Family Ties

Season 1 Episode 7

Big Brother is Watching

Aired Unknown Nov 17, 1982 on NBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

As the new editor of his school newspaper, Alex uncovers a cheating scandal and to everyone’s chagrin prints a list of students who were caught - including his sister Mallory.

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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (1)

      • The viewer is given the sense that 61-year-old Mrs. Obeck lives alone. She doesn't. A young and attractive Liz Obeck apparently lives with her, as shown in episode #104, The Big Fix. A "Marty Obeck" is mentioned as peeking at Mallory in episode #10, Have Gun, Will Unravel.

    • QUOTES (2)

      • Elyse: (to Mallory) Listen a C is nothing to be ashamed of. Your father got lots of C's when he was in school.
        Steven: That's right. If you-- W-Wai--W-Wait--I--I-I wouldn't say lots of C's. Uh, uh, occasionally a "C" crept in. I don't remember exactly, but in college, overall, I think I had a... 3.248 average.

      • Howie: [Mr. Winkler] is scared. The principal could get mad at him and punish him!
        Alex: You don't think he'd fire Mr. Winkler, do you?
        Howie: He'd do worse. Last year, when he got mad at Mr. Peabody, he made him teach sex education to kids with behavior problems! It's not easy to talk about the birds and the bees when someone's throwing a hubcap at you.

    • NOTES (1)

      • In later episodes, Harding High School Principal, Dr. Schulte, would appear, though in this episode, he is merely referenced. Terry Willis will play Dr. Schulte.

    • ALLUSIONS (3)

      • As Alex pleads that Hurrah is too tame for a newspaper name, he hypothesizes The New York Hurrah and The Detroit Free Hurrah. The actual names of these newspapers are The New York Times and The Detroit Free Press.

      • Steven used the example of "Woodward and Bernstein" as he explained the value of the truth in journalism. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were Washington Post reporters, whose account of the Watergate cover up in 1972 eventually led to President Richard Nixon's resignation.

      • The title's term "Big Brother" alludes to an ever-watching character, the dictator of Oceania introduced in 1949 in George Orwell's 1984. In this episode, Alex really is "big brother" to Mallory as he assumes a role that resembles the Orwellian Big Brother.