Fuller House season 3 binge recap
Netflix’s Fuller House is back with season 3 — and we’ve recapped all nine episodes that have debuted so far. Read on for the best (and worst!) parts, the funniest lines, and each half hour’s nostalgia score. (And need a refresher on the second season? Check it out here.)
EPISODE 1: “Best Summer Ever”
What happens: It’s the first day of summer — and there’s a lot going on in the Tanner household. For one, Steve drops by to confirm his wedding date to CJ and announce that it’s going to be in Japan. Then, after failing his history class, Jackson has to attend summer school — a fact DJ dreads telling him and softens the blow with a gift card and entire pie. While at summer school, though, he meets Rocki, a girl with purple hair and trouble written all over her, who turns out to be the daughter of Gia, who Full House fans will remember as Stephanie’s “bad” friend. Jimmy is still looking for a place to park his RV and while hanging out in the Costco parking lot, he and Stephanie see Fernando hugging a beautiful blonde. They tell Kimmy that Fernando is cheating, but it turns out the woman is his realtor and he’s purchased the old Gibbler house for him, Kimmy, and Ramona to live in — and Kimmy ultimately turns down his offer because she wants to stay in the Tanner house, which means the spot is open to solve Jimmy’s housing woes. DJ worries that she and Matt aren’t spending enough time together, so she tries to seduce him at work and it backfires when a patient walks in. Matt assures her that their relationship is growing and they both say “I love you” for the first time.
The best part: We’ve always wondered about the Tanners’ open-door policy. Isn’t there crime in San Francisco? How have they not been robbed blind? Rocki finally says what we’re all thinking: “You just let people walk in? How have you not been murdered by now?”
The worst part: We hope they never have a Fuller House musical episode because the opening “Best Summer Ever” number was just plain-out painful to watch.
The best lines: “Have some lemonade. It’s a little tart, just like you.” —Kimmy throwing lemonade in the face of the woman she believes is Fernando’s lover
“You’re not living here forever.” —DJ explaining to Jackson why he needs good grades
“You’re still living here.” —Jackson’s response
“DJ, I love you.” —Dr. Matt
Nostalgia score: 7/10. There’s the constant use of catchphrases — one “how rude” and one “oh, Mylanta” — but two things put this higher on the nostalgia scale: After it sinks in that Steve really is getting married, Kimmy tells DJ, “And not to you. Which is fine if you happen to hate fairy tales and happy endings.” The nostalgia lovers in us can’t help but agree with Kimmy. It also seems that the show is gearing up for a big arc for Gia in season 3 after her guest appearance in the “Girl Talk” reunion episode of season 2.
Episode grade: B
—Maureen Lee Lenker
EPISODE 2: “Break a Leg”
What happens: DJ discovers Stephanie is borrowing her car to be an Uber driver for extra money on the side, so she decides to become her life coach. Then… Stephanie breaks her ankle during their initial “fun” run. Kimmy is annoyed that Steve won’t hire her to plan his wedding in Japan, so she plans a Japanese showcase with Ramona to convince him otherwise (and is successful). Max tries to woo his classmate Rose with his tiny backyard pool, only to be upstaged by his rival Taylor, who rents an inflatable water slide with his birthday money.
The best part: DJ admitting to Stephanie that she gets overwhelmed and often indulges in Oreos and romance novels. DJ is always the one to take care of everyone and set them on the right path, so it’s nice to see her admitting her weaknesses, particularly to her little sister she always feels pressured to help.
The worst part: It’s a tie: I’d be happy to never hear another joke peeing in the pool, so when baby Tommy ruins Max’s pool party, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. And though Kimmy shows off some impressive (and funny) Benihana-worthy cooking skills, her cultural appropriation of Japanese culture in her wedding planning pitch is pretty cringe-worthy.
