Season 6, Episode 16: Blast the Past

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Written by: P.K. Simonds and Melissa Rosenberg
Directed by: Daniel Attias

Co-starring Debi A. Monahan as Carol Cardell, Marci T. House as hotel clerk, Doug Jones as minister, Sun St. Pierre as nurse

Transcribed by Rachel

Bailey is sitting in group therapy. The doctor comments that they haven't heard from Bailey yet today, does he have anything to say? Bailey says that he doesn't, that he's fine. Oliver, one of the other patients, challenges Bailey. The doctor reminds Oliver that the room is supposed to be non-judgmental. He turns back to Bailey and reminds Bay that the day before they were talking about the accident. Bailey says that it's weird. Before he got sober for the first time drinking would sneak up on him, one beer would turn into three. This time it seemed like a decision, so he isn't as afraid that he's going to slip up again and start drinking. The reasons that made him drink are still there and the drinking, it feels like he switched it on once, he can switch it off now.

Oliver asks if he can say something. He wants to know what Bailey is even doing there. He got drunk once, he shouldn't be taking up space in rehab. The doctor says that it isn't a competition. Bailey wants to know if he has to have the DTs to need to be there. Oliver says no, but that Bailey being there is making him feel even worse. As far as he's concerned, Bailey doesn't have any problems. Bay disagrees with him. Oliver concedes that Bailey has problems, but booze isn't it. He should be thankful for that and go home. Bailey does want to go home, doesn't he?


Adam comes to find Julia. She's looking intently at her laptop and doesn't even notice that he's come in. He asks her what's so interesting. She says nothing, but he takes the computer anyway. On it is a message from Justin. He's eloping with Laura to Las Vegas. She knows, she's read it 50 times. Adam asks if she's going. She doesn't know. How does she know that Justin even wants her to come? Adam points out that Justin did send the e-mail. People don't send announcements to their elopements. Julia isn't sure if Justin is asking her to come be at his wedding or to stop it. Adam thinks she should go. She doesn't want to lose Justin, so she needs to go. He's telling her that as her friend.

Kirsten is working with a young girl. She comes out to talk to Mrs. Newman, the mother. Mrs. Newman is concerned that her daughter isn't doing any better. Kirsten reminds her that her daughter is still within the accepted sleep and weight limits for the protocol. She is concerned that her daughter is receiving the placebo drug in the trial. If Kirsten would just tell her, she would know whether or not to pull her daughter from the study. Kirsten tells her that she doesn't know. It's a double-blind study so the therapists don't know which patients are receiving the drugs and which ones aren't. Mrs. Newman isn't sure that she should have signed up her daughter for the study. Kirsten says that she's sorry. As Mrs. Newman questions how Kirsten could know what her daughter is going through, Kirsten's beeper goes off. She apologizes and excuses herself. She goes around the corner and breaks down crying.

Bailey flags down Dr. Frieder as he leaves his office. He was thinking about their last session and it kind of brought up some questions for Bailey. The doctor stops and asks if Bailey wasn't discharged. He was. The doctor is sorry, but he has 6 more evaluation and group to lead. He doesn't want Bay to take it wrong, but he's doing great. If Bailey needs to talk more, he should make an appointment and come back another day. In the meantime, he should talk to his family.

Living Room
Claudia and Todd are sitting on the couch in the living room. She asks what he wants to do. He doesn't know. He asks if she wants to practice. She doesn't. She's sick of it. She thinks they should just spend some time...just the two of them. Todd turns on the TV while Claudia looks disgusted.

Julia walks in and goes into the kitchen. Claudia follows to see if she's okay. She wonders what Julia is still doing there, she thought it was all settled. Julia wants to know what she thought was settled. What is she supposed to say to Justin, she doesn't even know she's going to say. Claudia tells her to say what she said before, that he's rushing into this. Julia points out that she already said that to Justin and now he's eloping. The only other solution is for her to tell him he should be with someone else, someone specific, someone like her. Claudia asks if he should. Julia doesn't know. They haven't been together for forever, like four years. Claudia interrupts her. Should he? Julia says that she has to go there. How is she going to do that? Her car won't make it, she's too poor to fly. Claudia tells her to take Todd's car. Todd comes in and asks what they are talking about. Claudia says it's private. He points out that it now involves his car, which is leased. He's the only person allowed to drive it. Then he'll drive her. Todd wants to know where he's driving Julia. Las Vegas. Claudia adds that she'll come too. It's exactly what they need. They've been working too hard anyway. It'll be fun...and impulsive. She tells Todd that they need a lot.

