Family Ties: Episode Guide


Season 1 / 22 episodes / 1982-83


1. Pilot (original airdate: 09/22/82)

The series begins with a clash of values as Steven and Elyse are distraught that Alex is bringing a date to a restricted social club.

The smitten Alex is thrilled at the thought of escorting pretty, budding socialite Kimberly Blanton to her country club´s dance, but Steven and Elyse are appalled that their son would set foot in a restricted club and agonize over whether to impose their values on him.

Kimberly´s status-conscience, snobbish ways were immediately apparent when she had dinner with the Keatons. Alex is intent on impressing her with fabricated tales of his family's heritage and wealth. Alex´s "I´m not out to change the world" attitude clashed with that of his parents, who retain the ideals of the Woodstock generation.

On the night of the dance, Steven shows up at the Carleton Country Club in an effort to persuade the horrified Alex to come home. Later, when father and son air their feelings at home, each is able to understand, if not accept, the other´s point of view.

Written by Gary David Goldberg
Directed by Asaad Kelada
Guest stars: Cindy Fisher (as Kimberly Blanton), John Petlock as Mr. (Preston) Blanton, Toni Sawyer as Mrs. (Emily) Blanton, Maurice Marsac as Roger

Note: Jennifer is 9 years old, Alex is 17 years old.


2. Elyse D'Arc (04/11/83)

Steven feels shortchanged when Elyse becomes preoccupied with volunteer work.

In her zeal for good causes Elyse devotes so much energy to committee work that a neglected Steven feels shortchanged.

Ecstatic to have won an award for his public television documentary, Steven arrives home eager to celebrate, but every effort is foiled by Elyse´s obligations to her various projects. Finally, the over-extended wife-mother-architect-committee volunteer begins to realize she´s neglecting her most important committee.

Written by Michael J. Weithorn
Directed by Michael Zinberg
Guest stars: Belita Moreno as Bernice and Enid Kent as Phyllis

Note: This episode was originally scheduled to air on 10/13/82 but was pushed back due to Game 2 of the World Series.


3. I Know Jennifer's Boyfriend (10/06/82)

Jennifer's friends want her to ignore boys.

Peer pressure to shun the opposite sex causes 9-year-old Jennifer to give up her friendship with Justin Perkins, but thanks to her mother Elyse, the kids come together at a jitterbugging "Nifty Fifties" birthday party.

Jennifer is upset by threats from little girls who say they won't be her friend as long as she associates with Justin. Finally she capitulates. In a mother-daughter talk with Jennifer, Elyse explains the importance of developing good friendships with boys.

Jennifer's "Nifty Fifties" birthday party begins with the boys on one side of the room and the girls on the other, but with a little encouragement from Steven and Elyse and a ladies' choice dance, the kids get into the swing of things.

Written by Gary David Goldberg
Directed by Michael Zinberg
Guest stars: Jeremy Schoenberg as Justin Perkins


4. Not With My Sister You Don't (09/29/82)

Alex plays overprotective brother when Mallory goes out with the school's sports hero.

As head of the household while his parents are away for the weekend, an overly confident Alex throws a big bash, but when his sister Mallory leaves the party with the school Romeo, he's filled with guilt and anger.

A little wary about leaving the kids alone for the first time, Steven and Elyse finally depart for a weekend with their friends, the Davises. While the romantic holiday turns into a marathon sports competition instigated by Ron Davis and resented by Elyse, there´s trouble brewing on the home front.

Teenage brother and sister clash when Alex assumed the attitude of an overprotective father and lectures Mallory for arriving home late from her date with sports hero/lothario Eric Morrison. However, when Eric arrives at the Keaton doorstep with flowers to apologize, it's clear that Alex has jumped to a false conclusion. He must now restore peace and tranquility by the time his parents return home.

Written by Lloyd Garver
Directed by Tony Mordente
Guest stars: Lee Montgomery as Eric (Morrison), Betsy Russell as The Girl, Jay Tarses as Ron (Davis), and Brooke Alderson as Suzanne (Davis)


5. Oops (12/22/82)

Elyse's advice to a pregnant teen-age friend of Mallory backfires.

Unable to face her own mother, Mallory´s pregnant friend Cindy Sullivan confides in Elyse, whose advice to the teenager seems to backfire - and causes a rift between Mallory and Elyse.

Mallory urges the distraught Cindy to discuss her condition with Elyse, who lends a sympathetic ear and then, to her daughter´s dismay, advises the girl to go home and be forthright and honest with her mother. When the overly strict Mrs. Sullivan can´t cope with her daughter's revelation, Cindy runs away and finally turns up on the Keaton doorstep again. There, an emotional mother-daughter confrontation leads to a better understanding.

Written by Joanne Pagliaro
Directed by Tony Mordente
Guest stars: Cristen Kauffman as Cindy and Julie Payne as Lynn (Sullivan, Cindy's mom)

Note: Mallory is 15 years old.


6. Have Gun, Will Unravel (12/08/82)

Steven and Elyse wonder if they should buy a gun for protection after their home is burglarized.

The Keatons are burglarized, and a terrified Steven and Elyse wrestle with the previously unthinkable notion of buying a gun for protection.

As pacifists, Steven and Elyse have always hated guns. However, the burglary and a discouraging neighborhood-watch meeting make them begin to see things in a different light. After a reluctant trip to the the sporting goods store, they emerge with a weapon they hope to put out of sight forever. That evening though, a bump in the nite and the sound of breaking glass force them to face the threat - one way or another.

Written by Ruth Bennett
Directed by Alan Bergmann
Guest stars: Jack Riley as Earl, Pat McNamara as Officer Becker, Enid Kent as Phyllis, and Mary Jackson as Edna

Note: This episode was postponed from 10/20/82.


7. Summer of '82 (10/27/82)

High-schooler Alex becomes physically involved with a college student who teaches him an important life lesson about relationships.

Seduced by an "older woman" of 21, the hitherto inexperienced Alex is devastated to learn that she thinks of their relationship as casual.

When Alex delivers groceries to pretty college senior Stephanie Brooks, there´s an immediate intellectual and physical attraction between them. Later, Stephanie phones and invites Alex to an economics lecture. However, the events following the lecture prove more instructive to the teenager. Just when he begins to fantasize about marriage, an unexpected situation brings him rudely back to reality.

Written by Michael J. Weithorn
Directed by Tony Mordente
Guest stars: Amy Steel as Stephanie (Brooks) and John Putch as Pete

Note: Alex is 17 years old and works for Adler's Grocery.


8. I Never Killed For My Father (11/03/82)

When Steven's father, Jake, arrives at the Keaton household to take Alex hunting, Steven begins to regret the fact that he and his father never got along really well, and that the man has a better relationship with Alex than he ever did with his own son.

Sensitive, liberal Steven and his macho, conservative father, Jake, clash as usual during the elder's annual visit - until Jake's startling news leads to a first effort to bridge the gap.

The annual fight between father and son commences immediately upon Jake´s arrival. Intent on going hunting with his grandson, Alex, the vigorous outdoorsman apparently shares many more interests and attitudes with Alex than with Steven. Yet, the undemonstrative Jake and Steven finally recognize that this could represent a last chance to come to terms with their relationship.

Written by Kimberly Hill
Directed by Dick Martin
Guest star: John Randolph as Jake


9. No Nukes Is Good Nukes (11/24/82)

Elyse and Steven's participation in an anti-nuke rally on Thanksgiving Day lands them in jail.

To the dismay of the Keaton children and their equally conservative grandparents, Steven and Elyse take time out Thanksgiving Day to attend an anti-nuke rally - and wind up spending the holiday in jail.

Mr. and Mrs. Donnelly arrive early to help prepare a festive dinner and learn they must wait for Steven and Elyse to return from the demonstration. When the couple end up behind bars after clashing with the police, other cellmates agree to sign a statement that they will never again participate in a nuclear arms protest but the Keatons stick headfastly to their principles.

However, that doesn´t stop the Keaton kids and their grandparents; they decide to take Thanksgiving dinner to their loved ones behind bars.

Written by Ruth Bennett
Directed by Alan Bergman
Guest stars: Priscilla Morrill as Kate Donnelly, Dick Sargent as Charlie Douglas, Larry Hankin as Walter, Jack O'Leary as the guard, and Nancy Lenihan as Roberta


10. Suzanne Takes You Down (03/16/83)

Elyse hires an underqualified friend to handle secretarial chores.

Soon after free lance architect Elyse Keaton hires her friend Suzanne Davis to handle clerical chores, she wants to fire the under-qualified, overly aggressive secretary, but Suzanne's marriage breaks up, making the new job her only salvation.

After 20 years as a housewife, Suzanne feels she lacks an identity outside the home. Swamped with paperwork, Elyse decides to solve that problem while easing her friend´s mid-life crisis. Unfortunately Suzanne´s take-charge approach to business throws a wrench into Elyse´s client dealings and threatens to ruin the women´s friendship. On the brink of firing Suzanne, the frustrated Elyse faces a terrible dilemma when Ron Davis decides he "needs space" and leaves his wife.

Written by Ruth Bennett
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Guest stars: Brooke Alderson as Suzanne (Davis), Jay Tarses as Ron (Davis), and Terry Wills as Don (Bradford)


11. Death of a Grocer (12/01/82)

Alex leaves his job at a small grocery store for an ultramodern supermarket.

Though Alex loves working at kindly Mr. Adler's "Mom and Pop" grocery store, to the old man's dismay, he quits to "climb the corporate ladder" at an ultramodern supermarket.

Alex is indispensable to Sy Adler and they enjoy a close relationship. But when the budding teenage entrepreneur hears of a better opportunity he grabs it.

Written by Michael J. Weithorn
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Co-stars: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: Jack Somack as Sy Adler, Randolph Dreyfuss as Booby, Alan Haufrect as Customer #1, William Schilling as Customer #2, Ann Nelson as Mrs. Crenshaw

Note: This is Marc Price's first episode as Irwin "Skippy" Handleman.


12. Give Your Uncle A Kiss (aka Give Uncle Arthur a Kiss) (11/10/82)

Mallory's frightened when a close family friend makes a pass at her.

Mallory is horrified and confused when a close family friend and older business associate of her father, Steven, makes a pass at her.

Arthur Cantrell has been a good friend of the Keaton´s since the kids were toddlers. Steven has even written an on-air tribute to his admired colleague, who is about to change jobs. However, Cantrell´s mid-life transitional period goes beyond his career, and there´s no mistaking his moves toward Mallory at the station´s fund-raiser. When the embarrassed teenager reveals the situation, her parents must confront their friend and urge him to seek professional help.

Written by Lloyd Garver & Gary David Goldberg
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Guest stars: David Spielberg as Arthur and Sal Viscuso as Richard (Jacobs)


13. Big Brother Is Watching (11/17/82)

Alex's article in the school newspaper uncovers a student-cheating scandal that should be printed -- but Mallory is involved.

As the new editor of his school paper, Alex uncovers a cheating scandal and to everyone's chagrin prints a list of students who were caught - including his sister Mallory.

Alex aims to inaugurate a hard-hitting investigative approach in the Harding Hurray, and the hushed-up fact that 27 students were caught buying copies of the algebra final is just the story to cause a stir. The result of his expose is more than he bargained for, and he must face the wrath of his teachers, classmates and sister Mallory, whose explanation for her actions surprises the whole family.

Written by Ruth Bennett
Directed by Alan Bergmann
Guest stars: Andrew J. Lederer as Howie and Philip Sterling as Mr. Winkler


14. A Christmas Story (aka Christmas Show) (12/15/82)

When their ski trip is postponed by a snowstorm, the Keatons sit home by the fire, where Steven and Elyse share memories of their children's births.

When a blizzard forces the Keatons to spend Christmas at home, Elyse's gift to Steven - an album filled with fascinating old photos - sparks flashbacks to the birth of their three children.

The Keaton kids are disappointed that the weather has thwarted their weekend on the ski slopes, but the photos soon divert their attention. Former Peace Corps volunteers, Elyse and Steven recall Alex´s birth in Africa. With equal sentiment and humor, they wax nostalgic about Mallory´s delivery by Steven´s childhood friend Dr. "Crazy Larry" Waxman and about the zany misadventures en route to the hospital for ´Jennifer´s premature birth.

Written by Joanne Pagliano
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Guest stars: Peter Jurasik as Max Brown, Charles Levin as Doctor Waxman, Bruce French as Doctor Rogers, Mari Gorman as the nurse, Chris Hebert as Young Alex, and Bridgette Anderson as Young Mallory


15. Sherry Baby (01/12/83)

A popular sorority girl befriends Mallory with hopes of getting close to Alex.

When popular sorority girl Sherry Marshall befriends Mallory to get close to Alex, Mallory brings them together in hopes of joining Pi Nu - but her plan backfires.

Mallory´s thrilled when Sherry chooses her for a science project partner, though the snobbish girl´s ulterior motive soon surfaces. Eager to join the sorority, Mallory persuades Alex to escort Sherry to the Pi Nu dance. She even agrees to his condition that she attend the dance with the adoring, nerdy Skippy Handleman.

Written by Barbara Hall
Directed by Tony Mordente
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest star: Lisa Lucas as Sherry Marshall, Robin Evans as The Girl


16. The Fugitive (Part 1) (01/19/83)

Elyse's brother arrives for a visit and surprises everyone with his cloak-and-dagger behavior.

Elyse's younger brother, Ned, a go-getting corporate executive who is Alex's idol, pays a surprise visit and puzzles everyone with his cloak-and-dagger behavior.

Ned claims to be on vacation and insists that no one be told of his whereabouts. Several mysterious phone calls, replete with code words, arouse the family´s suspicions. Finally, an FBI agent turns up at the Keaton´s doorstep with astounding news - after Ned´s quick exit.

Written by Michael J. Weithorn
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Guest stars: Tom Hanks as Ned Donnelly and Richard Venture as Mr. Carlyle

Note: Steven and Elyse were married in May 1964.


17. The Fugitive (Part 2) (01/26/83)

FBI agents pursue Elyse's brother, who allegedly embezzled $4.5 million from his company.

With the FBI hot on Ned's heels for embezzling $4-1/2 million in corporate funds, Elyse's ethical brother - and Alex's idol - tells the family why and where he hid the money and flees with Alex, leaving Elyse and Steven in a quandary.

Ned explains that to stop a merger that would result in firing of 1800 people, he hid a portfolio of corporate records and assets in a company computer. The top-level junior mogul confides that he couldn´t deal with a company structure that puts profits above the public good.

Alex is shattered by his idol´s rejection of the exciting business world but agrees to drive Ned to the airport, where they´re spotted by FBI agent Carlyle. After a wild and crazy charade, Ned flees again and winds up back at the Keatons´ where Carlyle and Ned´s boss awaits him.

Written by Michael J. Weithorn
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Guest stars: Tom Hanks as Ned Donnelly, Richard Venture as Mr. Carlyle, Earl Boen as The Attendant, Woody Eney as Rob Peterson, Eda Merin as The Woman


18. Margin of Error (02/09/83)

Alex's knack for picking a winner prompts him to use his fathers' blue-chip stock as collateral on some risky investments.

Alex amasses a bundle by playing the stock market on paper for his economics class, and courts disaster by secretly investing his father's money.

Even broker Dan Matthews, who takes Alex´s class on a tour of his company is so impressed by the teenager´s acumen that he advises clients to buy his choices. Sure of himself and frustrated by his parents´ insistence of holding onto their AT&T stock, Alex impersonates his father in a telephone call to Matthews and reopens Steven´s account. However, when a typhoon causes the stock of his choice to plummet, Alex must scramble to get out of a gigantic jam.

Written by Michael Russnow
Directed by Tony Mordente
Guest stars: Philip Charles MacKenzie as broker Dan Matthews, Anne Haney as Mrs. Matthews, and David Couwlier as the office boy


19. French Lessons (02/16/83)

When Mallory and her French tutor are too shy to express their feelings for each other, Alex tutors them both in the art of romance.

Mallory's handsome but shy French tutor, Jeff, finally musters up the nerve to ask her out and then courts disaster by enlistening Alex´s advice on how to behave on the date.

Just when Mallory resolves to invite Jeff out, he beats her to the punch with Alex´s help. Inexperienced at dating, Jeff seeks advice from the supremely chauvinistic Alex and even persuades him to show up at the scene, at Italian restaurant, to coach him surreptitiously from the sidelines. Appalled by Jeff´s behavior, Mallory runs out on him, and the shy teenager must find a way to win her back in his own manner.

Written by Ruth Bennett
Directed by Tony Mordente
Guest stars: John Dukakis as Jeff Wakefield and Zeke Zacarro as Guido


20. I Gotta Be Ming (02/23/83)

Alex learns an unforgettable lesson when he becomes Big Brother to a 10-year-old Vietnamese boy.

As "Big Brother" to a 10-year-old Vietnamese boy, Alex tries to mold Ming into his own image, and he learns an unforgettable lesson when he breaks a promise to the adoring child.

Alex thinks being a Big Brother will look good on his resume. He´s also anxious to create a little Alex and even prepares summaries of The Wall Street Journal and buys preppy clothing for Ming. While the child would rather play baseball than study economics, he wants to please his Big Brother more than anything. But it´s more than he can bear when Alex schedules a meeting of the Young Entrepreneur´s Club on the same day of the Big Brother-Little Brother Circus performance.

Written by Douglas Wyman
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: Eugene Akutagawa as Ming and Irene Yah-Ling Sun as Mrs. Tanly Nguyen (Ming´s mother)


21. Stage Fright (aka Video Jitters) (04/04/83)

Alex panics when circumstances conspire to put Mallory on his team for Steven's PBS station's "Quiz-Em" show.

While gearing up to face the TV cameras as captain of his high school´s team on "Quiz-Em", Alex panics at first when a teammate drops out - and then launches a tutoring program a la Eliza Doolittle for his sister Mallory.

The highly competitive teenager is thrilled by the challenge of the annual contest hosted by his father, Steven, at the PBS station. Winning is everything to Alex, so when a teammate falls ill, he scours the school for a suitable replacement, but to no avail. Mallory, however, longs to be on TV, and Alex is stuck with her. Intensive tutoring and a few partial male teenage judges have their impact. But Alex´s behavior on the show is the biggest surprise.

Written by Ruth Bennett & Michael J. Weithorn
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: Deborah Foreman as Mary Catherine, Margaret Fitzgerald as Mary Beth, Kerry Noonan as Mary Margaret, John Gallogly as Head Judge, Jeff Shelby as Co-Head Judge, Charlie Douglass as Alternate Head Judge, Carlos Lacamara as Petey, and Michael B. Moynahan as Grover


22. The Fifth Wheel (03/28/83)

Alex babysits Jennifer so Mallory can go on a date, then loses her in a poker game.

Alex gets stuck babysitting for his little sister Jennifer, who is fed up with feeling in the way at his poker game and decides to disappear.

Though it´s Mallory´s turn to take care of Jennifer, she strikes a deal with Alex to assume the duty so she can go out with Jeff. Already feeling glum about being a burden on her siblings, Jennifer agrees to go with Alex to his friend´s apartment for a poker game in hopes the guys will let her play, too. They refuse and become so preoccupied with the game that no one notices when the little girl takes a walk. Frantic, Alex and Mallory quickly learn not to take their little sister for granted.

Written by Michael J. Weithorn
Directed by Andrew McCullough
Guest stars: John Dukakis as Jeff, Moose Drier as Arnie, Michael Spound as Neil, Grant Heslov as Doug, and Robert O'Donnell as Chuck


Season 2 / 24 episodes / 1983-84


23. Tender Is the Knight (09/28/83)

Alex tries to tame the independent young woman he's wildly attracted to.

When pretty Carrie Newman and her mother Julia come to visit the Keatons, Carrie's forward behavior sends Alex into a panic.

But when the highlight of their date turns out to be bingo and a stop at the "Have A Nice Day" café, Alex oversteps his bounds so Carrie takes steps of her own.

Written by Ruth Bennett
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: Talia Balsam as Carrie Newman, Susan Bay as Julia Newman (her mother), Chris Nash as Victor, and Kelly Ann Conn as Sherry


24. To Snatch a Keith (12/21/83)

Steven and Elyse's divorced friend runs away from a serious family problem.

Steven and Elyse realize how lucky they are when their friends come over for a visit, but are unaware that it will be for the last time.

Divorced "Sunday father" Richard Bailey and his son, Keith, come over to the Keatons before taking off on a secret flight of their own. It seems Keith´s mother is moving to California with her new husband and plans on taking her son with them. When a satisfactory visiting arrangement can't be reached, Richard decides it´s time to make a move and it´s up to Steven to put a stop to their travel plans.

Written by Alan Uger
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: James Sutorius as Richard, Donna McKechnie as Cynthia, David Faustino as Keith (Bailey), and Isabell Monk as The waitress



25. Speed Trap (11/09/83)

In an episode combining a serious issue with humor, Alex becomes hooked on diet pills while pulling all-nighters for a series of final exams.

