‘Bob’s Burgers’ Season 4 Episode 16 Recap: “I Get Psychic Out of You”

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Bob’s Burgers went full sitcom this week, employing a mom’s-a-dope plotline about as memorable as a sandwich from an airport. In principle, it’s nice to see Linda Belcher thrust into the spotlight, but how a show can dedicate an entire episode to one character and still reveal nothing new about her… well, that’s actually sort of impressive.

It all starts when Linda falls and hits her head. When she gets back up, she makes two accurate predictions: Mort’s wallet was hiding in the bathroom and a telemarketing was on the phone. With encouragement from her children and skepticism from her husband, Linda proclaims her new psychic abilities to the world, offering her services with every order at Bob’s Burgers. Which means she doesn’t have too many clients (BURN). She takes psychics’ bread and butter — vague statements — and takes them to new heights. And she feels the need to make the most annoying sound in the world while doing it. Teddy, for example, goes out on a quest to find a woman in a yellow dress; Linda had guessed the color yellow on the fourth try. Most of her predictions, including Teddy’s, turn out to be horribly wrong.

Linda does manage to get something big right: the whereabouts of the missing Dizzy Dog statue at the pier. Using common sense — something lacking in the Belchers’ community — Linda figured out that Dizzy Dog had fallen into the pier. This prediction earns her the title of “local psychic” and a spot on a police investigation team. They’re searching for the Little Boy Bandit, who’s likely not a little boy but rather, a short man in those mall-rat roller shoes and a wig attached to a baseball cap. Nothing’s triggering Linda on the perp, and like we’ve seen in many cop portrayals in fictionalized media, the detective on the case is getting antsy and threatening his informant. Which brings us to our B plotline this week.

The ever-scheming Louise, secretly a middle-aged man teeming with vices, comes up with a plan to bet on the ponies using Linda’s predictions. They pull Tina’s $82 life savings, and Teddy takes them down to the track. But Bob finds out what’s going on and races down to the track, only to find the kids getting autographs from the jockey of the horse they bet on. While the jockey’s looking for a pen, a roller shoe and a wig attached to a baseball cap fall out of his bag, which tips Bob off. He calls Linda, who brings the detective down to the track. Little Boy Bandit caught, case closed, Linda’s psychic career over, episode tied up in a perfect little bow. It was annoying how easily this episode was resolved. All that’s left is an embarrassing memory of how gullible Linda was, yet again. Stupid mom, remember when she thought she was a psychic? Dad called it, though — and he cracked the Little Boy Bandit case. Dad’s the hero, mom’s a fool. Like I said, total sitcom stuff.

Though Linda took the lead this week, the real stars of the episode were Gene and the Burger of the Day board. On the latter, Bob squeezed in two solid cultural references: Charbroil Fair with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, after Simon and Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair”; and Beets of the Southern Wild, after the 2012 drama Beasts of the Southern Wild. As for Gene, he was full of butt and ball jokes rather than fart jokes, and Tina was particularly quiet on the butt front this episode so I’ll take it. A few Gene highlights:

Bob: “…just two small coincidences.” Gene: “That’s what I call my testicles!”

Tina: “She [mom] can tell us the next trend in teen fashion.” Gene: “I’ll bet it’s butt hats, hats for your butt!”

Louise: “…You guys have money?” Gene, apropos of nothing: “If you’re asking me to sell my hair, the answer is no.”