'Family Guy': Guess who's back! (Hint: Exactly who you thought would be) -- VIDEO

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Image Credit: Fox

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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