Season 6, Episode 22: Falling Forward

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Teleplay by: Ian Biederman & Tom Garrigus
Story by: Allan Heinberg
Directed by: David Dworetzky

Co-starring Pamela Salem as Ms. Shaw, Michelle Davison as ER nurse

Transcribed by Rachel

Charlie is on the phone. Bailey comes into the office, he was just down talking to Mitch (the foreman) to make sure that they finish the hotel order. He just got a call on his cell phone from Steve Wayne at Stylebarn. Charlie interrupts him. Dussel Furniture is going under. Bailey asks how he knew. His call was from Baxter Mills, one of their biggest customers. Dussel had kept stealing their space in showrooms. The company was a lot like theirs. Bailey wonders if they should be worried. Charlie was thinking the same thing. On the other hand... Bailey finishes his thought--all their orders are up for grabs. Jason Kimball of Kimball Interiors is their biggest customer. Charlie says they need to get in a room with him. Bailey thinks they should do it today. Charlie says they should wait a minute, put together a bid offer. Bay tells him to figure out how their stuff fits into Kimball's catalog and Bay will put together a bid structure. Charlie goes in search of the Kimball book when Bay realizes that Charlie was on his way home. It's supposed to be one of his free nights with Kirsten. Charlie says that she'll understand, but Bay won't hear of it. He tells Charlie to go home to his wife. Charlie thought Bay had plans with Will and Holly. Bay says it isn't a big deal. He'll type up the offer. Charlie can come in in the morning and go over it. They're going to nail this one and then they'll go after all of the accounts as well.


College of Fine Arts
Julia is meeting with her advisor. The advisor likes to meet with her students at this point to see what their plans are. Julia asks what she means. The professor continues that some students decide to stop at two years, receive their associate of arts degree and move on to other things. Some choose to return and finish their BA. Julia didn't realize that students left after two years. Some do, writers with book contracts, journalists eager for field experience...and cash. She asks if Julia has any professional opportunities looming...a book contract, magazine job, an editing position. Julia says that she has nothing right now. The advisor asks if she wants to stay and work on her next book. Julia says that she's started lots of things, but she has no ideas for another book. Well, does she want to stay put or move on? Julia thinks it's a very good question.

Holly's apartment
Holly is trying to sleep while Will and Bailey argue in the living room. Bay tells him that he can't just drop over to pick up his mail now and then. Will says that's fine. He'll come over when Holly is at school or out with Bailey, but he isn't going to be there when she's around. Bay looks over, Holly is in the door. Bay was going to take off for work. He asks if Holly needs a ride to school. They go into her room. Holly asks what's going on. Bay says nothing. Holly knows they were fighting. Bay denies it again. She heard all the whispering and wants to know what's going on. Bay says that they thought she was still sleeping. She wants to know why he's going to work so early. He tells her about the deal. She asks if they're still having dinner that night. He does. She wants to know if she should invite Will. Bay says that would be great, but he doesn't think Will is free.

Todd's bedroom
Todd comes into his room with a tray. His mom actually made them milk and cookies. Claudia is sitting on the bed with her homework. Todd sets the tray down and sits beside her. His mom said to tell Claudia goodnight. Claudia asks if his mom is going to bed. No, she's going out on a 9 p.m. at night. Claudia thinks it's great. Why should they be the ones to have all the fun? Todd thought they were studying. They were, until his mom left. They start to kiss. They lie down on the bed and continue kissing. Claudia giggles and Todd sits up. His mom isn't going to be home until after 11...and he thought that since they've been talking about it...if she wants to...they could. They don't have to, though, if she doesn't want to. Claudia wants to. Todd kisses her again. She stops him and sits up. She tells them that one of their friends got into Vassar and another one into Wesleyan. She hasn't heard from a single school. Todd hasn't either. She's sorry, but she's kind of distracted by all of it right now.

Julia and Justin are making dinner. She didn't even know she could leave CFA after two years. Maybe she's supposed to do that and start something completely different. She tells Justin the plates are in the cabinet back there. He responds that he knows where the plates are. He's known where the plates are for fifteen years. So, what does Professor Shaw say? Julia says that the professor said she should think about it. She wants to introduce Julia to a former student who is starting a women's magazine. That would be completely different. Justin is sorry, he forgot to tell her that Maggie called. Julia asks when she called. That afternoon. Julia is surprised to hear that Justin was there that afternoon. Well, she didn't tell him when she was going to be home, so he was there all afternoon waiting around for her. She can't believe he didn't have anything better to do. Like what? Like studying for exams, writing his two papers and ending his marriage. Justin tells her that Maggie had very interesting news. She's organizing the Napa Women's Conference and guess who the guest speaker is going to be. Julia asks who. Julia Salinger. Julia is surprised. She wants Julia to talk about her book and seeing Ned again. That's Julia's point. She finished that book months ago and still that's all people want to hear her talk about. She wants her life to be about something else now, something new. Justin kisses her. Griffin comes in and comments that it looks like old times. The two of them...just picking up where they left off. Julia asks what he means by that. Nothing, nothing at all.

