Family Ties “A, My Name is Alex” (part 5 of 5)

And that brings us to a completely gratuitous appearance by Mallory’s boyfriend Nick, one of the breakout characters of the later seasons. He wanders onto the experimental theater set in his low rent Rambo outfit, indulging in his usual sub-Stallone antics with a big, “Eyyyy… Al-ex!

Alex wants to know what he’s doing here. Um, because at the time, Family Ties was quickly turning into The Nick Show? Mike, you’re just lucky the show ended before he Urkel-ized all of you. Nick explains that he’s here because “Dese all the people in your life! I’m in your life!”

Caption contributed by Albert

“I’m here cuz you’re da disease! And I’m da cure!”

Understandably, Alex doesn’t want to use up valuable therapy time talking about Nick. Nick is offended in his usual, Rocky-lite, mangled English way: “You don’t think I ain’t got nothin’ to teach you?”

But Alex reassures/mocks him with, “No, Nick, I don’t think you ain’t got nothing to teach me.” This causes Mrs. Leahy to freak out over on the classroom set, and she turns around in her chair to scold Alex for his bad grammar. Oh good, now I’m watching figments of a guy’s imagination fighting with each other. Somebody kill me.

Family Ties "A, My Name is Alex" (part 5 of 5)

Nick takes off, but not before insisting that he does in fact represent some part of Alex’s psyche. Or words to that effect, anyway. Just insert lots of “dese” and “dose” and you’ll have a good idea of how Nick puts it.

And then, with absolutely no warning whatsoever, Alex starts lip syncing to Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild”. No, I’m serious. This is what we’ve come to. Michael J. Fox lamely playing air guitar, and painfully trying to rock out to “Born to be Wild”… while wearing a tie. What is… I mean I don’t even… They were just completely out of ideas at this point, weren’t they?

Caption contributed by Albert

“I guess you guys aren’t ready for this yet… But your kids are gonna love it.”

His parents are suddenly intruding on his spotlight, which I guess is supposed to be his bedroom. Alex mimes turning off a stereo, telling them he was just studying. It seems they’re here to beam over his latest report card, and again drill into our heads how much of a genius he is. But then Mallory’s set lights up, and she knows Alex wasn’t studying. She knows he was actually listening to Steppenwolf and “Jim Morrison and the Doors”. Alex says Greg is the one who likes the Doors, not him.

Abruptly, Greg is here, and now the two guys are having Impromptu Hairbrush Karaoke (yes!! I finally got to use it!!) to “Light My Fire”. Alas, there’s plenty of time to wallow in the mire of this episode. Now the two guys are back to back, lip syncing, and it’s all kind of… well, I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten this physically intimate with my guy friends in my bedroom. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. But maybe there’s a very good reason Alex misses Greg so much.

Caption contributed by Albert

Air Supply sure did hit the skids.

The music ends, and Greg says he’s gotta go. Suddenly, Alex freaks out and tells Greg, “Stay here with me in this room forever!” Greg is taken aback, and randomly mentions that they’re both 14, but Alex says that “in a blink, you’re gonna be 21 like me!” He also warns Greg that he’ll be killed in a car accident. Now just hold on there, Marty. What would Doc Brown say about meddling in the timeline like this? (Yeah, yeah, I know: “What the hell?”)

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Multi-Part Article: Family Ties "A, My Name is Alex"

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  • MP

    well done!

  • Albert Giesbrecht

    I wonder if Alex was in the car accident, and was in purgatory for this entire episode. I know I was.

  • wckiii

    The fundamental problem with this episode is it was not a Very Special Episode to explore the death of a friend and coming to grips with grief. It was just a cynical attempt for Michael J. Fox to showcase his acting talents. Michael J. Fox wanted to prove that he was more than just some actor in a sitcom who can deliver one-liners. He wanted to do dramatic acting. So the producers came up with this disaster. It happened again later in the series when Justine Bateman wanted to do drama. So they conjured-up some long lost aunt who appears long enough to die just so Justine Bateman can emote in an overly-dramatic fashion. At least Meredith Baxter had the good sense not to appear in that episode and spared any quilt by association.

    • paulisse

      I’m just making clarifications here and no offense. fyi, the ‘drama’ that you were saying happened first in season 3’s episode, ‘Auntie Up’ and this episode came out in season 5. You may also say that but just so you know he won an award for that because he got great talents not only for a money lover sarcastic humor type but also for a realistic acting experience. This episode is worth something and can be taken as a lesson. It’d be a great reflection for people who felt the same way in real life. A my name is alex was very unique from the other episodes. As seen in this episode, the sitcom hit show just wanted to show the deep realities in one’s life in lighter manner and also to twist the show a bit for a change.

  • J_dean28

    The “critic” here… is a person who so lacks the talents or abilities to enter the profession of television or acting that he/she instead sits in judgment… bitter queen.

    • Michael A. Novelli

      Hit a nerve, did we?

  • RadioChuck

    Loved the Plan 9 reference!

  • paulisse

    All I can say aside from the critic’s comments and GREAT “Marty” references, is that this episode really shaped out Alex’s character. For me, the lines: “Is it so hard to be you, Alex?” is about his difficulties of becoming the perfect Alex he is trapped into. Though sometimes he appears to be some genius money-lover big brother jerk, yet there is something that makes us love him. He turns out to be an arrogant overachiever of the family but still he does find it hard to be himself. It was because he almost never gave the chance of his other psyche to occur. In other words, it was as if for him everything was planned out. He was too mature, one-sided. And thanks to this episode I’ve seen other psyches of the Alex that I was hoping to see. Since I was a BTTF fan before watching this sitcom, I did hope to see some Mcfly attitude in this APK role but no luck. Then again, I gotta say Alex nailed that air-guitar solo like the one way back in 1955 with the starlighters. Many might say this is not as funny as the previous episodes but it’s worth watching cause we got to see Alex realizing a lot of things and knowing him deeper than before. He finally realized that there are many things to know in life because of his friend’s memories, love of a family and there is God.

  • Sue

    I loved Family Ties … especially this episode… Why are there no reruns? Such a great show!

  • John

    What kind of ding-a-ling goes into a multi page spiel about the short comings of a TV episode? A paragraph or so is understandable, but half a book’s worth of caffeine fueled ranting about a two decade old sitcom is disturbing. Go see a legitimate doctor, and leave the manifesto writing in peace.

    • cavalier 24601

      Is recapping an old show better or worse than commenting on a 3 year old recap?

    • MichaelANovelli

      You do know what kind of website this is, right?

    • adb212

      um your all timeless losers anybody that would waste the effort responding to this garbage has no life and whoops oh crap

  • restcure

    The change drop gave me the biggest laugh in the entire run of the series.