During a bush-league softball match, everyone’s favorite not-Cleveland black guy Jerome accidentally kills Horace, the owner of The Drunken Clam. The bank takes possession of the bar, and Peter, Quagmire and Joe barricade themselves inside to stop it from being torn down.
You know, the trope of the neighborhood folk banding together to stop the mean old developers from destroying a beloved spot is something I feel like I’ve seen a lot, but I’d be hard pressed to name more than a handful of specific movies that have used it. Nickelodeon movies, mostly. You know, the ones like Snow Day or Harriet the Spy and shit, and they came on those bright orange VHS tapes? No? Okay.
Family Guy can make a complete and utter mess of a great many things, but one thing it’s a master of is drunken antics. The bar scenes are a lot of fun and definitely made me chuckle. It’s that special kind of Hangover stupid that gets past all my grouchy reviewer defenses and makes me just go with it. There’s a very funny In Memoriam montage at Horace’s funeral showing footage of the various DUIs he’s been responsible for over the years.
Speaking of funerals, this week’s mandatory B-plot has Meg stumbling into the mortician’s room during Horace’s funeral. She’s fascinated by the work and takes a part-time job helping prep bodies for viewings. I’ll just try to bite my tongue and forget everything I learned from Six Feet Under about all the certifications you need to be able to do that, and ignore the fact that they’re not wearing gloves. Yeep.
Chris gets bored and decides that the best use of his time is to go pester Meg at work. He takes a cadaver home with him to be his friend, but after going in the pool together, the body got soggy and fell apart. But gosh darn it, the viewing’s tomorrow and the family will just be so vexed. Meg forces Chris to slap on a suit and a fake beard and stand in for the deceased during the viewing. Unfortunately for him, the dead man he’s impersonating is an organ donor. Cut to Meg and Chris at the dinner table, with Chris missing his face. Lovely.
With the bulldozers advancing on the bar, Peter and Quagmire still refuse to leave. Joe remembers that duh he’s a cop, and wheels outside to join the ever-increasing group of 5-0 urging them to give up. At the last second, Jerome feels guilty about costing Peter n’ Pals both their bar and barkeep, so he buys the Clam and halts its destruction. Hooray, etc.
I’m not 100% certain this will stick, but Family Guy‘s usually been pretty good about not backpedaling on major events, like Cleveland divorcing Loretta, Ida’s sex reassignment, and so forth. Really, though, Horace was never more than a tertiary character who stood in the background with a few occasional lines. I like the idea of Jerome being more of a fixture in the series, and I wanted to see more of him ever since he was introduced back in “Jerome is the New Black” from Season 8. Hopefully, Jerome will be given more screen time than Horace was. He’d make for a nice secondary character, especially since so much time is spent at the Clam anyway.
“Save the Clam” isn’t outright hilarious, but it’s a solid outing that doesn’t overstay its welcome or veer off into Fuckity Stupid Land. It got more than a few giggles out of me, which is saying something for a show that usually gives me a blank, empty look. Like the eyes of a corpse. Because there were corpses in this episode.