Family Guy

Season 10 Episode 3

Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q.

6
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 30, 2011 on FOX
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (16)

4.3
out of 10
Average
233 votes
  • Not Funny At All

    1.0
    I think everyone else summed it up nicely. I saw nothing funny about this episode!
  • I've finally figured out WHY these episodes that are great in Seth's mind are starting to suck.

    2.5
    Okay, I have no problem with dark comedy, however if a dark joke fails you run the risk of making your audience very uncomfortable. This episode is a perfect example of dark jokes that just failed and as a result just made me feel disgusting.



    If any good came out of this I've now I've finally realized why this show is become less funny with this episode. When you want to make a comedy out of a serious subject, political issues, controversial crimes, etc. you can go two ways. One, make it a satire where you subtly poke fun at the joke (Much like what south Park does), or you can talk about it like a moron to show that you a just a big dumb smuck who doesn't know much of anything about it. (I know of a lot of funny stand up comedians who do this). Seth is doing both at the same time and failing miserable at both at the same time.



    I've studied domestic abuse and this is not how the abuser takes control, how the abused one gets to that point, or how the family should handle it. It's clear he knows NOTHING about this subject but has no problem preaching about it, but as I've said before the jokes he makes fail and It is in no way subtle satire and yet he expects you to take something away from it as though it were.



    I think domestic abuse is a terrible thing, but this episode doesn't fail because of he took it too far, it fails because of where he took it.
  • Cut the drama kids.. this is comedy

    3.0
    This episode is not funny and is WAY too dramatic. If you want crappy soupy drama go watch broadcast networks during the day. "Passions" and "All my Children." should fill your crappy need for... well, crap. Just keep the soap opera out of the family guy ive come to enjoy
  • Okay,THAT wasn't funny. Seth,woman abuse is a serious thing

    1.0

    This episode has proven how much Family Guy has sunk below,and just sucks these days. Quagmire is in a comma,and his sister Brenda comes to save him. Everyone then meets her boyfriend Jeff,who is the worst FG character to ever be brought in. He is such a jerk who is not funny,and only yells. Brenda was just a pointless character. She never stood up to Jeff,and was just a useless woman. Lois then discovers that he's hitting her,and they start an intervention. Brenda then tells everyone that he's getting married to Jeff. What?! You mean that after getting hit and yelled at,she's going through. Wow,she is a pointless character. Quagmire then wants to murder him,and ends up getting nearly murdered. But Quagmire ends up killing Jeff,and at the end,he lies to Brenda,saying that he left her. Now,this was just an unfunny episode. Woman abuse is a serious thing,but Seth still decides to make funny jokes. Speaking of humor,there were barely any funny moments. The closest thing that made me laugh was Meg popping her zit,but the rest of the episode wasn't funny. Peter's jokes were unfunny,and saying he was going to kill Mort at the end was especially not funny. The Iraq Lobster would've been funny if it hadn't been used before. Quagmire seemed like the voice of reason for the episode. I liked him as the pervert he was before,but in this episode,someone should give him a medal. Overall, this was easily a horrendous episode and just proved that FG just sucks now

  • If you want to go study a whale, try a tank, not a kiddie pool (or a toilet). Family Guy is too shallow for this.

    1.0

    This episode was a big, f***ing mess. Let's look at the message here... "lol murdering a wife-beater is totally alright and justified". This is what happens when a man like Seth Macfarlane tackles a delicate issue; the man has no real understanding of the problem. He arrives at the most blunt, thoughtless conclusion.


    Let's not kid ourselves; Family Guy characters are exceedingly one-dimensional. The abusive boyfriend in this episode was no exception. All he did was shout about beating his wife; there was nothing even vaguely realistic about his character. There was nothing human about this character at all (or anyone else for that matter, but that's a separate issue). The only way anyone can say that murder is an appropriate solution, is if they truly believe such people ARE the hollow shell represented by this episode.


