Kimmy Gibbler really knows how to make a man feel good. When her almost-ex-husband Fernando shows up and says that he’s going to take her on a scavenger hunt around the house, she puts on the sequined dress he bought her, throws some flowers in her hair, and humors him. When he forces Stephanie to sing an awful song that he wrote, she thinks it’s neat. When he gets a giant falcon to swoop out of the San Francisco sky carrying a ring around its neck — thanks, clunky editing — she lets him believe it’s romantic. Even when she is all glammed up and he is wearing a bad sweater with the color and consistency of cold oatmeal, she says he is handsome. That Kimmy Gibbler sure knows how to play along.
Scavenger hunts are the kind of thing that you only see done well in sitcoms where people have the time, space, and production assistants to really pull it off. How many of us could talk a manicurist and a masseur into sitting in a child’s (strangely empty) closet for hours, waiting for the scavenging surprise? And how cruel is it for Fernando to ask all of those people to spend so much time in the closet? Does he know what it’s like just putting your life on hold, waiting in the closet, hoping that one day someone will come by and free you so you can get on Grindr and finally have some fun of your own? I’m sure Fernando has no idea what that is like.
The less we talk about the scavenger hunt, the better. Especially that awful song with Stephanie. Just why does Fuller House love same-sex kisses? Well, I’m not sure why they do, but they do and I think it is, as the kids say today, “problematic.” I don’t think that Fuller House hates gay people (after all, there is at least one gay character on the show) but they do seem trapped in this antiquated notion that a dude kissing a dude, like when Steve and Matt kiss, or a lady kissing a lady, like when Kimmy and Stephanie kiss, is somehow weird and silly and so absolutely crazy that it can be used as a punch line. I don’t think I would complain as much if I had to kiss Steve. I wouldn’t even mind if he had sandwich breath.
At the end of the scavenger hunt, Fernando asks Kimmy Gibbler for a divorce, but that’s only because she’s been asking for one for two years. Fernando grants it, then immediately asks her to marry him again. Ramona is overjoyed and so is D.J., even though she hasn’t quite figured out that that means one more freeloader living in her house in perpetuity.
Speaking of D.J.’s freeloaders, Max is having the classic middle-child dilemma: He’s always getting beaten by his older brother and doesn’t get nearly as much attention as the baby of the family does. He feels neglected and ignored. As a fellow middle child, I would like to say, “Welcome to the Jan Brady Club. Our current president is Lady Edith Grantham and the vice president is the character Tina Yothers played on Family Ties whose name I can’t bother Googling. Our fashion icon is Denise Huxtable.”
Stephanie knows better than anyone how tough this is, so she asks Jackson to let Max win once in awhile. After all, she is still pissed that D.J. always beat her at Twister when they were kids. Jackson agrees, but then Max is mad that he didn’t win on his own and Stephanie has to give him a pep talk that somehow involves Marky Mark’s Calvin Klein billboard, which is something I definitely feel like Googling.
Now, a few notes on Max and Spencer’s Jenga game. Why are they using blocks that look like they were excavated from Stonehenge? That is the world’s largest Jenga set. It’s like Jenga, the Maria Sharapova edition. Also, when Max thinks he won, he does a celebratory dance and takes off his shirt. All the women in the audience scream, like when a hot guy on the show takes off his shirt. This is the part of the program where Chris Hansen comes out and catches an entire studio full of child predators in one fell swoop.
Anyway, Stephanie is sick of always losing and wants to prove to Max that one day he’ll be able to best his siblings, so she gets out the old Twister mat and challenges D.J. to a rematch. (Was this episode sponsored by Milton Bradley or something?) Just like Ginger Rogers, D.J. has to do everything Stephanie does, but backwards and in heels. D.J. wins and all is right in a world where middle children always get the short end of the stick (except on Downton Abbey, winner of the Neglected Middle Children’s Association of America Show of the Year award five years running). What sort of lesson does this teach children? Your siblings will always be better than you, so why bother trying? Just get a job at McDonald’s and hope that, one day, you can afford a bus ticket to Corpus Christi for the world’s saddest vacation?
D.J. is the latest bachelorette, as Stephanie and Kimmy Gibbler so accurately observe, going out on two dates with two different guys and then deciding which one wins her heart forever. Going into this I was definitely #TeamSteve but afterwards I think I’m #TeamGoOnTinderThereMustBeSomethingBetterOutThere. Steve definitely takes the wrong tack by bringing D.J. back to their high school to remind her of all the old times they had together. Fuller House loves wallowing in the past like I love a Nutella crêpe with strawberries, but this is the wrong way to start a relationship.
Then, he cooks her Steve Burgers because he is only capable of doing two things: being absolutely adorable and eating a lot. Somehow, this turns into the scene from Ghost with them singing badly to each other. Gosh, everything about this episode makes me want to take a jillion Ambien and wake up in a future where all TV shows are dead and we’re just plugged into VR pornography until the day we die of sexy exhaustion.
D.J. thinks this is a great date, but now I just want to see her make out with Hunky Vet Matt way more than my beloved Steve. The one thing Steve had going for him is that he had fun with D.J. and her whole family, something that Hunky Vet Matt never quite wants to do. That’s one reason to go with Steve, I guess. For a mother as neglectful as D.J. Fuller, she’s going to need some extra help.