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

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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 realize 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, 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 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? But, Diane, why? How could you do all these horrible things?!

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; recognizing 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 realized 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.)

After Peter fails to recognize Lois's covert pleas for help, Diane takes her 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):

  • Actually Pretty Funny: When the male guests apprehend Tom on suspicion for murdering James Woods, the former defiantly punches Joe in the face, causing him to quip that he's going to make sure that Adrien Brody plays him in the movie that's going to be based on the murders. Tom retorts that it means he doesn't want anyone to see it, cue everyone bursting into laughter.
  • Animation Bump: This is the first episode of the series produced in high-definition widescreen; it has several uses of CGI.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Joe points out the murderer is someone in the room... and "someone just ate the last goat cheese tartlet."
    (everyone yells angrily)
    Peter: Now I hope I die next!
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Stewie kills Diane before she can kill Lois.
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: Diane holds Lois at gunpoint, and is just about to execute her when she is herself sniped by an out-of-sight Stewie.
  • Blackmail: Becomes Muriel's motive for killing James Woods. She had been supplying him and his young girlfriend prescription drugs and threatened to expose her when she tried to back out.
  • Bludgeoned to Death: If Death by Recognition is the way the story kills Derek, this is how he physically dies, as the killer bashes him in the head with a Golden Globe award. Falling over a high balcony probably didn't do him any favors, either.
  • Body In A Bread Box: Priscilla's corpse is found in an airshaft in Tom Tucker's room.
  • Call-Back: Of course, considering that a main plot point is that James Woods is trying to atone for what he’s done to much of the main cast in the past. While some of the cast isn’t explicitly shown to have been wronged by him (like Carl, Seamus, Jillian, and others), there are a few examples brought up:
    • Quagmire brings up how Woods stole Cheryl Tiegs from him.
    • The incident where Woods ruined Brian’s television show is also discussed.
    • The Griffins allude to how many times Woods has messed with them as a whole, with Brian even growling at him the moment he makes his presence known.
    • Tom Tucker's dream of being an actor comes up again. He was apparently up for the role of Freddy Krueger, which references him having played Michael Meyers.
  • Captain Obvious: As the Griffins are trying to escape the mansion after Stephanie is killed, lightning strikes a tree and breaks the stone bridge, leading to this exchange as the Griffins teeter on it:
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: When the dinner party turns deadly, the remaining party goers try to call for help, but the isolation of the mansion means a weak signal in good weather, and no signal at all during the raging thunderstorm. However when Derek, Jillian's husband, manages to finally get a (very weak) signal, he tries to call for help, only to be ambushed and killed.
  • Closed Circle: Everyone is stranded in the mansion for the night after a storm takes out the bridge.
  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: 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: This episode is heavier on the drama than most other episodes, namely by having the actual murder mystery played completely straight, resulting in several recurring characters being Killed Off for Real.
  • Death by Recognition: Story-wise, this is how Derek meets his end.
    "Hey, what are you doing up here? Wait a minute...What the hell is this?! Oh my's YOU! The man or woman who's been killing everybody!"
  • Disney Villain Death: Diane, though the fact she was shot in the chest by a sniper rifle effectively did her in; the fall off a cliff was just to ensure that she's completely gone.
  • Everyone Is a Suspect: Everyone invited to the manor has been wronged by James Woods in some way. Lois and Mayor West note how everyone has a motive.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Brian growls when James Woods show up.
  • Extra-Long Episode: This is the first of the three season 9 episodes to be broadcast as an hour-long episode.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Diane 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. Though she does cover her tracks with the Dan Rather/Danny Bonaduce story and then immediately accusing Herbert.
      • Plus, Tom and Diane were at each other's throats more than usually. Underlying the fact that Diane hates Tom for replacing her, while Tom simply can't stand Diane and is more than glad she'll be out of his life.
    • When the gang finds Derek's body and Jillian begins to cry. Diane consoles her. And then we find out it was a literal apology.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: This is a one-hour, semi-serious murder mystery special with only two cutaways (both of which are relevant to the story).
