Each week, we're recapping the first season of Fuller House episode by episode. Everyone jump in the ring!
The Legend of El Explosivo opens with Kimmy unloading a bag of groceries from her trip to the 89-cent store. She gushes about it — compared to the snooty 99 cents store — and this moment was unintentionally the most real reflection the Fuller House has had of living in San Francisco. It's the little victories when you're paying rent in one of the most expensive cities in the country. But, you live in a giant house (for free) in the middle of the city. Maybe you don't need to cut corners on Oreos. Hell, spring for the birthday cake flavor; you're living in a $3 million dollar home!
The older boys return from school, and DJ is immediately suspicious, given that Jackson is wearing a jacket when it is 90 degrees outside (while she wore a sweater). As it turns out, he's hiding a big gash on his arm from horsing around with the neighborhood troublemaker, Bobby Popko. Clearly, the writers set out to come up with the sleaziest name possible and they succeeded. DJ asks the dreaded, "where are his parents?" And guess who narcs? Max, of course. What a dweeb. It's only going to be cute for so long until you stop being bribed with Skittles and they add a bit less padding for moments like these:
He was bribed, of course, because Bobby's parents aren't around after school, probably because they're commuting to Silicon Valley or something. This makes it much easier for afternoon jumps off the shed and other Jackass-esque behavior. In the most Mom of tones, DJ lays down the hammer, forbidding the boys to go back to the Popko's until she's had a chance to
suck the fun out of everything talk to the parents.
Stephanie swoops in to lighten the mood and tell them that she landed a gig DJing at a Mexican Wrestling event, Lucha Kaboom. Y'know, the logical next step for a ~*world-renowned DJ*~ after the Coachella main stage. The boys geek out the fact that their favorite wrestler, King Jaguarito, will be there, and DJ calls him King Dorito because either she's a tiny bit racist or she out-Dad-jokes Danny Tanner himself.
Now, when it comes to parents without boundaries, we have Kimmy. She's the worst kind of dance mom, living vicariously while offering to teach Ramona's middle school dance team a few of her signature moves. They're somehow terrible, even though she and DJ won a dance competition at a bar where she was well-known for coming in to dance with her ex-husband. Still, we ended up with the monstrosity of the Gibbler Gallop. It begins with a sparkle, ends with butt slapping and has some lassoing in between. Kids may dread "mom tone," but it's nothing compared to the "Mom, you're humiliating me," look written all over Ramona's face.
She and the powder puff girls slink up to her room to get lessons from Stephanie, who boasts that she learned her moves at a club in Lisbon, because don't forget guys, she's a ~*world-renowned DJ*~. Kimmy stumbles in on them, clearly hurt and trying desperately to qualify her skills by busting out '90s moves like the running man and the Carlton. It's like she blew a fuse. Stephanie only makes matters worse by revealing that she landed the team a performance at Lucha Kaboom, because she's basically a "cool mom." Cue one of many eye-rolls from Kimmy this episode.
While at work, DJ downloads an app to keep an eye on Jackson, because it's 2016 and actually, that's probably really a thing that parents have to do now. Yikes. She sees that he's headed to the Popko house. Despite pleas from her hunky fellow doctor that "boys will be boys," she darts right out of the office, because working should mean being on your phone and bailing early.
She arrives at the house to see Max wrapped in pillows on a mattress and Jackson up on the roof of the shed while a bunch of his bros cheer him on. He yells something about "El Explosivo!" a signature move of King Jaguarito, which just entails jumping and landing on someone. DJ isn't psyched, of course, asking once again where Mrs. Papko is. Bobby responds, "You just missed her! She should be back right after you leave." Nice one, Papko. We'll keep you a while. Thanks to this tomfoolery, Jackson's shot at going to the wrestling match is donezo.
The next day, Jackson is left at home while the rest of the family ships out to Lucha Kaboom. DJ Tanner is spinning and Max wins a costume contest to meets King Jaguarito because "holy chalupa!" this is the best day of his life. Clearly, the writers are trying to get some new catchphrases going; please, just not that one.
Even Kimmy gets her day, after one of the girls on the dance team gets sick. Gibbler happens to be wearing the uniform, ready to fill in. The girls + Mom do their very, very short routine, and Stephanie, who knows they don't have more, asks the audience if they want to see more. The girls panic, but the Gibbler ladies know: it's time for the gallop. It was a nice moment for the two, even if it meant having to watch that horror again.
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Back at the house, Jackson is conspiring with Papko to get to the match. We're not sure what this kid plans to accomplish when he "runs away." In the second episode, he hid in his Uncle's truck bound for LA, where he would most certainly be found and returned (which he was.) This time, he's going to sneak into an event where the crowd isn't that big, but his family is in the front row and his aunt has a bird's-eye view from the DJ booth. Still, he does it, leaving Papko at home with his phone so he can't be traced and also can't call an Uber. So we're not sure how he got there.
When he arrives, he sees someone short in a jaguar costume getting pummeled by some dudes in chicken suits. Did we mention King Jaguarito is a little person? DJ thought he was Max earlier on ("wrong little person, lady,") and her son made the same mistake. He jumps in the ring to save him and the chickens attack, hopefully assuming it was part of the bit and not just beating up a 13-year-old.
Once DJ realizes it's Jackson, she leaps out of her chair and into the ring, going full-on Mama Bear while the announcer spouted some amazing chicken puns: "Right in the chicken nuggets!" . . ."She's cooking up a chopped chicken salad! ". . . "He's one bad egg!" . . . She and King Jaguarito eventually finish them off, ending in a double El Explosivo.
It's over then, right? Nope! It isn't a Fuller House episode without a heart-to-heart. When the family gets home, DJ confronts Jackson about sneaking out of the house. He gets up in arms about why she is so hard on him, when he's just trying to do daring things like his dad. Ooof, right in the gut, Jackson. She reminds him that Tommy Fuller Sr. was a fireman, and that was part of his job. However, she'd consider being less overprotective if he stops acting out. Is it just us, or is she kind of missing the point? The kid has run away twice since the series began. Something tells us that hugs and violin music won't be the end of his mischief.