Episode 7 | Portrait of a Dog

Plot (Spoiler)

The Griffins are suffering since they don’t have air conditioning while Quahog is experiencing a severe heat wave. Peter learns of a forthcoming dog show with a top prize of $500 and decides that entering would be the ideal opportunity to win enough money to purchase an air conditioner. He convinces Brian, who is hesitant, to take part. During the dog show, Brian displays his tricks. Brian refuses to “perpetuate the stereotype of the “good dog””” when Peter places a bone biscuit on his nose because he finds it insulting and is humiliated that Brian would not cooperate. Brian then storms out in a huff.

Peter and Brian dispute until Brian exits the vehicle on the way home. The tension between Peter and Brian grows when a police officer issues a ticket to Brian for breaking the municipal leash rule. Peter must pay the fine of $10. Peter brings up the fact that he found Brian the stray dog on the road as they go into another argument. Brian flees the house after Peter brought it up and gets even angrier when he tells him to quit acting like a terrible dog. As a result, the neighborhood treats him harshly and he is (in the end) made to sleep at the bus stop. Peter purchases a cat as a new pet, but the cat proves to be problematic and abusive; the family gets rid of it and looks for Brian. Brian has already been expelled from a restaurant and a public store, and he has been pursued by the police after they saw him drinking from a water fountain by the time Peter decides to apologize to him. After attacking a man on the street for treating him like a drunken hobo and for not realizing that he was not a decent dog but a mad beast, Brian ends up homeless. He is then taken into custody by the police.

Everyone is shocked when a social worker informs Brian and the rest of his family that Brian has been given a fatal injection sentence. Brian chooses to learn as much law as he can while Peter works on his appeal, goes to court to defend himself, and eventually gets the chance to argue his case before the Quahog City Council. He brings up the Plessy v. Ferguson case during his parole hearing, but sadly the council thinks it’s silly to listen to a dog. Peter intervenes just as Brian is going to be fired and makes a last-ditch emotional case on his favor. The city council members are unimpressed until Peter offers each one $20 in exchange for their cooperation, at which point Brian is released. The village offers him new respect by allowing him to finally drink from a water fountain, demonstrating that his position is equal to that of the other residents of the community, once the allegations against him are eventually withdrawn. When the family gets home, Stewie makes a small bow in Brian’s direction in an uncharacteristic (for the time) act of respect. Peter and Brian are then left on their own. In an affectionate canine gesture, Brian licks Peter’s face and threatens to kill him if he ever tells anyone about it.

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