Long-running animated TV series Family Guy sent shockers around the world (okay, the world of people who still watch the show) with Sunday's "Life of Brian" episode, where they killed off the family dog, Brian Griffin. The show's had the feel of one not long for this world for a while now, and Brian's unexpected death was a clear play on the part of the series to shake things up.
And shake things up, it did, with people immediately taking to social media to express their feelings, mostly shock and anger. #BringBackBrian was trending on Twitter on Sunday evening, along with #RIPBrianGriffin, so mission accomplished there.
But is his death simply temporary? Exec producer Steve Callaghan possibly revealed more than he had intended in a recent conversation with E! Online:
Well, this was an idea that got pitched in the writers room and it sort of caught fire, and we thought it could be a fun way to shake things up. As soon as this idea came up, we started talking about what the next couple episodes could be and we got very excited about the way this change will affect the family dynamics and the characters.
It's interesting he chose the phrase "next couple episodes", as opposed to something like "the rest of the series". And that's not the only hint that we might see Brian return from the dead: The Family Guy Wiki has two upcoming episodes with Brian included right in the title, along with an article on EW that announced the cameo appearances by and in a show that centers on the following storyline:
After Brian experiences the 'runner's high', he becomes a distance running douche, and even signs himself up to run a marathon.
All of these episodes have yet to air, and it's unlikely that all three will be flashback episodes, so it appears as if Brian's death is a temporary one, which will be equally strange when they have to explain how he's come back from the dead, unless it includes a Doctor Who-like plot twist where Stewie fixes his time machine and changes the past.
Maybe it's just time to let this show die as dignified a death as it can. Or do you still want more episodes? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments.