Family Ties: Season 2

Episodes

# Air Date Title
1 Sep 28
1983

Tender is the Knight

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

2 Oct 12
1983

The Homecoming

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 a…

3 Oct 19
1983

The Harder They Fall

Alex anxiously awaits a crucial college recommendation from his English teacher and urges Steven and Elyse to butter Mr. Tedesco up on parents’ nite at school – but…

4 Oct 26
1983

This Year's Model

After Mallory secretly submits a picture of Elyse and herself to an ad agency for a mother-daughter modeling contest, she’s ecstatic to have won but dismayed and jealous…

5 Nov 02
1983

Not An Affair to Remember

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…

6 Nov 09
1983

Speed Trap

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 pill…

7 Nov 16
1983

Sweet Lorraine

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 attrac…

8 Nov 30
1983

Batter Up

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 he…

9 Dec 14
1983

A Keaton Christmas Carol

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…

10 Dec 21
1983

To Snatch a Keith

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 fat…

11 Jan 05
1984

Birthday Boy

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 conf…

12 Jan 12
1984

Go Tigers

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…

13 Jan 19
1984

M is for the Many Things

Elyse is chocked 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 he…

14 Jan 26
1984

Say Uncle

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.

15 Feb 02
1984

Ladies' Man

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.

16 Feb 09
1984

Ready or Not

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”“ ro…

17 Feb 16
1984

Double Date

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 c…

18 Feb 23
1984

Lady Sings the Blues

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 si…

19 Mar 08
1984

Baby Boy Doe

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…

20 Mar 15
1984

The Graduate

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 romanc…

21 May 03
1984

Diary of a Young Girl

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…

22 May 10
1984

Working At It

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 o…

23 Sep 20
1984

The Gambler

Elyse is tricken with gambling fever on a business trip to Atlantic City, and while on a roll with Alex’s “foolproof” blackjack system, she’s oblivious…

About Family Ties

Set during the early years of the Reagan administration, Elyse and Steven Keaton (Meredith Baxter and Michael Gross) are Baby Boomers and liberals [2] raising their three children: Alex (Michael J. Fox), Mallory (Justine Bateman) and Jennifer (Tina Yothers) in suburban Columbus, Ohio. Married in 1964, Elyse, an independent architect, and Steven, a manager in a local public television station, were hippies during the 1960s. According to the episode, “A Christmas Story” in season one, they were influenced by John F. Kennedy and were members of the Peace Corps following their marriage in 1964. Alex was born in 1965 in Africa. Mallory was born while Elyse and Steven were students at the University of California, Berkeley in 1967, and Jennifer was born the night Richard Nixon won his second term in 1972.

Much of the humor of the series focused on the cultural divide during the 1980s when younger generations rejected the counterculture of the 1960s and embraced the conservative politics which came to define the 1980s.3 Both Alex and Mallory embrace Reaganomics and exhibit right-wing attitudes: Alex is a Young Republican and Mallory is a more traditional young woman in contrast to her feminist mother.2 Jennifer, an athletic tomboy and the youngest child, shares the values of her parents. Elyse and Steven have a fourth child, Andrew, born in 1984.

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