While the volume's first episode does a good job of kicking things off, the show really gets rolling in the next episode, "Seahorse Seashell Party." While not really mentioned in the episode, this was part of an interesting endeavor done across the three Seth MacFarlane series. The event, called "Night of the Hurricane," has a major storm blowing across Stoolbend, the town in The Cleveland Show, Quahog and American Dad's Langley Falls. For Family Guy's part of the story, the family is cooped up in their house. The cramped quarters lead to Meg blowing up at everyone for being so mistreated and the results are surprising. Meanwhile, Brian passes the time by trying out some shrooms that he had been saving. The resulting hallucination is a trip the likes of which Family Guy hasn't seen before.
One of the season's more interesting episode, "Back to the Pilot," has Stewie and Brian taking the baby's time machine back to the show's first episode. While their mission is really simple (Brian doesn't remember where he buried a ball), the consequences of their slight changes, both accidental and purposeful, lead to a wide range of strange parallel timelines. Of course, another great aspect of this is that Family Guy makes a lot of fun at how the show used to look and sound.
Another episode has Lois' psychotic brother showing back up when Peter and Chris are sent to a fat camp and the campers start showing up strangled to death; while another has Brian dating a blind girl who just happens to hate dogs. Needless to say, he will do all he can to keep the cat in the bag, but as you would expect, a secret like that can't be kept for too long, especially when it comes time to meet her parents.
In one episode, Peter joins the Tea Party in the hopes of shutting down the government, while another has Joe, Peter, Quagmire and Brian waking up in a hospital with no idea of who they are and everyone in the world has apparently vanished. Can they figure out who they are and what happened, or will they tear each other apart?
One of the season's last episode consists of three shorts. One claims that Family Guy is based off of a British series called "Chap of the Manor," while the second one gives Peter the ability to turn everyone he touches into a version of Robin Williams. The last part of this trio is a day in the life of Stewie, from his point of view.
This season's special guests include Ellen Page as a girlfriend of Chris' that looks just like Lois, Kaitlin Olson (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as Quagmire's sister, Scott Grimes (American Dad) as the Swanson's son and Ricky Gervais as a dolphin that Peter befriends that ends up moving into the Griffin house for an episode.
Family Guy: Volume 11 has a ton of special features. Besides a slew of deleted scenes and commentaries scattered across the three discs, there is also a featurette about making "Back to the Pilot," as well as their entire episode in animatic form. There are also animatic, side-by-side scenes from Brian's hallucination in "Seahorse Seashell Party" and the "Point of Stew" segment in "Family Guy Viewer Mail #2." On a similar note, Ron MacFarlane returns to do a viewer mail segment of his own. There are also two special features about Gervais' time on the show. One is a making-of featurette, while the other is a ton of audio outtakes as he reads his lines (apparently for the first time), with Seth MacFarlane reading Peter, Brian and Stewie's lines in the next room.
Family Guy: Volume 11 has a lot of good episodes. While I've only mentioned the season's highlights, the ones I didn't mention still pack a lot of funny into the half-hour time slot. There are quite a few running gags and callbacks this season, but even so, a new viewer should be able to jump in with Volume 11 without feeling lost. That's one of the good things about an episodic series like this.