Though the title of this episode and much of the plot circles around the adorably lunkheaded Teddy and his good/bad babysitting efforts, tonight’s edition felt more like another chapter in the slow maturity of the eldest Belcher child, Tina. Puberty has hit the poor girl hard and, this time around, gets her into actual trouble. All because of a flaxen-haired delivery boy named Jonas.
Tina got her first glimpse of his luscious locks outside his job at Reggie’s Deli, dreaming up a romantic peel out with her new crush. Or as she put it, “Cold cuts just got hot.” She uses the fact that her parents are away for the weekend at the North Atlantic Burger Lovers’ Convention to get closer to Jonas. But he uses her crush to his advantage, convincing her to let him and his friends hang out at the restaurant and cook some burgers. When Uncle Teddy kicks them out and sends Tina to her room, she sneaks out, meeting them at their new hangout spot by the lighthouse.
She attempts to ingratiate herself with these older boys by sneaking into the lighthouse but is immediately busted by a park ranger, one of the funniest bit parts in an episode chock-a-block with them. Here’s just one sample exchange:
Ranger: “Looks like you’ll be spending the night at the station!”
Tina: “The police station?”
Ranger: “THE RANGER STATION! IT’S THE SAME AS THE POLICE STATION BUT WITH A FOOSBALL TABLE!!”
There’s a little bit of a learning experience for dear Tina, having her heart used by a silly older boy and paying the price for it. And it’s a lesson that she’s not likely to take to heart any time in the near future.
Now let’s talk about Teddy. The beloved oaf offers up his services to watch the Belcher brood after the other babysitter decamps to France. He does his level best to ingratiate himself with the kids, failing until Gene and Louise find him snaking out the kitchen drain and coming up with a massive clump of hair and likely other sundry gross things (Teddy: “Who wants to taste it?” Gene: “Me! Then I want to name it and raise it as our own!”).
As rough as he is at the job of babysitting, it’s endearing to see him try to be a huge part of the Belchers’ lives. Even after he rescues Tina from the park ranger, he tries to hurry the kids home to bed before their parents can find out, but alas, they all get caught. Here’s hoping we see some more Teddy-centric episodes this season and next.
Robert Ham is a Portland-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.