Bailey is in the office working when Holly comes in. He tells her it's perfect timing, he's just finishing up. He pulls out the takeout he ordered saying that it might have gotten just a little cold. Holly announces that she's decided to annul her marriage to Will. Bailey offers her tossed salad. She's serious. He wants to talk about it. She tells him that he should have thought about that sooner. There was a whole lot of talk about it, but he decided to keep it quiet. He asks what happened. She says that even though both she and Will were lying when they said their vows, he meant it more than Bailey, honor, cherish. It's really nice to be honored. He should have told the truth. Bailey says that he was trying to protect her. She says that didn't happen and now she has to break up the marriage and hope that she and Will don't get caught. Bay tells her that she doesn't have to do it. Holly asks what the alternative is. Bay says they can keep it under control. Holly tells him that he made it horrible for her and Will, let alone Bailey and Will. Bay tells her to forget about it. She can't. Bay asks if she wants to stay in the country or not. Does she want to get her degree from Stanford or not? Of course she does. Well, then she has to stay married to Will.

Kirsten and Charlie's apartment
Charlie comes home to find Kirsten lying on the couch. He's sorry that he's late. He asks if Diana is still awake. Kirsten tells him that she went to bed about an hour ago. She gets up and kisses him. He's so sorry, he and Bailey had to finish up that pitch. Kirsten says that it was okay, she had work to finish up too. He brought dessert. She looks in the bag, rum raisin ice cream and chocolate cookies. Charlie asks if it was too much. Kirsten says it isn't. He hopes it isn't bad luck, but he thinks they'll land the new client. Kirsten thinks that's great. She does point out that he does not need a reason to shower her with desserts, though. He's probably going to be in after midnight a few more nights that week. Kirsten sees...she's being bribed. He'll be home early next week, though. She leans over and kisses him, asking him to send some recent photos now and then. The phone rings. Charlie keeps kissing her, but she tells him to get it. He answers the phone. There was an accident at the plant, Mitch collapsed on the floor. They took him away in an ambulance, they think it might be his heart. Charlie heads to the hospital.

Charlie goes to the desk looking for Mitch. The nurse asks if he's a relative. Charlie explains that he works with Mitch. The nurse tells him that Mitch is in surgery and points out his wife in the waiting room. Charlie goes over and introduces himself. She knows who he is. He asks if Mitch is okay. He had a heart attack. They're trying to find out how much damage there was. She tells Charlie that he had a pre-existing condition, assuming that Mitch never told Charlie that. Charlie admits that he never did. Of course not. He didn't want to worry Charlie. Charlie asks if there is anything he can do. Mitch's wife begged him to slow down; 14 hours days, six days a week. Mitch told her to hang in there, that they were really building something there, that Charlie has plans for this place.

Goddess Magazine
The editor at Goddess magazine shows Julia around telling her that it's not the typical women's's not even strictly for women, despite the fact that they cover the usual women's topics like fashion, hair, etc. Goddess means not compromising. They don't need to be all things to all people. They want to shock, to intrigue, to provoke the issue. Julia says that she can't wait to read it. The editor was hoping that she would write it. She read Julia's book and she thinks Julia's voice would be perfect for the magazine. She was thinking of a monthly column, 500 words on the subject of Julia's choice. Julia is surprised. She thought she was just applying for an internship. They were looking for someone Julia's age with her point of view. She wants Julia to go home and try one for her. They go to press any minute, but they'll wait for her.

Bailey finds Charlie at the hospital. He came as soon as he got Charlie's message. He asks how Mitch is doing. He's still unconscious. It was a pretty severe attack and there are some problems with the wall of his heart. They might have to go back in. Charlie knows that Bay is really swamped, but he wants to wait until Mitch wakes up. Bay says that isn't a problem, but Tommy told him about Charlie cutting the schedule back. He did. Bay knows what Charlie is thinking, but they don't have to do this. Charlie admits that he's making some changes, but he knows what he's doing. Bailey points out that they'll fall behind. They don't want work to get out that they're behind, especially when they are about to meet with Kimball. Charlie canceled the meeting. Bailey is surprised. They can't handle all the new business right now. He's not going to do that to his guys. Bailey doesn't want him to give up now, he needs to think this through. Charlie has thought about it. He's doing it. Charlie walks over to where the doctor is talking to Mrs. Gallager.

