After meeting construction company owner Bruce Curran, Charlie asks to submit a bid on making a desk for his wife. As Julia is asked to write lyrics for a coffeehouse singer and Bailey struggles with his passion for Kate, Charlie defends his low bid by claiming it could mean more work in the future. But learning he is still higher than his competitors, Charlie cuts his price in half. Charlie then warns Julia against missing any more classes, as Kate stuns Bailey when she insists on waiting until marriage to have sex. Meanwhile, after newspaper article dubs her one of the city's most gifted young people, the accolades go to Claudia's head.
While working out the details of a surprise birthday party for her mother Margaret, Bailey is distracted by Kate's stance on sex. Meanwhile, after repeatedly missing his class, Julia's writing teacher sends her to see the school's therapist. But she refuses to cooperate and is soon back at the coffeehouse to deliver a new poem to Danny. Having already delayed work on the desk to care for Owen, Charlie fires his sitter when she arrives drunk. And, as Claudia's self-absorption causes her to stop doing her household chores, Charlie is forced to take more responsibility for Julia's absences. Meanwhile, impressed with how much Bailey did for the party, Margaret claims her daughter couldn't have found a better boyfriend, unaware that he is preoccupied with having sex with Kate.
Confronted by Charlie, Julia promises to stop skipping class but insists on the freedom to find her own way. When a broken sander jeopardizes the desk, Charlie turns to his siblings. Although Bailey and Julia pitch in, Claudia refuses to help. Yet, upon seeing them happily working and sharing their problems, Claudia offers her assistance, only to have it refused. After delivering the desk on time and getting paid much more than he bid, Charlie drops by a concert and sees that Claudia is growing uncomfortable with her role as child prodigy. Finally, after Bailey and Kate break up, Julia is inspired to continue writing when she hears what Danny did with her poem.
Directed by: Richard Pearce
Written by: Susannah Grant