Original Air Date: Jan 6, 2013
Kym – Senior Reviewer
Welcome to Monty Python’s Family Guy. I love it! The intro was done so perfectly!
We segue from there into Chris doing an oral presentation of his report “Following Mrs. Donovan”. I’m not sure which is more upsetting – Chris stalking his teacher or that his teacher seems to be clinically depressed. I will agree though, Nathaniel Hawthorne was a party to ruining the 9th Grade for everyone.
This incident with Chris, along with his recent art project (which is also a jab at the animation stylings of “Bob’s Burgers”), are enough to bring Peter and Lois in for a parent teacher conference where the principal suggests that they treat Chris like the stray cats – look after him, feed him, and just let him graduate in a few years. This is actually a pretty fair description of what happens to “classified” students in the current test driven school system – but I’m not here to rant about that. If you want my thoughts on that, ask and I’ll tell you, but otherwise, let’s move on. Peter’s watching Breaking Bad – and being hypnotized to always praise it, to everyone – when Lois comes in to discuss Chris. He overhears them though as they try to figure out why he’s so stupid. Hello! Razor comb? Really? How can you possibly think he’s the stupid one and be confused about this? But anyway, now they need to figure out how to fix the blow they just gave to his self-esteem.
They try too hard over breakfast the following morning, prompting Stewie to comment on Lois’ vibrator after asking her to sign a paper from his teacher to get the HIV positive kid kicked out of daycare, but ultimately it’s Brian’s suggestion that they send him to camp that they go forward with. They interrupt Chris in the middle of watching “Canadian Horror Story” to show him the brochures he has to choose from. The other options available make it clear even before they say it that Space Camp was included by accident, but they’re trying to boost his confidence, so it’s not like they can come right out and say, yes, you’re too stupid for Space Camp, so instead they get custody of the “Best Parents Ever” mugs and are off to Kennedy Space Center.
Once they arrive and head in, Brian’s surprised to see that not all of the shuttles have been decommissioned. They apparently always keep one ready in case of emergencies or Italian guys that need to exaggerate. They all also get a short tour – including the sensory deprivation chamber where Brian and Peter switch heads – before leaving Chris to settle in. First day there – they’re handed Physics textbooks and told to get ready for a lecture on orbital dynamics the following day. I’m not saying Chris is stupid here – but he does appear to be in over his head. He can’t seem to get anything right – for example, everyone else gets astronaut haircuts and he ends up with Russell Brand’s – along with his accent and a jab indicating that said accent is the only reason he got a TV show. And when the instructor thinks he should be able to help fix his marriage it’s the breaking point. Chris calls home to come and get him. Lois says sure, but first she has to rescue Peter from the gym, where Stewie’s been tormenting him. Then they all head back to Florida again, where they get Chris to give them a tour of the shuttle before heading back. And that would have been it if Stewie hadn’t pushed the big red button, launching them into space. Brian can’t resist himself on the way up and sticks his head out the window for the “best version of whatever’s enjoyable about this” before they end up in orbit. They’re still trying to figure out what to do when Mission Control tells them to sit tight. The shuttle has auto-pilot and they’re trying to figure out how to get them back. Oh, and they’re on the news as their former housekeeper steals their house. Literally. They amuse themselves while they wait, with Stewie and Brian actually appearing to launch Meg into space, until Mission Control calls back. They have a plan – but reception sucks and Peter’s version of fixing it just cuts it off completely causing everyone to panic. Even Meg, for all her talk of suicide, doesn’t actually want to die. Everyone panics except Chris that is. He’s actually learned a few things at Space Camp and is able to set off and reorient the retro rockets to slow them down and get them pulled back into the Earth’s gravity where the auto-pilot can engage and bring them back safely. Chris, who’s not as stupid as everyone thought, is the hero and they’re all back home, in whatever inner-city neighborhood their house is now in.
I really enjoyed this episode, but I’m having trouble commenting on it without ending up on a tirade regarding judgmental people and what’s wrong with our school system these days, so I’d like to leave the commenting up to you. If you want my opinion on these things (other than the obvious implications that I’m not happy about them) just let me know, but I’d like to hear yours too because this episode was definitely food for thought.