    And guess what, f**ing Seth Macfarlane, they're not. They are very complex, and some very disturbed and harmful, but everyone is human. Who the f***k are you to assume they never learn or change, and then decide it's appropriate to kill them. Who are you, God? You're too smart for the justice system? Because, obviously, you don't agree with it, so I guess you're above it.


    Family Guy is the least enlightened thing on television. How people find the show insightful is beyond me. It's just too shallow; shallow minds, shallow humor, shallow characters. Peter Griffin is not even human anymore, he's like a fat, retarded Woody Woodpecker. You have vapid retardation mixed with... more vapid retardation, under the guise of "mature subject matter".


    My advice to Seth Macfarlane is: stop pretending to be an intellectual. You obviously don't know how to be impartial, you never scratch below the surface. You're not mature enough to see beyond paper cut-out stereotypes, so stick with the only thing you do know- vomit and potty humor.

  • 10.30

    7.0

    This episode started off pretty rough and unfunny, but it actually morphed into an enjoyable installment. I liked the bit at the end with Joe e-mailing the fake note to the guys for their approval, and while this was really not humorous, it actually did serve a purpose.


    People are going to say this episode justified abusing your significant other. No, it did quite the opposite. Yes, there were some jokes about it, but in the end Jeff paid and the overall message was that it is a horrible thing to do.


    Family Guy has seen better days, but this really wasn't awful.

  • An improvement over the last two episodes

    9.0

    The last two episodes of season 10 were slow but decent. However, this episode was WAY better than Lottery Fever and Seashore Shell Party. Lots of people are saying that this episode was dark. It did has a dark plot but not until the third act where Quagmire battles Jeff. I wassurprisedthat Quagmire has a near deathexperience, but at least he killed Jeff. Of course, Jeff was kinda a major flaw in this episode because he was so harsh to Brenda (Quagmire's sister) and that's not right to have her marry a guy that yelled a lot. Other than that, I enjoyed this episode more than the last two aired episodes. Peter's role was animprovementas well (since he was a bit annoying in the last two episodes). There wasn't much humor in this episode (only around 5 parts were funny). I laughed at Peter& Joe talking to each other at very beginning, Joe calling Chris "Caleb", Peter playing Rock Lobster (Italianversion), and Peter making a joke. Overall, despite, Jeff's harsh behavior, I really enjoyed the episode. 9/10

  • Hands down the scariest Halloween episode of the season. It worked very well as a non-occult thriller, but attempts at humor were awkward. Highly recommended to some; not recommended at all to others

    7.0

    After enduring another lame "Treehouse of Horror" and lamenting the days when those "Simpsons" Halloween episodes used to be a little scary, mourning the demise of what used to be one of my favorite TV nights ("Allen Gregory" didn'tlift my spirits much) and - to be honest - maybe blaming Seth McFarlane for some of thismess, something almost unheard-of happened:I found myself pleasantly surprised after watching "Family Guy!" In many ways, "Screams of Silence" was the best damn Halloween episode of the season! I mean, this episode was *scary.* It wasn't funny at all, the characterization was totally off (since when has Quagmire been the voice of cavalier reason?) and the writers awkwardly wavered between trying to make domestic abuse silly and serious, but"Screams of Silence"succeeded where "The Simpsons" failed: children will have nightmares for months and months to come because of it. It was far and away the scariest and most suspenseful, darkest, most grave and serious episode of anything I've seen in quite some time. And the joke was kind of on us, asit wasn't about ghosts, witches or anything remotely occult, but an everyday reality: domestic violence.



    Here's what happens: After learning that Quagmire has auto-erotically asphyxiated himself to the brink of near-death, Quagmire's sister Brenda and her monstrously abusive boyfriend Jeff visit him. The rest of the episode basically consists of Quagmire and his friends trying to get Brenda to leave Jeff, who makes Mark Wahlberg from "Fear" look like Rod and Todd Flanders. When those attempts fail (and after Joe disturbingly but accurately explains how the police are powerless when it comes to protecting battered women), Quagmire, Peter and Joe plot to kill Jeff. The episode becomes nightmarishly scary when the psychopath turns on Quagmire et al. By the end, the episode stops being a comedy altogether and turns into a suspense/drama/thriller that happens to feature characters from "Family Guy." It's a total departure from form, absolutely nothing like thelighthearted "Family Guy" you're used to seeing.



