Recap / Family Guy S 9 E 1 And Then There Were Fewer

Airdate: September 26, 2010

The Griffins receive an invitation to a secluded mansion for a dinner to be held in their honor; when they arrive, they see several of their friends and fellow Quahog residents, who all received similar invitations.

Peter: Hey, what are you guys doin' here?
Joe: Well, I got this invitation that said they were having a dinner in my honor. I assume it was for all those arrests I made last month.
Peter: Eh, that's weird. My invitation said it would be in my honor. I assume it was for being able to fart the alphabet, which I was able to do 'til I pooped on the "s". Ahwell, everybody on the bus was upset long before that anyway.

Once everyone settles down at the dining room table, James Woods reveals himself as the host. Everyone thinks he has the worst intentions, but Woods claims to have become a born-again Christian thanks to his new girlfriend, Priscilla; as such, he wants to make amends with everyone he hurt. Woods and Priscilla leave the room to check on dinner, after which Quagmire's embarrassing girlfriend Stephanie gets shot in the chest and dies. Everyone tries to escape the mansion by driving over a stone bridge, but a bolt of lightning strikes a tree, which falls over and destroys the bridge. Fears that James Woods might kill one of them next makes the entire group paranoid, so when Woods and Priscilla return to the dining room, everyone accuses him of killing Stephanie. As Woods proclaims his innocence, the lights go out—and when they come back on, Woods lies dead on the floor, a knife in his back. Priscilla faints, Stephanie's body disappears, and everyone realizes that Woods could not have been the killer.

During a search of the dining room, Joe discovers the gun that killed Stephanie — it was timed to go off when Woods was in his chair, so Stephanie's death was a case of wrong place, wrong time. The group starts searching for Woods's killer, but soon realise that everyone in the group has a motive for killing him. Mort's wife Muriel becomes the prime suspect when the group finds out how Woods blackmailed her into giving him prescription drugs. After Peter puts on a suit of armor and accidentally knocks out Joe, everyone splits into groups.

Peter: All right, let's split up and search the house. I'll go with Lois. Chris, you check the basement with Herbert. Meg, you go with Brian and Stewie.
Stewie: Uh, no, she...she can't.
Brian: Yeah, uh, she can't. We...we...we were gonna use this time, uh...to figure out what to get you for your birthday.
Peter: Ooh, ah, okay. Oh, yeah, no, you guys go. You guys—ooh, now I'm excited. Um, okay, um, Meg, you go with Carl. (Sorry, Carl.) Tom and Diane, you're a team. Quagmire and Bonnie, you're a team. Um...Seamus and Dr. Hartman? That, that could be funny; don't usually see the two of you together. Uh, Derek and Jillian, you guys take the attic. Joe and Priscilla are still passed out, so they'll be the unconscious team. And that leaves one three-person team of Mort, Consuela, and Mayor West. All right. Let's do this.

The various groups bicker with each other as they search the house, but that ends when Brian and Stewie hear Muriel scream; soon everyone finds Muriel's body, stabbed with the same knife that killed Woods. The group returns to the dining room and notices that Priscilla has gone missing. Jillian's husband Derek tries to help by going to the top of the mansion so he can get a cellphone signal and call the police, but the murderer (whose identity remains a secret) kills him with a blow to the head that sends him falling to the ground below.

Everyone goes outside to examine Derek's body, and once they go back inside, Consuela points out that one of James Woods's Golden Globe awards has been stolen. Dr. Hartman identifies it as the object used to kill Derek based on the wound pattern. With their paranoia at its peak, the group decides to search everyone's rooms together so no one can split from the group and commit another murder. As the group searches Tom's room for any clues, Meg finds a blood-covered Golden Globe under his bed. Tom defends himself by saying that Priscilla planted it there, but Joe discovers Priscilla's dead body in the air duct in Tom's room. After a brief chase, the gang captures Tom and holds him until the police can arrive.

The next morning, construction crews and police arrive to repair the bridge and arrest Tom. As everyone prepares to head home, Lois tries to comfort Diane and asks what she will do after Tom goes to jail. Diane says she will probably anchor the news solo, then shows off a shirt her mother made in honor of her first solo newscast. Lois wonders why Diane would have a shirt for the occasion before she even knew she'd do the news solo...at which point Lois puts two and two together: Diane is the killer.

Diane Simmons: You shouldn't have stopped to say hi to me. You would've lived longer.
Lois: God, why do I ever try to be friends with other women?

