Bob’s Burgers Recap: Bland Ship

Photo: FOX
Bob’s Burgers
Episode Title
Land Ship
Editor’s Rating

The Story
It's time for the Land Ship Parade over at the Wharf. People who aren't Tina or adults generally hate this time of year because it's so boring, bland, and repetitive. But, as Tina points out, it's an important part of the town's history (Revolutionary American soldiers essentially tricked British soldiers into bringing their ship on land so they could slaughter them), and there's a parade! That's fun! The only problem is there's also a tagger running around town (unrelated, kind of) named Ghost Boy, putting, yep, you guessed it, little ghosts on everything.

The Highlight Reel
Since Tina is the only one who's really into the Land Ship Parade at school, her peers call her an unsalted pretzel because she's super boring and not spicy — just like the Land Ship. But little do they know. This means this episode is going to be all about Tina, which means we're probably in for a treat, a.k.a. some good Tina-growing-up-and-coming-of-age time. After all, being called an unsalted pretzel will upset anybody for obvious reasons (unless you're staying away from sodium).

[+1 point to Louise for — surprise — being brutally honest; +1 to Gene for thinking about food, his dad would be proud; +2 to Tina for being responsible, even in the face of an existential pre-quarter-life crisis; +1 to Billy Eichner for bringing Billy on the Street to Wagstaff, but also -1 for not giving Tina $1!!!]

Meanwhile, back at the restaurant, we learn that the parade is getting rerouted down Bob's street this year. This is a huge plus because it means a potential PR coup for Bob, but then:

[+1 to Linda for that great pun; -1 to Front Street; +2 to Porta Potty guy for being so perfectly annoying; +1 to all the adults on this show for all being 12.]

In her quest to become spicier, the stars kind of align for Tina this episode. She stumbles upon the Ghost Boy himself (Nathan Fielder!) and is presented with the opportunity of a lifetime:

[+1 to the Bob's team for being so dedicated about the whole write-the-characters-for-specific-actors thing; +2 to Tina for transforming into a serious cayenne pepper, but also -1 because we know this is going to lead to some trouble; +1 to Jordan for finally Kobe-ing that milk.]

Tina begins sneaking out with Jordan to see what it's like to be a badass. A couple great things happen: (1) She gets really, really tired (and Linda hilariously just attributes this to puberty):

[+1 to Linda for cheering on the human body, growing up is hard; +2 to Tina for DGAFing so hard and being a bowl terrorist, but -1 because RIP to all that innocent cereal.]

(2) Since Tina is such a hot tamale, she gets this Jordan guy to like her, and he starts doing a lot of this:

[+1 to Jordan for being bold, but -1,000 for taking the idea of sucking face super literally; +1 to Tina for being a champ and persevering in the name of character development.]

In two tests of character, the episode culminates when Tina is faced with vandalizing the thing she loves (yeah, obviously Ghost Boy wants to Ghost Boy the Land Ship), and Bob must try to (illegally) move the horrific outhouses away from the front of his restaurant. What happens? Well:

[+10 to Bob for turning the Porta Potty debacle into a business boon; +100 to Tina for doing the right thing and still remaining kind of spicy (you can do both!); +50 to both Gene and Louise for helping their sis; +10 to Nathan for showing so much emotion.]

The MVP here is obviously Tina because this was her episode. She was able to reinvent herself by ultimately turning into a super-spicy pretzel, and then dusting off some of the extra spice before it was too late. She taught us that doing the right thing can kind of still be cool; you just have to be bad a little first. In a nice parallel, actually, both Tina and her dad were able to rebrand themselves: Tina's badassery grew, Bob's business acumen did, too (now Bob's will be known as the place that's great to eat right before taking a visit to a Porta Potty). Score. Like father, like daughter.

As much as I enjoyed Tina doing her freakout noise on the sail, I felt like we didn't actually get a whole lot of her deep idiosyncracies, which usually make these episodes (e.g., "The Equestranauts") the best, here — especially for an installment that was supposed to be about her learning a life lesson and maturing. (In other words, I felt like I had kind of seen this episode before.) Maybe this is just because now, by season six, we're so used to her being ultra bland and making her weird (read: amazing) noises that we need something truly new and radical to happen to Tina. Still, minor gripe aside, any episode that's a Tina episode is still basically an instant favorite. I am also, admittedly, very excited to see how Jimmy Junior and Tina's official parade-watching date pans out. You go, Semi-Spicy Tina. Until next week.

Bob's Bonus Sliders

  • Mr. Branca actually is the coolest.
  • There needs to be an episode about how Jim Skillman and Mr. Frond are BFFs.
  • Goody Two-Boobs!
  • "You're like if school and news had a baby." SICK BURN!
  • Perfect that Teddy would love a good call on hold.
  • Sneaking outttttttt at night, doing wrong feels right.
  • Linda crushed it with the smoky eye.
  • Porta Naughty!
  • Lots of people on the wharf haven't seen Bonnie and Clyde, evidently.
  • Shipheads!