The best lines: “I’m a wedding planner, and I was never even considered because I don’t speak Japanese and I’ve never been to Japan and the only thing I really know about them is they have a huge Godzilla problem.” —Kimmy, enraged that Steve hasn’t asked her to be the wedding planner for his wedding in Japan
“Fixing Stephanie by Donna Jo Fuller — why is this so thick?” —Stephanie looking at the self-help guide DJ made for her
“Oh, I’ve been working on it since high school.” —DJ
“Behind all my self-help books, I keep my treasure trove of trashy romance novels. Right now I am halfway through Barefoot With a Bad Boy. He is so bad and his feet are so bare.” —DJ on her secret, not-perfect life
“Every Friday, I schedule five minutes to cry alone in my room.” —DJ explaining she has scheduled breakdowns every week
Nostalgia score: 3/10. Apart from Steve’s brief appearance and an “oh, cheese” from Kimmy, there’s really not much here referring back to the original series or plucking at those nostalgia strings.
Episode grade: B-
—Maureen Lee Lenker (Recaps continue on page 2)
EPISODE 3: “Declarations of Independence”
What happens: It’s the annual Danny Tanner Fourth of July Barbeque, which means it’s time for family secrets and revelations to come out in the open. Lola’s hanging around and realizes she wants to break up with Jackson, putting Ramona in a difficult spot. DJ is still feeling out her relationship with Matt, realizing she can’t help but repeatedly interrupt him. Jimmy and Stephanie navigate a rough patch, as she asks him not to help her as her foot heels — instructions he takes, well, a tad too seriously. And, of course, Danny himself returns to oversee the party, but is hiding the biggest secret of all: He and Teri have gotten divorced.
The best part: Danny and Jackson serenading Lola with a performance of “Copacabana”
The worst part: Fernando adopting a red-blooded-American alter ego. Kimmy isn’t kidding when she tells him how grating it is.
The best lines: “47 people live in this house and no one’s in the kitchen?!” —Stephane, hobbling around in her foot cast
“If it comes up, my Hollywood age is 42.” —Danny
Nostalgia score: 5/10. Bob Saget returning to the Tanner household for Fourth of July? That counts for something.
Episode grade: B
EPISODE 4: “My Little Hickey”
What happens: Ramona enters the house with a hickey that’s anything but little — and she has to go to great pains to hide it from her mother. She turns to Stephanie for help, and as they share makeup tips and old stories, it leaves Kimmy feeling a little left out — leading to a misguided effort to reconnect with her daughter at laser tag. Meanwhile, it’s been three days since Fernando moved out of the Tanner house with Jimmy, and he’s already homesick, while Jackson has a new friend-group calling themselves “The Six Pack.” DJ has to balance getting Fernando out of her house without hurting his feelings with being welcoming and warm to Jackson’s dimwitted group of new friends.
The best part: Ramona convincing Kimmy to tie her hair under her chin — she’s doing it to hide her hickey, but she convinces her mother it’s a new “style” — and call themselves the #ChinTailSisters.
The worst part: The “Six Pack,” for the most part, is a one-note joke that the show hits a few times, only before retiring the subplot well before the episode’s end.
The best lines: “You’re like a sexy mom in a tunafish commercial.” —Jackson’s friend Mankowski to DJ
“Look, you’re so beautiful — I just got carried away and… over-nibbled.” —Bobby to Ramona after giving her a hickey
Nostalgia score: 2/10. Not much here, but the episode does provide a nice little reference to the fact that Kimmy and DJ have somehow remained best friends all of these years. “What are the odds these guys are going to be [Jackson’s] best friends for life,” DJ says at one point about the Six Pack, before Rocki whispers in her ear: “Kimmy Gibbler.”
