Bob’s Burgers 5×10 ‘Late Afternoon in the Garden of Bob and Louise’: Bob’s not allowed to be happy

Source: FOX

Bob will do anything to get a plot of dirt in the community garden run by Logan’s mother Cynthia, but it comes at too high a cost for Linda and Louise. In the end, he must give up something he loves because…reasons.

I have to say that this was an odd installment of Bob’s Burgers. The moral of this story is that Bob, a man who has repeatedly experienced inconvenience and humiliation in the name of his family’s happiness, is not allowed to ask the same of his wife and daughter. Yes, Cynthia and Logan are annoying, but Bob makes it clear that their presence in the restaurant is temporary, perhaps less than a week or two (as long as it takes to write the essay) and yet they cannot muddle through for even a few days. And in the end, Bob has to apologize to his 9-year-old daughter for being “selfish”! The mind reels.

I understand Louise remained in the restaurant in the name of comedy, but given that she doesn’t actually do much work in the restaurant, she could have stayed upstairs for the duration. True, she doesn’t seem to have any good friends outside of her siblings, but if she really hates Logan, that’s the solution.

Source: FOX

Source: FOX

Linda is a different matter: she has to run the restaurant while Bob’s away, and has no choice but to experience Cynthia and Logan in all their petulant glory. I can understand her defending her family from Cynthia’s insults, and she does make an effort to keep Bob in his happy place. Louise makes zero effort to adjust and is rewarded for it in the end.

Perhaps I’m focusing too much on the immaturity of an animated 9-year-old girl, but it speaks to how well the show has made me care about Bob and his happiness. Making him give up something he genuinely enjoys because of a family rivalry in which he isn’t even invested isn’t comedy – it’s just depressing.

As a result, I can’t say the laughs really flowed this episode. I enjoyed the speed with which Teddy adopted Bob’s energy when he discovered his beans were in danger. Gene’s “I’m now the  executive vice president of new business” line was stellar. Tina’s attempts at garnering boy secrets were enjoyable. Other than that, I wouldn’t call this episode exceptional in terms of joke quality.

Let’s hope the writers avoid this type of episode in the future.

J.P. Laub

is a pop culture connoisseur, politics wonk, sometimes gamer and consummate nerd. To give you some idea, he is an avid reader of Wikipedia entries about fictional and theoretical faster-than-light drives. Seriously, he once saw a random Dune reference on a website and spent 45 minutes reading about the Holtzmann effect and related entries.

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