Todd and Claudia have their college acceptances. She tells him to go first, he wants her to, but she makes him. He agrees, but they take turns, bad news first. He got a "no" from Woodbridge. She was wait-listed. Todd says that they hate Woodbridge. He got into San Francisco, but it's a safety college, so whatever. Claudia got into Stanford. Todd thinks that's amazing. She also got into Juilliard. Todd can't believe she got in. He's happy, but a little sad that she's going to Juilliard. She's not going to go. She only auditioned to see if she could get in. But she did. She can't not go. It's expensive and Stanford is close to home. She could save money by living at home and she wouldn't have to spend the money on tickets back and forth. Todd tries to change her mind. It would mean leaving her family...and him.

Bailey is meeting with Jason Kimball. He explains how they work, how they can take up the slack from Dussel. Kimball tells him that he makes a good pitch. He wonders about Charlie. Do they need to talk? Bailey asks what he means. Kimball talked to Baxter, heard they were slowing down and could expect some delays. Bailey explains about Mitch getting sick on the floor, that Charlie isn't taking any chances right now, but once they're back online they'll be cranking things out at 110%. Kimball thinks that Bailey could sell anything...that's a compliment. He asks if Bailey is just out of college. Bay says that he dropped out. Kimball wonders if he did it to help out in the family business. Bay says it was something like that. Kimball wants to know if he has ever thought about going back, maybe getting a business degree. Bailey says he has a little...well, actually a lot. Kimball says if it's something he's interested in, Bay should call him. Kimball recruits for his b school back East. They love guys like Bailey who have some experience. If he works really hard and goes to summer school, he can have his degree in a couple of years. Then the sky is the limit. With the economy like it is, he can't afford to say no.

Julia's room
Justin comes upstairs where Julia is working at her computer. He has a sport coat on. She tells him that he looks nice. He says that she does that "I'm not really ready for dinner" kind of way. She totally forgot. She came right home and started writing. He asks if she's working on her speech for the conference. No, she had to call Maggie and say that she couldn't do it. Justin asks why. She had the most amazing interview at Goddess magazine. The editor loved her book and offered her her own monthly column. Justin is really happy for her. Their reservations are at 8:30, they need to celebrate. Julia can't go. She has to do the column for tomorrow and wants to make it original. Justin points out that a girl needs to eat. She wonders if they can do it the next day. He reminds her that they have to have dinner with his parents tomorrow night and then he's headed back to New Haven the next day. They'll celebrate with them. She's sorry, but this is so exciting for her. She's been wanting something new and this could be it. He says okay...she is the goddess after all. She promises that they'll have fun tomorrow. Julia goes back to work while he leaves.

Will's house
Bailey comes to find Will. Will tells him to take it easy. Bailey isn't sure how he can. Will moved all of his stuff out of the Salinger's house and then out of Holly's place...without a word. He called Will's office and found out that he quit. He wants to know what's going on. Will asks what he thinks it looks like. Bay thinks it looks like Will is pulling up stakes and bailing on him. Holly knows what Will is doing. Bay points out that Holly will be deported. Will says that she knows. Bay has seen her, how they've humiliated her. Bay tells him that he took an oath. Will can't believe that Bailey doesn't care. He can't believe that Bay would make him do this after he saw what was happening. Bailey can't believe that Will doesn't see that they are talking about Holly's future, about her whole life. They aren't. He should ask Holly. There are med schools in Canada where she would only be a two hour plane flight. If he would actually talk to her... Bailey tells him to not turn it back around on him. Will made a promise. Will is breaking the deal and Bay needs to ask himself what the hell is wrong with him. Why does he keep pushing and pushing this thing when no one else wants it.

The Goddess editor talks to Julia about her column. It's a little too abstract. If she could sell it with some concrete examples, then it would work...Madonna, Courtney Love, Brittney Spears. Julia wonders if she wants a more pop culture angle. Exactly, and how their readers can relate to those goddesses, ways they can recreate themselves...a new look, a new hairstyle, even a new lipstick. Julia can't believe they're talking about lipstick. This shouldn't be a "how to" but rather more of a "why." The editor wonders if it can't be both. Julia thinks it could, but she thought that she wanted an essay from Julia's point of view. The editor has a magazine to sell. If Julia can do that and also get her point across, then that's great.