When Alex takes diet pills for a lift during mid-terms, his dependency level increases daily.

Alex is studying for several tests and convinces Mallory to obtain diet pills to help him stay awake. As his hyperness and irritability increase, so does his dependency on the pills. When he finally gets so desperate that he threatens Mallory to get more drugs, she becomes worried that he is headed for a "crash landing".

Written by Michael J. Weithorn
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: none


26. The Harder They Fall (10/19/83)

One of Alex's obnoxious teachers insults Elyse, who responds by socking him square on the jaw.

Alex anxiously awaits a crucial college recommendation from his English teacher and urges Steven and Elyse to butter Mr. Tedesco up on parents´ night at school - but the obnoxious Tedesco is so insulting that Elyse slugs him, and a horrified Alex entreats Steven to make amends.

The usually calm and non-violent Elyse is amazed and ashamed at her uncharacteristic behavior, though Tedesco "asked for it". Steven visits him and after being subjected to disparaging remarks about his wife, winds up repeating her deed. Finally Tedesco, who does recognize Alex´s intellect, accepts an invitation to the Keaton home where he alienates everyone again. Alex must decide whether a glowing recommendation from an influential but disgusting man is worth groveling for.

Written by Rich Reinhart
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: Edward Edwards as Mr. Tedesco, Mary Farrell as Mrs. Morgan, Molly David as Mrs. Jones, and Bunny Summers as Mrs. Stein


27. The Homecoming (10/12/83)

Mallory's boyfriend, Jeff, announces that he's quit Princeton to be near her. Initially she's thrilled, until she discovers the truth behind his actions.

When Mallory's boyfriend Jeff arrives home from college and wants to go steady, she's elated, but it's soon apparent that he's a little awed by school and merely grasping at the familiar - and she must decide whether to "let go" and accept the change in their relationship.

Mallory is nervous that Jeff may have met someone new, outgrown her or forgotten her. When the opposite appears true, and he announces plans to quit school, she refuses at first to see the obvious; that he's just a little overwhelmed by college. What´s thrilling to her is self-destructive on Jeff's part.

Written by Douglas Wyman
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest star: John Dukakis as Jeff and Bob Tzudiker as Mr. Needham


28. Batter Up (11/30/83)

Alex coaches Jennifer's softball team.

Steven and Elyse worry that Alex, who is the new coach of Jennifer's softball team, is pushing the girls too hard - when Jennifer fails to jog all the way home he orders her to do 20 extra pushups.

Alex takes his coaching duties seriously - and his players are leaving the team in droves. Two days before the championship game they don´t even have enough players to qualify as a team - unless Alex can convince Jennifer to persuade Skippy´s klutzy sister Arlene to join the team. Arlene is happier making dresses for her turtles, but desperately wants Jennifer´s friendship and agrees to play ball - with some disastrous consequences.

Written by Lisa Bannick
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest star: Tanya Fenmore as Arlene


29. Not An Affair to Remember (11/02/83)

Steven's female production assistant offers him the opportunity to become involved in an extramarital affair.

Steven's assistant at the station is bright, talented, funny, witty...and in love with him. And it looks like Steven may be returning her affections.

It becomes obvious that Steven´s assistant, Stacey Hughes, is very much attracted to him. And after a rough evening at home, as brief fling begins to look better and better to him.

Written by Gary David Goldberg & Ruth Bennett
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: Judith Light as Stacey Hughes and John Hancock as Gus Thompson (Steven's co-worker)


30. Working at It (05/10/84)

Elyse starts neglecting her family when she's hired by a top architectural firm.

When Elyse lands a job with a top architectural firm, the load begins to get to her - at work and at home.

Elyse feels the need to expand her horizons. She lands a job at one of the major architectural firms in the city. But twelve years of not working in an office have put her behind the times. When she becomes over-worked, she starts to neglect her family and the major presentation to the president of the company is jeopardized.

Written by Lloyd Garver
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: Walter Olkewicz as Bill (Channing), Rebecca Balding as Karen (Banks), and Michael Currie as Mr. Haifax


31. Sweet Lorraine (11/16/83)

Alex goes out on a blind date with an older woman.

While working as a DJ at the school radio station, Alex strikes up a telephone friendship with caller Lorraine Ferrar, who shares his love of swing music, and he and the attractive 40-year-old meet and develop a special relationship.

Drawn to Lorraine´s sexy voice and love of swing music, Alex invites her to a Big Band concert. On arriving at her home for the date, he´s shocked to find that she´s an older woman and the mother of one of his sister´s classmates. But they develop a platonic relationship, enjoying each other´s company and discovering a wide range of shared interests. When Alex and Lorraine continue to "date", Steven and Elyse try to accept it but eventually ask her to stop seeing their son.

Written by Alan Uger
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest star: Carolyn Seymour as Lorraine Ferrar and Hannah Cutrona as Melissa Ferrar (Lorraine's daughter)


32. This Year's Model (10/26/83)

A modeling agency offers Elyse the opportunity to appear in a commercial, much to Mallory's disappointment.

After Mallory secretly submits a picture of Elyse and herself to ad agency for for a mother-daughter modeling contest, she's ecstatic to have won - but dismayed and jealous when the reluctant Elyse becomes the star model.

Mallory is thrilled at the prospect of entering the glamorous world of modeling, but Elyse must be coaxed into participating. At the photo session, Elyse is showered with attention, while Mallory is shunted to the sidelines. To the chagrin of the teenager, her mother who is becoming seduced by the glamour, is offered a TV commercial for TV dinners - to be filmed in the Keaton home. The filming ensues, but Mallory is determined to create a few stumbling blocks.

Written by Richard Raskind & Susan Borowitz
Directed by John Pasquin
Guest stars: Sarah Abrell as Heather, Frank Dent as Ed, Eve Roberts as Mrs. Marin, Nick Meele as Phillip, Robert Schanche as Slate, and John McCook as the Tuxedo Man in the commercial shots


33. Birthday Boy (01/05/84)

Sparks fly when Alex defies his mother and goes to a bar in West Virginia on his 18th birthday.

On his 18th birthday, Alex defies his mother and goes off with some of his buddies to celebrate at an out-of-town niteclub, and to his dismay, the irate Elyse shows up and confronts him.

With her husband Steven out of town, Elyse and the girls plan to take Alex out to dinner on hid birthday. However, his friend Neil proposes a livelier celebration befitting a boy just entering adulthood, so Alex immediately scraps the family plans. When Elyse forbids him to go out on the town with the boys, Alex resents being treated like a child and takes off. He´s having a grand time with his pals and several enraptured girls at the Camelot Inn when Elyse shows up to take him home.

Written by Michael J. Weithorn
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Guest stars: John Putch as Neil, Crispin Glover as Doug, Eileen Seeley as Roxanne, Kate Vernon as Christy, and Debbie Gilbert as Buffy


34. Diary of a Young Girl (05/03/84)

Fearful she won't survive a tonsillectomy, Jennifer convinces herself that her family won't miss her. The Keatons, naturally, rally around to let her know the depth of their true feelings.

In the hospital awaiting a tonsillectomy, Jennifer fears she may never see her family again and, while writing in her diary, she flashes back to regrettable incidents with each family member.

Jennifer conjures up memories of the time she deliberately ruined Mallory's date with a boy, and also recalls an incident when her stubborn refusal to rehearse a play with Alex caused him to lose out on the lead.

Written by Ruth Bennett
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: Nancy Parsons as The Nurse and Michael David Wright as Kevin (Jenkins)
Note: Michael David Wright appeared as Young Steven Keaton in episode #99 My Back Pages.



35. Anniversary Waltz (12/16/87)

Steven and Elyse can't stop arguing, and the kids have to get them to make up in time for their anniversary party.

While plans are in full swing for the Keaton's 20th anniversary party, Steven and Elyse are fighting and it looks like they may not make it that far.

Elyse wants to have a big party to celebrate the Keaton´s 20th anniversary and Steven reluctantly agrees. Steven´s enthusiasm for the affair diminishes even further as Elyse´s guest list expands and the domestic problems begin to stack up, the happy couple are at each other´s throats... until the kids decide they´d better do something if they want their parents to stay together.

Written by Alan Uger
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: Jack Heller as Chaim, Gloria Gifford as Aikla, and Howard Renensland as Bernie

Note: NBC refused to air this episode during the 1983-1984 season. They had ordered 24 episodes and 24 episodes were produced. It did not air until the 6th season on 12/16/87.


36. Go Tigers (01/12/84)

Mallory goes to Princeton with Alex for a college interview to surprise Jeff, and finds him with another girl. At the same time, Steven must contain his hostility to babysit his obnoxious cousin.

Alex is both amazed and furious when a critical admissions interview at Princeton University is shattered by his hysterical sister Mallory, who feels her anger over discovering her boyfriend kissing another girl is more important than his college education.

Written by Michael J. Weithorn
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Guest stars: John Dukakis as Jeff, Duncan Ross as Dean Memminger, Joshua Miller as Kenneth, Bill Gratton as The Janitor, and Kate Charleson as Sandy


37. A Keaton Chrismas Carol (12/14/83)

Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" inspires this episode featuring Alex as the Keaton Scrooge.

A cynical Alex finds the spirit of Christmas in a dream, when he´s shown shocking visions of the past and future by ghosts of Mallory and Jennifer.

While the family enjoys trimming the tree, singing carols and taking pictures, Alex would rather listen to stock reports and finds Christmas "a silly sentimental farce" - except for the commercialism. That evening, when he drifts off to sleep, Jennifer - The Ghost of Christmas Past - takes him back ten years to a scene in the Keaton living room and a time when young Alex loved Christmas. Next, the Ghost of Christmas Future - Mallory - appears and transports Alex 15 years ahead in time. The impoverished Keaton household is a sorry sight, visited by a rich fat cat on his way to Las Vegas - the future Alex.

Written by Rich Reinhart
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Guest star: Chris Hebert as Young Alex and Kaleena Kiff as Young Mallory


38. 'M' Is For the Many Things (01/19/84)

Elyse is worried about her soon-to-be-divorced mother's quick jump into the singles world.

Elyse is shocked by her soon-to-be-divorced mother's quick and free-spirited plunge into the singles world, and sparks fly between the two women when Elyse can´t help but interfere.

Kate Donnelly is enjoying herself with a regular suitor, but her daughter Elyse is still hopeful that her parents will reconcile and can´t keep from meddling. She worries about Kate´s ability to handle herself in today´s singles world and even waits up for her after her date with the family dentist. When Kate doesn´t come home that nite, mother and daughter "have it out".

Written by Lisa Bannick
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Guest stars: Priscilla Morrill as Kate Donnelly and James Karen as Harold


39. Say Uncle (01/26/84)

Uncle Ned pays a visit, displaying a bravado that Alex soon learns is a cover-up for a serious drinking problem.

Alex discovers that his idol, young Uncle Ned, has a serious drinking problem when the bright, but ill-fated corporate whiz kid returns for a visit after losing another job.

Elyse´s brother hasn´t had a decent job in ages, and when Steven sets him up for an interview with his boss at the TV station, Ned starts celebrating immediately with a few beers. While cramming for an exam late one nite, Alex finds his uncle imbibing at the kitchen table. The next day an intoxicated Ned shows up at the station for a disastrous job interview and then must his family - and the truth.

Written by Ruth Bennett
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Guest stars: Tom Hanks as Ned Donnelly and Ben Piazza as Mr. Wertz


40. Ladies Man (02/02/84)

Alex gets more involved in feminist causes than he anticipated when he feigns support of the ERA just to impress a girl.

Alex pretends to support the Equal Rights Amendment to impress a pretty feminist and winds up behind bars after championing the cause at a debate that turns into a riot.

To get a date with Deena Marx, the conservative Alex starts spouting feminist rhetoric. While it´s all a sham, he gets in over his head when he accompanies Deena to a debate, stands up for a feminist being heckled and is carted off to jail following a near riot. He´s a hero to the women in his cell, but when he's asked to be the keynote speaker at an ERA rally, he realizes the charade has gone too far.

Written by Alan Uger
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Guest stars: Gail Sttrickland as Doroty Cannell, Tracy Nelson as Deena Marx, Philip Sterling as Mr. Winkler, Edith Fields as Mrs. (Sharon) Fletcher, John Hostetter as The Heckler


41. Ready or Not (02/09/84)

Mallory's afraid she'll lose her new boyfriend if she doesn't give in to his romantic requests.

Mallory turns to Alex for some advice when she begins to fear she'll lose her new boyfriend unless she agrees to his pleas for a more "adult" romance.

Sixteen-year-old Mallory and eighteen-year-old Rick seem to have a special romance, and she fears that she'll ruin it unless she gives in to his request to enter a new phase of the relationship. Mallory becomes burdened with the question of what is the "right time" for the "first time".

Written by Ruth Bennett & Michael J. Weithorn
Directed by Lee Shallat
Guest stars: Tom Byrd as Rick Harmon, Kathy Wilhoite as Kathy, Susan Isaacs as Linda, and Lenora May as Margo


42. Lady Sings the Blues (02/23/84)

Elyse hopes to revive the folk-singing career she began some 20 years earlier.

Excited at the prospect of reviving her folk-singing career at a local niteclub, Elyse faces the skepticism of Alex and Mallory and an audience unattuned to the songs of the sixties.

Though Elyse hasn't performed on stage since college days, friend´s of the Keaton's are impressed when she pulls out the old guitar and sings such folk classics as "Turn, Turn, Turn", "The Times They Are A'changin'" and "If I Had a Hammer". They encourage her to audition at a small neighborhood club, and Elyse joins the Top Spot's slate of performers - to eye opening results.

Written by Alan Uger & Michael J. Weithorn
Directed by Andrew McCullough
Guest stars: Milt Oberman as Andy, Enid Kent as Robin, Alan Blumenfeld as Lou Stone, Sam Kwasman as Dennis McKay, and William Boyett as The Policeman


43. Double Date (02/16/84)

Alex is in double trouble: he's asked two girls to the senior prom and doesn't have the nerve to cancel either of the dates.

Alex courts disaster when he invites two dates to the senior prom and devises an elaborate scheme for escorting each of the unknowing girls on a night to remember.

Prom chairman Alex is all set to attend the big evening with an ecstatic Rachel Miller, when he finds that his heartthrob, Jocelyn Clark, has just broken up with her boyfriend. While consoling her, Alex invites her to be his date - and finds himself in a major jam. With Skippy's help he tries to juggle both dates, until the truth comes crashing down.

Written by Doug Wyman
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: Jami Gertz as Jocelyn, Terry Wills as Dr. Schulte, and Daphne Zuniga as Rachel


44. The Graduate (03/15/84)

Alex can't accept the fact his girlfriend has been named class valedictorian.

Alex is so sure that he will be named valedictorian of his class that he can't cope with the thought of being defeated by a girl - especially his girl - so his budding romance with Rachel is threatened when she wins the honor.

The dismayed and shattered Alex, who even memorized his valedictory speech, feels cheated out of an honor he felt was his destiny all thru high school - and he proceeds to sabotage his relationship with Rachel.

Written by Lloyd Garver & Ruth Bennett
Directed by Will Mackenzie Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest star: Daphne Zuniga as Rachel and Terry Wills as Dr. Shulte (the principal)


45. Baby Boy Doe (03/08/84)

When Skippy learns that he is adopted, Alex accompanies him to meet his real mother.

When Alex's pal Skippy discovers he´s adopted, Alex helps him cope with the shocking news and accompanies the nervous teenager on a memorable meeting with his real mother.

Skippy accidentally learns he´s not a Handleman and decides to pursue his roots. While his tearful adopted parents are reassured by Steven and Elyse that their lives won´t change, Alex takes Skippy on a trip out of town to meet the woman who gave him up at birth.

Written by Ruth Bennett & Alan Uger
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: Garn Stephens as Elizabeth Davidson (Skippy´s birth mother) and Raleigh Bond and Lois DeBanzie as Skippy's adoptive parents, Harry and Rose Handleman


46. The Gambler (09/20/84)

The Keatons turn Elyse's business trip to Atlantic City into a family vacation, but she cares more about gambling than giving her important speech.

Elyse is stricken with gambling fever on a business trip to Atlantic City, and while on a roll with Alex´s "foolproof" blackjack system, she's oblivious to her family and job.

Excited at the prospect of having his system put to the test, Alex urges his folks to "go for the gold", but Elyse insists her trip is strictly business. Finally, she´s persuaded to try her hand at blackjack. Swept away on a seemingly endless winning streak, Elyse doesn´t show up at the architects' convention, ignores her family's needs and casts all financial caution to the wind.

Written by Michael J. Weithorn & Alan Uger
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Guest stars: Arthur Taxier, Seth Jaffe as the pit boss, and Charles Walker

Note: According to the tv.com episode guide, this episode didn't air until a week before the 3rd Season premiere.


Season 3 / 26 episodes / 1984-85


47. Here We Go Again (09/27/84)

When Steven and the Keaton youngsters return from a camping trip, Elyse is bursting with the news that she's pregnant.

The news that their mother is pregnant sends the three Keaton kids into an angry outburst resulting in a family battle.

The children react with panic and outrage at the though of having a baby around, and the Keaton household is in turmoil while Elyse tries to make them see the brighter side of the situation.

Written by Ruth Bennett & Alan Uger
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy

Notes: Steven is 40 and Jennifer is 11 years old.


48. Fabric Smarts (10/25/84)

Alex agrees to help Mallory maintain her grades, which have begun to slip since she got an after-school job at a boutique.

Mallory's enthusiasm for her part-time job at a boutique causes her school grades to slip even lower than usual and Steven and Elyse agree that she must quit work, but Alex comes up with a proposal that could resolve the situation.

Alex has his own reasons for wanting Mallory to keep her job - it keeps her away from the house - so he initiates a plan that will allow her to work and improve her grades at the same time.

Written by David Lloyd Garver
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: Doris Belack as Mrs. Willis, Alison LaPlaca, and Bunny Summers


49. Lost Weekend (11/22/84)

Elyse takes the girls away for a weekend, in hopes it will bring them closer together. Also, Alex would rather go visit a girl (Suzie Farkas) then spend time with Steven.

Steven and Elyse plan a nostalgic weekend with the kids before the baby arrives, and are crushed to discover that the children are not at all interested in reminiscing about old times - they'd rather be with their friends.

Elyse's camping trip with Mallory and Jennifer is cut short when she realizes that the girls are bored to death, while Steven's plans to spend time with Alex at home are crushed when his son leaves on a date.

Written by Michael J. Weithorn & Ruth Bennett
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy



50. Little Man on Campus (10/04/84)

Alex asks for Mallory's advice when he fails his first college assignment.

Alex is thrilled to be taking a college course taught by one of his personal heroes, Professor Ephraim Bronski, but in his eagerness to impress the teacher he gets off to a bad start and is humiliated by his idol when he fails the first class assignment.

Alex cannot believe that the brilliant paper he turned in received an "F" and turns to his sister Mallory for advice on how to cope with failure.

Written by Michael J. Weithorn
Directed by John Pasquin
Guest stars: Michael McGuire as Professor Bronski and Timothy Busfield as Doug


51. Best Man (11/15/84)

Alex refuses to be his best friend Doug's best man at his wedding.

When his best friend, Doug, meets and falls in love with Eleanor, and decides to marry her, Alex resents the fact that someone has come between their friendship and refuses to be in the wedding.

Alex cannot accept the fact that he and everyone around him are growing up, and desperately clings to his old ways.

Written by Alan Uger
Directed by John Pasquin
Guest stars: Timothy Busfield as Doug, Lily Mariye as Eleanor (Doug's fiancee), Michael Zorek as Flaum, William Campbell as Lyle, Tate Donovan as Clancy, Toni Gerry as Doug's Mother, and Ernest Harada as The Pastor


52. Keaton and Son (10/18/84)

When Alex takes a job at his father's PBS station, he sees this as a means of earning some money while Steven views this as Alex's efforts to follow in his father's footsteps.

Alex reluctantly accepts a part-time job with his father at the non-profit station, and his dad is bursting with pride to have him following in his footsteps, but Alex feels his talents are being wasted.

Steven is excited to have Alex working with him and begins planning their future together, but Alex tries to convince his dad that he has other goals.

Written by Lissa Levin
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Guest stars: Sal Viscuso as Richard (Grasso), Marsha Warfield as Doris (Bradford), Frances Bay as Mrs. Menlo, and Warren Munson as Fred (Lambert)

Note: Meredith Baxter does not appear in this episode.


53. Don't Kiss Me, I'm Only the Messenger (11/29/84)

Alex tries to help his friend Skippy by setting him up with a girl named Jane, but Skippy is the one who feels betrayed when he catches Alex and Jane kissing.

Alex plays Cupid to help his shy pal Skippy get together with Jane, the girl of his dreams, but his good intentions goes awry when the girl falls for him instead.

