Episode 419--"out the door"


Ann Lewis Hamilton


Mel Harris (yes, the woman who played Hope)

Air Date


Guest Stars

Michael Ayr as Terry; Reiner Schöne as Verdoving; Andra Millian as Angel Wasserman; David Clennon as Miles Drentell; Stephanie Segal as Mary; Warren Harris as Mark; Nick Brooks as Prop Guy


Elliot leaves DAA.


Nancy and Elliot are over visiting Michael and Hope after dinner when the matter of stress at work and taking vacations comes up. Nancy and Elliot are going camping and invite the others along, but Michael is grouchy and too tied up at work.

The Island Breezes account is back again and Miles is telling Elliot that the music is too "cutting edge" and that he should find another composer besides Andy. Miles pulls Michael aside and asks him to come along to New York for a last minute meeting to see a Dutch businessman, Verdoving. In talking with Verdoving, Michael comes to see that Verdoving wants to buy DAA and expand into North America. It also becomes apparent that DAA will stay completely independent and that Miles will become international in his scope while Michael would move up and take Miles' job.

Nancy picks up on Elliot's tension and suggests that maybe he should quit now that she's recovering. He muses about going into directing commercials and says that he got a call from a freelancer a few months ago. Michael continues to have trouble sleeping, so he talks to Hope about the upcoming merger and what to do.

Michael chats with Elliot at the office and tosses him a small toy that he picked up in New York, not mentioning the merger. He then chips in a little, brainstorming with Elliot, and it becomes obvious that Elliot isn't really in the mood to make people want to buy a uselessly fast car. A secretary stops by to tell Elliot that Terry Smith, the freelancer, is in town and wants to see him, which almost turns awkward as Michael asks to come along, but the appointment time conflicts and Elliot is off the hook. Elliot drops by the set at lunch to drop off his reel and hits it off well with the people.

Michael follows Miles to lunch at a very exclusive club where Miles asks him again what his plans would be and Michael says that he would try to re-hire some of the people they let go and then pick Elliot for the creative director position. In a large meeting, Miles approves the final cut of the Island Breezes ad, but Elliot begins to press him to look at the other version with the different music. Miles puts Michael on the spot and tells him to choose, forcing him not to support Elliot by towing the party line. Michael pulls Elliot aside and tries to explain about the upcoming merger. Elliot is warily interested, but still concerned about Miles. Elliot tells Nancy about the different options and she whole-heartedly supports whatever he wants to do, even if it means becoming a director with all the financial uncertainty.

Working late at home, Michael finds a cigar from the club in his bag (he had turned one down from Miles). In his office, Michael runs a few ideas past Elliot about what they could do with Miles gone, including rehiring Angel's old partner, Hollis Amato. Elliot tells Michael that he would still want to direct even if he took Michael's job and while Michael doesn't dismiss it, it becomes clear that the job eats a phenomenal amount of time and there wouldn't be much left over for directing. While Nancy is at Hope's, playing with the kids, she tells Hope that Elliot got a gig directing a shampoo commercial, then realizes there might be a conflict of interest.

Michael is continuing to have trouble sleeping and Hope is getting worried, asking about a vacation. In the course of it she lets it slip about Elliot's commercial. Michael and Miles walk in on Elliot working on new music for the Island Breezes commercial, which sends Miles into a fit. They argue and it escalates until Elliot completely reams him out and Miles finally insults Nancy which causes Elliot to rush at him. Michael breaks it up and follows Elliot back to his office and tries to talk him out of leaving. Elliot finally spills his guts, saying that he's unhappy and that things at DAA have changed. Michael asks Elliot to stay so they can do their best work and Elliot fires back that it's not about the work anymore and that other things are important to him, implying that Michael has been sucked into the corporate whirlpool. They end up insulting each other, their families, and Michael attacks Elliot in a rage, slamming him against the door until he backs off and Elliot walks out.

Returning home, Elliot plays football with Ethan. Michael tells Hope what happened and that he accepted Miles' job. Elliot returns to clean out his office and Angel stays with him, obviously upset that he's leaving. As they hug, Michael is visible in the background, looking on. Nancy and Hope go to the park with the children and discuss their idiot husbands. Michael tries to talk to Elliot as he packs his items into his car and they can't agree about what will happen with DAA in the future. They briefly reminisce about Janine, their secretary at the Michael and Elliot Company, wondering what she's up to now, before Elliot drives away, leaving Michael holding the toy from New York. That night, unable to sleep, Michael plays with it, getting all the balls to roll into their holes just so before he overturns it in frustration.



  • Michael's big blue lounging robe with the white design on it shows up. Michael's hair is slicked back more these days and it effectively adds to his stressed-out look.
  • Elliot wears a long thin gold jacket pin.
  • Nancy wears a green then a grey headwrap and a blue bandana. Also a wide-brimmed hat with flowers on it.
  • Quotes

    "Miles is in the Mafia? I knew it all the time." --Hope

    "Then Leo and Janey would be rich kids and nobody likes rich kids. It might be fun. Could I have a tiara?" --Hope

    --"There's no women here, Miles." --Michael, at the club

    --"One pops out of a cake on occasion." --Miles

    "I don't like working for you. I don't trust your criticism and I trust your praise even less." --Elliot to Miles

    "One day Miles is gonna come back and he's gonna want your soul." --Elliot to Michael


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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, 2-4-2007:

    *When Michael and Elliot mention "Nick" as someone they don't particularly want to hire back, it could be an insider reference back to The Haunting of DAA, the episode where Michael had to fire people. Writer Joseph Dougherty said in an interview:

    One of the people you see getting fired by Michael...is a distinguished gentleman with a beard and a great mane of white hair. That’s Nick Meglin, the editor of Mad Magazine. He visited the set shortly after the Mad parody of the show was published (“thirtysuffering”). Nick provided some of the drawings hanging in Billy’s apartment in “never better.”

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