'American Dad’ recap: Cock of the Sleepwalk

By Victoria C Greene,

Last night’s episode of American Dad marked a new high for patriarch and CIA man Stan Smith. Previously unable to kill others as mentioned in Season 4 Episode 6, The 42-Year-Old Virgin, Stan has overcome his fear and has become a killing machine.

The episode opens with Stan getting in bed with Francine while placing a retainer smeared with chocolate cake into his mouth. Francine expresses her displeasure with Stan’s action, but Stan provides her an excuse and states that he does not want to change his routine before the next day when he will kill a Russian assassin. As Stan turns over to sleep, Francine reminds him that it is, ‘Perfect Husband Time,’ the 20 seconds per month that he allots to listen to her concerns, all of which he dismisses.

The next day, Stan performs his kill, as expected, and his supervisor and colleagues throw a party for him to celebrate this kill as it brings him to 100. As he prepares to go to bed that evening, Stan does not wear his retainer full of cake and explains to Francine that he is now a man as he’s killed 100 people, then peacefully falls asleep beside her.

When he wakes the next morning, Stan finds himself covered in cake and Francine explains that during the night, while sleepwalking, Stan rose to have his cake and has performed several good deeds, including adopting a dog from a shelter and asking Francine to watch a movie she’d previously asked him to watch. Horrified by his actions, Stan rushes to find Roger, the alien who lives with them, and demands to see Dr. Penguin, one of Roger’s numerous personas.

As Dr. Penguin, Roger surmises that Stan’s conscience is attempting to make an appearance and Stan responds he does not have a conscience, which is how he is able to perform his job. After deciding that Stan is simply a man of habit, they agree that he should resume his usual nightly routine, including sleeping with a mouth full of chocolate cake.

The next morning, Stan wakes at an orphanage and is told by a kindly nun that he is the new director of the orphanage and has paid off a loan on a school bus. Disturbed by his actions, Stan flees.

As the episode progresses, Stan does a number of nice things, including adopting a child and opening a soup kitchen in his home for the homeless and he is eventually left a video message from himself. His conscience introduces himself and states that he will do everything in the world to right the wrongs that Stan has done because killing 100 people is an absolutely unforgivable act.

When Stan’s inability to kill a Belgian terrorist, who is determined to bomb a local IHOP, costs him his job, Stan deduces that he must get his conscience to kill the terrorist. He moves his family, a large amount of orphans, and homeless people to the IHOP in question and when the terrorist arrives to set off his bomb, Stan promptly falls asleep, causing his conscience to emerge. As his conscience realizes what must be done, he miserably and brutally murders the terrorist because it was necessary to save those for whom he cared.

At the end of the episode, in Stan’s subconscious mind, he and his conscience meet and realize that the world is not simply black or white, but a large shade of grey and both of their mindsets are necessary to navigate through the various trials of life.

image: FOX

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