When Skippy and Mallory find Alex locked in a passionate embrace with Jane, Skippy accuses him of stealing his girl.

Written by Ruth Bennett
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest star: Michelle Meyrink as Jane


54. Love Thy Neighbor (10/11/84)

Jennifer anxiously awaits a visit from a former neighborhood pal.

Little Jennifer is thrilled about a visit from Scott, a former neighborhood pal she hasn't seen in five years, but her happiness at the reunion is shattered when he ignores her in favor of her older sister, Mallory.

To win Scott's attention, Jennifer dresses up in a flirtatious outfit and goes to the restaurant where he is having dinner with Mallory.

Written by Ruth Reinhart
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Guest star: Matthew Barry as Scott and Richard Morof as The Waiter


55. Hotline Fever (11/01/84)

While working at a crisis center for class credit, Alex and a friend get a call from a suicidal student.

Alex is teamed with long-time rival James Jarrett and assigned to work at a "hotline" crisis center to fulfill a course requirement, and the two end up in a crisis of their own when they get a call from a suicidal student.

As an economics student, Alex finds it demeaning to be forced into a public service position, but his experiences at the crisis center gives him a new outlook on life.

Written by Marc Lawrence
Directed by John Pasquin
Guest star: Jeffrey Joseph as James Jarrett, Jane Alden as Ms. (Janice) Worthy, and Sam Whipple as Bill

Notes: Alex's codename is Gandhi and James is Gidget.


56. Help Wanted (12/06/84)

Alex hires a housekeeper with no experience -- and whose chief qualification is meeting his special criteria.

Because of Elyse's pregnancy, the family decides to get a housekeeper, so Alex hires the lovely Karen Nicholson, a totally incompetent young lady whom the family immediately adores - but Steven insists she must be fired.

Despite the fact that Karen has no domestic skills and is rapidly destroying every appliance in the house, the kids love her - and Steven has a difficult time trying to fire her.

Written by Ruth Bennett & Michael J. Weithorn
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Guest star: Geena Davis as Karen, Robert Costanzo as Max, and Anne Ramsey as Mrs. Warfield

Note: Meredith Baxter does not appear in this episode.


57. 4 Rms Ocn Vu (11/08/84)

Alex helps Mallory when she damages the family car.

While Steven and Elyse are away on vacation, the Keaton house becomes a hotel for the weekend after Mallory accidentally crashes her parents' car into a telephone pole and the kids need to raise money for auto repairs.

A lot of people are in town for the Leland homecoming game, so Alex decides to take advantage of the situation and rent out rooms - but suddenly he´s swamped with renters and the house looks like a three-ring circus.

Written by Alan Uger & Martin Lawrence
Directed by Lee Shallat
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: Sam Whipple as Jack Driscoll, Shawn Schepps as Darlene Driscoll, Earl Boen as Ed Barker, Beverly Archer as Sue Barker, Marcianne Warman as Ellen Barker, Jeff B. Cohen as Dougie Barker, Robert Schanche as Young Man-1, and Christopher Joyce as Young Man-2.

Note: Meredith Baxter does not appear in this episode. Alex is Leland '88, Skippy and Mallory Harding High '86 and Jennifer is Randolph Elementary '88. Alex opens Keaton Manor, the Crawford kangaroo is brought into the living room.


58. Karen II - Alex 0 (12/13/84)

Karen is Alex's date for an important college function, and all the men fall for her.

Alex's chances or acceptance into a smug college fraternity are dependent upon his having a knockout date for the pledge dance and when the girl cancels he pleads with Karen, the housekeeper, to accompany him - but his problems are far from resolved when they arrive at the dance.

Karen reluctantly agrees to be Alex's date, but does not tell him why she is so hesitant to go.

Written by Lloyd Garver & Michael J. Weithorn
Directed by Lee Shallat
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: Geena Davis as Karen, Robert Pine as Dean (Ian) McCall, Barry Sobel as Petey Gordon, Christopher Rydell as Craig Duvall, and Rick Gibbs as Don Caruthers

Notes: Meredith Baxter does not appear in this episode. Alex is pledging Alpha Phi Epsilon.


59. Auntie Up (01/10/85)

The death of her favorite aunt leaves Mallory in need of consolation, but her family's too caught up in a garage sale.

Mallory is crushed when her favorite aunt dies suddenly, but her feelings of sadness turns to anger when family and friends at the funeral seem to be taking Aunt Trudy's death too lightly.

Mallory feels that she has lost her best friend, and is shocked that no one else seems to share her grief.

Written by Lawrence Levy
Directed by John Pasquin
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: Edith Atwater as Aunt Trudy, John Petlock as Reverend Wilson, Enid Kent as Phyllis, Matthew Faison as Mr. Cromwell, Bernadette Birkett as Mrs. Cromwell, Richard Stahl as Stu Devin, Stan Roth as The Doctor, and Alan Blumenfeld as Man at Garage Sale
Note: John Petlock appeared in the pilot episode as Mr. Blanton.


60. Oh, Donna (01/03/85)

When he agrees to coach unwed mother Donna Barros through pregnancy, Alex gets carried away by the responsibility.

Alex becomes involved with Donna, a young, unwed expectant mother from Elyse's natural-childbirth class - but his interest in her becomes an obsession when he starts planning for her child's future and acting as if they were a real family.

Donna is flattered by Alex´s concern for her and her unborn baby, but soon begins to realize that he is becoming a little bit too helpful.

Written by Alan Uger
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Guest star: Isabelle Walker as Donna (Barros), Mary Farrell as Carol Mannings, David Paymer as Larry (harris), Julie Fulton as Suzie (Harris), Jack Blessing as Leonard, and Karlene Crockett as Marge

Note: Alex is 18 years old.


61. The Philadelphia Story (01/17/85)

While working on a term paper, Alex falls asleep and dreams it's July 3, 1776 and he's at Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

The Keaton family is transported back in time when Alex dreams he is at the Constitutional Convention at 1776, but history is off track. Steven Keaton is Thomas Jefferson and has just turned down John Adams' request to write the Declaration of Independence, so it's up to Alex to convince him to do it.

Alex falls asleep while working on a college term paper on Thomas Jefferson and dreams that his family and friends are living 200 years ago.

Written by Michael J. Weithorn
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: Ben Piazza as Ed Nelson/John Adams and James Cromwell as John Hancock


62. Birth of a Keaton (Part 1) (01/24/85)

Elyse goes into labor at the TV station while helping Steven during pledge week.

To help Steven during pledge week at his TV station, the Keatons reluctantly agree to be a part of the entertainment, but the audience gets an unexpected show when Elyse goes into labor right on camera while in the middle of a song.

Elyse realizes that the baby is on the way. she and the kids begin to panic when they realize that Steven had to rush home to fix a plumbing problem and is now trapped there by a snowstorm. His TV set shows him what's happening at the station.

Written by Lloyd Garver
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: John Hancock as Gus, Rick Podell as Jackie Jackerman, Bruce Jarchow as Ted, Fran Robinson as Judy, Chez Lister as Bill, and Ron Karabatsos as Bud (Carlson)

Notes: Mallory is 16 years old and they live in the 614 area code.


63. Birth of a Keaton (Part 2) (01/31/85)

Steven, the plumber, and Skippy brave a blizzard to reach the hospital, but Elyse is still back at the station in the final stages of labor.

Still trapped at the television station, Elyse realizes she cannot make it thru the snowstorm to the hospital and prepares to give birth in Steven´s office. Meanwhile, stuck at home by the same storm, Steven enlists the help of Bud the plumber and his truck, and heads for the hospital, thinking Elyse will be there.

Elyse makes a plea on camera to Steven - wherever he is - to come to the station, so Steven, the doctor, the plumber and Skippy all frantically head for WKS, hoping they arrive in time for the birth.

Written by Alan Uger & Marc Lawrence
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: John Hancock as Gus, Rick Podell as Jackie Jackerman, Bill Cort as Dr. (Hubert) Witt, Melanie Jones as Dr. Alexander, Shirley Prestia as the Receptionist, and Ron Karabatsos as Bud (Carlson)


64. Cry Baby (02/07/85)

The Keatons overcompensate when they try to deal with Jennifer's jealousy of Andrew.

The Keaton family adjusts to life with the new baby - but while everyone caters to the new arrival, Jennifer struggles with jealous feelings about not being the baby of the family anymore.

When Steven and Elyse realize that Jennifer feels left out, they overcompensate by trying too hard to make her feel loved.

Written by Bruce Helford & Bruce David
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: none


65. Don't Know Much About History (02/14/85)

Alex and his friend James start a tutoring business and both fall for the same girl.

Alex and his good friend James go into business together as tutors for their fellow students at Leland. However, their competitiveness threatens to undermine their business - let alone their friendship - particularly when one of their students turns out to be a very attractive young lady.

Written by Michael J. Weithorn & Marc Lawrence
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: Jeff Joseph as James Jarrett, Nancy Everhard as Robin, Wyatt Clark as William, David Wohl as Axelrod, and Robert Schlanche as Student


66. Cold Storage (03/07/85)

Skippy becomes Mallory's welcome companion when the two get locked in the basement while the Keatons are away.

With the rest of the family away for the weekend, Mallory is excited about the house to herself - until she is accidentally locked in the basement with the person she'd least like to be with - her adoring neighbor, Skippy.

The mismatched pair do, however, come up with a unique way to keep warm and share some tender moments while waiting for their rescue.

Written by Marc Lawrence
Directed by Lee Shallat
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest star: Jack Blessing as Leonard, Karlene Crockett as Marge, Julie Fulton as Suzie, and David Paymer as Larry


67. Bringing Up Baby (02/21/85)

The pressures of a new baby make Steven and Elyse feel they don't have time for each other, but when they manage to go off on their own, they discover that they miss the chaos.

With two careers, three bickering children and one demanding baby, Steven and Elyse can't seem to find any time for each other. But when they do finally take the time for a quiet evening alone, they miss all the chaos.

Written by Rich Reinhart
Directed by Andrew McCullough
Guest stars: Steve Peterman as Man in Restaurant, Rhoda Delamarter as Woman in Restaurant, and Kurt Smildsin as The Waiter


68-69. Remembrance of Things Past (Parts 1 and 2) (03/28/85)

After his father's death, Steven returns to his home town to help his mother move out of the house -- a place that easily inspires memories.

Steven takes a nostalgic trip to his hometown following the death of his father and, with the support of Elyse and the children, tries to prepare his mother for her new life in a special two-part episode.

Good and bad memories of Steven's childhood (including flashbacks to his boyhood) are stirred up as he sorts thru family photos and heirlooms. But an on-going rivalry with his older brother Robert, and the unsettled feelings he has about his dad make it a difficult period of adjustment for everyone.

Written by Gary Goldberg & Alan Uger
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: Anne Seymour as May Keaton, Norman Parker as Robert Keaton; and Adam Carl, Mark Marias, Maryedith Burrell and Michael Alldredge as young Steven, Robert, May and Jake Keaton, respectively (in flashback scenes)

Note: Originally aired as an one-hour episode.


70. Designated Hitter (10/24/85)

Jennifer gets into a fight defending her boyfriend; Alex is dealt a blow when Mallory outscores him on an IQ test.

Jennifer takes on the class bully to defend her boyfriend and unwittingly humiliates him by undermining his masculinity - and Alex is devastated when Mallory scores higher than him on an IQ test.

Jennifer tries to apologize to Adam, but discovers that all the boys are making fun of him and he won´t speak to her.

Written by Steven J. Curwick
Directed by John Pasquin
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest star: Noah Hathaway as Adam, Danny Nucci as Rick, Simon Burgess as The Student and Andre Marcellous as The Teacher

Note: This episode was produced for the 1984-1985 season but did not air until the 1985-1986 season.


71. Return of the Native (03/20/88)

The Keatons' cousin arrives to tell of her adventures abroad in England, but the family is too busy reminiscing to hear of her adventures.

Cousin June returns to the Keaton household for a visit after a three year stay in London. All of the Keatons are eager to hear her tales of England, but they just can't seem to let her get a word in edgewise.

Written by Lloyd Garver
Directed by John Pasquin
Guest star: Danielle Von Zerneck as June, in flashbacks: Beverly Archer, Matthew Barry, Earl Boen, Jeff B. Cohen, Molly David, John Dukakis, Edward Edwards, Mary Farrell, Christopher Joyce, Ron Karabatsos, Richard Morof, Robert Schanche, Shawn Schepps, Carolyn Seymour, Bunny Summers, Marcianne Warman and Sam Whipple

Note: This episode was produced for the 1984-1985 season but did not air until the 1987-1988 season.


72. Matchmaker (07/23/87)

After she has a string of bad dates, Alex helps Mallory find the perfect date with the help of a rented computer.

When Mallory comes home from her sixth disastrous date in a row, Alex tries to comfort and then help. He will find her a new and perfect boyfriend using a computer that the Keatons have gotten for Jennifer's "educational" use.

Yet, when Roger and Mallory don´t hit it off, Alex refuses to give up on getting this "perfect couple" together.

Written by Bruce Helford and Bruce David
Directed by Barbara Schultz
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: Bill Allen as Roger Sloate, Eli Marder as Tracey, and Laura Esterman as the waitress

Note: This episode was produced for the 1984-1985 (third) season but did not air until the 1986-1987 season.


Season 4 / 30 episodes / 1985-1986


73-76. Family Ties Vacation (2 Hour TV Movie) (09/23/85)

The Keatons' holiday in England, where Alex begins a summer scholarship program at Oxford.

In a special four-part adventure, the Keaton family visits historic London, England for a vacation that is sure to be remembered.

The Keaton´s embark on a trip to London when Alex earns a study scholarship at prestigious Oxford University. Aboard their flight, Elyse befriends a fellow passenger who has possession of a microfilm hidden in a hair brush. Upon arrival, the passenger secretly slips the brush into the Keatons´ luggage.

Once Alex arrives at Oxford, he desperately seeks acceptance from his noble roommate, Lord William of Cureton, and his fellow students, who in turn make Alex the butt of various pranks. In the meantime, Mallory is charmed when William falls madly in love with her.

Unbeknownst to the Keaton´s, a couple of spies are tracking every move in an effort to retrieve the brush and the microfilm. After several bungled attempts, the spies vow that it´s time to get serious!

While the spies frantically search for the hair brush, the Keatons bicker over what sights to see in London, and Alex finds life at Oxford tougher than he´d ever imagined.

After quarrelling over their sightseeing itinerary, the Keatons split up and go their separate ways: Steven and Elyse explore museums and landmarks, while Mallory and Jennifer head for stores and restaurants.

Meanwhile, Alex, having taken enough abuse from his malicious peers, confronts them before a history class and sets them straight. William, admiring Alex´s stand, invites him to fill a vacancy on his canoeing team. Alex graciously accepts.

After Steven confides to Elyse his nagging suspicion that they´re being followed, they wise up to a stranger who is indeed trailing them. Identifying himself as a police inspector, he explains the situation involving them and the microfilm - the Keatons have become embroiled in international espionage.

When William invites the Keatons to his estate for a weekend visit, Steven and Elyse are surprised to find the inspector disguised as a servant. He assures them that he and his other disguised colleagues will protect them from danger. Unbeknownst to anyone, however, the spies are also disguised as servants!

During a weekend visit to the Cureton´s estate, William and Mallory share tranquil moments together while Steve and Elyse attempt to decipher the strange events surrounding them during their vacation.

Romance blossoms between William and Mallory once he reveals that he is falling in love with her. Meanwhile, Steve, Elyse, and the inspector realize that all of the strange occurrences involve a hair brush - the microfilm must be planted in one of their hair brushes! The spies are listening in on the conversation when Jennifer remembers that she placed an unfamiliar brush in Alex´s belongings.

Alex is about to enter the canoe race when he is forewarned of ensuing trouble, so he passes the brush on to William´s father. The spies enter the race in hot pursuit of Alex.

After the race, the spies confront Alex, who claims that he knows nothing. But when Mallory inadvertently blows his cover, the spies take Alex and Mallory hostage.<> While everyone frantically searches for Alex and Mallory, one of the spies inform the Keatons of Alex and Mallory´s abduction and possible whereabouts.

The spies escort Alex and Mallory to the House of Lords where they retrieve the brush from William´s father, the Earl of Cureton. Afterwards, the Keatons arrive with the police to find Alex, Mallory, and several others bound and gagged. Disguising themselves as judges, the spies seek refuge in a courtroom, but when Alex recognizes one of the spies a fight breaks out, allowing the head spy to escape.

Alex pursues the spy and finally reaches him. As they struggle, the brush breaks free and Alex is able to retrieve it. The police arrive and all is back to order.

Before returning home, Alex receives gifts and goodbyes from his Oxford peers, while Mallory receives roses and a profession of love from William.

Written by
Directed by
Guest stars: Philip Hynd as Clifford Markham, Charles McKeown as Frederick Weiss, James Saxon as Luther Broder, John Moulder Brown as Lord Cureton, Derek Nimmo as Gwynne Davies, and John Westbrook as Earl of Cureton

Notes: Originally aired as a 2 hour movie on NBC.

Filmed on location in various parts of England.

Has been shown on TBS in 4 different parts.


77. Mr. Wrong (10/17/85)

The Keatons are at war over Mallory's new boyfriend, a Rambo-type character whose talents only Mallory appreciates.

Mallory brings home her new boyfriend, Nick - a Rambo-type environmental artist - to meet her family, but Steven and Elyse are shocked by his crude appearance and gruff manner.

Written by Alan Uger
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Co-star: Scott Valentine as Nick
Notes: This is the first episode appearance of Scott Valentine as Mallory's boyfriend, Nick Moore. Mallory is almost 18 years old and Nick has a little brother.


78. The Real Thing (Part 1) (09/26/85)

Alex selects a steady girlfriend from the freshman directory -- but it's her roommate, Ellen, who lights Alex's fire.

Alex implements a fail-proof, and extremely unromantic, method of meeting the girl of his dreams: He picks her from pictures in the freshman directory. His selection, Tricia, seems to fit his requirements perfectly, but his plan goes off-track when he is strongly attracted to her roommate, Ellen.

Ellen and Alex dislike each other instantly, and though he can't figure out why, he finds himself thinking about her constantly.

Written by Michael J. Weithorn
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Co-star: Tracy Pollan as Ellen Reed, Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: Suzanne Snyder as Tricia (Armstrong) and Judson Allen as Jack
Notes: This is Tracy Pollan's first appearance as Ellen Reed, Alex's girlfriend. Tracy Pollan and Michael J. Fox are married in real life.

The name of the Alex/Ellen theme song at the bus station is "At This Moment" by Billy Vera and The Beaters. See the Sound Library/Video Clips section for a mp3 file of it and information on how to order it on CD.


79. The Real Thing (Part 2) (10/03/85)

Alex is in love -- problem is, she's all set to marry someone else.

Alex realizes he must make Ellen aware of his feelings, but she is on a train on her way to marry another man, so he takes drastic measures to stop the wedding.

The usually cool Alex decides he must let down his defenses or lose the girl he loves.

Written by Michael J. Weithorn
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Co-star: Tracy Pollan as Ellen Reed, Marc Price as Skippy
Guest star: Peter Van Norden as The Janitor and Danny Ponce as The Shoeshine Boy

The name of the Alex/Ellen theme song at the bus station is "At This Moment" by Billy Vera and The Beaters. See the Sound Library/Video Clips section for a mp3 file of it and information on how to order it on CD.


80. The Old College Try (11/07/85)

Mallory announces that she's not going to college after Elyse arranges an interview with an admissions counselor.

When Mallory informs her parents that she has no intention of going to college after graduation, they are sure she is being influenced by her boyfriend, Nick, a high school dropout.

Elyse is crushed by Mallory's decision to forego a college education, and Mallory turns to Nick for support.

Written by Ruth Bennett
Directed by Barbara Schultz
Co-stars: Marc Price as Skippy, Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest star: Molly Cheek as Frances Wilder


81-82. It's My Party (Parts 1 and 2) (08/06/87 and 08/13/87)

In desperation to be in the "in crowd", Jennifer invites a group of trendy girls to her birthday party. (Part 1)

The Keatons are at odds over what to do with Jennifer now that she's in with a different crowd. (Part 2)

In her quest to become one of the popular kids, Jennifer invites her trendy classmates to her thirteenth birthday party. When they become bored and begin grumbling at her "lame" party (which includes a traditional puppet show by her father), Jennifer takes drastic action. With Mallory's guidance, she becomes a "valley girl", who then deserts her own party.

Yet, it's only a matter of time before Jennifer realizes she isn´t having any fun and she rebels against her new friends.

Written by Susan Borowitz
Directed by Asaad Kelada
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy, Tracy Pollan as Ellen
Guest stars: Amy Lynne as Chrissy Nardino, Heather Hobbs as Stacie Connors, Stephanie Dizon as Holly, Alyson Croft as Brooke, Nicole Nourmand as Beth, Niall Gartlan as Brett, Gino de Mauro as Zack, Fluffy as himself and Sparky as Marv

Note: These episodes were produced for the 1985-1986 season but did not air until the 1986-1987 season.


