Family Guy season 19, episode 10 recap – “Fecal Matters”

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: January 18, 2021 (Last updated: December 16, 2023)
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Family Guy season 19, episode 10 recap - "Fecal Matters"


“Fecal Matters” makes for an unconventional chicken episode as, elsewhere, Brian gets in touch with his inner feline.

This recap of Family Guy season 19, episode 10, “Fecal Matters”, contains spoilers.

It has been a while since we last saw Family Guy, so the comeback episode, “Fecal Matters”, feels slightly topical with its A-plot of Quahog being gripped by a seasonal flu epidemic. But this is an epidemic, you understand, not a pandemic, so the situation is able to resolve itself much more quickly and easily than the real-world’s public health issues have been. And besides, it’s not really about the flu so much as about the show’s most longstanding elements and ideas, most notably Peter’s on-going rivalry with the giant chicken and Brian being a dog… or not, as it turns out.

A deserted Quahog is reminiscent of 28 Days Later, or it would be if a suddenly alone Peter didn’t use it as an excuse to be predictably terrible at his dream sports. Meg even gets to rip off that Quicksilver set-piece from Days of Future Past for virtually no reason at all. But before long the entire family is hospital and Peter, being immune, is offered a position as a male nurse at the overworked hospital, where the real intention of “Fecal Matters” is made clear. It’s a giant chicken episode!

Yes, in amongst Peter being obviously terrible at nursing — there’s a whole bit about Quagmire confessing his masturbatory misadventures in strict confidence, only for Peter to make and send out a written chronicle of the entire exchange — is the chicken, laid up in the hospital and dying of bird flu since he’s apparently an anti-vaxxer. The rivalry — which nobody considers to be a rivalry except Peter — might be at an end.

Not if Lois has anything to say about it, though. She thinks hate is the most important emotion next to love, and the chicken is basically the Joker to Peter’s Batman. They need each other, they need to hate each other, and so Peter, who was otherwise adamant he was going to let the chicken die, is inspired by the fond memories they share and fittingly beats him back to life once he expires. Family Guy season 19, episode 10 ends with Peter enjoying a midnight snack and going to bed with the comfort of knowing that the chicken is stood menacingly at the window. All is right with the world!

In the B-plot of “Fecal Matters”, Brian is inspired by the flu outbreak to look into his own genetics, at which point he learns he’s 1% cat (Stewie jokes he’s also part Black, which Brian is more repulsed by than the cat news.) Befuddled by this, he starts to act like he’s 100% cat, which is basically an excuse for the episode’s writers to have a go at cats. I’ve got three, so trust me, I understand. But it builds to a sweet-ish payoff after Quagmire convinces Brian to “prove” he’s a cat by jumping off the roof, which lands him in a full-body cast. Stewie has provided his own breakdown of Brian’s genetics, which declare him at least 2% a great guy. That’ll do.

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