Episode 310--"michael's campaign"

Writer

Joseph Dougherty

Director

Joseph Dougherty

Air Date

12/12/89, 6/19/90

Guest Stars

Clandestine meeting
More screencaps from this episode.

Scott Marlowe as Leo Steadman; Talia Balsam as Paige; David Clennon as Miles Drentel; J.D. Souther as John Dunway; Tyra Ferrel as Ricky Bianca; Holly Fulger as Hollis Amato; Andra Milan as Angel Wasserman; Stanley Tucci as Karl Draconis; Richard Cummings Jr. as Mark Harriton; Michael Landes as young Michael; Larry Bagby III as Bob Stanton; Bruce Wright as Morgan; Kevin Bourland as Larry Rhymen

Synopsis

Michael works on the Oh My Pies acount and clashes with Miles' second in command, Karl Draconis.

Summary

As Michael and Hope begin to diverge slightly as both of their schedules fill up, Michael seems to be falling down in his obligations to help with toilet training Janey. There is a large war meeting at D.A.A. to determine what to do with the newly acquired Minnesota Brands account in which Michael and Elliot meet Karl Draconis, the creative director and Miles' right hand man. Hope agrees to find office space for the resistance effort opposing the Fairfield incinerator. Michael goes to synagogue and has a flashback to 1968, walking with his dad through a cemetary, talking about the war, and if Michael should run for Student Council vice president with Bob Stanton as president.

Michael and Elliot analyze how to market Oh My Pies and decide upon a "proper Viking funeral"--go down in flames. They tell Draconis that they shouldn't look at the research, but run ahead of the client and develop the best strategy, but not necessarily what the client wants to see. In flat out rejecting their approach, Draconis is somewhat belittling of their ideas. Miles waxes cryptic, letting Michael know that he is observing the conflict building. Working the next day, Michael and Elliot come up with the idea of pitching the Oh My Pies to the adult market, appealing to the grown ups who ate them as kids--"retro-snacking." Draconis shoots them down, asking to see their research. 1968: Bob Stanton reacts badly to Michael's decision to also run for president.

The toilet training saga continues and Hope starts coming close to that wounded martyr look. Working at the table, Michael envisions himself talking to his father, working through the student council problem. Miles takes Michael to visit a vacant office in the building and they discuss turning it into a gym. Miles draws out Michael's feelings about the Oh My Pies project, showing no favoritism. Hope gets caught up in daily life and finds it hard to fulfill her commitments to the Fairfield project. Draconis talks to Michael late that night at the office and they continue to knock heads. It becomes apparent that Draconis is somewhat insecure about the situation and is taking it out by pulling rank. At home, Michael blows up a little when Janey has an accident. 1968: the debate goes horribly and Michael is publicly embarrassed.

John Dunaway calls Hope to account for not having fulfilled her commitments. At work, Angel tells Michael that Draconis is looking to dump Michael and Elliot from the project. This is the first show of solidarity and support from the ranks for Michael. Angel believes that Draconis is on the ropes. In a daring subversive move, Michael calls Minnesota. The next morning, Michael shows up with Larry Ryman, a chief Minnesota Brands executive, and spins him around the building, showing him off to Miles and Draconis. 1968: Bob Stanton--563, Mike Steadman--24.

After lunch, Draconis calls Michael into his office and they continue to knock heads. Draconis takes Michael and Elliot off the account and Michael blazes back, spelling it out quite clearly that he believes Draconis is burning out, but Draconis blusters and denies it. Hope pulls it together and finds office space for the Fairfield project. Draconis does a 180 in the meeting (while Miles hovers in the background) and agrees to gives Michael's idea a try. Later, Miles admits that he likes the idea. Returning home, Michael sees his father and they talk about losing the election. His father isn't immediately sympathetic to his loss, but makes some good points about character. When Hope and Janey return home, Michael pays special attention to his daughter.

Notes

  • Miles had a heart attack in traffic on June 12, 1986
  • Werner Breslow sent a fruit basket to "congratulate" Miles on stealing the account
  • Miles and Karl have known each other for eight years
  • Michael attended F. Stokes Junior High
  • Fashion

  • Elliot wears three jacket pins.
  • Michael wears suspenders in 1968.
  • Quotes

    "Don't ever let anyone tell you that car phones are an indulgence." --Miles, regarding his heart attack in traffic

    "This place just breeds parables." --Angel

    "You're trying to gaslight me." --Karl Draconis

    Analysis

  • Stanley Tucci is the very image of Ken Olin, just ten years older, shorter, with a receding hairline, and not quite so much hunk potential. Is this a deliberate effect created by the casting agent? Are we being led to see this as a battle of two sides of the same person? The fact that these are two strikingly Jewish men is unavoidable.
  • [4/14] [Name withheld by request] agrees with me (so ha!), and points out that Tucci's background is Italian in fact, but the parallels are unmistakable.

  • Sara Krausert has tipped me off that: "'J.D. Souther was in a band with Glenn Frey, later of the Eagles, entitled Longbranch Pennywhistle. He also co-wrote Don Henley's solo hit "The Heart of the Matter.'" (I also believe that he sang with James Taylor on "Her Town.")
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    The dashed line marks the point where Lisa Stevenson Blackwell's original version of this page ended, and where Bob Fahey began adding material.
    Bob observations, 1-20-2007:

    For me, this is one of the top few episodes. Like Lisa, I notice that many of the best episodes tend to be the ones written by Joseph Dougherty. He directed this one, too.

    Episode writer/director Joseph Dougherty said in an interview, "I remember the look on David Clennon’s face when we were talking about how Miles Drentell would throw an apple. In 'Michael’s Campaign' Miles throws an apple to Michael. David was calling Michael’s name then throwing the apple. I wanted him to do it the other way around. I told him, "Miles doesn’t care about the apple. He cares if Michael is quick enough to field it. Michael catches it or he doesn’t. Either way Miles finds out what he wants to know. The apple is expendable." And I could see David get it. That’s the stuff that makes directing fun."


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