Brian Wallows and Peter's Swallows
|"Brian Wallows and Peter's Swallows"|
|Family Guy episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||Dan Povenmire|
|Written by||Allison Adler|
|Original air date||January 17, 2002|
"Brian Wallows and Peter's Swallows" is the 17th episode of the third season of the animated comedy series Family Guy. It originally aired on Fox in the United States on January 17, 2002. The episode features Brian after he is sentenced to community service, and must look after a cranky, elderly woman, who he soon begins to despise, until he sees a documentary revealing her remarkable singing ability. Meanwhile, Peter decides to grow a beard, which soon becomes the home for a family of endangered birds.
The episode was written by Allison Adler and directed by Dan Povenmire. It received high praise from critics, receiving an Emmy Award for the song "You've Got a Lot to See", which is featured in the episode. The episode featured guest performances by A. J. Benza, Gary Cole, Adria Firestone, Melora Hardin, Butch Hartman, Phil LaMarr, Jane Lynch, Nicole Sullivan and Wally Wingert, along with several recurring voice actors for the series.
Deciding to go on a date with a hot but dumb blonde, Brian soon discovers he is dating "an idiot." Returning home depressed, Lois attempts to cheer up Brian by suggesting Peter take him to a laser rock concert that he was planning on attending, along with Quagmire and Cleveland. While there, Brian begins looking around the theater at all of the loving couples (Three Dog Night's "One" is playing in the background), and becomes even more depressed, eventually deciding to begin drinking. On the drive home with the guys, he is soon pulled over by Joe, and arrested for driving under the influence. Appearing in court one month later, Brian is sentenced to one hundred hours of community service in the "Outreach to the Elderly" program, and assigned to an elderly woman named Pearl, who has not left her house for 30 years. Appearing at her home the next day, he quickly becomes angered by her constant nagging, eventually losing his temper and telling her to "drop dead." Later that day, however, Brian soon discovers Pearl was actually a brilliant opera singer during the 1940s and 50s, who was shamed into hiding once she faced demands to sing her more popular radio jingles. Deciding to visit Pearl later that night, he discovers her with a noose around her neck, about to commit suicide, but saves her at the last second. Brian manages to convince Pearl that her voice is amazing and she is touched. The two quickly bond over Pearl's singing, and become close friends. Suggesting they go out for dinner, Brian leads Pearl out of her house, but she is immediately run over by a passing car. At the hospital, Pearl is left in a serious condition and Brian feels guilty about taking her outside her house. Spending their last seconds together in virtual reality, which Brian had bought while at the rock concert, Pearl soon dies from her injuries, leaving Brian alone once more.
Meanwhile, after watching an episode of Grizzly Adams on television, Peter decides to grow a beard, despite Lois's disapproval. After his beard is fully grown, the Griffin family decide to go out for dinner, and are soon pestered by a small bird, who eventually settles in Peter's facial hair. Unaware that the bird is actually an endangered species, Peter attempts to remove the bird, but is soon threatened with jailtime if he does so. Left with no other choice but to let the bird live within his hair, Peter attempts to continue life as normally as possible, until he can no longer take the bird's constant squawking, and decides to shoot the bird. Stopped at the last second by Lois, Peter accidentally shoots a nearby window, causing the bird to fly out. Thankful that the bird is finally gone, the two soon hear peeping coming from inside his facial hair, and discover three small baby birds. Won over by their resemblance to his own children, he decides to keep the baby birds, and take the place of its mother. As time goes on, he becomes reluctant to release the birds once they have become fully grown, but is ultimately convinced by Lois to release them back into the wilderness once they attempt to fly out of their bedroom window.
As her first and only episode for the series, the show was written by future Chuck writer Allison Adler, and directed by series regular Dan Povenmire before the conclusion of the third production season.
Initially, the "tearjerker" ending was not planned, and series creator Seth MacFarlane had intended to close the episode with a series of gags, similar to many other episodes. Voice actress and staff writer Alex Borstein, along with Allison Adler, convinced MacFarlane that the episode would be far more effective if it were to end on a down note, eventually calling it the only episode to have "real human emotion".
Following the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, 20th Century Fox decided to edit the musical number "You've Got a Lot to See" by digitally removing the World Trade Center towers, as well as replacing the likeness of former President George W. Bush with a beer bong on a tarot card with a tarot card featuring trash talk-show host Jerry Springer during the animation sequence between Pearl and Brian.
"Brian Wallows and Peter's Swallows" won an Emmy Award for Best Song. Creator Seth MacFarlane, the recipient of the award, noted that the episode's director, Dan Povenmire, deserved to have received the award for the contribution the visuals made to the episode's win. Povenmire jokingly responded "That's a nice sentiment and all, but did he offer to give me his (Emmy Award)? No! And it's not like he doesn't already have two (Emmy Awards) of his own just sitting in his house!"
In addition to the regular cast, gossip columnist and television host A. J. Benza, actor Gary Cole, opera singer Adria Firestone, actress Melora Hardin, writer and animator Butch Hartman, voice actor Phil LaMarr, actress Jane Lynch, actress Nicole Sullivan and voice actor Wally Wingert guest starred in the episode. Recurring guest voice actors Lori Alan and writer Mike Barker also made minor appearances.
- Beierle, Aaron (2003-09-09). "Family Guy Volume Two Review". DVDTalk. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
- Awards for Family Guy at the Internet Movie Database
- "Family Guy Episode Guide - Brian Wallows and Peter's Swallows". TBS. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
- Family Guy Volume Two Audio Commentary (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 2003-09-09.
- "Family Guy - Brian Wallows and Peter's Swallows". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
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