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The Boy Next Door We're So Sorry, Uncle Albert

Can I Get a Witness.jpg

Can I Get a Witness? is the fifteenth episode of ALF's second season. It originally aired on January 11, 1988.


The episode starts with Willie, Brian and ALF all go outside to toss around the ol’ pigskin inspired by a football game. The game is immediately over and they come back inside. ALF throws the football through the open kitchen window and he smashes the plate on the table.

At dinner, ALF knows that there is not enough food, but Lynn says it has been all served before it's time for dessert. He mentions he worked up an appetite playing football alone for so long, and Kate tells him he better not have trampled her flowerbeds. He says he didn’t, and that she shouldn’t worry, but she tells him to show her his feet. He refuses, and then she demands, sternly, “Feet.” Cowed, ALF shows her his feet and we see trampled flowers stuck to his soles. Mrs. Ochmonek comes over and wants to know who kicked a football through her window. Willie mechanically pulls out a wad of cash. Since they can’t say it was ALF, they blame it on Brian, and Mrs. Ochmonek says that this behavior should be nipped in the bud. ALF hands Kate the flowers he ruined, using a soda can as a vase, then he apologizes. Willie then attempts to play it cool, and asks ALF where their football is. ALF replies, matter-of-factly, “Behind your back.” The family confronts ALF and tells him that they know he broke the Ochmoneks’ window, but he says he didn’t. He does have a theory, though: at one point he kicked the football up…and it never came down. After a pause, Lynn asks what his theory is, and he replies that it’s obviously “gravity failure.” Willie argues that the football did come back down, land in the Ochmoneks’ yard, and then broke the window. Lynn steps in to stop Willie from jumping to conclusions by saying, “Dad, we can’t really be sure that ALF broke the window.” ALF, grateful, says, “Thank you, Lynn.” Then he turns to Willie and Kate and says, “Maybe Lynn broke it.” Brian comes in and they ask if he broke the window. When ALF demands a trial, and Willie says he’ll be the judge. ALF doesn’t want that, because Willie already thinks he’s guilty, so Lynn asks, “Would you trust mom to be the judge?”

ALF gets until the next morning to prepare his case. Brian’s the bailiff, and he announces Kate, who comes in from the kitchen and bangs a gavel. Willie then speaks about ALF’s history of destructive behavior, which consists almost exclusively of references to events we’ve actually witnessed. ALF calls Lynn to the stand. It’s interesting, actually, that something like a broken window, so clearly minor in comparison to almost everything Willie listed a moment ago. He set a fire in the camper, he chopped up our Christmas tree, he wrecked the toaster, he ripped that painting, he dug up the backyard, he stole a car, he buried my piano, I think that was the thing hurt me the most, he got me arrested, he used our credit cards, excessively and illegally, he short-circuited the television, terrorized the cat, and he blew up the kitchen. It's not hard to imagine, that such a person would, could, and infect did kick a football through the Ochmonek's window. Anyway, ALF asks her how long he’s known her, and she replies, “About a year.” ALF calls Brian to the stand and then himself. Kate finds ALF guilty, she leans forward into ALF’s space. She looks down at him. She’s being a mother first, and a judge second. Up until now she’s humored this kid and played along with his little dressup game, but now she’s in charge again, and ALF’s in trouble. No more TV. ALF is watching The Golden Girls using some dolls at his room and Lynn comes in and tells him that she believes he didn’t do it…but, at the same time, he’s the one who requested a trial, so he can’t really complain if this is how it turned out. Mr. Ochmonek apologizes to Willie, because he’s the one who broke the window. It turns out he found the football in his yard and played around with it, ultimately breaking the window. He didn’t want to tell his wife that that he was the one who smashed it, because he still wants her to see him as a football hero. After all, he played for seven years in high school. He then tells Willie that he wanted to make things right with the Tanners, since Raquel was hitting them up for the repair money. The Tanners apologize to ALF, even though he did break their dinnerware and is still guilty of all the other stuff Willie mentioned.

At the end, Willie sees ALF watching three television sets and making three TV dinners. He tells ALF to turn those TVs off because it wastes electricity. Willie walks over to the kitchen door and touches it near the top.


Title Reference

"Can I Get a Witness?" is a song by Marvin Gaye.

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