“Family Ties”: Episode Guide Season 4

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Family Ties: The Real Thing Part 1PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 074
EPISODE TITLE :: The Real Thing Part 1
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: September 26, 1985
GUEST STARS :: Suzanne Snyder as Tricia Armstrong; Marc Price as Irwin “Skippy” Handelman; Tracy Pollan as Ellen Reed
WRITER :: Michael J. Weithorn
DIRECTOR :: Will Mackenzie
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Alex, being as charming and sensitive as ever, decides to pick his new girlfriend from the freshman directory and chooses a perky blonde. She is exactly as expected, but it’s her roommate, Ellen Reed, that Alex can’t stop thinking about. However, Ellen is engaged to her ‘sort of’ boyfriend and leaves the episode, running to the train station to get married, shortly after Alex kisses her on the dance floor.
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Family Ties: The Real Thing Part 2PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 075
EPISODE TITLE :: The Real Thing Part 2
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: October 3, 1985
GUEST STARS :: Suzanne Snyder as Tricia Armstrong; Judson Allen as Jack; Peter Van Norden as Janitor; Danny Ponce as Shoeshine Boy; Marc Price as Irwin “Skippy” Handelman; Tracy Pollan as Ellen Reed
WRITER :: Michael J. Weithorn
DIRECTOR :: Will Mackenzie
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Alex skips a very important dinner to drive 8 hours to stop Ellen from marrying the wrong guy. He confesses his love to Ellen (“IloveyouIloveyouIloveyou”) and Ellen, fortunately, returns the sentiment.
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still_FT_ep073PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 073
EPISODE TITLE :: Mr. Wrong
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: October 17, 1985
GUEST STARS:: Scott Valentine as Nick Moore
WRITER :: Alan Uger
DIRECTOR :: Will Mackenzie
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: He-ey! Nick makes his first appearance when Mallory introduces him to the family as her new boyfriend. All of the Keaton’s, except Jennifer, are appalled at his rough exterior, although Steven and Elyse will learn that Nick was much like them at their age.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 070
EPISODE TITLE :: Designated Hitter
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: October 24, 1985
GUEST STARS:: Noah Hathaway as Adam Galardner; Danny Nucci as Rick; Marc Price as Irwin “Skippy” Handelman
WRITER :: Stephen J. Curwick
DIRECTOR :: John Pasquin
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Jennifer’s boyfriend is having trouble with a bully and Jennifer steps in to defend him. Of course the little jerk will no longer speak to her because this results in him being made fun of even more. Meanwhile, Alex has his own crisis when Mallory outscores him on an IQ test…twice.
TRIVIA: This episode was made for the 3rd Season.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 079
EPISODE TITLE :: Don’t Go Changin’
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: October 31, 1985
GUEST STARS:: John Scott Clough as David; Browyn Thomas as Roberta; Jesse Welles as Deborah; Pamela Springsteen as Gail; Tracy Pollan as Ellen Reed
WRITER :: Marc Lawrence
DIRECTOR :: Asaad Kelada
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Alex is concerned that he and Ellen don’t have enough in common and goes to drastic measures to prove to Ellen that he does belong in her world. To a very embarrassing and painful end, Alex tries out for a professional dance company to prove this to Ellen. Fortunately for Alex, Ellen tells him that she loves him just the way he is. (Gee, don’t we wish Lauren had felt the same way?)
