Fuller House Episode 12: The Ballad of Sacrificial Girl Power
Each week, we will be recapping the first season of Fuller House, episode by episode. Please, we beg you, no more musical numbers.
As we near the end of season one, our spirits were buoyed seeing our main ladies make some significant strides in their professional lives during the previous episode. DJ agreed to take over the Harmon Pet Clinic with Matt, while Kimmy and Stephanie decided to become partners in party planning. Being drunk on all that excitement is the only explanation we can think of as to why they totally went off the rails in their personal lives during the penultimate episode. So much girl power was sacrificed to men that hardly deserve them.
We start with DJ, who is getting ready for her daytime date with Steve. As you recall, Steve was her high school boyfriend and it has been almost 20 years since the last time they dated. Apparently, no one told Steve that, because he's basically been stalking her as if nothing happened like, y'know, both of them marrying other people. A story of rekindled love might have been romantic if he wasn't so aggressive and creepy this entire season. However, the writers chose to show us this date and not the one with Matt, so it's pretty clear that the Hunky Doctor is doomed. Maybe it's not too late to get a refund on that return ticket to Miami, Matty!
Steve shows up to the house dressed as a teenager, complete with a Bay View High School letterman jacket and the world's least convincing wig. He tells DJ he's going to take her on a date like they would have gone on in high school. Okay, we'll give you that one, Steve-O, that's pretty cute. She puts on her choker and scrunchie (both of which she still owns, mind you) and they head out.
After a failed attempt at returning to their alma mater to carve their name in the bleachers, the two come back to make dinner and have a picnic outside. So begins the most uncomfortable 2:40 of your life, which is saying a lot, considering it's Steve. It starts with him pouring DJ's giant wine glass full to the brim. The drunker she is, the more charming you are? NOPE. Then, they move over to the other side of the counter, where Steve wraps his arms around DJ and they knead hamburger meat a la the pottery scene in Ghost. Ugh. Not only that, but they sing "Unchained Melody" directly into each other's ears. Furthermore, no one made the joke that, "I KNEAD your love." Missed pun opportunities are the greatest offense of all.
Steve finally has a moment of clarity, admitting that the competition between him and Matt is throwing him off and, "I think I'm trying too hard." YOU DON'T SAY. Bro, trying too hard started long before Matt came into the picture, but at least he recognized it nonetheless. They both agreed that they were trying too hard to capture old feelings when it was time that they make new memories. We're willing to let this happen for one more episode, but one more musical number and we're out, Hale.
Who's the George in this scenario?
Let's jump over to kid world, where every plot is like Seinfeld: about nothing. That isn't necessarily the worst thing, since kid conflicts typically aren't consequential to the adult ones, but it would be nice to feel like they didn't orbit in a different universe, save for a few heart-to-hearts.
This go-around, Jackson and Max are deep in concentration over a game of Jenga. Max makes quite the rookie move, pulling from the very bottom. He's 8, it happens, but it's his older brother's gloating afterward that prompts Aunt Steph to intervene, lamenting her days in DJ's shadow and suggesting that Jackson let his brother win once in a while.
A few hours later, they're back at it again, and Jackson lazily phones it in, letting the tower crash on his first pass. This throws Max into a frenzy, celebrating by tossing his shirt into the air and shouting that he's going to go to Disneyland. Man, this kid is a lot. How much do you wanna bet that he'll be first to be on the receiving end of a very important episode about bullying? It's way too much.
After he goes barreling through the kitchen door, Jackson mistakenly says that it's the last time he'll let him win. Max, of course, hears it from the kitchen. Max can hear Jackson talking not-very-loudly, and yet no one heard 1,000 red roses get delivered? This deflates him for a while, until Stephanie clumsily reminds him that being the middle child might mean getting overshadowed, but you have to keep trying, as this is a classic Mark Wahlberg overshadowing Donnie Wahlberg scenario. However, Max decides to flip the script, letting Tommy Jr. – a baby – beat him at Jenga so he would know what it's like to win. Marky Mark would never have done that.
Why are we doing this, guys?
Then, we have Kimmy. Oh, Kimmy, Kimmy, Kimmy. She spent the earlier part of the season adamantly denying the advances of her cheating ex, Fernando. It was hard to avoid him, of course, considering they share Ramona, and she started to waver. They've spent the last few episodes canoodling behind closed doors, or as Fernando told his teenage daughter when she finally discovered them, it's "canoodling with a sprinkling of hanky spanky." I don't care who you are; no one wants to hear that from their parents.
He shows up at the house with surprises planned for Kimmy that day. First, he reveals a sparkly dress hidden in her closet and in Ramona's closet, he hid a manicurist and masseuse. Normal. Kimmy sits down in a massage chair when he calls in her bikini waxer, which isn't exactly the best message to be getting from your lover. Uh, thanks?
When she's finished with her pampering, she follows the last clue outside where Fernando is waiting with a speaker in hand. He proudly exclaims that he has written a song called, "Kimberlina, Mi Amor," with help from ~*world-renowned DJ*~ Stephanie. Yet another uncomfortable musical number. He starts to sing the song, but gets super emotional after a few lines. He begs his writing partner to help out and sing the song for him, which she almost too casually agrees to. When she starts, he asks her to really play it up, touching her face and nibbling her arm. When the line comes about kissing "your red and floppy lips," he insists that she kiss Kimmy, and Ms. Gibbler plants one on her. So, that happened.
The song ends and he gets down on one knee. He looks into her eyes and asks that she make him the happiest man on earth ... by divorcing him. A shocked Kimmy looks down to see the divorce papers she had been asking for all for two years in his hand. Everyone freezes in this awkward moment, but he quickly recovers, apologizing for his indiscretions and asking to start anew, like a phoenix rising from the ashes. He whistles, and instead of a phoenix, a falcon drops onto her arm with a ring around its neck. Everyone claps reluctantly.
Starting fresh is a lovely sentiment and all, but it also sounds like a lot of unnecessary paperwork for someone at City Hall. Furthermore, it's disappointing to see Kimmy settle for his nonsense. If she insists though, she might as well make it worth her while and write an equivalent of Lemonade or something. #WWBD – what would Beyoncé do?
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events happening in the Phoenix art and theater scene.