'Family Guy' Season 10, Episode 17 Recap - 'Forget-Me-Not'
Remember back when "Family Guy" did the "Stewie Kills Lois" and "Lois Kills Stewie" two-parter, and it ended up being a virtual reality simulation, and Brian warned Stewie that people would get pissed knowing that everything they just watched was a "dream" and therefore irrelevant?
Well, this episode was mighty close to that. But it was just different enough to make it okay, thanks to one big difference: character development.
It all starts as Brian and Peter escape family night to go play laser tag with Quagmire and Joe. The gags here are fun (I especially liked Peter's abnormal physical fitness), but it serves an important purpose: Peter gets a fake newspaper from his win that says "Peter Griffin Destroys World" that, get this, actually comes into play later in the episode. A "Family Guy" gag in the beginning of the episode that ties into the end? Unprecedented!
Anyway, Lois and Stewie have a little disagreement with Brian about whether he's Peter's friend or just his property. Brian maintains that they're pals, but Lois thinks they only hang out because they live together. That all gets put to the test, though, when Brian and Peter sneak off to go to the Clam with Joe and Quagmire... and they all get in a terrible accident.
When they wake up in the hospital, none of them have any memory of who they are. More than that, the entirety of Quahog is deserted, so nobody can tell them who they are either. Thanks to Brian's nose and some clues in the car, they four of them find their way back to Spooner St. and discover their identities, but with one error: Quagmire thinks Brian is his dog.
Soon enough the gang discovers the fake newspaper on the way, claiming that Peter destroyed the world. Being devoid of memories, Joe, Quagmire and Brian posit that Peter is an alien and everyone is gone because he wiped them out. But Brian, after spending some time with Peter, has his doubts... and when Joe and Quagmire try to kill Peter, Brian takes a bullet for him. Aww, they really are friends.
As it turns out, the whole this was a simulation from Stewie, who wanted to find out if Brian was right. So, nothing that we saw actually happened, but there's a key difference between this and "Lois Kills Stewie": all of this happened in the guys' brains, and we saw Brian and Peter realize that they're truly good friends. So, there was something at stake here, and there was some character development, even though I'm not sure any of us ever doubted that Brian and Peter were really best buds.
The cut-aways this week weren't great, but we did get some good jokes in the story: the Chex Mix gag was pretty good, and Quagmire's realizations about his true self ("I have a lot of dirty stuff in my house") were funny, knowing him. I also got a good chuckle out of "cremate, don't bury."
But here are the Cut-Aways of the Week:
- Gorilla with kittens: B, nicely timed, kinda hard to laugh at a pile of dead kittens though. Maybe I'm in the wrong mood today.
- Brian as garage hanger: B, funny idea but the button wasn't great
- Best friend is really attractive: A, lot of truth in that one and a nice unexpected twist, plus Stewie breaking the fourth wall? Great combo
- Who else but Shirtpants? A-, nice use of a kinda lame in-story joke to make a great callback
- Doctor who keeps things light: C-, dark doesn't always equal funny
- Quagmire's Danish cookies: C, pretty specific... probably funny if I'd ever had Danish cookies?
- Brian as speech writer: C, racism doesn't always equal funny
- Joe as Tweety: B, just for Patrick Warburton's delivery