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 076
EPISODE TITLE :: The Old College Try
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: November 7, 1985
GUEST STARS:: Molly Cheek as Frances Wilder; Scott Valentine as Nick Moore
WRITER :: Ruth Bennett
DIRECTOR :: Barbara Schultz
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Mallory does not want and has no intention of going to college. Elyse believes that she has been influenced by Nick, a high-school drop out. (Steven is much more reasonable – note the slouch). Mallory goes to Nick for support and is surprised that Nick agrees with Elyse, telling Mallory that she is much smarter than she gives herself credit for. Finally, Mallory agrees to at least try college for a year and then take it from there.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 080
EPISODE TITLE :: My Tutor
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: November 14, 1985
GUEST STARS:: River Phoenix as Eugene Forbes; Peter Hobbs as Professor Walter Jenkins; Kim Sebastian as Eunice
WRITER :: Jace Richdale
DIRECTOR :: Sam Weisman
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Alex is having a little trouble with abstract math (abstract is just not his thing, Note Ellen’s fruit painting earlier this season) and hires a 13 year old genius math tutor to help him. Eugene lays eyes on Jennifer and knows she must be his. Alex convinces Jennifer to go out with Eugene to a disastrous end, as Eugene finally shows his age and has a tantrum in the middle of a department party. However, Jennifer actually likes seeing him act out and all ends well. We never see Eugene again.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 081
EPISODE TITLE :: Mr. Right
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: November 21, 1985
GUEST STARS:: Alan Blumenfeld as Mr. Gleason; Bunny Summers as Customer #1; Scott Valentine as Nick Moore
WRITER :: Cheri Steinkellner & Bill Steinkellner
DIRECTOR :: Sam Weisman
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Tired of being looked down upon by Mallory’s parents, Nick decides to transform himself into what the Keaton’s want. However, it’s not what Mallory wants.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 082
EPISODE TITLE :: Just One Look
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: December 5, 1985
GUEST STARS:: Robert Desiderio as Richard Schofield
WRITER :: Paul Wolff; Gary David Goldberg & Michael J. Weithorn
DIRECTOR :: Andrew McCullough
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: An old college friend, Richard, comes to visit Steven and Elyse and Steven is shocked to find out that Elyse once had a romantic relationship with Richard. Steven becomes very jealous and starts imagining that Elyse and Richard are still attracted to each other.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 083
EPISODE TITLE :: How Do You Sleep?
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: December 12, 1985
GUEST STARS:: Marc Price as Irwin “Skippy” Handelman
WRITER :: Marc Lawrence
DIRECTOR :: John Pasquin
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Alex forgets how to sleep and struggles with insomnia.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 085
EPISODE TITLE :: You’ve Got a Friend
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: December 19, 1985
GUEST STARS:: Martha Plimpton as Jessie Black; Scott Valentine as Nick Moore
WRITER :: Ruth Bennett
DIRECTOR :: John Pasquin
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: After turning in a young girl for shoplifting, Mallory tries to befriend the girl after learning of her troubled past. She becomes frustrated when she can’t change the girl overnight. Nick helps her realize that this is impossible but that she can at least be a good influence.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 086
EPISODE TITLE :: Nothing But a Man
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: January 2, 1996
GUEST STARS:: John Hancock as Gus Thompson; George Coe as Justin Phillips; Robert Costanzo as Waiter; Marc Price as Irwin “Skippy” Handelman; Tracy Pollan as Ellen Reed
WRITER :: Jean Kraynak Brink; Jurgen M. Wolf
DIRECTOR :: Will Mackenzie
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Steven finally gets promoted to Regional Manager WKS (you’re the one!). However, this new position calls for more responsibility and longer hours which effects the entire Keaton clan.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 089
EPISODE TITLE :: The Disciple
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: January 9, 1986
GUEST STARS:: Cynthia Carle as Betty Boswell; David Wohl as Ralph Boswell; Belita Moreno as Mrs. Pedroza; Corey Feldman as Student; Amy O’Neill as Brenda; Marc Price as Irwin “Skippy” Handelman
WRITER :: Rich Reinhart
DIRECTOR :: Will Mackenzie
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Jennifer’s presentation for school is a success! Too bad she didn’t write it. After she gives a presentation that Alex wrote and coached her on, she is asked to repeat the presentation to a panel, but her nerves get the best of her.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 090
EPISODE TITLE :: Where’s Poppa?
