Episode 104--"couples"

A.K.A."level of misery"


Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick


Marshall Herskovitz

Air Date

10/27/87, 4/5/88

Guest Stars

Karen Ganon, Chris Rennolds, Annette Marroquin, and Patricia Lindley as the hostesses; Don W. Lewis as Punk Rap Balloonist; Steve Dacri as Magician; Jim Painter as Puppeteer; Jason and Rachel Nagler as Ethan and Brittany Weston


Nancy and Eliott go out with Hope and Michael for a nice dinner, but something explodes and everyone recalls the evening from a different perspective.

Nancy twirls baton
Old screen capture from a VHS tape
Nancy twirls baton
New screen capture from DVD


A dinner date with the Westons and Steadmans goes horribly awry. Everyone believes the events occurred differently and one is left wondering exactly what happened. Elliot thinks he was being funny with the waitress, but Nancy saw it as shameless flirting. Nancy recalled her demonstration with the baton (back at Hope and Michael's, not the restaurant obviously) as goofy and fun, but Elliot saw it as provocative and showboating. Hope was disturbed by the evening, but Michael was more inclined to sweep it under the rug.




  • Very inventive use of narrative. This is the first time it looks like the show might go somewhere.
  • - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    The dashed line marks the point where Lisa Stevenson Blackwell's original version of this page ended, and where Bob Fahey began adding material.

    Scene edited out in Lifetime version. - Luiza Hirsch (Luiza@gmx.org) has both the Lifetime versions and the unedited versions aired in Germany. She writes, "This scene, about 90 seconds, comes about 25 minutes into the episode, right after Nancy's memory version of what happened the other night, and before the scene where Hope, Nancy, and Ellyn audition clowns. (This is my re-translation into English so it's not literal):
    Michael is in Melissa's kitchen, looking at before/after surgery photos of breasts (for his current campaign for a plastic surgeon). Michael whines about how looking at 186 of these photos destroys the mystery of the female breast. Melissa says there's nothing mysterious about breasts, they are for feeding babies. Then she remarks she thinks Hope and Michael did a good job about breastfeeding (whatever she means by that) and that many women can't breastfeed at all. She asks whether Michael was breastfed and he says of course not, that's why he thinks breasts are mysterious. Then he looks at one photo and says this must be Aunt Edna, he'd recognize those breasts anywhere. They exchange some not-so-fond memories of this aunt and the family in general.

    Melissa: Your only chance of getting heard in this family was to talk louder than whoever happened to be talking at the moment, and somebody always was.
    Michael: Oh, family dinners. Is there a law that somebody always has to be screaming at them?
    Melissa: Yeah, that was my job because your mother was always yelling at me.
    Michael: No, YOUR mother was always yelling at ME.
    Melissa: Because you always tried to sneak a secret glance at my mysterious breasts.
    Michael: Where is this all going? We're doomed. We'll get old and will have horrible family dinners where everybody screams at everybody else. I have even pinched my daughter's buttocks once.
    Melissa: There's no yelling at your house. You guys are perfect.
    Michael: Can I take a nap on your kitchen table?
    Melissa: Mikey, Mikey, what's up?
    Michael: Nothing.
    Melissa: Everything ok with you guys?
    Michael: Everything's great.

    "Alright, not the most seminal scene, but that's no reason to cut it."

    August 2009 addition: Yes, this scene is restored in the DVD release. I suppose ALL edited scenes have been restored, but I haven't watched all the DVDs yet.
    One more thing I hadn't noticed before: The shot of Melissa strutting across the floor as Aunt Edna and Her Amazing Breasts is used in the title sequence.

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