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'Family Guy' recap: Peter Griffin steals a paraplegic's dream

Season 13 | Episode 2 | “The Book of Joe” | Aired Oct 5, 2014

Wheelchair-bound cop (and avid swimmer, apparently) Joe Swanson hosts a pool party at his house, where Peter Griffin stumbles upon Joe’s illustrations of a children’s book called The Hopeful Squirrel.

Joe reveals to Peter his secret dream to be a children’s author, but he’s never been confident enough to send his work to a publisher. Plus Joe doesn’t want to catch flack at the police station, after his last creative endeavor (as a talking mime) was a bust.

The Hopeful Squirrel follows a handicapped squirrel who overcomes his disability to adapt to the wild. Earnestly impressed, Peter urges Joe to publish it, after offering a bit of advice. “My one note on these would be to hide a bunch of dongs in the background, but otherwise it’s great,” Peter says.

Inspired, Joe sends the story to Piermont Publishing under the pen name, David Chicago. It’s an immediate hit. Suddenly Joe is invited to do readings at a local book store, but his terrible stage presence frightens the children.

“Mommy, I don’t like the wheel-man,” wails one child. Peter tries to help by taking over the reading. His warm, animated “children’s author” voice regains the kids’ attention, and the publisher decides to brand Peter as David Chicago, the face of The Hopeful Squirrel. Conveniently, none of the Quahog townspeople seems to know Joe or Peter under the pen name, though one child recognizes Peter “as the man who passed out in liquor store.”

The scene ends with the book store morphing into a Target.

“But don’t worry,” says the publisher. “Our industry’s fine.”

Family Guy/Fox

Family Guy/FOX

Meanwhile, Brian develops his latest crush on a runner named Chloe. At Stewie’s recommendation, Brian approaches Chloe, pretending to be a gym rat himself. She accepts his invitation to dinner. When Brian goes to pick her up, Chloe wants to go on a run with him first. He can barely keep up, but Chloe won’t let Brian wimp out before hitting his second wind.

As Brian and Chloe sprint up a hill, a delirious Brian experiences his first runner’s high, depicted as a powerful, colorful mushroom trip, featuring a black sun and a Korean moon. To top it off, Brian sleeps with Chloe on their first date.

“I never want to lose this feeling,” he says.

Brian is hooked on running. He breaks up with Chloe and becomes a holier-than-thou, grotesquely ripped, #paleo-tagging exercise junkie. He starts calling food “fuel” and signs up for the Quahog Marathon. (“What if that sexy boy has another bomb?” asks Lois. In Seth MacFarlane’s world, the Boston Marathon has officially crossed the finish line of “too soon.”)

Stewie, the usual voice of reason, worries that Brian has lost himself. “Your whole body looks like Paul McCartney’s neck,” Stewie says, as Brian tapes Band-Aids over his nipples. Shudder.

Family Guy/Fox

Family Guy/FOX

Peter Griffin gains small-town fame as David Chicago, and completely ignores the Joe’s intended message with the book. When news anchor Tom Tucker interview Peter (BETWEEN TWO FERNS) about the book’s beginnings, Peter’s response pushes Joe over the edge.

“I see these crippled kids walking down the sidewalk and I would just laugh and laugh, so I thought I’d write a book about them,” Peter responds, to wild applause. When Joe tries and fails to fire Peter, Joe quits writing entirely. But wait! The publisher wants a sequel to The Hopeful Squirrel, and it’s up to Peter to write it.

With Quagmire and Cleveland’s help, Peter writes The Hopeful Squirrel 2, featuring a gay bunny, a monkey’s buzz-saw hand, and a token frog friend with a “cray-cray in a good way” signature line. At its debut reading, Peter horrifies the kids and their parents, hammering the final nail in the coffin of Joe’s dreams.

Peter decides books are bad news, except for the ones sold at Urban Outfitters, like Dogs Who Look Like Presidents. “I like where the USA is headed,” Peter concludes.

Finally, a ripped-and-ready Brian stretches at the marathon while Stewie tries one last time to talk him out of it. “No offense, but I’m not taking advice from a guy who eats bread,” Brian tells him. He promptly breaks his ankle and falls, left to be viciously trampled to a bloody pulp by the other runners.

“Brian, why does everything you touch turn to garbage?” Stewie asks.

What a great storyline to literally resurrect later this season.

Cutaway of the Week: Peter admits, “Me trying to write a book is like CeeLo trying to wear pants,” before cutting away to CeeLo Green, asking for advice on what a cartoon apple would wear.

Family Guy airs Sundays at 9/8C on Fox.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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