American Dad “Stan’s Best Friend” Review

“Stan’s Best Friend” was a relatively straightforward story about Stan’s history with man’s best friend and his attempt to make amends for the early death of his childhood dog, Freddie. I’ve got a weak spot when it comes to dog stories (I still can’t watch Futurama‘s “Jurassic Bark” without crying hysterically at the end) so I braced myself for the worst and hoped for an American Dad dog story with a happy ending.

Things looked like they might be moving in a positive direction when the new dog, Kisses, first snuggled up to Stan. I was laughing out loud when Stan sat in his pajamas taking pictures with his phone and talking like a complete sucker about the dog. “Oh! There’s an ear. Oh my god – what a cute little yawn! What a cute little baby!” I’m guilty of that kind of doggie gushing so this bit totally cracked me up.

After that scene, I thought that maybe we’d be getting an episode showing us the softer side of Stan and that Kisses would be to Stan what Stella is to Jay on Modern Family. Kisses did soften Stan’s cold heart for a brief moment before being tragically killed by cat pirates in an air balloon.

I thought the worst had to be over when Kisses was turned into a puddle of blood in the middle of the street, but things were going to get much worse for Kisses.

In an attempt to make up for his past, Stan became obsessed with saving Kisses and eventually took the dog to an alternative veterinarian after the family vet said that there was no way to save the dog. That alternative vet was a complete nut job who reassembled Kisses into a horrifying frankendog.

It was more painful to watch that poor creature limp around than it was to see the puddle of blood underneath the cat pirate’s air balloon. All I wanted was for Stan to let that dog die peacefully, but at the same time, that monstrous patchwork pup seemed happy to be sleeping at the foot of Stan’s bed. I suppose you could say that dogs are simply content to be around their families in spite of their own suffering.

Thankfully, Stan’s dream about Freddie helped Stan get enough closure to put Kisses out of misery. Unfortunately, Stan’s choice of euthanasia was dynamite. Among all the gross and gory things I’ve seen on American Dad, the visual of Kisses’ mutilated head slamming into Francine’s window might be the most horrifying thus far.

Ultimately Kisses got his happy ending in dog heaven along with Freddie and a couple of poodles. I’m not sure it was enough to make me forget that dog’s short life with the Smith family, but I think it’s probably best that the Smith’s never bring another pet into their home. Francine admits that they’ve had a terrible track record with dogs and besides, Roger wouldn’t like the competition.