83. Don't Go Changing (10/31/85)

Alex tries ballet to prove he and Ellen share the same interests.

Alex does some fancy footwork on the dance floor to impress Ellen when he thinks he is losing her because of their divergent interests.

Alex feels he has to compete with Ellen´s artsy friends for her attention and attempts to change himself to fit into her world.

Written by Marc Lawrence
Directed by Asaad Kelada
Co-star: Tracy Pollan as Ellen
Guest stars: John Scott Clough as David, Pamela Springsteen as Gail, Jesse Welles as Ms. (Deborah) Henley, and Bronwyn Thomas as Roberta


84. My Tutor (11/14/85)

Alex requires the aid of a tutor for a college class, and gets a college student the same age as Jennifer.

Alex hires a tutor to help him with math, but his "teacher" turns out to be a 13-year-old genius who suddenly becomes more interested in Jennifer than in helping Alex.

When Eugene, Alex's tutor, meets Jennifer he loses his concentration and Alex comes up with a scheme that will benefit both him and Eugene.

Written by Jace Richdale
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: River Phoenix as Eugene Forbes, Peter Hobbs as Professor Jenkins, and Kim Sebastian as Eunice


85. Mr. Right (11/21/85)

Nick's image-transformation impresses everyone except Mallory.

Mallory´s boyfriend, environmental artist Nick Moore, swaps his T-shirt, camouflage pants, combat boots and earrings for a three-piece suit and a haircut to impress Mallory´s parents, but while Steven and Elyse love the new Nick, Mallory is ready to leave him.

Written by Alan Uger
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-star: Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: Alan Blumenfeld as Mr. Gleason, Bunny Summers as Customer No. 1, and Denise Damico as Customer No. 2


86. Just One Look (12/05/85)

Steven discovers that his college buddy once had a fling with Elyse.

Steven's old college buddy Richard Schofield is in town for and Steven looks forward to reminiscing about old times - until he learns that Richard and Elyse share some memories he wasn't aware of.

Steven loses his normally cool composure and becomes insanely jealous, imagining that Elyse and Richard are secretly attracted to one another.

Teleplay by Paul Wolff
Story by Gary David Goldberg & Michael J. Weithorn
Directed by Andrew McCullough
Guest star: Robert Desiderio as Richard Schofield


87. How Do You Sleep? (12/12/85)

Alex refuses to admit he's having problems with insomnia.

Alex, who prides himself on being in control of his life, is embarrassed to admit that he is having a problem with insomnia, which is creating stress in his personal life as well as in school.

Although Alex refuses to discuss his sleeping problems with anyone, his restlessness is disrupting the whole family.

Written by Marc Lawrence
Directed by John Pasquin
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: none


88. The Big Fix (11/17/86)

Elyse's plans to match her next door neighbor with a co-worker backfire.

When Terry Bridgeman, a colleague of Elyse's, confides that he has broken up with his girlfriend, Elyse decides to fix him up with a family friend (and neighbor), the beautiful Liz Obeck.

What Elyse doesn't realize, however, is that Liz has been seriously involved with someone else for two years.

Written by Michael J. Weithorn
Directed by John Pasquin
Co-star: Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: Terry Farrell as Liz Obeck, Tony Carreiro as Terry Bridgeman, and John Petlock as Ted Waterman

Note: This episode was produced for the 1985-1986 season but did not air until the 1986-1987 season.


89. You've Got a Friend (12/19/85)

Guilt-ridden after turning in a young shoplifter to the police, Mallory tries to become her friend.

Mallory begins to feel severe guilt after reporting a young girl to the police for shoplifting - especially when she learns that the girl is from a home for abused children. Mallory visits Jessie at the home but is suspicious of the girl's intentions.

Nick warns Mallory that she can't change Jessie overnight, but Mallory is sure that she can at least be a good influence.

Written by Ruth Bennett
Directed by John Pasquin
Co-star: Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest star: Martha Plimpton as Jessie Black


90. Nothing But a Man (01/02/86)

Steven's new job at the TV station leaves him with very little time to spend with his family.

Steven gets the promotion he has been waiting years for, but as the new regional manager of the station, he is required to put in long hours at the office, and soon realizes he has no time for his family.

Although Elyse and the kids are happy about Steven´s new position, they begin to miss the days where he would come home for dinner every night and have time to take part in day-to-day activities.

Teleplay by Jean Kraynak Brinck
Story by Jurgen M. Wolf
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Co-stars: Tracy Pollan as Ellen, Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: John Hancock as Gus, George Coe as Justin, and Robert Costanzo as Waiter


91-92. A Word to the Wise (Parts 1 and 2) (02/13/86)

The Keaton family fills in his girlfriend, Ellen, on some of the more humorous events in Alex´s life before they met in this special one-hour episode.

Flashbacks to previous episodes include some highlights from the series' past shows.

Alex and Ellen celebrate their six-month anniversary as boyfriend and girlfriend, and the family thinks it's time for Ellen to know the truth about Alex.

Written by
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Co-star: Tracy Pollan as Ellen
Guest Co-Stars (in flashbacks): Beverly Archer, Earl Boen, Jeff B. Cohen, Geena Davis, Charlie Douglas, John Dukakis, Margaret Fitzgerald, Deborah Foreman, John Gallogly, Debbie Gilbert, Crispin Glover, Christopher Joyce, Philip Charles MacKenzie, Michael B. Moynahan, Kerry Noonan, John Putch, Duncan Ross, Robert Schanche, Shawn Schepps, Eileen Seeley, Jeff Shelby, Kate Vernon, Marcianne Warman and Sam Whipple

Note: Originally aired as a an one-hour episode.


93. The Disciple (01/09/86)

Jennifer receives rave reviews for a speech Alex penned.

Alex offers to help Jennifer with a speech project and winds up creating a monster - the speech is such a success that she is asked to repeat the performance for an awards panel.

Jennifer does her class project perfectly, but doesn´t understand what she said because Alex coached her on most of the material. So when asked to present it to the panel of judges, her nerves get the best of her.

Written by Rich Reinhart
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: Cynthia Carle as Betty Boswell, David Wohl as Ralph Boswell, Amy O´Neill as Brenda, Belita Moreno as Mrs. Pedroza, and Corey Feldman as Student


94. Where's Poppa? (01/16/86)

Alex surprises Ellen by inviting her father to Parents Day Weekend at Leland College.

Alex secretly invites Ellen's dad to Parent's Day Weekend at Leland College, thinking that she will be pleasantly surprised to see him, but what he doesn't know is that Ellen has no desire to see her father.

Ellen can't forgive her father for not spending time with her when she was growing up, and although he wants to make amends she refuses to forgive and forget.

Written by Marc Lawrence & Susan Borowitz
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Co-star: Tracy Pollan as Ellen
Guest star: Ronny Cox as Franklin Reed (Ellen's father)


95. Fool For Love (01/23/86)

Skippy becomes obsessed with Mallory.

Skippy's lifetime obsession with Mallory builds to a climax when he refuses to accept that she is in love with Nick, and creates an embarrassing scene at the Homecoming dance.

Alex tries to convince Skippy he should forget about Mallory and find someone else, and even enlists the help of a psychiatrist, but Skippy can´t let go of his fantasy.

Written by Marc Lawrence
Directed by Lee Shallat
Co-stars: Marc Price as Skippy, Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest star: Suzanne Lederer as Dr. Sylvia Bogner


96. Checkmate (01/30/86)

Pitted against a top Soviet chess player, Ivan Rozmirovich, Alex prepares to win at all costs -- until he figures out his opponent's strategy.

A chess tournament between Leland College students and a visiting Soviet team turns into a wrestling match when Alex and his opponent, Ivan Rozmirovich, match wits and "fight" for their countries.

Alex considers it his patriotic duty to beat the Russian, but as the game progresses he realizes his opponent is not really the enemy he had envisioned him to be.

Written by Michael J. Weithorn
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-star: Tracy Pollan as Reed
Guest stars: Albert Macklin as Ivan Rozmirovich, Todd Jeffries as Eddie, George Pentecost as Eric Nordstrom, Elsa Raven as Mildred Atkins, and Alex Henteloff as the Coach


97. Engine Trouble (02/06/86)

Alex refuses to admit that Elyse is a far better student than he is in an auto-mechanics class.

Elyse enrolls in an auto mechanics class to prove Alex and Steven that women can be just as competent with cars as men, but to protect his own masculinity, Alex joins the class to prove her wrong.

Written by Ruth Bennett
Directed by John Pasquin
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy, Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest star: Robert Costanzo as Sam and Tony Quinn as Clete


98. Art Lover (02/20/86)

An older woman has her eyes set on Nick.

Mallory suspects there's more involved than "art appreciation" when a wealthy and beautiful older woman takes a special interest in Nick´s creations.

Promising to help launch his career, art patron Victoria Hurstenberg takes Nick under her wing, occupying nearly all of his time and interfering with his relationship with Mallory, who insists that the older woman has her eye on more than Nick's art.

Written by Bruce Helford
Directed by Andrew McCullough
Co-star: Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest star: Christina Belford as Victoria Hurstenberg


99. Teacher's Pet (03/02/86)

Ellen signs up for a course that Alex is teaching.

Alex lands a teaching-assistant position and runs into big trouble when he has to grade a student who also happens to be his girlfriend, Ellen.

When Ellen is assigned to Alex´s economics class, he has trouble treating her as just another student, and ends up causing a strain on their relationship.

Written by Marc Lawrence
Directed by John Pasquin
Co-star: Tracy Pollan as Ellen
Guest stars: Macon McCalman as Professor Spanos and Mark Moses as Rich Albert

Notes: Andrew is 11 months old. Alex gets an answering machine.


100. My Buddy (03/06/86)

Steven must cope with the fact that Jennifer is growing up.

Steven has a very difficult time accepting that his youngest daughter, Jennifer, is growing up and no longer wants to "pal around" with him.

As Jennifer grows and finds new interests, Steven feels rejected because she no longer spends time with him. The situation comes to a head when Steven insists on accompanying Jennifer on her girls-club outing, and she is mortified when he is the only male there.

Written by Alan Uger
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: Miriam Flynn as Mrs. Carpenter, Jenny Havens as Shelley, Laura Jacoby as Jill, and Anne Marie McEvoy as Alice


101. Once in Love With Elyse (05/01/86)

A co-worker falls in love with Elyse.

Elyse must deal with Paul, a young architect associate who falls in love with her.

After working for a year in the same office as Elyse, Paul, a very promising architect, can no longer ignore his feelings for her. He quits the job and confronts Elyse´s husband, Steven, with his dilemma.

Written by Michael J. Weithorn
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: Peter Scolari as Paul Kenter, Matthew Faison as Raymond, John Petlock as Ed Waterman, and Enid Kent as Susan Alexander


102. Paper Chase (aka Mallory's Graduation) (05/08/86)

Mallory's graduation is dependent upon her performance on a history exam.

Mallory discovers that her high school graduation is in jeopardy unless she can pass a very tough oral history exam.

Never an avid student, Mallory faces the possibility of failing her senior year in high school because of her poor grades. As the school term rapidly draws to a close, her only hope is to score extremely well on a tough final exam.

Written by: Susan Borowitz
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-stars: Marc Price as Skippy, Tracy Pollan as Ellen, Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: Gracie Harrison as Mrs. Hillman, Terry Wills as Dr. Schulte, and Willie Garson as Walter

Note: This is the last episode guest starring Tracy Pollan as Ellen. In episode 103 ("Starting Over"), it is mentioned that Ellen has moved to Paris on a dance scholarship, but that storyline was never actually seen in any episode. The producers and Gary David Goldberg actually wanted her to stay and sign for 2-3 years on the show but it was her choice to leave as she lived in New York and wanted to stay close to home.


Season 5 / 26 episodes / 1986-87


103. My Back Pages (10/16/86)

Steven discovers that he's left his radical past behind when he helps an old college friend re-establish a left-wing political magazine.

When Steven is asked by an old college friend to help him re-establish a left-wing political magazine (The Scavenger) they had worked on 20 years before, Steven realizes he is no longer in tune with the radical thinking it reflected - and that his values are more middle-of-the-road than he had ever expected.

When Matt Gilbert tells Steven he has the funds to revive "The Scavenger," Steven is excited about the opportunity to again express his viewpoints and to vividly recall the college days when he pursued Elyse. It only takes one story for him to realize, however, that he no longer represents the revolutionary left.

Written by Ruth Bennett
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: Sanford Jensen as Matt Gilbert, Raymond Singer as Cameron Wallace, Janice Lynde as Monica, Walter Olkewicz as Howie, Michael David Wright as Young Steven, Timothy Busfield as Young Matt, and Margaret A. Marx as Young Elyse


104. Be True To Your Preschool (09/25/86)

Alex doesn't like the education Andy is getting in preschool.

Alex shocks his parents when he visits his 3-year-old brother Andrew's very special preschool class, decides the wrong values are being stressed and withdraws him from the school.

Steven and Elyse had pulled strings to get Andrew into the special preschool. They are shocked when Alex announces that the school teaches "anti-competitive" values, and argues that his brother should be taught in a more aggressive manner.

Written by Marc Lawrence
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: Jennifer Salt as Mrs. Kluger, Ashley Bank as Rhonda, Phillip Boutte as Michael, and Joan McMurtrey as Mrs. Kaufman


105. Mrs. Wrong (Part 1) (11/06/86)

When Steven and Elyse oppose Nick and Mallory's marriage plans, the young couple decides to elope.

Nick and Mallory make sudden plans to elope when Steven and Elyse vehemently oppose their marriage plans and threaten to ground their teenaged daughter.

During a quiet evening together, Mallory pops the "big question" to Nick. They are ecstatic until they learn that the entire Keaton family is solidly against the idea.

Written by Alan Uger
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-star: Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: none



106. Mrs. Wrong (Part 2) (11/13/86)

Alex follows his sister and Nick to New Jersey in hopes of reaching them before they get married.

Alex sees Mallory and Nick leaving the Keaton residence in the predawn hours to elope, and unable to stop them, follows them to New Jersey where he finds the young couple taking a hard look at their decision.

After Nick bumbles around the outside of the house with a 16-foot ladder, Alex makes a desperate attempt to keep his younger sister Mallory from marrying Nick. But they are too much in love to listen. It takes Erin and Mike, another couple, to give them perspective on their maturity.

Written by Alan Uger
Directed by: Sam Weisman
Co-star: Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: John Ingle as Justice of the Peace, Larry Cox as Mike, and Alexandra Powers as Erin


107. Starting Over (10/02/86)

Ellen leaves and Alex must get over her.

Distraught that his girlfriend Ellen has gone to Paris on a dance scholarship, Alex desperately tries to find someone to take her place, but finally realizes that falling in love again will take time.

Alex mopes around the Keaton house pining for Ellen until Sharon, a pretty waitress, attracts his attention. Once on a date with her however, Alex tries to transform her into another Ellen, with disastrous results.

Written by Alan Vejar
Directed by Steven Robman
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: Haviland Morris as Sharon (McElroy), Robert Costanzo as Carmine, Michael Zorek as Flaum, John Putch as Neil, Kerry Remsen as Reenie, and Nan Vernon as Margie

Note: the song in this episode is At This Moment by Billy Vera and The Beaters - it was first used in episode #'s 78 and 79.


108. The Freshman and the Senior (10/09/86)

Mallory is teamed with 66-year-old Margaret Hollings on a college sociology project and finds that she has a lot to learn about honesty, sensitivity and older people when she almost causes the the woman to quit the class.

As Mallory faces the fact that the widowed senior citizen has her own special problems as a college freshman, Alex takes a special interest in the terms of the last wills and testaments of his parents.

Written by
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: Julie Harris as Margaret, Tracy Griffith as Holly Parker, and Helena Carroll as Jean


109. Beauty and the Bank (10/30/86)

Alex becomes attracted to his female boss.

Alex is emotionally torn when he goes to work in a bank and finds that the vice president to whom he reports is Ms. Ryan, a beautiful, smart and self-confident woman - and that he's growing more romantically interested in her each day.

The Keaton family delights in Alex's taking orders from Ms. Ryan, but their playfulness wanes when they discover his attitude toward her is taking a toll on his career and ego.

Written by Steven J. Curwick
Directed by Asaad Kelada
Guest stars: Melinda Culea as Rebecca Ryan and John Petlock as Mr. Heaney

Note: Melinda Culea is incorrectly credited as "Debra Ryan" in the closing credits of this episode.


110. Paper Lion (12/11/86)

Alex's professor gets involved in a scandal.

While assisting his economics professor in the final stages of an important research paper, Alex faces a serious moral dilemma when he finds that his mentor's conclusions are not supported by the facts.

On the threshold of winning the coveted Wilson Award for his work with economics professor Rhodes, Alex is dismayed to discover that a major error in Rhodes' computations invalidates the professor's theory.

Written by Wendy Aaron
Directed by Peter Baldwin
Guest star: Mason Adams as Professor Rhodes, Lisa Sloan as Professor Marshall, Jane Downs as the photographer, and Amy Benedict as Eve Kimball


111. My Brother's Keeper (11/20/86)

Alex gets Skippy into a popular frat, unaware that the brothers want to make him a "big stooge" on campus.

Alex must choose between his friendship with Skippy and allegiance to his college fraternity when Theta Pi Sigma pledges Skippy with the idea of making him the object of a cruel prank.

Skippy is desperate to become a member of a fraternity, but in his zealousness he fails to recognize that he is the "Big Stooge" of the semester.

Written by Susan Borowitz
Directed by Asaad Kelada
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: Tom Breznahan as Brian (Elliott), Christopher Bradley as Dave (Rubin), and George Newbern as Eric


112. Oh, Brother (Part 1) (01/08/87)

Steven's visiting brother announces that he's left his wife and is dating a woman he met on the plane.

It's bad news for the Keatons when Uncle Rob arrives for a visit and announces that he and his wife, Maureen, have split up.

News of Robert and Maureen's separation throws the whole Keaton family into an emotional talespin, despite Robert's insistence that the decision was a mutual one and long overdue. Having always looked up to his responsible and successful older brother as a role model, Steven refuses to believe that Rob's 25-year marriage is really over. Rob, in turn, is dismayed about upsetting the family, but also disappointed by their lack of support.

Written by Alan Uger
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: Norman Parker as Robert Keaton and Wendell Meldrum as Kathy Brady


113. Oh, Brother (Part 2) (01/15/87)

Steven feels like he's lost a brother when he tries to help Rob through a midlife crisis.

The emotional roller-coaster continues at the Keaton household with the arrival of Aunt Maureen, Uncle Rob's estranged wife.

It seems like Rob has been less than candid when he told his brother Steven that the marital separation had been a mutual decision. According to Maureen, Rob left two months ago, without a word, and has been on the road, trying to sort out his life ever since.

Written by Alan Uger
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: Norman Parker as Robert Keaton, Julie Cobb as Maureen Keaton and Wendell Meldrum as Kathy Brady


114. Battle of the Sexes (Part 1) (02/19/87)

Sexist attitudes shared by Alex and Steven seem to be rubbing off on Andrew, prompting recollections of past male-female disputes in the Keaton household.

When Alex plays "gentleman" to his mother and two sisters and orders for them at a restaurant without even asking them what they want, the battle begins with Elyse, Mallory and Jennifer on one side, and Steven, Alex and Andrew on the other.

Using clips from previous shows, each side tries to prove its points on male bonding, female bonding, Nick Moore's special case and Alex's one time support of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Written by Steven J. Curwick
Directed by Sam Weisman & Andrew McCullough
Guest stars: clips from previous episodes - Matthew Barry, Frank Dent, John McCook, Richard Morof, Tracy Nelson, Robert Schancke, and Carl Strickland


115. Battle of the Sexes (Part 2) (02/19/87)

In flashbacks, the family recalls past squabbles that were worked out in the spirit of togetherness that prevails in the Keaton home.

As the battle continues, more clips from past shows reveal the true nature of the Keaton family relationships.

The clips includes Jennifer's jealousy over a boy who only has eyes for Mallory; a battle between Elyse and Mallory about a modeling contest; Alex's support of Mallory when she is jilted by her boyfriend and the time when Alex lost Jennifer in a card game.

Written by Steven J. Curwick
Directed by Sam Weisman & Andrew McCullough
Guest stars: clips from previous episodes - Matthew Barry, Frank Dent, John McCook, Richard Morof, Tracy Nelson, Robert Schancke, and Carl Strickland

Note: Originally aired as an one-hour episode.


116. High School Confidential (12/04/86)

Alex accepts the Henry Higgins-like challenge of tutoring Nick so that the rough-hewn young man can obtain a high-school diploma.

