Posted by: billysuperstar | April 8, 2011

Season 3, Episode 11, “Aftershocks”

Pre-Credits Gag:  Jesse and Joey practice a blues medley and then the baby comes in and demands that they play the teapot song.  The Uncles comply and perform a  blues rendition that Michelle does a little dance to.  And there you have it, a new low.  This show really does get so much worse when the baby starts talking.  Watching this series all the way through is like journeying through the seven circles of hell, and this scene is clearly the entryway into a deeper, darker, more maggot-infested pit of horror.

One thing that’s been coming up a lot in the comments that I’ve really appreciated are these sort of suppressed memories about the episodes that we’re experiencing as they’re described (or in my case, viewed).  Usually people only remember certain moments of an episode that affected them a certain way, like the scene a few episodes back when Uncle Jesse rode his motorcycle on the roof, which both I and my beloved commenter, Carrick, held as our lone memory from that episode (how we managed to forget dreamy Scott Baio is beyond me… ).  Maybe it’s because the film quality was a little different and it was in a seldom-seen, outdoor location?  Or maybe it was just so spectacularly awful that it managed to burrow a little hole into our subconscious forever?  My favorite memory moment I’ve experienced while trudging through this series is how my brain merged the episodes where DJ and Stephanie were handcuffed together with the episode where they steal a shirt, so in my memory they were twisting their shirts to hide being handcuffed together instead of hiding the tags (which doesn’t even make sense).  This is all a bit long-winded, but what I’m getting at is that Full House seems to hold a place in our collective memories for its stingingly awful approach to everything.  Usually these memories are of single moments or sequences, as the bland hue of their surrounding storylines provided only a hazy, sticky doo doo smear in our recollections.  But some whole episodes were so fucking awful that they didn’t even provide us the courtesy of surrounding the pointy awfulness with the hazy bland doo doo and so the whole 22 minutes just stabbed us in the brain and scarred our memories forever.  A commenter had that experience with the previous episode, which I had either never seen or was so traumatized by the combination of Joey and Danny dressed as clowns and Jesse revisiting the sentiment of his Christmas speech that I blocked it from my memory altogether.  But this episode, this fucking shitty episode that we are about to experience, in which Full House tries to be topical and values shallow, contrived drama over gratingly obnoxious comedy?  I remember all of it.

Kimmy Gibbler’s been staying at the full house for a while because her own house has been undergoing repairs after the big San Francisco earthquake.  Instead of being grateful for the opportunity to share screen time with the only tolerable character on this whole show, the Uncles treat her like shit.  DJ comes down to model the Mrs. Claus costume she’ll be wearing for the school play and Stephanie points out a fat ass zit on her nose.  The uncles try to console her, saying that zits are just a part of life, but DJ has a big tantrum and runs off.
That night, Stephanie wakes up and expresses anxiety about the possibility of another earthquake.  DJ and Kimmy Gibbler tell her to shut the fuck up and go back to sleep so she goes into Michelle’s room and bothers her instead.  Stephanie convinces the baby to go with her to sleep in Danny’s room and when they get there, Stephanie claims that the whole operation was the baby’s idea.  Danny tells Stephanie that this pattern of getting into his bed at night has to stop but allows it one last time.

In the morning, DJ expresses further anxiety about her disgusting facial blemish while Stephanie relentlessly clings to Danny.  Stephanie even goes so far as to try to convince Danny to let her hang out with him all day instead of going to school but Danny doesn’t let her.  The uncles observe that Stephanie is being a desperate weirdo but Danny thinks it’s just because he’s such an awesome dad.

In the very next scene Stephanie is freaking out because Danny’s late getting home.  Joey tries to console her with an annoying impression of the elves from The Wizard of Oz but, really, what’s that gonna do to help?  Danny conveniently arrives at that moment and Stephanie vehemently adheres herself to him.  He tells her that he has to go to a dinner meeting and she totally flips her shit, so much so that he has to cancel his meeting and finds himself being frantically clutched while he just sits there and stares at the uncles like, “what the fuck am I gonna do about this crazy bitch?”

