Written by Kara

Written just before the beginning of the fourth season

Shot of Claudia talking on her bedroom telephone. She is standing in the middle of her room and there are clothes strewn everywhere. Her voice is filled with worry.

Claudia: Griffin. I need to speak to Julia. Like, right now--it's an emergency!

Cut to Griffin's apartment. He and Julia are lying in bed. They have just been woken up by the telephone.

Griffin: (rubbing his eyes) Sure Claud. (turns to Julia) Hey Jule, it's your sister.

Julia: (sits up in bed and looks angry) Tell her not now. God, who gave her this number anyway?

Griffin: She says it's an emergency.

Julia: What? (Griffin hands Julia the receiver. She is now wide awake. Her voice sounds anxious.) Claud, what's up? Is everything okay?

Cut to Claudia.

Claudia: No everything is *not* okay! I start high school tomorrow. I mean, Jule, I have no idea what that's going to be like! I know you're busy, and you have all this stuff going on, but you have to come over here and show me what to wear!

Cut to Julia. She looks at Griffin and rolls her eyes.

Julia: Claud, why don't you just ask someone else, huh?

Claudia: I can't ask someone else! There isn't anyone else! I don't know *where* Bailey is, and Charlie...well Charlie hasn't been in high school since like...forever, so I kind of need your help. (Claudia takes a dramatic sigh) Desperately.

Cut to opening credits

Shot of Charlie sitting in the kitchen reading the newspaper. Owen is sitting across from him eating a sandwich.

Owen: Char-wee! Char-wee! Wook! (Owen holds up his hands and smiles. He has smeared the peanut butter and jelly from his sandwich all over his hands and face.)

Charlie: Owen!! (Charlie puts down the paper and picks Owen up. He holds him far away from his body.) Now you're going to be late for pre-school.

Owen: It's camp, Char-wee!

Charlie: Whatever. Let's clean you up.

The doorbell rings. Charlie sticks Owen on the counter.

Charlie: Don't move. And don't touch anything. (Charlie opens the front door. It's Claudia's friend Jody.)

Jody: Hey, Char! Didja miss me?

Charlie: Jody! I thought you...

Jody: Moved? Yeah, we did for a while. But we hated it there. My mom and me. So now we're back! Is Claud around?

Charlie: Yeah, sure. She's up in her room.

Jody: Her room! I'm impressed. So, she finally got rid of that tent, huh?

Charlie: Tent? (Charlie looks confused) Oh, yeah. I almost forgot about that! Yeah, Claudia lives in Julia's old room.

Jody: Oh. Where did Julia go?

Charlie: She got married.

Jody: Wow! Move away for a while, and look what happens! Never a dull moment in the Salinger house, huh Charlie?

Owen comes running into the hall. His clothes are covered in grape juice, peanut butter, and jelly.

Owen: Char-wee, I touched something!!

Charlie looks at Jody and sighs.

Charlie: Never.

Shot of Julia and Claudia in Claud's room. Claudia is facing Julia. She is wearing a short flowered skirt, black sweater, and floppy hat. She looks exactly like her sister.

Julia: (spins Claudia around so she is facing the full length mirror.) Ta da!

Claudia: (turns and gives Julia a disgusted look.) You're *not* serious.

Julia: What? You look great!

Claudia: (frantically) Come on, Jule. I look exactly like you!

Julia: Like I said - You look great!

Jody enters. Claudia looks shocked, then runs over to greet her old best friend.

Claudia: Jody!! Oh my god- you're back!

Jody: Yup! I missed ya, doof!

The two embrace. As they pull away from one another, Jody stares at Claudia's outfit.

Jody: Umm...Claud...not to be rude or anything, but what is with the outfit?

Claudia: (gives an embarrassed laugh) Oh, umm, long story. (Turns to Julia) Jule, could you...

Julia: I'm gone. And give me my hat. (She snatches the hat from Claud and leaves.)

Claudia: Wow, so Jody--you're back! How have you been?

Jody: Okay. What about you?

Claudia: Umm...actually, not that great. There's been a lot of stuff going on around here lately.

Jody: Oh. That sucks. But we can catch up later. I have some big plans for us.

Claudia: Big plans, huh?

Jody: Why don't you come over to my house and we'll find you something to wear tomorrow.

Claudia: Great!

Cut to the high school. Claudia is standing in the hallway. She is wearing a black mini skirt, a red half top, and a black leather jacket. She has on boots that almost reach her knees. She is wearing makeup and looks much older than usual. She has her violin case slung over her shoulder. She looks self conscious, until Jody meets her wearing a similar grown-up outfit.

Jody: Hey, Claud! (gives her a once over) You look great! (Jody eyes Claudia's violin) But Claud?

Claudia: Yeah?

Jody: Lose the fiddle.

Claudia: Right. (She puts the violin in her locker.)

Jody: Did Charlie actually let you out of the house like that?

Claudia: Well, not exactly. (the girls enter the bathroom and begin fixing their hair in the mirror.) I kinda wore this. (Claudia reaches into her bag and pulls out a blue flowered tee-shirt and a pair of jeans.)

Jody: I'm impressed.

Shot of two older girls standing in the bathroom. Jody and Claudia listen to their conversation.

Devon: So, McKayla, are ya going to Josh's party Friday?

McKayla: I'm not sure yet. Are you?

Devon: Definitely. It's like *the* place to be! All the hotties will be there.

McKayla: Is it at his house?

Devon: No, it's at the lake. Isn't that the coolest?

McKayla: The coolest.

Claudia and Jody exchange glances and leave the bathroom. They walk down the hall.

Jody: Claud, we're there!

Claudia: I don't know, Jody. I mean, we weren't invited...

