“Family Ties”: Episode Guide Season 2

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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 023
EPISODE TITLE :: Tender is the Knight
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: September 28, 1983
GUEST STARS :: Talia Balsam as Carrie Newman; Susan Bay as Julia Newman; Chris Nash as Victor; Kelly Ann Conn as Sherry
WRITER :: Ruth Bennett
DIRECTOR :: Sam Weisman
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Alex becomes attracted to an independent woman who finds him rather dull. To impress her, he oversteps his bounds.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 027
EPISODE TITLE :: The Homecoming
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: October 12, 1983
GUEST STARS :: John Dukakis as Jeff Wakefield
WRITER :: Douglas Wyman
DIRECTOR :: Sam Weisman
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeff (OMG – actual continuity!) comes home to visit. To Mallory’s happy surprise, he tells her that he plans to leave college and come home to be near her. It becomes very clear to Mallory that it’s not her he’s running to, it’s Princeton he’s running away from. She convinces him to go back to college, although it breaks her heart.
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still_FT_ep026PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 026
EPISODE TITLE :: The Harder They Fall
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: October 19, 1983
GUEST STARS :: Edward Edwards as Mr. Tedesco; Mary Farrell as Mrs. Morgan; Molly David as Mrs. Jones; Bunny Summers as Mrs. Binney
WRITER :: Rich Reinhart
DIRECTOR :: Sam Weisman
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Mr. Tedesco is in the hiz-house! An overly-obnoxious English teacher of Alex’s pushes all the wrong buttons with his parents and both Steven and Elyse end up socking him on the chin. Alex must choose between his family honor and Mr. Tedesco’s recommendation letter in one of my favorite episodes of “Family Ties.”
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 032
EPISODE TITLE :: This Year’s Model
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: October 26, 1983
GUEST STARS :: Sarah Abrell as Heather; Frank Dent as Ed; Eve Roberts as Mrs. Marin; Nick Meele as Phillip; Robert Schanche as Slate; John McCook as Tuxedo Man
WRITER :: Richard Rasking & Susan Borowitz
DIRECTOR :: John Pasquin
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Mallory enters herself and Elyse in a mail-in modeling contest and they win a photo shoot with a local modeling agency. Elyse is a natural, but Mallory just doesn’t cut the mustard. Mallory becomes very jealous when her mother starts taking modeling and commercial contracts. Realizing that she’s hurting her daughter, Elyse decides to give up her modeling career.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 029
EPISODE TITLE :: Not An Affair to Remember
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: November 2, 1983
GUEST STARS :: Judith Light as Stacey Hughes; John Hancock as Gus Thompson
WRITER :: Gary David Goldberg & Ruth Bennett
DIRECTOR :: Sam Weisman
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Steven has a new assistant who is smart, pretty and finds Steven very attractive. After a rough time at home, Steven starts considering returning his assistant’s affections. But, this is Steven Keaton here, so we know how this ends, don’t we?
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Family Ties: Speed TrapPRODUCTION NUMBER :: 025
EPISODE TITLE :: Speed Trap
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: November 9, 1983
GUEST STARS :: None.
WRITER :: Michael J. Weithorn
DIRECTOR :: Sam Weisman
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: It’s exam time at Harding High and Alex is determined to ace every test. To help him reach his goal, he convinces Mallory to obtain some amphetamines from her friend to help Alex stay awake. It’s a ‘very special’ episode of “Family Ties” but well worth the watch for Michael J. Fox’s amazing physical humor.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 031
EPISODE TITLE :: Sweet Lorraine
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: November 16, 1983
GUEST STARS :: Carolyn Seymour as Lorraine Ferrar; Hannah Cutrona as Melissa Ferrar
WRITER :: Alan Uger
DIRECTOR :: Sam Weisman
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Who knew that Alex supported any type of performing arts? Alex, in charge of a few hours of radio time at the high school radio station, chooses to play swing music from the 40’s and 50’s. He ‘meets’ a charming French woman over the phone and they begin to see each other on friendly dates. Lorraine realizes that Alex has become attracted to her and decides to end the relationship.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 028
EPISODE TITLE :: Batter Up
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: November 30, 1983
GUEST STARS :: Tanya Fenmore as Arlene; Marc Price as Irwin “Skippy” Handelman
WRITER :: Lisa A. Bannick
DIRECTOR ::  Sam Weisman
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Okay, whoever keeps putting Alex in charge of children needs to have their head examined.
In this episode, Alex takes over coaching Jennifer’s softball team. In protest of Alex’s hardcore coaching style, the members start leaving the team. In desperation, Jennifer convinces Skippy’s little sister Arlene to play although she’s awful and ends up getting hurt during practice with Jennifer. Jennifer learns that friendship is appreciating the person, not what they can do for you.
