Bob's Burgers' Season 3 Premiere: Hats Off

By Noel Kirkpatrick

Oct 01, 2012

Bob's Burgers S03E01: "Ears-y Rider"

Now in its third season, Bob's Burgers doing what it can to bring to build on its positive word-of-mouth and draw in new audiences. The show is, simply put, a delight (it wouldn’t have been an Editor’s Pick here on otherwise!), and “Ear-sy Rider” was one of those very funny season premieres that tells a newcomer what he needs to know while still rewarding those who've been watching for a while.

Mort’s funeral home played host to the memorial for the leader of the biker gang the One-Eyed Snakes (“God gave you a halo cuz he couldn’t make you wear a helmet.”). The group then celebrated at Bob’s Burgers, of course, and while they did wreck the place, they also left an IOU, to be redeemed at any point.

The same day, the kids encountered a group of high school bullies who controlled the corner of a street. Louise, never one to back down from, well, anything, confronted the leader, Logan, and they managed to sneak by once. The second time, though, Logan stole Louise’s trademark ears.

Needless to say, it was ON.

While it was easy to guess how “Ear-sy Rider” would play out, with Louise calling in the IOU and having the bikers confront Logan, the episode made the journey to that destination into something hilarious. Louise’s stalking of Logan—going to the high school, jumping at him from opposing escalators—was a nicely executed montage that culminated in tattling in Logan’s house while Louise sipped on tea. It was a terrific way to round out the sequence and still keep the episode moving as Logan claimed to have tossed the ears away at a taco place. (“Which one, Logan?! IT’S A CHAIN!”)

What I ultimately loved about the episode wasn’t that Louise’s life fell apart without her ears, as you might expect. Yes, Logan’s did improve (he got a prom date and his test scores went up), but even in the absence of her signature headwear, Louise maintained her confidence and personality. So while the episode did offer a message about Louise’s strength of character not being defined by the ears, it didn’t overplay that. It still allowed room for Louise to grow and still be roughly where she was at the start of the episode.

And despite all this, new viewers were able to get a sense of the show Bob's Burgers is: Bob is kind of hapless but caring. Linda’s a little daffy (“Why would someone steal the sign for Ball Street? Oh! Haha!”) but protects her kids. Tina (“My hands smell like onions. It’s nice.”), Gene, and Louise are weird, random, and uncannily confident, respectively. "Ears-y Rider" was such that someone coming to the show for the first time could get an idea of everyone without having to worry about who the characters were, even though it was an episode about who one of those characters is.

Bob’s Burgers draws its strength from wrapping the bizarre in the sweet, without allowing either to overpower the other. So when the episode's two conflicting forces—the bikers and concerned parents—came together over the birth of Mudflap’s kid and realized that their neighborhood is just fine the way it is, the oddness of the bikers and the “white collar parents” being in one place felt completely earned.

Quotes & Notes

– Tellingly, Bob’s blue collar restaurant allowed two very different classes to meet and come together in a moment of unity. It’s an in-between space where otherwise distant groups can meet.

– “Someone threw a Sno-Cone at my windshield this morning. I thought I drove into a rainbow. It was terrifying.”

– Critter’s buttons were great: “For tickling a cop.” and “Fooooooor not being associated with the White Power movement.” Oh, and they make meth. These are horrible, but perfectly nice people.

– “Hey, you don’t want to mess with my sister. She’ll wear down your self-esteem over a matter of years.” I love you, Tina.

– On the specials board: (“Doesn’t come with cilantro. Because cilantro is terrible.”) It’s not terrible. I love cilantro!

  • Comments (19)
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  • shocker713 Oct 03, 2012

    Yes, cilantro is awesome.

  • TheBam711 Oct 03, 2012

    I watched the 1st episode last season and passed on it. I watched the premier on Sunday and might go back and rewatch the show from the beginning. :)

  • noelrk Staff Oct 03, 2012

    That pilot isn't very good, but I LOVE "Crawl Space" (but then I love an extended Shining homage).

  • TheBam711 Oct 03, 2012

    I meant 1st season.

  • IndianaMom Oct 03, 2012

    I just started watching this show over the summer on Netflix. This was a great welcome back. I love Louise. And Tina. The whole family, really.

  • JT_Kirk Oct 02, 2012

    Great writeup for a very good episode. I didn't notice the thing about cilantro, I also like cilantro quite a bit, and I usually keep an eye out for those. I loved "Annie get your gum" business next door and they used a gumball machine for their "open" sign (which is good because the "m" in gum was cut off).

  • CinnaBlaze Oct 01, 2012

    Oh I truly love this show! The characters have their issues but are so very likeable, Bob and Linda, at first glance, aren't parents of the year, but by any episode end you see that they really are loving, caring parents and the kids love them just as much! The writing is fantastic and the jokes are top notch (the sno-cone joke, driving into a rainbow - who writes that? It's brilliant!). This show is just what I need on a dreaded Sunday night when I'm filled with the "back to work blues"! Love it!

  • buildam2005 Oct 01, 2012

    Without question the best show on Fox's Sunday night line up--and by a wide margin, at that. Hilarious, nicely-drawn characters. And so quick and witty! The show doesn't need to show us where the jokes are. They're subtle sometimes, over-the-top the next. Louise and Linda are the bomb. LOVE IT.

  • noelrk Staff Oct 02, 2012

    I pretty much agree. MacFarlane's particular brand of humor doesn't do much for me (it did, years ago, and then I guess one of us changed!). I haven't been watching The Simpsons regularly any longer (just too much on Sundays now), but I make room for Bob's.

  • JustinMcNatt Oct 01, 2012

    Really, a Bob's Burgers review before a Homeland review?

  • noelrk Staff Oct 02, 2012

    And why not? Each show does its particular thing very well! :)

    (I don't know what the deal with Homeland is, but I had a screener for Bob's, and my review was in to the editors by Saturday evening, so it was all set to go after this episode aired.)

  • Raccoon1459 Oct 01, 2012

    Okay, what does Louise REALLY look like without her rabbit ears? Is she like bald or something?

    Excellent premiere. I approve.

  • noelrk Staff Oct 01, 2012

    I'm kind of glad they never showed us. She looked odd enough with the hood, that nothing covering her head at all though would've been even odder.

    I don't think she's bald, though.

  • BearKyako Oct 01, 2012

    It's such a great show. Linda is pushing Marge out of the top spot for my favourite TV show mom.

  • JohnArnold Oct 01, 2012

    Well all time favorite, every single episode becomes must watch!!!!!!!!!!

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