Like many fans of Spongebob, I believe that the first episodes of Season 4 were the beginning of the end for my favorite Sea Sponge. So lets take a look at these two episodes.
Fear of a Krabby Patty
In this episode the Chum Bucket is open 24 hours a day, and Mr. Krabs retaliates by doing the same thing. Meanwhile Plankton is actually scheming to get the Patty formula again, by destroying the morale of the Krusty Krab employees. Everything goes according to Plankton. The crew is really tired, and Spongebob makes so many Krabby Patties, he sees them everywhere and believes they are evil. There are two main problems with this episode. 1: Why does Mr. Krabs need to keep the Krusty Krab open 24 hours a day? Plankton never gets customers anyway. 2: How can making a lot of Krabby Patties suddenly make you see them and be afraid of them? It's been established that Spongebob loves Krabby Patties. So how is he afraid of them now? Spongebob is then sent to a "rehab clinic" where Plankton waits for him and tries to get the Krabby Patty formula without him knowing. To be fair this is the highlight of this episode. There were some funny moments in this part, and it's a huge relief considering that the rest of the episode wasn't funny at all. In the end, Spongebob is cured and the Krusty Krab stays open for 23 hours a day now. The plot was decent, but what killed it was lack of humor, weird plot points, and Mr. Krabs showing that he is cheaper than usual, and he would be crueler in the later seasons. There were some funny moments, but not enough to make the episode bearable.
FINAL SCORE: 2.0/10
Shell of a Man
Mr. Krabs is going to have a Navy reunion and is ready to show his buddies that he is still, what they called him, Armor Abed Krabs. However Mr. Krabs' shell molts just before the reunion, and Spongebob volunteers to be him by being in his shell. Spongebob does some pretty funny things at the reunion, but not a lot to keep it entertaining. In the end, Mr. Krabs reveals what happened to him, and his Naval buddies show that they are not who they once were. This episode just screamed predictable. Everything in this plot was just bland and there was no tension or suspense since this is a story done many times before. Aside from a few laughs from Spongebob and his antics, this wasn't good at all.
FINAL SCORE: 0.5/10
It's hard to believe that these episodes alone dampened the name of Spongebob, but it would only get worse as the season and later seasons went on. These episodes were the beginning of the fall of Spongebob. Don't waste your time with these episodes, you aren't missing anything.