Bob’s Burgers is at its best when its characters have vastly different realities. It’s all about perception. Bob and Linda’s wild, romantic week of Valentine’s Day gestures illustrates this best in this week’s “Can’t Buy Me Math.”
And the best scene stems from what should be a simple bubble bath. Linda dumps an entire bottle of suds into the tub and finds the all-bubble bath as the most romantic thing possible, while Bob comments on how the bath water is more of a bath paste and that it stings his eyes. The scene turns nuclear when Gene and Louise have to use the bathroom while their parents are in the tub. The presence of the two kids spoils the mood—for Linda—and effectively ends the dispute of whether or not the bath is romantic, but the Belchers live like the Brady Bunch and only have one toilet, so when Louise says she’ll use the other toilet, she means the bath tub and asks her parents to move to one side. Yikes!
But the show gets its title from Tina’s story thread. Tina had her own chance to shine in this episode, but she doesn’t need the frenetic pace of the other characters. Her deliciously one-track mind works to perfection when paired with the smart and witty Darryl. Long story short, she and Darryl reheat the Can’t Buy Me Love plot and get others to fall in love with them by pretending to be in love with each other, but Tina warns Darryl that he could fall in love with her—per the Can’t Buy Me Love story—and even though Darryl catches the reference and moves on to his next thought, Tina repeats the entire Can’t Buy Me Love plot a second, third, and fourth time. This serves as an excellent reminder of the character development from Bob’s Burgers early episodes.
Verdict: Another great episode for what could be Bob’s Burgers’ best season.
John continued to assemble Voltron this week, but his new team member was a character we know from several episodes: the angel Manny.
It wasn’t the best idea to clip Manny’s wings. As Manny said, “he can’t communicate with the divine,” so John’s in with the big man upstairs went away. Before I get to questioning John’s reasons, I’ll say that adding Manny to the team proved satisfying. Constantine has developed an arc—they even increased the amount of time Manny spent with John per visit—that it made sense that he’d take a more hands on approach to John’s guidance. But one thing bothered me. John put the kibosh on Manny’s flight because he cared for Zed.
I get that John’s changed since his days in Newcastle, but he hasn’t known Zed for that long and her appearances on the show have been hit and miss. Even when she’s in an episode, it doesn’t mean that she accompanies John. We’re on episode twelve, and the two have had six episodes together at best, and it was only two or three appearances ago that John questioned Zed’s loyalty to him.
Now I would buy John forcing Manny to help because he didn’t want another Newcastle debacle. Constantine flirted with this reasoning, but ultimately landed on the feelings for Zed angle. So close.
But don’t misinterpret my reservations of John’s motives as a knock on the acting—you can only work with what you’re given. Kudos all around. I especially liked the chemistry between Harold Perrineau (Manny) and Angelica Celaya (Zed). Matt Ryan (John Constantine) gave a fine performance as well. And one thing I did like about the writing was that they brought back the idea of magic has its price. Zed’s visions were caused by a brain tumor.
There’s still no word as to whether or not NBC plans to cancel or renew Constantine, but SyFy has expressed interested to continue the show as the original title Hellblazer.
Verdict: A small bump in the road—as far as John’s motives are concerned—couldn’t derail this overall solid episode.
Travel further down the infernal trail with our Constantine secrets page.
This season of Grimm has had a lot of movement. I don’t know if that equates to character development—there have been some nice threads like Juliette—but the season has kept my interest. I’ll get to the good stuff in a bit but I want to illustrate what I mean by a lot of movement. Let’s use Sergeant Wu’s story arc as example.
Wu is already a full-fledged member of Team Grimm as he knows as much about the Grimm world as Hank, who found out about Wesen in the first season. I’ll admit that it took time, but while the transition took time, it should have taken more. Wu spent time in a mental institution for his Wesen encounter late last season, and he flipped out at a bar five or six episodes ago. Five or six episodes is roughly a month and half. Would he be able to take on Wesen so soon? It takes more time to recover from what Wu experienced in order to get to the point he’s at now, but it doesn’t feel like it’s only been five or six episodes, and that’ because Grimm has crammed so many things in short order: a kidnapping, a honeymoon, and Nick getting his Grimm back. But the biggest thing going right now is the two or three episode Juliette as a Hexenbiest.
Speaking of which Juliette discovered that she’s the most powerful Hexenbiest in Portland this week—not bad for an infant witch. She met with the grand master Hexenbiest—that’s my title for her, since Grimm gave context for her—and the grand master hex told Juliette that there’s no going back to human for her. Figures. This same grand master hex also told Juliette that she should keep her Hexenbiestness to herself. Wasn’t that convenient?
But that wasn’t as convenient as the Wesen of the week. A new manticore threatened Portland, but he did little more than prove that Wu was a fulltime member of Team Grimm and that Juliette was the most powerful Hexenbiest. Throw in the return of Adalind and the reintroduction of the magic baby, and you get one episode with a lot of fireworks. But do fireworks count as development or just movement?
Verdict: A lot happened—maybe not enough character development—but this episode of Grimm managed to tie many things together, or at least get all the major characters together in the same city.