Review: Bob’s Burgers “What About Blob?”

Blob’s Burgers.

Overview (Spoilers Below!)

Gene got in trouble for hitting a fork against lunch tables to produce a repetitive sound. He seeks out his recent favorite way to drown his sorrows: downing oysters at the shack by the marina. At the restaurant, Gene complains about his treatment while hitting a broom against the stools, but his family agrees that his sounds are annoying. Outraged, Gene storms off into the night.

Gene and his sisters walk down to the waterfront, where Gene skips rocks to let off steam. But when the rocks hit the water, it glows with blue light, singing beautifully. The next day, Gene and the girls rush back to the water, but there’s only a big blob of plankton. The oyster shack guy explains that plankton can be bioluminescent and react to outside stimuli. Gene overhears two lackeys explaining that they’ll have to bleach the plankton if it doesn’t clear up in time for the yacht club regatta.

Gene confronts the yacht club president, who promises to have a study done to determine if the plankton is in fact a “bad blob.” An “expert” explains that the blob needs to be bleached for the ocean’s safety, but when the kids see that same expert serving drinks, Gene realizes he’s been fleeced.

The Belchers approach Sasha and Duncan, asking to borrow Sasha’s boat in order to humiliate his rival yacht club. While Sasha distracts the lackeys, the Belchers replace their bleach with bread crumbs. When birds begin to eat the crumbs, however, the president catches on, banning their boat from returning.

The kids rent five kayaks and return to shield the plankton with their bodies. But when Gene begins to beat his oar against the water in a repetitive pattern, they find that it’s actually driving the blob away. The kids chase the blob to the sea, where it’s promptly devoured by fish.

In the B plot, Jimmy Pesto goes on vacation. Trev makes fun of Bob in his absence, but when Linda calls him a “meanie weenie,” Trev begins to doubt the morality of his actions. Linda attempts to teach him not to high-five Jimmy Pesto when he mocks Bob. She reveals all kind of embarrassing secrets about Bob and Trev tries not to high-five her. When Jimmy Pesto returns, Trev indeed resists a high-five—but he shares Bob’s secrets, too.

Our Take 

Finally, a great episode for Gene!

“What About Blob?” has a cute environmental message without feeling preachy. Gene wants to protect the plankton not because he’s particularly concerned about the future of our planet, but because he loves pretty lights and sounds and his new clump of microscopic best friends. The initial plankton discovery scene reads like the inciting incident of so many fantasy childrens’ novels, where the characters have just discovered a magical creature or the portal to another world. Even though the show goes in a totally different direction, it still retains that magic. Gene just wants to be allowed to bang on random objects in peace, and I don’t know about you, but that’s the most relatable thing I’ve ever heard. And it’s comforting that one of Gene’s habits—one that everyone found annoying—could translate into something as positive as activism.

Some sounds that hit my ears in just the right way:

  • Gene saying, “Let’s go to the bar. I want to knock back a couple before going home.” (He means oysters, of course, not beers.)
  • Trev’s idea of a good burn: “Nice bags! Let me guess, you bought stuff for your burgers? That’s what I thought!”
  • “So it’s gross during the day but fun and frisky at night? Like leather pants?”
  • Gene thanks Bob for letting him wear his ascot. “That is a dishrag,” says Bob, “but it looks good on you.”
  • After Gene convinces the yacht club president to change his plans, they’re going to “smoke cigars and binge-watch Billions.”
  • Trev can’t resist high-fiving Jimmy Pesto after his cruel comments because “I’m not gonna leave a guy hanging! That’s not how I was raised!”
  • Tina, upon seeing Duncan’s sockless ankles: “Ankie doodles damn, dee!”
  • “You can’t make wake in a marina. We’re not animals.”
  • “If Greenpeace looked as fabulous as us, there’d be TOO many whales.”
  • When the president is bested, he whispers to himself, “Maybe you were the beauty and I was the beast.”

Bob’s Burgers is first and foremost a comedy, but it’s also consistently adept at pointing out class inequality. The yacht club president acts as a seafaring version of the Once-ler—he doesn’t care what environmental damage he does so long as he gets his extravagant display of wasteful wealth in the end. Sasha, a rich brat caricature who’s always good for some laughs, refuses to do anything if it doesn’t benefit him and isn’t above a sweet bribe. It’s only the working-class Belchers who want to do some good in the world.

The B plot, too, is exceptionally funny this week. It’s incredible to watch Trev utter a phrase like “meanie weenie” in such somber tones, and his complete inability to resist a high five is sure to draw some laughs. Jimmy Pesto continues to be a character we just love to hate—he returns from Jamaica wearing a culturally insensitive hair style and gifts Trev a “sexy lady”-shaped bottle opener. And it’s rewarding when this arc ends with Linda getting in a good quip so that Bob can high-five her for a change.

For me, Gene has always stood for the kids who were just a little too weird, who fought to do what made them happy even if it was incomprehensible to anyone else. At the end of the day, this episode is a celebration of kids like him.

Bodie Shanis

Bodie is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia. You can often find him in odd costumes, either because he's at an anime convention or performing in a musical. He's currently working on his first novel.

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