Family Guy Breaks a Branch Off the Family Tree

December 18th, 2013

Family Guy fans everywhere were shocked at the latest episode, as it seems the unthinkable has happened. Brain Griffin, the family’s beloved, cynical talking pet dog, has died. Yes, actually died.

It’s an interesting approach, but it’s not a new one in television. The series is getting older and sometimes a new storyline needs to be truly exciting. One of the staple ways to add excitement to television writing is to simply kill off a character. It creates instant suspense, drama, and audience reaction. It is important to note, though, that such a reaction isn’t always good for the ratings.


Did it work for Family Guy? Here’s the rub- all signs point to Brian returning relatively soon.

In terms of how it all went down, the episode was rather bland. Brian’s death certainly shouldn’t be downplayed, as he is a major character, but it seemed so simple. He runs into the street and gets hit by a car. This is much less intense than previous episodes where Brian walked the fine line of life and death, including an episode where he was going to sacrifice himself during surgery to save Peter’s life. The family sees his injury play out and takes Brian to the vet, where he passes on after a very sweet speech thanking the family for giving him such a great life.

The family then gets a replacement dog, Vinny. Vinny is voiced by Tony Sirico from The Sopranos, adding a new personality to the show. Will fans enjoy this character swap? Only time will tell, though the producers have remarked that they are confident he will become a new favorite in due time.
But is Brian really gone? As stated previously, it appears he will be making a marvelous re-entry into the show somehow. The most obvious signs involve a look at the descriptions of upcoming shows. Many feature Brian as a character, and an upcoming Christmas special alludes to Stewie’s ‘one true wish’. This could easily be interpreted as him bringing Brian back somehow. Even without looking ahead at future episodes, it is very believable that he would return. Brian adds a very different dynamic to the family, and it’s hard to say the show would be almost the same without Brian. The character is loved as much as he is hated by fans, so posted reactions have been mixed. Some say it ruins the show, and others are welcoming a Quahog without Brian in the mix.

family-guy-great-outdoorsAlongside these clues of future shows featuring Brian, Tony Sirico has signed off to do several episodes, so it will be interesting to see how things play out. Two dogs? Another epic battle over who will be the true family pet? Fans may be feeling some deja vu if they remember the other episode where the family got a second dog. That didn’t go so well, and it’s hard to imagine this scenario would play out any better.

In any case, Family Guy remains a strong contender in the television world. Brian’s death is most likely an elaborate plot twist designed to give Tony Sirico a slot on the show, and it should lead to some exciting happenings for one of our favorite TV families. Just sign up at to keep up to date with all the latest episodes.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 at 7:59 pm and is filed under TV. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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