Nick faces a serious dilemma when he learns that to teach an art class he must have a high school diploma. Mallory volunteers to tutor him, but it takes the skills of another Keaton to help him prepare for his final exam.

When Mallory fails to make Nick understand grammar, Alex finds a unique way to help him grasp the basics.

Written by Ruth Bennett
Directed by Mark W. Travis
Co-star: Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: none


117. My Mother, My Friend (12/18/86)

Mallory becomes upset when her new girlfriend, a young woman who's interested in architecture, and Elyse become fast friends.

When Mallory brings her new friend, Allison King, home with her to study, little does she expect that Allison will find a kindred spirit in Elyse.

Bound together by their love of architecture, Allison and Elyse soon become fast friends, with Elyse even becoming the subject of Allison's architecture research project. They study together, shop together, go to exhibits together, always inviting Mallory to join them, but unconsciously making her feel like a fifth wheel.

Matters come to a head when Allison is invited to dinner at the Keatons after getting an "A" on her college architecture project. Mallory unexpectedly vents her resentment and jealousy, and storms out, leaving her mother upset and confused.

When Mallory finally does return home, she and Elyse have to deal wtih the conflict that Allison´s friendship has stirred. And together, they reaffirm that blood is, indeed, thicker than common interests.

Written by Kate Botilier
Directed by Lynn Harrick
Guest stars: Robin Morse as Allison King, Marietta DePrima as Simone, and Allyson Rice as Becky

Notes: Steven and Alex play Scrabble. Steven´s word was "zoquo" = greek for water sports. Alex´s word that followed that was "ushnuu" = greek for 'to towel off'. When disputed, Alex used his word in the sentence: "After I zoquou, I like to ushnuu...".


118. A Tale of Two Cities (Part 1) (01/05/87)

While at a banking convention, Alex has to share a room with his boss after his reservation disappears.

The Keatons are a house divided over a "major" domestic issue - whether to redecorate their old-fashioned, but cozy kitchen. Elyse, Mallory and Jennifer think the time has come to leave the familiar behind and opt for a new, more modern look. Steven loves the kitchen´s history, and doesn't want to change a tile.

Alex only half-heartedly joins the fray. His thoughts are elsewhere, in Chicago to be exact. His employer, Leland Trust, is sending two representatives to the 15th Annual Midwest Banking and Financial Planning Seminar, and Alex is already packing his bags.

But he's in for a rude awakening when his boss, Rebecca Ryan, chooses the shy and retiring Matthews over Alex to accompany her to the conference. When Matthews becomes ill, however, Alex is pressed into action. This could turn out to be the professional highlight of his young career. It could also turn out to be the end of his brief career, as he is obliged to "room" with his boss for the duration of the conference.

Written by Alan Uger & Marc Lawrence
Directed by Peter Baldwin
Co-stars: Marc Price as Skippy, Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: Melinda Culea as Rebecca Ryan, Alan Blumenfield as George Bellack, and Terry Wills as the Desk Clerk, and James N. Hamilton as the Bellhop


119. A Tale of Two Cities (Part 2) (02/12/87)

Rebecca gets drunk at a cocktail party and insults the bank director.

While Steven tackles the job of re-wallpapering the Keaton kitchen singlehandedly, Alex is in Chicago with his boss, Rebecca Ryan, attending an important banking conference. Forced to share a tiny room due to a shortage of hotel space, the two spend an awkward and uncomfortable night together, with Alex relegated to sleeping in the closet.

Getting ready for the conference, Rebecca becomes more and more nervous as she prepares to meet the Federated Bank President Charles Okun, Jr. to try and facilitate a merger between his bank and Leland Trust.

Unfortunately, the champagne flows at the banquet and Rebecca proceeds to get thoroughly drunk. To Alex's surprise, she ends up insulting Okun and his young wife, totally blowing any prospects of a merger. Most embarrassing of all, Rebecca ends up making a pass at Alex.

Written by
Directed by
Co-stars: Marc Price as Skippy, Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: Melinda Culea as Rebecca Ryan, Alan Blumenfield as George Bellack, Reid Shelton as Charles Okun, Jr., and Jonna Lee as Tammy Okun


120. Higher Love (01/22/87)

Nick may lose out when college alters Mallory's view on men -- particularly a sophisticated fellow in her poetry group.

Mallory´s relationship with Nick is put to the test when she joins a poetry reading group and becomes infatuated with its handsome and sophisticated leader, English grad student Colin Spenser.

Newly exposed to poetry and enormously flattered by Colin´s persistent attentions, Mallory begins to question the wisdom of being "tied down" to Nick.

Despite a stern warning about Colin´s sincerity from one of his former conquests, fellow group member Joyce, Mallory is swept off her feet by his gift of roses and poetry, and agrees to join him for a special tęte-ŕ-tęte following an evening´s reading.

Her perspective, however, is shaken up quite a bit when she realizes that she is, in fact, just the "next girl in line" for the all-too-smooth Colin.

Written by Susan Borowitz
Directed by Debbie Allen
Co-stars: Marc Price as Skippy, Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest star: Jonathan Emerson as Colin Spenser, Penelope Ann Miller as Joyce, and Chad McCann as Delivery Boy


121. Architect's Apprentice (01/29/87)

Nick enters a contest for a display in the building where Steven works.

Steven and Elyse are forced to take a new closer look at Nick and his considerable artistic talents when they invite him to compete with other local artists to create a sculpture for the lobby of Steven's television station.

Hired to re-design the lobby of the WKS building where Steven works, Elyse is busy pouring over architectural drawings one evening when Nick arrives at the Keatons. As he studies her work, he begins to suggest some of his own ideas and takes Elyse completely by surprise with his immediate grasp of what she is trying to achieve.

When Steven comes home and announces that the station has agreed to sponsor a local art competition to produce the sculpture for the lobby, Mallory instantly suggests that Nick be allowed to compete, especially when she and Nick learn of the $2,500 winning prize.

A somewhat open-minded Elyse and a very skeptical Steven finally agree to interview Nick and allow him to enter the contest. When Steven ends up casting the deciding vote in another artist´s favor, however, both he and Elyse are compelled to re-examine their true feelings about Nick, their potential son-in-law, and Nick, the artist.

Written by David Tyron King
Directed by Steve Robman
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy, Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: Walker Olkewicz as Walter Luskin and Ben Piazza as Mr. Wertz


122. Band On the Run (02/26/87)

Jennifer's band is a hit during an audition for a Leland dance, but its popularity plunges when Alex becomes manager.

As chairman of the entertainment committee for the Leland College 10th reunion, Alex has big plans, which include hiring some great bands to impress attending alumni in the music business. Jennifer finally talks a very skeptical Alex into letting her new all-girl band, The Permanent Waves, audition for the affair.

At the audition, Alex is thrilled with the unexciting Polka Boys, but his fellow committee members are left cold until they hear The Permanent Waves. They are so good, in fact, that even Alex is impressed and not only books the group but convinces them to sign with him as manager.

Once in charge, Alex decides to completely revamp the look and style of the band. For the reunion performance, he has the girls dress in evening gowns and changes the group's name to The Swinging Corporate Raiders, persuading them to sing such golden oldies as "Mr. Sandman". After being completely ignored, the girls finally break into one of their own tunes and immediately win the crowd over. Unfortunately, the record executive alumnus that Alex has been courting turns out to be in sporting goods. Before Alex can make any more big plans for "his girls", the band decides to strike out on its own again.

Written by
Directed by
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: Christina Applegate as Kitten, Rainbow Phoenix as Ashley Berkhart, Yael Nucci as Brooke Bowman, Steve Heineman as Ron, and Margaret Nagle as Jill.

Notes: Tina Yothers sings in this episode, she released her own album around the time of this episode.

In the closing credits of this episode, Yael Nucci's character is credited as "Ruth" and Rainbow Phoenix´s character as "Linda". However, they are called, in the episode, Ashley and Brooke respectively, so the names above should be the correct ones. A possible explanation for this is that the character's names were different in the original script.


123-124. A, My Name is Alex (Parts 1 and 2) (03/12/87)

Alex reflects on his past and attempts to define his own life following the accidental death of a close friend.

When Alex's friend Greg dies in a car accident, Alex is thrown into a state of shock and begins to seriously question the meaning and purpose of his own life. Having been asked to accompany his friend on the fatal trip and refusing because it wasn´t convenient, he is overcome by guilt. He tries to fathom why he was spared in the face of such selfishness, and begins to have encounters with Greg's ghost. His family urges him to get help.

Alex seeks the counsel of a monk, Father Timothy, about changing his life, but ultimately decides against joining the order because of the chastity vow, Still hallucinating and tortured, Alex agrees to see a psychiatrist. In trying to come to terms with Greg's death, he talks about his life-long love of money and experiences flashbacks which reveal periods of his "selfish" past.

During these flashbacks, Alex asks the various members of his family how they feel about their lives and about death, and comes to a new appreciation of them as individuals. Though he can relate to their beliefs, he feels that such questions are much tougher for a "special" person like himself. When Alex is finally asked if he believes in God, however, he realizes that he does. With this breakthru, he is able to accept himself, deal with Greg´s death and preserve his friend´s memory by resolving to become the best Alex Keaton he can be.

Written by Alan Uger & Gary David Goldberg
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Co-stars: Marc Price as Skippy, Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: Brian McNamara as Greg, Richard McGonagle as Brother Timothy, David Wohl as the voice of the psychiatrist, and Meg Wyllie as Mrs. Leahy

Notes: Originally aired as an one-hour episode. The second half was originally shown completely commercial free.


125. Love Me Do (04/30/87)

Skippy falls for a friend of Mallory's.

When Skippy falls head-over-heels in love with Mallory´s new college friend, Amy Sussman, he´s both startled and overjoyed to find himself in his first real romantic relationship.

Just as Steven finishes an informal pep talk with the kids, unraveling his fool-proof plan to throw Elyse a surprise birthday party, Amy arrives to pick Mallory up for a study session. Skippy happens to drop by and is immediately taken with Mallory´s shy and pretty friend. He´s so smitten, in fact, he´s rendered completely helpless, and Mallory ends up arranging their first date.

Amy is delighted and their relationship blossoms, though not without some embarrassing moments. When she finally invites Skippy back to her dorm room to watch TV, however, he panics because of his inexperience with women, and seeks Alex´s advice. He tries to follow Alex´s instructions but, unfortunately, his attempt to create a romantic atmosphere at Amy´s results in a lamp catching fire and the arrival of the fire marshall.

Later at Elyse´s party, which turns out to be fun but no surprise at all, an embarrassed Skippy ends up closer to Amy than ever, as he realizes the overriding importance of love and mutual respect in their young and exciting relationship.

Written by Marc Lawrence
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: Sonia Curtis as Amy Sussman and Lucy Butler as Christine


126. 'D' Is For Date (03/20/87)

Jennifer's drive for good grades takes a back seat to her drive for popularity after she begins dating an athlete.

Jennifer develops her first major crush on science lab partner Tim Higgins, the handsome star pitcher of the school baseball team. When Tim comes over to work on their science project, Jennifer is thrilled, but also embarrassed by his open admiration of her academic talents. believing the adage that boys never like girls who are smarter than they are, she decided the way to keep Tim interested is to play dumb.

Much to her parents´ dismay, Jennifer begins to spend most of her time with Tim, goofing off in Mr. Feinman´s class at the expense of both her grades and his. When Steven and Elyse begin to question her actions, Jennifer reacts sharply, protesting that she´s happier than she´s ever been.

It´s only after she and Tim wind up with an "F" on their science project and Tim is suspended from the baseball team, that Jennifer is forced to put aside her "cute and dopey" act and deal with Tim honestly.

Meanwhile, Nick gets a threatening letter from the IRS, demanding payment for five years of unfiled taxes. Alex, aided by precocious Andy, rushes to Nick´s rescue.

Written by Susan Borowitz
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-star: Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: Wil Wheaton as Timothy Higgins and Ken Lerner as Mr. Feinman


127. Keaton vs. Keaton (03/05/87)

Alex and Mallory compete for a WKS scholarship, and the competition is closer than Alex would ever have thought.

Brother and sister go head-to-head when Steven announces a scholarship competition sponsored by his station, WKS. A confident Alex scoffs as the family encourages a reluctant Mallory to enter the competition. In spite of Alex's arrogant comments, Mallory prepares her fashion presentation for the competition and realizes that no matter what he says, she really wants to try. Alex discovers that he may have grossly misjudged his sister's business acumen as well as her sense of fashion. When the winner is announced, Alex and Mallory react to the news in a way that surprises even themselves.

Andy loses his favorite toy, Mr. Pig, causing Nick and Skippy to begin a topsy-turvy search of the household to comfort the devastated three-year-old. After their attempt to pass off a newly-bought imposter, Mr. Pig re-surfaces in a most unusual spot.

Written by Stephen J. Curwick
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-stars: Marc Price as Skippy, Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: Ben Piazza as Mr. Wertz and Anne Bellamy as Boardwoman

Note: Mallory is 19.


128. The Visit (05/07/87)

Steven feels the strain when Elyse's sister and her family arrive for their yearly visit.

When Elyse's sister Michele and her family arrives for their annual visit, Elyse is overjoyed, while the rest of the Keaton clan brace themselves for a long hard week of togetherness.

With the exception of Elyse, who loves spending time with her sister, each of the Keatons is hard pressed to be gracious about the situation. Steven is constantly being needled by Michele´s husband Marv; Michele´s daughter Monica becomes the resident prophet of doom and gloom; and Monica´s brother Marv Jr. begins appropriating Alex´s clothes.

Oblivious to the Keatons´ hospitality, insomniac Marv serenades the household with bagpipe tunes late at night, accepts collect calls from his business associates on the Keatons´ phone, and generally drives everyone crazy. It is only after he demolishes the back end of the Keatons´ car, however, that the usually tolerant Steven jumps up to defend hearth and home.

Written by Alan Uger & Marc Lawrence
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: Karen Landry as Michele, Stuart Pankin as Marv, Jeffrey B. Cohen as Marv Jr., Dana Andersen as Monica, and Porthos as their dog Bingo


Season 6 / 26 episodes / 1987-88


129. Dear Mallory (09/20/87)

Mallory's new job, writing an advice column for the lovelorn called "Dear Mallory", turns the Keaton household upside down.

Mallory is thrilled to follow in "Dear Abby´s" footsteps when she´s tapped to write the personal advice column in the Columbus Shopper´s Guide. She manages to involve the entire family - even Alex - in reading and answering the growing stack of mail, while searching for the perfect letter to launch her career in psycho-journalism. Mallory finally settles on a note from a lovesick teen who signs her correspondence "First Love".

When Mallory´s first column is published, Steven and Elyse are dismayed to discover that she´s printed the family´s phone number and address in her article. Explaining that she has to be warm and accessible to her readers, she becomes personally involved in "First Love´s" relationship, while answering hundreds of letters and phone calls. Despite her exhaustion, she remains exhilarated by the idea that she´s helping so many people, and plans an open house for many of those to whom she has given advice.

When her "fans" begin arriving, Mallory learns that for every good piece of advice she´s given, another has proved disastrous, and she is forced to face the consequences!

Written by Alan Uger
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-stars: Marc Price as Skippy, Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: Jane Adams as "First Love" (Andrea), Raymond Singer as Buffaloed Bill, Katherine James as Connie, Annie O´Donnell as Blue Mama (Charlotte) and Frank Landfield as Bad Table Manners Bob


130-131. Last of the Red Hot Psychologists (Parts 1 and 2) (09/13/87)

A psychology major becomes romantically involved with Alex while researching a paper on overachievers.

Alex's participation in a psychology student's research project leads to love.

As the Keaton household gets ready for the first day of the new school year, Alex reminds Jennifer of how incredibly successful he was at the high school she's about to enter, and preps Andrew on the most efficient kindergarten take-over tactics, before leaving for the Leland campus to participate in a psychology research project on overachievers.

Having responded to an ad soliciting paid subjects, Alex shows up for his first interview and is greeted by the author of the study, pretty senior Psychology major, Lauren Miller. They clash almost immediately over Alex's monetary demands and Lauren's increasingly heated allusions to the emotionally-bankrupt, materialistic attitudes of overachievers like him.

At dinner that evening, Alex is preoccupied with Lauren and their tense confrontation. He finally confides in his family, observing that no one has annoyed him that much since his former girlfriend, Ellen. While the rest of the family members exchange meaningful glances, Alex insists that he is too busy to fall in love again, especially with someone like Lauren.

At Alex and Lauren's next appointment, apologies are exchanged and before long, the two students are really warming up to each other. But when the conversation turns to dating habits, Lauren is quick to side-step the issue in an effort to keep their relationship strictly professional.

Written by Marc Lawrence
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: Courteney Cox as Lauren Miller, Fess Reynolds as Reggie, and Masakio as Chester (the monkey)

Notes: Originally aired as an one-hour episode.

This is Courteney Cox's first appearance as Alex's girlfriend, Lauren Miller.

The 1988 PBS Behind the Scenes special of Family Ties deals with this one-hour episode - it was narrated by Henry Winkler and called "Inside Family Ties".


132. The Way We Were (11/08/87)

The Keatons discover that Elyse's Aunt Rosemary is suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

The Keatons are surprised, but delighted, when Elyse´s Aunt Rosemary shows up for a visit. Although Rosemary claims to have sent a letter and spoken with Mallory about her arrival, the mix-up is quickly forgotten as the family warmly welcomes their loving and favorite aunt.

Rosemary charms the Keatons with her wit, humor and wonderful family stories. But soon, she begins to act strangely to simple questions, and Elyse starts to worry when Rosemary begins repeating things that have just been discussed. Finally, Rosemary admits that she has been having trouble with her memory and has no idea how she even got to the Keaton home.

A trip to the doctor confirms beyond any doubt that Rosemary has Alzheimer's disease, which will get progressively worse and ultimately, render her helpless. Stunned by this tragic news, Rosemary nevertheless refuses to despair, determined to make the most of the time she has left. Both she and the Keatons rise to the challenge courageously, as she passes the family scrapbook on to Elyse, who will become the new keeper of stories and memories.

Written by Gary David Goldberg
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Co-star: Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: Barbara Barrie as Aunt Rosemary and Matthew Faison as Dr. Skip Williamson


133. Dream Date (10/04/87)

Jennifer's new suitor is a nerd bearing gifts, but he's her only ticket to the sophomore dance.

Jennifer is appalled when nerdy sophomore Simon Wickerson falls head over heels in love with her. Although Jennifer rejects his advances, Simon is undaunted. He follows her home and tries to shower her with expensive gifts, but Jennifer only has eyes for Roger, a sophomore "hunk" who doesn´t even know she's alive.

Simon pleads with Jennifer to attend the sophomore dance with him and at first, she refuses. She finally relents, however, when she realizes that Simon is her only chance to attend the dance, thereby giving her the opportunity to run into Roger. Although she is reluctant to use Simon - no less be seen with him - Alex reassures her that manipulation is the way of the world.

Despite Elyse´s warnings that she´s doing the wrong thing, Jennifer has made up her mind. At the dance, she scans the room for Roger and Ignores Simon, who is deliriously happy to be with her. When she finally approaches her idol, he is rude and insensitive and obviously has no desire to get to know her. Then, after Roger´s date insults Jennifer and Simon stands up for her, Jennifer painfully realizes that she´s just receiving the same cruel treatment she´s been dishing out to Simon.

Written by
Directed by Andrew McCullough
Guest stars: Jason Naylor as Simon Wickerson, Tony Crane as Roger, Lilly Moon as Nancy, Brad Kesten as Brad, and Sarah Jo Martin as Roger's girlfriend


134. The Other Woman (09/27/87)

Andrew feels rejected when big brother Alex begins spending more time with his girlfriend, Lauren.

While Nick entertains the Keatons with a demonstration of the "salesmanship" he's using in his new job selling lightbulbs over the phone, an impatient Andrew waits for Alex to come home so they can watch a special edition of "Wall Street Week" together.

When Alex finally arrives, Andy is depressed to see that he has brought his new love, Lauren Miller. To make matters worse, Alex foregoes watching "Wall Street Week" in favor of spending time with Lauren, which only adds to Andy's frustration.

As the evening wears on, Andy is the only Keaton who isn't enjoying Lauren's company. She amuses the family with an analysis of Steven and Mallory's dreams, while Andy vies unsuccessfully for Alex's attention.

Andy suffers the final insult when the weekend arrives and Alex, having completely forgotten his promise to take Andy to the coin show, goes off with Lauren to a touch football game.

Angry and rejected, Andy retreats to his room, convinced that Alex doesn´t love him anymore. When Alex shows up feeling guilty about breaking his word and Andy´s heart, he tries to make it up to his little brother by taking him, along with Lauren, to Playland. However, when the outing proves to be a disaster, Alex realizes that it will take much more than fun and games to restore Andy´s trust.

