Image: Fox

Fear is a complicated emotion. It can be caused by real threats, anticipation of the horrible, fictional scenarios, or potential of emotional distress. This week Bob’s Burgers skillfully tackled all those aspects of terror from the perspective of not only the Belchers but some much-welcomed guest characters, old and new.

Right away a video showing a song Tina sings to her poop before she flushes it is introduced as this episode’s version of Chekov’s gun. Throughout the episode this tape threatens to unleash Tina’s biggest fear: embarrassment. Bob’s biggest fear is laid before him in the form of a double-date, Louise embraces fear when she learns about an 80s zombie movie Bob forbids her to watch until she’s 20, Gene and the Wagstaff crew become genuinely terrified when they watch said movie, and Linda lives out her greatest fear: not having a good time.

When Louise schemes to get a group of friends to watch the Jewish deli zombie film Again With the Living Dead, it’s surprising that she wouldn’t tell Tina. Tina is the number one zombie fan, and once you pair that with a Jimmy, Jr. hang, it’s no wonder that she so quickly got on board. Same with Bob and the escape room on his double date. Bob loves solving puzzles and riddles, that should be the biggest sell on being trapped in a room, and, again, he quickly gets on board and ends up having a good time.

While everyone in this episode makes the most of their screen time, once again it’s the supporting Wagstaff crew who steal the show with an honorable mention awarded to emotional support dog Lars for his time spent with Bob’s crotch. Andy, Olie, Darryl, and Rudy return in rare form, and anyone who wasn’t already shipping Zeke and Jimmy, Jr. has no excuse not to after tonight’s show of extreme couch chemistry.

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The kids are quickly traumatized by Louise’s plan to watch the movie (even Louise ends up admitting she’s scared despite her best efforts to stay strong), and Tina steps into pro babysitter mode. What makes the kids on Bob’s Burgers so relatable and watchable: despite being characters on an adult show who sometimes saying inappropriate things, they still maintain an endearing innocence. And when things go south, Tina exposes a potentially shameful part of her innocence—that’s right, Chekov’s embarrassing poop video is back—which in the end is the most adult thing to do to offer everyone a sense of relief. In the same vein Linda, who normally would childishly hype up her plan or make an excuse when she turns out to be wrong, responsibly accepts defeat. In the end, it’s growing up that saves the day, no matter how brief the acts of adulthood may be before the next round of immature mischief.

Stray Observations:

  • No Burger of the Day! We didn’t see the inside of the restaurant once in this episode
  • The rotating business next door in the credits this week was “Shawl Me By Your Name,” which is just brilliant
  • Linda’s best couple friend montage is all train-themed
  • “Like when you think a guy is going to murder you and then he proposes!” -Gene
  • Again With the Living Dead’s tagline is “Who’s going to clean this up?”
  • “Oops, gelato autocorrected to genitals, oops, did it again!” -Linda
  • “We were playing lamps, and we won.” -Louise

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