As any loyal \"Party of Five\" fan can easily attest to, this was one television show that approached drama and day-to-day realities without the slightest trace of shame, but Season 3\'s \"The Intervention\" is truly an episode that contemporary masterpieces are made of. Strengthened by the acting and fueld with its no-holds-barred plot, this is one hour of television that few \"Party of Five\" fans will ever forget.
This series began as an impeccably scripted and beautifully acted study of what can happen when five young, immature kids are left alone to fend for themselves, without the support and guidance of their parents. The Salinger clan have been doing this ever since their parents died in a car crash, and how they managed to stay together is really something of a modern-day miracle. The downward spiral of second-oldest son Bailey establishes an uncomfortable turning point for the series, since he spent the first 2 seasons caring for everyone and constantly bailing his older brother Charlie out of countless predicaments (financial troubles, girlfriend issues and jail visits, to name just a few). The Salingers lose a great deal of emotional grounding when Bailey becomes consumed by alcohol, and this episode finds his siblings resorting desperately to an in-your-face intervention that could cost them their brother if it is not done correctly. Overwhelming emotional distress engulfs everyone as hurtful words are said and horrifying secrets are unveiled about their late parents\' pasts. As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, all the performances in \"The Intervention\" are absolutely top-notch, but seasoned actors Matthew Fox, Scott Wolf, and Neve Campbell are easily upstaged by a 13-year-old gem named Lacey Chabert. As an adolescent kid watching her beloved older brother risk ruining his entire life, the role of Claudia earns a level of respect and sympathy that was matched by nothing else in the entire series. I give Chabert an amazing amount of credit for her work here, and through all the film, television and voice-over roles she has had in recent years, I will always regard this series and this episode as her finest hour.
Nobody who loves \"Party of Five\" will ever forget \"The Intervention\"--it is of brilliant quality and unforgettable substance that redefines everything the show built in its 6 years on the air.