Whether or not you’re a regular Family Guy viewer, by now you’ve probably heard that the show killed off a major fan favorite character, Brian Griffin the dog, in the November 24th episode. Fans were initially furious about the decision, which showrunner Steve Callaghan seemed to suggest was permanent. Some viewers declared they wouldn’t watch the show anymore, and others drew up petitions asking for Brian to be brought back (which I find just as silly as when people did it over Batfleck).
But now fans’ hopes and dreams about a Brian Griffin resurrection are coming closer to reality, because Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Brian will indeed be back on the show in the December 15th Christmas episode “Christmas Guy.” EW explains that the network declined to comment, but Brian is listed in the cast of characters for the episode. It would certainly go along with a conspiracy theory making the rounds online suggesting that Stewie will save Brian from getting hit by the car after running into his time-traveling self, as hinted at in the death episode.
EW reiterates the Christmas episode logline that first gave fuel to these theories last week: “Stewie devises a master plan to get the one and only thing he wants for Christmas.” It would certainly seem like all he wants for Christmas is Brian (cue the Mariah Carey, which I wouldn’t put it past Stewie to sing, probably in drag).
But while Brian’s return to the show is looking more and more likely, it’ll be interesting to see how the fans will respond if the death turns out to have been a stunt. This risky decision has already been declared by some fans as the last straw in their already shaky relationship with the show. Many have accused the series of declining in quality in recent seasons, so pulling a ratings stunt like this could give the show a short-term boost but ultimately lose them long-term fans. Even if Brian comes back, I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of viewers tune out anyway.
I’m personally interested to see how the show handles a possible character return. And as much as I think the decision to kill Brian off was a pretty “jump the shark” moment whether it was permanent or not, I’ll probably still watch the show. As long as it keeps making me laugh, I’ll keep tuning in.