Fuller House season 3B binge recap
Netflix’s Fuller House is back with the second half of season 3 — and we’ve recapped all nine of the new episodes. Read on for the best (and worst!) parts, the funniest lines, and each half hour’s nostalgia score. (And need a refresher on the first half of the season? Check it out here.)
Episode 10: “My Best Friend’s Japanese Wedding”
What happens: We begin right where we left off — the Fuller House gang has just landed in Japan for Steve’s wedding, with plenty unresolved. (And hey, cool detail: The theme song’s in Japanese!) As they all get accustomed to the pace of Tokyo — navigating the new technologies, crossing the crazy-busy streets — Steve prepares for marrying C.J. by meeting her family, Max tries out a “committed relationship” with Rose by going to Hello Kitty Land with her (and Fernando), and Kimmy Gibbler tries to prove herself as a wedding planner extraordinaire. (Oh, and Ramona falls in love with a Japanese pop star.)
But of course the biggest piece of business is the cliffhanger we were left on, in which D.J. — who due to an unfortunate turn of events winds up as C.J.’s wedding planner — accidentally confessed her true feelings for Steve…to Steve. Both go on like it didn’t happen, with Steve having witnessed Matt propose to her and D.J. left stumped as to why he didn’t say anything in response to her inadvertent confession on the plane. But by the time Steve and D.J. reach the altar, he can’t go through with marrying C.J., breaking up with his bride-to-be just before they make it official. (He pays a physical price.) D.J. then follows suit, breaking things off with Matt when he tries to steal the spotlight and hastily get married. This leaves Steve and D.J. with only each other — and before they leave Japan, they leave open the possibility of giving their relationship another go.
The best part: Kimmy Gibbler planning the heck out of this wedding, donning a headset with expert code language for good measure. I’m morbidly curious as to what that imported Hong Kong sushi she ordered tastes like.
The worst part: The episode’s depiction of Japanese culture veers from exceedingly broad if well-intentioned to, well, exceedingly stereotypical.
The best lines: “Twenty-five years ago, and he’s still milking the same cow. How rude” —Stephanie, when the gang sees Jesse on a huge Japanese billboard, cashing in on fame from a one-hit wonder he had decades ago. (Erm, sound familiar?)
“You’re a veterinarian: Give him the fish heimlich!” —Steve to D.J., when his wedding ring is swallowed by a fish.
“I think I can fix this, and even if I can’t, don’t worry! No one looks at the bride and the dress! Or is it everyone?” —Kimmy to C.J., when the latter’s wedding dress is eaten by a smart toilet.
Nostalgia score: 3/10. The Stamos crack is plenty funny — and the actor does make a brief cameo — but otherwise it’s all about moving the current plot forward.
Episode grade: B+
Episode 11: “Troller Coaster”
What happens: Everyone’s back home and suffering from some terrible jet lag. Stephanie, at first, is the only one up at 3 a.m., but soon she’s joined by Kimmy, D.J., and even Fernando. They get back into the swing of things the next day. Ramona learns she got into the San Francisco School of the Performing Arts, an achievement that thrills her parents but intimidates her after Cara, her student mentor, scares her out of going. Stephanie is working on having a baby, which means Kimmy has to help her with hormone shots (and which leads to some erratic behavior). Max, meanwhile, learns he’s finally tall enough to ride the “Troller Coaster,” and is joined by Jackson and D.J. for the milestone. At the ride, D.J. runs into Steve, whom she hasn’t spoken to since Japan, and they take the intense coaster together. Later, Steve shows up at the house for them to have their long-awaited talk. He and D.J agree to give it a month before they give romance another go — but before he leaves for their hiatus, he leaves her with a passionate kiss.
The best part: D.J. and Steve finally having their talk. Regardless on your feelings of them as a couple at this stage, it’s a sweet reunion.
The worst part: Ramona’s school story line only gets a handful of scenes and is resolved too quickly to make much sense.
The best lines: “My body is still on Tokyo time. So it’s 7 p.m. in the future. What am I in the mood for tomorrow night?” —Fernando, browsing the fridge at 3 a.m.
