by a lifeguard station is the group of people and a tent. It's beautiful. Julia wonders how they found the place. Charlie comes up. Their dad used to know the lifeguards that worked at the station. He used to spend a lot of time there as a kid. Charlie asks where Bailey is. Julia thinks they'll be along in a minute, they were in their room getting dressed when the girls left. Charlie says they should go get married.

Charlie stands down by the minister while they wait for Bailey and Sarah to show up. Finally they come running in. While Cody's band plays the march Bay runs up to his position. Charlie points out that Bay's tie is crooked. He's not even going to ask if Bay has the rings. Sarah and Owen take their places next to Joe. Kirsten walks down the aisle by herself.

Charlie and Kirsten are married with vows to love and cherish one another. The minister pronounces them husband and wife. They kiss as everyone applauds. Charlie puts his hand up and a man releases white doves. Bailey, Claudia and Julia hug them before they walk down the aisle.

At the dance Cody sings "How's It Gonna Be" while Joe serves food to Kirsten and Charlie. Claudia comes over to find Kirsten. She walks out to the bench where her mom is sitting. She tried to stay out of Kirsten's eye line and to think the thoughts that Kirsten wanted her to, but Kirsten has to be fair to her. Much of her time the past few years has been spent with Kirsten being sick than well. She prays that Kirsten will be happy. Kirsten asks her to look at her. She's happy. Ellie agrees and hugs Kirsten.

Griffin and Julia are dancing. Evan Stilman called her and CFA has a place for her. She's transferring. He asks if she's moving back to the house. She will until she gets her own place. Griffin asks what made up her mind. She asked lots of people for their advice, but finally she asked herself. With writing you're on your own. She tuned everything out and listened to the inner Julia. The inner Julia told her to get often would a chance to write a book come along? She wishes that Julia was around more often. Griffin tells her not to worry, she's been around...she was all over him for years. Julia laughs.

Cody leaves the band to go find Claudia. He asks her if she wants to dance. She heard what he had to say. It's not like he made no sense, but his timing sucked. It's her timing too. This is where she is in her life right now. She's in a different place now. He's going to have to dance with somebody else.

Sarah and Bailey are dancing. He asks what that new move is, the one with her knee. She says there isn't a move. He's just sensitive. They kiss. He tells her there is a good view of the cove from behind the tent. She asks if he'll show her. Bailey comments that he loves weddings.

As they leave Charlie call for a toast. He knows that Bailey has a few words to say, but first he has a few of his own:

" I doesn't know if they're listening, because we've changed the location many, many, many times, but I hope Mom and Dad are out there. I want them to know a few things. A lot of you worried when they left that maybe things wouldn't turn out alright, that maybe we'd learn the wrong lessons from losing them, that we'd be so scared of losing again that we'd never attach ourselves to anything again, including each other. I can't speak for all of us here, but I know what I learned. When something is important to you, you grab on with both hands and you don't even think about letting go. Letting go is not even an option. "

He can't think about that now because Kirsten wouldn't be his wife for any other reason. He doesn't know what is coming next, but he knows that he doesn't have to worry because his parents left him the secret to life: Mom and Dad, we never let go and we believe we never will. Everybody toasts.

The family says goodbye to Charlie and Kirsten as they get in the decorated truck. They drive off with cans dragging behind as the four remaining siblings wave.


"I don't know if they're listening, cause we changed the location many, many, many times, but I hope Mom and Dad are out there. I want them to know a few things. A lot of you worried when they left that maybe things wouldn't turn out alright, that maybe we'd learn the wrong lessons from losing them, that we'd be so scared from losing them that we'd never attach ourselves to anything again, including each other. I can't speak for everyone, but I know what I learned. When something is important to you, you grab on with both hands and you don't even think about letting go. Letting go is not even an option."

Once again Party of Five goes to the well and again we are rewarded with a great episode! After a long summer followed by a delayed fall premiere I was ready for the season premiere tonight. In addition I have been waiting for the marriage of Kirsten and Charlie for an extremely long time. I asked TK if she minded if we switched the picture on the front page of our web site for the week. With my dream answered, I felt like we needed to mark the moment with something significant. So, in the wake of all of those expectations I also feared that it might not live up to my hopes and dreams. Well, long story short . . . it did.

