Bob’s Burgers is back after another long hiatus. And the show didn’t miss a beat. Sure, there are chuckles to be had, but the strength of Bob’ Burgers is its heart.
Bob finds out that Teddy received a less than sterling diagnosis from his doctor: high cholesterol, heart issues, and he should change his eating habits. But Teddy is Bob’s best customer. Bob struggles with being the one that’s endangering his friend’s life and with the fact that Teddy is his best friend. Linda convinces him with a song—as only Linda can do—and we get another musical gem. “He crashes on the couch when he loses his job. He helps you pee when you have that thing.”
Linda also serves as the bridge between Bob’s story arc and the one with the kids, who get the idea to spill water in the walk-in freezer. A Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome escapade ensues. What’s worse is that instead of talking the kids out of pushing each other on the ice, Linda makes the kids costumes that mimic Thunderdome get ups. The kids battle it out in the “Freezerdome,” and they do so in classic fashion: Zeke over powers everyone in his match-up bracket, while Louise cheats. In the end, Linda behaves worse than the kids—when Louise and Gene face off she asks them, “Who wants Mommy’s love more”—and Louise ends up victorious.
The two threads intertwine, and we’re left with a satisfying ending with most loose ends tied up. It may seem formulaic but this episode shows how in sync Bob’s Burgers is even when it hasn’t been on the air much.
Here are some tortured burger puns from this week:
1) Romaines of the Day Burger
2) Beet-er Late than Never Burger
3) Parsnips- Français Burger
4) Sub-Conscious Burger (from Bob’s nightmare about killing Teddy)
5) Peas and Thank You Burger
6) Belt Buckle Belly Buster Burger (a 5 pound burger from one of Bob’s competitors The Feed Bag)
Verdict: Bob’s Burgers remains—or is it romaines—one of the best shows on the air. The characters are well defined and have room to grow.
Thank goodness. We get a break from last year’s Wesen of the week—this season of Grimm is making an effort to distance itself from the sputtering last season—but continue with the ongoing sagas of Nick and Adalind. Let’s start with the continuing drama. Nick finds out about last week’s Trubel abduction. Grimm doesn’t concentrate too much time on this, so I won’t either. I’m sure we’ll see more of this new faction next week. Then, we have the dream team of Monroe and Rosalee helping Renard’s mom recreate Adalind’s potion. Some creepy moments ensue, a couple of clunky dialogue exchanges as well, but for the most part these scenes work to drive the Grimm-less Nick storyline forward. Thankfully, we don’t get a lot of Adalind this week, but what we do see of her is an interesting scene in a royal castle turret. I won’t spoil the scene, but this part of the castle comes off as an evil Hogwarts. If future Adalind scenes build off of this one, I can get behind the occasional Adalind scene.
Renard returns to police headquarters. And there was much rejoicing. It took me a while to warm to him this season because he was absent a lot last season, but I’m down with him trying to get back to business as usual and failing because Sergeant Wu asks him about Trubel. While I’m still not interested in the whole will, how, and when will Wu find out about Wesen and Grimms story arc, it’s nice to see Grimm show the different angles and obstacles Wu faces. We’ll have to see if there’s dissention as to how to handle Wu. If there is some, we could be in for a treat. If everyone agrees on how to deal with Wu, this could be a groan.
We get anything but a groan with this week’s monster-creature-non-Wesen. Grimm tackles the Golem myth this week, and I like their take on the defender of a creature. I really like how Trubel drops her tough girl act a bit and shows us some layers. I was worried she’d keep up the hard-boiled girl from the streets routine. Nick and Hank had their ubiquitous “we’ll have to put Trubel in trouble, so maybe Nick should become a Grimm again” moment, but they didn’t dwell on it as much. I was disappointed that we didn’t see Nick deploy his detective skills. The guy who summons the Golem confesses. While this makes sense for the character, I’m still upset that we lost Nick in action as a detective.
Verdict: Grimm looks like it’s returning to its first and second season form. We’ll have to see how certain threads play out, but so far, so good. Awkward dialogue aside, this was a solid episode.
Finally, we get an episode of Constantine focused on the titular character John. As a result we see less of the mystical and get more of a melodrama.
John is a bastard. He’s not supposed to be a hero, and he certainly doesn’t live up to that billing in this episode as he sacrifices his friend Gary Lester to an Ebola demon. Okay. They’re actually called hunger demons. But viewers aren’t allowed to connect fully with Gary. He’s an addict and most shows view addicts of all kinds as dispensable. Just watch one episode of Law and Order, and you’ll see what I mean.
But “addicts as expendable” isn’t the only trope in which this episode draws. We get the redemption story arc with both John and Gary. John dubs Gary as worthless, even though Gary gives Zed a stirring speech about how he’s going to turn his life around, and then we see Gary as worthless, trying to score dope. As John says, “People don’t change.” We see the world’s ugliest coin storm, and Zed calls it beautiful. This odd rainfall announces the arrival of Manny, The Angel of Exposition. Even John coins the phrase “Pennies from heaven” in reference to an angel appearing. Ugh. But we do drop the police procedural element of the show, and that’s a good thing.
Unfortunately, we may have lost the police procedural element, but when Zed touches Gary, she gets a heroin flashback a la CSI. We could’ve done without that. And despite the fact that “Feast of Friends” is based on the first issue of Hellblazer, it tones down the idea of a hunger demon. We saw the cleanest cockroaches—Casper beetles, sorry—and the hunger demon doesn’t drive people to eat anything in sight. Sure, we get a victim eating half-cooked fries directly from a vat and another eating a person’s face, but if the only thing available to consume is gasoline, we should see someone chugging gasoline.
For such a rootless show, we don’t get a lot of travel. “Feast of Friends” marks the fourth episode, and half the episodes are based in Atlanta. I said it before that I think the only reason John’s based out of Atlanta is because of financial issues. I guess I shouldn’t get too hung up on Atlanta. Breaking Bad was supposed to be set in Southern California, but SoCal proved too expensive, and Albuquerque gave them a discount. Still, Breaking Bad used Albuquerque as its own character. And Constantine is no Breaking Bad.
Here are a few quick ones:
1) Loved it when John changed the worker mishap sign to read zero days since last incident.
2) John drops a good line, “It’s not rocket surgery” when he and Gary break into a museum to steal a mystic artifact.
3) Even Gary sees John for the bastard he is when he says, “This was your plan all along.”
4) Where can I get a zero gravity trap?
Verdict: I won’t hold my breath and say that Constantine’s improving, but we do see a lot of who John is. This episode has its moments. Hopefully, there are enough of these moments to build on.