“Killer Vacation” sounds like it’d be a bloody episode of television, but nothing in this American Dad is quite as gross as last week’s over-the-top torture. Instead, what we get is a tropical vacation heavy on old-people jokes and relationship woes, with one extended action scene towards the end that gives the episode its title.
What gore there is mostly comes from the Steve plot, which was the least successful of the evening. The only high point comes early, when Steve arrives at the Kids’ Camp only to find a bunch of toddlers, and denies the nanny’s cookie offer with “Ginger snap? Ginger slap!” It was a cheap laugh, but it worked much better than the aimless “British accents are charming” story that followed. None of the horrible things Steve is convinced to do made me laugh, and the payoff was the kind of tired horny teen jokes the series always leans on for the character.
Stan and Francine’s and Hayley and Jeff’s stories were much more successful, with both trying to use the vacation to mend their relationships, either from Stan’s workaholism or the young married couple’s sexual woes. It’s all tightly plotted and funny enough, with the laughs only really coming from Stan and Francine, especially once the chase to kill the war criminal in hiding gets started. The suicidal lemur was exactly the kind of gag American Dad does so well, absurd and a little violent, although not to the extent of “Love, AD Style” (which I still maintain was funny, but some of the commenters here found in poor taste).
As often is true, however, the real standout here is Roger, who decides to spend the vacation as a recent elderly widow trying to learn to live her life again. It went completely unexplained, but Roger’s love for role-play has been long established within the show’s mythology, and the old-people jokes tonight were sharper than old-people jokes usually are. “Would you care for a Necco Wafer?” was just perfect.
And, while it was arguably the B-plot, and remained completely separate from the other three family members, Roger’s failed senior citizen love affair was what “Killer Vacation” chose to go out on, ending with the hilariously dramatic scene of him as “Abigail Lemonparty” (the name is an easy joke, but funny enough) spreading her husband’s ashes into the ocean, then squinting and saying she “knows what he did” to their kids before snapping out of character for just a second to say “Why can’t I leave things nice?” I thought it was great, but then again, I love Roger. But then again, again, if you don’t love Roger, what are you doing watching this show? He’s not the only good part, but it certainly seems to me like he’s the best good part. Am I wrong here?