“I’ll stick you in the butt!” —Kimmy to Stephanie, no context needed
Nostalgia score: 2/10. I suppose you could count the Steve/D.J. rekindled romance as something for the old fans?
Episode grade: B
Episode 12: “Fast Times at Bayview High”
What happens: Roberta and Jackson are off to their first day in high school, and they’re both excited, as are D.J. and Kimmy. Now that Lola is moving, Jackson offers Roberta the opportunity to hang out with him and Mankowski, but Roberta is trying out for the dance team, so she thinks she won’t need their company.
Once inside the high school things don’t go as planned for Jackson or Ramona. Jackson slips on a slice of bologna and gets dubbed “bologna boy.” As for Ramona, her excitement gets the best of her, and she offends the dance team captain, Chad Brad Bradley, when she calls his moves “straight out of the ’90s.” Ramona is the first and only one cut from the dance team.
Over at the veterinary clinic, D.J. gets two special visits: The first is from Matt, who spent some time in Bora Bora and now has a golden tan, and the second is from Kathy, an alligator pet. D.J. and Matt get trapped in a room with Kathy and are forced to face their feelings for each other. The two ex-lovers come to a friendly and hilarious understanding and realize they still both care for each other.
Back at the high school Max and Kimmy have devised a plan to help Ramona make friends and land a spot in the dance team. Ramona is put on the spotlight after Kimmy, impersonating a hip-hop dancer, confronts Chad Brad Bradley and it all culminates in an epic dance battle.
The best part: Jimmy vows to be Steph’s baby daddy until “never do us part.” Jimmy gets on one knee and gives a super cute speech, telling Steph he vows “to diaper and to swaddle, to burp and to bathe, to tickle and tuck in.” The moment is perfectly accentuated with the sweetest “aww” you’ll ever hear from a baby, thanks to Tommy Fuller.
The worst part: When Jackson says, “Oh this is awesome, I’m fake news,” after Rocki spreads a fake rumor about him being the best kisser around.
The best lines:
Kimmy: “Are you wearing my good luck charm?”
Fernando: “Yes, it is riding up my butt.”
“No, choreog. The -og makes it cooler” — Chad Brad Bradley explaining his abbreviation to Ramona during tryouts
D.J.: “I won’t drop you!”
Matt: “Well you dropped me in Japan.”
“I don’t remember you ordering but you just got served” — Kimmy dissing Chad Brad Bradley after he stumbles on a dance move
Nostalgia score: 5/10. Both D.J. and Kimmy had rough first-day-of-school experiences in Full House and this episode is a throwback to the difficulties of fitting in and the need to feel accepted by new classmates — all while staying true to who you are.
Episode grade: B–
(Episodes 13-15 on page 2)
Episode 13: “A Tommy Tale”
What Happens: D.J. is trying really hard to secure Tommy a spot in the Center for Discovery, the “most prestigious preschool in the Bay Area.” As she goes over colors and shapes with Tommy, she also asks Steph to stay out of the way so she can make a good impression. Meanwhile, Max is more than ready to impress his classroom with his presentation on the Romans – which he’s prepared for with a toga and sassy remarks. Unfortunately, he gets sick and D.J. makes him stay home. Max, being the good schoolboy he is, tries to escape, successfully fooling “cool aunt” Steph. At the same time, Ramona and Jackson, dressed as pioneers, get lost on their way to school. As part of their school project, they are not allowed to use tech devices for a whole day and are forced to unplug from social media.
Back at the house, Tommy is doing his best to sabotage D.J.’s attempt to impress Emily, the woman from the Center for Discovery. Things go from bad to worse, and D.J. has a small confrontation Emily, who tells her that Tommy might have a speech problem. Steph makes D.J. see that Tommy is actually a little behind for his age, and D.J. decides to send Emily a batch of her “homemade” lemon squares (they’re from Trader Joe’s) and get Tommy some help, to which he responds with a nostalgic classic: “You got it, dude.”
