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Bob's Burgers - Flat-Top O' the Morning to Ya - Review: Stupid Good Deeds

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When times are tough it's nice to have our comforts, things that take our minds off what's going on in the world. It's not a coincidence that I've seen Bob's Burgers on several "things to stream" lists when the scope of what we're going through became known. Bob's Burgers is definitely in the category of feel good comedy and this episode highlighted just what makes it so lovable.

In the main story line we have Bob and the kids going to a restaurant liquidation auction, which makes Bob feel weird. On the one hand, he can get plates for a great deal. On the other, it's like picking the bones of the dead like a vulture, plus it hits a little too close to home regarding the status of his own restaurant (not exactly booming). Only Gene, who envisions himself as a Reggaeton megastar, sees a bright future for the Belchers.

While scavenging the corpse of Beecham's BBQ, Bob and the kids accidentally meet the former owner, Jules Beecham.

I love how everyone just saw right through the horrible fake mustache.
Jules is in disguise at the auction to try and get back a piece of his family's restaurant, which he drove into the ground due to 1) the inability to read his father's handwriting on the family's secret recipes and 2) his heart not really being into the restaurant business - despite his allergies to bees, he really wants to be a beekeeper. The heirloom in question is a flattop grill, seasoned by years of BBQ and sporadic cleanings.

Bob is sympathetic to Jules' plight, right up until he discovers that Jules has no intention of bidding for the flattop, but has a horrible plan to steal it from the auction. This is where the Belcher family is split: Louise is more than willing to help Jules with his heist, bonus that since it's a bank auction it's like they're robbing a bank. Gene is also game. Bob and Tina, however, are firmly in the "this is not a good idea" camp, but somehow still get roped into helping Jules.

This is where the heart of Bob's Burgers really shines through. If the Belchers see a person in need they end up helping them, even if doing so goes against their own goals, or in this case, the law. Sure, Louise is doing it out of self-interest, but it made me smile to see Bob doing something stupid, that he knows is stupid, because he sees a guy struggling and he identifies with him, has empathy for him, and fears that one day he'll be him.

So the Belchers end up hiding out in Jule's secret spice room when their attempt at thievery inevitably fails. They are able to talk him out of his plan by promising that his flattop will go to a good and deserving home. While doing so Bob misses out on the auction for the plates he'd come there for, and it bums him enough to sing a song wondering "is the restaurant a recipe for failure?" Seeing what Jules is going through and just being at the auction brings up a lot of feelings of inadequacy for Bob, but the kids are there to reassure him that they know the restaurant is struggling so there's no use for him to worry about it in private. Bring all that anxiety out into the open, my man!

Just when things are looking like they might resolve themselves, there's a twist! When a reseller bids a lot of money for the flattop Jules goes rogue and wheels the flattop out of the restaurant where it proceeds to roll away and into a car, which unluckily for Jules, is his own. With the flattop now dented the reseller drops his bid, the price drops and a new restaurateur wins it, fulfilling Bob's promise of it going to a good home. But with the restaurant called "Yummy Yummy Cheese Beefs" with cheese steaks served in waffle cones it doesn't look like the flattop will be at its new home for long. Though Tina is very excited about the wafflization of cheese steaks.

In the secondary story line we have Linda and Teddy doing stupid things while tipsy on green beer. Did I forget to mention that this was Bob's St. Patrick's Day episode?

This right here is what we in the biz call "foreshadowing."
Against Bob's wishes, Linda gets a little too heavy handed with the green dye and ends up turning all of the restaurant's ground beef green. Generally speaking, green beef is not what people want to eat, so when customers balk at having a burger (which is bad for a burger restaurant) Linda and Teddy go to the St. Patrick's Day festival to hand out sliders for free to all the drunk revelers who won't mind the green burgers. They figure it's better to give the meat away then let it go to waste. And it works! At the end of the episode Linda and Teddy are Pied Pipers leading a line of partiers into the restaurant for more food.

Odds and ends:

Favorite quote: "Dad you're so good at touching strangers." He really is.

Favorite blink and you'll miss it moment #1: When Jules remarks that he thought the kids were Bob's friends Louise scoffs like she'd never be friends with Bob if they weren't related.

Favorite blink and you'll miss it moment #2: As Jules is explaining his doomed plan there's a ticking in the background, just like in heist films during tense scenes. It's these little touches that really elevate episodes.

Thoughts on Bob's Burgers, this episode or any that you're binging, go below. Be safe, self-isolate!

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