Family Ties

Season 2 Episode 11

Birthday Boy

Aired Unknown Jan 05, 1984 on NBC

Episode Recap

Alex is one day away from his eighteenth birthday, and Steve has to take a business trip to Washington, D.C. Elyse decides to plan a dinner for Alex at a local restaurant, and just celebrate with him and the girls.

The next morning, when Alex is officially eighteen, he begins acting out on the notion that he is an adult and can do whatever he wants. Refusing to take out the trash, he even starts calling his mother "Elyse" instead of mom. Elyse is especially hurt when she tries to start a conversation with him and is completely blown off for his friends. When Alex asks her about going to a bar that's a hundred miles away in West Virginia, Elyse refuses to let him go.

A sulking Alex informs his friends when they arrive that he can no longer make the trip. They razz him about being eighteen but having to listen to his "mommy." Finally, Alex is needled into going along with them. He leaves a note for his mother and takes off with his buddies.

At the bar, Alex is introduced to Doug's and Neil's three friends, Christie, Buffy, and Roxanne. Their dates readily believe the lie that Alex is an Air Force Colonel who is about to invade Canada. Just as the girls are really swooning, Alex's mother storms into the bar and confronts Alex. She demands that he come home with her immediately, and reluctantly, he gives in.

That night, Alex is fuming and Elyse is calm for someone who's just driven 200 miles roundtrip. She mournfully relays to Alex how he doesn't talk with her any more, and Alex realizes that he's been hurtful to his mother. He argues that he should be allowed to do whatever he wants, but Elyse points out that as long as he is under her roof, he needs to follow the decisions that she and Steve make to help protect him. They make up and Alex finally takes out the garbage, like she asked him the day before.

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