Family Guy

Season 10 Episode 5

Back to the Pilot

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Nov 13, 2011 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (18)

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out of 10
285 votes
  • Good episode

  • One slight step in a very wrong direction...

    The first thing I should mention about this episode is that it's not necessarily a bad one in terms of the overall plot. In fact, the way it's laid out is pretty diverse and quite clever in parts. So why the poor rating you ask? It all comes down to the 9/11 humor contained within. Basically what this episode is doing is insulting each and every person who died in a way that has become standard with this show over the years. There is absolutely no way they should have taken it to that degree and I shudder at how those people would react to something like this. I am also aware of the fact that the show's creator had a close call with that same event. I'm not saying flat out that the episode itself was wrong, but the humor sure was...
  • family guy road to the pilot

    Fantastic absolutely fantasic this episode was great i loved it so much they go back to the first episode of family guy to find Brian's tennis ball and i liked it when they looked inside the house and they did a cutaway and they just stood there making Brian and Stewie worried they're like i know we shouldn't alter the past but should we call an ambulance. Very clever and funny episode i recommend this episode to all fans of the show
  • Awesome episode

    Brian and Stewie travel back in time to the very first episode of the series. Although season 10 had been enjoyable, this may be on the best episode for the season. Brian and Stewie going back in time was very interesting. There are are parts I laughed like the dog saying "Son of a b***" after Brian not to tell any dog, the Griffins just standing there (because they are making a cutaway), Brian and Stewie almost got crashed by the blimp, the Kool Aid Guy's appearance, Brian and Stewie going to the future to found out the animation is clay like, Joe shooting Quagmire, Brian and Stewie kept traveling in 1999, and the ending (and a few more as well). Overall, an excellent episode. 10/10
  • This was Great.

    I thought 'Back to the Pilot' was one of the best episodes since 'Road To the Multiverse' the cutaways were short, the mistakes Brian and Stewie saw from the pilot were funny as like Peter's eye going over his nose and what they used to do during a cutaway when the Griffins were off screen. Brian's amateur footage preventing 9/11 was pretty damn funny considering he was using information that nobody knew at the time. Bush losing in 2004 with no 9/11 leading to another civil war was also pretty funny even though it killed 17 million people mostly through a series of concentrated nuclear strikes all along the Eastern seaboard ( Most likely a reference to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings). But the most hysterical part was where alot of Brian and Stewie's show up from the future and a Peter because he was looking for the can. The only thing that dragged down my vote slightly was most parts of the episode wasn't HD but still I enjoyed the episode.
  • Good quirky, time travelling episode featuring Brian and Stewie.

    The only problem I have with it is, if they travel in time to 1999, when the first episode took place, how is it they haven't aged in the years since? Stewie is still a baby, 12 years on and Brian should be dead of old age. Weird.

    I like these Brian-Stewie episodes and think that Seth should have done a Stewie and Brian spin-off series rather than the Cleveland Show. It could have been a rival for Futurama
  • Amazing episode!!!


    When Brian approaches Stewie about helping him find a tennis ball he'd buried, Stewie asks if Brian remembers the date that he lost it. Brian tells him that he buried it on January 31, 1999 (the day that the first episode of the series originally aired). Using Stewie's time machine to travel back to that date, the two soon come upon the Griffin family, but notice that their past looks more strange than they remembered it: The family continually pauses for cutaways, and Meg's voice sounds different. Telling Brian that he mustn't alter the past by getting the tennis ball and that he should instead memorize its location, Stewie goes into his room to set up their return to the present before Past Stewie suddenly enters. The two Stewies then meet, and Stewie tells Brian to come out from his hiding place after explaining himself to Past Stewie. However, Brian fell onto to Past Peter's car as he drives to the bachelor party at past Glenn Quagmire's house. Stewie finds Brian and the two then attempt to return to the present, but find that the transportation device's batteries are running low and moved only a bit forward in time. Later, the two manage to take advantage of Peter dumping his extra welfare money out of a blimp above Super Bowl XXXIII to collect the money needed to purchase new batteries. It was only after the two return to the present that Stewie learns that Brian told his past self about the September 11 attacks ahead of time, allowing Past Brian to stop the event and alter the timeline as a result.