Charlie goes in to see Mitch. He asks how Mitch feels. He's felt a hell of a lot better. Charlie jokes that it was a poor way to score a day off. Mitch chuckles. Charlie has a card that all the guys at the factory signed. Mitch thanks him. He says that Charlie should tell them to not slack off...or he's going to come down and kick their butts. Charlie tells Mitch that his expenses are covered, his salary is guaranteed and if there is anything that Mitch's family needs, he should let him know. Mitch wants to know why Charlie is slowing the line down. Charlie wonders how he knew. He called Tommy to catch up and Tommy told him. Charlie tells Mitch to just worry about getting better. Mitch worked his ass off to get that line running, he doesn't want that ruined. Charlie pushing him didn't give him this heart attack. He pushes himself because he wants the same things that Charlie wants. He wants to do the work well so that it's something that will last for him and his family. His wife doesn't understand that and maybe Charlie's doesn't either, but that's why they do what they do.

Todd's room
Todd and Claudia are kissing on his bed. She stops him. She's been thinking about it and she wants to. Todd kisses her. He rolls over to get a condom. He stops. She asks why. He wonders if she thought about it today. She did. He can't believe that she had to decide about college and instead she thought about this. She wasn't ready to do it for so long and now the day after she got into Juilliard she wants to do it. He doesn't want the first time they do it to be out of guilt. She says it isn't. She told him, she's not going there. He doesn't believe her. If she can tell him that she doesn't want to go... She can't. He gets up and leaves.

The door opens. Julia calls out for Bailey, Claudia or Owen. Justin comes in. It's him. Does she remember him? Vaguely. He does look like a guy she dated in high school...only cuter. He says that they missed her at dinner. Yeah, she wishes she could have been there. She called his parents to give her regrets. How was it? Without Julia it was kind of parentish. He wonders if this is the reason she skipped read old issues of Sassy. Yeah, Lisa (the editor) thought it would give Julia a better sense of where to start. Justin thinks it's getting late and he has to go back to school tomorrow. Julia wants him to, but she will be getting to bed late. He thinks he'll just go then. Julia tells him no. She's sorry that she hasn't been much fun lately, but this has been a big deal for her. It's a chance for her to write for a living, to do something different and new every month. He knows...different and new, he got that. Why is that suddenly he's feeling kind of old and familiar. She tells him that when he gets back they'll do stuff together. He's sorry, but it isn't that. He can't believe that she turned down a speaking engagement at the Napa Women's Conference so that she could test drive her secret sex drive fantasies. She's blowing off things that actually matter. She should think about that.

Holly's apartment
Bailey comes over to Holly's apartment to find her packing to leave. She's on a flight to London. She was going to come over and say goodbye. Bailey asks for how long. She's not coming back. She's sorry, but she can't let him talk her out of it. She can't ever say no to him. She shouldn't. She can still marry him. Holly wants to just have a simple goodbye. He asks why she's giving up so easily. It isn't easy. They both know that the timing has been lousy from the start. They met by mistake and then it's moved so quickly since then. Life has been screaming at them that it isn't meant to be. She wishes she could stay, but the fact of the matter is that that wouldn't be good for either of them. She's been away from home for too long and Bailey has been trying to find out what he wants to be. Holly is slowing him down. Without her, he'll find it faster. She hugs him and tells him that she'll miss him.

Charlie is on the phone with a client. They are getting back up to speed. The client can even add to the order. One of the workers comes over. He's been looking for Charlie. Charlie shushes him while he tries to finish his call. Tommy, the worker tells Charlie that Mitch is dead. Charlie drops the phone. The hospital called. Mitch went into cardiac arrest and they couldn't bring him back. Charlie comments that he just talked to Mitch. Tommy goes to tell the other guys.

Salinger house
Julia opens the front door to admit Justin. She just tried to call him, but his dad said he was on his way to the airport. He is, his mom is in the car. He wanted to see her, make sure she was all right. He apologizes for going off on her the night before. She stayed up until 5 am thinking about the stupid piece and what he said. He was right, she should have been writing a speech for the women's conference, so that's what she did. Justin thought that she didn't want to write about old things anymore. She doesn't, so she put a new spin on it. It works sometimes. She tells him to come home soon, she wants her old boyfriend back. She kisses him and he kisses her back.

Charlie, Bailey and Kirsten are at Mitch's funeral. Bailey goes over to talk to Mitch's wife. Kirsten comments about their poor kids. She asks if Charlie is okay. He tells her that he loves her, loves her so much and hugs her.

