[7.1/10] Not a bad episode by any stretch of the imagination. It had its laugh and its high points, but nothing that really rises above a standard issue episode of Bob’s Burgers (which, given the show’s high standards, is still pretty good!)
The A-story sees Linda trying to help pump up her sister Gail by attending Gail’s yurt-based art workshop. The theme is Linda trying to mother Gail too much, rather than leave her sister to her own devices. That’s not bad, but rather than suggesting that Gail needs to make her own mistakes rather than have Linda insulate her from the consequences of the real world, the story suggests that Gail is just fine and Linda shouldn’t mess with her being her.
It dramatizes that well enough, with a local online review “assassin” attending Gail’s workshop, causing Linda to fear that she’s going to publish a takedown of Gail and her program, only to discover that the reviewer was genuinely into it. But the problem is that Gail is legitimately a giant mess of a person who has insane ideas that no one in their right mind would want or follow. It’s weird to see the show justifying Gail’s insanity in an off-kilter way.
But regardless of the message, there’s plenty of laughs to be had, from the bizarreness of Gail’s workshop, to Tina pretending to be “Lena” the slightly older prankster who wants to learn how to draw horses, to Gail stalking her “customers” in the woods as a corporeal manifestation of “creative block.”
The B-story fares a little better. Bob trying to fulfill his responsibilities while everyone around him is doing nonsense is always a good tack, and this is no exception. He wants Gene and Louise to, you know, work at the restaurant, while they’re obsessed with finding a lost cat and getting the reward. His efforts to get them to work, and their not-especially-stealthy method of roping in Rudy, Andy, and Ollie to be their feline eyes and ears is worth a laugh. It’s gentle humor, but still lots of fun given the dynamic between Bob and his kids.
Overall, plenty of good laughs on this one, but the A-story makes a weird point, and the B-story is a little mild.