Recap: Family Guy S 10 E 3 Screams OF Silence The Story Of Brenda Q
October 30, 2011
Peter and Joe decide to go fishing on Peter’s old fishing boat. The two wonder where Quagmire is and go to his house to discover him auto-erotic asphyxiating himself while watching clown porn. He is taken to the hospital and is surrounded by his friends, who discover that Quagmire’s sister Brenda and her loud, thuggish, abusive boyfriend Jeff are coming over to see him. They arrive and Brenda sings a song from their childhood hoping Glenn will come to, which he does.
Brenda and Jeff stay at Quagmire’s house while he recovers and the sounds of Jeff beating Brenda overnight keep everybody awake, especially Glenn, who is saddened by the ordeals his sister is going through. He goes to the Griffins the next morning, a tired wreck, and asks Lois to convince Brenda to leave Jeff. They secretly meet at the mall for lunch and Lois is horrified by a black eye Jeff gave Brenda. She tries to convince her, but Brenda keeps defending Jeff (“You should see how soft he hits me when we’re alone.”), which leaves Lois dumbfounded. Quagmire then asks Joe to arrest Jeff, but because it’s police policy that “we can’t step in until it’s too late”, Joe suggests that an intervention might bring Brenda to her senses. At the intervention, Quagmire read a speech to his sister saying that she has become a punching bag and not the beloved sister he grew up to know. Suddenly, Jeff bursts in saying that he and Brenda are engaged and that she is pregnant.
While drinking beer and playing poker in the basement later that night, Quagmire tells Joe and Peter that he’s scared for his sister and her unborn child. When Peter asks what happened to the days when men come together to beat up abusive people like Jeff, Quagmire gets the idea for the three to murder him tonight. Joe is initially against the plan, as murdering someone is against the law, but when they hear Jeff beating Brenda for simply changing the channel, Joe decides enough is enough and agrees to go through with the mission. The trio take Jeff into the woods on a “midnight hunting trip” hoping to kill him when he least expects it, but Jeff turns the tables on them and knocks out Peter and Joe. He then proceeds to take Quagmire deeper into the woods to kill him, but Quagmire challenges Jeff to fight him. Quagmire gets soundly beaten up by Jeff and seemingly strangles him to death. As Jeff begins to dig Quagmire’s grave, the headlights on Peter’s car come on and Quagmire is in it, revealing that his constant acts of choking himself for sexual pleasure made him resistant to Jeff’s strangling. Quagmire then chases Jeff through the woods with the car and finally crushes him to death against a tree. The next day, Quagmire, Peter and Joe come to Brenda with a forged letter saying that Jeff is leaving her and says that “he” will kill her and her child if she spills the beans that he was out with the boys that night. The episode ends with Peter wanting to kill other people, starting with Mort.
"Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q." contains examples of:
- Accidental Misnaming: During the intervention, Chris gets mad that Joe doesn't know his name and thinks it's "Caleb".
- Asshole Victim, Bastard Boyfriend, Big Bad, Blond Guys Are Evil, Domestic Abuser, Hair-Trigger Temper, Hate Sink, Large Ham, Evil Is Hammy, No Indoor Voice, Would Hit a Girl and Jerkass: Jeff, Jeff, a thousand times, Jeff.
- Big Brother Instinct: Despite being a sexual predator with little to no respect for women, Quagmire doesn't take his sister's abuse very well.
- Call Back: Brenda and Jeff first appeared two seasons earlier as a one-off gag in "Jerome is the New Black" when Brian mistook Quagmire's abused sister for a one-night stand who liked rough sex.
- Cerebus Retcon: Their first appearance in "Jerome is the New Black" was mostly played for laughs (Brian thinks the beaten-up woman at Quagmire's house is one of his dates who was into S&M, until Quagmire tells him that the woman is his sister who's hiding out from her abusive boyfriend). Here, it's actually shown in a serious light.
- Cerebus Syndrome: While it has a few funny moments, this episode does NOT portray abuse as something to be laughed at.
- Chekhov's Skill: Quagmire choking himself for sexual pleasure as seen in the beginning ends up saving him from being killed.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Quagmire
- Comically Missing the Point: When Jeff announces that Brenda is pregnant.
Peter: Have you thought about names yet? Like "Slappy" or "Bruisy" or "Keep-it-down-in-thersy"?
- Continuity Nod: Peter mentions his old fishing job which hasn't been mentioned since the middle of the fourth season. Lois doesn't remember it. For those who don't remember it, it happened after Peter lost his job at "Happy Go Lucky Toys" following his boss's death (from the pre-cancellation era) and before he took his current job at the Pawtucket Brewery.
- He also mentions Santos and Pasquale, whom he calls "Portuguese Consuelas".
- In a Cutaway Gag, Peter sings "Iraq Lobster", a parody of him singing "Rock Lobster" in "The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire".
- Quagmire also mentions that he got a new cat after Peter killed his other cat James in "Episode 420".
- Peter repeats the "carton of cigarettes" gag from "Trading Places".
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Jeff gives Quagmire one during the climax. The beaten and bloodied Quagmire only gets in a single punch.
- Cut Himself Shaving
Brenda: I'd show you the ring, but it's under this splint. My finger fell down the stairs.
- Darker and Edgier and Something Completely Different: It's an episode where domestic violence, suicide, and death are not played for laughs, which a lot of people either applauded or chalked up as Family Guy trying to tackle a subject that it has mocked more than it's taken seriously.
