Just when you though it was safe to go running with a herd of turkeys again, Bob's Burgers Season 5 Episode 4 showed us the dawning of a new age. Eat your heart out, Caesar!
It's Turkey Day for the Belcher clan and this year Linda and the kids decide to spend the day at the First Annual Fischoeder Turk-tacular Turkey Town Festival, hosted by Calvin and Felix Fischoeder.
Bob, angry that his family would rather spend Thanksgiving at a festival rather than at home, decides to boycott the holiday, adamant that he will not be cooking anything.
The turkeys and other accidentally selected birds turn out to be wilder than expected and they attack everyone at the festival, including Linda and Teddy. Meanwhile, the kids are sitting ducks (pun very much intended) on a ride while the birds swarm around them. The race is on for Linda, Teddy and the ride operator, Mickey, to find the kids and get out of the park.
Right off the bat, I want to declare that this episode is, by far, the best episode of the new season. The writing, which is always one of the show's strong points, was especially strong this week. Not only was it funny, but the script had actual stakes. As silly as a group of turkeys terrorizing people might seem, Linda's goal to save her children from a bunch of crazed animals felt legitimate and even a little dangerous.
A great example was right before the race even started. As funny as it was, the way that the scene kept cutting from Linda and the kids to the pent up rage of the birds gave the scene actual tension. The writing and editing on the pre-race sequence, as well as other scenes, were inspired
Another successful aspect of the writing was the set up and pay off of certain gags. It's always fun to see gags get introduced and then used later in ways you don't expect. For example, Teddy's past on a turkey farm was paid off when he led the turkeys away from the ride that they were trapped on, or when Linda's belt of little water bottles ultimately get used to hit the off switch for the ride.
The best example, however, was Teddy's multiple references to the turkey pecking order, which ended up getting paid off by Linda pecking everyone around her, making her the Queen of the Turkeys. These little gags are hysterical and they help the story feel more cohesive.
Compared to the mayhem at the park, Bob's day at home was expectedly less interesting. While it wasn't a bad storyline, the speech Bob delivers tot he turkey baster wasn't as good as it could have been. It was fine for the purpose of ultimately giving Bob a reason to get the grocery store for the finale, but I didn't get the impression that he even liked cooking for Thanksgiving, which didn't make it seem like a big deal when he decided not to cook for Thanksgiving, which robbed the speech of any power, comedic or otherwise.
Having said that, seeing a drunk Bob singing to Donna Summer is always a good thing.
What do you and your family do for Thanksgiving? Do you run with turkeys? If you do, will you rethink that after this episode?
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