    Thriller-wise, "Family Guy" duly noted that real-life situations are infinitely scarier than goblins and ghosts, so it aptly chose to pull a Stephen King and invoke a veryreal and very scary theme: domestic violence. And things got morbid only because the sad reality is that sometimes the only way to handlesituations like Brenda's/Quagmire'sis to take the law into your own hands. Thus, Quagmire, Joe and Peter's murderous intentions were totally understandable and the show succeeded in taking us to a very, very dark place. Again,quite King-like.The action and intensity were well-plotted. Jeff was rendered as a monster just believable enough to scare the crap out of you. The final scene in particular was directed spectacularly and worked up a great suspense. It was so well done that I had to remind myself that it was just an animated comedy! I actually thought for a second that Quagmire might die, and no, I wasn't smoking anything.There were a couple of violent moments towards the end when his physical pain (inflicted, of course, by Jeff, the psychopathic boyfriend) seemed real. It was almost impossible not to feel for Quagmire in this episode. I repeat. It was almost impossible not to feel for *Quagmire* in this episode. When was this ever the case previously? "Screams of Silence" did scary extremely well. It's wasn't exactly Dolores Claiborne, but still it was substantially better than "Fear."



    On the other hand, I *did* have to remind myself that it was an animated comedy. The episode wasn't funny at all, unless you think auto-erotic asphyxiation and domestic violence are fodder for laughing riots. The moments in which the writers tried to portray domestic violence in a silly cartoonish way were especially regrettable. Scenes that were supposed to be funny (everyone but Quagmire bungling an intervention for Brenda, for example) fell flat in the humor department. Not to harp on classic "Simpsons" again, but - by way of contrast - those 1990s "Treehouse of Horrors" succeeded because they mixed two genres seamlessly, whereas the comedy was terribly uncomfortable here. "Screams of Silence"should have integratedthe comedybetter or simply left it out. Finally, when an episode begins with a character auto-erotically asphyxiating himself, chances are you don't want small children watching the rest of it. But if you're one of those new age pro-kink albeit anti-violence parents, you might want to at least preview the episode before letting your kids see it. Just saying.



    Bottom line, some people will love this episode and others will hate it. Whether or not you like it will probably depend on your expectations going in. If you want to be frightened about frightening things that happen in real life, or if you're in the mood for suspenseful drama, or if you can simply appreciate the show trying to do something a little different, you'll probably like it a lot. If you want funny, lighthearted entertainment, or if you only want to be scared by things that are more occult, look elsewhere. Personally, I liked the episode enough to hope that "Family Guy" steps outside its comfort zone a little more, although I also hope that it infuses humor a little less awkwardly the next go-around.



    End of review.


    NOTE: You might just want to ignore my score. Again, some people will love it, others will hate it. I perfectly understand why someone would give it either a 0 or a 10. As my review indicates, I liked it on the wholebut thought the humor could have been handled less clumsily, hence my above-average but less than perfect score.

  • I couldn't believe how low Family Guy has gotten. This was worse than the season premiere episode but that one had a couple of laughs and that is saying a lot. I enjoy dark comedy if done right but this episode was so dark I wanted to see the light.

    1.0

    Quagmires' sister Brenda returns after she heard that Quagmire was in a coma. He awakes after she sings to him. Brenda brings her abusive boyfriend who still beats on her. Looking at the situation, Quagmire decides to take matters into his own hands. With the help of Peter and Joe, they took the boyfriend into the woods to kill him. The boyfriend outsmarts them and tries to kill Quagmire but Quagmire gets the upper hand and kills the boyfriend.


