Family Guy: Season 12, Episode 6

Life of Brian (24 Nov. 2013)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Animation, Comedy
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Ratings: 4.0/10 from 1,656 users  
Reviews: 26 user

Brian dies and Stewie cannot use his time machine to save him. Meanwhile, Peter replaces Brian with an Italian dog named Vinny.


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Title: Life of Brian (24 Nov 2013)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lois Griffin / Witch (voice)
Chris Griffin (voice)
Meg Griffin (voice)
John G. Brennan ...
Mort Goldman (voice) (as Johnny Brennan)
Black Woman (voice)
Chris Cox ...
Ted Jessup ...
1920s Woman (voice)
Patrick Meighan ...
Julius Sharpe ...
Vinny (voice)
Danny Smith ...


When Stewie and Brian travel back to 17th century Jamestown, via Stewie's time machine, they encounter too many close calls with altering the course of mankind. Stewie decides to destroy his time machine, but immediately regrets his decision when an unthinkable event happens and he is unable to go back in time. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Animation | Comedy


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




Release Date:

24 November 2013 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Around 25,000 fans of the show have signed a petition on to resurrect Brian. Seth killed Brian as a marketing stunt to make people talk and generate buzz. He, however, did not expect the reaction to exceed what they had in mind. See more »


Brian Griffin: [dying on an operating table after being hit by a car] You've given me a wonderful life, I love you all.
Chris Griffin: Oh my god, mom is he...
Lois Griffin: [crying] Yes, Chris, I'm a afraid our Brian is dead.
[the family hold each others hands and cry]
See more »


References Dateline NBC (1992) See more »


Girls Just Want to Have Fun
Written by Robert Hazard
Performed by Cyndi Lauper
See more »

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User Reviews

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28 November 2013 | by See all my reviews

I first read about this episode online as I was out of town and wasn't able to catch it when it first aired. I've been a pretty big fan of Family Guy since it's inception in 1999 and enjoyed growing up watching it as a "safe" show that always raised my spirits. Knowing this I was shocked when I read about MacFarlane killing off arguably the deepest character in the cast with little warning and it took me a day or two to muster up the courage to actually watch the whole thing.

There was not much difference in the episode as a whole in regards to comedy style and language. Brian and Stewie had their usual chemistry that was fun to watch and Peter mixed things up with a quip here or there. The show began with Brian and Stewie running from a group of armed, 21st Century Native Americans which set an accurate focus on at least Stewie for a majority of the episode.

The critical (and controversial) event in question does not happen until just before midway into the episode. This was an interesting strategy but effective in surprising the viewer(s) (at least those who had not been on the internet before watching) when Brian is struck down. The second half of the show has probably been used by most to recover and process what they just saw. Again, besides this there is very little else of note on which to comment (which in itself makes up very little of the episode anyway.)

I was saddened watching Brian die. Not only was he one of my favorite characters (and a dog at that), but his relationship with Stewie was one of the few really rich parts of the show that had developed with age. It was also tough to see Stewie struggle in the aftermath of his death and reveal for only the second or third time how much Brian really meant to him.

What warranted the low rating? There was no further emotional digging after Brian passed. Sure the rest of the family was crying and obviously sad but even then there was a briefness and laziness to their lines and emotions. Brian was the family dog and best friend for 12 seasons, and Stewie is the only one to really say anything more than the usual, "Oh, sad, he's dead?" Even by the end Stewie seemed to recover rather well and embrace the new dog Vinny despite his hatred for him when he first arrived. I know he confided in Vinny about Brian which thawed his heart a bit, but it still was off.

I guess the bottom line is it did not feel like the show truly represented the emotional repercussions of Brian's death within the family. Stewie was much closer, but even then something did not feel quite right. A character as important as Brian dies so suddenly, you would expect a much deeper reaction amongst the Griffin's than what was given.

I can draw only one conclusion from this: Brian's death is not permanent. It was not meant to be an event (in itself) to change the makeup of the character's themselves. Otherwise, we would have seen a much more thorough look into how each family member coped with the grief.

I know it's a cartoon, but when you grow up with a show and the writers decide to sever it's most important relationship in the blink of an eye you take a bit to recover. Seth MacFarlane has a knack for allowing a few episodes before revealing his true intentions, and I like to believe he is a smart man who knows what he is doing. If my suspicions are correct this rating could jump a great deal.

Until then this was a bit of a cheap shot to the feels.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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