Tina is struggling with math and can't afford to get a D on another test. If she does, she has to take remedial math, which spells doom for her progeny. To save Future Tina, the eldest Belcher strikes up a deal with nerd-at-large Darryl (Aziz Ansari): With Valentine's Day (and the school's dance) around the corner, seventh-grader Darryl wants to date an eighth-grader named Rosa; he'll tutor Tina in math if she tutors him in the art of dating. On the home front, Bob and Linda try to spice up their Valentine's
Day Week with a romantic Advent calendar of sorts.
The Highlight Reel
Tina was very dramatic about the idea of being demoted to remedial math, so much so that she had a flash-forward involving her and her grandchildren (a.k.a. a chance to say, "Wow, look at how adorable Old Tina and the mini Tinas are"):
Old Tina: I used to be bad at math.
Young Tina: Oh, Grandma.
[+1 point to Tina for caring about her future; +1 to (Old) Tina for the self-deprecating charm we know and love — good it doesn't fade with age; and +1 to (Young) Tina for being as sweet and earnest as her legendary ancestor.]
Linda and Teddy didn't pull any punches in letting Bob know he sucks at Valentine's Day. (To Bob's credit, he tried, and he really gave it his all in the process. Their marriage hit an all-time high this episode, and it was a thing of beauty and splendor.)
Bob: I feel like I never get it quite right.
Linda: You're horrible at it.
Bob: Well, I mean, a couple times I got you something nice. Remember I got the oil changed, for the car?
Bob: That was for you.
Linda: That was nice.
[+1 to Linda for being trouper through years of what sounds like Valentine's Day gifts as great as Tina's math scores.]
Darryl came back to let us know he's been working on a couple things: a robot for his grandpa that administers pills and plays jazz (grandson of the year much?) and taking an eighth-grader named Rosa to the school's Valentine's Day dance. To convince Rosa to like him, he formulated a pseudo-genius-definitely-a-little-sociopathic plot with Tina that involved becoming the cutest fake couple at school.
Darryl: I'll tutor you if you'll be my date to the Valentine' s Day dance.
Tina: Oh, Darryl, I'm flattered, but I'm semi-involved with someone. Jimmy Junior. He's semi-not-involved with me, but we're working through it.
Darryl: Nope, I don't really wanna to go to the dance with you. I wanna go with Rosa Batista.
Tina: Then why don't you ask Rosa?
Darryl: I can't! She's out of my league. I'm in seventh grade, she's in eighth. I think she still sees me as the little boy who peed down the slide in second grade.
Tina: Oh, that was you? I heard it was off a swing.
Darryl: Some of it might've gotten on the swing.
Tina: We'd have to be careful, I've seen enough romantic comedies to know that you're probably going to fall for me.
Darryl: I won't fall for you.
Tina: Okay, just that you're probably gonna fall for me. Don't.
Darryl: I won't.
Tina: Good, fight that feeling.
Darryl: I won't need to.
[+1 to both of them for their unwavering surplus of self-confidence; -0.5 to young Darryl for peeing on so many playground structures, but also +1, I guess, for being so efficient and having such a self-possessed bladder.]
Darryl's initial foray into dating was bumpy, but luckily Tina was there to help:
Tina: Your hand is sweaty like a forehead.
Darryl: I'm losing so much water out of my palms, I'll be dead by morning!
[+1 to Tina for being the Yoda of PDA.]
This was fun:
[+1 to Darryl for his lack of volume control throughout this whole episode. There was a lot of yelling and repeating of words, and it was all very awkwardly majestic and perfect.]
Bob and Linda's first attempt at the Valentine's Day Advent calendar didn't go very well. Linda hid a strawberry and tried to seduce Bob with whipped cream. (Obviously, this didn't pan out the way you thought it would — or exactly the way you thought it would, depending on who you are.)
[+1 to Bob for knowing better; +1 to Linda for committing 100 percent.]
At the school dance, Darryl also committed 100 percent by one-upping the best couple's slow dance with his own brief slow jam, dedicated to Tina. It was more than enough to seal a kiss.
Darryl: Girl, I wish you were in all my classes,
and when we kiss, we hit our glasses.
Now let's slow dance like mooooooooolllllllllllaaaaaaaaaaaaaassssssses.
Thank you, good-night!
[+1 to both of them, even though this was fake and part of me has always wanted Darryl and Louise to be a thing.]
Linda's Valentine's Day Advent calendar idea was destined to fail, but that was one of the best parts of the episode. Apparently, there was a fire (which we unfortunately never saw — what would that have involved? Sounds Fifty Shades–ish), and then there was a bubble bath incident, in which the whole family (minus Tina) walked in on each other to pee and make sandwiches and be confused.