    There was nothing funny about this and how they treated the subject matter. Violence against women is a serious subject and there or have been shows that treated the subject right whether it was a drama or sometimes a comedy. I know Seth was trying to go for a serious episode but he brought back a character that wasn't even worth bringing back. Brenda was a very weak character and wasn't developed enough and neither was her abusive boyfriend. If there had been a back story on them, then I would have liked Brenda more. She never stood up for herself and the boyfriend was a one note monster. Seeing Glen as the hero was just wrong. I agree with another review that continuity in this show is bad. I wished there had been continuity. The zit joke was bad and so were every other joke.


    Time to lighten up Seth!! As I said before, this episode was so dark I wanted to see the light.

  • This is a serious episode. But it doesn't have a story.

    2.0

    In a serious episode we need a protagonist. He has to deal with a difficult situation, and we watch how this affects him.


    The protagonist in this episode is Quagmire, of course, because it has to be someone with an established character. Brenda and Jeff are your average abused girlfriend and abusive guy, their characters are never developed; Joe does not have a character; and Peter's character is not suited for a serious episode. So Quagmire.


    So what this episode should have done is show us Quagmire's character development, from sad to desperate to determined and so on. But the writers don't seem to know how to write such a plot.


    Take the restaurant scene: the logical thing to do would have been to show us Quagmire and his sister, so we can see his reaction when she talks about how gentle Jeff beats her. This scene could have included childhood memories and so on. But no. Instead of Quagmire, we see Lois talk to Brenda. Lois is of no importance at all in this episode, so what were the writers thinking?


    There are more problems like this in this episode. All in all, it is just not well done.


    Also, those of you who think this episode was 'dark' - no, it was not. To be dark, Quagmire would have to show a dark side. But he doesn't. What he is doing in this episode is pretty much preemptive self-defence - he kills Jeff before Jeff can kill Brenda. There is absolutely nothing dark about that.

  • A tragic relationship of character we barely know handled by Family Guy... we're in for a REAL treat, aren't we?

    1.0

    Wow. Just, wow!


    This has to be the worst episode to date. It's episodes like this that makes the South Park's episode "Cartoon Wars" that had the line that Family Guy is just made to be funny without being too preachy seem like a WRONG way to describe the show. Granted, this episode isn't as preachy as some the past ones, like how there is no God because Meg is ugly or how Wal-Mart is a cancer on small towns, but this episode was not funny!


    There was nothing funny about this episode. Not one line made me laugh. The closest thing to a chuckle I had was when Meg popped her zit, but besides that, nothing was funny. NOTHING was timed right. Iraq Lobster could have been funny if it was used in something else (the only good this show has going is that it uses those random jokes as memes in online videos, like Nostalgia Critic or Linkara) And of course, the writers had the characters use jokes when the time didn't call for it and ended on a anti-climatic ending that wasn't fullfilling at all.


    Speaking of unfullfilling, the story itself sucked. You remember that episode where Quagmire told Brain off? Remember that one awkward scene they had that when Brain mistaken Quag's abused sister for one of his rough dates that he tends to go over board with? She's the main concern for the episode... and this is pretty much her 2nd appearance in the series.


    Okay, I have to go on tangent here, Family Guy's Continuity just plan sucks. They ignore half of it and over use the other half. Remember the nudist? And even fans pointed out that Kevin, Joe's son, hasn't appeared at all, the writers just said he died the war. Remember when Brain was Peter's friend and hung out with him more than Stewie? And before the "Cleveland Show," Cleveland Jr was hyperactive and skinny. Oh, what about the times Peter promised to treat Meg better when she almost drown? How long did that last? Then Meg got more respect when she became a Prison Butch out of fear from her family?


    Okay, back to the episode at hand. The story is bad.... and that's it. Bad jokes about something that shouldn't be made fun of, placed with bad timing. The episode just ends with Guaq's sister getting a fake letter about her boyfriend's whereabouts and the guys argue about the material of it when she is still in the room, and Peter comments he wants to kill again, this time after Mort on pure impulse.