Episode grade: C+
—David Canfield (Recaps continue on page 3)
EPISODE 5: “Uncle Jesse’s Adventures in Babysitting”
What happens: Fernando, with the help of Jimmy, is throwing a small housewarming party for the grown-ups in the (haunted) Gibbler house next door. Unbeknownst to Kimmy, Fernando and Jimmy have restored the Gibbler home back to its former glory — his-and-hers farting chairs included. It’s revealed that Stephanie has never actually set foot inside the Gibbler house, having always felt that Kimmy made her feel like the unwanted tag-along little sister, to which Kimmy replies: “You’re the annoying tag-along sister we DO want around.” Aww. Back in the Fuller house, Uncle Jesse is babysitting the kids, and brought baby Pamela (who likes Elmo and Chance the Rapper) with him. After a bunch of shenanigans ensue, Uncle Jesse wonders how he ever raised kids and starts to feel pretty down about his parenting skills. Cue DJ and Stephanie to the rescue to help him remember that he raised the two of them pretty well. More aww.
The best part: We finally get to see inside the Gibbler house which is, well, a circus.
The worst part: Max builds a wall through his and Jackson’s room, saying he wants to make his room “great again” in a political reference that’s not funny anymore.
The best lines: “I’m almost in high school! Why do I have to share a room with a fourth grader?” —Jackson
“Because Mom wants me to help you with your homework. BOOM.” —Max
Nostalgia score: 10/10. Literally every plot point in this episode is fueled by the Full House episodes of yore — including a 2017 rendition of “Teddy Bear” by Uncle Jesse, featuring DJ and Stephanie.
EPISODE 6: “M-M-M-My Ramona”
What happened: After Jackson saves a bird, DJ realizes he has natural “vet instincts” like she did as a kid. She decides to groom him (sorry, had to) in the veterinary arts so he can be a vet one day too, and Jackson shadows his mom and Matt at their office. Turns out, he doesn’t have as many vet skills as he does coffee-making skills, and therefore he realizes his lifelong dream: to be a barista and write the names on the cups! Meanwhile, Kimmy and Fernando are arguing over Ramona’s affection after Fernando builds her a room next door in the Gibbler house (fro-yo bar, dance studio, and bubbles!). Kimmy counters the room with a real-life My Little Pony, which Ramona’s wanted since she’s been a “my little girl!” Fernando reveals that he wants Ramona to spend more time at the Gibbler house so Kimmy will want to spend more time there as well. Dude just loves his family so much! Back IN the Fuller house, Stephanie lets Tommy play with Max’s stuffed animal, Uni, and Tommy tears it apart. While Max is having an existential crisis over the destruction of Uni, Stephanie patches Uni back together, stuffing her with an oven mitt and topped it off with a Bon Jovi patch. Max, of course, loves the new Uni but in the
Back in the Fuller house, Stephanie lets Tommy play with Max’s stuffed animal, Uni, and Tommy tears it apart. While Max is having an existential crisis over the destruction of Uni, Stephanie patches Uni back together, stuffing her with an oven mitt and topping it off with a Bon Jovi patch. Max, of course, loves the new Uni, but ultimately realizes that he was okay not having her for a day. All is well.
The best part: Stephanie gives Mr. Bear over to Max to make up for leaving Uni alone with Tommy, to which Max says, “The Mr. Bear? This guy’s a legend!
The worst part: Fernando, Kimmy, and Ramona have a “frozen yogurt pony dance party” after they hug and make up. It’s certainly something.
The best lines: “Hurry back! We’re doing a neutering next. Chop-chop!” —DJ to Jackson as he leaves to answer the phone while he shadows her at work
Nostalgia score:: 5/10. There are some life lessons, but the extra points come from Mr. Bear’s celebrity appearance.
—Sarah Weldon (Recaps continue on page 4)
EPISODE 7: “Say Yes to the Dress”
What happens: The whole family gets together to sing karaoke. After DJ and Steve’s rousing rendition of “Summer Nights,” you can tell their respective SOs are uncomfortable. Gia drops her punk-wannabe daughter Rocki off to study with Jackson, whom she doesn’t get along with, and goes on a Tinder date. When she doesn’t make it back in time for bed, they let Rocki stay the night. DJ and Steve talk about their spouses’ increasing jealousy at the bridal shop where he is trying on his tux. DJ is goaded into trying on a dress by a sales clerk, and when she comes out, DJ realizes she’s in CJ’s dress. CJ shows up and DJ doesn’t have time to change out of the dress so she pretends to be a mannequin. Eventually, CJ realizes the mannequin is DJ, and DJ apologizes and offers to help her look for a new one before they bring it in for a hug, Tanner-style.
