All Politics is Local
Season One, Episode Twenty-four
Main title
Air date August 24, 2011
Episode guide
"Going the Distance?"
"The Other Longo"

All Politics is Local is the twenty-fourth episode of Melissa & Joey.


Mel's dad comes back to town to support a bill Mel opposes. Meanwhile, Lennox's poetry proves popular with a classmate who's an aspiring singer.

Synopsis Edit

Mel's father, Russell Burke, is having dinner at Mel's house with the family. He quizzes Lennox and Ryder on political history, all answers being himself. Mel and Joey take the dirty dishes into the kitchen where Mel comments on how pleasant his visit has been. Joe suspects an ulterior motive behind his kindness, but Mel denies it. In fact, she decides that Russell should stay with them instead of checking into a hotel. As Russell goes to leave, she extends the invitation, which he happily accepts.

At breakfast, Mel and Joe are sitting with Russell when Lennox comes down to announce that she has had three poems published on the school's literary blog. Russell receives a mysterious call, which causes him to leave the house immediately, vague about where he's headed. In the living room, Lennox gets a text from Jade Gillis, a popular, aspiring singer-songwriter. She read Lennox's poems on the blog and wants her help in writing lyrics. With convincing from Ryder, Lennox replies and agrees to help her.

Mel is at a council hearing. She is listening to an older man, Councilman Walken, go on about issues about which she does not care. Stephanie asks Mel if they can leave, but Mel says no, they have to respect him, although she is laughing herself.

At home, a man comes to the door with files for Russell. Joe offers to take it, but the young man says that it is confidential and that Russell must sign for it himself. Joe tells him that he was talking to his boss yesterday about him, who is revealed to be Councilman Walken, the man on the opposite side of Me, and gets him to give Joe the files. The files are plans for a new parking lot. Joe tells the man he'll get Russell to sign for them and closes the door on him.

Russell comes downstairs into the kitchen to find the papers left on the kitchen table. Joe is hiding behind the basement door, watching him. Russell picks up the files as Joe walks in. Joe confronts him about working with Mel's opponent and tells him that he needs to tell Mel the truth. Mel walks into the kitchen as Russell is about to leave. He tells her that he has a rendezvous as the Hiatt hotel, which Mel says that she doesn't want to hear about. Joe tells her that she might, but Russell tells Joe to respect Mel's wishes and leaves. After Russell is gone, Joe tells Mel that Russell as gone to meet with Councilman Walken and that they are working together. Mel is distraught, realizing that Russell is the "expert witness" that Walken is bringing in and that he is adored in Toledo. Joe explains that Russell is a man who can seperate work and family.

Lennox listens to Jade singing a song about "shoes and purses" before suggesting that she tap into a more painful time in her life. She offers to write something for her and comes up with a song that Jade likes. Jade wants to sing the song at her party and invites Lennox. Jade asks her to get her some tea, so Lennox goes into the kitchen, where Joe has been listening. He comments on how Lennox is doing all the work and asks why she's letting Jade walk on her. Lennox tells Joe that she's only been at the school for a few months and that she wants to make friends.

Mel is sitting at the kitchen table with her laptop when Russell walks in through the back door. When he asks why she's up so late, Mel says that she needs to do more work, since the other side is bringing in the "hotshot ringer senator who is staying at [her] house". She demands to know why he would deliberatley work against her. When he claims it's just politics, he also belittles Mel, waiting for her to throw a tantrum and feel better with ice cream, like she did when she was a child. Joe comes upstairs to get a drink and immediately feels awkward. Mel tells him to stay and listen to Russell's explanation. Russell tells Mel that he's sorry that she's upset and goes to bed. Mel is angry that she didn't get a real expanationn, but Joe tells her that it's the best she'll get from him. Mel removes ice cream from the freezer and stomps off.

Russell is making a speech at another hearing. Mel listens with a sour face as Stephanie states how hypnotic Russell is. After his speech, it is Mel's turn.

Lennox and Jade are at the house, where Lennox tells Jade that she has read all of her new songs she's written. Lennox tells Jade that, because she's so popular, people probably don't always tell her the truth but, despite her liking of the parties she goes to, Lennox has to tell her that she's a terrible songwriter. Jade appreciates her honestly, but disinvites her from her popular circle. Jade goes to leave and, as the two walk through the kitchen, where Joe is, Jade offers to pay Lennox for writing songs for her. Lennox initially turns her down, but Joe uses his financial skills to change her mind, posing as Lennox's "manager".

Back at the hearing, councilmen are voting for Mel's measure. The measure is passed by a vote of 5-2. Mel tells Stephanie that she should go talk to her dad to be a good sport. She turns around in the same moment that Russell is leaving the room.

At home, Russell is smoking a cigar on the porch. Mel walks out to talk to him. He says that nothing's wrong, so Mel attempts to retreat inside. As she does, Russell speaks out, asking Mel why she didn't call him for help on a matter about which he knew so much. Mel says that she was afraid he would take over and she would no longer be Councilwoman Burke, but Senator Burke's daughter. He still claims that he could have helped her. Mel tells him that her closing speech was the result of listening to him for years. She asks if he's okay again, and he says that he's "not a little girl" whose feelings get hurt. She replies by telling him that cigars are "ice cream for old dudes".

Mel walks into the kitchen with the cigar in hand. Joe looks excited by the cigar and Mel says that he can have it if he admits he was wrong. He does, but then asks "about what?" Mel tells him that Joe said that her father was cold and the only way to beat him was to take emotions out of it, but that he was emotional about the situation. Joe claims that he was playing her with the "emotion card". She doesn't believe him, telling him that men have emotions, except for Joe. Joe looks hurt, claiming that her relationship with her father reminds him of his own relationship with his. Mel begins to apologize when Joe turns around, playing her as well.