Synopsis of The Apartment

Written by TK

Syd is being shown a house by a real estate agent. The house looks awful: peeling paint, trash all over the front lawn. The real estate agent says that this place is perfect for Syd, but Syd isn't so sure. The real estate agent tells her to just wait until she sees the inside. At the front door, Syd's mother blocks her way, calling her a traitor and telling her that she's going to break her family's heart by moving out. Syd tells her mother to move aside and pushes past her into the beautiful interior of the house. The dining room is ornate, with glass chandeliers and heavy curtains on large windows. The bedroom is sunny, with a canopy bed and lots of pillows and even a mint on one of them. Syd loves it and is ready to sign on the dotted line. Her mother keeps trying to convince her that she's making a terrible decision, and they end up fighting over the pen Syd is trying to use to sign the application for the house. The pen slips out of their fingers and flips into the air. As it falls to the ground, Syd dives for it, but Lynda stomps on it, telling Syd it's hopeless, family is stronger than everything. Syd wakes from her dream and realizes she's fallen asleep doing the crossword. She reaches for the pen she was using.

Robbie shows up with donuts in the morning. Joanie asks him what he wants for his donut bribe. He says he just wants to borrow the car because he's having lunch with Heather and her mother today. Jim mentions that that's usually a fiance's job, and Robbie says he's just filling in because Charlie has to work and Heather didn't want Charlie to meet her mom right away. Syd wanders in and tells everyone she's meeting a real estate agent and considering moving out. Jim realizes that it's time, while Joanie is upset. Robbie wants his room back. Jim thinks about using Syd's room to tie flies since he's getting into fly-fishing. Syd says to relax, she's not leaving yet.

Heather is glad that Jim doesn't mind that she's taking the rest of the morning off. Jim totally understands that with her mother coming to town, Heather need some time to prepare. Heather asks Jim if he would give her away at her wedding. Jim says he'd be honored, but he warns her that he doesn't have a very good track record in that department.

Syd shows up at the apartment building where she is supposed to meet her realtor. She can't find her realtor, but she does meet one of the residents, and handsome man who introduces himself as J.D. Scanlon and says he can let Syd into the building. Syd remembers reading about Dr. Scanlon, the anthropologist, in Rhode Island monthly. She asks if he's still teaching at Brown and he says he's taking a sabbatical to write about a tribe in Africa that he spent some time with. He asks Syd about herself, and from her story of coming back home to Providence after her mother died, he deduces that she's still living at home. He says he did the same thing, and that she should get out as soon as possible, today if she can, because the faster she does it the easier it will be for everyone.

Joanie comes downstairs with Hannah to tell Jim that his fly-tying equipment has arrived. A girl named Sarah, that Joanie recognizes, comes in with her Border Collie named Bailey. Bailey gives lots of sloppy dog kisses to Hannah. Sarah tells Joanie that Bailey hasn't been feeling well and has developed a cough. Joanie says she'll take care of getting Bailey's paperwork since Heather is taking some time off.

The realtor is showing Syd the apartment, and tells her that it's just perfect for her. The place is gorgeous, and Syd loves it, mentioning that it seems very inviting. The realtor tells her it comes furnished. The realtor also mentions that it's a hot property, and if Syd wants it she really should put down a deposit today. Syd says she's not ready and they really did just start looking, but the realtor talks her into taking the application.

Jim is telling Sarah that it's possible that Bailey has contracted Tuberculosis. Jim's going to run a few more tests and then he'll give Sarah a call. Joanie asks Jim if pizza is good for dinner... with onions like Syd likes. Jim asks Joanie if she's really upset about Syd moving out, and Joanie says she is because they've bonded like adults, and now she's worried that Syd will be out there making new friends and Joanie will just be the kid sister again. Jim assures Joanie that she and Hannah are much too important to Syd for her to forget about them.

Robbie and Heather arrive at the restaurant where they're supposed to meet Heather's mother, Donna. Heather tells Robbie not to give her mother any information that she can later use as ammunition. Robbie is just figuring out what Heather is saying when Donna makes her entrance. She a gorgeous middle-aged woman who knows it, wearing a striking red dress. She immediately takes off Heather's ear-muffs, reminding her that ear-muffs are for skating rinks. She thinks Robbie is Charlie, and when Heather corrects her, she is amused that she's meeting the roommate instead of the fiance... although she's still looking forward to meeting the fiance. Robbie realizes that this could be a very uncomfortable lunch.