Jimmy felt bad that Stephanie wasn’t invited to the premiere of the movie her song is featured in, so he sets up a red carpet event and screening in their living room. When they watch the movie, though, Stephanie is upset because they only use two seconds of the song, but she’s still grateful for what Jimmy did. Later that night, Steve comes to the house and DJ tells him she has to step back and that their relationship will have to change when Steve and CJ get married, but they agree they’ll always be friends. *Cue “Summer Nights” again*
The best part: Although Fernando’s version was painfully hammy, DJ and Steve singing “Summer Nights” was really frickin’ cute, and I think DJ would make a great Sandy.
The worst part: Stephanie’s boyfriend Jimmy shows up to karaoke in a dress because the invitation said “Attire: Dress” but no “casual.” Anyway, after that, it’s just a lot of jokes about how he “shaved his legs for this!” and how he has a “collection” of dresses and Stephanie’s all like, “I don’t ask!” Isn’t gender funny?
The best lines: “Oh, no, she’s fine. I told her you’re more like a sister to me and that I barely see you as a woman.” —Steve to DJ when she asks how CJ is after their awkward bridal shop encounter
“This goes on every night? Is he dying?” —Rocki after seeing DJ, Stephanie, and Kimmy tuck in Max
Nostalgia score: 5/10. They sing to old-school classics “Livin’ La Vida Loca” and “Summer Nights,” and the jokes about Steve’s insatiable appetite are in full form. Where’s John Stamos?
Episode grade: C+
EPISODE 8: “Maybe Baby”
What happens: It’s reunion time: Rebecca surprises Stephanie and DJ — and she catches Stephanie off guard when she plans a pelvic ultrasound for her. Stephanie still thinks she can’t get pregnant. Oh, and Uncle Joey — plus his four wacky children — are also back.
At the doctor, Stephanie learns she has a few viable eggs, but can only have a baby through in vitro with a surrogate. Stephanie confides that she’s nervous and doesn’t want to get everyone’s hopes up, so Rebecca agrees to keep it a secret. Meanwhile, DJ throws a party for Jackson just for taking his history test — is this a scathing takedown of millennials? DJ looks up his grade online and the results say he got an F. She thinks it’s a fluke and goes to the school to find out what happened. Jackson’s teacher explains that Jackson started on the wrong line of the test, and he actually scored a 94 percent. A fluke indeed!
When Stephanie walks in on Jackson’s surprise party, she thinks it is for her possibly having a baby and accuses Rebecca of telling everyone. In the end, she reveals her secret herself but tells them she is backing out because of the cost. The whole gang approaches Stephanie later that night and tells her they are all (including Jesse and Danny) chipping in to help her afford it. She says she will give it a try. Sweet!
The best part: Rebecca is so excited and nervous for Stephanie at the OBGYN appointment, she’s like a cheerleader. When the doctor is about to deliver the results of the pelvic scan and is interrupted by a call from her husband about what toilet paper to buy, Rebecca slams the phone down saying, “Look for the kind with the cartoon bears!”
The worst part: Joey’s four children spent most of the half hour screaming in delight at their pranks, which will echo in my ears for weeks.
The best lines: “Your kids are sociopaths.” —Max to Joey
“Please, Dr. Chung is my father. Call me Dr. Elizabeth Chung.” —Stephanie’s OBGYN
“Dear Diary, when I marry my girlfriend Rose, I will wear a slim-fit tux by Hugo Boss with a turned out lapel and a third button. Will I outshine the bride? Not my problem.” — Joey’s son Jerry, reading Max’s diary aloud
Nostalgia score: 7/10. Lori Loughlin returning as Rebecca to help Stephanie (and showing everyone on that show what comedic timing looks like) reminded us of how funny and maternal she was on the original. Dave Coulier showing up as Joey was a great throwback, but I’m docking points because there wasn’t any Laura Bell Bundy (as his wife) like last season.