    There is dark humor, but this episode is just dark, and not too pleasant. Even if you are the fan of the newer stuff Family Guy dishes out, you have to agree with how bad this episode it.

  • Screams Of Silence: The Story Of Brenda Q

    7.5

    A serious episode of Family Guy cripples the show's strengths. Ceding time that could be used on cutaway gags and more jokes to a plot that is tonally opposite to the show's foundation doesn't come across as a good idea. While other shows, even procedurals with grisly murders, play around in Halloween specials, Family Guy went for an episode about domestic abuse that wrote off any chance that comedy could save it if things took a wrong turn.


    Peter, Joe, and Quagmire are going fishing, but Quagmire doesn't show up. When the other two go to his house, they find that Quagmire hanging from the ceiling with his underwear around his ankles, apparently dead from autoerotic asphyxiation. It's a moment that fits with Quagmire's sex-obsessed character but gives a sign that a darker direction is in store. These kinds of moments in the show aren't offensive; they're actually sort of harmless, but the real problem with how frequently they occur is that they just aren't as funny as they need to be. An episode like this only works if the bits of comedy surrounding the serious plot create contrast to the darker main story, but they weren't here. Fortunately, Glenn is still alive, and his sister Brenda shows up at the hospital with her awful boyfriend, Jeff, in tow to watch over Glenn while he recuperates.


    Jeff is such a horrible, offensive misogynist that he makes all the other characters look like saints. His lines weren't funny, just deeply uncomfortable, and any attempts to inject humor into his tirades never landed. The only part that seemed the least bit funny was Brenda's meal at a restaurant with Lois. Olson got some laughs out of just how deep Brenda's denial went, finding every possible excuse to blame herself and exonerate Jeff. It made her endearing and easily likeable, every bit the opposite from Olson's place in the rogue's gallery of misanthropy on It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. That was really the only comedic bright spot, as most of the other scenes kept trying to top each other for which could inspire the most discomfort. The scene where Jeff beats Brenda for switching the television from Leno to Letterman was particularly stale, especially the lukewarm cutaway to Leno's bad jokes that barely resembled the criticisms lobbed at Leno.


    While Brenda and Jeff stay with Quagmire, his over-the-top abuse begins to affect everyone, to the point that the Griffins, Swansons, and Quagmire hold an intervention for Brenda. When Quagmire delivers the requisite emotional outpouring, it all sounds right, but the action is undercut by the fact that Brenda only showed up in response to Quagmire slipping into a coma due to autoerotic asphyxiation. That's the guy being the voice of reason, and there's no joke attached to it because of the serious tone, no irony because of the mood in an intervention scene dealing with an abusive boyfriend. Peter got a bunch of snarky lines to mutter between plot points, but the show resorted to repeating a "Rock Lobster" joke that it used back when Cleveland was still a part of the show gave the impression that even in an episode with many fewer jokes, there wasn't enough new material to go around.


    That intervention doesn't have any effect, and Jeff bursts into the room to deliver the news that not only are Brenda and Jeff getting married, but Brenda is pregnant. That sets Quagmire in a spiral where he comes up with the idea of killing Jeff, and enlists Peter and Joe to help by taking him on a "midnight hunting trip" in the woods. After a few twists, Quagmire prevails with a little help from his penchant for autoerotic asphyxiation, but it doesn't feel satisfying, and more importantly, there's no comedy. This episode veers into territory that doesn't do Family Guy any favors, and this is the last show with high moral ground to stand on for dealing with more sensitive subjects like domestic abuse or revenge killings.


    There were fewer tangents tonight, and thus fewer opportunities for jokes to fail. But the Jeff plot brought out some truly terrible tendencies in the characters. During the final scenes, when Peter, Joe, and Quagmire deliver a fake letter to Brenda to explain Jeff's disappearance, Peter blurts out that he wants to kill again. The takeaway from the whole experience, from watching how horribly Jeff treats Brenda, to the failed attempt on Jeff's life, to the violent struggle with Quagmire, leaves him with the thought of killing Mort. When Family Guy goes serious, it shouldn't make the mistake of trying to mine those more frightening plots for moments of bad humor. They rarely work. The Simpsons managed to find the right blend with Sideshow Bob episodes, or in the aching sadness of Homer and Marge's marriage, but as has been said ad infinitum, Family Guy hasn't mastered that combination in the same way as the original.

