American Dad Season 8 Review “The Full Cognitive Redaction of Avery Bullock by the Coward Stan Smith”

The return of Stelio Kantos may have been my favorite thing about this week’s episode of American Dad with the unwieldy title, “The Full Cognitive Redaction of Avery Bullock by the Coward Stan Smith.” It was relegated to a B-plot that barely existed, but I think that’s the smartest way to treat what’s essentially a tiny, tiny joke. A solid joke, but a tiny one, just a theme song. And sure, they manage to escalate it, with Roger recording a new version that includes Luis, but any further and it may have become annoying.

The main plot of the episode, meanwhile, centered only around Stan and Avery, with a small cameo from Francine, albeit one with a great punchline – Stan’s false start on that insult to her lemonade was well delivered. Mostly, though, this plot was about presenting a series of increasingly ridiculous quests, and it worked pretty well, stuffing in as many jokes as possible in each. My favorite joke, though, might have come right in the beginning, when Stan is asking Avery for advice on how to handle a phone call, and Avery only responds with technical advice.

Not that the other jokes completely flopped. The Costner household’s front yard full of recreations of sets from Kevin Costner films was a great background gag, and the way the woman at the front desk responded to Stan and Avery in dog costumes was good, too. The climax on the stolen nuclear submarine lulled for a while, falling into the rut this show so often does of leaning too heavily on a musical montage, but the climax stuck the landing, and almost made me believe that they’d kill Avery off for real. Of course, they didn’t, because Patrick Stewart is too big of an asset to American Dad, as “The Full Cognitive Redaction of Avery Bullock by the Coward Stan Smith” proved.