7th Heaven

Season 8 Episode 9

Go Ask Alice

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Nov 17, 2003 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
54 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Eric (Stephen Collins) is brought in by the school board to help investigate the local high school Principal, Ms. Jones (guest-star Meredith Baxter), when more than one concerned parent questions her behavior. When a female student disappears, all fingers point at Ms. Jones, but Eric believes strongly that the student's father may be the real culprit. Elsewhere, rumors about Martin (Tyler Hoechlin) upset Cecilia, who then regrets talking to Ruthie about her feelings.moreless

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  • Sexual abuse is really just horrible!

    Two siblings, Alice and Griffith, were sexually abused by their father. Their mother didn't do anything about it, even though she knew. Mrs. Jones, the school principal, knows that something's up with Alice so she tries to find out. Everyone seems to hate Mrs. Jones. Martin really likes her and rumors fly that Martin is a spy. Cecilia seems a bit influenced by the rumors until Ruthie talks to her about it.

    This was a great episode, yet it was very sad. I can't believe what disgusting things people can do! I'm glad it was all worked out! This was an amazing episode and I give it a 10!moreless
  • A sensitive issue, diluted and treated sometimes ludicrously by the producers. However, some good actors were brought in to handle some of the emotionally charged content. For this show, it wasn't all that bad.moreless

    While this is a better episode than most, it is still poorly put together. The plot revolves aimlessly around gossip, and people lying about silly things about the principal of the high school until eventually we finally get to the big contrived reveal that a student is suffering sexual abuse from the father. The principal who charmingly and refreshingly tells the good reverend that she is not a victim and does not need rescuing is aware somehow of this, and finds a way to help. The premise of sexual abuse of children by a parent is always a difficult one, and I applaud the producers decision in bringing in actors that can act to carry the emotional charge. Of course it does exclude the Camdens, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's just too bad they couldn't also get writers that could write. The plot points and action include a lot of people standing around talking, and we're never quite sure exactly what, until we get the PSA about sexual abuse. The two actors who play the kids being abused really do a good job with the emotional aspect of the story in spite of the awkward writing, and that was engaging, and a pleasant change. Even the mother, who is written as evil, comes across as pitiful, and it's hard not to feel sorry for her. The bits about the Camdens and Martin and Cecilia and the whole sideline about gossip were just ludicrous window dressing, and the episode could have done quite well without it. But it's nice that there was something there worth seeing.

    But I have seen much better shows address this very issue - Degrassi Junior High and the next generation do this sort of thing so much better. Even Law and Order does, so it's not ground breaking television. But for Seventh Heaven, it's better than usual. Which isn't saying much.moreless
  • This was one of the best all seaso and deffenatly the best not mainly about the family in history.

    This was a grate epesode. First Cecelia and Martin really showed what rumors can do. I really felt Martin was being fair about Ms. Jones. Ruthie was very mature by admiting what she had done and teht she could not take back what she had said.

    Now onto Alice and her brother. at first Alice reminded me of Mary for some reason. First of all the acting was outstanding. It was nice to see a new topic. I just got this vibe from the father that he was lying and that he was a bad man. It was grate when Alice was in the room talking to her mother. That was amaizing acting. It was grate at the end to see that the siblings were going through the same thing and were there for each other. Alice seemed very smart when she was talking to her brother. The mother was just as bad as the father. All i can say is that was well written and well cast. Way to go.moreless
  • When Eric gets involved with the high school principal, he soon learns that all may not be right with the woman and a fellow student.

    There have been many fans of the show who decry any episode where the whole hour pretty much centers around one plot and that some of the regulars are not as involved in it as usual. If there is only one episode of the show(and I believe this to be it)to be exactly that and push full steam ahead to be one of the best episodes in years, then this is it.

    There are a few things I like about 7th Heaven, and whenever they hit upon a very strong subject matter that in turn produces a powerful episode, then I am flying high. "Go Ask Alice" was not only the best episode of season 8 by far, it was the series' best, strongest, and most powerful episode since it's glory days. Gone were the usual lighthearted touches and the "light" drama it usually is. Other shows might go deeper and be more open, but this episode about a student's sexual abusive father(and mother who knew and did nothing)treaded that fine line of being too revealing and being just right. Keeping the material in the open just enough without going overboard. There was a strong scene of real drama here. Not the usual Camden family drama which never seems to be too serious.

    The main players here were Stephen Collins, who was as fantastic as ever. Madeline Zima(from "The Nanny" and "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle")as the abused girl was pretty good. Most one time guest stars on this show always seem to of just stepped out of the "non actors warehouse", but she was good. And it was such a delight to see Meredith Baxter. I grew up with her on "Family Ties", and she is the best new character to be introduced on the show. We must see her again.

