Review: Bob’s Burgers “Just the Trip”

 

OVERVIEW (SPOILERS)

Nat the limo driver needs to drop off something at her ex-girlfriend’s sanctuary, so the Belchers decide to tag along (despite apparently being terrible on trips) and leave Teddy to watch the restaurant and descend into an unhealthy fantasy world, but what else is new with Teddy? Anyway, that “something” turns out to be a snake, one of Gene’s greatest fears, which freaks him out. Also, Louise starts figuratively steering the trip towards a tourist trap called Madness Castle, which the snake ends up crawling into. Eventually a lot of screaming, barfing, and snake chasing, they make it to Nat’s ex’s place, but they ultimately realize that even a bad trip can lead to fun memories.

OUR TAKE
Bob’s Burgers has gradually expanded its cast of recurring characters over its near decade on the air. Nat the limo driver is not exactly my favorite of those recent additions but I haven’t hated her so far. In her first few appearances she really feels kind of like a high-spirited but low talent fairy godmother, helping Tina get over a romance-less Valentine’s Day in Season 8 and then helping Bob find his wedding ring after losing it at a water park in Season 10 (wait, that’s THIS season! Jeez, that episode feels so long ago). Here, things are reversed a bit since now the Belchers have to help HER with a task, so we get to see Jillian Bell do her best “fake it until you make it or you have a total emotional breakdown” character performance. Also not sure if this is correct, but I don’t think we knew if she was gay until this episode. It’s just neat to see Fox, or now Disney I guess, letting up with that and being more casual with its representation, which Bob’s Burgers has often been pretty good at.

And I don’t think we’ve really touched on Gene’s fear of snakes since Season 3’s “It Snakes a Village”, which was just about this time seven years ago, so I was actually surprised they followed up on that detail. Not that the family is typically around snakes enough for it to matter, but it’s always neat when there’s signs of continuity in the show after it’s been on this long. Not that I would say this was really a Gene centered episode because of that, nor a Louise one because she had actual motive to get the family to a certain place, nor a Bob one because he was the one to change his attitude about trips being bad just because everything he didn’t want to happen DID happen on this trip. It just kind of worked out as a whole family focused episode, which worked out pretty well with that many characters to balance equally.

So far, this show’s tenth season has been shown to be pretty solid, which is a good sign with there being a movie apparently on the way. With the quarantine happening currently, it’s hard to say if it will get a theatrical release, but while we wait for the show to come back sometime next month, you can always go back and watch the first seventeen episodes all over again!

David Kaldor

Green Lynx (David Kaldor): Aimless 20-something given a paid outlet for his thoughts on cartoons. Fears being boring slightly more than being outright disliked.

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