"Quagmire and Meg"

"Quagmire and Meg"

As soon as Quagmire comes sniffing around, the show gets paternal towards her faster than Peter does, and to much worse effect

 

Out of all the Family Guy episodes that have been made so far (this is episode #175) this is the only one that made me truly angry. I would be angry at any show that suddenly got some kind of crazy-ass double standard conscience and decided that a character like Meg needed to be protected from men and adult sex. But I'm doubly angry that Family Guy is the show that fell for the same old misogynist trap. 

 
Meg has been well established, throughout the show's run, as a girl with let's call it a "deeply problematic" attitude towards sex. It's an unapologetic attitude, too - consider her "behind closed doors" activities with an eight pack of hot dogs from the fridge. ("I'm going to call you the New York Knicks!") Consider her time as a violent and vengeful lesbian. Or the time she held the burglars hostage, and Joe was the one who had to break it to the rest of her family that Meg has "serious sexual problems."
 
But as soon as Quagmire comes sniffing around, the show gets paternal towards her faster than Peter does, and to much worse effect. Meg is, after all, a legal adult - the episode essentially begins with her eighteenth birthday party. And a relationship with Quagmire is hardly coming out of left field. She and Quagmire have shared many moments together. (Including a "gotcha" tender moment when Quagmire invites Meg over to straighten her out, then sits her down and has a solid talk with her about not letting boys take advantage of her.)
 
I spent the entire episode rooting for Meg. I mean, you know that Quagmire is going to wreck her and dump her, because that is what he does. But what would Meg do in response? Meg has the capacity for astonishing levels of violence and revenge, and I was really hoping that she would go full-on crazy on his ass. (Truly, it would be the least that he deserves.)
 
Alas, the show was just as alarmed by the idea of Quagmire and Meg getting it on as her parents were. Which is a real damned shame, if you ask me. Here's hoping Meg finds her spine and stands up for herself for more than a few minutes at a time. At the very least, regardless of what happened next, that would have been something Quagmire had given her - the gift of effective rebellion. (And what if she had gotten pregnant? OH MY GOD SO GREAT.)