Written by
Directed by Asaad Kelada
Co-star: Courteney Cox as Lauren, Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: none


135. Walking On Air (10/25/87)

The Keatons - led by Alex - attempt to win a $5,000 cereal contest, while Mallory accepts a job at Steven's station in an effort to please her father.

When Steven arrives home with news of a job opening at his station - an internship position he feels would be perfect for Mallory - he finds his family deeply engrossed in a contest to locate the missing "Colonel Crackle" from clues found in Crackle cereal boxes. An excited Alex happily sperheads the search, which offers the winner a 5,000 dollar prize.

Steven is equally enthused about the idea of having Mallory come to work at WKS. Although Mallory tries to squirm out of giving him an immediate answer, Steven dismisses her objections and pressures her into accepting his offer.

Written by Katie Ford
Directed by Andrew McCullough
Co-star: Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: John Hancock as Gus and John Hostetter as the Anchorman


136. Super Mom (10/18/87)

Elyse is torn between being a successful businesswoman and taking care of her family.

As Elyse wraps up a major project for her firm, she realizes that her busy architectural career is causing her to neglect her family - especially Andy. Although Elyse feels terrible about not devoting more time with Steven and the kids, she doesn't want to give up her rewarding position at the firm.

Just when she expects a breather, Elyse´s boss dumps a prestigious project into her lap. Inspired by the challenge, she accepts the enormous job, despite initial misgivings. Later that afternoon, when a teacher calls to tell Elyse that no one has come to pick Andy up from school, "Super Mom" begins to feel like a failure, unable to juggle her private and professional demands.

Though Steven remains supportive and understanding, the kids exert pressure on Elyse to quit and she is ridden with guilt. The next time Steven picks up Andy from school, he drops him off at Elyse´s office to spend the afternoon. But a tired and cranky Andy ends up asking Elyse´s boss to fire her so she can be at home.

Discussing the incident with her family that night, Elyse recalls the advice of her own devoted mother, who urged her to "have it all." In the end, she and Steven agree to "hang in there", as they attempt to keep "having it all" from including a nervous breakdown!

Written by Alan Uger
Directed by Matthew Diamond
Co-star: Courtneney Cox as Lauren
Guest stars: Jay Thomas as Jerry, Suzie Pladson as Doris, Sandy Ward as Carl Norback , and Max Segar as Mr. Carlisle


137. Invasion of the Psychologist Snatchers (11/01/87)

Alex's confidence is shaken when he meets Lauren's handsome and successful former boyfriend, Eric.

Alex and Lauren face the first real test of their budding romance when one of Lauren's former loves comes for a visit and Alex finds himself feeling uncharacteristically insecure.

While turning a "foolproof" meal of frozen TV dinners into a complete disaster, Lauren gets a call from her handsome and brilliant ex-boyfriend, Eric Matthews, who announces that he´s flying in from New York and wants to take her to dinner. Careful to avoid any possible misunderstanding, Lauren consults with Alex before accepting Eric´s invitation, and is reassured that Alex doesn´t mind at all.

When the big evening arrives and Alex meets Eric at Lauren´s apartment, he is overwhelmed by Eric´s credentials. He discovers that Eric, a former Economics major himself, excelled at school and received all the same awards and scholarships as Alex. Worse yet, Eric has already established himself in one of the most exclusive investment firms on Wall Street and is the proud owner of a black Porsche.

As the night wears on, Alex becomes increasingly insecure about his relationship with Lauren and looks to the family for support. At 2:OOAM, having not heard from Lauren, Alex decides to go to her apartment. Discovering Eric in what appears to be a compromising situation, Alex must soon confront the real issue: his lack of trust in Lauren.

Written by Marc Lawrence
Directed by Matthew Diamond
Co-star: Courteney Cox as Lauren
Guest stars: Campbell Scott as Eric Matthews


138. Mister Sister (11/15/87)

Mallory's embarrassed when Nick is made an honorary sorority sister.

In an effort to supplement his income from teaching at the "Y", Nick naively applies for the job of Dean of Admissions of Grant College. When he's rejected, he lets Mallory persuade him to take the job as janitor of her sorority house.

Enthusiastic at first, Mallory proudly introduces Nick to her "sisters", who warm up to him immediately. When he offers housemates Cindy and Karen creative suggestions on decorations for the sorority's Winter Dance, he finds himself becoming the unofficial sorority mascot.

When Nick is made an honorary sorority member, he really becomes "gung ho", quoting Mallory the sorority handbook chapter and verse, and criticizing her lack of sorority pride. Finally, on the night of the Winter Dance, after Nick is crowned Winter Dance Snow Queen, a disillusioned and embarrassed Mallory forces her man to re-examine his need for attention.

Written by Susan Borowitz
Directed by Kent Bateman
Co-star: Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: Tracy Camilla Johns as Dana, Laura Leigh Hughes as Cindy, and Kim Gillingham as Karen


139. Citizen Keaton (11/22/87)

Alex's surprise support bolsters Mallory's campaign for student-body president with a fresh, timely platform: "confidence, diet soda and new drapes."

When Mallory decides to run for student body president of Grant College, her family is surprised at her uncharacteristic interest in politics. She explains that "it just sounded like a good idea", and introduces Skippy as the manager of this rather unfocused campaign. Still her most ardent admirer, Skippy encourages the whole family to work on Mallory's behalf.

Alex, who considers Mallory the ideal candidate ("attractive and generally non-offensive") begins to take over the entire campaign. He makes up buttons and posters that include his picture with Mallory´s and starts advising her about the kind of campaign promises she should make to get herself elected.

As voting time nears, Mallory becomes exhausted by the heavy schedule that Alex has set for her, and is also somewhat nervous about the promises she´s made, which have escalated from new drapes and a diet soda machine to Alex´s suggestion of free trips to Hawaii. Finally, despite the concerted efforts of the whole family, Mallory loses the election. Alone with her brother after the final results are tallied, Mallory is able to come to a new appreciation of her imperfect, but loving relationship with Alex.

Written by Susan Borowitz & Marc Lawrence
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy, Scott Valentine as Nick, Courteney Cox as Lauren
Guest stars: Sonia Curtis as Amy (Sussman), Dana Stevens as Val, Maria Bradley as Sostance, and Ira Heiden as Sam

Note: Mallory's playform: confidence, diet soda, and new drapes. Alex is almost 2 years older then Mallory.


140. Father Time (Part 1) (11/29/87)

Steven's recently divorced brother Rob asks Steven and Elyse for advice on handling his unruly daughter.

When Steven's recently divorced brother Rob arrives with his son and daughter for a visit, the Keatons become a sounding board for their relatives' family problems. In the wake of his divorce, Uncle Rob has given up his job as a CPA and is enjoying "working in the great outdoors" as a telephone repairman - a considerably less lucrative career which his teenage daughter Marilyn feels is a great hardship on the family, and particularly on her.

It is immediately apparent that Marilyn deeply resents her father and believes that Mallory is the only person she can confide in, leaving everyone else feeling left out and curious about their conversations. The other Keaton kids are fascinated by the picture that her film buff brother Jonathan paints of "life after divorce".

When Marilyn escapes to the mall with Mallory, she meets a Marine and arranges a date with him. She doesn´t inform her father about it until she´s walking out the door that evening, and though extremely upset, Rob feels powerless to stop her. Later, when Marilyn calls to announce that she is spending the night with the Marine, the Keatons help Rob deal with the delicate situation.

Written by Alan Uger
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: Norman Parker as Rob Keaton, Tammy Lauren as Marilyn Keaton, and Blake Soper as Jonathan Keaton


141. Father Time (Part 2) (12/06/87)

With the relationship between Steven's brother and niece deteriorating, the Keatons find themselves in the middle of a family feud.

When Uncle Rob's daughter Marilyn stays out all night with a Marine she meets while visiting the Keatons, the family becomes painfully aware of her deep-seated anger with her father over her parents' divorce. Rob is left feeling stunned and hurt, as the Keatons begin to realize that communications between their beloved relatives have completely broken down.

The following morning, when Marilyn comes home and flatly refuses to talk to her father, the Keatons jump in to try and help. While Elyse shepherds everyone out for "a walk", Steven stays behind with Rob to discuss Rob´s feelings about his guilt over the divorce and his fears about confronting his daughter. Things don´t improve when Marilyn tries to leave a day early for her mother´s house and ends up in a screaming match with her father.

Deeply troubled, Rob finally forces himself to corner Marilyn and press for an honest talk. And as he opens his heart to her, she finds herself unable to resist the power of his love.

Written by Alan Uger
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: Norman Parker as Rob Keaton, Tammy Lauren as Marilyn Keaton, and Blake Soper as Jonathan Keaton


142-143. The American Family (Parts 1 and 2) (12/13/87)

Lauren uses the Keatons as a case study of the nuclear family for her research project. Features highlights from the previous five seasons.

When Lauren is required to write a paper on the typical American family, she chooses the Keatons. Focusing first on Steven and Elyse, she asks about their history together and the growth of the family, prompting Elyse to reminisce about her pregnancy with Andy. Steven recalls what a thrill Andy´s arrival was to everyone, especially Alex, who was delighted to finally have a brother.

As the family discusses the ways in which little Andy changed their lives, they recall just how protective and involved Alex became in the upbringing of the baby. While on the subject, Jennifer remembers the time that Steven decided he wasn´t spending enough time with her and tried to become her "pal".

Mallory illustrates the depth of the family´s closeness when she recalls the day she had to tell her parents that she might not graduate from high school. Skippy chimes in about the time Alex helped him cope with when he first learned he was adopted, and Jennifer recalls turning to Alex for guidance when she prepared what turned out to be a disastrous social studies project.

When Steven begins to wax overly paternal, Alex jumps in to quickly remind him of the many occasions Steven and Elyse have turned to the kids for help. He remembers the time Steven became very jealous of a former boyfriend of Elyse´s and it was up to Alex to give his dad some good advice.

Written by
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-star: Courteney Cox as Lauren, Scott Valentine as Nick, Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: in clips from previous episodes - Ashley Bank, Raleigh Bond, Phillip Boutté, Lois de Banzie, Miriam Flynn, Gracie Harrison, Jenny Havens, Laura Jacoby, Sanford Jensen, Melanie Jones, Anne Marie McEvoy, Joan McMurtrey, and Jennifer Salt

Note: Originally aired as an one-hour episode.


144. The Play's The Thing (01/10/88)

Steven's college play, "A Draft Card for the Burning," is revived at a community theater, but director Steven can't stand to see the male lead in romantic scenes with the play's heroine -- Elyse.

The Keaton kids are dismayed when the local playhouse agree to stage Steven´s radical 60´s college play, "A Draft Card for the Burning". Embarrassed by the script´s laughably dated hippie lingo, they are not surprised when Elyse refuses to reprise her leading role as Sequola Free, the play´s sexy activist/anthropology student.

Crushed by her decision, Steven goes off in a huff to cast another actress. But after numerous fruitless auditions, Elyse finally succumbs to Steven´s wishes. Just as she predicts, Steven becomes insanely jealous of her leading man and finds it impossible to separate his dual roles as husband and director. Elyse and her co-star, local dentist Jeff Cooper, grow frustrated with Steven, who keeps changing the script to avoid any intimacy between them.

When opening night arrives, Elyse and Jeff are rather uneasy about Steven´s changes, which include turning a passionate kiss into a high-five slap. After complying with the high-five sign, the artistically stifled Elyse and Jeff break into a forbidden kiss. When Steven and Alex rush on stage and tackle Jeff, the cast walks out, leaving only the Keatons to face the final act.

Written by
Directed by Debbie Allen
Co-stars: Marc Price as Skippy, Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: Rod McCary as Jeff Cooper/Randolph, David Wohl as Oscar/Peter Good Vibes, Bernadette Birkett as Carol, Rosanna Huffman as Alice, Jennifer Flackett as Connie, and Raymond Singer as Dean Hutchinson


145. Miracle In Columbus (12/20/87)

Working as a department-store Santa, Alex has an encounter with the real Santa, who promises him that his good deeds won't go unrewarded.

The Christmas spirit has come to the Keaton house, where the family is busy baking Christmas cookies when Skippy stops by to ask a favor. He wants Alex to pinch-hit for him as Santa at the mall, and Alex agrees after hearing about the excellent hourly wage.

With Mallory and Jennifer along as his wall-paid elves, "Santa" Alex dispenses stock tips and financial advice to long lines of children. Besieged by kids with elaborate Christmas lists, Alex is surprised when he´s approached by a sad-looking little girl who insists she doesn´t want anything for Christmas and doesn´t believe in Santa Claus. Her mother explains that seven-year-old Michelle is very depressed that her father, a traveling salesman who is struggling to make a living, won´t be home for the holiday.

As Christmas draws near, Alex becomes more and more concerned with Michelle´s situation. After inviting the girl and her mother to join the Keations for some Christmas Eve cheer, Alex gets an unexpected visit from a kindly white-bearded stranger who assures Alex that miracles can happen. It is during the party, which Michelle and her mom gladly attend, that the stranger´s words come to pass.

Written by
Directed by Lynn Hamrick
Co-stars: Courteney Cox as Lauren Miller, Marc Price as Skippy, Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: Ellen Hamilton Latzen as Michelle, Lee Garlington as Beth, Aeryk Eagan as Eddie, Dale Weston as Eddie´s Mom, Alan Blumenfield as Mr. Krewson, Josh Clark as Ray, Alisan Porter as Child, and Pete Schrum as Nick


146. The Blues Brother (01/24/88)

Alex learns about the blues from a legendary guitarist, who agrees to be interviewed on Alex's college radio show but refuses to perform for fans on campus.

Alex becomes a deejay of his own college radio show with a program he calls "Syncopated Money", designed to "combine classic American music with an in-depth analysis of the business scene". While on the air one day, Alex introduces a tune by "the late blues great, Eddie Dupre", only to discover that Dupre is alive when the legendary blues artist himself calls the station.

Embarrassed and apologetic, Alex learns that Eddie is now driving a bus in Columbus and hasn´t recorded in more than 20 years. He eagerly tries to persuade Dupre to guest on his radio show and finally succeeds when he assures Eddie that a fee is involved.

When Dupre visits the Keatons to meet Alex prior to the show, he charms them with his stories and his talent. But he confesses that he has no money to show for all his years in the music business and swears he will never perform again in public.

Later, on Alex´s program, he answers call-in questions from fans, one of whom is a Leland College music professor who extends an invitation to Eddie to perform in the blues show he is organizing at a local cafe. When Eddie steadfastly refuses, Alex urges him to reconsider. Finally, a very reluctant and nervous Dupre does agree to take center stage at the cafe, where he is surprised and delighted to rediscover the power of his music.

Written by Burt Pretlusky
Directed by Matthew Diamond
Co-star: Courteney Cox as Lauren
Guest stars: Brownie McGhee as Eddie Dupre and Richard Brestoff


147. The Spirit of Columbus (01/17/88)

Alex gains a new appreciation for art when he discovers the profit margin in mass-marketing Nick's sculptures, but he ends up pushing Nick to his artistic limits in the process.

Alex is more than a little skeptical when Nick enters his sculpture "Spirit of Columbus", priced at $200, in an art show at the mall. but when Nick returns with the money and the news that he had several buyers vying for the piece, Alex decides that Nick is completely unaware of the marketability of his work. Appalled that Nick let potential buyers go away empty-handed, he insists that Nick increase the supply to meet the demand and steps in as Nick´s manager for a hefty commission.

At first, both Nick and Mallory are opposed to the commercialization of Nick´s artistic work, but they become seduced by the idea of building a substantial "nest egg" for their future, and give in to Alex´s pressure.

However, Nick quickly becomes disenchanted as he fights to keep pace with Alex´s intense production demands. When he tries to explain that the work has "lost its beauty" and become impersonal, Alex is too preoccupied with filling orders to listen. But when customers begin asking for his sculpture in various designer colors, Nick must finally take a stand for his artistic integrity.

Written by Charles J. Schutter
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-star: Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: none


148. Read It and Weep (Part 1) (02/07/88)

Jennifer brings home alarming news that her school has banned the subject of her book report: "Huckleberry Finn."

Jennifer comes home from school feeling blue because after choosing the American classic "Huckleberry Finn" as the subject of her book report, she learns that the novel has been put on the school board´s list of banned books. Although her favorite English teacher, Mr. Flaherty, disagrees with the decision, he informs Jennifer that he must uphold the board's ruling about the book.

Jennifer decides to disregard the school´s edicts and goes ahead with her report, which she insists of reading aloud in class. Flaherty is forced to summon the principal, who confiscates the paper. Later, Flaherty tells Jennifer and her family that even though he personally admires her courage and commitment, he must fail her on her report. Even worse, she must face the wrath of the principal and possible suspension.

Written by
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: Christian Clemenson as Mr. Flaherty and Bibi Besch as the principal Dr. Hewitt


149. Read It and Weep (Part 2) (02/14/88)

Suspended from school for reading a banned book, Jennifer decides to buck the administration and, after a hearing before the school board, becomes the class symbol for the fight against censorship.

While Jennifer steels herself for a showdown with school authorities, Steven and Elyse prepare to back her up in her fight against the school board´s book banning policy. Even Mallory gets into the act and shocks the family by falling in love with the forbidden "Huckleberry Finn", which she ends up reading aloud to Nick.

Nothing is solved at the meeting with the school principal, Dr. Hewitt, the head of the school board and Jennifer´s English teacher Mr. Flaherty when the Keaton´s refuse to comply with the new school ruling. Jennifer is crushed by the fact that Flaherty, whom she respects and admires, will not stand up to Hewitt and the board even though he claims to be completely on her side.

Pushed to a more serious confrontation, Steven and Elyse hire a lawyer to challenge the School Board decision, while Jennifer fields calls from reporters and grows increasingly uneasy with her notoriety. When the final face-off comes, Jennifer makes an impassioned plea for the freedoms of speech and thought, moving Flaherty to overcome his cowardice and finally speak out on her behalf.

Written by
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-star: Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: Christian Clemenson as Mr. Flaherty, Bibi Besch as the principal Dr. Hewitt, Granville Dusen as Mr. Carter, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Susan White


150. Rosalie's Legacy (aka Spring Reminds Me) (02/28/88)

Mallory's friend's mother is unable to accept her daughter's suicide.

As Steven goes thru another one of his dreaded "magician phases" and tries to rope the whole family into participating in his magic tricks, the Keatons get a visit from Evelyn Mitchum, a former neighbor now living in New York, whose daughter Rosalie was beat friend with Mallory in junior high.

The family is delighted to welcome Evelyn, but the tragic suicide of her daughter a year earlier makes for some awkward moments when they reminisce about old times. Sensing that Evelyn may need someone to confide in, Elyse makes a gentle but unsuccessful attempt to get her to open up about her devastating loss.

When Evelyn turns her attention almost exclusively to Mallory, first inviting her to lunch, then on trips to the mall and the museum, Elyse begins to suspect that Mallory has become a surrogate Rosalie for Evelyn and warns Mallory she may get hurt. But Mallory insists she can and must handle the situation herself.

It is not until Mallory and Nick join Evelyn for an evening at the ballet, however, that Mallory grasps the truth of her mother´s words. When Evelyn begins to talk to Mallory as if she IS Rosalie, she runs from the theater upset and confused, and goes to Elyse to try and deal with her own feelings about her beloved friend´s death. Finally, when Mallory and Evelyn come face to face again, they are able to share a new and healthier understanding.

Written by Katie Ford
Directed by Matthew Diamond
Co-star: Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest star: Constance McCashin as Evelyn Mitchum


151. Quittin' Time (02/21/88)

Responding to the pressures from her psychology thesis, Lauren quits it and decides to dote on Alex full time. At first this seems great to him, until he starts noticing more and more similarities between the new Lauren and Mallory.

While Andy is inspired by his parents´ old love letters to try his hand at writing one to a kindergarten sweetheart, Lauren finds herself less and less able to spend time with Alex. She is struggling with her psychology thesis and is becoming increasingly depressed by her lack of significant progress. She confesses to the Keatons that she sometimes has the urge to quit, but Steven and Elyse encourage her to hang in there and keep working on it, much to Alex´s chagrin.

The day after she has broken yet another date with Alex to work on her thesis, Lauren complains to him that the project which once thrilled her has become incredibly boring. Having received a lukewarm response from her professor on what she has accomplished so far, Lauren finds the temptation to quit and spend more time with Alex too strong to resist. Alex happily assures her that she is making the right decision.

At first, Alex revels in being waited on hand and foot by Lauren. But his enthusiasm for her total devotion quickly begins to fade when the time she has set aside for "personal fulfillment" turns out to be endless hours of shopping with Mallory and watching soap operas and game shows. As Alex sees Lauren losing interest in important world affairs and wasting her time and intelligence on TV and recipes, he realizes he must show her that she has not just quit her thesis, but has also quit being herself - the woman he loves.

