The Belchers are headed toward a local state park with the intention of helping Tina make up for missing a camping trip with her Thundergirl scout troop. However, both Louise and Linda are dreading their time outdoors; Gene and, especially, Bob, though, look forward to the adventure, with the latter having purchased the Nature Master, a Swiss army knife of sorts that functions as nearly every tool one would need on an expedition like this.
While there are no 13-smile hikes or consensual bird watching sessions to speak of, there are also no park rangers, as the (literal) lone ranger high-tailed it when the Belchers came. In terms of supplies, Bob only brought the bare necessities, thinking that his family would live off the land during their trip and use the (elevated) river as their one-stop shop for food and water. After calling attention to the phallic-shaped rock named for William Archibald Wang, Linda and the kids say hello to the couple living next to them in an RV, who happen to have a large supply of food around. The two, a pair of doomsday preppers, allow the family to take what they need, including some chili for their dinner. Bob’s dinner, though? A single, tiny, undercooked trout that he caught with the Nature Master.
That night, after he and Linda put the kids to bed, Bob invites her to go skinny dipping with him at the warm spring a friend told him about. She agrees and the two end up taking a dip in the lukewarm water, only for Bob to get sick from the fish he ate. He tries to get up and go behind a bush, but Linda won’t let him leave and the two end up floating down river when Bob falls back into the spring, breaking one of the sides of the small pool as a result. While the kids talk in their tent about the strange noises coming from outside, Bob and Linda fight the current (and each other) before landing on shore. After Bob uses the bathroom (twice), finds a walking stick for them to use, and crafts a skirt made of twigs and leaves, they set off trying to find their way back to camp before the kids wake up. They wouldn’t want Gene to be raised by wolves and be denied the love of other kids now, would they?
But the kids wake up before Bob and Linda come back. As Gene exclaims that they’ve melted, Tina thinks that they should wait for an authority figure to come, per her handbook, and Louise wants to go tubing and find them herself. They sneak back to the RV and grab some supplies before heading down river on three inner tubes, hitting rapids along the way. Meanwhile, Bob and Linda are planning on how to get back; she wants to retrace their path, but he thinks they should head straight across, as it would be quicker. However, they end up even more lost than they were before and Linda resorts to eating ants and worms to keep herself going. That comes in handy when Bob collapses as his second wind fails to catch sail and the two spend their second straight night in the woods.
Elsewhere, Gene, Tina, and Louise are changing their plans after stealing the RV couple’s book about ways to survive an apocalypse. It gets them a shelter built and a series of weapons built, as well as tips on how to weaponize insects, while also allowing Louise to get inside Tina’s head with talk of how organizations (like the Thundergirls) are the enemy for awarding empty trinkets. Along with the issue of chanting/brainwashing, Tina begins to reconsider her position in the scouts just as they hear a noise coming from the nearby bushes. It turns out to be Thundergirls Troop 39, but the kids won’t accept any help from them. Tina goes on a rant about how they’re all cogs in a cookie-moving machine and renounces her membership, throwing her handbook in the fire as Gene takes cookies from the scouts.
Bob is still sick the following morning, with both diarrhea and vomit still coming out of him. Citing their turn as a disgusting Hansel and Gretel, in addition to her wilderness hairbrush, Linda tries to take charge, only for Bob to reject the idea and the two to end up separated. While Tina is busy having an identity (and fashion) crisis about who she is if she isn’t a Thundergirl, Bob finds an acorn and, eventually, several handfuls of acorns that had been stored by a squirrel. Before he can eat them, though, every squirrel from every surrounding tree comes over to him to protect their food for the winter. They don’t attack him like he expects and get shooed away by Linda, who he apologizes to for his actions and calls a Nature Master. They end up making it back to camp and discover that the kids are gone; they inquire to the RV couple about where they went and the couple mentions how they stole (among other things) fudge, their survivalist book, a backgammon game, and three inner tubes.
Having been out in the woods for 40 months, they take the book nabbing as evidence that the Belchers want to join them and invite Bob and Linda inside for a Ritual of Trust, complete with lotion and a latin jazz cover of “Everybody Dance Now”. Before the “very sexual” ceremony can begin, Linda gets an idea and excuses herself and Bob to the bathroom, where she tries to climb out the window. However, it’s too small; she does see the kids, though, and tells them to get help. Tina uses her satin sash to grab the bee’s nest hanging above their camp and throws it into the RV, running all four adults out. While Bob and Linda hurry the kids to the car, leaving everything but the Nature Master behind, the RV couple accidentally mace each other and remain alone.
Additional thoughts and observations:
-“I’ve got a note around here somewhere.”
-“Could it kill an eagle?”
-“Nature boner. Boing!”
-“Wine helps me drink.”
-“Safe, safe, goner. Good night.”
-“Yeah, let’s get our tubes tied!”
–Hurray season 5!
-The shop in the opening credits: Tandemonium, a place for all your tandem bike needs.
-Bob did not tell Linda he had a saw in his pocket when he met her. At least I don’t think.
-The line about tube tying made me laugh til I cried. I saw it coming and yet, it didn’t disappoint whatsoever. Props.
-I would go camping, too, if I could make my own macaroni and cheese, Gene.
-Linda’s glasses stayed on while tumbling into a river and going 30 MPH downstream in rapids. Magic.
-New addition to the Bob’s Burgers song catalog: lyrics on screen!
-The description of Gene as a wolf is exactly why I love this show so much. And love it I do, as it was the broadcast network show I was most looking forward to coming back.
-That cover of “Everybody Dance Now” was amazing in the worst way possible. Or something.
-I have the feeling that Louise would thrive being a survivalist and conspiracy theorist. Perhaps she’ll have a conspiracy board a’la Homeland later this season?
-The underwear Gene wore (sometimes on his head) the entire episode, thinking they’re Bob’s? They’re not Bob’s. Ah well, more for him.
-Next week on Bob’s Burgers: The Belchers build a fort after going trick-or-treating and get held hostage by one of Linda’s friends.