Road to Germany
|"Road to Germany"|
|Family Guy episode|
|Episode no.||Season 7
|Directed by||Greg Colton|
|Written by||Patrick Meighan|
|Original air date||October 19, 2008|
"Road to Germany" is the third episode of the seventh season and the fourth episode of the 'Road To...' series of the American animated television series Family Guy. It originally aired on Fox in the United States on October 19, 2008. In the episode, Mort accidentally goes into Stewie's time machine and is sent to Warsaw, Poland on September 1, 1939. Brian and Stewie realize Mort has gone back in time, and go in the time machine to save him.
The episode was written by Patrick Meighan and directed by Greg Colton. Brian Blessed, Gregory Jbara, Martin Savage, Jeff Witzke and Robert Boomfield guest star in the episode. "Road to Germany" was seen by approximately 9.07 million viewers during its original broadcast, and it received positive reviews from television critics. In 2009, the episode, along with I Dream of Jesus and Family Gay, received an Emmy Award nomination for "Outstanding Comedy Series".
While the neighbors are watching the Oscars at the Griffins' house, Mort needs to use the bathroom so desperately that he runs into what he thinks is a portable toilet in Stewie's room. The "toilet" turns out to be a time machine, and Mort is sent to the past. Realizing that Mort does not have a return pad that would be able to bring him back to the present, Stewie and Brian take one of the return pads and go back in time to save Mort. They end up in Warsaw, Poland and find Mort in a synagogue. He believes he is in Heaven as he sees dead family members there. It does not take long for them to realize that the date is September 1, 1939, the day of the Nazi invasion of Poland and when World War II started.
The three cannot return to the present right away since the "return pad" to Stewie's time machine fails to activate. They decide to go to England where Mort, who is Jewish, will be safe from the Nazis. While attempting to cross the border, German officers find out that Mort is Jewish (while doing a poor impersonation of a Catholic priest), resulting in their being chased by the Nazis. Mort, Stewie and Brian make a getaway on a motorbike, followed by an elaborate undersea pursuit in a hijacked U-boat. The chase scene on the motorbike re-enacts the skateboard chase scene in Back To The Future. Like Biff, the Nazi officers' car ends up slamming into a manure truck ("Das Poop!"). The three make it to England safely, and see Churchill. Stewie examines the return pad and discovers it has run out uranium fuel. Brian states that the only place they can find the needed uranium in this time is at a "secret" nuclear testing facility in Berlin, Nazi Germany. The three join the Royal Air Force and fly a Lancaster bomber as they participate in a dogfight against a squadron of Luftwaffe Me-109 fighters, eventually reaching Berlin. After finding the nuclear research lab, Stewie disguises himself as Hitler, while the other two disguise themselves as Nazi Officers, and obtains the needed uranium. They then run into the real Hitler, who orders their execution, but they escape on the return pad back to their time (Hitler offered to spare them if they performed a charming musical number, but Mort cuts the eager Stewie and Brian off at the first line).
The group arrives back in Stewie's room 30 seconds before Mort originally entered the time machine. To keep these events from repeating themselves, Stewie kills the Mort that traveled with them by shoving him into the time machine and then blowing it up. The original Mort then enters the room and, now lacking the time machine "toilet" and seeing Stewie and Brian in Nazi uniform, soils himself instead.
"Road to Germany" is the third episode of Family Guy´s seventh season. It was written by Patrick Meighan who had written Road to Rupert. The episode was directed by series regular Greg Colton, who had worked on Brian Goes Back to College, No Meals on Wheels and also 8 Simple Rules for Buying My Teenage Daughter. Peter Shin and James Purdun acted as supervising directors. John Viener worked as an executive story editor. Seth MacFarlane, Chris Sheridan, David A. Goodman and Danny Smith were executive producers. Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild and Mike Henry acted as supervising producers. Richard Appel, Brian Scully, Mark Hentemann and Steve Callaghan worked as co-executive producers. After reading the script aloud, Jewish executive producer David A. Goodman said, "I'm going to get kicked out of my temple".
"Road to Germany" is the fourth episode of the "Road to" hallmarks of the series, which have aired in various seasons of the show, and the first to be directed by Colton. The episodes are a parody of the seven Road to... comedy films starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Dorothy Lamour. The director who directed every previous Road to episodes Dan Povenmire left Family Guy soon after, following the conclusion of the fifth season, to create his own series, entitled Phineas and Ferb, which has since been nominated for seven Emmy Awards.
"Road to Germany", along with the first eight episodes of the seventh season were released on DVD by 20th Century Fox in the United States and Canada on June 16, 2009, one month after it had completed broadcast on television. The "Volume 7" DVD release features bonus material including deleted scenes, animatics, and commentaries for every episode.
The episode begins with a swing band version of the orchestral theme from the 1980s miniseries The Winds of War and War and Remembrance. When Brian, Stewie, and Mort are chased by Nazis, a recreation of the chase scene, including music, from Back to the Future occurs where Stewie rides a makeshift skateboard, escapes and has the Nazis crash into a truck of manure. Also, the entrance into Warsaw mirrors Marty's arrival in 1955 Hill Valley. When Stewie picks up a Nazi uniform there is a McCain-Palin button attached. Stewie and Hitler re-enact the famous "mirror" scene from the Marx Brothers film Duck Soup. The U-Boat sequence is an adaptation of U-571 when Stewie decides to throw trash out of the submarine in order to stop the U-Boat that was chasing them. Furthermore, the U-boat crashing scene is a reference to the multiple police car chases (and subsequent crashes) from The Blues Brothers. The submarine scene also features a melody of 'Wishing Well' by Terrence Trent D'Arby. The scene where the Hawk Men defeat the Nazi air force is a parody of the film Flash Gordon, with its original soundtrack by Queen. Stewie, Brian and Mort's escape from their crashing plane is a recreation of the raft scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The Hebrew wedding scene plays a song titled "Through Poland to a Jewish Village". The scene in the uranium lab where the scientist shows Stewie "one hundred Luftballons" followed by one popping is a reference to the song "99 Luftballons" where 99 red balloons trigger a nuclear war.
In its original broadcast in the United States on October 19, 2008, Road to Germany was watched by 9.07 million viewers and was the most watched show in Fox's Animation Domination block that night, beating The Simpsons, American Dad! and King of the Hill. The episode acquired a 4.7 Nielsen rating in the 18–49 demographic, finishing second in its timeslot after ABC's Desperate Housewives. The episode also acquired a 6.1 rating in the 18–34 demographic, finishing first in its timeslot.
Road to Germany received positive reviews. Ahsan Haque of IGN rated the episode 9.6 saying, "Featuring gorgeous CGI animation, a genuinely exciting storyline, and some hilariously offensive humor, this Stewie and Brian centric episode of Family Guy easily stands out as one of the best episodes of the show in years." Alex Rocha of TV Guide was much more critical stating, "it seemed that the show has taken a slight fall back. After having great episodes the past few weeks to get this current season started on a roll, we have witnessed another average, even sub-par episode." In his review of Family Guy, volume 7, Francis Rizzo III of DVD Talk called the episode "hugely memorable", and stated that it "features some of the finest animation the series has ever produced".
According to Seth MacFarlane, Road to Germany was one of three episodes (Along with I Dream of Jesus and Family Gay) submitted for consideration for "Outstanding Comedy Series" in the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards in 2009. "We picked three of our edgier shows as a choice," he explained, "Ya know, we figured if we are going to be damned, let's be damned for what we really are." The series was ultimately nominated for the award, the first time in 48 years an animated series was nominated for the same category.
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