Okay, “Stand by Gene” was Bob’s Burgers’ return to form I was waiting for. The kids and adults were split in the same manner as “House of 1000 Bounces,” so increase that ratio to five out of the past six Bob’s Burgers episodes, but the non-focus kids—Gene’s the focus as the name “Stand by Gene” suggests—are more than just background. Tina, Louise, Jimmy Junior, Zeke, and even Regular Sized Rudy had moments to shine.
Gene hears a rumor that there’s a two-butted goat in town and convinces all the other kids to find it. He and Zeke become bosom buddies, so that engages Jimmy Junior. Louise bets Gene the restaurant’s end of the day cleaning that a two-butted goat doesn’t exist, so that provides Louise with a reason for going on this journey. And Tina waxes poetic about her future and her destined beau, and she’s certain one of the boys on the collective journey will be her true love, and that incorporates her.
Even though I’d like to see Bob’s Burgers divvy up different characters, “Stand by Gene” exhibited good storytelling. Every character had a reason to be there and they weren’t wasted. The two stories even converged, which was a refreshing bonus.
The adult side of the story added more characters than usual. Bob gets tired of losing to Linda with every game they play, so he wants his friends Mort, Teddy, and even the mailman to beat her at a game of Narts (napkin darts). The games a terrible mess but Bob and Linda don’t care because business is dead and they already told the kids that they’d have to clean up at the end of the day.
Eventually, Bob remembers that Linda’s his wife and he shouldn’t be so petty and root for her. As a result the adults didn’t have as well developed a story as the kids but it was still effective and tied into Louise being thankful that she saw a two-butted goat, even if it meant she had to clean up the restaurant. The same restaurant that has wet napkins darts on every wall, inch of floor, and seat. Louise’s “What the heck happened here?” is priceless.
“Stand by Gene” had more energy. It had more character. It had more of what makes Bob’s Burgers fun. It even had a catchy song about a two-butted goat. It’s pure Fartmony.
Thanks for reading.