Charlie is sitting at the bar with a laptop open. He's on the phone with the factory trying to get them to hold off a salesman he's supposed to be meeting with. Joe comments that it's hard to do two jobs. Charlie comments that he's just waiting for the accountant to get there. Joe thinks it's great to have him around, it's like the old days when the two of them were running the restaurant together. Charlie agrees, rather half-heartedly. The phone rings and Joe answers it. It's Alex, the accountant. He got held up. He's going to be an hour. Charlie can't believe it. He has two meetings at the factory and he's supposed to pick up Owen. Joe asks if he wants to reschedule. Charlie can't. Quarterly taxes are coming up. Joe tells him to leave the computer and Joe will meet with Alex. It isn't like he hasn't done it hundreds of times. Charlie gets on the phone while he tells Joe to ask Alex to get there as soon as possible. His call goes through to Victor, can he pick up Owen?

Bailey comes home to find a dark, empty house. Will comes out of the basement, surprised to see Bay. They hug. Bailey asks where everyone is. Will reports that Julia and Claudia took off for Las Vegas and Owen is with Charlie. Bay notices that Will has his coat on. Yeah, he was going out to meet Meredith. It's too late to call and cancel, but he could go meet her and then come right back. Bailey tells him to not change his plans. He's just going to crash anyway. Will should go. He does. Bailey drops his bag and just sits on the bottom step looking around the empty house.

Charlie and Kirsten's apartment
Charlie tells Owen to brush his teeth. He'll be late for school. Charlie goes over to wake up Kirsten. She'll be late. She says that she might not go in. She's tired. Charlie asks what's the matter. It's work, it's really hard. Some of the kids are really sick, really depressed and it's getting really hard to watch. Charlie points out that they're getting therapy. Kirsten knows, but they need meds too. Some of them are getting the placebo and she's not even sure the drug is working for the ones that are getting it. It never used to get to her, but lately... Charlie comments that it's weird, that she's been fine for so long, but when they started trying to get pregnant, she went off her anti-depressants... She isn't depressed if that's what he's saying. She's just upset and frustrated. He's just worried about her.

Bailey's bedroom
Will knocks at Bay's door. Bailey tells him to come in. Will says that he didn't plan this and he isn't trying to make Bay cheer up or come out of his room... Bailey asks him what he's talking about. Will steps back as Holly walks in the room. She asks how he's doing. She tells him he looks great.

Bailey pours Holly a cup of tea while they sit at the kitchen table. She thanks him for being so forgiving. He clearly needed help and she didn't do anything for him. She's supposed to be a healer... Bailey tells her that he was totally out of control. He shouldn't have come to her apartment drunk. He doesn't deserve her sympathy, at all. Holly says that Will has been very sweet, giving her updates. Obviously it worked. He looks good, calm. Bailey interrupts her. He thanks her for coming, but he can't have anyone else look at him and telling him that he looks great. Quitting drinking suddenly seems really easy. If nothing else, now he feels worse. Now there are more questions than there were before and everybody is looking at him and telling him he looks fine cause that's what they want. The truth is that he's not fine. He's not fine at all.

Las Vegas
Julia, Claudia and Todd are at the hotel checking in. The clerk asks them how many rooms they want, but Todd is too distracted by all the women in the casino. Claudia calls him several times. Julia turns as she hears Justin call her name. He wants to know what she's doing there. She points out that he e-mailed her, that's why she came. He points out where Laura is playing roulette. Julia asks if he wants her to leave. He doesn't, but he can't believe she came. Julia asks if he wants to talk. He does, but not now. He leaves abruptly.