  • When Quagmire learns his sister Brenda is being beaten by her boyfriend, comedy ensues... NOT!! NO, NO, NOPE, NO WAY, NO!

    2.0

    While, Family Guy has gone down hill over the years, I can always count on a few good laughs, and a couple "what the hell" moments, but tonight I didn't get either of them.


    I tuned in for comedy, and what I got was a badly written episode of Law and Order: SVU! I thought we'd moved past the 80s where sitcoms had episode with dramatic themes and issues they were trying to push on society. I thought this was Family Guy not The Facts of Life.


    It could have been really funny, like mocking shows that use to do that.


    Family Guy is a show that has never been taken seriously, and it was never meant to be, but now they expect us to be on bored for an emotional storyline that was to blunt, predictable, and serious to be taken seriously.

  • perfect

    10

    I've had a theory about this show for a little while now, and this episode helped prove it: this show, despite the gags-a-minute episodes, is deep down, a dark show. For instance, this episode was about Brenda, Quagmire's sister, and her boyfriend Jeff, who abuses her like there's no tomorrow. That right there is pretty dark. Then, you got jokes; after everyone finds out Brenda is pregnant, Peter suggests names for the baby that have to do with Brenda being abused. There was his "This is the perfect time to tell a joke" line. The line about wanting to kill someone at the end, and then says "Mort!" They're trying to cover up the fact that this episode, and the show as a whole, is pretty dark under the surface. That said, this episode was really good. I was honestly surprised when Jeff had a gun in the woods, andplanned on killing quagmire. The whole sequence of them fighting in the woods was really good. And then, not only the fact that Brenda kept getting beat up by Jeff, you have the opening, in which everyone thinks Quagmire could be dying. Pretty great episode, i thought. Definitely giving this an A+. Dark Family Guy is pretty good.

  • Halloween Review #18

    10

    When Quagmire suffers an accident, he learns that his sister Brenda needs help, so he asks Peter and Joe to kill her abusive boyfriend, Jeff. Man, this is definitely the best Season 10 episode I've ever seen. Not a Halloween episode but FOX did promote this as a Halloween episode along with the other Halloween Premieres so I'll just review it... Happy Halloween everyone. Anyways, this has got to be the most darkest, most serious, and most intense episode of "Family Guy" I've ever seen. In fact, there was rarely any humor in this episode... I only laughed twice and those two laughs were Dr. Hartman wanting to do surgeries outside because it's a beautiful day and when Peter and Joe try to start a conversation in the beginning of the episode. This time, they didn't try to ruin the seriousness except for the invention scene. This is more of a serious than it is a funny episode pretty much. Brenda (Quagmire's sister) was kinda hard to watch but it was so intense and I didn't get bored. Definitely not an episode for children though. The scene where Jett brought a gun and killing Quagmire in the woods was super dark and so intense. I was shocked to see that Quagmire actually survived because it looked like he died. Not I didn't think Quagmire was going to be dead in this episode, I knew something would eventually come up. So yeah, if Seth MacFarlane wanted to do something different by making a serious "Family Guy" episode, it definitely worked for me. Can't wait to see what other users though about this "serious" episode. Overall, an excellent episode of "Family Guy" and BY FAR the best episode of Season 10. 10/10

  • Whoever thought a "serious" episode would be so good?

    10

    When Quagmire suffers an accident, he learns that his sister Brenda needs help, so he asks Peter and Joe to kill her abusive boyfriend, Jeff.


    What I liked: The rooster, the Iraq lobster, how the jokes did not drag on for hours, Jeff's death, among other things.


    Overall a perfect Season 10 episode that was really entertaining to watch.


    10 out of 10

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