Whether you’re a Family Guy fan or not, by now you’ve probably heard the news that the show killed off one of its most beloved characters, Brian Griffin, this week. I would say spoiler alert, but I think the Internet as a whole gave up on keeping this death a secret about halfway through the day yesterday. What the Internet has not given up on is trying to figure out what the hell this whole thing is about. Is Brian dead for good? Is the show just messing with us? Let’s look at some of the existing evidence that Brian will be back, as well as a very convincing fan theory that has been circulating about exactly how he’ll return.
I wrote yesterday that I think fans jumped the gun a little bit in assuming our favorite talking dog was gone forever. There are a lot of clues pointing to a resurrection or rewriting of history. For instance, the plot descriptions and titles for upcoming episodes include Brian. Now the conspiracy theorists (my favorite kind of people) have come out of the woodwork with new evidence. A website called BriansAnnouncement.com has popped up counting down to a “special announcement” from the character. 20th Century Fox has told TVLine that it’s a hoax and has no relation to the show, but could they just be messing with us?
Mysterious website aside, it was in the comments section of that very TVLine article that I noticed some fans speculating about how Brian will ultimately return to the show. I started searching around more and noticed that various fans have offered up this theory in different places, including Reddit. I must say it has me convinced. Let’s talk it out, shall we?
Time travel confuses me, and I never expected to do this much complex thinking about a fart-joke-heavy cartoon, but there appears to be a bit of a loophole that will allow Stewie to use his time machine to his advantage in saving Brian. His destruction of the machine and the fact that he couldn’t get the part he needed to rebuild it seemed to suggest there was no hope. But what about the brief cutaway in which Stewie explained how he traveled ahead to Christmas to get the best toys early? Watch it below (via ComicBook.com).
The show’s famous for these cutaways and they’re usually just for comic effect, but could this one have been put there for a reason? The way the theory goes, when Christmas rolls around, present-day Stewie (the one who lost Brian) will run into time-traveling Stewie (from before Brian died) and tell him to save Brian from the car. The theory is given even more weight with the news that December 15th’s episode, “Christmas Guy,” has a plot in which Stewie tries to get “the one and only thing he wants for Christmas.”
If you want to fall down a fan theory rabbit hole, read the rest of the Reddit thread about this, which even includes the suggestion that the death Family Guy announced ahead of time wasn’t actually Brian’s but Meg’s, whose death in the near future was hinted at in a recent episode. As annoying as it is that the show is toying with fans’ emotions like this, I’m always up for a few good TV theories, and I never expected to get them with a series like this.