    While watching the local news, it is also discovered that former President George W. Bush, who has lost the 2004 election, has returned to Texas and seceded from the United States, along with the rest of the southern United States, resulting in a second Civil War. Brian insists that things will still be better in the end, but when they travel five years into the future they find a computer generated post-apocalyptic future caused by nuclear attacks all across the United States. Admitting that he made a mistake, Brian asks how the situation can be resolved. The two then return to prevent Brian from telling his past self about the attacks. They then return to the present, whereupon Stewie learns that Brian has taken credit for the Harry Potter series, and they seek to repair this by again trying to prevent themselves from telling any future events. This causes hundreds of Stewies and Brians to appear, however, to prevent them from telling the future. Having had enough of this, one Stewie tells his numerous future selves to take their respective Brians and return to their time. From there, Stewie takes Brian back a minute before their past selves arrive and forces them to return to their time. With that, the altered timeline ceases to exist along with its corresponding Stewie and Brian.'

    this was a amazing time traveling episode!

    everything about this episode was great!

  • Very funny and creative...the best of season 10 so far!


    I thought this was an excellent episode, and it's my favorite of season 10 so far. First of all, the storyline was probably the most original thing I've seen on the show. It was awesome to see Brian and Stewie travel back to the very first episode, and the comments they made about Meg's voice sounding different, Stewie looking different, etc, were hilarious. The Kool-aid man's part in this episode, Brian writing the Harry Potter books, Cookie Monster, and the terrorists' attempt to attack St. Louis were also hilarious. The most clever scene to me, though, was when we see what the characters actually do when there are cutaways being shown (which, as it turns out, is absolutely nothing. Lol!). The 3D animation was also awesome to look at, and Joe as a cyborg and Quagmire as a frog were pretty funny. The ending was good, too. So, overall, this is my favorite episode of the season so far, and my overall grade for this episode will definitely be an A+! Marebear2009, out!

    ~dedicated to tigerdude22~

  • This was great. It was much better than Stewie goes for a Drive and much better than Road to the North Pole. But there is one thing that is preventing me from giving it a 10. Here it is. Brian


    Brian shows Stewie a tennis ball he found that he had great memories with. Stewie takes him back in time to the original site where it was buried. They noticed that the house is much differant and sees the family but they looked differant. They've traveled back to 1999. The batteries in Stewies' time machine ran out and on the way back they relived some past events like the super bowl and Peter in court. They managed to get back but they altered the past.

    I enjoyed this. It was another road to episode but it was a relief from last weeks' episode. Stewie was smarter in this one and I want the evil, smart Stewie. back. It was fun seeing how the show has evolved from the way it looked back then to now and how they poked fun at it realizing how it changed. I loved it when they returned to the football game and take the money and how Brian had pockets. Seeing The Kool Ade pitcher miss his cue was funny and blames Brian and Stewie. Seeing so many Brians and Stewies coming back to warn each other gave me a headache at first but I laughed when they came back in differant forms. Seeing them in barber shop poles was funny and I loved when Stewie got a double D chest. The same for a dead Brian.

    Now here is why I gave it a 7. Brian was a big douche. He warned the Brian from 1999 about 9/11. He was on the plane and filmed himself stopping the terrorists while saying catchphrases like an 80s action hero. He also took all the glory and also for writing the Harry Potter books. He was very selfish and the old Brian would never do this. I know it was tragic but the old Brian would have just respected those who have died and never forget what happened. He should have also write his own novels instead of stealing another persons' ideas. This was not the Brian I know and old is dead. RIP.

    Overall, this was a great episode. Much better than Road to the North Pole but I wish they would make them simpler again like Road to Rhode Island. Now I wish Stewie would get smart again and stay that way.

