Synopsis of The Birthday Party

Written by TK

Sydney dreams she's in a war and Private Kyle has been hit in the shoulder. She is there to treat him, but her mother points out that maybe she just wants Kyle to die in her arms so that she won't have to deal with the fact that she wants to be both his doctor and his lover.

Syd meets Joanie in the kitchen in the morning. Joanie is making muffins with candles for Hannah's first birthday. Syd asks Joanie if she's going to pick up Hannah's father, Richie, at the airport, and Joanie says she won't because she doesn't want Richie to get the wrong idea. Robbie comes in and brags that he got Hannah a tricycle for her birthday. Joanie points out that it will be a few years before she can use it.

Upstairs, Jim has Hannah and is showing her baby birds outside the window. Syd comes in and talks to Jim about how he was planning on converting the space above the garage into a guest apartment, and perhaps Kyle could move in there. Jim says sure, and Syd keeps backpedaling, saying it's okay if Jim's not okay with it, but Jim assures her that it's fine with him.

At the hospital, Kyle is getting chemo and Syd comes and gives him a present: an alarm watch so that he'll know when to take his drugs. She stresses that it's important that he take his medication on time or the chemo could kill him. He's nonplussed. She also mentions the idea of him living in the guest apartment so that he'll be closer to the hospital. He says he'll think about it.

In Jim's office, Heather asks Jim if Hannah's birthday party tonight is something you might bring a date to. Jim says it could be. Heather says she doesn't have a date, actually, she was thinking about setting Robbie up with someone. Jim says that Robbie and Heather should be eachother's dates. Heather says they couldn't do that. A woman comes in with a bunny and dozen nine-year-old kids. The class bunny seems to be having trouble with its legs. Jim takes the bunny and says he'll run some tests.

Joanie and Robbie are at Joanie's Barkery. Robbie is having a tough time putting together the tricycle. Joanie asks for Robbie's opinion on Richie. He asks why, and she says that she thinks Richie might be coming back for her since he's been writing her and telling her how he wants to stick around Providence and be a bigger part of Hannah's life.

At the clinic, Sydney treats a girl who has a light fever and achey legs. The girl's father, Mr. Barrows, is worried that she might have caught something from her new dog, 'cause the symptoms started right after they got the mutt. Sydney offers to take the dog, Sam, to her father to be checked out.

Richie comes into Joanie's Barkery and tells Joanie that there have been some big changes and he's back in Providence to stay. Joanie is shocked when he tells her that he got married.

Jim is trying to coax the bunny into moving, but is having no success. Sydney bring the dog in and tells her father the situation. He says he'll take a look.

Robbie is at work in the bar and Heather comes in. She asks if he's been avoiding her since he told her he was gay. His co-workers can hear her and he tries to shush her and get her to go away. She says she just wants to set him up with someone for the party tonight. He says he's already bringing someone. She leaves, satisfied. Robbie casually asks his fellow bartender, Stuart, if he wants to come to a party tonight.

Joanie is at the Barkery, crying. Doug, her doggie ex-employee, comes in and wants to get some food, but he only has a little money. She dries her eyes and puts together a package of dog treats for him. She says they're on the house. Then he notices that she's weepy. She tries to deny it, but he gets her to admit that Richie being married upsets her. He offers to go beat Richie up, but she laughs it off.

Heather comes back while Jim is trying to diagnose Sam. She talks about Robbie, and tries to ease Jim into the idea that his son is gay without saying it outright. Jim is clueless.

Syd comes by the Barkery to drop off Hannah's cake. Joanie is upset about Richie being married. Syd says this would be a better late-night conversation, and she's too busy right now to talk about this. Joanie agrees.

Jim mentions to Sydney that the dog, Sam, might have Lyme's disease. Sydney thinks that that makes sense for the girl as well.

Kyle tells Sydney he'll move into the guest apartment as long as she lets him do the fixing up. They have a deal.

It's Hannah's birthday party. Robbie introduces Stuart to Heather. Richie comes and bring his new wife, Chris. Chris is young and blonde and bouncy and very out-doorsy and drives Joanie nuts quickly. Richie mentions to Jim that now that he's back in Providence, he'd like to share custody of Hannah with Joanie. Joanie overhears and says that she's raised Hannah by herself for the last year and she plans on raising Hannah by herself for the next twenty. Chris mentions that they were planning on taking Hannah tomorrow night to see Richie's parents. Joanie flips out and kicks Richie and Chris out of the house.

Sydney is dreaming. She goes out to the now beautifully renovated guest apartment in a slinky negligee and in the candle-lit bedroom slides into the puffy bed with the person she thinks is Kyle. Joanie pops her head out, and Syd's mother appears to explain that while Syd wants to be having sexy dreams about Kyle, really she should be talking to Joanie about how upset she was about Richie being married.

