American Dad! Season 13 Episode 19: “Garfield and Friends”

Whenever Stan tries to bond with Hayley, it’s a perfect recipe for awkward times. Sure, Stan doesn’t exactly have the best relationship with Steve either, but at least Steve is usually enthusiastic about spending time with his dad. Hayley, on the other hand, has been in sourpuss mode since her sixth birthday (as told in the flashback events in this season’s “Hayley Smith, Seal Team Six”) and Stan has never given up trying to reconnect with that sweet little girl that he once knew so well.

So it’s a perfectly Stan thing to be doing to be dragging Hayley out to see a different presidential museum every President’s Day under the delusion that she loves it — despite the fact that he’s had to drag her on a leash to see many of them. Hayley’s resentment of Stan’s latest forced field trip to the James A. Garfield museum is the last straw, however, and Stan decides to clone President Garfield from one of his beard hairs in order to give Hayley a more “living history” experience. Thank goodness for the plausible futuristic technology of the CIA!

Stan’s Garfield clone, however, soon runs loose with Hayley to experience some of the wonders of the present world: moving pictures (Step Up 6), and orange soda. Stan, feeling betrayed, brings Garfield back into custody to return him to proteins. Hayley has learned to like Garfield, however, and after Garfield escapes Stan’s custody, Hayley clones Charles Guiteau (Garfield’s assassin) to track them down at the orange soda factory. Stan is impressed that Hayley remembered Charles Guiteau, and remembers that, despite her protestations over the years, Hayley actually did wind up enjoying her outings with Stan to those various museums. It’s a very sweet moment, not at all diminished by the fact that there have been many sweet moments this season.

Meanwhile, Steve signs up as a reporter for his high school’s newspaper and is assigned against his will to cover the football team. Steve’s writing turns out to be laden with steamy sexual innuendo due to his repressed sexual energies and his writings become a regional sensation, and after proving his talents and skyrocketing the newspaper’s circulation, Principal Lewis finally allows Steve to cover the cheerleaders. Roger, in disguise as “Deep Throat”, conspires to help Steve get his biggest scoop… this really doesn’t seem to go anywhere, though: the B plot was served just fine by Steve and Principal Lewis. Roger’s presence seemed more an excuse to get him some screen time, and to use the admittedly great word “ejacufaint”.

Overall another enjoyable entry in a surprisingly enjoyable, reinvigorated season of American Dad!. Once again I must give praise to the suits at TBS for rescuing this show and giving it the freedom to return back to its true glory.

Episode grade: B+ (I was going to give this a regular B, but Kevin Michael Richardson’s line readings of Steve’s sensual stories bumped it up half a grade by itself.)

Random observations:

“Go Bazooka Sharks!” “BAZOOKA SHARKS!!”

Roger as “Deep Throat” is wearing a wig on top of his wig.

“At the snap, Jones busted through the tight end, squirting into the backfield and wrapping up the muscular quarterback from behind… pounding him hard, deep into the ground, before he could get it off. Another tough sack.”

“It’s the most sensual piece of writing I’ve ever come across… and I’ve COME across a lot of sensual writing!” “You forget a lot, right, that you’re our principal…?”

“That’s a movie… that’s where tweens go to get fingered.”

“Cum laude…. Cum REAL laude!” God, I love Brian’s depravity.

“It’s cool to have a beard now!”

“Clean up on aisle ‘my stomach’!”

Why don’t they ever wear seat belts on this show?

Stan and Hayley singing “Party in the U.S.A.” is cute, but it just reminds me yet again of the fact that the show hasn’t done anything with the Weird Al parody “Party in the C.I.A.” and that’s a goddamn shame.

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