Okay, so it took me a few days to get this one up. My brain has already begun the liquefaction process. Let me pace my decline. Have mercy on me. oh no it’s beginning
Episode 2: Moving Day
The episode opens with Max tiptoeing down into the basement and jumping on Stephanie’s bed to wake her for Sunday brunch. She is remarkably calm about telling him to come back at dinnertime. I probably would have used a few more profanities in the same situation. He is persistent, though, excitedly telling her that the pancakes are made with duck eggs “for more nutrition and a deeper flavor profile.” Clearly, the extra protein has left him swole as fuck, because he’s somehow capable of physically dragging his aunt out of bed.
Upstairs in the kitchen, DJ presents Jackson with a seat at the head of the table and a pre-breakfast milkshake. Jackson, possessing basic observational skills, informs her that she’s acting weird and takes the opportunity to ask for hot fudge on his pancakes. Kid, you’re going places. Max finally gets Stephanie upstairs, where she fondly recalls her life as a night person, only for DJ to cover Max’s ears and scold her when she gets to the part about people hooking up. That seems like a slight overreaction, Deej. It’s not like she said “people doing blow and screwing like rabbits in the bathroom stall.” At seven years old, I doubt it would have occurred to me to think that “hooking up” meant anything more than “people making friends and maybe doing smooches.” In fact, six-year-old me thought a virgin was someone who didn’t have their ears pierced, which led to a rather awkward moment with my mother after we got back from the ceremonial trip to Claire’s. So, you know, take anything I say on the subject with a grain of salt.
DJ drags Stephanie over to the fridge to inform her that she hasn’t told the boys about Kimmy and Ramona moving in. Steph blurts out “Chicken” and “I spilled the beans” during this conversation, but guess what, it’s all literal! As we can see from inside the fridge, she is eating chicken and knocking over open containers of beans! Who leaves open containers of beans lying around, if not to set up deliberate puns?
Meanwhile, Kimmy and Ramona are out on the front porch. Needless to say, Ramona is not happy about uprooting her life and switching schools: “All to move in with the whitest family in America?” CORRECT. She describes the Fullers as “albino polar bears drinking milk in a snowstorm watching Frozen.” You forgot the duck eggs. She gets a call from her friend which she pointedly answers in Spanish, then informs Kimmy that there’s no way she’s going inside, only to watch in horror as Kimmy grabs her cell phone and tosses it through the open front door. Obviously this works as Kimmy intended, because KIDS THESE DAYS, all freebasing their gadgets like the marijuanas.
Back in the kitchen, DJ is emptying a canister of whipped cream on Jackson’s pancakes and trying to spit out the news. Cue Kimmy beating her to the punch by barging in with her sweet-ass bacon and eggs scarf and christening a dubious Steph her “sister-wife.” As DJ correctly surmised, Jackson is not happy about the change and storms out to the backyard. At least eat the bribery pancakes, dude.
Kimmy is going to be living in Jesse and Becky’s old room in the attic. The attic that, as many before me have pointed out, really shouldn’t exist.
The Tanner-Fuller house from the outside:
Also, remember the hallway off the living room in the original series?
Its dimensions have changed, subtly but relentlessly.
Fuller House of Leaves. Kimmy adds to this uncanny sense of disorientation by putting a giant picture of her face up on the wall, because at this point, why not?
Ramona is supposed to be in Nicky and Alex’s old room, which is presented some kind of horrible hobbit hole. Honestly, I’ve stayed in smaller. Anyway, this is San Francisco, so I’m betting it’d rent for at least a grand. Nonetheless, to keep Ramona from trying to legally emancipate herself, DJ comes up with a plan. The boys are going to share the big bedroom so Ramona can stay downstairs in Jackson’s old room, out of the spatial warp. (I was confused by the arrangements for a bit, as we saw in the previous episode that the “big room” held not only Tommy’s crib but also what appeared to be a queen-sized bed. Then I remembered that Danny was also still around then, so that was probably DJ’s bed at the time, and she’s now in Danny’s old room. I’m actually kind of impressed that the set designers put that much thought into this, and terrified that I have.)
Another bribe! DJ has baked a chocolate cake, but Jackson reassures her that he’s come around to Kimmy and Ramona moving in. “I can just go hide in my room.” Dramatic irony! Max immediately comes downstairs and interrupts his mom’s attempts at cushioning the blow. Jackson runs upstairs to find his stuff in the hallway and Ramona taking cans of blue and white paint into his old room to paint it the colors of the Argentinian flag. Quite nationalist for a 12-year-old. DJ finally deigns to explain the new arrangement; Max is endearingly excited to room with his older brother, but Jackson is understandably frustrated. Again, I remind you, this is San Francisco. Consider yourself lucky that you’re only sharing that room with one other person, kid.
DJ is called into the pet clinic on emergency business, which she announces to Stephanie and Kimmy with “I’ve got some bad news.” “Great! Another cake!” Kimmy just read you to filth, DJ. The ladies assure her they’ve got things handled on the home front. This will definitely end well.
Max is in his old room, excitedly packing for the move. Jackson tries to talk him into staying there with Tommy.
“But Mom said living together would bring us closer.”
Or studiously omit the truth until someone else tells it for them. Same difference!