  • Family Guy is Back?


    I was looking back on previous ratings on episodes and this particular episode has the highest rating out of all episodes. I in fact agree. This was a great Episode. Family Guy has been on a bit of a slump but maybe this episode brought it back to life!!!!!!!!

  • What's the *&*#$?


    Now here, finally, we have a well-written episode. It jumps right to the story, and doesn't hit any snags along the way. I've griped about horrible momentum in the past, but this episode nailed it. There wasn't a moment where you could tell they'd run out of ideas... the writers were very creative with this concept, and for once I say, Good Work!

    I had to laugh at observations directed at Peter and his nameless buddies from the pilot. There were a lot of good jokes in this episode, which is very odd, considering Family Guy hasn't been funny in ages. I never thought I'd write a good review to be honest. I guess even old Cyril Sneer knows when he sees a good thing.

    So I'm telling you, if you're as cynical as I am when it comes to Family Guy, give this episode a go.

  • perfect


    and to think, i wasn't even going to watch this episode. but, i did, and it was nothing short of awesome. parts i liked in this episode include the line about meg's voice sounding different in 1999, Peter wondering why he was in the past (saying he was looking for the toilet), brian becoming the author of the harry potter series, the ending of the episode, the 3D scenes, frogmire (and him saying 'ribbity'), amongst other things. this whole episode was either full of laughs or cool animation. i loved the references to past episodes, like the kool-aid man, and the ending was also pretty good. great episode, best of the season so far. A+

  • A nostalgic ride that is funny and clever!


    "Road To The Pilot"

    Grade: A*

    Well, we all anticipated this episode. Family Guy going back to the very first episode of the series, airing back in 1999. It's funny looking back at how different the show look and felt back then. Road To The Pilot manages to cleverly self-reference itself to joke on the pilot episode and create an interesting take on preventing 9/11 in the second half of the episode.

    One thing I really liked about this episode as well is that they compare current Stewie to past Stewie and how different each character is. It's funny seeing how past Stewie was always evil and wanted to kill Lois, whilst present Stewie is just like "Yeah, whatever" and much more lazier. One joke is Stewie commenting on how much more gadgets his past self had compared to his present one. It's also interesting to note that this episode purposely animates the 1999 scenes in 4:3 aspect ratio to keep it in line with the original pilot animation.

    With many reappearences and nostalgic memories of seeing the Kool-Aid again and Peter's old friends with no appearance of Joe (Since he hadn't appeared until episode 5), the writers made sure to keep the continuity correct and believe it or not, had some of the best dialogue and funniest jokes I've seen in years. When Stewie commented on Meg's voice and the cutaway jokes, I was cracking up laughing at them breaking the fourth wall.

    As the episode continues with Brian and Stewie meeting the Kool-Aid man and intefering with his original appearence, as well as the Football stadium. Brian and Stewie finally return back to the present, only to discover Brian prevented 9/11. Although it may appear bad in taste and controversial, I think this episode raised a good point on whether we should alter the past or not. As they soon find out, they start a war and cause a hilarious scene of Joe and Quagmire together as both Cyborg and Frog.

    The episode ends with Brian and Stewie trying to prevent their original selves from doing anything wrong, and in the end cause a huge paradox of loads of Brians and Stewies (as well as other minor alterations) to reappear and mess everything up. In the end, Stewie stops all of it from happening by appearing before the originals and forcing them to go back straight away after shooting them.

    Overall, Road To The Pilot shows that Family Guy can still be funny when it tries and has a plot where the jokes can work with both subtle and black comedy. As for 9/11, it brought an interesting point about it whether we would actually prevent it from happening or not, and seeing the pilot again is a huge nostalgic memory for me and many others, watching the show back when it was brand new back in 1999 and seeing how the show has changed, some for the best, some for the worst.

