November 8th, 2015, 7:30 PM, FOX
As a snowstorm descends on the town, Bob has to travel all the way to the other side of it to rescue an injured Gayle, who’s sprained her ankle and recuperating from a breakup. Forced to carry her cat (to whom he’s allergic) and snowed in thanks to an errant plow, Bob gets no help from an oblivious Gayle, who’s wrapped up in her own needs and wants. With options running out and the snow getting heavier, Bob decides to make the ultimate sacrifice and carry his sister-in-law to the Belcher’s family Thanksgiving festivities. They end up trapped together, creating an even more disastrous situation when Gayle’s hypoglycemic cat Mr. Business gets away and they’re forced to find the cat before continuing. When they end up trapped in a snowbank an ugly truth comes out that might just shatter their tentative friendship for good. Meanwhile, Bob enlists Linda to take care of the turkey – and then the majority of dinner – while he’s gone. Her anxiety becomes so extreme that she in turn gets the kids involved, which leads to the turkey falling apart and a side dish made of shaved Crayons.
Roseanne had Halloween, the Simpsons have Christmas, and Bob’s Burgers has, unquestioningly, claimed Thanksgiving as its own special holiday. This year’s addition is a little weaker than the previous years but still remains a charming little diversion. It’s very rare that we’ve ever seen Bob and Gayle interact for such a long period.
Unfortunately, while Gayle is normally allowed a dash of sympathy with her appearances that make her patheticness more palatable – this time she’s so whiny and demanding and needy that her self-centered inattention to the very dangerous situation into which she and Bob are plunged makes her seem even more deluded and ridiculousness than is warranted. Not to say the sight of Bob dragging Gayle through the snow-flooded streets of their hometown isn’t funny – it just feels like she could be a slightly more helpful presence, as she was when she drove the girls back home from the Boys 4 Now Concert. Humor could’ve been derived from the cat’s constant disappearances.
Linda and the kids had a much funnier subplot, though their total ineptitude in the kitchen comes as no shock – well, at least from the kids. We’ve seen Linda help Bob out in the kitchen, so it’s pretty inexplicable as to why she’d panic when faced with a big, browning turkey. She’s ground beef and flipped patties before, and there have been scenes where she’s been shown to have at least a modicum of cooking. If anything the kids were underutilized in this episode, throwing in the occasional quip. There should have been more of them and rather less of Gayle’s antics. In fact the show sort of suffered through its choices to truncate and chop the plot into little bits due to this – but as the Belchers gather around their frankenturky, you can’t deny that Bob’s, even at its worst, offers some of the best family comedy on television.
Depending on how you’re your Gayle tolerance runs, this episode might be somewhat irritating. While Bob’s at his classic world-weary best, it should be more fun than it ends up being – but still contributes to the show’s family-driven string of holiday follies.