Kirsten's boss comes in and asks if she told Mrs. Newman to pull her daughter from the study. Kirsten points out that Lizzie needed meds, real meds. She made the best decision based on the patient's needs. It wasn't Kirsten's decision to make. Then whose is it? The clients, their stock holders? She did the most responsible thing and he knows it. Her boss asks what is wrong with her. She's had patients like Lizzie before. These kids are in studies so thousands of other kids can be helped. Kirsten says that Lizzie was different. He isn't sure it was the patient. He thinks that Kirsten is acting different. Last week she fought with the prescribing MD, she's been calling in sick and now this. What's happening?

Bailey is waiting to meet with Dr. Frieder. Oliver comes by and asks what he's doing there. Did he win the lottery and find out he has to pay taxes? Bay answers that he's just waiting for his appointment. Oliver's attention is diverted by a nurse picking up meds from the station. He goes around the corner behind her. Bailey hears her cry out for an orderly and goes to investigate. Oliver has wrestled the bottle of pills away from the nurse. Bailey chases after him and manages to subdue Oliver, until two orderlies come.

Las Vegas
Julia opens her door to find Adam. He has to come clean, but he lied. He said as a friend that she should come there, but he's been choking on that word for weeks now. He's not her friend. What she and Justin have, the years of knowing and loving each other, he can't come close to touching that. He doesn't love her, he barely knows her, but what he does love is how her voice gets all fluty when she tries to leave a funny message on his machine; how she always asks for his news first even when hers is better; he loves how she always comes over with some takeout cause she's sure that he'll starve if left on his own. He's sorry for putting all of this on her, because he didn't want to cause her any pressure, but now that she's there and Justin is there, he has to say his piece which is that he wishes that she would be free with him.

There's a knock at the door. Julia apologizes as she goes to open it. It's Justin. He asks if it's a bad time. Adam says it isn't. He was just leaving.

Julia asks Justin why he asked her there. He doesn't know. He thinks that not knowing today how you will feel about someone later is what makes it all feel romantic. It's a leap of faith. It's believing that what you can make together is better than what you could make apart. He loves Laura and they are going to take the leap. Julia says that's great, but what is she doing there? Justin says that's the part he wishes made more sense. He wants to do this, to get married, but he loves Julia. He always has and Laura wants to get married and he loves her too. The only problem is that if he's going to take this leap he keeps asking if it should be them. Should he be taking this leap with Julia? That's why he wrote her. The last time he saw her she said all that stuff and he needs to know how she feels. She doesn't know. He realizes it's a hard question. She doesn't know how he could possibly think that she would know. He leaves.

Charlie comes in to go over the receipts. Joe says that they're all there and it all balanced out. Joe asks if there's any word on when Bailey is coming back. Charlie says that it won't be soon enough. Joe asks if he can do it. Charlie says it's alright, he's got it covered. Joe wants to know how long this is going to go on. Charlie figures that Bailey just needs a little more time. That's not it. He wants to know how long Charlie not trusting him is going to go on. Charlie doesn't know. Joe has pretty much done everything he can to make this up to them. He sold his condo, his car, everything of value, he's just shy of paying back what he borrowed. That's just it. What Joe did wasn't borrowing. There's another word for it. Joe reminds Charlie that he has made a few mistakes in his life. Charlie says it isn't about that. Joe says that it's about them. Twenty years of them knowing each other and this is what happens? Charlie says that is exactly what it's about. If a stranger came in and did what Joe did, he would be pissed and mad, but that's it. But Joe, 20 years and then he did that. Joe says that he's still him. How is Charlie supposed to know that? Joe thinks there is no point in him sticking around. Charlie doesn't say anything to stop him.

Bailey goes outside to find Oliver sitting on a park bench. He just wanted to make sure they didn't lobotomize Oliver. Oliver wishes they would. He asks Bailey to not stare at him like that. Bay apologizes and turns to leave. Oliver thanks him, but says that it wouldn't have mattered anyway. If he had ingested the pills they just would have pumped his stomach. Bay asks why he even tried it, then. Oliver thinks it's funny that Bay had to ask that. He didn't want to leave the hospital either. Bailey just wants to know what's wrong with him. Oliver tells him to sit down, he can save Bay some money in therapy bills.

