Season Analysis: For a few years now, American Dad! has been the best of Fox’s animated Sunday block (although Bob’s Burgers appears to be taking over in that area); any subpar efforts are at least interesting, and rarely annoying.

“Virtual In-Stanity”

Worried that he has not been a big enough part of Steve’s life, Stan uses the CIA’s avatar program to create a busty blond bombshell avatar (voiced by Sarah Michelle Gellar) as a way of bonding with Steve … and then when a love triangle forms, things get a little too close for comfort.  So, basically, there was no way “Virtual In-Stanity” was going to win American Dad! any new fans.  But for the fans already there, it was Dad’s patented wrong humor done just right.  It was also a geeks’ delight, as there were, in addition to Avatar, references to Aliens (Francine fights Stan’s avatar while in a power lift mecha suit) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the real girl who Steve actually wanted to take to the dance was voiced by Alyson Hannigan).  And the main plot was not even the most disturbing part of the episode.  The B-plot was American Dad! at its most nihilistic, with Roger hunting down a group of frat brothers who did a “drive and dash” after using Roger’s limo service (a service he began upon stealing a limo).  It ultimately comes to Roger blowing up a plane that the last surviving bro was on (and also killing a stewardess who had managed to escape on a parachute).  Dad! was actually demonstrating some restraint by not making that the A-plot.