Brian the dog was resurrected from the dead! Or rather, the pup’s impending death was prevented via a time machine, traveled by Stewie after the sadistic baby was granted his Christmas wish by a mall Santa during Sunday night’s episode. “I mean, you didn’t really think we’d kill off Brian, did you?” MacFarlane tweeted after the episode aired. “Jesus, we’d have to be f-cking high.”
Show creator MacFarlane, who voices Stewie, Peter and Brian on the hit animated series, added via Twitter on Sunday, “Oh and hey … thanks for caring so much about the canine Griffin. He is overcome with gratitude.” The takeaway from Brian’s big fake-out death, meanwhile, was this message, according to MacFarlane: “And thus endeth our warm, fuzzy holiday lesson: Never take those you love for granted, for they can be gone in a flash.”
I caught the episode this morning on Global, so I have a few thoughts on this …
Part of me wishes they let Brian stay dead. I think they could have really gone somewhere with his absence and how the family deals with it, and while I’m happy they brought him back, part of me feels like they missed something good.
HOWEVER, I am happy they brought him back, because it shows that the writers are willing to take risks and commit to ideas and themes that span multiple episodes, and considering one of my biggest criticisms of the show was that it was afraid of commitment, this shows promise.
I mean yes, anyone could have figured out Brian was coming back by looking at the episode line-up, or by look at how many episodes they got Tony Sirico for, but it shows promise for how Family Guy treats its narrative: For the longest time, Family Guy was overloaded with throwaway lines, but bringing Brian back involved coming through on an innocuous line from weeks ago. That’s just some incredibly smart storytelling right there, and if Family Guy is willing to start treating more of its lines like that, it could actually start being a more consistently good show.