Having successfully manipulated Danny into being her emotional captive, Stephanie remorselessly forces him to appease her with a game of Barrel of Monkeys.  Eventually Danny tactfully approaches the subject of her being a needy succubus but Stephanie swiftly dodges the issue.
DJ comes home to find the uncles chillin’ in the kitchen and reports that her zit ended up not being a problem.  She went into the bathroom at school and found a bunch of other girls checking out their own zits and made the witty remark, “anyone want to play connect the dots?”  Why those girls didn’t all beat the shit out of her is beyond me, but DJ’s obnoxious remark won her peers over instead, thus proving that being a big pushy attention-starved stain on humanity is the best approach to every situation.  Shooba-doo-bop-badow.
Danny asks the uncles for help about what to do about Stephanie being all fucked up and Joey suggests she see a therapist.  Danny gets all defensive but the uncles apply gentle love to help him understand that seeing a therapist could be the best thing for Stephanie.

Danny takes Stephanie to her new therapist’s child-friendly, non-threatening office.  The therapist asks Stephanie to draw a picture of her family while she has a talk with Danny.  Danny begins to compulsively clean her desk and when she calls this into question he confesses that when he was a kid he fantasized about being a maid.  Wait, what!??!  Maybe this therapy storyline is gonna pay off after all…

Naturally, the second something remotely interesting happens the scene is interrupted, as Stephanie has finished her drawing.  So the therapist discusses the drawing with her and notes that Stephanie has drawn all of her annoying family members inside of her house with her but there’s a big crack in the ceiling and Danny is outside.  And so it is revealed that Danny was late getting home after the earthquake and now Stephanie feels the need to know where he is at all times.  Dang, that therapist sure cracked that nut pretty quick.  She then helps Stephanie write a list of things that will help her not to worry, and that’s it.  After that there’s just a brief scene of the family putting Stephanie to bed with the understanding that everything is now fine.  There’s no allusion to further therapy, and no hint whatsoever of there being anything else that needs to be dealt with.   For reals?  It’s amazing to me how this episode manages to endorse therapy (in the scene where the uncles convince Danny to swallow his parental pride and seek some outside help) and completely trivialize it (Stephanie was in therapy for exactly 4 minutes) in one fell swoop.  What’s really frustrating is having witnessed dozens of episodes chronicling how fucking bad all of these people need serious psychological help.  As long as Stephanie was there, you think they might have addressed her constant desperate need for attention or her total disregard for others.  Or why couldn’t they send Joey to therapy, just for being the way he is?  What a wasted opportunity.  But the good news is that if any of you are having issues you can’t handle, you can just make a single appointment with a therapist, where you’ll spend 4 minutes drawing a picture and writing a list before all of your problems are solved.  I think I’ll go this week and I’ll draw a picture of myself having this episode burned into my memory and I’ll make a list of reasons why I keep writing this shitty blog.

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Responses

  1. Usually people only remember certain moments of an episode that affected them a certain way

    This is one of those episodes for me. I totally remember the whole “Stephanie freaking out” plot, but completely forgot it was related to the earthquake, as well as the whole DJ/zit subplot.

    Has there ever been an episode of a sitcom set in California that didn’t do an eathquake episode at some point? Frankly, I’m impressed this show managed to do one while avoiding the “trapped by the earthquake with a pregnant woman…whose water just broke!” plot. Plus, this episode manages to hit ANOTHER sitcom cliche by working in the zit storyline. It’s cliche-errific!

    The uncles observe that Stephanie is being a desperate weirdo but Danny thinks it’s just because he’s such an awesome dad.

    Of course he does…

    Dang, that therapist sure cracked that nut pretty quick.

    Seriously. And judging by the picture, it doesn’t seem like Stephanie’s issues were buried very deep. Strikes me that the therapist (or, you know, one of her guardians) could have just asked her why she was freaking out. I don’t think it wouldn’t have taken much time to get to “I’m scared because Dad came home late because of he earthquake”.

    But the good news is that if any of you are having issues you can’t handle, you can just make a single appointment with a therapist, where you’ll spend 4 minutes drawing a picture and writing a list before all of your problems are solved.

    Whew! Sign me up!

  2. Wasn’t one of the “solutions” to call and see if the garbage truck can come at a different time so S wouldn’t freak out thinking it was an earthquake in the morning? Yes, I’m sure the garbage service in a major city will bend to your stupid whims, Tanners.