Written by Susan Borowitz
Directed by Matthew Diamond
Co-star: Courteney Cox as Lauren
Guest stars: none


152. The Boys Next Door (03/06/88)

A high-school reunion reunites Elyse with the guy voted least likely to succeed -- who's now a millionaire -- and together they're the hit of the party.

As Elyse prepares for her high school reunion, she is contacted by her old buddy, Roger "Eggy" Erdman, a klutzy class nerd turned millionaire. Never a romantic couple, Elyse and "Eggy" made a bizarre team even as friends, since Elyse was the most popular girl in class. She explains to the family that Roger needed someone to keep the bullies away and to save him from his own clumsiness.

Like an older version of Skippy, the ungainly Roger comes over for a visit. While Alex is enamored of "Eggy´s" wealth, Roger is still clearly in love with Elyse, who always helped him stand up for himself. Steven, who would do anything to avoid attending Elyse´s reunion, urges Roger to take her. Roger wants to resurrect the "Doo-Wop Twins" number they used to do in school, but when Elyse refuses, saying that those days are over, a hurt Roger rushes out.

Reluctantly, Steven ends up accompanying Elyse and Roger to the reunion, where he is immediately mistaken for Danny Wasserman, the class clown. Roger´s wealth is common knowledge, making him the hit of the reunion, especially with those who used to torture him. And when the emcee calls up the "Doo-Wop Twins" to sing "Splash, Splash" again, Elyse happily realizes Roger´s lasting gift to her - the ability to laugh at herself.

Written by Trish Vrandenberg
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: Robert Klein as Roger Erdman, Edith Kent as Norma, Kevin Dunn as Bob, Gwen Banta as Beth, and Michael Haggerty as Vinnie


153. Father, Can You Spare A Dime? (05/01/88)

At Mallory's urging, Nick turns to his estranged father after the bank turns down Nick's request for a loan to open a children's art school.

Nick again demonstrates his flair for teaching art by conducting a class at the "Y" for children, including Andrew. So popular is the class, in fact, that when the "Y" needs the classroom space back for another program, the kids and their enthusiastic parents are very disappointed. Mallory tells the family that Nick would really like to open up his own art school, and Alex escorts Nick to the bank to help him get a loan.

When the bank loan doesn´t work out, Mallory encourages Nick to ask his father for the money. Nick explains that because his father left home when he was only eleven, their relationship leaves a lot to be desired, and he feels uncomfortable approaching him. But when Mallory finds out that Nick´s dad is Joe Moore, the well-known owner of a very successful car dealership in town, she feels sure that Joe will want to reconcile with his son and lend him the money.

The fast-talking Joe shows up at the Keatons for a pre-arranged meeting with Nick and acts as if he can instantly make up for ail his years of negligence. His aggressive manner surfaces again at a subsequent meeting at the car dealership, when he hurriedly tries to give Nick the money he wants, between making sales. Nick finds it difficult to accept the loan under the current terms of his relationship with his father, and Joe is forced to accept the fact that if he truly wants a son, he must make a sincere effort to know him.

Written by Peter Schreider & Ben Cardinale
Directed by Andrew McCullough
Co-star: Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: Dan Hedaya as Joe Moore, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Dougie, and Jena Vallee as Erica


154. A Sign of the Times (03/13/88)

Andy refuses to speak after meeting a deaf boy.

While Alex prepares little Andrew´s resume for future kindergarten elections, Elyse proudly tells the family that Andy has been chosen as "Buddy for the Day" at school, which means he will be responsible for showing a new classmate around.

The new student, Josh Richards, turns out to be deaf. Accompanied by his mother, Josh is introduced to Andy by Andy´s teacher, who explains that although Josh can´t hear, he can speak by signing with his hands. Tentative at first, Andy leads Josh off to "show him the ropes", telling his curious classmates about Josh´s deafness and his ability to sign.

When several of Josh´s schoolmates begin to tease him, Andy becomes very upset and rushes to defend him. He becomes even more disturbed at the end of the day when Josh confesses that the other children´s cruelty does indeed hurt him. Experiencing the beginnings of a solid friendship, Andy begins to brood about Josh´s handicap and stops talking altogether in sympathy for his friend.

Troubled by the situation, Steven and Elyse meet with Andy´s teacher and Josh´s mother, hoping to find a way to get thru to their son. Ultimately, however, only Josh himself can convince little Andy to speak again.

Written by Matthew Monaher
Directed by Asaad Kelada
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: Darrell Thomas Utley as Josh Richards, Susan Kohler as Mrs. Richards, Terri Hanauer as Miss Metcalf, Malachi Pearson as Eugene, Michelle A. Collins as Louise, Benji Schulman as Eric, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Dougie, and Tehele Chapman as Girl


Season 7 / 26 episodes / 1988-89


155. Heartstrings (Part 1) (12/04/88)

The Keaton family is forced to face the possibility of mortality when Steven suffers a heart attack. As a unit, they reflect on their past, present and where they will go in the future, united through it all by the love they feel for each other.

The Keaton family unites in crisis when Steven suffers a serious heart attack.

While Alex and Andy discuss the upcoming Presidential race, Mallory and Jennifer prepare for another legendary shopping expedition. Moments later, Elyse returns home from jogging, but Steven lags behind, explaining that his run was slowed by a burning pain in his side. Steven dismisses the pain, assuming it was due to something he ate, while Alex kids him that the pain was caused by the guilt of being a Democrat.

Feeling much better the next day, Steven goes on a long bicycle ride. But when he returns home, he has difficulty breathing and collapses on the floor. After rushing Steven to the hospital, the family is stunned when Dr. Harrison tells them that Steven has suffered a heart attack and needs bypass surgery immediately.

In the waiting room, the Keatons befriend Ruth Hobart, the kind and encouraging wife of another heart patient, and the jocular Mr. Meyers. Before Steven is wheeled into surgery, he and Elyse share a few moments alone and express their deep love for each other. Although Dr. Harrison assures the family that Steven will be out of surgery in no time, the procedure drags on for hours. During the long operation, as Steven dreams of his early life with Elyse, Harrison becomes alarmed at an unexpected and dangerous development.

Written by Alan Uger
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: Margaret A. Marx as Young Elyse, Michael David Wright as Young Steven, Christina Pickles as Ruth Hobart, Philip Baker Hall as Dr. Harrison, Richard Kuss as Mr. Meyers, Carolyn Mignini as Peggy Vincent, Billy Morrissette as the Waiter, and Beaver-Leigh Banfield as the Nurse

Note: Originally aired over 3 different weeks.


156. Heartstrings (Part 2) (12/11/88)

Steven needs a quadruple bypass.

While Steven fights for his life in surgery, the family fights to remain optimistic about his condition.

When Steven´s surgery extends beyond the expected five hours, tension in the waiting room increases. A nervous Alex, however, begins to express acute concern only for himself fearing that he has inherited a weak heart, he searches in vain for his pulse. Lauren soon makes Alex realize that he is fixated on his own health to block the anguish he really feels for his father. While the Keatons wait, they receive hope and encouragement from Mrs. Hobart and Mr. Meyers, whose spouses are also undergoing surgery.

Everyone´s spirits are lifted when Mr. Meyers is joyfully reunited with his wife. But shortly afterward, their happiness turns to grief when it is learned that Mrs. Hobart´s husband, who had actually been in recovery, has suddenly died. As the Keatons search for a way to comfort her, they become even more anxious about Steven. When Elyse begins to panic, Alex finally realizes that he must be especially strong for his mother´s sake.

At last, the doctor´s assistant Peggy appears with news of Steven´s condition. She explains that the procedure is taking longer than expected because Dr. Harrison has determined that Steven needs a quadruple bypass operation. As Nick tries to rally the family´s spirits, Dr. Harrison works desperately to save Steven´s life.

Written by Alan Uger
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-star: Courteney Cox as Lauren
Guest stars: Margaret A. Marx as Young Elyse, Michael David Wright as Young Steven, Christina Pickles as Ruth Hobart, Philip Baker Hall as Dr. Harrison, Richard Kuss as Mr. Meyers, Carolyn Mignini as Peggy Vincent, and Jane Ford as Candystriper


157. Heartstrings (Part 3) (12/18/88)

Steven recovers at home and battles the physical - and psychological - aftershocks of his heart surgery.

As the hours drag on during Steven´s quadruple bypass operation, the Keaton crew grows exhausted in the hospital waiting room. Awakened by Skippy´s typically goofy entrance, they all snap to attention when Dr. Harrison appears. He assures them that the surgery has gone well, but Steven must still be observed closely for the next few hours.

When the family members are at last allowed to see Steven, he joyfully looks from one relieved face from the next. But when he is well enough to come home, the kids are nervous and overly solicitious, while Steven seems edgy and testily insists that they all go about their usual business.

Sensing that her husband needs to talk, Elyse gently questions him and Steven confesses that he is terrified. He tells her that his living room now reminds him of his collapse and admits that he can´t stop thinking about a colleague, who, after a similar experience, became a depressed shadow of his former self, with no zest for life. But Elyse reminds him that everything can still be there for him, and when he looks in her eyes, he knows that his love for life and his passion for her have not been lost.

Written by Alan Uger
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-stars: Courteney Cox as Lauren, Marc Price as Skippy, Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: Philip Baker Hall as Dr. Harrison, Liz Sheridan as Ginny McCoy, Tim Eyster as Young Alex, Shannon Mac Pherson as Young Mallory, and Nicholas Rutherford as Young Skippy


158. It Happened One Night (10/30/88)

With only a map of ancient Greece, the children get lost trying to meet their parents on a camping trip they should have gone on.

A family camping trip turns into a comedy of errors.

While the Keaton kids and Lauren argue about politics, Steven and Elyse decide it´s time to get away from such serious concerns. They eagerly suggest that the whole family go on a camping trip, like they used to do. The kids don´t share their parents´ enthusiasm, however, and quickly come up with reasons why they can´t go. As a result, little Andy is the only Keaton willing to go along with Steven and Elyse.

When their parents leave for the campground with Andy, the older kids try not to feel guilty for disappointing them. At first, they all agree that they don´t feel the urge for the great outdoors that they did in the old days, but soon remember that camping with the family was always a lot of fun. Before long, they decide to drive up and surprise Steven, Elyse and Andy at the campsite.

With Nick in tow, Mallory, Alex and Jennifer pack up their sleeping bags and take off. Unfortunately, their good intentions are dashed when the car dies on them while traveling on a deserted stretch of road. But as fate would have it, Steven, Elyse and Andy suddenly appear on the road, having decided that camping is no fun without the whole family. Back at home, the Keatons build a "campfire" in the living room fireplace and reflect that it doesn´t take a camping trip to remember how close they really are.

Written by Marc Lawrence
Directed by Matthew Diamond
Co-stars: Courteney Cox as Lauren, Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: none


159. Designing Woman (11/06/88)

Mallory's clothes designs are stolen by a fashion designer at her work.

Mallory's enthusiasm for her job at a prestigious fashion firm quickly fades when she discovers that her design ideas are being stolen by another employee.

Mallory is thrilled when she earns an apprenticeship at David Campbell Fashions, a top-notch fashion design house in Ohio. Before starting her new job, Mallory discusses what her duties will be with the firm´s star designer, Jamie Carter. When Mallory timidly asks whether the designs she´s done for school will ever be made into David Campbell fashions, Jamie reacts somewhat coolly.

Although Jamie seems pleased by Mallory´s designs, she explains that the apprentice still has a lot to learn. Eager to succeed, Mallory throws herself into her work. Before long, however, Mallory is stunned when she discovers that Jamie has stolen her design ideas and pitched them to David Campbell as her own. What´s more, Campbell likes "Jamie´s" designs so much, he plans to feature them in his upcoming fashion show.

Feeling completely disillusioned, Mallory decides not to tell David Campbell the truth, but confront Jamie privately. Jamie finally confesses her insecurity about her own talents and says that Mallory´s work reminds her of what she was once capable of doing.

As the fashion show ends, Jamie has a change of heart and tries to tell David the truth, but Mallory interrupts and covers for her. Though the other Keatons are perplexed that she hasn´t sought revenge, they admire and support Mallory´s compassion. Equally impressed by Mallory´s gesture, Jamie ultimately decides that she must give credit where credit is due.

Written by Katie Ford
Directed by Matthew Diamond
Guest stars: Barry Jenner as David Campbell, Debra Engle as Jamie Carter, Hank Azaria as Joe, Hilary Shepard as Yvette, and Sandra Canning as Alison


160. Truckers (11/13/88)

Andy makes friends with Nick's nephew.

Alex feels left out when Andy begins spending less time with him - and more time with Nick's streetwise nephew Rocco.

While Steven rages about the household bills, Alex worries about something else: Andrew´s budding friendship with Rocco, Nick´s visiting eight-year-old nephew. Andy quickly becomes enchanted with the boy, who´s a pint-sized version of Nick and thus not exactly Alex´s idea of a positive role model for his little brother.

As Andy and Rocco begin spending time playing with trucks and going to the mall with Nick and Mallory, Alex feels increasingly neglected, especially when Andy misses their weekly viewing of "Wall Street Week". Finally, much to Alex´s chagrin, an excited Andy announces that he´s going to the auto races with Rocco and Nick.

When, in a last-minute change of heart, Andy decides to forego the races to be with his big brother, Alex finds himself learning a lesson from Andy for once. He realizes that Andy´s interest in meeting new people is a natural stage of his development, rather than a threat to the loving bond they share.

Written by Shannon Gaughan
Directed by Andrew McCullough
Co-star: Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest star: Kaylan Romero as Rocco


161. Basic Training (01/01/89)

Career Day at Grant College inspires Skippy to join the Army and see the world, but the recruiting officer seems more interested in the qualifications of Alex.

Skippy´s decision to join the Army soon becomes a losing battle.

As the Keaton clan continues to nag Steven about taking it easy in the wake of his heart attack, a very morose Skippy stops by. Depressed by the results of his career aptitude tests, he confides that he´s become hopeless about his future job prospects.

But while flipping thru brochures he collected during career day at college, Skippy becomes taken with the idea of joining the Army. Excited by the promise of travel, new people and state-of-the-art technical training, Skippy persuades Alex to come with him to the recruiting office. There, he is met by Sergeant Davis, who informs Skippy that he will be his drill sergeant in basic training.

Bidding an emotional farewell to his family and friends, Skippy makes a dramatic exit to boot camp. But a week later, Skippy´s mom arrives at the Keatons with a tape from Skippy claiming that he is fine and asking his parents not to visit. The truth is, Skippy´s military career has proven disastrous thus far and he is besieged by his barrack mates when the whole platoon is punished for Skippy´s failings.

A short time later, Skippy goes AWOL and shows up on the Keatons´ doorstep. When Sergeant Davis arrives, everyone expects the worst, but they are relieved to find him a lot more understanding than they believed possible.

Written by Susan Borowitz
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: J.J. Jones as Sergeant Tom Davis, Louis de Banzie as Mrs. Handleman, Raleigh Bond as Mr. Handleman, Daniel Baldwin as Holworthy, John J. York as Matthews, and Mark Barnet as Strauss


162. Beyond Therapy (11/27/88)

Alex attends a relationship workshop with Lauren.

In an attempt to get Alex to open up emotionally, Lauren persuades him to join a therapy group.

Returning from a date, Alex and Lauren arrive at the Keaton home and finish a fight they began in the car. Lauren resents the fact that Alex has dragged her to a boring economics department function and accuses him of avoiding any conversation which becomes personal.

The next day, Alex is relieved when Lauren shows up to apologize for her outburst. she then insists that they should try group therapy and although Alex balks at the idea, he agrees to accompany her to a session, where they are introduced to two other couples. Immediately unimpressed with the group, Alex avoids all personal questions about his relationship with Lauren and walks out.

Regretting his actions, Alex resolves to prepare for his next session by reading psychology books and memorizing whatever appropriate lingo he can pick up. At the next group meeting, he wows everyone by speaking openly about his repression. Applauding Alex´s "breakthru", the group then turns to Lauren who, surprisingly, grows increasingly uncomfortable and leaves.

When Lauren later shows up at the Keaton home to explain her behavior to Alex, she is forced to admit that, despite her ability to force him to admit his insecurities, she still has certain problems confronting her own emotions.

Written by
Directed by
Co-star: Courteney Cox as Lauren, Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: Don Amendolia as Tom, Diana Bellamy as Dr. Eileen Davidson, Helen Page Camp as Vera, Kathleen Dennehy as Janie, and Stephen Baldwin as Bobby


163. Nick's Best Friend (01/15/89)

No one feels much like celebrating on Andrew's seventh birthday after Nick's mangy mutt is hit by a car, forcing Nick to make an on-the-spot decision.

Nick gets back together with his best childhood friend: his dog Scrapper.

When Nick's mother moves into a new apartment complex that doesn't allow animals, he is given custody of his boyhood dog Scrapper. Although the lovable pooch is quite old, he's still playful and manages to completely charm the Keatons.

However, a short time later, Scrapper is hit by a car. After rushing the dog to the vet, Nick tries to be very positive about his condition, stating that this sort of thing has happened before and Scrapper is sure to be okay. But Dr. Austin informs a stunned Nick that Scrapper is severely injured and suggests that the dog be put to sleep. Nick won't hear of it - instead, he insists that the vet operate on Scrapper and do anything he can to save him.

Meanwhile, Steven tries to arrange an elaborate birthday party for Andy, but the family is too worried about Scrapper to pay attention. Finally, even the birthday boy himself announces that he'd rather not have a party.

Everyone waits for news from the vet, who finishes operating on Scrapper and tells Nick that keeping the suffering animal alive any longer would be unfair. Accepting Dr. Austin´s advice, Nick bids a tearful farewell to his old friend, accompanied by Mallory and an unusually emotional Alex. Later, at Andy's birthday party, everyone sits around glumly until Andy gets what he really wants - the chance to give Nick a gift that will cheer him up.

Written by Katie Ford
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-star: Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: Tom Isbell as Dr. Austin, Carol Mansell as Woman, Ron Jarvis as Clown, and Scott LaRose as Lobster, Colleen Linnehan


164. Deja Vu (01/08/89)

Mallory fears history may repeat itself when Jennifer dates the younger brother of a boy (Jeff) who once broke Mallory's heart.

Sisterly sparks fly when Jennifer decides to date the younger brother of Mallory´s former high school heartthrob.

As the Keatons try to persuade Steven that he needs a relaxing hobby, Jennifer nervously awaits the arrival of her new friend, Josh Wakefield, who has agreed to work with her on a project for the French Club. When Mallory realizes that Josh is the younger brother of Jeff Wakefield, her former high school boyfriend, she becomes overprotective and reminds Jennifer how Jeff jilted her when he went to college. Mallory just assumes that Josh will do the same to Jennifer.

Mallory´s distrust of Josh increases when she learns that he intends to attend Jeff´s alma mater, Princeton. After sharing her misgivings with Elyse and learning that Josh has asked Jennifer to the prom, Mallory decides she must confront her sister. Jennifer, who is very excited about her new relationship, resents Mallory´s assumptions about Josh and the sisters begin to argue. Finally, Nick suggests to Mallory that they go out with the couple so she can get to know Josh better.

Unfortunately, the dinner is a disaster. Mallory grills Josh about his intentions and Josh, put off by Mallory´s questions, leaves the restaurant, with Jennifer following closely behind. Back at home, Mallory calms down and apologizes to Jennifer, realizing that she must live her own life and make her own mistakes.

Written by Susan Borowitz
Directed by Matthew Diamond
Co-star: Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest star: Byron Thames as Josh Wakefield


165. Get Me to The Living Room on Time (01/29/89)

The Keaton's have a wedding for an elderly couple in their living room.

When Andy befriends two senior citizens, Steven decides to make them the focus of his new documentary.

After Andy announces that he´s invited a couple of friends over, the Keatons are surprised when two people in their seventies walk in! Andy introduces Joseph Simmons and Eva Martin to the family, explaining that they are from the retirement center which Andy´s class visits each week as a school project.

As Steven listens to Joseph and Eva talk about their lives and friendship with Andy, he gets an idea. Having been searching for a subject for his new documentary, Steven sees a story about Andy, Joseph and Eva as the perfect solution. A few days later, Steven and his cameraman visit the center and videotape Andy asking Joseph and Eva how they met, at which point Joseph suddenly pops the question to Eva, who agrees to marry him.

Problems develop, however, when Joseph´s son David strongly objects to the marriage and Steven is asked to try and reason with him. After an emotional scene that doesn´t seem to change David´s position, Steven invites the dejected couple to be married in the Keaton home. As Steven gets the wedding action on video (and annoys his children in the process), something else begins to happen which draws Joseph´s old and new families and the Keatons closer together than ever.

Written by Matthew Monaher
Directed by Sam Weisman
Guest stars: Douglas Seale as Joseph Simmons, Marie Denn as Eva Martin, Jeff Perry as David, Joshua Shelley as Sam, Minnie Lindsay as Rosemary, Mimi Cozzens as Mrs. Clark, Robert Torti as Jack, and Paul Mc Isaac as Dr. Cameron


166. The Job Not Taken (02/05/89)

Alex may have the killer instinct it takes to impress the top broker at an investment firm, but that instinct is put to the test after he's hired and his friend who got him the interview gets the boot.

