For most of the recent history of American Dad, the show has been using Roger to function as, essentially, a new guest star every week, so it’s nice to see, in “The Adventures of Twill Ongenbone and His Boy Jabari,” an episode that actually deals with Roger as Roger. Of course, it’s also about the way he constantly cheats and disguises his way into everything, but that’s Roger’s main character trait. It also lets him be despicable, but also, by wanting so badly to prove to Francine that he can accomplish something, he’s not entirely deplorable, which is a nice shift.
Of course, it’s still American Dad, so Francine ends up murdering Cuba Gooding Jr. with a stalagmite, and we get an extended scene of Stan describing his sex life to his son’s friends over the phone. And we have absurd gags throughout the episode, like the constant returning to Cuba Gooding Jr., who Stan inexplicably loves and admires, and, my personal favorite, Roger trying to take a picture of himself posing on the hood of his car, until his camera gets stolen and we get a brief, weird montage of the life of the dude who took it.
It’s all very fun, and the third act takes us on an Indiana Jones-style adventure in an undisclosed desert location. (Where could that even be, considering the Smiths live on the East Coast? Not that it matters.) It’s clear as soon as Roger (as Twill Ongenbone) conveniently discovers a magical flute that the whole thing is a set-up to trick Francine, but that doesn’t make it any less fun to watch, and the montage explaining how Roger cast all the people was a high point of the episode.
The B-plot, in which Steve tries to interview his father, was fun enough, with a solid premise, but mostly stayed out of the way and just delivered jokes when it needed to, which was perfect. All in all, “The Adventures of Twill Ongenbone and His Boy Jabari” was a solid episode of American Dad.