Bob’s Burgers has had its problems when it comes to utilizing some of its many great supporting characters. From Samantha, Mort’s potential love interest who only appeared once in season one, to Jessica, one of the few legitimate friends that Louise has made during the show’s run who disappeared after her only appearance, Bob’s Burgers often fails to properly use secondary characters who present an opportunity for true growth in our main characters. Of course, it’s hard to expect an animated comedy to have actual character arcs outside of individual episodes, but Bob’s Burgers could benefit from going outside of its bounds it has set for the characters more.
“The Millie-Churian Candidate” is refreshing, as it brings back two characters who seemed to vanish after their first appearances. The first is Millie (voiced by Molly Shannon), who appeared in the terrific season four episode “Fort Night.” At the time of this appearance, she was a unique nemesis for Louise, infuriating her with constant attention and a desire for friendship. She was also just an interesting and funny character who seemed to fit the mold for a Bob’s Burgers recurring character. After more than a season, it’s nice to see her finally appear in another episode, albeit one not quite as strong as “Fort Night.”
The episode begins with Jimmy Jr. running for class president (though he only wants to be president so he can choose the music at school dances). The only one running against him is the unpopular Henry (voiced by Jim Gaffigan), the other character making his second appearance, after season three’s “Carpe Museum.” He’s much more low-key than Millie, and his long absence could easily be because the writers couldn’t even think of what to do with him.
When Henry tells Millie that being class president gives you power over people, she decides to run so she can make Louise be her bestie. Terrified by the thought of Millie holding a position of power, Louise decides to help out Jimmy Jr.’s campaign. Instead, her idea make Jimmy Jr. sink in the polls, resulting in him quitting. Louise decides to run, in a final effort to keep Millie from being president.
The final twist—that Henry orchestrated everything in order to win the election—is a fine direction to go with his character. In his first appearance, his part amounted to arguing with Tina over who was a bigger nerd, so cunning manipulator is an interesting trait to give him—he does play chess, after all. Meanwhile, the b-plot, involving Bob and Teddy’s attempt to find out which is better, Bob’s $300 knife or Teddy’s prized hammer, is entertaining, despite clearly being filler.
“Which game is chess again? Is it the one with the checkers?”
“This election is about Wagstaff. Let’s take the U and the I out of it. Oh look, now it spells ‘Lose.’” “That was in Louise’s name all along and we never saw it.” “This is fun. Do ‘Tina.’”
“The knife and the hammer will perform a series of parallel tasks designed to determine the biggest tool.” “Better tool.”
“I’m also for longer recesses, a bestie system, and bigger deserts.” “Yeeeeeeeeeeahhhhhhhhh!”
“I’ll vote for you, Louise.” “Thanks, Andy.” “I’m Ollie! Forget it!”
“Maybe someone who wears braids. Snoop Dogg? Follow Snoop Dogg.” “I already do. Mostly retweets and recipes.”
“The only losers in improv are the audience.”