Turns out the death of Brian Griffin on Family Guy was part of a message from creator Seth MacFarlane. After the family dog was hit by a car in an episode last month, the animated Fox show brought Brian back last night, and MacFarlane commented on the plot turn with a pair of tweets after the show aired on the East Coast.
First, he wrote, "And thus endeth our warm, fuzzy holiday lesson: Never take those you love for granted, for they can be gone in a flash." Next came, "I mean, you didn't really think we'd kill off Brian, did you? Jesus, we'd have to be fucking high."
Brian was hit by a car in an episode that aired November 24th, and the Griffins replaced their wise-cracking, martini-swilling pooch with a new dog named Vinny. "Vinny is a good match for Stewie because he doesn't let Stewie get away with any crap," Steve Callaghan, the show's executive producer, said last month. "He'll call Stewie out on his B.S. freely."
Last night, Vinny helped Stewie save Brian as part of a storyline that involved a trip to the mall, time travel and distracting an alternate Stewie in possession of a time machine. When Stewie saves Brian from getting hit by a car, the dog expresses his gratitude. "Thank you for saving my life," Brian says. "A lot of other families would have just gotten another dog and moved on."