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: January 16, 1986
GUEST STARS:: Ronny Cox as Franklin Reed; Tracy Pollan as Ellen Reed
WRITER :: Marc Lawrence & Susan Borowitz
DIRECTOR :: Will Mackenzie
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: It’s Parents Day at Leland College. (I have never heard of a college having Parents Day, but hey, it’s television.) To surprise Ellen, Alex invites her father. Unfortunately, Ellen has never forgiven her father for not being there for her as a child, although her father would like to make amends.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 091
EPISODE TITLE :: Fool For Love
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: January 23, 1986
GUEST STARS:: Suzanne Lederer as Dr. Sylvia Bogner; Marc Price as Irwin “Skippy” Handelman; Scott Valentine as Nick Moore
WRITER :: Marc Lawrence
DIRECTOR :: Lee Shallat-Chemel
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Skippy, long ‘in love’ with Mallory, finally notices that Nick guy that’s hanging around. Refusing to accept that Mallory loves Nick, Skippy makes a scene at a dance leading to Alex convincing Skippy to see a Psychiatrist.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 092
EPISODE TITLE :: Checkmate
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: January 30, 1986
GUEST STARS:: Albert Macklin as Ivan Rozmirovich; Todd Jeffries as Eddie; George Pentecost as Eric Nordstrom; Elsa Raven as Mildred Atkins; Alex Henteloff as Coach; Tracy Pollan as Ellen Reed
WRITER :: Michael J. Weithorn
DIRECTOR :: Sam Weisman
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Little Capitalist Alex feels it is his patriotic duty to beat the Russian Chess player that has come to play him in the college chess play-offs. However, Alex comes to realize that this young man is not an enemy to beat.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 093
EPISODE TITLE :: Engine Trouble
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: February 6, 1986
GUEST STARS:: Robert Costanzo as Sam; Marc Price as Irwin “Skippy” Handelman; Scott Valentine as Nick Moore
WRITER :: Ruth Bennett
DIRECTOR :: John Pasquin
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Another Battle of the Sexes, where Alex loses pitifully. Elyse enrolls in a car repair course to prove to her chauvinistic male family members that women can be as good with cars as men. Alex, to defend masculinity of men everywhere, also joins the class to prove her wrong. I think you can tell where this one is going.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 087 & 088
EPISODE TITLE :: A Word to the Wise Part 1 & 2
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: February 13, 1986
GUEST STARS:: Tracy Pollan as Ellen Reed
WRITER :: Susan Borowitz and Marc Lawrence
DIRECTOR :: Will Mackenzie
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Flashback Episode!: The Keaton family fills Ellen in on some of Alex’s more humorous adventures prior to meeting her.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 094
EPISODE TITLE :: Art Lover
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: February 20, 1986
GUEST STARS:: Christine Belford as Victoria Hurstenberg; Scott Valentine as Nick Moore
WRITER :: Bruce Helford
DIRECTOR :: Andrew McCullough
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: An American in Paris! Or, a Bohemian in Columbus. Mallory becomes jealous when an older female art appreciator takes Nick under her wing. Mallory is convinced that this woman is interested in more than Nick’s art.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 095
EPISODE TITLE :: Teacher’s Pet
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: March 2, 1986
GUEST STARS:: Macon McCalman as Professor Spanos; Mark Moses as Rick Albert; Tracy Pollan as Ellen Reed
WRITER :: Marc Lawrence
DIRECTOR :: John Pasquin
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Isn’t Ellen smarter than this? Ellen signs up for an economics class that Alex happens to be teaching. Instead of becoming his pet, Ellen becomes his punching bag in class.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 096
EPISODE TITLE :: My Buddy
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: March 6, 1986
GUEST STARS:: Miriam Flynn as Mrs. Carpenter; Jenny Havens as Shelley; Laura Jacoby as Jill; Anne Marie McEvoy as Alice
WRITER :: Alan Uger
DIRECTOR :: Sam Weisman
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: Steven becomes distressed when he realizes that Jennifer is, unfortunately, becoming another typical teenager who doesn’t really want to hang out with her dad anymore. In typical Steven Keaton fashion, he pushes the issue and ends up mortifying Jennifer in her pseudo-girl scout meeting.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 097
EPISODE TITLE :: Once in Love with Elyse
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: May 1, 1986
GUEST STARS:: Peter Scolari as Paul Kenter; Matthew Faison as Raymond; John Petlock as Ted Waterman; Enid Kent as Susan Alexander
WRITER :: Michael J. Weithorn
DIRECTOR :: Sam Weisman
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: What a woman! A young architect who has worked with Elyse for a year realizes that he is in love with her and quits his job and confronts Steven with his feelings for Elyse.
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PRODUCTION NUMBER :: 098
EPISODE TITLE :: Paper Chase
ORIGINAL AIR DATE :: May 8, 1986
GUEST STARS:: Gracie Harrison as Mrs. Hillman; Terry Wills as Dr. Schulte; Willie Garson as Walter; Marc Price as Irwin “Skippy” Handelman; Scott Valentine as Nick Moore; Tracy Pollan as Ellen Reed
WRITER :: Susan Borowitz
DIRECTOR :: Sam Weisman
PLOT DESCRIPTION :: It’s almost time for Mallory to graduate! Well….maybe. Mallory must pass a tough oral History Exam to pass her senior year and becomes panicked, convinced she will never pass the test. Since she starts college in the following season, I bet she passes it.

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