American Dad! Season 18 Episode 12 “Lumberjerk”

In which Stan is forced to spend time with Jeff, again

For a lot of episodic sitcoms with no serialized narrative “status quo is god,” meaning essentially everything goes back to the way it was before the episode started. That way Bart stays in fourth grade, Fry will get his job back at Planet Express, etc. And for American Dad, it means that Stan can keep hating Jeff even if he comes to some sort of understanding with him in any given episode (For Whom the Sleigh Bell Tolls for example). This is a long winded introduction paragraph of saying that this was an episode that covered a lot of the same ground in the Stan/Jeff dynamic.

Stan is excited to go the annual Langley State Fair to see the lumberjacks but is disappointed to learn that it is on the same day of his “spend one day a year with Jeff” mandate. He reluctantly drags Jeff along. At the State Fair, Stan is informed that he and a partner can enter the lumberjack competition. Despite desperate calls to everyone he knows, he’s stuck letting Jeff join him. Of course, Jeff turns out to be a natural, which makes Stan jealous. With a little help from Roger, Stan becomes a good enough lumberjack to enter a competition in Alaska. Of course, Roger reveals to Stan that the wood he’s been cutting was butter and he’s not a good lumberjack. This causes Stan to attempt to sabotage Jeff by increasing the power in his chainsaw which he will not be able to handle.

But because of his attempt to sabotage Jeff, the plane to Alaska crashes. Stan and Jeff both survive and it’s Jeff who is forced to save the day by clearing a tree and putting a signal on top of it. Stan comes away impressed but then realizes he’ll be saved by a stoner which causes him to shoot off his flare gun at the tree. This injures to Jeff but makes Stan look like the hero in the end.

Meanwhile, Steve and Francine go the mall where they enter a contest to win a truck as long as they can keep at least one hand on the truck at all times. Things seem to go wrong when a man comes and says that the truck is actually his and he parked it under the canopy to keep it cool. His wife goes in to labor and Steve, Francine and another contestant drive with him while keeping their hands on the truck. After a night of having strangers in his garage, which apparently has caused his marriage to deteriorate, the owner of the truck breaks down and Steve and Francine go to console him. That’s when its revealed it was all a ruse so he and the other contestant could split ownership of the truck. However, Klaus reveals he’s been there the whole time and thus wins the truck.

Stray Observations

  • This episode replaced Plot Heavy on the schedule but I don’t know why
  • I originally assumed Stan’s shirtless dance would have replaced the regular “Good Morning USA” but it didn’t.
  • Steve’s line about wanting a little of the breast milk is a callback to one of AD!s worst episodes but the less said about it the better
  • “Ignoramus” “Are we playing dinosaurs?”

Thoughts: Solid but unremarkable episode. As said earlier, this covers a lot of the same ground as before.