This week’s episode of Bob’s Burgers season 8 was a perfect example of what the show does best. Louise Belcher dealing with Millie Frock’s obsessed determination to be her best friend was a resonant, genuine plot about childhood. Combining it with the plot of The Silence of the Lambs escalated it into absurdity. The combo worked wonderfully, as it always does for this show. The Silence of the Lambs parody also worked because they approached it with a light touch. References to the movie were peppered throughout, but the episode wasn’t hanging its hat on just replicating well-known scenes. The sequence of Louise entering Millie’s creepy house, complete with drawings of Louise everywhere, was fantastic.
Bob’s Burgers is great at inserting details that take you back to childhood, no matter how exaggerated the humor gets. For instance, the episode kicks off with Louise determined to finish Old Yeller because the school will win a prize if they read enough books. The scene where kids had to summarize books to prove they’d read them was great. The standout line was Jocelyn describing Charlotte’s Web by saying, “Charlotte died. And then I used the book to kill a spider and that, like, really made me think.” The way the plot circled back to incorporating Old Yeller was perfectly executed.
Louise eventually coming around to like Millie was very sweet. Bob’s Burgers does well with emotional sincerity. They almost always manage to show sweet moments without it feeling forced. Plots where Louise shows emotional vulnerability have a particularly strong impact.
In the subplot, Teddy got into the business of selling inspirational posters. Linda Belcher was enthusiastic about the posters, while Bob Belcher hated them. This kind of simple storyline works well for Bob, because his writing and H. Jon Benjamin’s vocal performance sell his small moments of anxiety so well.