Family Guy Season Finale Review: A Horrid Affair
On the season finale of Family Guy, "Internal Affairs," Bonnie is being distant to Joe after he wins an award for a massive cocaine bust. This leads to Joe sleeping with a young female officer who has the hots for him after his buddies encourage him to do it as revenge on Bonnie for her indiscretions.
She finds out, and they must try to find a way to salvage Joe's marriage. Oh, and along the way, Peter deals with an old foe.
Be careful, as I'm going to overanalyze this whole episode below.
Now, infidelity a sticky issue for the show, and one that is actually a recurring element - this is the seventh episode where an affair is the catalyst for an episode's event.
All of the main characters have wound up embroiled in one at some point; Peter and Lois (both!) with Bill Clinton; Quagmire with Loretta (Cleveland's ex-wife before he moved on to The Cleveland Show, which still hasn't been canceled), and Bonnie with her trip to France last season in "Foreign Affairs" to cheat on Joe with a man named Francois.
In fact, that event is the catalyst for this installment, as Peter and Quagmire call back to the events of that episode for justification for Joe to cheat on Bonnie.
Here's the problem, and it's something that gets referenced: Bonnie never actually had sex with Francois. Did she probably do something that constitutes cheating on Joe? Yes. But for Quagmire to encourage him to go all the way with the new girl Nora strikes me as a glaring continuity error, considering he was there in France, helping Joe to "walk" for Bonnie to prove his love. As well, Lois has espoused the "sleep with someone else to get even" idea back after she slept with Bill Clinton. While her opinion has likely changed after how that all went, at least a line acknowledging it would have been smart.
It all ends when Joe and Bonnie basically promise to be faithful to each other and to work toward their relationship, but isn't that how "Foreign Affairs" basically ended? In fact, isn't that how all episodes involving affairs end on this show? Huh. Guess Family Guy is more consistent than I think. And of course, it will all probably end up with more unresolved marital strife between the characters. The external philosophy from the writing staff seems consistent, but the internal philosophy of the characters is ill-defined at best. Quagmire once cheated on Loretta, then gave a big speech about respecting the fidelity of marriage in "Welcome Back Carter," then in this episode goes and does exactly the opposite of that.
I do not expect Family Guy to be the most intelligent show on TV, but the show calls back just enough to past episodes that it should be aware of its internal philosophy. Seriously, a check of Wikipedia or Google search about the characters to make sure they're consistent wouldn't hurt, would it?
At least there was another giant chicken fight. By my count, this was the first fight since the show moved to HD, and the goal seemed to be "take everything way too far."
They start fighting because Peter backs into him accidentally, then they wind up coincidentally stepping on one of Stewie's time travel pads and wind up fighting in the old west (in what turned out to be a Back to the Future 3 reference), before then winding up with hundreds of Peter and giant chicken clones duking it out. Then they wind up in space, before fighting on an oil tanker, which leads to another gruesome death for the giant chicken...or does it?
While the surprise that should accompany a giant chicken fight suddenly happening was ruined thanks to the Fox promo department (broadcast network promo departments are the opposite of Batman), it was still entertaining because of the overdone cartoon violence for no good reason. It also served as the only redeeming element from an episode that was philosophically baffling.
Even worse, there weren't a lot of memorable jokes, just a few humorous Family Guy quotes. If Family Guy isn't going to make sense, it could at least be funny, and it was neither. Hopefully they never return to this story thread ever again. I'm not saying that they shouldn't do darker, semi-serious episodes – I applaud their experimentation – but they need to remember their strengths.