The most recent Mr. Holland’s Opus-ode of Bob’s Burgers sends Bob into Wagstaff Elementary to be the substitute Home Economic teacher. Points off for yet another “Bob takes on a new job of the week” plot, when the ongoing struggles of the restaurant tend to be funnier. But points back on for finding the perfect genre that mixes agressive jokes and heart, and that’s what the show does best.
And Bob turns out to be a great teacher, who’s passionate enough to patiently engage the toughest of students (even ones who ask, “What’s a beverage?”). He even delivers an inspirational screed to Zeke, who takes a break from roughousing with Jimmy Jr. to prove he’s a good enough chef to headline their “Home Ec-staurant.” Eventually, Bob’s success gets the Wagstaff lunchladies and their employers, the evil Caf Co. food company, ready to shut him down. But all it takes is a Dead Poet’s Society-type display of affection to inspire Bob to make a final stand and serve one last lunch with the kids. It ends up more inspirational than many of the movies it’s parodying.
Now, let’s look at the best moments from each character this week:
Bob: While once Bob gets his fervor for teaching there’s plenty to enjoy, his best moment is probably his initial terrified disbelief at how the home ec class behaves. “Kids are terrible. Why do we keep having them?”
Linda: Shuffled off to a minor story teaching Teddy how to dance, Linda doesn’t have much going on, but the herky-jerky way she dances will always be hysterical.
Tina: Tina gets shuffled off by the writers much like she was shuffled off by Bob in lieu of more Home Ec. humor, but it was sweet how little Bob had to do in order to win her back from the dungeon of metal shop class. “[You need me] to wash dishes?” “Yes, but also prep work.” “Okay!”
Gene: When a classmate compliments his dad’s teaching, he responds, “He’s married! To a friend of mine.”
Louise: The youngest Belcher is on fire with the one liners. “I can’t go back to my old job. I burned a lot of bridges there.” Now when are we going to get another Gene and/or Louise episode?
Guest MVP: Zeke (Bobby Tisdale) is in good form this week, managing to be Bob’s teacher’s pet without losing his gross, immature edges. “We’re busier than a monkey with six ding-alings!” But Larry Murphy also deserves special mention for voicing most of the guest characters lately, from his usual Teddy to Hildy, the mustachioed lunch lady.
Recurring Gags: The first Burgers of the Week in a while, “Edward James Olive-Most” and “Bohemian Radishy,” were worth the wait.
Final Judgment: Pass +.