Bailey is just like Oliver. He's into the cavalry rush. Bay asks what he means. He loves a good crisis. It really gets the blood going. Bay doesn't get it. Oliver points out that they've all heard his story...the orphans all pulling together. Bay doesn't do what Oliver did. He doesn't get himself into trouble so people have to come help him. Oliver says it's the same disease. Some people get off on needing the 911, others get off on giving it.

Las Vegas
Todd is in his room watching television. He flips around, finally stopping on a porn movie. Claudia knocks on the door and can't get the channel changed before Claudia comes in. He apologizes, saying the remote wasn't working right. Claudia says that she knows what's going on, first the dancing girls downstairs and now the porno. Claudia wants to know why he doesn't notice her. He did kiss her, like a hundred years ago, but she hasn't turned into his sister. Todd can't believe that she doesn't think he's into her. She tells him that he's the kind of mixed signals. No, he thinks she is. She told him about all the horrible things that happened to her with Derek, so he has been trying to not put any pressure on her. Every time he wants to touch her he's afraid that she'll think he's forcing himself on her. She can't believe that's what he thought. He's been going insane. They're together all the time and she smiles and laughs and smells so incredible. Now they're in Sin City and sharing a hotel room and if he can't figure out what she wants, he's afraid that he's going to... She interrupts him with a kiss. She says it's okay and they kiss again.

Wedding chapel
Julia rushes up to find Justin and Laura's wedding begin. The minister asks if anyone objects. Justin turns and looks and Julia moves behind a statue. She stands there watching as Justin and Laura marry, finally walking away as Laura says "I do."

Bailey's bedroom
Charlie is explaining some restaurant details to Bailey. They're booking plenty of seats, but Joe changed the menu and made simpler, less expensive dishes. They need to up the prices to increase the revenue. Bailey interrupts him. He can't listen to this right now. Charlie should do whatever he wants, Bailey doesn't care. Charlie realizes it doesn't probably seem very important right now, but... Bay says that it isn't just right now. He isn't sure if it ever did. People think that he's good at that job, so he must have loved it. Charlie, Julia and Claudia all have something inside of them that won't let them do anything else. What is Bailey good at? Charlie thinks that Bailey is good at whatever he does. Bailey disagrees. He's only good at fixing other people's problems. If anyone needs something, they call Bailey. Charlie tells him to give himself some credit. Bailey doesn't know what to do with himself until someone needs him. He wouldn't have a reason for living if it wasn't for their mom and dad dying. It's true. Bailey begins to cry. The absolute best, absolute high point in his life was when Charlie got sick. He took over. He took the family, the house, the restaurant. Finally he was the man, but if you take it all away what do you have? You have someone who needs people to be dying for him to be happy. He breaks down.

Charlie and Kirsten's apartment
Charlie comes in to find Kirsten on the couch. He apologizes for being late, Bailey had some kind of meltdown. He's really, Charlie's pretty worried about him. Charlie comes over and sits down and asks if she's okay. Kirsten looks upset. He asks what's going on. She says that Charlie wasn't the only one who noticed. She felt it too, she was worried that she was getting sick again so she went to the doctor. She's pregnant. That's why she's been such a mess. She's not depressed, she's just swimming in hormones. Charlie can't believe it. They're having a baby, they're own baby. They did it. They hug and cry.

Adam's apartment
Julia comes to Adam's apartment. Does he know what she likes about the future? It's not like the only choice is to plan the whole thing. You can also sit back and see what happens. She tells him that it was nice, what he did, coming all the way to Las Vegas to say what he did. It was exactly what she needed. She kisses him. He smiles and she kisses him again.

Living room
Charlie comes in to find Bailey watching television. He knows that Bailey is feeling a little shaky now, but he has to get to the office. Owen is outside. Bailey wants to know why Charlie didn't take him to school already. Owen has an assignment for his reading tutor. He tried to explain it to Charlie, but Charlie couldn't figure it out. Bay says that he knows what Charlie is trying to do and it isn't going to work. This isn't like basket weaving at rehab. Charlie can't fix his problem by keeping him busy. Charlie says he isn't trying to fix anything. Owen comes in. Bailey asks how he is. Owen says he's fine and asks how Bailey is. Owen says he's fine, too. Charlie leaves. Owen says that he wrote a get well letter to Bailey when he was... away. He wants to know if he can show it to Bailey. He pulls it out. He worked really hard on it. He got most of the letters right, he thinks. Can Bay work on it with him? He thought if he got it real good he could hand it to Miss Schaefer. Claudia worked on it with him and Charlie too, but no one was as good at it as Bailey. Bay pulls Owen on his lap and hugs him.

