Previously on Party of Five: Julia told Evan that their relationship was "too much work" and ended it. Bailey felt that his relationship with Holly was becoming too intense. Charlie wanted to design furniture instead of teach. Claudia decided to pretend that her assault never happened.
Julia, Bailey, Claudia and Owen are taking down the Christmas tree. Julia can't believe that Bailey is going to spend the millennial New Year's Eve at a stranger's wedding. Hey, isn't it nearly two weeks after New Year's? What a timely episode! Bailey says that it's not a stranger -- it's Holly's cousin. Claudia points out that it's not the millennium. Julia says, "Nobody likes a math geek, Scully." Actually, she totally dismissed Claudia, as per usual on this show. After denigrating Bailey's plans, Julia reveals her exciting engagement: watching the proceedings on television with Griffin, Claudia and Owen. Claudia says that she plans to sleep through it. Bailey keeps getting all defensive, saying that he and Holly are casual and that the wedding is no big deal -- it's like a party. Julia says that a wedding is not just a party, and Claudia adds that Bailey will be part of a "permanent, photographic record" for Holly's family. Julia continues meddling in Bailey's business by saying that a wedding has a special meaning to women: "In girlspeak, it's Commitment with a capital C." Thanks for that language lesson, Carol Gilligan. Bailey continues to disagree and asks Owen what he is doing. Owen is trying to take the string of lights off the tree, and Bailey says, "I'm all tangled up here. Get me outta this." Julia and Claudia give the look of Obvious Metaphor for Bailey and Holly's Relationship and then everybody wants to be free, but especially Bailey.
Kirsten arrives home to see that Charlie has made dinner. Charlie says that he has good news, but before he can get it out, Kirsten starts going on and on about what a terrible day she had. Finally, she realizes how self-absorbed this monologue is, and asks about Charlie's good news. Understandably, Charlie has had the wind taken out of his sails a bit. Charlie says that he got a promotion at work. Rather than let him tell her about it, Kirsten starts barraging him with questions. She thought he hated the job. Charlie says he doesn't hate it, but he sometimes hates being on the assembly line. Kirsten asks if he's still on the assembly line. Charlie says he is, but that he's going to be a supervisor. Kirsten asks if the promotion means a lot more money. Charlie says it means a little more money. Kirsten asks if it means shorter hours. Charlie says that it actually means longer hours. Now that Kirsten has totally negated any joy that Charlie might have about his promotion, she wonders why he even wants this job. Charlie says it offers him a chance to move up in the company, with the ultimate goal of getting his designs made someday. Kirsten apologizes for being so down about Charlie's good news.