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Sunday, April 7, 2013

100 Episodes I Love: #4. "Pal Joey" (Full House) (Season 2, Episode 15)


You guys, I think I may have just seen the most bonkers episode of Full House ever.  I don't know if I "loved" it, because, I mean, can anyone ever really say they've "loved" an episode of Full House?  I did have a strong reaction to it which was akin to love, but also to shock.  Maybe I should go ahead and just tell you about it.  That's typically what we do here at 100 Episodes I Love.  No reason to stop now.

In "Pal Joey," Jesse Katsopolis and Joey Gladstone have not only started working for an ad agency from their home (AKA Danny Tanner's home, AKA Joey's basement apartment in Danny Tanner's home) (for details, see Season 2, Episode 13 "Working Mothers"), but they've become closer friends.  This budding friendship threatens Danny, who makes a Saturday basketball date with Joey in order to fix what isn't in any way broken.  More on that following the synopsis.

Meanwhile, middle Tanner child, Stephanie, loses her boyfriend, Harry, to oldest Tanner child, DJ, after DJ teaches Harry how to subtract.  So, there's that.

On Saturday, Jesse interrupts Danny and Joey's weird one-on-one basketball game to invite Joey to an ad agency party, which angers Danny who pouts, takes his ball and leaves.  Joey and Jesse go to the party because a) it is important for work and b) they are adults with jobs and obligations.

When Jesse and Joey return from the party, Danny picks a fight with Joey, who is appropriately flabbergasted, and announces that they are no longer friends and that he is going to dig up some friendship capsule they buried at the elementary school where they first met in 1968.  We are treated to a flashback of this meeting, which I promise to get to in the post synopsis reflection portion of this post.

Back on the love triangle front, Uncle Jesse helps get Harry and Stephanie back together.  Problem solved.  

Danny and Joey dig up their prized childhood possessions (Danny's is a San Francisco Giants baseball cap; Joey's a book of insults) and realize they are being idiots.  They invite Jesse to become their "soul brother for life" (their words, man, not mine) and force him to bury his hair dryer.

OK.  So, that doesn't sound so weird, does it?  Well, it is.  Trust me.  Let's do this in list form.  Everybody likes a list.

1. The first scene in Joey's basement is batshit crazy.  Dave Coulier does a shitty Pee Wee Herman impression that repeatedly cracks John Stamos up; Michelle keeps answering the telephone to the idiotic delight of the studio audience; and every time anybody says the word "office," Coulier and Stamos throw their arms around each other and 'scream real loud, with Michelle joining in at the end, adding a horrifying mouth stretch and an extended tongue to the mix.  The scene is played fast and loose and threatens to careen off the tracks at any second.  There is an impressive bit of tongue-twistery wordplay when Jesse discusses "chocolate nutty chunk cookies" or whatever the shit with his boss, which the audience responds to with maniac glee.  "That had to be, like, the seventeenth take," I said to my wife, who I believe was asleep.  "That audience is relieved."

2. Danny's conduct is deplorable in "Pal Joey," and this makes the episode very offputting.  I'm assuming it was on purpose, but Danny's jealousy is really weird.  I mean, the fact that Danny does not seem to have any friends aside from Jesse and Joey, nor has made any since fifth grade, is strange.  And I don't want to turn this post into a series of "Danny totally wants to pork Joey" jokes, but, I think Danny totally wants to pork Joey.

3. Harry repeatedly refers to Stephanie as "Chief."  If it was explained, I missed it.  It was cute.  And weirder than shit!

4. After Harry breaks her heart, Stephanie moves out of the room she shares with DJ, and moves Michelle in.  HOW IN THE HELL IS THIS POSSIBLE?  Stephanie has somehow moved her bed out of the room and Michelle's crib into it without any assistance.  Michelle reveals that she doesn't even know how she got into DJ's room.  Weird.

5.  The flashback to Danny and Joey's meet cute is very telling.  Danny has apparently always been obsessed with cleanliness and being friendless, Joey has always had his "Cut. It. Out" thing, and Jesse (yep, Lil Jesse appears in the clip, chasing girls and growling "Have mercy" at a pretty teacher) has always been a ladies man of sorts.

6. Why is Joey Gladstone so obsessed with the state of Michigan?

There isn't really anything special about "Pal Joey" (well, there is one very funny moment, but I'll get to that in a second), but it's consistent weirdness makes it an episode worth checking out.

Moments I Love

An African-American student witnesses Lil Danny and Lil Joey performing their "soul brothers" handshake and shakes his head.
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I don't know if I described it well enough, but that basement scene is off-the-rails nuts.
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Harry: Hi, Stephanie. (To DJ)  Hi, Honey.


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