    In the end, "Go Ask Alice" was season 8's highlight. It was the series' first big highlight since "I Love Lucy" in season 7, and the strongest episode since "The Unknown Soldier" in season 6. If you were questioning how 7th Heaven was in it's later years, and how you felt about the show now, then this episode reinforced why you fell in love with it in the first place. A classic.moreless
  • Wow, now this episode is what 7th Heaven is about! This is by far the best episode so far this season. I have very little if anything to complain about this episode. The writers brought us a terrifically well-casted and well-developed script and reinforcemoreless

    Wow, now this episode is what 7th Heaven is about! This is by far the best episode so far this season, even surpassing An Early Fall (2) with Jessica Biel in it. I have very little if anything to complain about this episode. The writers brought us a terrifically well-casted and well-developed script and reinforces why so many watch. I could tell by the message boards this past week. On a side note not sorry again for the late review. It was a busy week for me and I try to write thorough reviews and that takes time. Anyway let's begin on the best episode of 7th Heaven this season (and maybe last season too)…

    Eric and Ms Jones: Wow, Ms. Jones (and Meredith Baxter) are now on my top ten list of favorite guest stars of 7th Heaven of all time. And that's surprising with a show in its 8th season. The writers really did a good job with Ms. Jones character and I felt for her very much throughout the whole episode. That lady was notorious in everything she did and didn't care what others think of her. She's tough but fair and once you get to know her you'll like her (ex. Martin). Honestly, I can't see why no one would like her. She never really caught me off as the VERY mean type as people in the Glen Oak community perceive. Ms. Jones was just doing her job all throughout the episode as her job has to reinforce the rules of School District Policy on no "visitors" policy on campus parking lots. It would be a crime if we never see Ms. Jones again. Hopefully we might see her again later on in the season or when Ruthie goes to high school next year.

    Alice and Griffith: Before I get into their characters I couldn't help notice that Alice is the same little girl from The Nanny that I used to watch all the time. Little Gracie has grown up s. I completely felt for both Alice and Griffith and the actors did an EXCELLENT job at portraying them. This is the first time in a while that I really felt for guest star character on this show who was the victim of something bad. I don't think 7th Heaven has addressed the issue of incest or sexual abuse of a child from their parent. It's a very important issue that does happen in our society. Mr. Miller was just creepy from the start. Eric, like most people can get vibes from people and know there's something off about them and can sense something really wrong. It was so striking that in retunr for his sons silence on what he does to him he bails him out of bad situations like being arrested because he's a higher figure in the community as a politician. It was also sad the mother, Mrs. Miller was no better as she was a complete alcholic who drunk her troubles away whil she knew her husband was hurting their children. What's worse than a parent hurting a child is a parent not helping a child at all when they know they're being abused by someone and just watch it happen.

    With this it was no happy ending at the end of this episode unlike most 7th Heaven episodes, and there really shouldn't be as it's one of those situations where no one benefits and everybody loses due to one persons sick twisted sexual inuendo to their own children and another one allowing it to happen to the victim, in this case Mrs. Miller to her children. At least Alice and Griffith could come away and see they can trust each other at least. It was heartbreaking to hear Alice say to her mother and the social worker "that I don't think there's anyone in my family I can trust" with the option of staying with a relative or going to a foster home for the time being. The writers did a good job at this approach and the best efforts to make it realistic. And they did a great job. I really hope we see them later on this season. It doesn't seem likely with 7th Heaven's track record but some do actually come back to recur (i.e. Gabrielle, Yasmine).

    Martin and Cecilia: Not much to say about them. Although may I address the issue of school kids starting a rumor that Martin was a spy. Okay, first of all if you want to start a rumor make sure it's a good one and more realistic one than he's just a spy. I was thinking over another rumor they could've started but I think it's a little too risqué for a wholesome like 7th Heaven. But I wish they made a little more realistic reason. Anyway, their scenes didn't bother me at all and don't mind (even though I know some fans do) Cecilia and Martin because so far they're harmless right now as they're not annoying. Although I couldn't understand how after all this time Cecilia has been with Martin it was actually registering in her mind a little that he is a spy for Mss. Jones. But at the end at least it filled a void for a more on-screen Annie to give some motherly advice to her.

    Chandler and Roxanne: Well, we didn't see these two that much in these episodes nor when they did appear they were not in the same scenes together. And that is all right with me. Both were quite pleasant and didn't annoy me at all in their scenes. Chandler was quite funny with the lady who was ranting about Ms. Jones going to the barbershop to get her haircut and how she likes her. But I'm surprised that Chandler, an associate pastor with a low income can keep an extra $100 bill in his pocket. The only scene with Roxanne in this episode was in the parking lot with Kevin when writing down the plates for Griffith's car.

