One of the great feats of Bob’s Burgers is that it tends to be successful no matter how the writers divide and group up the Belcher family. The show experimented with this a little last season (“Mother Daughter Laser Razor” immediately comes to mind) but more often than not, it’s either the parents separated from the children (like much of the season premiere and the beautiful “Fort Night”) or Bob hanging with the kids while Linda does her own thing (like last week’s “Seaplane”). Tonight’s “My Big Fat Greek Bob” has a nice little mix: Bob is on his own for a while establishing an individual identity within the fraternity house, then the children join him for a bit before breaking off into their world, and Linda is happily bumbling around in her own story.
I can’t say that sending Bob off to cook burgers in a fraternity house is a storyline that I ever saw coming, but it turns out to be a nice change of scenery. The setting is different enough that it breathes fresh air into the series—even if, personally, I will probably always prefer scenes within the restaurant (I miss Teddy!)—but the frat house isn’t so different that it feels jarring or out of character (like say, when Bob worked on the ship in “Mutiny On The Windbreaker”). In fact, the fraternity is basically the exact kind of frat that Bob would have ended up in had he gone to college. They aren’t the cool bros surrounded by ladies at huge parties; they get toilet papered—and resourcefully use the toilet paper—and build forts in their living room. They are the underdogs, just as Bob is, and just as most of the Belchers are. After Bob helps the guys get away with a lame prank by using a lame excuse with a police officer the house hails him as a hero. It’s only a matter of time before Bob finds himself swept up in the attention, singing karaoke, rushing back to the house, and regretting not going to college (“You regret not going to college? Come on, it’s not like you ended up flipping burgers,” points out a helpful Louise). It’s only natural that Bob embraces all of this. It’s not that he’s totally ignored within his family, but he could always use some more attention and an ego boost.
There’s an odd factor at play throughout the whole fraternity storyline, though. It turns out that Slowhands is Dr. Yap, the Belcher family dentist (voiced by Ken Jeong; it’s more than a little fitting that he’s playing a character who has overstayed his welcome in the frat house). I like Dr. Yap, though not nearly as much as Tina does, but what a weird context to bring him back in. It does work, largely because Dr. Yap has already been established as being off the rails, so it’s not surprising that he’s staged the fake kidnapping of the iguana in order steal back attention that has been given to Bob. Plus, Dr. Yap is just ridiculous enough (and gross enough, ugh, that spit keg) that he keeps the episode rolling with laughs.
As for the rest of the Belchers, they’re all hanging out in the background for the evening. Similar to last week’s episode, the children don’t have much to do here but are all obsessed with discovering what’s in the secret room of the basement of the frat house. They are the reason that Bob learns the truth about Dr. Yap, but mostly, it’s just worth it for the wonderfully silly montage juxtaposing their attempts to break into the room with the frats’ weird pranks. Linda is also away from everyone for the night, instead hosting sex toy parties in her apartment. It’s a quiet, quick plot but one that I greatly enjoyed because of how much I love when Linda throws herself into a project even if—especially if—it involves selling dildos. Plus it did bring together everyone in the end: Belcher parents and children, lonely cougars, and underdog frat boys. It was a nice ending, and I like that Bob got a pretty big win this week. Everyone wants to feel like a hero, even if feeling like a hero just means you get to drink out of a lizard’s butt.
- Linda trying to sell sex toys: “Bob’s got a condition that makes him sex bad.”
- Though the children were on the back burner, we still got some pretty choice one-liners. My favorite? “This is the biggest man cave ever, and Tina’s going spelunking”
- “There are no jobs out there. You know that, right?” Ouch.