The end of a season of American Dad is, as far as I can tell, fairly meaningless. Production seasons and airing seasons don’t ever quite line up, and things get switched around so much that it’s hard to tell what exactly was initially meant to air when. So it makes sense that “Da Flippity Flop” doesn’t feel like much of a finale at all. In fact, I’d argue last week’s “Lost in Space” would have made a much stronger finale, but at the end of the day, none of that really matters. What matters is the episode at hand, and in this case, it was a pretty good, if unexceptional, one.
It’s rare that the show acknowledges what, exactly, Klaus is. He, along with Roger, is one of the weirder elements of the show, but unlike Roger, they’ve yet to really find a solid use for Klaus, who I usually don’t particularly like or care about. Here, though, he’s a surprising amount of fun, especially right after he steals Stan’s body and starts to ruin it, all the while tugging around Stan in the goldfish bowl to look on horrified. When this story reaches its climax at the ski slopes, things lose a little bit of steam, relying too heavily on rotting body gross-out gags for my taste, but it still makes for a fun episode, especially considering my expectations for a Klaus-centered story are pretty low.
Still, however, Roger steals the show, this week opening a gym in the Smith’s attic. There’s some great silly humor here, like when the guy asks Roger to spot him, and Roger pulls out cash and asks how much, and then it turns out that is really what the guy meant in the first place. The real star, though, is the centerpiece of this story, the answering machine segment. It was exactly the kind of humor that American Dad excels at, silly and absurd and more than a little dark. It’s when I think of that sequence that “Da Flippity Flop” lets me leave the eighth season of the show with confidence that it has enough steam to keep going into the future.