Jody: God, Claudia, don't you know anything?? This is *high* school. There are no invitations. You just show up.

Claudia: If you say so.

Cut to the Salinger house. Claudia and Jody are getting ready in Claudia's room. Claud is wearing a very short black skirt, a tight white tank top, and a beret. She is applying liquid eyeliner.

Claudia: Jeez, Jody. This eyeliner is impossible to use.

Jody: You'll get used to it. Just be patient.

Claudia: (inspects herself in the mirror) Good enough. Let's go.

Jody: You're sure your brother isn't home?

Claudia: No. He's with Bailey this weekend... some AA thing I think. But Julia and Griffin are babysitting Owen. They're at the restaurant.

Jody: Okay. Let's go.

The girls arrive at the lake. There is a bonfire and a lot of older kids. Everyone is drinking. A cute boy approaches Claudia.

Mark: Hey there. You want a beer or something?

Claudia looks at Jody.

Jody: Go ahead, Claud. I'll see you around.

Claudia takes the beer and has a sip. She makes a face as she swallows it down.

Claudia: (looks at Mark and smiles) Mmmm.

Cut to Claudia. It is a few hours later. Claudia has obviously had too much to drink. Her hat is lopsided, her shirt is untucked, and she has a half full beer in her hand.

Claudia: This is great, isn't it umm what's your name again?

Mark: Mark.

Claudia: (giggles) Right. Mark.

A girl begins watching Claudia and Mark. She approaches Claudia and taps her on the shoulder.

Laura: Umm Hi. Are you Julia Salinger's sister?

Claudia: What's it to you? (She giggles and kisses Mark. He puts his arm around her shoulder.)

Laura: I'm a friend of hers. Does she know you're here?

Claudia: I don't know! Who cares!

Laura: Can I talk to you for a second, please?

Claudia: (looks at Mark and rolls her eyes.) I'm sorry, Markie. If you'll just give me one minute...

Mark wanders over to a group of girls

Laura: You're a freshman, right?

Claudia: Will you please get to the point. I'm kinda busy. (She takes a swig of beer)

Laura: Look. I know your sister wouldn't want you with this guy. He's slime, okay? Trust me.

Claudia: Whatever. (She turns and goes to look for Mark)

Shot of Laura on the phone.

Claudia goes to look for Mark. She finds him passionately kissing an upper classman.

Claudia: How could you?

Claudia is so drunk by now that she doesn't know what she's saying. Everyone is looking at her.

Claudia: You know, we had something very special. And now you ruined it! I loved you, Mark! You kissed me. I thought we were together! (The other kids began to snicker)

Mark: (pretends like he doesn't know who she is) Little girl, I think it's past your bedtime.

Claudia's chin quivers and she runs towards the parking area. She spots Julia coming in the other direction.

Claudia: Oh, no. (She begins to run back to the party.)

Julia: Claudia! CLAUDIA! (She catches up to Claudia and grabs her by the arm.) Who did you come with?

Claudia: (Beginning to look sick) Jody.

Julia: Get in the car. Now.

Claudia gets in the front seat of the car. As Julia comes back with Jody, Claudia opens the door and pukes.

Julia: Claudia, get in the back seat. I really don't want to look at you right now. And you better not puke in my car.

They drive in silence. Julia pulls up to Jody's house. She walks Jody to the door and the camera shows her speaking to Jody's mom for a while. Her mother looks upset. Jody is not as drunk as Claudia. Julia drives home. They walk into the kitchen, and Claudia begins to go upstairs.

Julia: Where do you think you're going?

Claudia: To bed. I don't feel too good.

Julia: Oh you don't, huh? I wonder if it's because you're stinking drunk? God, Claudia, you're fourteen years old!

Claudia: You drank when you were my age!

Julia: Yeah, but I never got drunk, Claudia. And you know what? What I did in the past is irrelevent. Because when I was fourteen, my parents hadn't been killed by a drunk driver. My brother was not an alcoholic. You should know better.

Claudia: But...

Julia: There is no excuse. Go to bed.

The next morning Julia wakes Claudia at six o'clock.

Julia: Rise and shine!

Claudia: (Looks green) Jule... It's Saturday.

Julia: Yeah, but you've got stuff to do.

Claudia: What?

Julia: Today we're gonna do yardwork!

Claudia: I really hate you.

Julia: Get out of bed. Now.

Claudia goes downstairs. She is holding her stomach and groaning.

Julia: Guess what! I made breakfast... Bacon, eggs, sausage... mmm. (She sets a plate in front of Claudia. Claudia gets up and runs to the bathroom.)

Claudia: (after returning from the bathroom.) Julia, why are you doing this to me?

Julia: You know what, Claud? I understand what you're going through. I was a freshman once too. But the thing is, with you it's different. And you have to learn that you can't go out every weekend and get drunk. And this is the only way I know that I can teach you. I just don't want you to end up like... (Julia stops)

Claudia: Bailey.

Julia: Yeah, Claud. Listen. You do some yard work today, and I won't tell Charlie, kay? It'll be between us.

Claudia: Yard work, huh. Where do you think of these things?

Julia: It's a gift. How 'bout you rake, I bag?

Claudia: You're gonna help?

Julia: Well, it's kind of my fault, right? I mean, I should have warned you about what a jerk Mark is. He has this thing about getting freshmen drunk and taking advantage of kids.

Claudia: How do you know about me and Mark?

Julia: Laura. And Claud, there are a lot of Mark's out there. There are a lot of great guys, too, but watch out for the jerks, key?

Claudia: Okay.

Julia: Go change and we'll start.

Claudia: Thanks, Jule.

Julia: No problem.