American Dad! Season 20, Ep. 1 Fellow Traveler

In which Roger goes on an unexpected detour to New Mexico.

What we really know about Roger is contained in flashbacks and time travel sequences. His backstory is nebulous and always changing because that’s who is he (and in a real world sense, it’s what the writers find funny or good for the story). So when we get to see his “actual” landing on Earth how does it go…

Roger is out in space when he comes across a hostile alien. He tries to escape but the alien causes them both to crash to Earth, specifically Roswell, New Mexico. He’s picked up by a travelling Bible Salesman who used to be a preacher until “the incident”. He’s brought to a boarding house where he meets Grandma Macadoo and her boarders. He’s reluctant to stay and wants to get back to his ship. But first he has to deal with Avery Bullock. Avery Bullock Sr. that is, he recently had a baby, and they changed the name on him. Bullock Sr. tracks Roger down but Roger is quick to adopt a persona of Grandma Macadoo’s sister and successfully hides from Bullock Sr.

Roger tracks down his ship parts to the town where a religious zealot is using the core of the ship to attract worshipers. Meanwhile the hostile alien has also tracked Roger into town and is on his trail. Roger tries to escape the alien but is captured by Bullock. The Macadoo boarders attempt to break Roger free, except their plan sucks. The hostile alien shows up and Roger manages to switch places with it and Bullock Sr. captures it instead. Roger slinks off in order to save his new found friends (although he doesn’t have to worry about them exposing his secret, they’re pretty dumb)

Stray Observations

The term “Fellow Traveler” identifies a person who is intellectually sympathetic to the ideology of a political organization, and who cooperates in the organization’s politics, without being a formal member of that organization. Used during the height of the Red Scare it meant to invoke fear in people of “aliens” It was also an episode title of The Saint, which starred Roger Moore

The end credits evoke The Incredible Hulk and Quantum Leap among others

The Smiths do not appear and are only mentioned at the end in passing.

Avery Jr. apparently was a bald child. And his early season goal to find Roger makes more sense.


Really strong episode out of the gate for the season premiere.