Syd sits down with her family in the dining room for breakfast and announces that she's moving out today. Everyone is very understanding and congratulates her, but then Jim has a heart attack and keels over. Joanie and Robbie ask Syd how she could do this. Lynda walks in and says that they're taking it better than she expected. Syd wakes up screaming.

Syd comes into Joanie's room in the morning, and Joanie is tired because Hannah was up all night coughing. Syd says she'll take a look at Hannah... and she's moving out today. Joanie thinks it's a little fast, but she tries to act nonchalant about it and congratulates Syd.

Syd sees Robbie as she comes downstairs. He's busy stealing candlesticks and a pretty tablecloth because Heather's mom is coming over to their apartment for dinner. Syd tells Robbie she's moving, but he's in such a rush that he doesn't even seems to care.

In this kitchen, Syd tells her dad that she found an apartment, and she's thinking of moving today. Jim thinks it's easier if she doesn't drag things out. Just then Ed, a contractor, comes to the door and asks Jim to show him the room that he wants to turn into a fly-tying room. Jim is a little embarassed that Syd hears this. Syd is left a little confused about her family's feelings about her leaving.

Syd takes her lunch break to move stuff into her new apartment. J.D. Scanlon gives her a hand, and when a young guy named Danny Thompson, who also lives in the building, comes by to bum twenty buck from J.D., he gets roped into moving some boxes too.

Syd is happily ensconced in her claw-footed bath tub in front of the fire, groovin' to some music with a complexion mask on her face and a bath brush in one hand. The doorbell rings, and she scrambles into a bathrobe to get the door. It's J.D., with some housewarming gifts. He realizes he caught her at a bad time, but she invites him in for a glass of wine. He finds her M.D. certificate lying around and realizes she's a doctor. Joanie calls Syd's cell phone. Hannah's cough is worse. Syd says to put Hannah in a steamy bathroom, and Syd will be right over. J.D. is understanding and takes a rain check.

Heather and Charlie are preparing dinner, and Robbie is running around trying to prevent the two clutzes from creating a disaster. Donna arrives, and the first thing Charlie does it to step on her toes. Donna immediately brings up Charlie signing a prenuptial agreement due to Heather's substantial trust fund. Charlie is dumbfounded, and doesn't know what to say, while Robbie sort of speaks for her. Everyone was so busy talking about prenups that they forgot Heather's zucchini casserole, which is now burning. Heather runs for the kitchen, and as Charlie goes to help her he trips and falls, taking down the table cloth and all the dinner preparations with him.

The next morning, Syd is about to walk out of the Hansen family house when her mom waylays her from the living room. Her mother says she can't just keep coming and going without the house getting insulted. Syd has no idea what she's talking about until she tries to open the front door of the house and leave, but the door won't open. Syd looks at the windows, and there are bars on them. Finally, Syd gets the back door to open, but when she looks out there is a train coming directly for her. Syd wakes up from her nightmare on the couch, sprawled out with a sleeping Joanie and Hannah.

When Syd gets back to her own place, an older women who introduces herself as Angie from downstairs just follows her through the front door of her apartment. Syd tries to explain to the woman that she's had a hard night and is not feeling very social right now, but Angie interrupts that she knows all about her sick niece, and gives her a red ribbon to tie to the crib to ward off evil spirits. Syd says she's a doctor and tends to stick to more scientific methods, and Angie asks if she knows so much why she isn't married. Angie mentions she has a single son who is an undertaker, and Syd begs off saying she's not really looking right now. Angie doesn't believe her, and J.D. coming by with coffee for Syd doesn't help Syd's argument. J.D. takes Syd away to a better place for morning coffee drinking.

Jim explains to Sarah that Bailey does, in fact, have TB. He says that most people would put their dog to sleep if they had TB, but there is a vet hospital in Boston that will treat it, although it's very expensive to treat. Sarah wants to treat it, because Bailey is like a member of the family. Jim says he would do the same thing. Joanie comes downstairs and Jim tells her the news.

