Family Ties

Season 7 Episode 21

Rain Forests Keep Falling on My Head

Aired Unknown Apr 16, 1989 on NBC

Episode Recap

As Alex presents Andrew with a pet parakeet, Jennifer arrives home with news that her science class has begun studying global ecology to explore how the earth is endangered by man's interference. Upset that the world is being destroyed for profit, Jennifer begins trying to make the family more ecologically aware as she laments the destruction of rain forests in Brazil and the ozone layer over the South Pole.

While Mallory teaches the parakeet anti-Republican phrases, Jennifer becomes more and more obsessed. When she realizes how many toxic chemicals are in the Keaton home alone, she demands that the family throw out a bunch of household products and shop for safe alternatives. Not stopping there, however, she begins dwelling on the enormity of the world's environmental problems and becomes psychologically overwhelmed.

Fixating on such evils as acid rain and radon gas, Jennifer sinks into a deep depression. Concerned for her welfare, Steven and Elyse confront Jennifer and insist that she see the school counselor, Mr. Hilgenberg.

Hoping to lift her out of her depression, Hilgenberg becomes depressed himself when Jennifer begins pointing out the hazards in his office. Ultimately, Jennifer is able to lose her blues when Steven and Elyse thank her for inspiring them to renew their commitment to a safe environment, and convince her that she can make a difference by becoming part of the struggle.