Family Guy Season 11 Review “Road to Vegas”

On the penultimate episode of “Family Guy”, we got a sort of a combo platter of old-school plotlines, with a combination of a Stewie and Brian “road picture” and a sort of neo-time travel episode, both of which have been recurring staples of the show. Typically, they’re also among the more reliable episodes, though, to be honest, the gambit is starting to wear a bit thin, which is why I assume that they combined the two for one big spectacular episode, this one entitled “Road to Vegas.”

This time out, we got a teleportation device, which Stewie suggests they use to travel to Vegas in lieu of having to take a plane. The only problem is that the machine is still in its early stages, so it malfunctions, causing another additional Stewie and Brian to come into being at slightly different times. One of the pair indeed ends up in Vegas instantly, while the other ends up having to take a plane and gets there slightly later, just enough to throw a wrench into everything.

Initially, the ones in Vegas first have a great time, while the other two meet adversity at every step. Eventually, the two sort of trade places and their respective fates change, ultimately ending up with one Stewie getting shot, while one of the Brians commits suicide! Way to keep things light, guys!

There were some funny moments throughout, despite the off-puttingly dark tone of the show once it hit Vegas. Early on, we had a gay pride parade, where Peter was taken aback by the “Shocking Reveal” float, which featured Peter himself: “I had no idea!” We also got a funny bit of business making fun of the show (and characters) “Franklin and Bash”, with arrows helpfully pointing out who was who…or not.

But the bulk of the show was the Vegas stuff. The bit with the recycled smoke being pumped into the “poor people” section of the casino was funny, as was the self-mocking Oscar bit: “I just want to say I have the utmost respect for women everywhere. And also, the Jews. Good night!” And credits. Cue “Best Oscars Ever!” headline. LOL. Poor MacFarlane. It wasn’t that bad. Anne Hathaway and James Franco…now THAT was bad.

I also laughed at the random cutaways of the squirrel in a “man suit” there for the “slut convention” (would that be the AVN’s?); the bit with Stewie mowing down people at the Ed Hardy store, Brian’s make-over into a Chihuahua; the guys betting on their daughter’s virginities; and “Peter the Pooh”: “I’m gonna get me that honey!”

Here’s my fave lines not already mentioned:

Stewie, on the crap motel he and Brian are staying in: “The porn is free, but we have to watch it in the lobby.”

Stewie on Celine Dion: “You’ll be amazed that that voice came out of that face.”

Stewie, mistaking a loan shark’s thug for a male prostitute he hired: “Okay, you look nothing like your photo.”

Stewie, on alt-Brian’s suicide by jumping out of the hotel balcony: “People kept coming back. They thought it was like that thing at the pirate ship or the volcano.” (Now that’s a Vegas-specific joke that only people who’ve been there would get!)

All in all, an okay episode that benefited from the combination approach, but MacFarlane might want to retire both the time travel stuff and the “road picture”-approach after this one, as the well is clearly running dry. Just the fact that he opted to combine both says to me even he recognizes this, though, so hopefully, that will be the end of that.

To tell the truth, I didn’t laugh as much as I wanted to, as I’m always game for one of these sorts of episodes, which is as good a reason for them to quit while they’re ahead, if you ask me. If you’re running so low on steam you have to start combining recurring bits, well that about says it all, doesn’t it?

What did you think of “Family Guy” this week? Did you prefer this episode or the second one? (You can find my review of that one here.) Did I miss any of your favorite bits? What did you think about alt-Stewie and alt-Brian (or whatever) and their untimely demises? (“The Cleveland Show” also ended one of its episodes this same night with a death, oddly enough.)

Let me know what you think in the comments!

About The Author

Mark Trammell is the resident entertainment critic at UAB, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he is also a Graduate Student and does a vid-cast movie review show. His impossible dream is that "Twin Peaks" will one day be resurrected and pick up where it left off. Until then, he drowns his woes in anything remotely similar, from "Buffy" to "Lost" to "Pretty Little Liars." This has not always been a good thing-cough, "Ringer", cough- but now at least it can help pay the bills.