Klaus is not my favorite American Dad character, so when I saw that tonight’s episode was titled “Dr. Klaustus” I lowered my expectations just a bit. There’s nothing in particular that I dislike about him, it’s just that I simply don’t find that smug fish all too amusing. Surprisingly, I found Klaus to be rather enjoyable as the lead in this particular plot. It might have been because I generally agreed with his analysis of the situation in the Smith household. While I might let a white lie slide, the lies that Roger’s alter ego, “Dr. Penguin” had been encouraging were on a completely different level.
Roger has been playing the family therapist, a Dr. Penguin, and has been consistently telling each of the family members to lie to each other about their various, increasingly fucked-up issues. But Klaus is a trained psychologist, and knows he could do better. So he sense Roger’s new alter-ego, Sgt. Pepper of the Army Reserve, to Iraq. Iraq’s a long way to travel for a Hurt Locker parody, where Roger cleans out latrines instead of disarming bombs. This is probably the weakest portion of the episode, or at least the most disappointing. Roger’s character is one-note, and he doesn’t really interact with anyone interesting, although a moment when he declares himself unfit for human society is fairly entertaining.
After Roger’s discovery that he only listened to Klaus when he wasn’t seeing him as a fish made me think that maybe Klaus would use Roger’s disguise techniques to get the family to listen to him. Instead, it all wrapped up rather nicely with Roger’s “Sgt. Pepper” authoritatively telling the Smiths what they needed to do to fix their messed up situation. It’s kind of a shame, because the bit with Klaus’ lips sticking out of Daniel Craig’s magazine mouth was hilarious and I think I’d probably warm to Klaus as a character if he spent a lot more time using magazine cut outs to make his points known.
Watch American Dad – Dr. Klaustus Online
American Dad S07E13: Dr. Klaustus
It’s far more fun to watch the tender threads binding the Smith family together fray due to Klaus’s manipulations. Haley’s unhappiness with Jeff’s Ultimate Frisbee skills are a high point, but everything the family is doing works. Steve is hiding his family from his unlikely girlfriend by pretending Greg and Terry are his parents. Jeff is more attracted to Francine than Haley. Stan can’t stand Francine’s cooking, but she’s been stealing money from him for drugs for years (what drugs are never specified). It all culminates in an anarchic battle, as Steve pees in everyone’s cheerios.
Speaking of Sgt. Pepper, Roger had a little sub plot that took him to Iraq as an outhouse cleaner for the army. The Iraq bit made the episode feel a little dated, but it was such a minor part of the episode that it was easily dismissed. I almost lost my dinner when Roger climbed into the outhouse toilet and ended up getting defecated on by one of the locals. Although they didn’t show any of the actual poop, the sounds from the vacuum suction cleaner and from those frightening buttocks, were enough to make me gag.
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