Nowhere has it been more apparent that Bob Belcher can’t survive without his family than in the Season 4 finale of Bob’s Burgers. With its play on mystery and musical, the episode served as an action-packed cap to a season in which Bob’s writers experimented with genre. The storyline, however, was all heart and humor — the two elements that have made Bob’s Burgers stand out from the start. There was never any question over whether Bob would survive Felix’s wrath — it was just a matter of how many fart jokes Gene would make along the way.
In the second part of “Wharf Horse” (renamed to “World Wharf II”), we pick up where we last left off, with Bob and Mr. Fischoeder: subject to the evil whimsy of Mr. Fischoder’s brother, Felix (played by Zach Galifianakis). (If last night’s criminal excusing of Felix is any indication, Galifianakis will be back next season with his wonderfully exaggerated vocal acting talents.) Deep down Felix is a softie despite being mentally unstable; he doesn’t have the guts to shoot Bob and his brother so under the boardwalk they go, tied up and left for high tide. A slow death is cruel, but it’s even crueler when left to the hands that got them into this mess in the first place.
In a nod to technological modernity often unseen on Bob’s Burgers, the central plot is built upon Bob’s cell phone. He needs to use his shitty flip phone to tell his family where he is, though they’re convinced he’s out partying and butt-dialing them. But Louise can sense something is off here, further proving what she tells Linda: “you have two children and a Louise to take care of!” When incomprehensible text messages start streaming in, Louise takes it upon herself to decode them. Dad’s tied up… and something about shrimp and Pierre’s restaurant? Pictures start. Tina’s photographic butt memory tells her that Bob is with Mr. Fischoeder (can we not think about his butt please? dude reminds me of Colonel Sanders. plus he dropped the phone in the water!).
The wild goose chase that follows is mildly entertaining, what with the shrimp at Pierre’s and a “sorry not sorry” joke from the detective. But the build-up to save Bob and Mr. Fischoeder starts to wear thin, since we know they have to survive — or at least Bob does. The kids steamroll right over Linda, who gets outwardly verklempt at the drop of penny despite having the capacity to handle the situation. But Bob and her together? A duo whose dynamism is just being revealed. This last point is crucial as we get into the business of saving Bob.
Felix starts to have regrets, and his nervousness reveals him (“you don’t know how moist I usually am!”). Linda and the kids follow him down under the wharf, where they head towards Bob and Mr. Fischoeder in cutesy animal pedal boats. And to think they sang “oh bad things are bad” when a resolution was so easily in sight. It seems as though this will wrap up with a big shiny bow until here comes a gun and Fanny, aka Felix’s gold-digging girlfriend, Miss Look At My Tits, aka Jordan Peele doing his best Becky impersonation. It’s “her time” — she needs Wonder Wharf demolished in order to get her nightclub and her recording studio, and she knows Mr. Fischoeder stands in her way. As for the Belchers, they’ll have to die too, just for the hell of it.
Here’s the thing about dumb bitches: they’re distracted easily. Bob asks to hear one of Fanny’s songs before they all die. “Mr. Dancefloor” brings Fanny’s full-body devotion, so much so that she doesn’t notice Linda ramming a turtle pedal boat into the weak support beam under the wharf, which Fanny had shot mere moments earlier. While Fanny’s mid-song, the wharf starts to cave in, hitting her boat and shooting her into the water, never to be seen after the cops haul her sparkly ass off. (As great as Jordan Peele was in the role, this was the most annoying murder plot showdown I’ve ever seen on TV. The grating sound of her voice made it seem like it went on for 20 minutes.)
The rest survive, because they have to. There’s no Bob’s Burgers without Bob, though a Linda spin-off about drinking a bottle of wine and eating croutons in bed would be entertaining for an episode or two. As Mr. Fischoeder said, “Thank God we live in a time where women can learn to swim.”