The best part: Tommy Fuller embodies the spirit of Michelle Tanner and delivers the iconic “You got it dude!” complete with a thumbs up. I’m not crying; you’re crying.
The worst part: Kimmy has a panic attack after going a whole day unplugged from her phone and other tech gadgets. We get it — we live in a tech world.
The best lines:
“This school takes a very close look at the child’s family, so I need everything to be perfect. So could you stay in the basement?” — D.J. to Steph as she tries to clean up her crumbs
“Morning plebeians. That’s what the Romans called the lower class” – Max greeting D.J. and Steph before heading to school
“What are we supposed to do in class without our phones? Pay attention?” — Jackson after Jimmy takes away all of his and Ramona’s tech gadgets
Emily: “Please relax. Treat me like a friend — a friend who comes into your home and judges you and your child.”
D.J.: “Sounds like all my friends at Mommy & Me.”
Jackson: “Ramona was dancing in the streets and some strangers gave her money.”
Ramona: “Now I know how I’ll pay for college.”
D.J.:“Do you ever stop smiling?”
Emily: “Oh no, I don’t let my big feelings out. Until I go home and I scream into my pillow, but I’m not home yet!”
Nostalgia score: 10/10. From D.J.’s “Oh, Mylanta” to the constant focus on Tommy and his amazing comedic suaveness, the episode is packed with nostalgic moments. Plus, Tommy’s Michelle Tanner moment, along with D.J.’s response (“Where have I heard that?”), turns this episode into the perfect throwback.
Episode grade: A
Episode 14: “Surrogate City”
What happens: Jackson is going through some teenage growing pains, trying out a “Goth” phase with ripped jeans and dyed blue hair and an attitude to match. D.J. suspects it’s because he’s crushing on purple-haired Rocki, and though it takes him moving into the backyard and sitting out a rainstorm for him to admit it, she’s right. The next morning, Jackson is back to normal and finally stands up to Rocki, championing his “good guy” ways, which she responds positively to. Stephanie and Jimmy hunt for surrogates in their quest to find a baby, but find only unsuitable options until Kimmy steps in and offers to do it. Ramona works on a family tree project, which leads her to discover that her parents have French and Jewish roots.
The best part: The show and its original counterpart have always excelled in poignant family moments when characters learn lessons about the importance of family, friendship, and more. This episode has two: when D.J. finally confronts Jackson about his crush on Rocki, he admits they’ve kissed, and mother and son share a sweet moment that harkens back to the best father-daughter moments on Full House. When Kimmy tells Stephanie she wants to be the surrogate for her and her brother (a bit odd, but still), it’s one of the most genuinely touching moments on the show, which has both Stephanie and the audience declaring, “I love you Kimmy Gibbler.”
The worst part: When Kimmy and Fernando learn of their French and Jewish roots, respectively, they go whole hog with cultural stereotypes, from dressing in a beret to a bad French accent to mime to dancing and singing “Hava Nagila” to sprinkling in Yiddish phrases. It’s cringe-worthy at best, culturally insensitive at worst. Honorable mention to Jackson repeatedly mentioning his “McNuggets” — that is a mental image we did not need.
The best lines:
D.J.: “Are those your back-to-school jeans?”
Jackson: “I ripped them up and now they’re my back-to-cool jeans.”
“You’re 15 years old. Why are you having a mid-life crisis?”—Max questioning Jackson’s new life choices
“You guys are so white bread, you’re eating white bread” — Rocki making an astute observation about the Tanner family (and Full House as an entity)
D.J. on Rocki’s rocker look and eyeliner: “Right now, she looks like Marilyn Manson.”
Jackson: “Is she pretty?”
“Did someone order womb service?”—Kimmy offering to be Stephanie’s surrogate
Nostalgia score: 2/10 – no catchphrases to be found here. Gia does make a brief return and returns to her “bad girl” ways while briefly offering to be Stephanie’s surrogate. D.J. references the Full House pilot when Jackson moves into the backyard, remembering the time she moved into the garage to avoid sharing a room with Stephanie.