Jackson almost convinces Max of the benefits of being able to lord his own “big brother” status over Tommy, who promptly drops a war crime in his diaper. Needless to say, the deal falls through. Jackson then goes to demand his old room back from Ramona, but she makes the entirely valid point that she’s going through as much upheaval as he is. (She is dancing to middle America’s conception of generic Latin music when he arrives, and calls him Jackcito. Good to see that this show’s universe is as nuanced as ever with its portrayal of non-WASP characters. How much do you want to bet that the show will ever explore this aspect of her identity after this episode? Hint: don’t take the bet.)
As a last-ditch effort, Jackson goes down to the kitchen to try to talk Stephanie into rooming with Max. Look, Uncle Jesse is back! He’s supposed to be driving down to LA, but he left his lucky guitar Priscilla. Jackson begs Jesse for help with the situation, which gets him little more than a “Hug it out” and jokes about violin music in the ‘80s. Stephanie takes over and gives him a heart-to-heart about her time sharing that room with DJ, in which the events of the original series premiere are rehashed yet again. (Jesse on Steph’s room: “It was wall-to-wall with girly pink bunnies. Though, that could explain my love of the theater.” That’s not how any of this works.) Steph jokes that DJ should have run away and rented an apartment instead of just moving to the garage. OOPS. “Do you get the lesson?” Jackson says yes and goes upstairs to “bond with Max,” only to run back down and sneak out the door behind them as Jesse is congratulating Stephanie on her first “aunt talk.” DOUBLE CATCHPHRASE ALERT: “Have mercy” and “How rude” in rapid-fire succession, with an Elvis reference to top us off. Yes yes, very good, let us clap and bark like seals!
Kimmy gives Stephanie a lesson on changing diapers that feels like it should be unnecessary, an impression that is soon validated by the joke “I changed so many of Michelle’s diapers, I feel like there were two of her.” The fourth wall does not exist. Steph checks her phone and complains that her friends are off skiing in St. Moritz while she’s here on diaper duty (I want to pour one out in sympathy), then takes an entirely necessary selfie because this show is as determined to date itself as the original was. Max makes an “unleash the kraken” reference after donning a surgical mask, followed by a joke about dodging Tommy’s “fire hose.” Steph manages to enclose her cell in Tommy’s new diaper, then answers DJ’s call through the diaper rather than pulling it out right away? Fart joke. Angry Birds joke. Save me.
Jesse is driving through what appears to be Napa Valley, even though that would be entirely the wrong direction. He is, of course, singing along to “Burning Love” repeatedly. Look, Jackson has stowed away in the backseat! If this were an urban legend, Jesse would be dead as shit by now. Instead, he asks Siri (SO MODERN) to call Becky so he can sing to her. Having been submitted to CIA-level torture, Jackson finally snaps and yells. Jesse pulls over to try to talk Jackson out of moving to LA with him. Not only is Jackson upset about his room, but he also apparently feels outnumbered by women now, because a 4:3 ratio is onerous. Jesse cracks some jokes about “learning to talk to women” and feeding Becky’s terrible lasagna to the dog (which sounds like the opposite of “learning to talk to women”). Oops, Siri has been recording the whole time! Becky is going to be super lady-mad! Instead of making a run for Tijuana, he tells Jackson to text his mother that they’re on the way back.
DJ comes home and congratulates “the most reliable co-parents on the planet.” The sarcasm in her voice is palpable, but it seems to go right over their heads. This may be thanks to the cocktails in their hands, though there are matching glasses in front of the kids. (I’m choosing to assume that either Steph and Kimmy spiked the fuck out of theirs, or they’re just straight-up getting the kids wasted.) DJ mentions a worrisome text from Jackson without elaborating further. Stephanie assures her that Jackson is upstairs and brags about having “fixed” the bedroom drama, to which DJ snarks about Stephanie’s amazing parenting skills. Stephanie calls up to Jackson, but surprise, here he comes through the back door with Jesse. Yes, DJ knew all along. Apparently, Jesse and Jackson made it all the way to Fresno before turning around. That did not look like Fresno.
It’s time for a dreaded family meeting, and Stephanie shotguns the last of her cocktail on the way out of the kitchen. (Give me one. Give me ten.) She and Jesse have a short chat with more “remember-when” reminiscing; as he ducks out the door, he gets the inevitable text from Becky telling him his dinner’s in the doghouse. He’s not going to be home for something like eight hours anyway, so… sure?
DJ asks Jackson what he was thinking, but Jackson is having none of it because she did the same thing when she was a kid. How does he know, she wonders? Way to go, Aunt Steph! DJ points out that leaving the county is a bit more extreme, Jackson spills his guts about everything he’s going through in a monologue that once again is directly parallel to something from the original series, everyone talks out their feels, you know the formula. Max offers his brotherly support and drops the word “symbiotic.” Smart kid, and you’ll be using that term a lot around here. Everyone agrees that it’ll take time to figure things out and that they need “respect, compromise, and honesty.” Until the next episode, that is!
Ramona valiantly offers to move back upstairs, only to be apoplectic with relief when DJ rejects the offer. Stephanie confesses about the diaperphone incident. Group hug! Jesse walks back in, having left his lucky sunglasses this time, and asks the audience if we hear violins. You… you guys, does Uncle Jesse need to be checked for dementia? I’m legitimately worried.
That’s all for this one, folks. The next one’s a doozy. I’ll have it up once I secure sufficient alcohol for the process. I wrote these first two sober, somehow.