P.K. Simonds has joined the ranks of executive producer and he fulfilled that new important role while scripting this pivotal episode. Direction by veteran Steven Robman left us with the familiar feel both in the Salinger house and out. As always the episode contained wonderful moments between the characters we have grown to love as well as advancing the plot. I can see the seeds of a number of interesting stories that should arc through the first part of the season.

I was eagerly waiting to see what they might do with Kyle Secor's character. I am a long-time fan of Homicide and was delighted at the news that my favorite actor on that show would be joining the cast of my all-time favorite TV show. I wasn't sure about Julia's book deal. It seemed a little cheesy that a Stanford sophomore would fall into a book deal, but this is not the first time we've heard about Evan Stillman. He's the friend that Perry Marks told Julia to which she would send Julia's essay. It's that essay that Evan refers to when Julia first goes to meet him. As Evan said, she's not writing "Angela's Ashes," she's just writing a little book of which he will publish a few thousand copies.

I continue to be confused with the role of Griffin. What is he doing here and why is he in the shed again? I understand that he's trying to get his life together, but move along. It's over and it's fine for him to remain friends with Julia, but he's lawn furniture at this point. I liked him with Julia, I think it was a bad move for them to get divorced, but then again I thought it was a bad idea for them to get married, so clearly none of the powers that be care what I think about this particular issue!!

Man, Claudia has grown up! I think that every time I see her, but once again it's so true. She has really become a lovely young woman. In her we see a very different character than Julia because she lost her parents so much earlier. She has some of the maturity that Julia didn't have as well as not having some of the extra baggage. She is able to find strength in her siblings in a different way because they took care of her when she was younger. I commend her for not sleeping with Cody just to keep him. She was right when she told him that they are at very different places in their lives. I continue to be amazed by this character and am so glad she's not at boarding school any longer.

Speaking of staying and/or leaving, I'm very glad that our last look at Sarah was not last season's finale. This character has been an important part of the Party of Five canvas for four years and she deserves to have a well-developed send-off. I have never been a huge fan of Bailey and Sarah, I have no strong feelings either way, but it pained me to see them acting so strained and I was happy to see them finally make their way back to each other.

Bailey is a complicated figure. His need to control is useful and endearing sometimes, but also a little overbearing at times. It would have been easy enough to leave it that he was trying to be a control freak about the wedding, but I thought his explanation to Charlie was really good. Yes, Kirsten is joining their family, but Charlie, Kirsten, Daphne and Diana have their own family now. They live outside the house and have their own set of obligations, challenges and joys. I didn't want another wedding in the backyard…I agree with Bailey, it's cursed. The wedding along the sea cliffs was perfect. I'm just glad Charlie wasn't wearing that Armani suit Kathleen gave him!

Charlie. Kirsten. What can I say? I'm really happy about this. I have always felt that they belonged together and I understood why they couldn't before. I even would have accepted them apart, Nina with Charlie, etc., but this is great. I think that Diana and Daphne provide a very interesting element to their relationship that will keep this all very interesting.

The other good thing about weddings is seeing familiar faces. It was good to see Joe, the de facto Salinger parent, back to enjoy the good times. He has been there for so many of the bad ones. It was also good to have Kirsten's parents on the scene. There would have been a number of loose ends if we had not been treated to their concerns. From their point of view, Charlie has been nothing but bad news for Kirsten. I can understand why they wouldn't just thrown their arms open to him. Having said that, I was glad that Kirsten neither backed down nor lost it with them. Things aren't perfect, but I would hope that Gene and Ellie can see how happy she is.

I think it looks like a promising season. There was definitely a lighter air to all of it, but as always I'm intrigued to see where they are going with the little teasers they have given us. As always, I am not entirely satisfied. I hope that they either make Griffin an important part of some story or they cut him loose. I also hope that Daphne doesn't become a charicature. I saw a little of that tonight. I think that her non-traditional lifestyle and actions can be portrayed without making her look like a fool.

Whether the sixth season is the final one or not, I think we have gotten off on a very good foot!

Copyright ©1999 by Rachel Vagts. All rights reserved.

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