For a show with as many strong characters as there are on Bob’s Burgers, it can be a little difficult to choose a favorite. Among the folks I know, however, the far and away frontrunner is Tina, the eldest child of the Belcher clan. We were all Tina once: filled with dry wit, raging hormones, and a desire to grow up and get on with adulthood.
My fellow Tina acolytes must be as delighted as I was to have an episode almost entirely focused on the young dreamer. As ever, her biggest wish tonight is to remain close to Jimmy Pesto Jr., and sees a chance when she volunteers to be his assistant when he participates in a young magician’s competition. Jimmy Jr.’s main concern is less on the magic, but how much dancing he can squeeze into his act. Tina does her best to steer him back on course, but ends up getting fired for her efforts. And to add insult to injury, her romantic rival, Tammy, replaces her.
It’s here that Bob’s Burgers distinguishes itself again by allowing a bit of Tina’s maturity to come into play in this. Her frustration with Jimmy Jr. reaches a boiling point, and she actually lays into him (while still referring to him as a “gorgeous idiot”). It was nice to see the writers moving these characters forward emotionally. Tina’s outburst sets off her attempt to sabotage Jimmy Jr.’s act by replacing his music with a CD of “poly-rhythmic synth jazz.” Like any first crush, her annoyance subsides and she takes the stage to help rescue his act in dramatic fashion. As dramatic as dislocating your shoulder to get out of a straitjacket can be.
The rest of the episode is filled in with Bob going head-to-head with the magicians in town for a convention. After offering up food at 1/2 price for the performers, they end up hanging around the restaurant for hours picking at a plate of fries. Bob kicks them all out but not before getting added to “The Enemies of Magic” book alongside David Cassidy and Diane Keaton. The aftermath was especially silly with the magicians installing tricks throughout the restaurant (a water glass that won’t fill, a long scarf tucked into the cash register) as was this plotline’s resolution that involved Bob licking the deli tray in the main magician’s dressing room. It’s how the show continues to shine: balancing out the ridiculous with the sincere and not letting it tip too far into either category.