Diane holds Lois at gunpoint while she explains her motive: She wanted revenge on Tom because he had been pressuring the station to replace her with a younger newscaster after Diane's 40th birthday, and she wanted revenge on James Woods because he had spurned her in the middle of a romantic relationship, also because of her 40th birthday. Diane met Priscilla during the latter's internship at the station; recognising an opportunity, Diane convinced Priscilla to help turn Woods into a born-again Christian, at which point he would invite everyone to his mansion for a reconciliation dinner. The timed gun that should have killed Woods would have let Diane frame Tom, so when Stephanie sat down in Woods's seat instead, Diane had to improvise. She stabbed Woods to complete that act of revenge, but realised she had left the knife behind, and it still had her fingerprints on it. She killed Muriel and Priscilla when they saw Diane fixing her mistakes, then killed Derek to stop him from contacting the police before she could frame Tom. (When Lois asks what happened to Stephanie's body, Diane remarks that she doesn't know; a cutaway shows Quagmire taking Stephanie's body back home with him.)

Diane takes Lois out behind the mansion and prepares to kill her, all while Lois begs for her life. Lois cringes when she hears a gunshot, then opens her eyes to see that she has no wounds—though Diane has a gaping bullet wound right through her chest. Diane stumbles towards Lois, then falls off the high cliff to the rough ocean below. Grateful for having her life saved, Lois thanks the unknown assailant...who turns out to be Stewie, armed with a sniper rifle.

Stewie: If anyone's taking that bitch down, it's gonna be me.


"And Then There Were Fewer" includes the following tropes (YMMV Goes Here):

  • Animation Bump: This is the first episode produced in high-definition widescreen; it has several uses of Conspicuous CG.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: While she does die, Diane succeeds in getting Tom arrested. Averted, however, when he is out of jail by the next episode.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Stewie kills Diane before she can kill Lois.
  • Closed Circle: Everyone is stranded in the mansion for the night.
  • Comically Missing the Point: After Diane explains her plans to Lois, Lois's response is this:
    Lois: Oh my God... you're forty?
  • Conspicuous CG: This is averted for the most part, but Diane's Slasher Smile and Lois's reaction briefly (and noticeably) swap out the hand-drawn characters for crude CGI puppets to making animating them in slow-mo easier.
  • Continuity Nod: Quagmire points out that Brian has a grudge against Woods for ruining his TV pilot in "Brian Griffin's House of Payne".
  • Darker and Edgier
  • Disney Villain Death: Diane.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Brian growls when James Woods show up.
  • Foreshadowing: Diana is the first to make an accusation against someone—specifically Tom—while everyone else ponders who had a big enough motive to want revenge on James Woods. Considering that her goal is to frame Tom for her murder of James Woods, it makes sense for her to immediately cast all suspicion on him at the first possible opportunity.
  • Fridge Logic: In-Universe: Lois catches on to Diane being the killer because Diane packed a fresh shirt prepared for her first solo news broadcast. She only would have done that if she knew for a fact that Tom would no longer be broadcasting with her.
  • Homage: Or rather a parody of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming/The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Stewie saves Lois because he insists only he can kill her.
  • Killed Off for Real: The victims in this episode were confirmed to be irreversibly dead, and as such, they will never be seen again. James Woods was resurrected in a later episode via Hollywood health care.
  • Oh, Crap!: Lois has this reaction when she realizes Diane was the killer.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Subverted. As Diane holds Lois at gunpoint, Lois tries to tell Peter that she is in trouble by calling him "Pete", which she never does. As Peter thinks about it, he decides that he would rather get into the car and play music. (Which he does.)
  • Psychotic Smirk: Diane puts one on when Lois figures everything out.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Nobody believes James Woods's claims of being reformed until after he dies. When he returns in later episodes, he mostly goes back to being his usual jerkass self.
  • She Knows Too Much: Diane tries to kill Lois for finding out she was the murderer.
  • Something Completely Different: This is a one-hour, semi-serious murder mystery special with only two cutaways (both of which are relevant to the story).
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: Four recurring characters (James Woods, Muriel Goldman, Derek, and Diane Simmons) and two new characters (Priscilla and Stephanie) die during the course of the episode.
  • The Unreveal: Before Derek is pushed off from the balcony by the killer, he sees the killer...but never refers to their name or even their gender just to keep the mystery going for the viewers.
  • Unwitting Pawn/You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Priscilla was unaware of her status as a pawn in Diane's plan until just before Diane killed her.
  • Wham Episode
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The younger anchor Tom had hired to replace Diane is never seen again after this episode. Instead, we get Joyce Kinney.
  • You Monster!: When Peter accues James Woods of being the killer, he uses this phrase.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/FamilyGuyS9E1AndThenThereWereFewer