Season 10 of "Family Guy" ended with two back-to-back episodes that revisited classic storylines from the series. Newcomers to Quahog will enjoy these gags, but faithful viewers may think that series creator Seth MacFarlane isn't trying as hard as he should.
Brian and Stewie answer viewer mail..again.
Ten years ago, "Viewer Mail No.1" featured Brian and Stewie answering letters from fans. This led into a trilogy of stories based on audience suggestions, but these segments resembled the annual "Treehouse of Horror" episodes of "The Simpsons."
For the 10th Season finale, Brian and Stewie answer letters once again. After making a reference to the similarity of "Family Guy" to "The Simpsons," Brian and Stewie introduce three new self-contained stories:
* "Chap of the Manor": The show often pokes fun at the mannerisms and appearance of English citizens. This segment reveals the British show that supposedly inspired the "Family Guy" series. Peter, Lois and other characters appear as exaggerated English versions of themselves, complete with bad teeth. Cleveland Brown even returns for a cameo, joining Peter and friends at an English pub.
* "Fatman and Robin": Robin Williams, another frequent MacFarlane target, gets skewered. A heartfelt wish gives Peter the power to turn anyone he touches into the famous comedian. When hundreds of Robins converge in the town square, Peter silences them with Walt Whitman's "O Captain My Captain" poem, which is a reference to 1989's "Dead Poet's Society."
* "Point of Stew": What does the world look like from Stewie Griffin's point-of-view? This segment follows Stewie through a typical day, showing only the things that he sees. Cleverly executed, the audience joins the tiny genius on a journey that sometimes turns violent and gross.
"Internal Affairs" and marital woes.
The Season 9 episode "Foreign Affairs" looked at the troubled state of Bonnie and Joe's marriage. When their relationship became cold and distant, Bonnie took a trip to Paris and attracted the attention of a paraplegic named Francois. Lois eventually convinces Bonnie not to stray and return home to her husband.
"Internal Affairs," the final episode of Season 10, revisits those same marital woes. Assuming that Bonnie had an affair in France, Peter and Quagmire encourage Joe to have a fling with Nora (voice of Anna Kendrick), an attractive female officer. Joe resolves his anger issues with Bonnie, but when he learns the truth about what happened in Paris, it could destroy their marriage forever.
This episode also features a rematch between Peter and the Giant Chicken. During what is supposed to be their final fight, the battling cartoon characters roll through parodies of such movies as "Back to the Future Part III" and "The Matrix Reloaded." MacFarlane leaves it open, though, for the Giant Chicken to return in a future season.