Family Ties: Season 5

Episodes

# Air Date Title
1 Sep 25
1986

Be True to Your 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 th…

2 Oct 02
1986

Starting Over

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 lo…

3 Oct 09
1986

The Freshman and the Senior

Mallory is teamed with 66-year-old Margaret Hollings on a college sociology project and fins that she has a lot to learn about honesty, sensitivity and older people when she al…

4 Oct 16
1986

My Back Pages

When Steven is asked by an old college friend to help him re-establish a left-wing political magazine they had worked on 20 years before, Steven realizes he is no longer in tun…

5 Oct 30
1986

Beauty and the Bank

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 h…

6 Nov 06
1986

Mrs. Wrong (1)

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 ev…

7 Nov 13
1986

Mrs. Wrong (2)

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 takin…

8 Nov 17
1986

The Big Fix

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, the beautiful Liz Obec…

9 Nov 20
1986

My Brother's Keeper

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 crue…

10 Dec 04
1986

High School Confidential

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 K…

11 Dec 11
1986

Paper Lion

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…

12 Dec 18
1986

My Mother, My Friend

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…

13 Jan 08
1987

O'Brother (1)

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 sepa…

14 Jan 15
1987

O'Brother (2)

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 ca…

15 Jan 22
1987

Higher Love

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…

16 Jan 29
1987

Architect's Apprentice

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 sculptu…

17 Feb 05
1987

A Tale of Two Cities (1)

The Keaton’s are a house divided over a ““major”“ domestic issue whether to redecorate their old-fashioned, but cozy kitchen. Elyse, Mallory and J…

18 Feb 12
1987

A Tale of Two Cities (2)

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. Fo…

19 Feb 19
1987

Battle of the Sexes (1)

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 begi…

20 Feb 19
1987

Battle of the Sexes (2)

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…

21 Feb 26
1987

Band on the Run

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 mus…

22 Mar 05
1987

Keaton vs. Keaton

Brother and sister go head-to-head when Steven announces a scholarship competition sponsored by his station, WKS. A confident Alex scoffs as the famil…

23 Mar 12
1987

A, My Name is Alex (1)

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…

24 Mar 12
1987

A, My Name is Alex (2)

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…

25 Mar 20
1987

D is for Date

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…

26 Apr 30
1987

Love Me Do

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 romanti…

27 May 07
1987

The 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…

28 Jul 23
1987

Matchmaker

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 Kea…

29 Aug 06
1987

It's My Party (1)

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 ̶…

30 Aug 13
1987

It's My Party (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 ̶…

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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