BY: Andy Neuenschwander
After an off week with a tired arson story and way too many Mort jokes, "Family Guy" rebounded a bit with "Killer Queen." It was no "Back to the Pilot," but it was fun enough.
It starts with Peter encouraging Chris to take on undefeated competitive eater Charles Yamamoto in a local hot dog eating contest, which Chris ends up winning. The whole event leads Lois to decide that Chris should go to fat camp, though, and that Peter should probably join him.
Ultimately, this is all to make some jokes at the expense of fat guys and to set up the following intrigue: there's a serial killer who is strangling fat kids at the camp. Does that sound like anyone we know?
Sure enough, Lois' brother Patrick, also known as the Fat Guy Strangler, is out of the insane asylum. But when another killing happens and it turns out that Patrick didn't do it, he Dexters it up with Joe and helps him find the killer. Or rather, the killer presents himself, as Yamamoto tracks Chris down and tries to strangle him, but stewie ends up saving Chris' life by scaring Yamamoto into a heart attack.
That leads us to the real fun of the episode, which was the B story with Brian and Stewie. While digging through the attic for stuff to sell, Brian comes across a vinyl album of Queen's "News of the World," complete with its creepy cover art.
A little history: the cover art for the album, which originates from pulp and sci-fi artist Frank Kelly Freas, was created for an issue of the pulp magazine "Astounding Science Fiction." It depicts a robot holding a dead human in its hand and looking sad, with the caption "Please... fix it, daddy?" It is also tremendously creepy.
At least Stewie seems to think so, as he recoils in terror every time he sees it. That brings great pleasure to Brian, who takes every opportunity to freak Stewie out with the cover, even going so far as to paint it on his wall as a mural. Stewie's reactions are fun, and I only wish more time had been spent building this gag up to even bigger heights.
Instead, Stewie just ends up coming to terms with the album cover, and essentially killing Yamamoto with it. Mostly, I think we just witnessed Seth MacFarlane doing a little on-air therapy over one of his childhood fears.
Cut-Aways of the Week:
- Magellan's land spotter: B, probably could have gone further with it
- Sitting duck roast: B, purely for randomness
- Peter's West Side Story/Pirates of Penzance patter: A-, comes from the character and works because that's how everyone else sings that song too
- Teabagging the Riddler: B-, why wasn't Adam West a part of this cut-away?
- Anal retentive burglars: B-, not much joke past the initial one
- Scary teenagers: C+, pretty predictable
Any way the wind blows...