Major spoiler from last night’s Family Guy (“Life of Brian”) ahead!
We should’ve been prepared for this. The dog always dies eventually in these types of stories, right? And yet, I don’t think anything could have prepared us for Brian’s brutal death, which was so ordinary, it’s almost disturbing. One minute he’s preparing for a fun game of street hockey with Stewie and the next, he’s being run over by a car and serving as the set-up for the second part of the episode. As if to confirm the unbelievable -- that Brian really is gone -- Fox has released the above tribute video, which relives his gory death scene and also some of the dog’s finer moments, including the infamous ipecac puke scene. (“Who wants chowder?”)
As I said, he died getting run over by a car, as so many family pets do. Considering he was dodging sharp and shiny weapons with Stewie earlier in the episode, having spent the first act traveling through time and trying to undo a pretty drastic alteration Stewie made to history, it seems all the more ridiculous that his demise could be due to such ordinary circumstances. And after a sad farewell and a funeral, the episode moved on to Brian’s replacement, Vinnie, a a wise Italian-American dog with evident grief counseling abilities.
It’s kind of impossible to imagine Family Guy without Brian, as the talking dog has always been a huge presence in the long-running Fox animated series. Whether he was traveling through time with Stewie, hanging out with Peter or crushing on Lois, Brian has been a part of the Griffin family forever. Or for fourteen years, technically. His departure, assuming its as permanent as it seems, feels like a major turning point for the series. Of course, there’s always the possibility that Stewie might be able to figure out a way to get his hands on some capacitors so he can build a new time machine and bring Brian back somehow. In the meantime, RIP Brian. You will be missed.
Feeling sad about Brian’s death? I know what’ll cheer you up…
Remember when Brian and Stewie went to the Emmys?