Episode grade: B+
—Eric King (Recap continues on page 5)
EPISODE 9: “Wedding or Not Here We Come”
What happens: It’s time to head to Japan for Steve’s wedding — and Stephanie is prepped. And by prepped, I mean she has at least a dozen travel-size shampoo bottles filled with white wine for the flight there. Might as well live it up before she becomes a mom (hopefully), right? Speaking of getting pregnant, she’s planning on picking a random sperm donor… until Kimmy tells Jimmy this, and he decides he wants to be the babydaddy. Stephanie didn’t want to ask him because she thought it would be too soon for him, but she was wrong: Jimmy is super ready. So ready that he buys a one-way ticket to Japan just so he can see her on the plane in the few minutes before it takes off and tell her all this. By the end of his airplane visit, they’ve decided they’re going to try to have a baby together.
Things are less certain for DJ, who is still caught between Steve and Matt, even if she doesn’t want to admit it. And she really, really doesn’t want to admit it. Kimmy tries to make her take a BuzzFeed quiz in an attempt to figure out if Matt is truly The One, and what they find is he doesn’t check all the boxes. You know who does check all the boxes? Steve. Duh. (Okay, this isn’t totally fair: Matt ends up fulfilling all the BuzzFeed soulmate quiz requirements eventually when he brings DJ a customized basket of goodies… though I’m suspicious. Someone had to help him, because this dude is dim.)
So after some time spent getting ready to fly out — which includes Ramona breaking up with Popko because, basically, he sucks, and then crying into her mother’s arms in a sweet moment that’s surely satisfying for Momma Kimmy, who’s been trying all season to bond with her daughter — they’re off. On the plane, Matt sits next to Stephanie and reveals that he’s planning to propose to DJ in Japan. Stephanie is psyched — she’s Team Matt all the way — but over in a different row…
DJ has her eye mask on and thinks she’s sitting next to Kimmy. But while she has her noise-canceling headphones on over her ears (listening to Michael Bublé, because let’s not forget that DJ is a mom), Kimmy and Steve switch places. That’s when DJ takes off her Beats and confesses she’s upset about this wedding, that she wishes she had told Steve she was planning to choose him, that she feels like she’s losing her soulmate. Steve sits there, slackjawed. I never expected to want to clutch someone’s hand out of nervous excitement during an episode of Fuller House, but here we are. (Also never expected to think, I NEED TO SEE THE NEXT NINE EPISODES OF SEASON 3 ASAP, but, again… here we are!)
The best part: When Steve casually compliments DJ on her highlights, gives her a neck pillow, and tells her how she should interpret the weird dream she had — all things that her actual boyfriend failed to do. (I’m Team Steve, obviously.)
The worst part: Matt waltzing into the kitchen saying, “Konichiwazzzzzzzzzzzup!” Nope.
The best lines: “There were lots of strong choices in her donor files: geniuses, artists, even a notary public!” —Kimmy explaining to Jimmy why he’s not going to be Stephanie’s babydaddy
“Are you really wearing that to the airport?” —DJ to Kimmy, who is wearing pajamas, a neck pillow, and a hat with fake sushi rolls on it
“[Pauses] Well, answer her!” —Kimmy to Stephanie, who is dressed in very normal clothing
“There’s really not a Team Matt and a Team Steve, is there?” —Matt
“No! Two grown women betting $35 on DJ’s love life? That is so juvenile.” —Stephanie
Nostalgia score: 2/10. Pretty light on the throwback moments, save for DJ’s obvious, lasting affection for high school sweetheart Steve, of course — otherwise, this episode did a great job of moving the characters forward.
Episode grade: A-