The next morning, Syd finally talks to Joanie. Joanie says she's afraid of losing Hannah, and yeah, she's upset that Richie basically rejected her, and she really wants to do the right thing but she's so upset she's having trouble figuring out what that is. Syd suggests making another try at having a nice first birthday party for Hannah where Joanie doesn't kick out the baby's father.

Robbie is helping Kyle renovate the apartment over the garage. Robbie jokes that he's being helpful, but it's totally selfish 'cause he hopes he'll get the apartment if Kyle backs out. Kyle stumbles, says he doesn't feel well, and falls to the ground. Robbie runs for Sydney.

At the clinice, Sydney gives Kyle a shot and scolds him for not taking his meds on time. Kyle says he guesses he didn't want to feel ruled by his medication. Syd says that's all well and good, but his body really needs it. Kyle mentions that he's decided not to move into the guest apartment. It seems like Robbie wants it, and plus with all the chemo and everything he doesn't need the added distraction of being so close to Sydney. Syd is disappointed, but understanding.

Chris is at Joanie's Barkery and thinks the place is just great. Joanie is still being bitter and not very nice to bubbly Chris. Chris admits to Joanie that she's not able to have kids of her own and although Richie was originally upset about this, they hope that there will be enough of Hannah to go around.

Sydney tells Mr. Barrows that she thinks that his daughter could have Lyme's disease, and yeah, the dog could have brought the tick that carries it into the house. Mr. Barrows asks his daughter if she had a tick, and his daughter says yes, the school nurse took one off of her a few weeks ago. She admits that she didn't tell her father because she didn't want him to get rid of the dog. He tells Sydney that he definitely wants to get rid of the dog. Sydney points out that this is not necessarily the dog's fault, but Mr. Barrows stands firm on getting rid of his daughter's pet.

Doug comes into the Barkery for turnovers and gives Joanie a gift for Hannah. The gift is an alarm clock. Joanie is originally confused, but then Doug explains that with puppies, people often put a ticking clock in their sleeping area to remind them of the heartbeat of their absent mother, so he figures it will work for babies too. No matter how far away Hannah is from Joanie, she'll always remember the beating of her heart. Joanie is touched. Joanie pulls out the turnovers for Doug and says he'll get three free a day, but any more than that will come out of his paycheck. Doug realizes that means he has his job back and does a happy dance.

Syd is talking to Jim, and it turns out that neither the dog or the girl has Lyme's disease. Syd is really confused as to what could be wrong with the girl. The bunny woman comes back to pick up the bunny. Jim tells her that the bunny has arthritis. She's surprised, 'cause the bunny is so young. Jim says that there are cases of adolescent arthritis. This gives Syd an idea.

Syd takes Sam the dog over to the Barrows' house. Mr. Barrows is surprised to see her, and even more surprised to see Sam. Sydney explains that the dog isn't at fault here, and it looks like Mr. Barrows daughter has adolescent arthritis. Mr. Barrows says his sister had arthritis. Syd says it runs in the family. She gives Mr. Barrows childrens Tylenol to give to his daughter, and says they'll have to put her on an exercise regimen... which can start with her walking her dog. Mr. Barrows's daughter comes out and Sam runs to her excitedly. She's very happy to have her dog back.

The Hansens are setting up for Hannah's second first birthday party. Stuart, Robbie's co-worker, comes by, and is upset with Robbie that he wasn't invited to this party. Robbie is confused. It turns out Stuart really is gay, and he feels led-on by Robbie. Heather suggests that this would be a good time for Robbie to come out to his father, and then basically outs him. Jim is confused, and Robbie explains that he told Heather that he was gay so that she would get over her crush on him. Heather is upset and runs from the house.

Syd and Joanie are bringing the cake out from the kitchen. Joanie is still upset, talking about how Chris's ring is bigger than her own. Suddenly, everyone realizes that they don't know where Hannah is. Everyone thought she was with somebody else. Joanie runs upstairs and finds Hannah on the roof outside her bedroom window. She crawls out the window to fetch her and almost falls off the roof herself. Sydney comes to the window and throws Joanie a towel to hold onto while she reaches for her daughter. Chris sees what's going on from outside and scales the side of the house and rescues Hannah. Joanie cries in relief.

Joanie packs up Hannah's things and willingly hands her over to Richie and Chris to take to Richie's parents. It's still difficult to give her up, but she says that Hannah deserves to have a mother and a father, and if Chris comes with Richie then that's a bonus. After Richie and Chris leave, Sydney tells Joanie that that was very brave. Joanie says she didn't have much choice.

Sydney and Joanie are having trouble sleeping, and they're sitting together in Syd's room talking. Suddenly they hear a tapping at the window. Sydney looks down and Kyle is there throwing pebbles. Kyle tells Sydney he wants to move in after all, he needs to learn to lean on people when he needs them. Sydney helps him carry his bags.

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