  • Brian and Stewie travel back in time to January 31st, 1999 (the first episode of "Family Guy")


    I thought that this was an excellent episode of "Family Guy". I have to agree with jmbsonic555 when he said "Season 10 finally gets its first perfect episode that was not dark." This episode was better than last week's episode "Stewie Goes For a Drive". I thought it was so cool that Brian and Stewie actually travel back in time to the first episode of "Family Guy" which aired on January 31st, 1999. Brian and Stewie making comments about how they both looked different in the earlier time, Meg's voice sound a little different, and more was very funny. Brian and Stewie talking to the Kool-Aid guy and the Kool-Aid guy telling them that he is waiting. You know, that court scene in the pilot episode when he jumped through the wall and said "Oh yeah". It was hilarious when the Kool-Aid guy was super late at doing the "Oh yeah" part and then breaks plus gets angry at Brian and Stewie. Brian and Stewie transporting with Peter and then Peter saying "Why am I here? I was just looking for the can" was very funny. Also, the cutaway with the guy saying "What is this?" and then the cookie monster saying "CookieBook" (Facebook) was very funny. I also laughed hard at the very ending with Peter and his drinking beer guys. I also loved the animation with the 3-D world... that was super cool and so impreeive. Cleveland's appearance in that 3-D world scene was very funny. I also laughed so hard when Brian became the author of the Harry Potter series. Overall, an excellent episode of "Family Guy" with a very cool storyline... I wonder what the other users have to say about this one. 10/10

  • This may be the most brilliant episode of Family Guy!


    This episode was absolutely GENIUS! It was so funny, and I think it was the best episode out of the others in Season 10. There is only one thing that bothered me and it was the beginning; they didn't do that funny theme from the usual "Road to..." episodes and didn't that episode remind you of the Tree House of Horror episode in the Simpsons when Homer makes a new Toaster after breaking it and then it takes him back in time and he messes up the present? Overall it was still different and funny and I have doubts for the other episodes to top this one but I hope it does because I want to see other genius episodes that Seth can come up with just like the old episodes.

  • 11/13


    Family Guy's pilot was legendary and this episode revisiting it nearly 13 years later was enjoyable as well. A number of great points visited including the original Meg, and the different drawings from the original series.

    This was clever, it was not offensive (although I am sure some people will still complain about it) and it had some funny moments. It was a creative endeavor though and continued a recent run of good episodes this show has been delivering.

  • Season 10 finally gets its first perfect episode that was not dark.


    Brian and Stewie travel back in time after Brian wanted to go see where his tennis ball was. This episode had a bunch of laughs, like when they all set up cutaway jokes, standing there like zombies, the 9/11 jokes went a little too far, but I excuse them, the Kool-Aid man messing up and shattering, Joe as a cyborg, Cleveland, Quagmire as a frog, Quagmire getting blown up, Brian writing hairy potter books, all the Stewie and Brians arguing and Stewie telling them to shut the hell up, Stewie and Brian in barber poles, Peter appearing in the Brian and Stewie riot, and much more.

    In conclusion, this episode was great nostaglia and it made me laugh.

    FINAL SCORE: 10 out of 10

  • I just watched this episode just a couple minutes ago! So we have a new Road to... episode!


    So this episode is about when Brian & Stewie time-travel into the very first episode of Family Guy.The beginning was funny when they were watching the first episode from the window, while everyone stays still whenever there are cutaway gags happening, and when Stewie mentions Meg's voice. They made the Kool-Aid man miss his joke, that was so funny! So when they go back to their time, it turns out that Brian stopped 9/11, so they try seeing what happens 5 years later, and it's a CGI war time. I was sort of freaked out by cyborg Joe and Frogmire. But that quickly went away when Brian & Stewie have to prevent themselves prevent 9/11. I loved when Peter was teleported with one of the clones when he just had to use the can. And when there was a Brian with a slit throat, that was so hilarious! I loved the ending where Peter and his drinking pals from the stag party were all drinking. 9.5/10 for awesomeness!