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still_FT_ep037PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 037
EPISODE TITLE :: A Keaton Christmas Carol
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: December 14, 1983
GUEST STARS :: Chris Hebert as Young Alex; Kaleena Kiff as Young Mallory
WRITER :: Rich Reinhart
DIRECTOR :: Will Mackenzie
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Just as the title suggests, this is the Keaton take on ‘A Christmas Carol’ with Alex playing the Scrooge role.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 024
EPISODE TITLE :: To Snatch a Keith
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: December 21, 1983
GUEST STARS :: James Sutorius as Richard; Donna McKechnie as Cynthia; David Faustino as Keith Bailey; Isabell Monk as Waitress
WRITER :: Alan Uger
DIRECTOR :: Sam Weisman
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Friends of Steven and Elyse are divorcing and can not reach a suitable visiting arrangement for their son. The father plans to kidnap his own son and it’s up to the Keatons to stop him.
TRIVIA: David Faustino is the first of the “Married with Children” kids to appear on “Family Ties.” Christina Applegate also appears in season 5.
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still_FT_ep033PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 033
EPISODE TITLE :: Birthday Boy
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: January 5, 1983
GUEST STARS :: Crispin Glover as Doug; John Putch as Neil; Eileen Seeley as Roxanne; Kate Vernon as Christie; Debbie Gilbert as Buffy; Michael Zorek as Flaum
WRITER :: Michael J. Weithorn
DIRECTOR :: Will Mackenzie
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Alex is 18. Woo hoo! Instead of the usual dinner with the family, Alex decides to go out to a bar with his friends. Elyse forbids Alex to go, but he defies her and hits the town. Much to his chagrin, Elyse finds him and his buddies and attempts to take him home. Alex refuses and Elyse leaves. Later, they agree that Elyse will treat him more like an adult and Alex will treat her with more respect.
TRIVIA: Crispin Glover of Back to the Future and High School U.S.A. and Michael Zorek of High School U.S.A. co-star in this episode.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 036
EPISODE TITLE :: Go Tigers
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: January 12, 1984
GUEST STARS :: John Dukakis as Jeff Wakefield; Kate Charleson as Sandy; Duncan Ross as Dean Memminger; Bill Gratton as Janitor; Joshua John Miller as Kenneth
WRITER :: Michael J. Weithorn
DIRECTOR :: Will Mackenzie
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Alex is going to Princeton to interview for admission. Mallory tags along to visit her boyfriend, Jeff. Meanwhile, at home, Steven is terrorized by his much younger cousin he has been forced to baby-sit. Back at Princeton, Mallory catches Jeff kissing another girl, becomes hysterical and busts into Alex’s interview. She leaves, but when Alex sees her crying and wandering aimlessly across campus, he chooses to go after her, ruining his chances of attending Princeton…how convenient for the next 4 seasons, eh?
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 038
EPISODE TITLE :: “M” is for the Many Things
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: January 19, 1984
GUEST STARS :: Priscilla Morrill as Kate Donnelly; James Karen as Harold
WRITER :: Lisa A. Bannick
DIRECTOR :: Will Mackenzie
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Elyse’s parents decide to divorce and Elyse is distressed when her mother starts enjoying the single life, going out on dates and staying out all night. Elyse still hopes that her parents can make amends but her mother assures her that it is never going to happen.
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still_FT_ep039PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 039
EPISODE TITLE :: Say Uncle
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: January 26, 1984
GUEST STARS :: Tom Hanks as Ned Donnelly; Ben Piazza as Mr. Wertz
WRITER :: Ruth Bennett
DIRECTOR :: Will Mackenzie
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Tom Hanks is back in his famous Ned Donnelly role. Well…maybe not that famous. Anyway, Ned is at the Keaton house for a visit and an interview at Steven’s station WKS (you’re the one!). However, it turns out that Ned has a serious drinking problem and botches his own interview. When he’s confronted by Steven, Elyse and Alex, Ned turns ugly and hits Alex across the face. Ned realizes what he’s become and finally calls AA.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 040
EPISODE TITLE :: Ladies’ Man
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: February 2, 1984
GUEST STARS :: Tracy Nelson as Deena Marx; Philip Sterling as Mr. Winkler; Gail Strickland as Ms. Dorothy Cannell; Edith Fields as Mrs. Sharon Fletcher; John Hostetter as Heckler; Richard Vidan as Jail Guard
WRITER :: Alan Uger
DIRECTOR :: Will Mackenzie
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Here he goes again. Alex pretends to be a feminist to impress a pretty girl that he meets, even attending an ERA (Equal Rights Amendment for all you kids out there) meeting. When the speaker is not allowed to voice her opinion, Alex speaks up for her stating his true belief that she should be allowed to make her statment. The meeting ends in a riot and they all go to jail and Alex becomes a hero to the women of the ERA movement. However, when he’s asked to speak at the next meeting, Alex fesses up that he’s against that ERA, coming clean to his new girlfriend who promptly dumps the lying, chauvinistic pig. Good thing he’s so cute, eh? 😉
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 041
EPISODE TITLE :: Ready or Not
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: February 9, 1984
GUEST STARS :: Kathleen Wilhoite as Kathy; Tom Byrd as Rick Harmon; Kathy Wilhoite as Kathy; Susan Isaacs as Linda; Lenora May as Margo
WRITER :: Ruth Bennett & Michael J. Weithorn
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemel
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Uh oh, looks like another ‘very special episode’ here. Mallory, 16, is dating an 18 year old boy who is ready to take their relationship further than Mallory is ready to go. She considers going along with his ideas, but finally decides that if she’s not ready, she shouldn’t do it.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 044
EPISODE TITLE :: Double Date
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: February 16, 1984
GUEST STARS :: Daphne Zuniga as Rachel Miller; Jami Gertz as Jocelyn Clark; Terry Wills as Dr. Schulte; Marc Price as Irwin “Skippy” Handelman
WRITER :: Dougas Wyman
DIRECTOR :: Will Mackenzie
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Alex…chick magnet! Alex has been hanging out with Rachel Miller, a girl he considers as a friend only even though it’s quite obvious to anyone who has eyes that she has a crush on him. However, Alex has his heart set on Jocelyn, the high school snob. Alex asks Rachel to the senior prom, but when Jocelyn’s date renigs on her, she asks Alex and he accepts. With Skippy’s help, he manages two dates to the prom..for about 10 minutes. When it’s all over, Rachel forgives him and Alex actually keeps a girlfriend. There’s a first for everything, eh?
