EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

'Ties That Bind' fan recap: Past is prelude

Season 1 | Episode 3 | “Ghosts” | Aired Aug 27, 2015

Here’s the first thing you need to know about this week’s Ties That Bind: It has Jason Priestley. The next thing you need to know is that he makes a pretty okay bad guy. And lastly, he has really strong beard game.

This week Allison is confronted with Vernon Keeler, the man who shot her in the chest all those years ago, played coyly by Priestly. Keeler is supposedly an Oxycontin addict who robs and steals to feed his habit, but Priestley is far too handsome and well-groomed to make that case. From the looks of his character, he seems more the type to run a petty gambling ring out of the back of and old-fashioned butcher shop. Maybe it’s the leather jacket and permanent smirk.

Jason Priestly plays Vernon Keeler on

Keeler gets arrested breaking and entering into the posh, suburban home of what we think is a perfectly normal, all-American couple. Turns out, the pretty, blond wife used to be a long-legged junkie who went by the name of Cyndi and gave Keeler personal massages in exchange for Oxy.

Allison recognizes him in the lineup when the junkie-turned-housewife Carla refuses to identify him for the crime. She’s scared he’ll tip off the new husband about her old life. Carla doesn’t think the hubs will understand about her past life of happy endings and prescription pill addiction, but Allison tries to reassure her that he will. She offers a teary story about how Keeler almost killed her, and she has a husband who loved her too.

Carla was probably thinking the same thing I was: “Yeah, but were you a prostitute like me?” Carla eventually agrees to help them and tells them about a bag that Keeler left with her back then that had money and gun. She used the money to pay for rehab, but hid the gun in her friend’s bar, where no one (but really anyone and everyone) could find it.

The gun was gone when Allison and her partner went to retrieve it, but it’s important that we know it had stars on it—one for “every dealer he rolled.” That’s tough cop-talk for robbing dealers. That’s how Keeler made his money and kept himself in Oxy, and it was during a robbery gone bad that he shot Allison. Without the gun or a confession, the chances of getting a conviction are bleak.

Allison gets pretty worked up when the case hits a dead end and her boss excludes her from interrogating Keeler because she’s personally involved … which hasn’t been an issue until that moment. She watches the interview from behind a two-way mirror, looking on as Priestly winks and scoffs his way through it. His “too cool for any of this” attitude makes it seems like everybody else is taking the whole thing way more seriously than he, and this kinda makes me like him even more—despite the fact that he is an attempted cop-killer and junkie dirt bag.

Matt holds the fort down on

Allison gets sent home to wait it out, and although she’s trying to put on a brave face, her husband-of-the-year-every-year, Matt, can see right through her. In a moment made for a Nicholas Sparks movie, he gets into the shower with her, fully clothed, so he can comfort her while she cries. Their tender moment is interrupted when her lieutenant calls to warn her that Keeler, after being let go from jail, has slipped the police tail and is now in the wind.

She and Matt switch into go-mode and round the kids up to the safety of their rooms. Then she transitions back into tough cop. All the panic was for nothing, as it was only her partner in an undercover car, just hanging around for protection, just in case.

Jason Priestly as Vernon Keeler on

Because it seems like Allison is the only officer with sense enough to solve a crime, she assumes that Keeler isn’t coming for her, but instead will probably head straight to Carlas. She’s right, of course.

The situation turns ugly as Keeler takes Carla hostage and uses a knife to get by her husband, who, frankly, totally overreacts to what was surely just a flesh wound. Keeler abandons the hostage plan soon enough, and he and Allison engage in a few minutes of anemic hand-to-hand combat. She wins, of course.

After the dust settles, it’s pretty obvious that Allison isn’t going to get the closure she needs in this case, and the gun with the stars is still missing. Her partner assures her he’ll probably get at least two years. She’s disappointed, but can’t let it show. She’s got a hummingbird cake to eat, and those teenagers can’t handle her tears too.

Cameron isn

Oh, and don’t worry; Cameron is only mildly delinquent these days. He did steal money from a neighbor, but after some firm-but-fair parenting from Matt, he returned it to her, in full.

If the writers for Ties That Bind are reading this (and why wouldn’t they be?), I would like to put in a request that Keeler and Tim (Perry) get to be prison buds and get lots of onscreen bro-moments. Maybe Tim and Keeler can reform together. And more Luke Perry. Always more Luke Perry.

Ties That Bind airs on Wednesdays at 9/8C on UP.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

You May Like