Episode Grade: B+
“I keep going back to the purple corduroy, am I crazy?”
They had some success with the format in the past, but Bob’s Burgers has generally avoided splitting up the Belchers for an entire episode, preferring instead to keep them in two groups, most often the children in one plot and the adults in another. This allows the show to take advantage of the exceptional chemistry of its voice actors, while also providing a level of insurance, as even mediocre plots can attain a level of redemption by just allowing the characters to bounce off of one another. Splitting the family up is somewhat riskier, as not only do the writers need to come up with a worthwhile plot for each family member, each character needs to carry their plot solo. While this generally isn’t a problem exactly, there’s some added degree of difficulty for each plotline, since the other Belchers aren’t around to pick things up if one’s story isn’t really working. This puts an added level of importance on secondary characters, as they end up carrying a lot more weight.
Tonight, Tina’s story provided a solid example of what happens when this works, as well as when it doesn’t. Early on there didn’t seem to be much going on here, and an oddly lifeless appearance from Tammy and Jocelyn didn’t really add anything. Things picked up considerably as the episode went along though, mostly due to the endearingly odd Noah and Skye. Similarly, Bob’s adventure in pants-shopping was buoyed by the ever welcome Sgt. Bosco. In contrast, Linda’s bookstore plot barely registered, at least in part because it didn’t last long enough to really develop the author. Meanwhile, Gene and Louise stick together in the fourth storyline, resulting in a much more typical feel than the rest of the episode. Still, the two of them getting into some low-stakes trouble is a perennial winner.
Overall, this was another solid outing in a season that’s been full of them. Some slight unevenness in Tina’s plot and the relative anonymity of Linda’s keep this one out of the top tier, but it sits quite comfortably on the next level.
- Storefront: Chi’s Gotta Have It- Tai Chi Studio. Exterminator: Crawl Of Duty Exterminators.
- Really, some top notch pun work this week with the stores at the mall.
- “Gene and I will be right there pointing out problem body areas.”
- Death Cabernet For Cutie.
- “What are you pointing at? I can’t see anything beyond those terrifying motorized animals.”
- “Aren’t you the guard at Family Fun Time?” “I simply go where I am needed. And where they haven’t tested me for drugs.”
- “I’m not really sure about these, I think I may hate myself in them?”
- Sgt. Bosco joins the list of characters who are expecting Linda to leave Bob.
- “I’m really more of a tire-slasher type. Did he ride his bike here?”
- Sorry for getting this one up so late, I have no real excuse.