Review: Family Guy “Once Bitten”

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SPOILERS BELOW

Family Guy continues to roll along in it’s thirteenth season. While this hasn’t been my favorite season of the show by far, and there haven’t been many episodes that have stuck out from the pack, I think last night’s episode may be one of this season’s best. Episodes focused on Brian tend to bore me, but this had an interesting element that made it unique.

In “Once Bitten” Brian develops bad behavior after biting Peter. The family is forced to send him to obedience school which makes Brian submissive. Meanwhile, Chris becomes friends with Neil Goldman, but is let down when he finds out that Neil is just trying to get close to Meg.

Once Bitten gives us an interesting Brian story. While he is usually limited to being the straight-man for Stewie and occasionally Peter, this time we saw him take center stage and show us different dimensions of the character. Sometimes I feel the show forgets that Brian is a dog, almost everything about him is human, so whenever he’s put into a position to actually act like a dog, I feel that’s Brian at his best. In this episode we saw him as an aggressive dog and an obedient dog, aggressive Brian was better done of the two. Submissive Brian was a little overdone, I don’t feel there was enough humor to balance out how annoying he was being.

I had forgotten about Neil Goldman. It seems like it’s been forever since we’ve had him play an important role in an episode. His relationship with Chris in this episode is well done. I think the two characters (both voiced by Seth Green) play off one another really well. The episode ends with them being friends, so maybe we’ll see them together in the future. I kind of like it when things like that carry over into future episodes. It would also be a good way to bring Neil back to relevance. Chris could also use somebody that makes him interesting. Personally I would have liked a new character to do that, but Neil could be cool. The story itself plays out with little surprise. Though that little surprise is a good one. I didn’t expect Neil to give up on his pursuit of Meg in order to continue being friends with Chris. That’s sort of why I think the friendship may continue outside of this episode. How I saw this story going initially was that Neil would hang out with Meg, be an ass, Meg dumps him and Chris and Meg share a happy ending together. So I must say I enjoyed the ending.

Overall, I am pleased with this episode. The characters were fun to watch and I was actually curious about where the stories were going. I had a lot of laughs, the cut away gags were a little hit and miss, but that’s every episode really. If Family Guy can continue to give us episodes like this for what’s left of the season, I’ll need to reconsider my overall opinion on the season!

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How did you like “Once Bitten”? Enjoy it like I did? Not so much? Share your thoughts with us!