Bob’s Burgers: S09E11 “Lorenzo’s Oil? No, Linda’s”

Episode Grade: B

It’s a testament to how in-the-pocket Bob’s Burgers is at this point in it’s run that a Linda-centric episode goes off this smoothly. Not just a Linda episode even: a Linda episode that heavily features Gayle. Linda is a tricky character to center episodes around to begin with, as her natural enthusiasm and intensity can quickly become overbearing when placed front and center. “Lorenzo’s Oil? No, Linda’s” largely sidesteps this problem by having the kids (and Gayle) do most of the heavy lifting as far as the plot goes. The premise of the episode may be that Linda is about to get sucked into the pyramid scheme that is essential oils, but the focus smartly sticks to Tina, Gene, and Louise and their efforts to rescue their easily influenced mom.

(Well, that’s not exactly right. The true star of the episode is Ringo, ringworm and all. Also, Ringo McCartney is on my shortlist for new Disqus handles, should I eventually alienate my fellow Avocados and need to rebrand.)

Gayle is also well deployed in this episode, and that is not something I often say about the charterer. Gayle at her worst is an incredibly self-centered person, but her best episodes have involved her taking an interest in and helping her family (“Topsy” and “The Kids Run Away” are probably the best examples). Here, Gayle may begin the episode by calling Linda to cry about not winning the lottery, but she immediately switches over to concerned sister when she learns what Linda has gotten involved with. It’s a much better look for her than mooching money from the Belchers, or faking an injury for attention. Yes, she loses her battle against those sweet, sweet essential oils, but at least she tried.

As for Bob and Teddy, this was kind of a weird episode for them. I mean, their b-plot moving a bed for Mr. Huggins was funny, and probably accounted for most of my laugh out loud moments ( H. Jon Benjamin and Larry Murphy going back and forth will never not be funny to me), but something about the whole subplot seemed off. Maybe if Mr. Huggins was a character we’d met before? Hell, it could’ve been Reggie (who I did not expect to see at the essential oils party, but seems to be doing better since we last saw him), Mort, or Mr. Fischoder. The possibilities are, well not endless, but they’re numerous anyway.

Inessential oils:

  • Storefront: “The Thesaurus Shop: Store, Market, Boutique”. Pest Control: “Bug To Differ”. Again, storefront beats pest control.
  • Louise having a soft spot for puppies may not be the cutest thing ever, but I defy you to name five cuter things.
  • Anyone else kinda bummed we didn’t get to see Mr. Huggins’ tattoo? Like, how badly can you screw up a ying-yang. I say this as someone with at least a few tattoos I’d not do again.
  • “Ronnie, you son of a bitch, if I was five years younger…” Tina can never stop bringing the creepy.
  • Bob is always good for the poignant life lesson Teddy, you know this.