Gentlemen, sometimes it can be difficult listening to your significant other. No doubt about it. Nobody knows this better than Mr. Stan Smith.
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Watch now. Title: Stan Goes on the Pill 30 Mar A new CIA drug designed to help Stan pretend to listen to Francine has a disastrous side effect, and Roger and Klaus take advantage of the situation to start their new business.
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When Stan is ready for sex, he has trouble paying attention to Francine while she's talking and she cuts him off by sending him to the hospital when he refuses to answer her quiz about what she talked about and fakes appendix pains. He mentions his problems to Deputy Director Bullock who gives him a pill the CIA developed in order for their male agents to listen to female agents. After taking the pill that night, Stan is able to listen and pay attention to Francine's story, but as he stops to use the bathroom, Bullock calls to warn him not to take the pill. The message comes too late as Stan finds himself transformed into a woman.
Stan and Francine having marital troubles is a wearyingly derivative episode premise at this point. Francine calling his bluff and actually phoning an ambulance is the only funny part of this weary plot. He only wants to scrape enough niceness change together in order to get one sex out of the Francine machine. But then the episode veers from the rote marital issues plot into riskier comedic territory by turning Stan into a woman, courtesy of a new pill developed by the CIA to make male agents capable of retaining information told to them by female sources in the field. And sure enough, all that listening turns Francine on, but Stan took the wrong dosage because none of the CIA men listened to the female scientist providing the necessary warning and his body morphs to female. That at least yielded an excellent callback in the stage-play episode last season. Stan catches Avery in the same man-not-listening scenario that he used with Francine, which derails the oppressively awkward progress toward a sexual encounter, especially when the Smiths swept away all the questions about the gender identity at play here when failing to explain everything to Steve and Hayley. Anyway, Francine busts in at the right moment, saves her man, and the status quo is resolved, because at some point in the next few months, American Dad will inevitably return to this arc again. The A. Kevin McFarland.