Bob’s Burgers, Season 5, Episode 5, “Best Burger”
November 30th, 2014, 9:30 PM, FOX
It’s a race against the clock when Bob and Linda drunkenly enter the “Wharf it Down” Best Burger competition. Even though Bob feels apprehensive about his competition Linda and the kids are rooting for his “Bet it All on Black Garlic” burger to take first place. But with likable schmoozer and rising cooking personality Skip Marooch and Jimmy Pesto as his competition, an axe-grinding Chuck Charles hosting the festivities and Gene forgetting to pack a major ingredient on their way out of the house the odds seem stacked against Bob. Seeking to even things out, the kids set out to help Bob get his garlic together in a last-ditch Hail Mary dive, but when Gene accidentally crushes the garlic under his chest the kids are forced to head to a gourmet grocery store where they’ve recently been banned. From there it’s a battle between Gene’s inability to concentrate and the slowly-decelerating clock as Bob and Linda try to hold off the charge back at the competition.
This week’s episode is something of a classic Bob-as-buttmonkey excursion. While he ends up worrying about his children just as much as his inferiority complex, Bob suffers a bit in this one, and perhaps unduly as Chuck Charles already claimed his revenge on Bob during the Family Fracas episode. But that suffering is funny and self-depreciating in nature, and in the end Bob has a realistic opinion of the contest’s outcome. The moments he shares with Linda, and with the kids, prove that he’s the real winner.
The kids, being off in their own adventure and running wild in their neighborhood, add another misadventure to the long list of wacky and goofy solo adventures. But the show tends to be at its best when the kids are busy doing just that, and the sight of Louise getting banned from a high-end grocery store due to her own hubris is a hilarious one. The episode only gets better as it hones in on Gene – his relationship with Bob rarely gets much attention, and it’s nice to see it get a little bit of shine. At the heart of it all is family pride and love of their father from all of the kids, even though it ends up being a Gene and Bob episode. As always, all three get to shine, though it’s arguable that Tina gets pushed into the background somewhat.
But “Best Burger” also manages to teach two darn good moral tales without drowning them in treacle: that it’s all right to fail, and that it’s okay to have a short attention span; no matter who you are, the people who care the most will care about you no matter what you do.
Ultimately, “Best Burger” ends up standing up to the other episodes aired thus far from season five. The show is slowly developing into a great family sitcom, the post-millennial The Simpsons, and if the show stays on this track they might just end up being as legendary.
- Chuck Charles was first introduced in season two’s “Beefsquatch”, where Linda got him fired from his local morning talk show after a competition between Bob and Gene for attention during their regular cooking show segment went too far – by flashing the cameras. Chuck then got his revenge on Bob during the season three episode “Family Fracas,” where he humiliated all of the Belchers after they ended up on a winning streak on his same-titled game show.
- And yes kids, gourmet chocolate really is that expensive.
- Mickey first appeared in season two’s “Bob Day Afternoon”, where he started out as a bank robber. After Bob tried to hire him as an assistant during “Bob Fires The Kids,” he’s since tried to go straight and is now apparently gainfully employed in a legal arena.
- This week’s credit gags: Building Next Door: Flip Your Wig Reversible Hairpieces. Exterminator’s Truck: Spray It Don’t Say It Pest Control. Chalkboard: The Run Gorgonzola Run Burger (Made with Gorgonzola), Credits: the fudge-soaked kids help Bob out and Gene dances to a cover of Rose Royce’s “Car Wash”.
- Apparently Jimmy Pesto never cards at his restaurant.
- Wow, it’s been ages since we’ve seen Ron do anything – which makes me realize we haven’t really seen Hugo over the past couple of seasons, either.
- And Gene has Bob and Linda’s wine night to thank for any ballet skills he may possess.
- Next Week: Bob and the family attend Bob’s dad’s Christmas party, where old wounds are opened. Meanwhile, the kids compete to find the best gift for their father in “Father of the Bob.”
Hilarious, snarky, sweet and rapid-fire in pace, the show makes you feel every single second of the real-time race to get the garlic to the podium. Managing to use long-underused characters AND give us a great deal of laughs squeezed fresh from the situation just enhances everything. Hilarious in every respect.