“Family Guy” resurrects Brian the dog just in time for the holidays

Late last month, DogTime.com told you about the death of television character Brian Griffin, the anthropomorphic dog from the FOX network’s popular animated series, Family Guy. Brian, a fan favorite, had been an integral part of the show since its pilot back in 1999.

Thanks to a convenient time-travel plot device, the outcome of this tragic situation was changed so Brian could live in “Christmas Guy.”

In the November 24 episode titled “Life of Brian,” the talking cartoon canine is fatally struck by a car while playing street hockey. Brian lives just long enough to tell his heartbroken family how much he appreciated all the things they’ve done for him through the course of his life — a life that had lasted until mid-way through the series’ twelfth season.

“You’ve given me a wonderful life. I love you all,” were Brian’s final words.

Or so we thought, anyway.

Though the Griffin family had already adopted a new dog, Vinny — voiced by Sopranos actor Tony Sirico — and Vinny had even replaced Brian in the show’s opening credits, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and crew started dropping hints that maybe beloved Brian wouldn’t be gone forever.

After weeks of speculation, #BringBackBrian tweets, and passionate petitions from Family Guy fans, including one that earned more than 128,000 signatures before it closed, Brian made a much-anticipated return in the December 15 special Christmas episode of the animated show, titled “Christmas Guy.”

In the episode, evil genius baby Stewie Griffin tells a mall Santa his ultimate Christmas wish.

“I want my friend back,” Stewie tearfully tells Santa. “My best friend, my dog, Brian; he’s dead. It’s our first Christmas without him and no one has even mentioned his name.”

While in the mall, Stewie spots something incredible — his past self. This version of Stewie, no stranger to time travel, had traveled into the future to repair a time machine, and just so happened to have a time machine return pad in his backpack. Time-traveling Stewie, ready to make his Christmas wish come true, goes back to the day of Brian’s death and saves Brian just seconds before the would-be fatal car crash.

“Thank you for saving my life,” Brian tells Stewie. “A lot of other families would have just gotten another dog and moved on.”

After the life-saving version of Stewie disappears, a Stewie with no recollection of Brian’s accident and subsequent death appears, and all seems back to normal — but not necessarily for Brian, who remembers Stewie’s heroics.

“You’re my best friend, and I love you,” Brian tells Stewie on Christmas morning.

Stewie responds in typical Family Guy fashion, letting the show’s loyal audience know that everything is right in Quahog again.

“All I can say, Brian, is you’ve been making really creepy eye contact with me all morning, and I want it to stop now,” says Stewie.

MacFarlane took to his Twitter account shortly after last night’s episode to explain that Brian’s death should serve as an important lesson for Family Guy fans this holiday season.

“And thus endeth our warm, fuzzy holiday lesson: Never take those you love for granted, for they can be gone in a flash,” MacFarlane writes.

“I mean, you didn’t really think we’d kill of Brian, did you?” he adds in a second tweet. “Jesus, we’d have to be f**king high.”

But touched by the strong reaction the show’s fans had to Brian’s death, MacFarlane — who also voices the canine character — couldn’t resist adding one final tweet after Brian’s Christmas miracle resurrection.

“Oh and hey…thanks for caring so much about the canine Griffin,” MacFarlane tweeted. “He is overcome with gratitude.”

Sources: Mediaite.com, Entertainment Weekly