American Dad “Ricky Spanish” Review

Among all the wicked personas we’ve seen birthed from Roger’s twisted mind over the years on American Dad, Roger admitted that “Ricky Spanish” was the worst of them all.

It would have been difficult to imagine what would make one of Roger’s personas so awful that he would hide the costume from himself and block the persona from his memory, but American Dad helped us overcome that challenge with a series of truly horrifying (and undoubtedly hilarious) flashback scenes of “Ricky Spanish” at his worst. Kicking a grandma and stealing candy from a child is standard fare for even the most tame of Roger’s alternate personas, but the freeze frames of Ricky/Roger taking lewd photos of a nun and defecating on the intestines of a patient on an operating table really made it clear why Ricky Spanish was someone that everyone hated.

The ever optimistic Steve was hellbent on redeeming Ricky and helping Roger reclaim the Ricky persona by helping him apologize and make amends to the people he had hurt most. Principal Lewis, Avery Bullock, and Daniel, Ricky’s old co-worker from the Plantain Republic, were at the top of Ricky’s list and Steve happily went along with Ricky/Roger in his quest for redemption.

Roger and Steve have a special relationship – a relationship that almost resembles an actual friendship – so I was not expecting Ricky/Roger let Steve drop into the hands of the authorities and spend hard time in prison for it. I should have seen it coming a mile away, but I suppose I had been seeing the world through Steve-colored lenses and was not expecting Ricky/Roger to have actually been manipulating the entire situation from the start.

Meanwhile, Stan and Francine had been coping with the arrival of their “adopted” starving child from Nigeria. It was typical of their overgrown childish attitudes to be frustrated with Tunji when he was around, and depressed when he was gone. That said, there are worse places that they could have abandoned Tunji than a “Costgo” warehouse. If Tunji wasn’t such an obedient man-child, he might have discovered that he loved the amenities afforded to him in a giant warehouse store.

I’m still not sure what to make of the montage of strange scenes that took over as Tunji, Stan, and Francine ran towards one another in slow motion screaming “Tuuuunjiiii” and “Mistaaaa and Laaaadyyyyy!!!” The gag went on for much longer than I would have liked and actually became less funny as the images got sillier. They were bizarre sight gags, but any obvious context for why those gags would be funny went over my head at the time.

Like many episodes of American Dad, tonight’s episode ended on a dark note. The beautiful butterfly that Steve had been protecting emerged from its cocoon only to wilt and die in a jar at sea; a muscular Steve emerged from his prison cell filled with rage and hatred; and Tunji was forever lost to the Smiths after they abandoned him in the back of their running car. Despite the rather depressing story endings, the episode overall was still very funny. The Werner Herzog bit at the end was fantastic and completely unexpected and in retrospect, it kind of put the entire episode into a new light.