- Deconstruction: This episode talks about the issues of domestic violence. Brenda is in denial about her relationship, while Quagmire is worried and sad for his sister's ordeal and even considered Jeff a threat to Brenda's life. Everything about domestic violence is played seriously.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Jeff beats Brenda for switching from The Tonight Show to Late Night. This pisses Joe off to the point where he agrees to join in on Quagmire and Peter's plan.
- Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe. During the intervention, Peter says he wants to tell some jokes, to which Lois objects.
Joe:' It's an intervention.
Peter: Now's a perfect time to tell my jokes.
Peter: They can wait 'till later.
- Erotic Asphyxiation: Quagmire nearly kills himself this way, which turns out to be an asset when Jeff nearly kills him, as he's strangled himself sexually so many times, he can't feel it anymore.
- Extreme Doormat: Brenda
- Fail O Sucky Name: Jeff Fecalman.
Quagmire: That's his name.
- Halloween Episode: This premiered on October 30, 2011 and while it isn't a Halloween episode like "Halloween on Spooner Street" was, it is considered scary in a realistic way (especially for those who came from families rife with Domestic Abuse or was in an abusive relationship with a man or woman).
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Sweet Dee Reynolds (Kaitlin Olson) is Quagmire's abused sister.
- Inner Monologue: When Quagmire doesn't show up for the fishing trip, Peter and Joe each have one.
Peter's Brain: Jeez, I've never tried to make conversation with just Joe before. This is brutal.
Joe's Brain: Come on, Joe, you're losing him.
Joe: Two thirds of the planet is water.
Peter's Brain: Two thirds of the planet is water? This guy's okay..
- Jerkass Has a Point: For all the crap Peter and Lois do to each other and their children (mostly in the name of sick humor), they aren't cool with Jeff beating Quagmire's sister.
- Also, Quagmire — a sexual predator-cum-rapist with little to no respect for women (he's a registered sex offender, drugs and rapes his dates, steals women's shoes to satiate his foot fetish, hits on his best friend's wife [yet has the balls to call out Brian for doing the same thing], is open and honest with himself for dating women because of how hot they are, and has Thai prostitutes that he kept locked in the trunk of his car) — actually cares about his sister, doesn't condone Jeff beating her, and believes that women are beautiful and strong creatures.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Guess who.
- Karmic Death: Quagmire was able to finish off Jeff by running him into a tree.
- Knight of Cerebus: Jeff
- Knight Templar Big Brother: Quagmire is perfectly willing to murder somebody if it means his sister won't get hurt. Not that said guy didn't deserve it.
- Let's Get Dangerous: After Joe hears Jeff beating Brenda from Quagmire's house.
Joe: Let's waste this dick.
- Mondegreen: When Peter says he doesn't know what a Portuguese is, it triggers a Cutaway Gag with a two geese sitting on a porch (a porch of geese).
Peter: That's what I thought what a Portuguese was. Me and my brain. And we're just getting started!
- Never Trust a Trailer: TV spots for this episode only had a few comedic moments (like the "Iraq Lobster" cutaway and Peter attempting to tell jokes at the intervention), when this episode put much more emphasis on the drama (which, to be fair, would be hard to include in the promos).
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Jeff beats Quagmire to a bloody pulp in the climax.
- Oh Crap: A rather satisfying case with Jeff, as Quagmire chases him down in his car.
- And a bit earlier when Quagmire when he sees Jeff pointing a shotgun to his head.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Quagmire's speech to Brenda. Considering how Quagmire treats women like sex objects (and often date rapes them), hearing him tell Brenda that women are beautiful, strong, vibrant, and don't deserve to be punching bags to men, you know he's not as misogynistic as the episode's play him out to be.
- Police Are Useless: Joe at first, until he decides to allow Peter and Quagmire to murder Jeff.
Joe: "Sorry — police policy is that we can't step in until it's too late."
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "I choke myself every day, you bastard!!!"
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Quagmire's heartfelt speech to Brenda.
"The person I see before me right now is just a punching bag. And I call you "person," not "woman," because a woman is a strong, beautiful vibrant creature. Sadly, the fact that you are with Jeff proves to me that you have made a choice to make your life worse."
- Retcon: Brenda was originally named Harriet when she appeared in "Jerome is the New Black".
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Joe was initially against Quagmire's plan to kill Jeff since murder is a crime, but changes his mind after seeing how abusive Jeff is.
- Shadow Discretion Shot: Quagmire, Joe, and Peter witness Jeff beating Brenda in silhouette.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: Jeff knocks out Peter and Joe before the episode's climax, and Brian and Stewie have no real role in this episode. Outside of the cutaway gags, the Gwyneth Paltrow/yellow lab Take That, and Lois trying to stop Peter from cracking jokes at Brenda's intervention, this episode barely has any laughs.
- Surprise Creepy: It starts out like any other episode, funny and witty, but gets dark when Peter and Joe find Quagmire almost killing himself. Then Brenda and Jeff show up and everything goes to Hell from there.
- Take That: At police officers in general when Joe states the policy.
Peter: Aw, that yellow lab looks like it's dying.
Lois: Peter, that's Gwyneth Paltrow. She's fine.
- Tempting Fate: Joe says that his words are final about refusing to arrest Jeff. Cue a loud slap and a Scream Discretion Shot.
- Truth in Television: Sadly, the way domestic violence is portrayed here actually does happen in real life, right down to Brenda trying to cover for Jeff's abuse by blaming herself.
- Wife-Basher Basher: Glenn Quagmire resorts to killing Jeff, and Joe, a police officer, allows this after seeing Jeff's actions for himself.