Episode grade: B+
—Maureen Lee Lenker
Episode 15: “Soul Sisters”
What happens: Kimmy and Stephanie decide to spend a day together to bond before going through with the surrogacy. D.J. dubs it “Super Surrogate Soul Sister Saturday” before going off to enjoy her own day of relaxation known as “D.J.’s Day of Doing Diddly.” Kimmy and Stephanie share hot tub time, go shopping, and get to know each other better through talking while linked via a “spiritual umbilical cord” (a rope). Max accidentally breaks the Ancient Mariner statue in the living room with a basketball and Ramona and Jackson attempt to glue it back together unsuccessfully. Fernando buys and assembles a big-boy bed for Tommy. D.J.’s “day of diddly” is interrupted by Taylor’s dad Larry and one of Jackson’s teenage friends both trying to court her now that her relationship status on Facebook reads “it’s complicated.” Steve shows up and sends them packing, but not before he’s interrupted by Matt — who forgives Steve and D.J. but also tells D.J. he’s going to open up a new pet care practice two doors down from her instead of going back to work.
The best part: Steve brings D.J. a dozen red roses to symbolize the 12 days left before they can go on a real date out of respect to Matt and his recent breakup with D.J. For all Full House fans, Steve and D.J. have always been the No. 1 pairing of the show.
The worst part: Fernando immediately feels nauseous and has intense cravings the second he finds out Kimmy is going to be Stephanie’s surrogate. It seems he has sympathy pains when Kimmy is pregnant…because nothing is more hilarious than mocking pregnant women and the hormonal changes their bodies undergo. Honorable mention to all the gross one-liners Larry tries to use on D.J.
The best lines:
Jackson (observing Ramona’s Play-Doh replacement nose for the Ancient Mariner statue): “Not to be critical, but the nose looks a little narrow.”
Ramona: “I was modeling it after the nose that Alison Silverstein got for her sweet 16.”
Kimmy (explaining where she picked up the spiritual umbilical cord tradition): “I learned it at Burning Man.”
Stephanie: “You went to Burning Man?”
Kimmy: “Yeah, I went to the very first one back when he was just Burning Boy.”
Kimmy: “What was your favorite memory of me?”
Stephanie: “When you went away to college.”
Kimmy, ruining Stephanie’s catchphrase: “How crude.”
“Yeah that’s right, we’ve been complicated for 25 years” — Steve answering in the affirmative to the question as to whether he’s the one DJ is “it’s complicated” with
Nostalgia score: 7/10 – Any Steve-and-D.J. action always bumps up this score. Stephanie’s “How rude” gets its own little moment with Kimmy remembering it as “How crude.” Grandpa Danny gets referenced via the memory of the broken Ancient Mariner statue. And the episode ends with D.J., Kimmy, and Stephanie doing a three-way playground “Miss Susie” rhyme.
Episode grade: B+
—Maureen Lee Lenker
(Episodes 16-18 on page 3)
Episode 16: “Happily Ever After”
What happens: It’s party-planning time for the women of Fuller House: Steph, D.J., and Kimmy are tasked with planning a young diva’s birthday bash, while Ramona is busy prepping her school’s homecoming dance. This is a challenge in both situations. The aforementioned young diva, Dakota, insists that her party planners wear elaborate fairy godmother costumes for her party, so the three comply for fear of a potentially never-ending screaming fit from their new client. They end up embracing their new looks, covering their faces in glitter and piling candy-colored wigs on top of their heads. Their temporary new identities will come in handy later, because…
Ramona needs some help. Her homecoming dance is a bust: No one wants to dance, and when Chad reveals his parents are out of town and so he’s having the real party at his house, everyone — even Jackson, who should really be Ramona’s ally as her kind-of brother — ditches. Chad even goes so far as to tell Ramona she shouldn’t come to school Monday because that’s how lame the dance is. Hey, Chad, I hope you get grounded forever.
