It's business as usual in the ol' Tanner/Fuller/Gibbler (#Tanfulbler? #Fultanber? #Gibfulner?) house after the season premiere's end-of-summer celebration. The kids are back at school, the adults are back at work, and their respective love lives are still a bit hazy.
We're mostly talking about DJ, who is still dealing with the aftermath of her decision to not pick a mate, therefore sending her suitors toward new girlfriends. It doesn't help that these girlfriends have already had way too much screen time, specifically Matt's girlfriend Crystal, who is the absolute worst. She acts out charade answers in yoga poses, made DJ take a #BFF selfie with her and Matt, and brought them all "salad shakes" that no one could possibly want. She takes it one step too far when she invites "Pops" to game night as DJ's date. No, not her dad — her grandfather. How old is Crystal? How old is Matt? How old does she think DJ is (when she obviously hasn't aged since high school)?
The blessing in this scenario is that "Pops" (real name: Mike) was played by none other than the late Alan Thicke, who died suddenly only six days after this season hit Netflix. Whoa, boy, our hearts were not ready to see him walk through the door. He and Candace Cameron Bure have a history, as he played her real-life brother's Kirk Cameron's father on the series Growing Pains. That means they've known each other a long time — and it shows. While their characters had zero chemistry, the two of them together was truly wonderful, as Pops stumbled through the set-up with dry and hilarious delivery. In the end, he calls it off, proposing a physical relationship if she wants.
Hmm, thanks, but no thanks.
DJ didn't have much time to process her awkward situation, as she was hyper-focused on her eldest son Jackson's recent interest in football. He's doing it to impress friend-zone Lola, but DJ probably saw an ad for Concussion once, so she doesn't want him getting hurt. On one hand, she's blowing it a bit out of proportion (Tami Taylor would give her a stern talking-to). On the other hand, it does seem silly for him to want to play football only to impress a girl, especially when he refers to "practice" as "rehearsal." In the end, she tells him he can't do it.
That, of course, doesn't sit well with the 13-year-old, who gives her the silent treatment while also walking around in bubble wrap to prove a point about her being overprotective. He's not wrong, but like we said, she has a point. She and Kimmy finally figure out a way to nip it in the bud, by asking Lola (who might as well live there now since she has yet to leave the first sleepover) to plead their case for them. Just like that, he's off the team, but still pining for the one who got away (on purpose, because she's not into it).
Meanwhile, the other kids might as well be house plants for how little they're included in this show. Ramona has a few zingers while Max harps on becoming a vegetarian for his very advanced third grade project on changing the world. This show has a major kid problem, and who knows, it might be by design based on the fact that most people are tuning in for the O.G. gals. However, the original series was so loved because we all felt like we grew up with them, while this set of kids just sort of float along. Next episode, Ramona's Not So Epic First Kiss, may change all of that though with a Ramona-focused show ... or at least it's a start.
Now, for a bit of arrested development, we have our girl Steph and Jimmy Gibbler. She's been hellbent on avoiding his wildly obvious advances, including scoffing at a dream catcher he gave her ("because all my dreams came true." BARF). Obviously, Kimmy was super-annoying growing up, but Stephanie really needs to figure out why she's so anti-Gibbler. What could she possibly have done that was that bad?
However, we can understand some of her hesitation. As we observed from the start, Jimmy is a straight up Mimbo (ahem, man bimbo) all the way to the extent that he owns a fry cooker because he found out his RV doesn't fit in the drive-thru (a lesson he had to learn, because it wasn't obvious, apparently.) He is persistent to a fault, considering he probably needs to figure out where his life is going — or at least his RV, which is parked in front of their house.
After a soulmate-style, finish-each-other's-sentences kind of showing during charades, Steph finally agrees to go out with him. Meaning "out" to his RV, where she was understandably sketched out. This is not the lifestyle of a 30-something ~*world-renowned DJ*~ and shouldn't be for her romantic interests. However, she spotted his outstanding photography, which he causally mentions is for National Geographic. They bond over traveling the world and go for the full "happy meal" (her words, not ours, but if you know what we mean). It seems like he's here to stay and will hopefully get a little more depth as we go along.
Lastly Fernando is trying to get in the good graces of the girls since he crashed their pad without really asking. He cooks them breakfast and even offered to cut Baby Tommy's hair for the first time from the mullet it was. Y'know, because he's part-time race car driver, part-time hairdresser, full-time turd. It's hard to tell if we'll ever be #TeamFernando, even for Ramona's sake. Dressing him up in a tiny pink robe at the start of the episode didn't really help in convincing us that he isn't just a cartoon character that lives in their house.
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