Alex must choose between friendship and his career after a friend recommends him for a job at a big investment firm.

As Steven returns from a shopping spree, Alex eagerly prepares to have dinner with Paul Corman, a former Leland classmate who´s now an associate with the top investment banking house in Ohio. He´s even more excited when, over dinner, Paul tells Alex that his firm is looking to hire a new associate... and he has suggested Alex for the job.

When Alex arrives for the interview Paul has set up for him, he is ushered into the office of Jessica Foster, Paul´s high-powered but humorless boss. Realizing immediately how intensely competitive and driven she is, Alex wows her by professing his passionate love of money and mergers and Jessica hires him on the spot.

Ready from the interview, Alex comes home wearing a bowler hat and announces that he wants to take the entire family out for a celebration dinner. The festivities are interrupted, however, when Paul drops by to tell the Keatons that he´s been fired - and Alex has been hired as his replacement. In no way pressured by Paul to resign but faced with a guilty conscience, Alex realizes there´s more to life than the bottom line and decides not to take the job.

Written by
Directed by Andrew McCullough
Guest stars: Billy Morrissette as Paul Corman, Christina Jansen as Jessica Foster, David Bowe as Neil Cooper, and Ethel Ayler as Ms. Daniels


167. The Wrecker's Ball (02/12/89)

Elyse takes action when the wrecker's ball threatens to demolish her first design project, while Mallory takes up acupressure massage.

When the first building Elyse designed faces the wrecking ball, the entire family rallies behind her attempts to block the demolition.

Elyse is heartbroken when she learns that her very first professional design project, the Cavanaugh Building, is about to be torn down to make way for a mini-mall. Disconcerted by the news, Elyse becomes more and more upset as she starts reminiscing about her early career and how much the Cavanaugh Building meant to her.

In a strong show of support, Steven rallies the Keaton clan and, together, they resolve to fight the demolition. When they arrive at the building carrying picket signs of protest, Elyse points out an inscription on one of the bricks - her own dedication of the building to her family. The touching moment is interrupted, however, when the head of the demolition crew shows up with the proper permits in hand, and warns the Keatons that they have very little time to act.

Confronting the owner of the property, mini-mall "king" John Willis, Elyse´s pleas to save the building fall on deaf ears. Though powerless to stop the demolition, Elyse is later somewhat consoled when her loving family presents her with the inscribed brick, which they´ve managed to rescue from the rubble.

Written by
Directed by
Co-star: Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: Lyman Ward as John Willis, Vic Polizos as Dave McPhee, Denise D'Amico as Mrs. Clark, Florence Sundstrom as Woman, Gary Grubbs


168. Simon Says (03/05/89)

Jennifer and Alex fend off suitors.

Jennifer is caught in the middle when she begins working with her friend Simon.

As Alex recoils at declarations of love from Marla, an 11-year-old newspaper delivery girl who has a huge crush on him, Jennifer announces that she and her schoolmate Simon have landed jobs at a local fast food store.

On their first day working together, an infatuated Simon sets out to impress Jennifer but proves totally inept at his new job. Jennifer, however, saves the day and, in recognition of her hard work, the owner promotes her to assistant manager.

While Alex stealthily manages to avoid Marla, Jennifer´s new position creates problems. She finally warns Simon that he had better concentrate more on his job rather on her. But despite her attempts to cover Simon´s mistakes, the owner fires him.

Meanwhile, Alex finally manages to convince the lovestruck Marla to abandon her dreams of dating him. Jennifer, too, resolves her situation by telling Simon that even if she agrees with the boss´ decision to fire him, she´d never want to lose him as a friend.

Written by
Directed by Matthew Diamond
Guest stars: Jason Naylor as Simon Wickerson, Jaclyn Bernstein as Marla, and Stephen Lee as Mr. Parker, Richard Mc Gonagle as Male Customer, and Baillie Gerstein as Woman


169. My Best Friend's Girl (02/19/89)

Playing matchmaker for Skippy, Lauren becomes the object of his affection.

Lauren gets more than she bargained for when she begins counseling Skippy - and he falls in love with her.

When Jennifer arrives home with her learner´s permit in hand and announces that she´d like Elyse to teach her hoe to drive, a somewhat miffed Steven begins to needle them both about "women drivers". With continuous prodding, however, Steven finally gets his way and takes over as Jennifer´s driving instructor.

Meanwhile, Skippy confesses to Alex and Lauren that he is having problems relating to women. When Lauren realizes how troubled he is about being rejected, she offers to help Skippy by inviting him to her lab to access his psychological profile. But during the resulting session, Skippy finds it so easy to talk to Lauren that he becomes completely smitten with her!

Oblivious to Skippy´s crush on her, Lauren sets out to find a compatible mate for him and ends up arraging a blind date for Skippy with a sweet girl named Pippi. As she and Pippi joins Alex and Skippy for dinner, it becomes obvious that Skippy only has eyes for Lauren. The situation becomes even more complicated when Skippy steals a kiss from Lauren and winds up with egg on his face.

Written by Bruce Helford
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-stars: Marc Price as Skippy and Courteney Cox as Lauren
Guest stars: Maura Tierney as Darlene, Karyn O´Bryan as Pippi, and John Lavachielli as Waiter


170. Til Her Daddy Takes Her T-Bird Away (02/26/89)

Steven cosigns a loan for Mallory's car.

Mallory´s plans to buy a car are stalled when Steven refuses to co-sign her loan.

As Jennifer labors over a play she´s writing on the final days of the Nixon presidency, Steven anxiously waits for Mallory to return home with his car. When she arrives late and is chided by her impatient dad, Mallory suggests that perhaps it´s time she bought a car of her own.

Several days later, Mallory, Nick and Steven pay a visit to a car dealership run by Nick´s dad, Joe Moore. When she ends up falling in love with a little convertible that´s a bit too pricey for her, Steven graciously volunteers to co-sign her loan. But the deal begins to sour when Joe shows up with the final loan documents and Mallory begins talking about the cross-country trip she is planning with Nick. Steven balks at Mallory´s plans and backs out as her co-signer.

Angry and disappointed, Mallory resolves to buy a car she can afford on her own. She and Nick return to Joe´s showroom, but not before Steven collars Joe and convinces him not to sell a car at any price to his daughter. It is only later, when Mallory directly confronts Steven at home, that he is forced to recognize that she has become a responsible adult.

Written by
Directed by Matthew Diamond
Co-star: Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest star: Dan Hedaya as Joe Moore


171. All in The Neighborhood (Part 1) (03/12/89)

Steven's black co-worker and family move into the neighborhood, only to find they are not welcome.

The Keatons are shocked to realize that racism is alive and well when their black friends move into a house across the street.

During dinner with Steven´s colleague Gus Thompson and his wife Maya, the Keatons learn that the couple is having trouble finding a house to buy. When Elyse informs them that the house across the street is up for sale, Gus and Maya (who are black) gently raise the subject of race. Although Steven admits that there are no black families in the neighborhood, he believes race to be a non-issue.

The Keatons face a rude awakening, however, when they accompany the Thompsons on a tour of the house. The realtor, Christine Chadway, is barely able to conceal her shock when she realizes that the Thompsons are black. Completely reversing the sales pitch she had earlier given the Keatons, Christine is sternly reminded by Gus that housing discrimination is illegal and she must present his full-price offer to her clients.

To Steven and Elyse´s dismay, the Thompsons begin receiving anonymous threats as soon as they move in. Gus´ worried son Michael, implores his parents to move, despite Gus´ determination to stand up in the face of bigotry. Alarmed, Steven organizes a neighbor-hood meeting, and as the residents begin to express concern over the possibility of declining property values, Maya voices her own doubts about remaining in her new home.

Written by
Directed by Matthew Diamond
Co-star: Marc Price as Skippy
Guest stars: John Hancock as Gus Thompson, Rosalind Cash as Maya Thompson, Keith Amos as Michael Thompson, Jane Daly as Christine Chadway, Kevin Dunn as Glen, Mark Taylor as Phil, Maris Clement as Ginny, and Robert Schanche as Sam


172. All in The Neighborhood (Part 2) (03/19/89)

Steven's black co-worker and family are driven out of the neighborhood by prejudiced neighbors.

The Keaton rally behind their black friends when the issue of racial discrimination hits home.

Surprised and disgusted with their neighbors´ racist attitudes, Elyse and Steven apologize to Gus and Maya Thompson for ever having suggested that they buy the house across the street. The Keatons become even more disturbed when they learn that the Thompsons are considering moving out immediately.

As Steven and Elyse continue to question their own naivete in matters of race, they urge Gus and Maya not to make any hasty decisions. Unfortunately, their advice is soon challenged when the couples return home after dining out to find Michael standing in the wreckage of the Thompson living room, which has been vandalized by bigots.

The next day, when the Keatons help the Thompsons clean up, Michael comes across pictures of Gus and Maya at various civil rights demonstrations in the '60s and is moved to reflect seriously on the struggles his parents must have gone thru. At last he comes to realize that he must become personally involved in the fight for freedom. Just when the Thompsons resolve to stay in their home, several neighbors arrive to pledge their support and help their new friends straighten up the mess.

Written by
Directed by Matthew Diamond
Guest stars: John Hancock as Gus Thompson, Rosalind Cash as Maya Thompson, Keith Amos as Michael Thompson, Mark Taylor as Phil, Betsy Randle as Nancy, Charles Bouvier as Officer Larson, and Dan Gilvezan as Officer Steele


173. Wrap Around The Clock (Part 1) (04/23/89)

When Andy asks the family to contribute to his time capsule, the Keaton clan recalls some of their best-loved stories.

As a homework assignment, Andy has been given the task of creating a time capsule which reflects his family´s history. For his part, the littlest Keaton has placed his baby boots in the capsule, and asks his parents and siblings to contribute mementos from their past.

Soon, the family is looking back and laughing at some of their funniest experiences together - like the time Steven and Elyse went to Woodstock, Alex went to jail with a group of feminists after feigning support for the Equal Rights Amendment and Mallory coached Nick in grammar to pass his high school equivalency exam.

They also recall what happened when Mallory began dispensing advice to the lovelorn in her "Dear Mallory" column, Steven made a mess out of wallpapering the kitchen and Elyse became a blackjack fanatic in Atlantic City, where she was supposed to be lecturing at a conference.

Written by
Directed by Matthew Diamond
Co-stars: Courteney Cox as Lauren, Marc Price as Skippy, Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: in clips from previous episodes - Seth Jaffe, Tracy Nelson, Gail Strickland, and Arthur Taxier


174. Wrap Around The Clock (Part 2) (04/23/89)

As Andy's time capsule fills to overflowing with family mementos, the Keaton clan looks back and laughs at their funniest moments.

Although Andy protests that his time capsule has too many items in it, Alex continues to add things from his personal archives, including his collection of report cards from nursery school to first grade.

Munching on popcorn as they reflect on their lives, the Keatons continue to share memories of Andy´s first day at school, Steven´s terrible magic tricks, Nick´s reunion with his long-lost father and Nick and Mallory´s aborted elopement.

Even after Andy falls asleep and goes to bed, the family remembers the time Alex and Lauren met, and also when the girl of Skippy´s dreams fell for Alex instead. Filled with warm memories of times past, Elyse persuades the entire gang to join her in a sing along.

Written by
Directed by Andrew McCullough
Co-stars: Courteney Cox as Lauren, Marc Price as Skippy, Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: in clips from previous episodes - John Scott Clough, Larry Cox, Dan Hedaya, John Ingle, Seth Jaffe, Michelle Meyrink, Tracy Nelson, Tracy Pollan, Alexandra Powers, Gail Strickland, Arthur Taxier and Jesse Welles

Note: Originally aired as an one-hour episode.


175. They Can't Take That Away From Me (Part 1) (04/02/89)

Alex considers romance with a girl he is tutoring.

Alex's relationship with Lauren is tested when he becomes infatuated with a young music student.

While Lauren´s out of town attending a psychology conference. Alex begins teaching a freshman seminar in economics at Leland College. As he begins his first lecture, he is interrupted by a late arrival, music major Marty Brodie, a rather scattered young woman.

When she disrupts his class twice more, first with a blast of classical music from her tape player and then with a muffled sob, Alex dismisses the class early and awkwardly attempts to determine what´s wrong. Admitting that she´s had a terrible week, during which she broke up with her boyfriend. Marty also confesses that she´s terrible in economics and convinces Alex to tutor her for $15 an hour.

When Alex arrives at Marty´s dorm room for their first lesson. he tries to divert her attention away from her piano. Unable to get excited about the concept of supply and demand. Marty soon teaches an enthusiastic Alex the basic melody line to Gershwin´s "S'Wonderful" on the piano, then joins in with a brilliant accompaniment.

Fascinated by each other, the two end up spending a great deal of time together until Alex realizes that his feelings for Marty are beginning to threaten his relationship with Lauren. Things become even more complicated when Alex presents Marty with a piano shaped music box and their mutual attraction draws them into a spontaneous kiss.

Written by
Directed by
Co-star: Courteney Cox as Lauren
Guest star: Jane Adams as Marty Brodie


176. They Can't Take That Away From Me (Part 2) (04/09/89)

Alex faces a dilemma when Lauren returns to town.

Alex finds himself on an emotional rollercoaster when he's forced to choose between Lauren and Marty.

When Lauren returns from her psychology conference, she notices that Alex is acting distant and distracted. After an uncomfortable silence, Alex admits that he has become interested in another woman and needs time to sort out his feelings - a revelation that leaves Lauren angry and confused.

Things become even more awkward the next day when Alex accidentally runs into Lauren and Marty in the school cafeteria. After an embarrasing confrontation, both women leave the dining room in a huff. Alex returns home to work on his valedictory address for graduation, but remains preoccupied with how he´s going to work his way out of his love triangle. Conjuring up the images of Freud, Sartre and Shakespeare, he calls upon the great minds for advice in matters of love.

Ultimately, when Alex realizes that his immediate plans cannot include either Marty or Lauren, he approaches both women individually. Before Alex is able to say a word, Marty reads his mind and does the breaking up for him. And Lauren, refusing to compete for Alex´s affections, also beats him to the punch. On graduation day, he is comforted by Elyse and Mallory as he says goodbye to one chapter in his life and looks toward an exciting, if uncertain, future in New York.

Written by
Directed by
Co-star: Courteney Cox as Lauren
Guest star: Jane Adams as Marty Brodie


177. Rain Forests Keep Fallin' On My Head (04/16/89)

Jennifer goes overboard trying to protect the environment.

Jennifer becomes obsessed with the environment after she begins studying the earth's ecological evils.

As Alex presents Andrew with a pet parakeet, Jennifer arrives home with news that her science class has begun studying global ecology to explore how the earth is endangered by man´s interference. Upset that the world is being destroyed for profit, Jennifer begins trying to make the family more ecologically aware as she laments the destruction of rain forests in Brazil and the ozone layer over the South Pole.

While Mallory teaches the parakeet anti-Republican phrases, Jennifer becomes more and more obsessed. When she realizes how many toxic chemicals are in the Keaton home alone, she demands that the family throw out a bunch of household products and shop for safe alternatives. Not stopping there, however, she begins dwelling on the enormity of the world´s environmental problems and becomes psychologically overwhelmed.

Fixating on such evils as acid rain and radon gas, Jennifer sinks into a deep depression. Concerned for her welfare, Steven and Elyse confront Jennifer and insist that she see the school counselor, Mr. Hilgenberg.

Hoping to lift her out of her depression, Hilgenberg becomes depressed himself when Jennifer begins pointing out the hazards in his office. Ultimately, Jennifer is able to lose her blues when Steven and Elyse thank her for inspiring them to renew their commitment to a safe environment, and convince her that she can make a difference by becoming part of the struggle.

Written by
Directed by Rita Rogers
Guest stars: Barry Heins as Mr. Hilgenberg, the school couselor


178. Mr. Keaton Takes A Vacation (05/07/89)

Nick stays at the Keatons' while his apartment is painted.

Steven must confront his true feelings about Mallory's boyfriend when Nick moves in with the family for a week.

While Elyse struggles to do the family taxes and Steven buries himself in his Tolstoy documentary, Mallory asks her parents if Nick can stay with the Keatons for a week while his house is being painted. Although Elyse gives in to Mallory´s pleas, she warns her that Nick must be made to understand that Steven is very busy and should stay out of his way.

During the first night of Nick´s stay, protective papa Steven parks himself in a chair on the stair landing to prevent any hanky-panky between the couple. When Mallory wakes Nick up early the next morning to cook breakfast for the whole family, Steven arises with a start and runs into the kitchen, demanding an explanation for their whispers and giggling. When they explain about breakfast, Steven becomes embarrassed and pretends to be sleepwalking!

Later that morning, when the rest of the family departs for school and work, Steven is left alone in the house with Nick. Tensions rise between them when Nick, in a misguided attempt to be helpful, continually interrupts Steven´s work. Things soon deteriorate to the point where Nick confronts Steven directly, claiming that he´s never been given a chance to prove himself. With that, Nick stalks off to a hotel. It is only after Elyse and Mallory force Steven to look at his overprotectiveness that he is able to experience a change of heart about Nick.

Written by
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-star: Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: none


179-180. Alex Doesn't Live Here Anymore (Parts 1 and 2) (05/14/89)

Alex's job in New York unsettles Elyse. (Part 1)

Elyse and departing Alex deal with their feelings. (Part 2) (Part 1)

When Alex lands his dream job in New York, everyone's delighted for him, except Elyse.

As Steven helps Andy rehearse for his school play on dental hygiene, Alex bursts into the Keaton kitchen with a rousing chorus of "New York, New York", and the news that he's been hired by one of Wall Street´s biggest investment firms. The family is thrilled, but Elyse is somewhat taken aback when she learns that Alex is expected to move immediately.

While everyone pitches in to help Alex gets ready, Elyse become´s miffed over a family photo that he packed without her permission and a palpable tension begins to develop between them. In the course of packing, Alex battles wits with Jennifer, accepts fashion tips from Mallory, receives fatherly advice from Steven and shares some final moments with Nick, Skippy and Lauren. All the while, Elyse continues to withdraw from him.

She becomes even more upset when the family plans to go out to dinner together and Alex begs off, claiming he is just too busy to spare the time. Elyse finally explodes, accusing Alex of being arrogant, self-centered and ungrateful. Stunned by her outburst, Alex angrily defends himself, hurt by what he feels is her singular lack of support and understanding.

(Part 2)

While Alex packs for New York, Elyse struggles to deal with her feelings of loss.

After Elyse's blow-up with Alex, Steven is finally able to get her to admit that much of what she's suffering is classic separation anxiety. But she is still unable to put her anger aside, telling Steven that Alex is too self-centered to appreciate all the things they've done for him.

That night at Andy's school play, Steven asks Alex to talk with his mother about what she's feeling. Later, when the family decides to go out for ice cream, Elyse excuses herself and goes home alone.

Standing in Alex's room, a melancholy Elyse is surprised when her son walks in and apologies for fighting. Elyse confesses that his leaving reminds her that a part of her life is ending, while Alex tells her that bravado aside, he´s scared about leaving the security of the family. Their love for each other reaffirmed, Alex and Elyse embrace.

Early the next morning, the sleepy family gathers for breakfast before taking Alex to the airport. However, Alex insists that he doesn't want an emotional airport goodbye and calls a cab. When the cabbie arrives, Alex shakes hands with his family members and leaves, only to return moments later to hug them and bid them a tearful goodbye.

Written by Alan Uger & Marc Lawrence & Susan Borowitz & Katie Ford
Directed by Sam Weisman
Co-stars: Courteney Cox as Lauren, Marc Price as Skippy, Scott Valentine as Nick
Guest stars: Terry Wills as Cabbie, Nina Mann as Ms. Williams, Daniel Weisman as Marc, Sarah McCrary as Violet, Alan Zuckerman as Davey, Marissa Rosen as Child #1, Ginny Worland as Child #2, and Nichole Francois as Child #3

Notes: Originally aired as an one hour+ episode (1 hour, 14 minutes to be exact) . The cast took a bow at the end of the episode.


Episode summaries courtesy of Daniel Hofverberg of the Family Ties Home Page via Paramount Pictures.

Original airdates courtesy of HCH and Boeschner's Family Ties Episode Guide at TV.com.


Site Guide
Message Board
Show info
Cast info
Episode Guide
Picture Galleries
Sound Library/Video Clips
Did you know?
Biographies/Where are they now?
Trivia
Memorabilia
Family Ties available on home video
Mailing List
Links
Sitcoms Online


Click here for eBay!


Family Ties Online main page

 © 1999-2012, Todd Fuller  Contact Form



Search:
Keywords:
In Association with Amazon.com