Todd's room
Claudia comes in. Todd's mom was on her way out and said that Claudia should just come up. She wrote the check Stanford. She's not going anywhere. Todd thought... She would like to go to Juilliard, but when she thinks about all of the things she would have to give up, it's too much. They kiss. Claudia starts to unbutton Todd's shirt. He stops her, then they start to kiss again.

Charlie and Bailey are in the office. Charlie thinks they should wait a week or so and then promote Tommy to foreman. Bay thinks that is a good idea. They have to change some other things too. They have been pushing things too hard. Bailey doesn't think this is the time to make any changes, that Charlie is upset about what happened to Mitch. It was actually something that Mitch said, that they are building this thing to protect their families. But there is no guarantee about that. They could build it and build it and it could still fail. The only thing they can count on is that their families are there now and if they don't spend time with them ... Charlie wants to keep the company small, a manageable family business, something that he can run without too much help, maybe one business partner. Bailey tries to interrupt, but Charlie goes on. He's thinking of changing the name of the company to Salinger Brothers. Bailey tries again. Charlie realizes that this might not be what Bay has always dreamed of, but it could be a really great job for him, a 9 to 5 job with plenty of time to do other things that he wants to do, he could be with family, take classes, whatever he wants. They would be working together, taking things easy and keeping things small. He doesn't want an answer now, Bay should think about it. Bailey agrees to do that.

Todd's bedroom
Todd and Claudia are in bed together. She whispers to him, "I had sex." He nods. He was there. He asks if she's okay, if it was... She says it was... Todd worries. It was just different than she expected. It was different like they are, intense, kind of funny, really good in some was just different, that's all. It's all different.

Will's house
Bailey comes to find Will packing things in his room. Will's mom told Bay that he's headed back to school. Yeah, Will called and if he takes summer classes he can make up most of the year. Bailey didn't expect him to be taking off so soon. He asks if Will's parents are mad. Not anymore, now that he's seen the error of his ways and the wasted year has ended. Bailey asks if that's what it was. Will says that it has nothing to do with Bailey. It's what's wrong with Will's life that the most useful thing he could do was to marry someone so that they could get their green card. Bailey says he's sorry. Will tells him not to. He would do it all over again because the reason he did it is Bailey. Bay tells him that he's the most unbelievable friend and now he's leaving. Everyone is leaving all of a sudden. Will says that it's time. Bailey says that he understands. Will asks what it means. Is he thinking of making a move too? Bay doesn't know. Well, if he ever makes a move back East, Will hopes it is near him. Bailey does too. They hug.

Napa Women's Conference
We see Julia giving her speech.

Claudia's room
Claudia addresses the letter to Stanford, then stops and looks again at the Juilliard brochure.

Charlie and Kirsten's apartment
Kirsten is sitting on the floor reading to Diana. Charlie comes over and sits down with them.

Bailey's room
Bailey is sitting at his desk. He pulls out Jason Kimball's card and looks at it, then goes over and looks out the window at the street.


This was a nice quiet episode setting up the final episode. I can kind of see where it's going and it seems right. It's time for everyone to say goodbye, but the fact that it isn't really forever.

I'm sure that there are people who will be upset by Claudia losing her virginity and she is young, but I really like this relationship with Todd and it didn't seem like it had come out of nowhere. In case you're keeping score, she's older than both Julia and Bailey and I think if we knew much about Charlie's conquests we would find out that he was younger too when he took the plunge. I was glad to see Todd pull out the's always good to reinforce safer sexual behaviors.

I found the other stories fairly interesting although not really compelling enough to comment on. I did think it was too bad that Charlie didn't commiserate a little bit about mortality with Mitch. Sometimes I feel like we're just never going to mention again that Charlie had cancer and almost died.

I had a couple other nit-picks, most old is Claudia? She's a junior, but we seem to have suddenly and inexplicably aged her a year. This could have been mentioned somewhere, but instead, bam...she's deciding on a college. I understand that this is part of the finale, but it still really bugged me.

Which brings me to the next point: Stanford. This was hotly debated when Julia went to Stanford and the simple fact is that Claudia will not save money on housing if she goes to Stanford because all first year students live on campus.

Another gripe: Sassy. I loved Sassy. I'm going to date myself here and say that I was a reader from the very beginning. Unfortunately this incredibly smart and hip teen magazine was dumbed down after it's editor in chief, the spectacular Jane Pratt, left and it eventually folded. I do not think that Julia, who is nearly ten years younger than me would have any idea of what Sassy was trying to do and I didn't get the impression that her editor was really old enough to know either.

A lovely send-off for Will. I only hope that our other favorites, Daphne and Griffin will be treated as well.

Copyright ©2000 by Rachel Vagts. All rights reserved.

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