  3. I’m your beloved commenter?! *swoon!* 😀

    OMG the part where Danny announces that he used to fantasize about being a maid…. Wow, now that was a missed opportunity. It’s like the show suddenly swerved into Arrested Development territory for a split second there. Did the therapist not address this at all?! I would have put him on the couch, stat.

    I don’t remember this episode at all. But I surely will during some past-life regression therapy.

  4. There is only one scene from Full House that is burned into my memory. Stephanie is in bed and she asks Danny to get her a glass of water, he comes back with it and she takes a drink. She tells him that this is bathroom water and she wanted kitchen water. I think about that all the time. HOW DID SHE KNOW?

    • i havent gotten to that yet. ill be sure to point it out when i do.

    • At my parents’ house, the water in the bathroom really DOES taste different than the kitchen sink water. If the water was filtered in the kitchen or if it was in a pitcher in the fridge, it will taste less….chlorine-y. Is it weird that I felt the need to address this issue? As if all the other things in the Full House universe were TOTALLY normal and it is of grave importance that the water issue not cause Rachel to see this show as anything but a paragon of representing reality.

  5. The one thing I am waiting for is fo you to point out how bratty Michelle was in this show..
    1.She always ate with her hands(remember Uncle Jesse’s wedding cake samples?)
    2.She always got her way:in season 8 she steals that ticket from Steph and she didn’t even know the band;in season6 she cuts in line at Disney and becomes princess for a day instead of Steph
    3.She was bratty with her friends,she made them give her stuff and bossed Teddy around when he was her bf
    4.She bossed the twins around,treating them like servants
    5.Season 7 finale they all had the chance to have their own place but Michelle’s brattiness(don’t think the word actually exists but go with it lol) stops them because she doesn’t want anyone to move,she demands they all stay there,crowded.
    Please point everything out she has always driven me crazy!

    Also, if this isn’t a free wordpress blog you could add google ads and make some money after all you are working on these reviews,it’s what I’m doing with my GW site 🙂

    • Oh, come on, Roxy! One time, Michelle got in trouble for bringing the swimming pool into the kitchen. And then, there was the time that…. And once, she…. Yeah, I got nothing. Spoiled. Rotten.

  6. This is one of those random moments episodes for me. Really, all I remember about it is DJ’s Mrs. Claus costume.

    Why is this the 1st time that therapy is an option for these people? I understand that an earthquake can be a traumatizing incident for anyone- especially for a child- but how about the death of your mother? Really? NO ONE thought these kids would need help dealing with this? But then again, if it didn’t serve their own individual needs, I guess none of the adults in the Tanner family would have arrived at this conclusion…

    I’ve been thinking about your upcoming horrific moment in the series (maybe you’ve already mentioned it in an entry I haven’t reached yet), but is it when Danny Tanner tries to be all badass and sings “My Generation”? That’s the moment I always wanted to poke my eyes out…

    • that’s a fine guess but it is not my pick for “worst scene ever.” i still havent reached it but it’s coming…

      • i wish people would stop trying to guess. it’ll ruin the surprise.

  7. Oh yeah, I forgot to commend you on your use of “Shooba-do-bop-badow”. Strangely enough, years ago a couple of friends & I used to just throw that around in conversation.

  8. I had totally blanked out on D.J.’s Mrs. Clause outfit. I just remembered Steff clinging to Danny’s leg like a little sea monkey. And Danny going all bug eyed when his daughter didn’t want him to leave.

    I realize I’d have to go back and check each episode, but was Stephanie the go-to girl for all psychological issues? Middle child syndrome, PTSD, I’m kind of surprised there wasn’t an incident in a bike shop at some point.

  9. First time poster here. This blog has suddenly made me look forward to watching this lame show. It airs daily on the Family Channel at 9 AM EST and since you are several episodes ahead of their airings on your reviews, I am treated to your hilarious commentary while the lameness in broadcast into my home. Many thanks for the biting commentary this show so richly deserves! I hope you take on Saved By The Bell next. That program ruined many a child of the 80s/early 90s self-esteem thanks to the shitty way Zack treated anybody who wasn’t attractive or athletic.

    • Sorry, should have read “while the lameness is broadcast into my home”.

  10. I’m beginning to notice a trend with Jesse. There’s more to old Dr. Dare than terrible cover songs and fried chicken. He also possesses a massive and reprehensible collection of cowboy boots.


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