Season 7 | Episode 8 | “Ex Mach Tina”
Welcome, Bob’s Burgers fans, to the weekly post where a member of the Belcher family or supporting character (looking at you Teddy and Jimmy Jr.) is crowned the Extra-Rare Performer of the Week! Hardcore fans of the animated sitcom know that there’s always one breakout, standout character in every Bob’s Burgers episode to celebrate!
I promise that it won’t be Tina Belcher each week but, I mean, she is kind of everyone’s spirit animal.
Note: this weekly post originated on EW Community but now has a new home here at AGtM. Click here to see the extra-rare performers from season six.
A brief summary of what went down in this week’s episode of Bob’s Burgers, “Ex Mach Tina.” The Belchers and company return for the first time in 2017 with a Tina heavy episode which leaves me even less on Team Jimmy Jr. Tina, I love you and I think it maybe time for you to move on cause Jr. ain’t all the great.
Any who…Tina is getting ready for the big 8th grade bonfire and trying to break in her new espadrilles when in a classic “girl who always wear flats moment” falls and breaks her ankle. The broken ankle leaves Tina on crutches, until Mr. Frond invites Tina to take part in a new program that allows her to stay at home and be a virtual student through a robot AV system. Thus the name of the episode.
Tina agrees to the program but finds it hard to actually interact with her peers and teachers. At one point the school’s janitor thinks Tina is a piece of AV equipment and places her back in the AV closet. This is when things get interesting for Tina because in walks Jimmy Jr. – who thinks he is alone – and let out some rant about his dad wanting him to take speech therapy instead of dance. When Tina announces to Jimmy she in the room this begins the development of an interesting relationship. Since Tina is not physically standing in front of Jimmy he is able to open up more to Tina-Bot.
Meanwhile, the only exciting thing – well exciting for Bob – happening at the restaurant is a banjo. Yep, Bob bought a banjo and is not very good but is just waiting to find the perfect “banjo moment.”
Gene and Louise also have some fun with the robot. At night when Tina is asleep they take the robot out for joy rides inside the school. Moving things around and doing small pranks and creating a relationship with the security guard.
Back to the odd love of Tina-Bot and Jimmy Jr. – Tina is of course thrilled in the beginning about all the attention Jimmy is giving her. Jimmy even starts sharing his music poems (musoems) with her and no they are nothing like songs. But it quickly becomes clear to Tina that Jimmy is more interested in Tina-Bot than Tina when he stops by and sees her in person for like all of 1 minute. Tina tries to pretend it is okay but girl it is not! UGH, I am getting sick of Jimmy using my girl Tina – date Zeke he maybe a little crazy but he would treat you like a Queen!
Things come to a boiling point for Tina when Jimmy asks Tina-Bot to the bonfire and not just Tina. Gene and Louise are able to get the bot out of school through the security guard and Tina-Bot shows up to support Jimmy at the bonfire where he plans to debut his musoems but while sitting at home Tina realizes how freaking stupid this all is. With the whole Belcher gang in toe, Tina heads to the beach to show in person support to Jimmy. Tina tells Jimmy it maybe more awkward in person but at least it is real.
And to come full circle, Bob was able to have a banjo moment thanks to the musoems.
Though it is still unclear on whether this means Tina and Jimmy are like official! Give us some damn answers!
Best Gene Line of the Episode (because there is always one): “This is the worst episode of The OC ever.”
And now, the Extra-Rare Performer of the Week is: Tina-Bot
From the dawn of the internet we have been warned that virtual reality is not real and can be very scary. Tina through the use of Tina-Bot learns both those things. So the scary part in this situation is that she may lose Jimmy Jr. but hey that is scary!
I think we can take this storyline a level deeper and explore the lesson that actual human communication is better than us hiding our feelings or using forms of technology to communicate feelings and needs. I am pretty sure Tina already knew this cause the girl is smart but through the use of Tina-Bot it really brought home that theme. Tina was not scared to show up in person and declare (again) how she feels to Jimmy Jr. even if he was. Knowledge maybe power but communication is key!
Bob’s Burgers, you really are like an onion – so many damn layers!
Until next time, stay fresh Bob’s Burgers fans!
Bob’s Burgers airs Sundays at 7:30|6:30c on Fox!