Tuca & Bertie Season 2, Episode 1 recap: Bird Mechanics

Tuca & Bertie Season 1 -- Courtesy of Netflix
Tuca & Bertie Season 1 -- Courtesy of Netflix /

The birds are back and better than ever! Tuca & Bertie Season 2 kicked off tonight on its brand new Adult Swim home, and they don’t miss a beat since migrating from Netflix to cable. I’m so thankful this show was renewed. The premiere episode, “Bird Mechanics,” does a great job proving why we need Tuca & Bertie in our lives.

Now that Tuca is starting to grapple with her childhood trauma and anxiety, she wants to find a therapist to start working through some of her issues. In particular, Bertie wants help managing her panic attacks. It’s her and Speckle’s anniversary. He’s booked a reservation at a fancy restaurant in town. Bertie is so worried she’ll have a panic attack and ruin the dinner that she’s desperate to find a quick fix via therapy.

But the first therapist is actually a therapist specializing in severing attachments (damn you, Claudette) and immediately tells Bertie to ditch Tuca and Speckle. Needless to say, Bertie isn’t thrilled with her advice. From there, we follow Bertie’s journey to find the perfect therapist. Her next stop is Dr. Joanne (Pamela Adlon), who advises her to be a “cognitive behavioral s**t” and sample as many therapists as she wants. “I could be the best therapist in the world and still not be right for you.”

I loved that line. As someone currently looking for the right therapist, it’s not easy, and it is a little like dating in some ways. No rule says you can’t try out multiple until you find the right one for you!

After receiving advice to hold a crystal, repeat words, imagine five minutes into the future post-panic attack, Bertie goes to dinner with Speckle. She’s so worked up about having a panic attack that she induces one. None of the tricks from the therapists she’s seen work. A desperate Speckle texts Tuca who ends a date early, to rush to Bertie’s side and cheer her up.

Bertie uses a metaphor for her psyche that she’s like a haunted house with scary, faceless girls inside, and she doesn’t want Tuca and Bertie to get trapped inside of her. She feels like a burden to them. But then she remembers some advice from Dr. Joanne; her friends already love her for who she is! She doesn’t need to fix herself first before letting them in. It helps her get through the panic attack. In the end, she decides to continue seeing Dr. Joanne.

Tuca & Bertie Season 2, Episode 1 recap: The Sex Bus

While Bertie is on her journey to find the right therapist, Tuca is busy navigating the dating scene. She’s already tried and failed on dating apps, so her next plan is to use a reality dating show format. Tuca invites a bunch of potential candidates onboard the “Sex Bus” and starts picking them off one by one for mostly stupid reasons.

In the end, she’s left with a bird mechanic, and the two start getting hot and heavy. The mechanic even helps Tuca change the bus tired. But when Bertie needs her help, Tuca immediately takes off toward the restaurant, forcing her date to tag along. Once there, the mechanic gives Tuca a “reason you suck” speech, calling her out on using Bertie to stay lonely.

The mechanic notes that Tuca used lame excuses all day to excuse other potential dates because maybe she doesn’t actually want someone else in her life. Is she too co-dependent on Bertie to have her own life?

Instead of therapy, Tuca yells all of her feelings into individually labeled cups of sadness and shoves them behind her bathroom toilet. Among cups labeled things like, “Angry! (Lost my hat),” and “Jealous of dogs,” Tuca adds another one that reads, “Bertie is keeping me alone.” Ah, Tuca. Maybe she’ll get some therapy, too, this season!

5 of the best cartoons on Hulu. dark. Next

Odds & Ends from Tuca & Bertie Season 2, Episode 1

  • Several fun callbacks to the first season including the return of Speckle’s worry vacuum and a poster of the Sex Bugs live tour on Tuca’s wall.
  • Lots of freeze-frame jokes this week! Make sure you pause to read some of Tuca’s dating profiles, like “maybe an angel, maybe a devil, maybe a toucan looking for trouble,” and the therapists Bertie looks at.
  • This episode confirms that Tuca is queer and also has a lot of great rep all around!

New episodes of Tuca & Bertie Season 2 air Sunday nights on Adult Swim.