Episode Grade: B+
Earlier this season, I made the observation that Bob’s Burgers didn’t really do one-off characters. and that any character strong enough to make an impression was a solid bet to reappear somewhere down the line. For a long time (six years!), the primary exception to this rule was Jessica, who we last saw in “Slumber Party” going toe-to-toe with Louise. Her absence was notable for a couple of reasons. First, all the other guests from the titular slumber party (Abby, Harley, and Jodi) have come back at least once. Second, and more importantly, Jessica is the rare child character who’s proven to be a match for Louise. Fans at the time rightfully observed that she was a character with the potential to turn into a good friend for the youngest Belcher, who at the time was more prone to seeing her classmates as potential minions rather than equals.
Given how long it’s been since Jessica appeared, and how popular the character was last time around, the show had to know her return would be highly anticipated. It was a little odd then that her role tonight was fairly understated. She gets a few pretty funny lines in, but her main function tonight was introducing Louise to Megan, the budding cryptozoologist who really drove the plot this week. Really, Jessica’s role here could’ve been filled by another character with minimal changes, which kind of makes you wonder why they bothered to bring her back after so long. Still, her presence along with Megan’s gives Louise her own little friend group, reminiscent of the Gene-Alex-Courtney trio that came together last season. That the show is still finding new dynamics for its characters is an encouraging sign ten seasons in. It can’t just always be the three Belcher kids every time, you know?
Speaking of the other Belcher children, Gene and Tina had pretty minimal screen time tonight, but ended up delivering a bunch of the episode’s best lines. I did find myself wondering if they didn’t have more scenes at Wagstaff that were cut for time (presumably featuring Tammy, as Jenny Slate’s name turned up in the closing credits, despite Tammy not appearing this week). Meanwhile, Bob’s b-plot was a solid winner, with our hero taking an online course from a French chef who is somehow even crazier about food than Bob himself. Some impressive animation in Bob’s epiphany sequence as well. Linda is mostly left to comment on the weirdness of Bob’s obsession, which is amusing given that she’s more often the one with the weird obsessions. Teddy, Mort, Jimmy Jr, and Zeke all make the most out of their brief appearances, but mostly this episode kept a pretty tight focus on Louise and Bob. A solid episode overall.
- Storefront: North By Knockwurst Sausage Store
- Exterminator: The Usual Bugspects Pest Control
- “The login is thethundertaker, all one word, and my password is ‘urn this’. U-r-n.” Mort is great.
- “I had an omelet once is Dubai that nearly destroyed my soul. I slept for four days after I ate it.”
- “We share a bathroom. She’s not good with towels, or doors, or boundaries.” “Wow, is your grandma my mom?”
- “I don’t know why, but I feel really threatened by you guys when you wear those clothes. You think you’re better than me?!” Teddy had a good night as well.