Back to the Woods (Family Guy)
|"Back to the Woods"|
|Family Guy episode|
|Episode no.||Season 6
|Directed by||Brian Iles|
|Written by||Tom Devanney|
|Original air date||February 17, 2008|
"Back to the Woods" is the ninth episode of the sixth season in the Fox animated comedy series Family Guy that originally aired on February 17, 2008. The episode follows Peter Griffin as he tries to regain his identity that has been stolen by actor James Woods, who has done so to get revenge at Peter for what he did to him at the end of "Peter's Got Woods".
The episode was written by Tom Devanney and it was directed by Brian Iles. It guest starred Woods, Barry Manilow, James Burkholder and Dave Van Dam. Recurring voice actors Lori Alan, Alexandra Breckenridge, Kirker Butler, Danny Smith, Alec Sulkin, John Viener and Patrick Warburton also made appearances. The episode received mixed reviews from critics.
Peter and his friends attend a Barry Manilow concert. After the concert, Peter realizes that he has left his wallet at the stadium. He soon discovers that someone is using his credit card to buy very expensive items. After receiving a bank statement, Peter and Brian track the culprit to a restaurant and discover him to be James Woods. Naturally, Woods is bitter towards Peter and, having stolen his wallet, is maxing out his credit card in his plan for revenge. Peter and Brian return home to find Woods there, having claimed property of his house and possessions with the documents in Peter's wallet. Woods calls Joe over to remove Peter from "his" house. The Griffins are outraged by this, but Joe has no other choice but to abide his request now that Woods has stolen Peter's identity. The Griffins are resentful of Woods for what he has done, especially Lois and Brian. As Brian swears that Woods will not get away with what he has done, Woods responds by calling him an 'outdoor dog' and ties Brian up to a pole outside, much to Brian's anger. Unfortunately, Peter is forced to stay off of Woods' property, as Woods threatens to shoot Peter with a gun and sets up one of Peter's cutaway gags.
As Woods diverts his attention to Peter and weasels his way into the Griffins' lives to destroy them, Peter removes Brian from the pole, and they move into a hotel together, with Peter swearing to return to his family and promise to set all his cutaway gags just like he used to. After Woods stops him, Peter begins to give up until Brian points out that identity theft works both ways and he can assume Woods' identity himself and get revenge on him by discrediting him to the general public and Peter agrees. Stewie helps forge a fake ID card for Peter to use at Brian's urging. Live on the Late Show with David Letterman he convinces the general public and David Letterman that he is James Woods. Peter soon makes several inconsiderate remarks that discredits Woods' reputation, including mentioning that he is starring in an HBO comedy putting a positive light on 9/11, called September 11th 2000-FUN!, about a window washer who has just finished cleaning the last window of the twin towers; when he turns to get off the scaffolding he sees an airplane and screams "Oh come on!" Peter then makes several evil 9/11 remarks to add to his speech.
This offends the real James Woods whom was watching the show entirely and Letterman tells Peter never to speak anymore about the film as it's offensive to the American public. Woods becomes more offended after he hears Peter talk about the plane being voiced by comedian David Spade. He is irate and points out that he'd never work with that hack. One week later, after more remarks from Peter as Woods; at the Drunken Clam, Peter and Brian are watching the news in triumph as the public continues their riot destroying Woods' estate. Woods is furious and confronts him wanting to settle their conflict once and for all, but Peter and Brian lure him into an alley with a trail of Reese's Pieces and trap him in a crate again. Peter reunites with Lois and the rest of his family.
The episode was written by Tom Devanney, in his first writing credit for the season. It was directed by Brian Iles, who had directed the episode "McStroke" earlier this season making this his second directing credit for the season. Series regulars Peter Shin and James Purdun acted as supervising directors for the episode.
Back To the Woods is a continuation of the fourth season episode "Peter's Got Woods" (September 11, 2005), which also guest started Actor James Woods playing the spoof version of himself which he returned to play in this episode. James Woods would also return to voice himself in the episodes "Brian Griffin's House of Payne" (March 28, 2010) and "And Then There Were Fewer" (September 26, 2010).
In addition to the regular cast and Woods, child actor James Burkholder, singer Barry Manilow and impressionist Dave Van Dam guest starred in the episode. Recurring voice actors Lori Alan, Alexandra Breckenridge, writer Kirker Butler, writer Danny Smith, writer Alec Sulkin, and writer John Viener made minor appearances. Recurring guest voice actor Patrick Warburton appeared in the episode as well.
The episode featured various references to the general culture. The title of the episode is a reference to Back to the Future. Peter, Cleveland, Quagmire and Joe start discussing how they don't enjoy Barry Manilow's music after a commercial states that Manilow is having a concert in Quahog, although they all later admit they do enjoy his music and go to the concert. Spider-Man is shown in bed with a woman after they had sex. A Mexican soldier named "G.I Jose" is a reference to Hasbro's G.I. Joe toy-line. Peter, using James Woods identity, appears as a guest at The Late Show with David Letterman and announces his plans to make a comedy film based around the September 11 attacks. Peter says that the box in which James Woods is in is being watched by top men, a reference to Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The episode received mixed reviews from critics. Ahsan Haque of IGN stated that the episode "doesn't quite live up to the other outings seen prior to the writers' strike" but it contains "a few entertaining moments". He rated "Back to the Woods" 6.4 out of 10. Jay Black of TV Squad praised the episode, saying that it had "a great returning guest star, a higher-than-average number of laughs, and a clear story from beginning to end". Genevieve Koski of The A.V. Club also gave "Back to the Woods" a positive review, stating that she enjoyed Woods's performance and "the show's meta-moments, when it blatantly makes fun of its own tics". She graded the episode B.
- "Family Guy: Back to the Woods". Yahoo!. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
- "Family Guy: McStroke". Yahoo!. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
- "Family Guy: Peter's Got Woods". Yahoo!. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
- "Family Guy: And Then There Were Fewer". Yahoo!. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
- "Family Guy: Brian Griffin's House of Payne". Yahoo!. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
- Koski, Genevieve (February 17, 2008). "Love, Springfieldian Style" / "Untitled" / "Back To The Woods" / "Widowmaker". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
- Haque, Ahsan (February 21, 2008). "Family Guy: "Back to the Woods" Review". IGN. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
- Pierson, Robin. "Episode 9 - Back to the Woods". The TV Critic. Retrieved September 29, 2012.
- Black, Jay (February 18, 2008). "Family Guy: Back to the Woods - VIDEO". TV Squad. Retrieved October 5, 2012.