[Party of Five]

short cuts

As he nervously prepares for his first day of college, Bailey meets Cooper Voight, a fellow freshman who already knows his way around campus. And beginning their final year of high school, Julia and Justin find they still have plenty in common. However, when Sarah's college recommendation far outshines their own, the former lovers realize their last year together has left them with a lot of catching up to do. Meanwhile, Kirsten is accused of plagiarizing her doctoral dissertation.

On Cooper's advice, Bailey decides on a schedule much easier than the one he planned. But. while his new friend also suggests cheating on a computer proficiency exam, he's determined to pass the test on his own. Unable to pad their resumes, Julia and Justin are left to compete in an essay contest which could dramatically improve their college prospects. Meanwhile, as he's looking for something to explain Kirsten's mistake, Charlie discovers a prescription for anti-depressants she took while completing graduate school during the collapse of their relationship.

Although offering to read Julia's essay before she turns it in, Justin wants to keep working on his before letting her take a look. Yet, only after submitting her own essay does Julia discovers just why he was so evasive about his -- a very personal account of their brush with pregnancy and her abortion. Although Julia demands that he withdraw it at once, Justin insists that they each need to do what's best to insure going to a good college next year. Meanwhile, as Bailey is stymied by the exam and asks that Cooper's older brother re-take it for him, Kirsten's Ph.D. is revoked. And following the loss of her job, too, Charlie helps her move back home, while the results of his cheating places Bailey in good standing, with his advisor.


As Bailey succumbs to the temptation to cheat and Julia stumble upon Justin's revealing scholarship essay, Kirsten gets some bad news about her doctoral dissertation.

Directed by: Ellen Pressman
Written by: Lisa Melamed

© 1998 Columbia TriStar Pictures
Party of Five, its name, logo and photos are a trademark of Columbia TriStar Pictures