  • Frame-Up: Diane's plan was to frame Tom Tucker for James' murder, so as to destroy both of the men who ruined her life.
  • 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.
  • He Knows Too Much: Diane murders Priscilla and Muriel because they both caught her in the act while she was setting up the frame job on Tom. Diane also tries to kill Lois for finding out she was the murderer.
  • Homage: The episode does have smatterings of the typical Family Guy comedy, but it's otherwise a rather faithful pastiche of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.
  • In the Back: James Woods and Muriel Goldman are both killed courtesy of a steak knife to their backs.
  • I Love the Dead: Lois asks Diane what happened to Stephanie's body, and even Diane is unable to figure that out. An Answer Cut shows Quagmire driving away with Stephanie's corpse in his truck. (*shrugs* Who else but Quagmire?)
  • Karmic Death: Diane’s karma in this episode comes in the form of being killed by Stewie.
  • Killed Off for Real: The victims in this episode (sans James Woods) were confirmed to be irreversibly dead, and as such, they will never be seen again.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Diane is punished for the murders she committed in the James Woods Mansion by being killed by Stewie in a discreet fashion as he fired the bullet at her from the mansion.
  • Lights Off, Somebody Dies: As the guests are confronting James Woods in the dining room, the storm briefly knocks out the power. When the lights come back on again, everyone finds James dead from a knife to the back.
  • Morality Chain: Priscilla helps James Woods find his inner goodness by introducing him to Christianity. After his resurrection and Priscilla's death, James Woods goes back to being a jerk.
  • No Sympathy: Because she was so annoying, Quagmire wasn't exactly upset over Stephanie's death.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Well, some things. James Woods' death was reversed later on, but Muriel Goldman, Derek, and Diane Simmons haven't come back.
  • Oh, Crap!: Lois has this reaction when she realizes Diane was the killer.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Stewie saves Lois because he insists only he can kill her.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Lois tries to invoke this to get Peter to realize she's in danger, saying "Don't put a gun in my back" and calling him "Pete". Peter just ends up confused and leaves.
  • 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. This appears to have been a good call, as when he returns in later episodes, he mostly goes back to being his usual Jerkass self.
  • Secret Room: The guests are searching the dining room where James Woods was murdered for clues. Someone leans on a bookshelf, which opens to reveal a hidden chamber.
  • Self-Serving Memory: When Quagmire points out Brian could have murdered Woods as revenge for him ruining Brian's TV pilot, Brian claims he backed out of the project willingly. Of course, Quagmire (who hates Brian for many reasons) doesn't believe that.
  • Shouting Free-for-All: After experiencing a murder, all of the party guests begin accusing and arguing with each other, resulting in all of them shouting over each other. Peter, however, is arguing about something completely off-topic and inconsequential.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Skewed Priorities: After Diane explains her plans to Lois, Lois does indeed comprehend what Diane just told her... but her first hang-up on the fact that Diane is 40.
  • Slashed Throat: When Priscilla comes across Diane pulling the knife out of James Woods' back, Diane kills her this way.
  • Spanner in the Works: Diane had a foolproof plan to murder James and frame Tom for it. What she didn't count on was Stephanie coming to the villa with Quagmire and mucking everything up, which forced her to improvise as the night progressed and murder multiple people. In short, Stephanie obliviously and indirectly was responsible for Muriel, Priscilla, and Derek all dying when they didn't have to.
  • Take That!: Diane compares Danny Bonaduce to a midget turning 30. Also, when arresting Tom, Joe punishes him by having Adrien Brody play him in the movie (their reaction to Tom's response being under Actually Pretty Funny above). Also, in the extended version on the DVD, Stewie goes on a whole diatribe against the Golden Globes.
  • 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.note 
  • Trophy Violence: When Derek attempts to call for help, the killer steals James Woods' Golden Globe Award and caves in his head.
  • 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: Priscilla was unaware of her status as a pawn in Diane's plan until just before Diane killed her. Diane notes that Lois also proved useful when she turned on Tom when she did.
  • Verbal Tic: Consuela calls everyone "Mister" regardless of their gender. Stewie makes an aside to Brian that she does not know the meaning of the word "Mister".
  • 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 (unless she was the "young" anchor who was given a redesign later).
  • Would Hit a Girl: James Woods once punched Bonnie in the throat because of the way her voice sounds.
  • You Monster!: When Peter accuses James Woods of being the killer, he uses this phrase.


Video Example(s):


Stewie Saves Lois

Before she can be killed by Diane, Lois is saved by none other than Stewie, for this exact reason.

How well does it match the trope?

4.9 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou

Media sources: