December 16, 2013 at 02:29 PM EST

Family Guy

TV Show
Current Status
In Season
run date
Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane, Fairuza Balk, Johnny Brennan, Jennifer Tilly, Patrick Warburton, Adam West
Ricky Blitt
Comedy, Cartoons/Animation

Toldja so.

Three weeks ago, Family Guy shocked fans by killing off one of the show’s most-beloved figures: Brian Griffin, the erudite dog/liberal caricature who’s one of several characters voiced by series creator Seth MacFarlane. As it turns out, however, all that outrage was misplaced — because as of last night, Brian’s back. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good psych!

Here’s how it went down. During a routine holiday shopping trip, brilliant baby Stewie spotted something incredible in a toy store — his past self. This version of Stewie had traveled into the future before his time machine broke… and he also happened to have a time machine return pad in his backpack. (What’s a time machine return pad? Just go with it.)

Using the gadget, present-day Stewie went back in time — arriving seconds before Brian got fatally hit by a car. This time, though, the baby managed to push his pal out of the way just in the nick of time. And with that, current Stewie’s timeline was erased — leaving Brian alive, well, and in the perfect position for new present-day Stewie to hit him in the crotch with a hockey stick. (We are, after all, still talking about Family Guy here.)

It’s a turn of events that may have been totally predictable, but was also totally welcome for the show’s fans. These post-episode tweets from MacFarlane really say it best:

Watch the dramatic save below, then tell us: Has your faith in Family Guy been restored? Or did this obvious stunt hit a nerve — and not a good one? And who’s going to miss Vinny the replacement dog? Anyone? … Anyone?

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