|Episode no. Season 4
Written by Steve Callaghan
Original air date May 15, 2005
|Directed by Chuck Klein|
Production code 4ACX04
"Blind Ambition" is the third episode of the fourth season of the American animated sitcom Family Guy. It was first broadcast on Fox in the United States on May 15, 2005. In the episode, Peter swallows an excessive number of nickels, causing him to become blind. He later becomes a hero after unwittingly saving Horace the bartender from a fire at his bar, The Drunken Clam, and then regains his sight. Meanwhile, Quagmire is forced to refrain from perverse sexual behavior or risk being driven out of the neighborhood following his arrest for spying on Lois in a ladies' lavatory.
At the bowling alley, Mort Goldman bowls a perfect game and becomes an overnight celebrity. Lois arrives to pick Peter up from the bowling alley, but discovers Quagmire spying on her from the ceiling of the ladies' toilet. Quagmire is beaten up then arrested, but released shortly after by Joe. On his return, Lois, Bonnie and Loretta reveal that they're petitioning the city of Quahog to have Quagmire removed from their neighborhood. As Peter and the other guys are defending Quagmire, Ernie the Giant Chicken attacks Peter and starts a fight that causes huge casualties inside and outside of Quahog. After the fight, Peter returns to the neighborhood to return to the conversation and tells the women that, "Quagmire's a good guy, he's just a little mixed up, that's all!" Eventually, the women agree to let Quagmire stay in the neighborhood so long as he manages to control his perverse behavior. Quagmire's taught self-control through operant conditioning by Peter and his friends, and is eventually allowed out in public. Soon, however, he is distracted by women playing in a fountain in the shopping mall and panics, running into a CCTV camera operation room monitoring women's changing rooms. Discovering that a lady in a fitting room is having a heart attack, he appears to rush to her aid, performing CPR and saving her life. Quagmire is congratulated for his heroism, but his intention had been to molest the woman while she was unconscious (which he reveals by asking "What the hell is CPR?").
This upsets Peter, who is jealous of his friends' success. In the hope of becoming famous, Peter attempts to set a world record for eating the largest number of nickels, but develops nickel poisoning and loses his vision. Attempting to drown his sorrows, Peter visits his local bar, The Drunken Clam, with his guide dog, unaware that the bar is on fire (caused by God trying to impress a woman). Discovering the bartender Horace trapped under debris, Peter saves his life and is proclaimed a hero by local newsman Tom Tucker. When told that he saved Horace from a burning building, Peter replied with disbelief, "That freakin' place was on fire?!" For his inadvertent bravery, Peter is awarded a medal by the mayor and receives an eye transplant, the replacement eyes coming from a homeless man dragged to death when Peter accidentally tied his guide dog's leash around the man's neck, thinking he was a parking meter. The end of this episode is an unconnected parody of the closing scene from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
During Family Guy's third season, the show was cancelled by its network. In preparation in case the show was revived and began broadcasting again, five short scripts were written in 2001 for future episodes. Blind Ambition was developed from one of those scripts. A number of scenes in the episode were removed before broadcast and one, the reappearance of Ernie the Giant Chicken, had originally been set to broadcast in "The Cleveland–Loretta Quagmire". The scene was moved to this episode because "The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire" already contained a lengthy fight sequence and overran its time allowance. Several of the removed scenes focused on gags showing Peter and his friends attempting to rehabilitate Quagmire, one of which saw Brian Griffin transporting a fork-lift truck load of porn magazines away from Quagmire's house. Since the episode aired, a selection of action figures have been created of Peter acting as Gary, The No Trash Cougar.
Show producer David Goodman received many telephone calls complaining about the scene where Peter attempts to seduce his son Chris, mistakenly believing him to be his wife, Lois. The scene was believed by some viewers to be encouraging child molestation. The show also received at least one letter of complaint regarding the scene where Quagmire watches Lois going to the toilet; screenwriter Chris Sheridan comments on the DVD commentary that the number of complaints about this scene exceeded one. It is prohibited on Fox to use the term 'Jesus Christ' without actually referring to the person himself, and so in the scene in which God vaporises a person and exclaims "Jesus Christ", it was necessary for Jesus to physically appear before the two run away in order for the scene to be suitable for television airing.
In addition to the regular cast, actor Gary Cole, actress Gina Gershon, actor Judd Hirsch, voice actress Rachael MacFarlane and actress Lisa Wilhoit guest starred in the episode. Recurring guest voice actors Lori Alan, actor John G. Brennan, writer Danny Smith, and actress Jennifer Tilly made minor appearances.
PopMatters' Kevin Wong gave the episode a positive review, feeling it was better than the two previous episodes of the season. He commented on the fight scene between Peter and Ernie the Giant Chicken as "a cartoon action sequence to end all cartoon action sequences: vehicles explode and limbs flail as Peter and the chicken beat each other senseless." "Blind Ambition" was criticized by Mike Drucker of IGN, who found that "the long fight with the chicken in Blind Ambition was funny once before, but borderline tiring here". However, Drucker also noted that the Star Wars ending was "one of my favorite jokes in the series".