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The Griffin household includes two teenagers, a cynical dog who is smarter than everyone else, and an evil baby who makes numerous attempts to eradicate his mother. Heading up this eclectic household is Peter Griffin. Peter does his best to do what’s right for the family, but along the way, he makes mistakes that are the stuff of legends.
Meg convinces Brian to take the SAT’s for her, but when he tests poorly, they start to suspect that Brian might not that smart after all. Peter decides to spend the day showing Brian the joys of being stupid and the benefits of having a low IQ.
In a drunken night of eating, Peter & Brian eat the Thanksgiving turkey so they are forced to go out in search of another bird. Meanwhile, in Peter’s absence, Chris decides to become the man of the house.
Peter helps Joe with his dream of becoming a published author, but tensions rise as Peter begins to take total control of the project, and at the same time Brian gets his first runner’s high, which inspires him to start working out excessively.
Peter and the Griffins get out of dodge and end up in Springfield, where they are greeted by a friendly stranger named “Homer Simpson”, who welcomes his new “albino” friends with open arms. The families get along famously: Stewie and Bart make out like bandits, when Stewie trades in his mind control device for a good old-fashioned slingshot; Lisa takes Meg under her wing and teaches her the saxophone; Marge and Lois ditch housework for a little bonding; and Peter and Homer fight over the best beer in town ? Pawtucket vs. Duff.
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The episode starts out slow, with Peter taking Stewie to the park for some quality father-son bonding time, only to abandon him for the Clam (and a car full of clowns). So far, so boring. But Peter takes the wrong baby back from the park, and Lois throws a completely justifiable fit—Peter may claim repeatedly that he’s not an idiot, but yeah, we’ve been watching the show long enough to know that he is (the other baby, however, does not—Peter tells him he works at NASA). In an effort to make himself more interesting and less of a dolt, Peter goes to Chicago on a business trip and heads out to experience the world.
Peter’s visit to the Art Institute in Chicago was, hands-down, the funniest bit the show has done this season. Partly, that’s because I live in Chicago and have spent some time there, so I’m inclined to give it additional credit here. Mostly, though, it’s because of the welcome vocal presence of the sadly deceased Dennis Farina, who narrates Peter’s tour through the museum with aplomb. Farina will be forever linked to Chicago, and he’s a perfect choice for this extended sequence, spending most of the tour talking about the food he’s eating and wondering how marble statues of women can have carved vaginas. Mostly, Farina is able to sell and elevate the crassness of the normal Family Guy dialogue. If only he were still around, and if only Family Guy got voice actors as gifted as him more frequently.
After his Farina-fueled epiphany, Peter becomes intelligent and cultured, visiting all of the world’s major cities and, in a great little cutaway, renting a car with the radio stuck on NPR. (“How was the car?” “Coastal and superior.”) Smart Peter is a good variation on the character, one I’m sure has been done before, but that does allow for some actual contrast in a really poorly-drawn character—whatever Peter may be any given week, he’s never not an idiot. His newfound intelligence gives the writers the opportunity to make another solid “Brian is a blowhard” gag, in which he can’t name a single book he’s read (this is one of my favorite recurring jokes, dating back to his novel). It doesn’t hurt that Peter’s futile attempts at getting his family to not laugh at words like “Balzac” is reminiscent of one of my favorite episodes ofHow I Met Your Mother’s “Robots Versus Wrestlers.” The tension between smart things and the ways in which they sound dirty is rarely not funny.
Chris builds a birdhouse, and Peter hangs it up, and they happily watch as lots of little birds move into it, until an falcon swoops down and eats them all. They are horrified.
That night, Peter reveals to the family that he has become a falconer, and introduces his falcon Xerxes.
He shows it to Quagmire, and Xerxes quickly attacks him. Peter says that Xerxes mainly eats rodents, and that’s probably why he was after Quagmire. Xerxes knocked him to the ground and dug into his pants, eager to get at the rodents that Quagmire was hiding. However, as he was screaming, the rodent escaped “out the front”, and fled from his mouth.
Inside the house, Xerxes lands on Stewie’s head, and he panics, asking Brian what to do. Brian says there’s nothing he can, and just hope he doesn’t stand on his soft spot. He does, and Stewie’s skull sinks in.