In tonight’s episode of Bob’s Burgers, “Dr. Yap,” a familiar face returns when Linda’s sister makes a stop at the Belcher household on her “Eat, Pray, Love’ trip around the world.” The last time Gayle came for a visit, she turned Bob’s restaurant into a gallery of anus art. While she left the restaurant unharmed this time, Bob didn’t get out unscathed.
Megan Mullally returned to Bob’s Burgers for the second time this season (the first was in the previous episode, “Food Truckin,” as the folk-pop singer, Tabitha Johansson) to reprise her role as Linda’s sister, Gayle. Mullally brought the same charm and bizarre chemistry to the character that made her fit right into the family when we first met Gayle last season.
As we saw tonight, Gayle shares that same awkward primal drive that Linda and Tina have both exhibited in the past. Linda generally directs her desires towards Bob (and fantasies of Tom Sellek) while those insatiable urges still course uncontrollably through Tina’s pubescent veins.
I would have a hard time imagining anyone but Ken Jeong voicing Bob’s dentist, Dr. Yap. It was as if that character had been written with him in mind, and Jeong absolutely delivered. I share Bob’s fear of dental procedures, but he did much better than I would have if my dentist started off with a casual admission of accidentally sticking a needle through a previous patient’s cheek and then brushed it off with “I hate Mondays.”
After Bob inadvertently kissed Gayle – or as she put it, “made love with our mouths” – I was expecting Bob’s Burgers to follow the standard sitcom protocol where Bob would spend the rest of the episode trying to keep Linda from finding out. Instead, Bob immediately blurted out the whole truth to Linda as soon as his head was clear. It was a minor moment, but it was so refreshing to know that a lack of communication was not going to be the driving force behind this plot line. It also really enforced the kind of solid husband-wife relationship that Bob and Linda have.
What I wasn’t really expecting was that Linda would take it further and encourage Bob to indulge Gayle for the sake of her sister’s sanity. What followed was a hilarious montage of Gayle hunting Bob with Linda’s blessing and set to a track of Gayle singing her cover of Blondie’s “One Way or Another.”
Of course, Bob went along with Linda’s plan, not because he thought it was the right thing to do, but because he’s generally passive aggressive. He probably figured that it would cause him more discomfort to deal with an upset sister-in-law and wife than it would be to just go along with Linda’s scheme. He obviously didn’t realize how wrong he would be with a dentist in the mix.
While Bob was busy dealing with grown-up problems, the kids had been dealing with kid problems in their own brilliant way. If you grew up with a sibling, you know first hand the kind bartering that goes on when there is only one of something. That something instantly becomes a prize worthy of any sort of torture. In this case, Gene and Louise went head to head for their chance to own a jawbreaker from a truck stop that Gayle picked up on her way to the restaurant.
Getting that ecstatic over a jawbreaker was such an honest to goodness real kid thing to do. Gene and Louise formulated all sorts of challenges for one another – challenges that are very much within the realm of things that siblings would do. I’m pretty sure I’ve actually had a “grossest drink contest” with my brother when we were kids (I think mine had Tang, rice and margarine…) and the simple joy that the Gene and Louise took in concocting their disgusting beverages was only a slight exaggeration of what I might imagine kids doing when their parents weren’t watching.
I’m not sure why Tina was willing to be the judge for their competitions, but then again, I don’t usually understand why Tina does a lot of what she does. I don’t really care why Tina does the things she does, I just love that she does them. I was thrilled to see her multitasking throughout the episode as part time competition judge (“The use of dust from the floor was risky, but it paid off… I almost threw up”) and part time Dr. Yap seductress.
This was one of those episodes of Bob’s Burgers that made me constantly change my mind about who my new favorite character would be. There wasn’t just one character that stole the show tonight. I was being showered with hilarity from every angle, but the gags never got in the way of the stories being told. The pacing was spot on and when the episode was over, I couldn’t believe half an hour had passed. Without a doubt, “Dr. Yap” is my favorite episode of this season thus far and it has definitely found a spot among my favorite Bob’s Burgers episodes overall.