On the second floor balcony of the house, J.D. and Syd drink their coffee. He talks about how she wants to be connected to people and she's still tied to her family and how he was stuck in the same trap once and it kept him from following his path. He describes how in the African tribe he studied, they had mentors. Syd asks if the parents minded the mentors, and J.D. says they saw it as a blessing. J.D. slyly asks Syd out to dinner while talking about being her mentor, and Syd strings him along for a little while before making a date for 8pm tonight.

Robbie is at work, and Heather comes by and asks him to water her plants and feed her guppies while she goes away for a few days. She and Charlie are going to elope before her mother has a chance to completely destroy their relationship. Robbie says not to take drastic measures like that. He offers to try talking to Heather's mom for her, and if that doesn't work, THEN she can elope. She thanks him for his help, and he says that's what friends are for.

J.D. and Syd have finished dinner, and J.D. mentions that Syd did Joanie a diservice by running home last night because now Joanie won't know how strong she is. They talk about how J.D. is Syd's mentor, and he's being all romantic and kissing her hand when it starts to pour rain on them. They run into their building and into Syd's apartment. Joanie is there with Hannah (Angie gave her a master key). Joanie is scared that Hannah might have TB and asks Syd to check her out. Syd says she'll meet them at the clinic, and tells J.D. she'll be less than an hour. J.D. says they should just call it a night. He says that Syd doesn't have room in her life for a relationship right now because she's still so connected to her family. He says to call him if things changed. Syd is left miffed.

Syd is changing a pot under a dripping leak in her ceiling when someone knocks on the door. Syd answers it and a friendly lady who introduces herself as Julie Tancreedy asks Syd if, as a doctor, she could tell her son that if he keeps picking his nose it'll get big like a potato. Syd, after her friendly protest that now is not a good time doesn't work, slams the door in Julie's face.

Joanie finds Jim in Syd's old room which is a disaster, and asks if Ed is ever going to finish his work. Jim says it was a little more complicated than he realized. Joanie leaves Hannah with Jim while she goes to shower, and Jim notices that Hannah's arm is irritated.

Joanie brings Hannah into the clinic and tells Syd about Hannah's irritated arm where she got the TB shot. Syd tells Joanie she should have called and Syd would have come by the house this morning, but Joanie says she doesn't want to bother Syd that way anymore. Syd says it's probably just a reaction to the preservatives in the shot and gives Joanie cortisone cream. Again Syd urges Joanie to call anytime, and Joanie says she doesn't want to just hit the panic button anymore.

Robbie goes to Donna's hotel room, and she greets him in a robe and invites him in. She asks if he's here to negotiate the prenup, and he says no, he's just here to prevent Donna's love from backfiring. Donna immediately understands that Heather is thinking of eloping, so she tells Robbie to tell Heather that she is convinced, there doesn't need to be a prenup. Instead, she'll switch to Plan B: give Charlie a grant that would help him save those silly fish in Oregon so that he'll leave Heather and go back West. Robbie could help by suggesting the idea to Charlie. Robbie is hesitant, and when Donna snuggles up to him on the couch and casually places a hand on his leg, he gets uncomfortable and says he has to leave. Donna says they can talk about it later, and gives him a sensuous kiss on the neck goodbye.

Syd is stumbling into her apartment when all the other tenants come storming in for potluck Thursdays in Syd's place. They swarm around her things, criticizing her pictures and trying on her clothes. Syd freaks out, and then suddenly realizes that this is just like having a family. She tells J.D. that he can preach all he wants, but he's just traded one family for another. With that, she says she's going home.

Syd gets home and sneaks into her old room where she promptly trips over all her dad's fishing equipment. Joanie and Jim finding her flat on the floor, lamenting the state of her room. Robbie stops by to bring the dinner stuff back that he borrowed. Syd says she'll just sleep in the guest house tonight, but Joanie says that she's sort of been using it as a dumping ground. Jim and Joanie say they might be able to clear a path to the bed for Syd. They all troop out to the guest house, walk in the door and turn on the light. Syd is surprised to see it all fixed up, with pretty white curtains, a kitchenette, and Christmas lights. It turns out the family was saving it as a surprise, hoping it might be a weekend escape for Syd, but now it can be her new place. She has her own entrance, her own kitchen and her own phone line, but she's still near the mother ship. Syd is overwhelmed by the love from her family.

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