Hello, everyone. We’re continuing our look back at this season of Bob’s Burgers until we’re all caught up. In today’s episode, the Belchers try to help Bob’s friend, Critter, after he lands in jail for unpaid parking tickets. Meanwhile, Linda gets into the babysitting game.
Here are some thoughts.
1. This is a more grounded episode
Sometimes, Bob’s Burgers can go off the rails a little bit and spiral into territory that is absolutely zany. It is a cartoon, after all, and it has the capacity for craziness that is often well-capitalized on. The premise of this episode is particularly wacky: Bob’s biker friend(ish) is in jail for unpaid parking tickets and needs Bob’s help selling his bike (which is not stolen. Just made up of mostly stolen parts). It’s a premise that has the potential to go to some crazy places, but it stays pretty grounded throughout.
2. Not what I expected Critter to go to jail for
Unpaid parking tickets. Huh. You’d think it would be, oh, I don’t know, that sweet Macon crank that might have put him behind bars. But this show has a way of undermining expectations (in a good way!).
3. I love watching Bob get into character
Over the course of the episode, Bob slowly gets into the “biker” persona, largely because his kids are around. It’s great fun watching Bob have fun. Especially when he starts telling the bikers he’ll eat their eyebrows.
4. Bob and Critter are both fathers
Bob was even there for the birth of Critter’s child (it was on one of his tables at his restaurant). These two share a bond of fatherhood that is touched upon in a really sweet way. It’s not over the top or saccharine, it’s realistic about the ups and downs of fatherhood. It was a nice touch on a lovely episode.
5. There’s a great moment of direction
When Critter is telling Bob his plan for how they’ll sell the bike, we get to see rudimentary drawings that depict Critter’s plan.
It’s a lovely little flourish, not something we usually get to see from Bob’s Burgers.
6. Critter’s on “a break”
Apparently, being in a biker gang is like being in a high school clique.
7. Linda’s plot line is… meh
She offers her services as a babysitter and it turns out the kid is a nightmare and she doesn’t do very well with him. So… yeah. It wasn’t that great.
8. Linda needs an episode all to herself
Not where she’s the only one in the episode, but an episode that is all about her. We’ve seen in the past that she can be absolutely when she’s the center of an episode. Think the grocery store episode or when her family tries to give her a birthday party. Those are both excellent episodes and they rely heavily on Linda’s charm. But this time around, it just felt sort of perfunctory and not that interesting
9. The actual sale is hilarious
Bob and the kids have been tailed by a shady looking guy the whole episode, but it just turns out to be another pansy man who also wants the bike. The show gets a lot of mileage out of shrouding characters in mystery, or setting them up to be threatening, only to undermine it when they turn out to be normal people.
10. This is a good example of what this show has to offer
Unlike the other animated shows on Fox, Bob’s Burgers is grounded in a recognizable and consistent reality. Shows like Family Guy, American Dad, and The Simpsons routinely go into crazy territory, dipping into Sci-Fi, fantasy, and even horror, only to return to normal next episode. Bob’s Burgers doesn’t do this. Every episode is rooted in familiar people and places. The humor comes from the relationships, not the situations.