American Dad
The Episode: To end Season 9 and its run on Fox, American Dad predictably pulled out all the stops and delivered a vastly (and enjoyably) ridiculous and far-fetched story that took viewers through space-time and wormholes with “The Longest Distance Relationship.” The episode’s thrust is Haley’s CB radio reconnection with her slacker husband Jeff Fischer – sent into space last season after discovering Roger is an alien – who is now flying through deep space with the ghost of comedian Sinbad. Before this, she meets the multi-talented Millionaire Matt Davis, with whom she intends to start a relationship until Jeff’s voice reappears. The third act is really where things get amazing, as Jeff and Sinbad pass through a wormhole to make it back to Earth, which allows the animators to run through a rapidly-edited string of “other versions” of the two characters, including anime ones, dinosaur ones, Futurama ones and even the real actors popping up. They end up in the future, where the Smiths are super-old (and Francine is the most horrific she’s been since getting her face acid-washed), and the surreality gives way to a kind of sadness when Jeff realizes he has to let Haley go to enable her happiness.

Best line:: Random CB Trucker – “You boys wanna see a 400 lb. man rise out of his overalls like a phoenix?”

The Season in a Sentence: With constantly surreal plots dealing with everything from the Krampus to cloning to Lord of the Flies-style survival stories inside major theme parks, American Dad has proven that not all series start to fizzle in their later years, and TBS has no idea what’s coming.

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