Bob's Burgers "Mutiny on the Windbreaker" Review: Anchors Aweigh

By Noel Kirkpatrick

Nov 12, 2012

Bob's Burgers S03E04: "Mutiny on the Windbreaker"

Bob's Burgers often has to balance the sentimental with the surreal and the wacky, and it’s never an easy task. “Mutiny on the Windbreaker” leaned heavily on the wacky, and was lacking in the sentimental. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but it meant all the weird elements needed to really coalesce, and that didn't happen.

In an effort to drum up more business, Bob had the kids hang out at the docks and pass out coupons to folks leaving a cruise ship. Of course the kids got distracted by a bug, and they didn’t generate any new business—except for Captain Flarty, who wanted Bob to become the new chef on the ship. Bob refused, citing his happiness with his own business (good for him!) so the captain relented and asked Bob just cook for just one night. The family pressured Bob into accepting and they were off, complete with a VIP pass that gave them free run of the ship.

Things started off promising enough. When the Belchers arrived at the port, a crew member was trying to escape, declaring that something was wrong with the ship, but he was quickly carted off. After Bob served his meal, he discovers that Flarty had set sail Puerto Rico and intended to keep him on board as the vessel’s new chef, replacing the disgruntled French chef Duval. I really liked this shanghaied premise, because there are plenty of great jokes that can be done on a cruise ship, and the idea of Flarty being a crazy dictator provided the chance for lots of insanity.

But it never came together. The episode was a jumble of ideas, from the perpetually pooping capybara Kiki to Gene’s attraction to a dummy manatee from a ventriloquist act to Linda’s over tanning and penny slot addiction to Tina’s sexy scalp massages to Bob’s attempts to elude Flarty.

Flarty’s insanity was never really conveyed properly. It was clear he was keeping much of the crew on board against their will (“First one to find him gets their passport back!”), but that wasn't mined for much humor, leaving him as a half-baked crazy sea captain with an exotic pet. He was never comically menacing, and it really hurt Bob’s attempt to not only escape capture but to stop Duval from serving the spoiled oysters.

The rest of the family members each had their own thing going on (as I briefly listed above), and that gave the episode a sense of disconnection. Bob's Burgers is at its best when the characters are working in groups, and when they’re split up, each idea feels a little underdeveloped. Tina’s sexy scalp massage created a great sight gag (she had sex hair from it), and Louise tap dancing with her long nails was cute and funny, but Linda’s cruise goggles—as it were—never completely landed for me, and Gene’s sexual attraction to the puppet was awkward, but not awkward funny. I guess I just prefer my burgeoning sexuality humor to come from Tina.

So, a weak episode of Bob’s Burgers, but next week we’ve got Thanksgiving and the return of Mr. Fischoeder to look forward to. My hopes are high.

  • Comments (9)
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  • ch0c0nutz Nov 13, 2012

    i found it funny when they had those titanic related dreams in the beginning

  • sunnysfunny Nov 13, 2012

    "Clackety-clack-clackety-clack"

  • shocker713 Nov 13, 2012

    As a chef, I have officially adopted the Hippocratic Oath of Chefs.

  • JT_Kirk Nov 13, 2012

    I laughed quite a bit at the gags in this one, but Noel is right that they were just antics, the story itself wasn't driving the humor. Still, if a weak episode of Bob's Burgers makes me laugh that much, I think we're still doing ok. But no question, this show could do better.

  • noelrk Nov 13, 2012

    I just didn't laugh at all. I mean, Tina's post-massage hair and Louise tap dancing and saying "Clackety-clack-clackety-clack" while running were the only things that made me laugh. The rest? Meeeh.

    But your refinement of it as "antics" is spot-on. And I can do antics, it just needs to build to a big climax, and this didn't build for me in any meaningful way (vomit jokes don't do it for me).

  • startug Nov 12, 2012

    I might have been the only one who loved the episode for some odd reason.

    Next week's thanksgiving episode looks pretty awesome!

  • mfontana Nov 13, 2012

    I loved it, too! The 'Gene loving the puppet' thing would have been better if it was a quick thing instead of going the whole episode (imo) but even that was still funny to me. And so was the rest of the episode! I just love this show so much.

  • t-mac1111 Nov 12, 2012

    Not the only one i thought iwas hilarious

  • startug Nov 13, 2012

    That's good. I've never seen an episode below average, where in this show, average is at a good level. The worst is just an average, which would probably be Food Truckin'. No terrible episodes so far, and I highly doubt we'll get any in the future.