TRIVIA: This is the first of three appearances of Terry Willis as Dr. Schulte
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 042
EPISODE TITLE :: Lady Sings the Blues
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: February 23, 1984
GUEST STARS :: Alan Blumenfeld as Lou Stone; Milt Oberman as Andy; Enid Kent as Robin; Sam Kwasman as Dennis McKay; William Boyett as Police Officer
WRITER :: Alan Uger & Michael J. Weithorn
DIRECTOR :: Andrew McCullough
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Elyse, folk-singer of the past, decides to take up the guitar again and go preaching, uh, singing to the local masses again. After a first disastrous concert where the audience heckles her, she finally finds an audience of older, more appreciative people at a later time of the night.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 045
EPISODE TITLE :: Baby Boy Doe
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: March 8, 1984
GUEST STARS :: Garn Stephens as Elizabeth Davidson; Raleigh Bond as Harry Handelman; Lois De Banzie as Rose Handelman; Marc Price as Irwin “Skippy” Handelman
WRITER :: Alan Uger & Ruth Bennett
DIRECTOR :: Will Mackenzie
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Erwin ‘Skippy’ Handleman…Baby Boy Doe: Same person! Skippy finds out that he’s adopted and goes on a search for his birth mother with Alex’s help. In the end, Skippy realizes that his real parents are the people who raised and loved him as their own.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 043
EPISODE TITLE :: The Graduate
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: March 15, 1984
GUEST STARS :: Daphne Zuniga as Rachel Miller; Terry Wills as Dr. Schulte
WRITER :: Lloyd Garver & Ruth Bennett
DIRECTOR :: Will Mackenzie
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: It’s graduation time and Alex is convinced that he’s going to be named Valedictorian. Well, he’s close. He comes in second…to his girlfriend, Rachel. Tension mounts and finally, Alex almost ruins their relationship. However, they make up by episode’s end and graduate from Harding High. Hurrah!..and we never see Rachel again. 🙁
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 034
EPISODE TITLE :: Diary of a Young Girl
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: May 3, 1984
GUEST STARS :: Nancy Parsons as Nurse; Michael David Wright as Kevin Jenkins
WRITER :: Ruth Bennett
DIRECTOR :: Sam Weisman
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Jennifer, afraid she won’t survive her tonsillectomy, writes of some painful memories in her diary when she messed things up for her loved ones.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 030
EPISODE TITLE :: Working At It
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: May 10, 1984
GUEST STARS :: Rebecca Balding as Karen Banks; Walter Olkewicz as Bill Channing; Michael Currie as Mr. Haifax
WRITER :: Lloyd Garver
DIRECTOR :: Sam Weisman
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Elyse is back to work at an architectural firm. It’s been 12 years since Elyse was in the work force and she finds herself way behind the times. Becoming over-stressed she starts to neglect her duties at home and her presentation is in danger of failing miserably.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 046
EPISODE TITLE :: The Gambler
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: September 20, 1984
GUEST STARS :: Seth Jaffe as Pit Boss
WRITER :: Michael J. Weithorn & Alan Uger
DIRECTOR :: Will Mackenzie
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Elyse has a business meeting in Atlantic City and the family decides to make a vacation out of the event. Although Elyse insists that she’s there strictly for business, Alex convinces her to try Blackjack to test his new ‘system.’ Elyse does well and catches the bug, missing her meeting. At the end, she wins a lot of money, but decides to give up gambling.
TRIVIA: This episode didn’t air until a week before the 3rd Season premiere.

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