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 held in their honor; when they arrive, they see several of their friends and fellow Quahog residents, who all received the same invitation. Once everyone settles down at the dining room table, James Woods reveals himself as their host. Everyone thinks he has the worst intentions, but Woods claims to have become a born-again Christian thanks to his new girlfriend, Priscilla, and wants to make amends with everyone he hurt.

When Woods and Priscilla leave the room to check on dinner, 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 lightning strikes a tree, which falls onto the bridge and destroys it. Fears that James Woods might kill one of them next makes the entire group paranoid, and when Woods and Priscilla return to the dining room, everyone accuses him of killing Stephanie. Woods proclaims his innocence, then the lights go out; when they come back on, Woods lies on the floor, stabbed to death. Priscilla faints, Stephanie's body disappears, and everyone realizes that Woods couldn't 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 realize that everyone 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. While Brian and Stewie search, they hear Muriel scream, and soon everyone finds Muriel's body, stabbed with the same knife that killed Woods. The group returns to the dining room and notices that the fainted Priscilla has gone missing. Jillian's husband Derek tries to help by going to the top of the mansion to 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 his wound pattern. With their paranoia at its peak, the remaining group searches 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 have arrived to repair the bridge and arrest Tom. As everyone prepares to head home, Lois tries to comfort Diane and asks what she'll do now that Tom will go to jail. Diane mentions she'll probably anchor the news solo, then shows off a shirt her mother made for her first solo newscast. Lois wonders why Diane would have a shirt for the occasion before she even knew she'd do the news which point Lois puts two and two together: Diane is the killer.

Diane holds Lois at gunpoint while she explains that she wanted revenge on Tom (because he'd been pressuring the station to replace her with a younger newscaster after Diane's 40th birthday) and James Woods (who spurned Diane in the middle of a romantic relationship, also because of her 40th birthday). Diane met Priscilla during the latter's internship at the station and used her as a pawn in the revenge plan — she got Priscilla to help reform Woods, who would then invite everyone to the mansion for a reconciliation dinner. The timed gun that should've killed Woods would have let Diane frame Tom, but when Stephanie sat down in Woods's seat instead, Diane had to improvise. Diane stabbed Woods to complete that act of revenge, but realized she couldn't leave the knife there because of her fingerprints. 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 then 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 — and that Diane has a gaping bullet wound right through her chest. She 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 a sniper-rifle-carrying Stewie ("If anyone's taking that bitch down, it's gonna be me").

"And Then There Were Fewer" contains examples of (YMMV Goes Here):

  • Animation Bump: This is the first episode produced in high-definition widescreen — with amazing use of Conspicuous CG.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: While she does get killed, Diane succeeds in getting Tom arrested. Averted in that he's out of jail by the next episode.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Stewie kills Diane at the end 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: Oh my God... you're forty?
  • Conspicuous CG: 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 on 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, Tom specifically, when everyone is pondering 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 try and cast all suspicion on Tom on the first opportunity she gets.
  • 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. The only reason she'd have done that was if she knew for a fact that Tom wouldn't be broadcasting with her.
  • Homage: Or rather a parody of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Stewie saving Lois because he insists only he can kill her.
  • Killed Off for Real: The victims in this episode have been confirmed to be dead and will never be seen again. With the exception of James Woods.
  • Oh, Crap!: Lois has this reaction when she realizes Diane was the killer.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You:
    Stewie: If anyone's taking that bitch down, it's gonna be me.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Subverted. As Diane holds Lois at gunpoint, she tries to tell Peter she's in trouble by calling him "Pete", which she never does. As Peter thinks it, he decides he'd rather get into the car and play music. (Which he does.)
  • Psychotic Smirk: Diane puts one on when she's revealed to be the killer.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Nobody believes James Woods's claims of being reformed until he gets murdered. When he returns in later episodes, he mostly goes back to being his usual jerkass self.
  • She Knows Too Much: Diane almost kills 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 (which are both 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.
  • Unwitting Pawn/You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Priscilla wasn't even aware of her status as a pawn in Diane's plan until Diane killed her.
  • Wham Episode
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The younger anchor that Tom has hired to replace Diane is never seen again after this episode. Instead, we get Joyce Kinney.
  • You Monster!: Peter calls James Woods this when he accuses him of being the killer.