    Ruthie, Peter and the Twins: Not much to say about them as they all kind of took a back seat in this episode as most of the regular Camdens (except Eric) did in this episode. But I really didn't mind which such great guest stars that had a terrific storyline and executed it very well. Although this episode only confirms that Ruthie and Peter are really close friends as he is there all the time and still has no problem going upstairs even if it's for the twins or Ruthie. Out of all of them Ruthie had the most storyline as feeling guilty on her blabbing to Cecilia on her relationship with Martin and his spy rumor. Of course Annie was there to give her advice to her.

    Overall, this episode was fantastic. This episode once again makes my point even stronger that 7th Heaven still has its juice (despite 3 of the kids gone) and it only confirms that 7th Heaven is still a fan favorite based on many in the message boards. It's just so surprising when there is very little Camden storyline the episode was very enjoyable by the guest stars mainly. I mean, WOW, Meredith Baxter from Family Ties (Loved that show!) and the girl from The Nanny. Now next week---Yay! Matt and Sarah returns! It's about time! I missed them and I'm glad to see where they're at now and based on the previews it doesn't look like paradise for the two.

    Grade: **10 out of 10**

    Rants and Bits

    *Once again, I'm glad Annie is finally interacting with the family again but what has happened to Catherine Hicks? She looks tired and her clothes make her look bigger than she really is and her hair makes her look like she just came out of bed. Annie used to be so pretty in earlier seasons.

    *From these recent episodes it seems that Glen Oak isn't a very friendly town. I mean first with people blaming for Simon for the accident, then not accepting Muslim families and now defaming a principal because she wants to play by the rules. It may look small and suburban but Glen Oak seems to be a rough town.

    *I am so glad Kevin addressed the phone issue of the Camden's never saying goodbye. I never said anything about it but deep down unconsciously that always irked me about how the Camdens talked to people on the phone.

    *I remember seeing Griffith in that short-lived ABC series Teen Angel on tgif a few years. It was a cute show but didn't last long. Wow, those were the good old days when tgif was good.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Kevin openly talks about the quirk the Camdens seem to have about never saying goodbye before hanging up the phone, which seems to have been a running gag for several years.

    • Response to NITPICK: Ms. Jones could of been the principal. We never saw the principal when they were there, we only saw the vice principal.

    • When Eric asks kevin to save him a bite and Kevin shows him
      the empty plate. Kevin's right arm is holding the plate,
      then we see a close up of the plate, and his left arm is
      holding it, and then it goes back to showing Kevin, and the
      plate is in his right arm again.

    • Wouldn't a guidance counselor be making sure that Martin elected all the right classes, not the principal?

    • Nitpick: How did Ms. Jones know Matt, Lucy, Mary and Simon when she was NOT a principal at that school when they went?

    • It's odd that Cecilia cared so much about the rumors about Martin in this episode and yet, she didn't seem to care last season when people were talking about Simon being the father of Claire's baby.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Eric to Ms. Jones (easily saying): "Rules are meant to be broken."

      Ms. Jones to Eric: "How about the Tenth Commanmments, were they meant to be broken? How about The Golden Rule?"

      Cecilia to Kevin: Hey, who died and made him president of Ms. Jones' fan club?!"- Martin

      Kevin to Eric (About the phone): "How come no one in this family says goodbye? They just finish what they're saying and hang up. Now I've started doint it. People outside the family think I'm nuts."

      Eric to Kevin: "It's a bad habit."

      Eric to Kevin: "Save me a bite of that will ya?"- (Kevin reveals no pie)

      Roxanne to Kevin: "People who don't like rules don't just break one rule."

      Lady to Chandler: "You knew I was lying all along, didn't you?"

      Chandler to Lady: "I suspected, if people will tell one lie they're going to tell another."

      Eric to Det. Michaels: "He's lying. You know that, don't you?"

      Det. Michaels to Eric: "Yep, but we don;t let him know that."- Mr. Miller

      Eric to Mr. Miller: "Only God can help you now."

      Griffith to Alice: "I'm sorry this happened to you."

      Alice to Griffith: "I'm sorry this happened to *us*."

    • Ruthie to Cecilia: "Is everything ok?"

      Cecilia to Ruthie: "Yeah! Now that I've been complete honest with myself. You really do give great advice Ruthie evan know your 13."

      Ruthie to Cecilia: "I've had a lot of experince."

      Martin to Ruthie & Peter: "You guys never believed I was a spy do you?"

      Ruthie to Martin: "Never!"

      Peter to Martin: "Sometimes people make up bad things all the time just for the heck of it than you start worrying when people will believe when someone really does do something wrong."

  • NOTES (8)


    • none: none
      Not only a memoir's title, but also a lyric from Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit": "Go ask Alice/When she's 10 feet tall". The song is popularly considered an allegory for hallucinogens and drug abuse.

    • Go Ask Alice, the title of this episode, is the name of a fictional book, written in diary form, that chronicles a young girl's fight with drugs, alcohol and sex. The author is unknown, but is not a 15-year-old drug addict, as is suggested.