Louise: Well, now I gotta pee.
Gene: Use the second toilet.
Louise: Mom, Dad, can you get out for a second.
Bob: Do you pee in here?
Bob: You're kidding me.
Louise: Well, no.
Bob: I'm in it.
Louise: Well, that's why I'm asking you to please get out for just a minute.
[+1 to Louise for being so calm, cool, and collected during this trying time.]
Obviously, Darryl and Tina won the best couple award at the dance, thus fulfilling the first part of his plan. Next, he and Tina would have to break up, making them both the most awesome and available candidates for dating at Wagstaff.
The ensuing fake (but real for Tina) breakup was intense:
Tina: Your charisma is overwhelming me. Why can't you be uncharming for one damn second?
Darryl: I can't change how incredible I am, just like you can't change how phenomenal you are.
Tina: Then maybe we shouldn't date each other anymore.
Darryl: You mean break up, effective immediately, and date other people at this and-or other schools?
Tina: It's our only choice. I wish I knew how to tame you, you wild stallion. Have a great life.
Darryl: You too, soulful wonder lady.
[+1 to both of them for the unique barrage of compliments, but also for going through with their psychotic plan.]
J.Ju was stoked but embarrassed:
[+1 to his voice box.]
The last hurrah to save Belcher Valentine's Day was a striptease. And no, not Linda. Bob.
Bob: If I'm gonna do this, I'm really gonna do it, Lin. I'm gonna go all in. If Bob Belcher strips, he's gonna strip serious. Like crazy. Like you've never seen, like you've wan — like you won't even want it. After 20 seconds of my striptease, you'll want to leave. I'm gonna go shave my chest and pick out some music.
Linda: Let's do it! Oh, maybe brush your teeth, too!
Bob: Oh, right.
Linda: Maybe floss.
[+1 to Bob for being a top-notch husband; +1 to Linda for thinking of hygienic safety first.]
Then it happened, and it was glorious, even though Bob screwed up shaving his back.
[+1 to Bob for Magic Mike–ing the heck out of his wife and giving her the sexiest Valentine's Day gift ever.]
Jimmy Junior's butt cheeks unfortunately didn't have the same effect on Tina (at least momentarily); and Rosa and Darryl, who quickly began dating, started torturing Tina. But, more important, Jimmy and Zeke bro'd out a little too hard at a bowling alley:
[+1 to Zeke for being himself.]
Tina had a brief conniption about Darryl and Rosa, revealing the plan and turning off both Jimmy and Rosa from their newfound loves. But then Tina realized she made a mistake and went to fix Darryl and Rosa's perfect, nerdy relationship. It was a very fast, kind of predictable roller-coaster ride, but it gave Zeke the inspiration to find his own true love.
Zeke: I wanna ask out that shoe-rental woman.
Louise: She's like 35, Zeke.
Gene: And she's wearing a wedding ring.
Zeke: So, no leagues. I'm the only one holding me back, because I think I'm too bowlegged. But I'm not. Just the right amount! So lemme waddle over here and just ask her out right now. Hey, baby!
[Again, +1 to Zeke for being himself.]
So, the best (or worst, depending on how you look at it) part of this episode was the fact that Tina didn't actually study or get tutored very well in math.
Tina: I'm not going to fail the math test, I'm going to ace it. Or at least get a B, in which case I'll bace it.
Tina: Aw nuts, I daced it.
Tina: Remedial at love, remedial at math.
[+1 to Tina for the words — we needed our weekly dose of Tina vocab; also, +1 for going to remedial math, being reunited with Jimmy Junior, and keeping our hopes and dreams alive.]
Darryl, for teaching us all a valuable lesson: If you like someone enough to make up a crazy plan to fool an entire school and then lie to everyone and then ask that person out, just skip the first two parts and tell them how you feel. (Incidentally, another Aziz Ansari character learned this same lesson last week.) Also, the slow jam was incredible. I'd like to hand out an MIP award to Bob for being a trouper with the Advent calendar and not disappointing Linda this time around. After this episode, it's clear their marriage is on an upswing, and Bob might be more of a romantic than we initially thought.
Bob's Bonus Sliders
- Fro-Yo Mama. Perfect.
- Remember when Teddy body-slammed his own burger so he could open up the first Valentine's Day Advent activity?
- Everybody knows what Bob looks like naked now. Hopefully this will help with business.
- Zeke had some real gems ("What a tangled-ass web we weave!"); it would be great if we had another Zeke-centric episode soon.
- I still really wish we knew what the other V-Day activities were.
- I miss Andy and Ollie.
- Underrated highlight: There were so many good awkward (bodily) noises in this episode.
- Tina, make up your mind. Jimmy and I are very confused.