ED. NOTE: Thar be spoilers. You just know there are. If you read on, hey: It’s on you.
IF WE NEEDED a clue, well, show creator Seth MacFarlane gave it to us, right there in the episode title:
“Life of Brian.”
Even a subpar writer like Brian Griffin himself — “Family Guy’s” anthropomorphic, wisecracking white Lab voiced by MacFarlane himself — could have scripted this cause of death (though not perhaps his surprisingly poignant death scene).
But now, Brian cannot, for he is no more. Setting aside any Monty Python-esque title allusions, Brian Griffin, age 8 — or “midlife” in dog years — has cracked wise for the last time.
After 14 years, the Coltrane-loving MENSA member has left us too soon.
On Sunday night, Brian was struck by a careering silver car, and breathed his last later on the doctor’s table. (Note to “Family Guy” geeks: Yes, this does indeed depart from the series’s earlier time-travel vacation, in which Stewie learns Brian died of theobromine [chocolate] poisoning.)
In deciding to kill a major character, MacFarlane and his car hit their mark.
One day later, an Alabama man — rankled by the Death of Brian — hit his.
Before 10 p.m. ET Monday, a Change.org petition to revive Brian hit one of its goals: 15,000 supporters.
The account is credited to petition organizer Aaron Thompson of Tuscaloosa, and is titled: “Seth MacFarlane, and Fox Broadcasting Company: Bring Brian Griffin back to Family Guy.”
Thompson wrote on his Change.org page:
“Brian Griffin was an important part of our viewing experi[e]nce. He added a witty and sophisticated element to the show. Family Guy and Fox Broadcasting will lose viewers if Brian Griffin is not brought back to the show.
“The writers of [‘Family Guy’] didn't just kill off one of their creations, they killed off the dog who has lived in our homes for the last 15 years. They killed the dog we all have come to love. They killed America's dog!”
[‘ BORDERTOWN’: Lalo Alcaraz joins MacFarlane’s new immigration-themed show.]
(Thompson’s movement was gaining support on Facebook, too, where the related account had nearly 225,000 “likes.”)
Fox tells Comic Riffs on Monday that “Family Guy” has no comment on the rabid fan response to Brian’s death.
So the controversy, if not Brian Griffin, lives on.