Episode 411--"melissa and men"


Winnie Holzman


Randall Miller

Air Date


Guest Stars

Noelle Parker as Cindy; Mark Nelson as Leonard Katz; Alexandra Lee as Melissa at 16; Corey Parker as Lee Owens


Melissa stages a show of her work and re-evaluates her history with men, all of whom are featured in her pictures.


While reviewing slides of her work at the Edith Miller Gallery, Melissa runs across a picture of Lee that she had accidentally included. Among the RSVPs is one froma Leonard Katz who apparently knows her. Melissa helps Michael take down the Christmas tree and asks if they have a picture of Gary asleep that she can't find in her stuff. Ellyn watches Melissa rummage through her stuff for the picture while mumbling on about Billy and how much in love she is. They look through a yearbook and find Leonard Katz, who was rated badly. Gary shows up to pick up Ellyn for dinner and Melissa asks him if he has the picture, but he doesn't put a lot of thought into it. For some reason, Melissa proceeds to expound upon her theory of the meaning in "You'll Never Walk Alone". While doing more work at the gallery, Melissa remembers talking to Leonard when she was 16 and not being interested in him or the copy of Siddhartha that he loaned her. Leonard shows up at the gallery and they begin to catch up a little. Melissa talks some with Cindy, the girl helping her at the gallery, about being a photographer. Cindy sees the picture "Gary's Hands" and thinks it's great, asking her who Gary is. Melissa flashes back to her and Gary in bed together, talking about whether or not they are each other's types. He says that she's not. At his apartment, Gary hunts for the picture and Melissa rambles on about why she hasn't gotten him a wedding present. He apologizes in a way by saying that it's not hanging out because he's married now and it wouldn't look right. At DAA, Michael fills Melissa in on her new assignment and asks if the show has a theme, which Melissa insists that it doesn't. They suddenly run into Lee Owens and he and Melissa stand around very awkwardly. Sitting in his office, Michael begins to realize as he talks to Melissa just how hard the breakup with Lee was for her and how much he meant. Leonard Katz has called and left a message for Melissa and Gary called to cancel their plans for Saturday since Susannah and Emma have just arrived in town. Cindy asks Melissa to come out for a beer with her and her fiancee, but Melissa turns her down and ends up dialing Leonard instead. They go to a restaurant and talk, finding out that he's a physicist. While Leonard explains physics, Melissa drifts off thinking about the nature of destiny and whether or not she should end up with him since he's obviously interested in her. At DAA, Melissa oversees Lee having a conflict with another worker. Melissa and Cindy hang and re-hang the pictures as Melissa gets more and more frustrated with her work, saying that there's no theme. Cindy however does see a theme among the men and the pieces of them represented and how they're all pieces of a puzzle. Before leaving, Cindy compliments Melissa on her work, saying how much she would like to be her someday, and then gives Melissa a yellow rose. At dinner with Hope and Michael, Gary and Melissa begin to pick at each other about the missing photograph and then it escalates while Hope and Michael try to distract them. Things get extremely bitter before Michael tells Gary to shut up and Melissa throws over a stack of dishes and stalks off. Melissa arrives at the show and is greeted by Cindy who takes her to see that a famous critic is looking at some of her work. Elliot has come without Nancy, Billy can't make it because of a deadline, and Gary isn't coming either. Leonard finally shows up but with a very blond date named Debbie which completely sets Melissa back on her heels. He asks if she's all right, but she keeps up a brave front and then apologizes for having been mean to him in high school. Melissa fades into a waking nightmare about all her failed relationships: Timmy Hennessey (first love), Duffy Smith (high school crush), Curtis (lost virginity to him), Mitchell Upback, Paul Cigano, Gary Shepherd, Russell Weller (if only he weren't gay), Miles Drentell, Murray Steadman (her father), and Lee Owens (the only man she can't talk about). Melissa then locks herself in the bathroom, crying. Ellyn is elected to bust past the large line of women (saying she has some kind of strange disease) and go in to talk to her. Melissa tells Ellyn that she thinks she'll marry Billy before digressing into her own theory about how she's let go of so many men and maybe there was one she should've hung on to him. Ellyn gets her back outside and the rest of the party goes very well and she meets the critic who is very nice to her. As Melissa prepares to leave the deserted gallery, Lee stumbles in--late, but there.


Melissa's parents are on a cruise and can't come to the show; Melissa was the photographer for the yearbook in high school; in the flashback Melissa smokes in bed; Cindy is engaged to someone named Kevin; the title of the show is "Melissa Steadman Work: 1976-1991); Melissa found out that Gary got married through Ellyn; Deborah Roundtree took the pictures attributed to Melissa


Gary wears the Reed Racoons white sweatshirt with a hood. Melissa wears the t-shirt with Jackie Kennedy on it (looks very crisp and new). Melissa's briefcase with the Western look shows up and the one long earring as well. I would kill to look as good as Melanie Mayron in a short mini-skirt at 40+.


--"This is what you want, you've dedicated yourself, and all the hard work is paying off." --Hope to Melissa

--"Yeah, and you're not even a Protestant." --Michael's addendum

--"Do you have roaches?" --Melissa, in the middle of a conversation about wedding presents

--"Don't get us roaches. Everyone got us roaches." --Gary

From Melissa's nightmare about her friends' answer machines:

"Hi I can't come to the phone right now because I'm in love, I'm in love, I'm in love!" --Ellyn

"You've reached the Steadman residence. We're busy making another baby. Zachary if it's a boy, Stephanie if it's a girl, and Melissa if it's an embittered old maid." --Michael

"Hi. We can't answer Nancy has cancer. Beeeep!" --Elliot

Analysis - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The dashed line marks the point where Lisa Stevenson Blackwell's original version of this page ended, and where Bob Fahey began adding material.

1-30-2007 - Noelle Parker, who plays Cindy, is the sister of Corey Parker, who plays Lee. I picked up that morsel of info from a Noelle Parker fansite, which includes a couple of good pages with plenty of screencaps from this episode of thirtysomething:
First page
Second page

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