With that, Ramona has no choice but to go home, defeated. She accidentally knocks over a glass of water as soon as she arrives, so Stephanie, D.J., and Kimmy find her on the floor, mopping up the mess. Still wearing their get-ups, the fairy godmothers get to work on Operation Fix Ramona’s Night: They merge the homecoming dance with Dakota’s party, rent a dancing pony, and gather a hip live band (which we’ll get to later). They also call the cops on Chad, and his party is soon shut down, sending all the students back to the previously “lame” dance. Now they’re back and having the times of their lives — and Chad even tells Ramona she won’t need to hide her face at school next week. How sweet! Just kidding, Chad still sucks. But at least he kind of apologized to Ramona?
This is all heartwarming and great, and then it gets even better when Steve shows up to the dance, rips D.J. away from what she’s doing, and kisses her because it’s midnight! They can finally date now after days spent counting down on a really cute homemade calendar Steve made for her! Fairy tales are real!
The best part: About halfway through the episode, Fernando and little Tommy don race-car driver costumes for some adorable playtime that involves Cosmo the dog also wearing a costume of his own. This scene has literally nothing to do with the rest of the episode, but it’s cute enough that it doesn’t matter.
The worst part: Dakota is my new enemy. This is not a dig at the show; this is a dig at Dakota, who is somehow worse than even the rudest teenager on MTV’s My Super Sweet Sixteen. She calls her mom her driver! Sit down, Dakota!
The best lines: “Rockin’ DJ? Check. Sweet decorations? Check. Awesome dress on hold? Mom, I need a check.” —Ramona
“Usually getting pregnant is a lot more fun.” —Kimmy as she lies on the floor after getting Stephanie’s embryos implanted
Nostalgia score: 7/10. There’s a GIRL TALK REUNION! As in, Steph and Gia’s band that did that iconic cover of “I Saw the Sign” back in the day, not the real-life famous DJ. Plus, Stephanie squeaks out a “how rude,” because this franchise is never going to give up on its catchphrases. (“Have mercy!” —Jeff Franklin to me.)
Episode grade: B+
Episode 17: “Fullers in a Fog”
What happens: It’s a big day for the Tanners. Danny, Jesse, and Joey are coming home to celebrate their 30-year dadiversary (which Rebecca correctly points out is not a thing), and that same night, D.J. is going on her first — well, third first — date with Steve. But Stephanie has a bad feeling about the day — more specifically, she had an ominous dream about things going wrong, a nightmare that included Kimmy realizing she’s not actually pregnant.
At first, D.J. comforts her sister, telling her that even if something does go wrong, it’ll be solved in 30 minutes or less like it always is. And for a little bit, it seems like maybe Stephanie’s dream was just that: a dream. Then Steve shows up at the house for the date and reveals that the fog is so bad that they can’t even drive to the restaurant. That’s when the older generation steps in, offering to turn the living room into a nice date spot for the two reuniting lovebirds. So they put up twinkly lights and wear fancy clothes and change up their voices in order to create an Experience. It’s silly and sweet, though getting served fish sticks over Kraft macaroni and cheese from your goofy uncle is the opposite of romantic. Still: not as terrible as Stephanie had been predicting.
After the “date” ends is when things actually turn sour though. First, Danny and Rebecca discover that their station didn’t approve their request for raises and is replacing them with Mario Lopez. Then Joey finds out that his wife got a gig on a cruise and so will be away for six months. Then Steve tells D.J. he recently found out that there’s a foot specialist gig for the L.A. Lakers opening up, meaning that he’s probably about to move six hours south right as they were starting to get their groove back. Then…well, there’s more bad news, but none as consequential as any of the previous developments — until Kimmy tells everyone but Stephanie that she doesn’t think she’s pregnant. At least she thinks she’s telling everyone but Stephanie: Turns out Steph was behind her the whole time, and now she’s as down as she was worried she would be at the beginning of the episode. For once, these are some problems that aren’t solved by the end of the 30 minutes.
The best part: Everyone’s scandalized reactions to D.J. calling the night a “turdcake.”
