American Dad “Season’s Beatings” Review

In keeping with the American Dad tradition of going completely off the wall for its Christmas specials, “Season’s Beatings” delivered a hefty dose of dark and twisted humor in a holiday setting.

After being told he was too fat to play Jesus in Father Donovan’s “Life of Jesus” play, Stan lost his cool and assaulted Roger for being cast in the titular role despite being a heretic. The image of Santa/Stan beating the living daylights out of Jesus/Roger soon spread across the Christian phone tree and Father Donovan was forced to excommunicate Stan from Christianity.

This leaves Stan with four options – find another religion, find the holy grail, donate $10,000,000 or kill the Antichrist. Just when all seems lost, Stan discovers that his own adopted grandson bears the mark – and the math – of the beast and sets out to kill him so he can get back into the good graces of his church.

Originally Hayley was against the idea of having children, but it only took a minute for her to completely lose control of her emotions after Jeff brought Nemo home from the orphanage. I loved the way Francine immediately reacted to having a grandchild and that both she and Stan had assumed that the only way the two of them would ever actually be grandparents would be if Steve was accidentally raped by a lesbian.

Nemo didn’t seem like much of an Antichrist at first, but once the threat of his destruction was realized, his crazy demon powers came to life. Although Nemo successfully used his powers to cause the rubble at the orphanage to crush Father Donovan and to cause floodwaters to wash out Jeff as he walked through the Vatican Catacombs with Roger, the best use of his demon mind control had to be Steve’s possession. Steve was a crack up with his Aramaic babbling and crab walking all over the neighborhood while everyone casually dismissed him as “acting strange.”

Everything came to a head as Stan and Hayley violently battled it out for Nemo’s life. After completely missing Nemo and stabbing Roger, aka. Roland Chang, in the hand Stan wakes up in the hospital with a gunshot wound courtesy of his daughter. It’s not all bad for Stan, as Roger had apparently been in possession of the Holy Grail for a long time. and that purple egg-nog pimp cup was enough to have Stan reinstated into the ranks of Christianity.

Although most of this episode was on par with many of the completely absurd American Dad holiday episodes that have come before it, the ending seemed rather weak. The gag about having Nemo grow up to political power with Sarah Palin felt dated. There’s currently a whole bumper crop of jab-worthy politicians that Nemo could have ended up with and it seemed a waste to throw it back to Sarah Palin from almost four years ago. Nevertheless, this episode had a little something to offend almost everyone celebrating Christmas and that means that long time American Dad fans got pretty much exactly what they expected and hoped for out of this year’s holiday special.