Photo: Fox

Poor Teddy and Linda. Through the entire series of Bob’s Burgers, these two characters share the plight of wanting so badly to make everyone around them happy, but the harder they try the more things go off the rails. They are the two characters who are most free of cynicism and regularly embrace the simple joys in life, and yet are the most beat up on by everyone else. This season’s Halloween episode, “The Wolf of Wharf Street,” highlights the parallel struggles of these kindred spirits.

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A wolf is loose on the wharf, sending fear through the seaside town on the night of trick or treating. For Linda and the kids, this means adventure in the otherwise abandoned streets. Even though Linda is completely terrified of actually discovering the creature, what she fears more is not being thought of as the fun mom on Halloween. For Teddy, this means trying to convince a hallucinogenic Bob that he is not a werewolf. They seem like easy enough tasks, but ends with Linda and the kids being cornered in the woods by an alpaca and Teddy running through the streets in a sexy nurse costume while handcuffed to a coffee table. So, yeah, things get out of hand in a big way.

Along with their similar characteristics, Teddy and Linda have always had a special bond on the show. That’s highlighted right away in this episode when Teddy immediately understands and appreciates Linda’s absolutely brilliant Cher-iff costume—she’s got the hair and bodysuit of Cher with a sheriff’s hat and badge. (Thank you, Fox, for airing this episode more than a week before Halloween to inspire costume-wearers across the nation, I can’t wait to see how many Cher-iffs make it out this year.) And Linda doesn’t even question Teddy’s sexy nurse costume, which he accidentally order instead of “scary nurse.” These two just always want to have a good time whether they’re taking the kids trick or treating or taking care of an injured Bob Belcher on pain pills. Even when things get dangerous, they look on the brightside and remain optimistic.

The fear and danger the builds in this episode is enhanced by some particularly impressive and spooky animation. The world of Bob’s Burgers usually sticks to the same bright color palette with fairly simplistic animation. Here the scenery goes dark and wispy, creating a welcome depth in the look of the show. The animators even seem to be playing more with angles on the characters, especially while Linda and the Belcher kids are on the hunt for the wolf. As impressive as it is that the show’s continued to be so consistently entertaining for 8 seasons, it’s even more exciting to see the animation continue to evolve.

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In the end, Teddy is still stuck in the Belcher’s apartment, handcuffed to a coffee table with no key to break loose, and yet he’s focused on the fact that Bob is OK. And despite a less than enthusiastic response from her kids about their near death experience, Linda celebrates being the cool, fun mom with a catchy song during the credits. The best part about Teddy and Linda? After they’ve struggled through trying their best and have, in many ways, failed, they still consider themselves successes.

Stray observations:

  • There is quite possibly nothing better in this world than Louise’s pink bunny ears popping through Javier Bardem’s No Country For Old Men wig.
  • Paul F. Tompkins as Randy is always a delight.
  • The overuse of “allegedly” during the opening newscast was great.
  • “Just bite your arms during the day so you won’t be as tempted at night.” -Tina

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