The worst part: “This is a weird dance party,” a visibly disturbed Stephanie says when she goes outside to find Fernando and Jesse having a dance-off of sorts. Same, Steph, same.
The best lines: “Well, I’m wearing the same outfit. They got bigger sizes.” —Uncle Jesse commenting on how his, Joey, and Danny’s looks haven’t changed since the ‘80s
Ramona: “I need some advice about my love life.”
Jackson: “Get. A. Cat.”
“Mario Lopez? We’re being replaced by a human dimple?” —Rebecca
“Ours is forbidden love, just like Bert and Ernie.” —Max
Nostalgia score: This one gets a 10/10 for the first few minutes alone, which are dedicated to flashing back to and then recreating Uncle Jesse and Uncle Joey’s memorable entrances from 30 years ago.
Episode grade: B
Episode 18: “Here Comes the Sun”
What happens: When Fernando makes Danny, Joey, and Jesse feel inadequate in the wake of their recent setbacks, the guys decide to take control of their lives. Danny and Becky ask for their jobs back on Wake Up, San Francisco, but the station is only interested in Becky; they want her to co-host a new women’s talk show called The Gab. Ah, progress.
But the more things change, the more they stay the same, especially on this show. Jesse and Joey take a leap and buy back the Smash Club (now a laundromat), which means they — along with Becky, Pamela, and Joey’s terrible kids — are moving back to San Francisco. Not to be outdone, Danny declares that he’ll be moving back, too. He threatens to move into the old house, which should give Stephanie and D.J. extra motivation to encourage him to rekindle his romance with Vicky. Yes, the woman Danny nearly married all those years ago stops by to say hello and lovingly rake Danny’s life choices over the coals.
The uncles decide to break in the Smash Club with their 30-year dadiversary party, which must now be ’80s themed for reasons. (Does this house have a hidden costume closet?) The party is a romantic night across the board: Rose shows up for Max, Jackson and Rocki define their relationship as “friends who make out once in a while,” and D.J. realizes she doesn’t want Steve to turn down the Lakers’ job offer after all — in fact, she’s already called and accepted for him. And of course, Jesse reunites with the Rippers. Looks like they’re not dead after all, Danny.
After Jesse and the Rippers rock out to noted rock classic “What I Like About You,” Steph and D.J. take the mic to thank their uncles for becoming their second dads 30 years ago today. Steph sings her own song (Athena Andreadis’ “You Bring Me Luck”), which turns out to be the perfect segue for Kimmy, who unzips her jacket to reveal a sign: “Your baby on board.” She’s pregnant with Stephanie’s baby! And, uh, her brother’s.
The best part: The Rippers loitering in the corner of a closed-down laundromat, not bothering to act in the least, is the best and most self-aware cameo this show has seen since Macy Gray shouted, “What am I doing here? I won a Grammy!”
Also, a group of adults jumping around a kitchen cheering, “Most of us have jobs!” is a sure sign that Fuller House knows what it’s like out there in 2017.
The worst part: We’re forcibly reminded that Steve’s career takes him thiiiis close to a creepy foot obsession when D.J. and Los Angeles Laker Lonzo Ball compete to win him over by comparing feet, which also means we all have to look at their feet.
The best lines:
Steve: “Wait, how did you find me anyway?”
“I wonder who else we can track down. Wonder what Urkel’s up to.” — D.J.
“You guys are still naming your parties?” — Vicky, queen of shade
Danny: “FYI, it’s ’80s themed.”
Vicky: “Just like your furniture.”
D.J.: “What’s with all the screaming?”
Jesse: “Most of us have jobs!”
Nostalgia score: 30/10. Have mercy! What this episode lacked in catchphrases, it made up for with hairspray, ’80s duds, Rippers, Vicky (!), the Smash Club, Danny cleaning the kitchen with a serene look on his face, and, mostly, the original Dad Trio, back together and back in the Bay Area. This is pretty much the closest Fuller House is likely to come to a Full House reunion this side of the Olsen twins. Twenty bonus points for the Urkel reference.
Episode grade: A–