‘Bob’s Burgers’ Season 4 Episode 19 Recap: “The Kids Run Away”

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NBC’s Thursday night invaded Bob’s Burgers this week; Dr. Yap (Ken Jeong) and Linda’s sister Gayle (Megan Mullally) made a return, though sadly with only one scene together. With the abundance of guest stars, the writers kept the plot focused and comparatively simple: Louise has a cavity, which she’ll go to any length to not get filled. And with Louise, those lengths are pretty high.

Tina’s always had reverence for her elders — something Gene and Louise don’t share. As a budding young woman, Louise sees their dentist, Dr. Yap, as a viable romantic option (ew). “He’s like an eagle soaring through your mouth,” she says, later telling him while in the chair, “we don’t always have to make this about business.” This newfound maturity not only leaves Tina boy crazy, it allows her to side with either her parents or her siblings. This week she chose her parents, in the process helping to bring Louise home after she runs away… to Gayle’s house. Tina’s a lousy spy, but Louise is in fact a nine-year-old so they make it work anyway. Ice cream was her kryptonite; it’s a fitting way to vanquish a twisted girl who wishes nothing else but to be an evil queen.

It’s not that Louise didn’t try. After Yap tries to trick her into getting her cavity filled, she goes full Beatrix Kiddo on his ass, hops out the window, and makes a run for it. “She told me to wait ten minutes to tell you, but I’m a grown man and she’s a little girl, so I waited eight,” Yap tells the Belchers. “Don’t tell Louise I didn’t wait the whole ten.” Then Louise goes full Mike Ehrmantraut and tracks down her go-bag — which she packed when she was seven, and thus includes a candy cellphone — down by the river. Step three: check into a hotel using Bob’s credit card and a hand-drawn ID that merely reads, “Beatrice Black, 43 years old” and includes her Wagstaff school picture. She drops a ‘Nam reference, but still her plan is foiled. (At least the sequence was thoroughly entertaining to watch.) Gayle’s apartment is Louise’s only option, albeit a disgusting one. The animators’ attention to detail in Gayle’s apartment is impressive and transportive. Her patheticness can be summed up by the tiny piles of dirt/dust visible on her couch’s arm (as seen in the picture up top).

Linda quickly finds out that Louise is with her sister, and goes for some “creative parenting” in which the family “raises Gayle’s crazy meter to unfun levels.” CUE THE LINDA BELCHER EVIL LAUGH (.gif below), which is one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen on Bob’s Burgers. After wagering with Louise that if she can make it through the weekend at Gayle’s, she doesn’t have to get the filling, they send Tina (and Gene) over to bring out the worst in Gayle. “You know, I haven’t read any parenting books, but I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t be in there,” Bob says after hearing Linda’s plot.

Fake book cover via Behind ‘Bob’s Burgers’

Gayle’s crazy side is something we’ve only seen in small doses, but it’s cemented in “The Kids Run Away.” A taste of her poetry: “Little cat you’re just like me/ You got outside and squat to pee/ SQUAT SQUAT SQUAT.” She also makes reference to Scott Baio, specifically that magazine clippings of him should be sent into space. There’s a made-up board game — Gayle Force Winds — that rivals Ben Wyatt’s Cones of Dunshire on Parks and Recreation. But Louise stays strong. It’s just that damn ice cream for breakfast that does her in.

Now, Louise is not going to go without a fight, despite the fact that her tooth has been aching all weekend. Gayle out-parents Bob and Linda, scheming up with a Tarantino-esque shoot-out game that gets Louise back in Yap’s office. All it takes is a little seduction and danger to manipulate Louise. Maybe by 11 she’ll learn.

Burger of the Day: Sgt. Poblano Pepper Lonely Artichoke Hearts Club Burger

And here’s this for shits and giggles…