Dining room
Charlie brings in the dishes to set the table. Joe comes in. Charlie called him, what's going on. Charlie says that they're having dinner. He was packing to leave, what's the deal? Charlie asks Joe if he'll save the restaurant. Kirsten and he have a lot going on right now and who knows about Bailey. He really needs him now. Joe was right, the past doesn't always tell you much about the future. Will he stay? Julia comes in with the food, Chinese take-out. Owen, Claudia and Will follow her. Owen asks if Joe's staying for supper. He says that he is. Kirsten comes in and kisses Charlie. They all are sitting down when Bailey comes in. He asks what's going on. Charlie says it's Tuesday night, their new night for dinner. Bailey wants to know since when. Julia says since that night. Claudia replies that they didn't have a formal meeting about it, but they just decided. Will thinks that it's the Chinese...Bailey wanted Italian. Bay says it's okay, he's okay, but he's starving. He sits down and they start passing the plates and food around the table.


Sometimes when I think back on what are my favorite episodes, moments from this series I think about the big ones...Charlie finding out he has cancer, Julia's miscarriage, Bailey's intervention or the small ones...Charlie telling Kirsten that the family has said they can raise Owen as their son, Julia memorizing Griffin's face. Tonight was a really sound episode. I probably won't think of it often, remembering instead the more significant "What If?" episode, but this in many ways was much better. This was about finding out what you want for yourself and confronting the hard things in your past that might or might not keep you from achieving that future.

Yeah, it's kind of predictable that Charlie and Kirsten are going to have a baby, but I want this for them. They deserve it. I can hardly think of anyone who seems to just have that mother gene than Kirsten. I also think it's a fitting reward for all of the things they've gone through. Now, the previews for this episode included the big pay-off that Kirsten was pregnant. I think that was really too bad. Bringing the depression question back was totally appropriate, but it didn't have as much punch because we all knew that she wasn't sick again. The depression arc was one of the more underrated, well done stories of this series. It wasn't done for sweeps, it didn't have a clean resolution. It was heart-breaking and it was real. Depression sucks and it doesn't just go away. Charlie and Kirsten's fears here were well justified and what a great pay-off. I really, really hope we get to see them tell the family about the baby.

I agree with Oliver, Bailey does get off on the crisis, but I'm not sure that is a horrible thing. Being able to come in and pick up the pieces is a gift. If he can just figure out how to do that in a healthy way, then I think he's gone a long way to solving some of his issues. I thought that his scene with Charlie and the end scene were really powerful. Yeah, Scott Wolf is very good looking, but he can really act and he continues to blow me away week after week, year after year.

I'm awfully glad Julia didn't break up Justin's wedding. Now, I agree with Adam, these two people are going to be miserable together, but I don't think Justin is in Julia's future. I don't think she needs to be going back at this point. I think that her relationships with Justin and Griffin have both been important in bringing her to where she is today, but Adam looks good...darn good. Keep checking him out.

Okay, Kirsten was not the only person awash with hormones tonight! Poor Todd. He's trying to be a good guy, but it's killing him. Thank you for finally giving Claudia a normal, teenage type relationship. Young love is complicated, but this is the kind of complicated that I think we should be seeing with her. Besides, that poor earnest, porn-watching boy deserves to let off some steam.

I was glad to see more resolution on the plot with Joe. Charlie is right, it's much worse that Joe "borrowed" from them based on his long relationship with their dad and now them. I also think Charlie was right to bring Joe back. Trust is a hard thing, but sometimes you have to love your god and go for it.

Small detail: Kirsten has kept her maiden name. Her office door says Kirsten Bennett, Ph.D.

A really sound episode. I have said it before and I'll say it again, I think the writing in the last half of this season has really been solid. It bodes well for a strong finish.

Copyright ©2000 by Rachel Vagts. All rights reserved.

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