Pre-Credits Gag: Hey, the pre-credits gag is back! Can anyone tell me why they don’t always have them anymore? I’m stumped. Anyway, this one opens with DJ looking sad while staring at the phone because she’s waiting for some boy to call. Although that’s funny enough all on its own, Michelle soon enters the scene and asks DJ why she’s just sitting there, looking desperate. DJ explains that she’s waiting for a boy to call but she’s tired of hanging around by the phone and then the minute she gets up the phone rings and Michelle answers it. Naturally, Michelle tells the boy that he’s a shithead and hangs up on him, salting DJ’s game. Poor DJ, she’s never gonna get any ass. Never.
Stephanie’s teacher thinks that she might have a chance at a career in professional dance for some reason but Danny isn’t sure if she should pursue it so Stephanie decides to constantly nag him until he changes his mind. Danny warns her that it’ll be an awful lot of hard work and that she’s never been exposed to anyone with any sort of a work ethic because she grew up in the full house but Stephanie is pretty fucking determined to keep harassing him until he caves in. Danny starts reminiscing about his youthful dream of being a high-jump champion and Stephanie uses this unrequited passion to successfully manipulate him into allowing her to take the lessons.
Everyone tells Becky that there’s no way that she’ll be able to convince Jesse to attend her baby shower but she protests that it’s the 90’s and men are way cooler about that kind of shit now. Remember when everyone used to always say “it’s the 90’s”? I wish I didn’t. After everyone reminds her that Jesse’s like the shittiest husband in the world and he won’t even get a job to support his unborn children much less attend an event that’s important to his wife, Becky decides to construct an elaborate lie about it just being a regular party by inviting a bunch of Jesse’s friends. Everyone agrees to keep it a secret but just then Jesse enters the scene and gets all suspicious. Becky tells him that she’s organizing a party for them as a last hurrah before they become parents and then when Jesse offers to help organize it she says, “I’ll take care of everything and all you have to do is show up,” which pretty much defines their entire relationship.
Jesse, ever wiling to disregard his wife’s wishes, decides to bribe Michelle with ice cream so he can find out what the big secret behind the party is. This sequence goes on for several minutes because apparently an ugly child’s desire for sugary treats is comedy gold. Eventually Michelle, equally willing to disregard the wishes of others for her own personal gain, tells Jesse about the baby shower so she can disgust the audience by gorging on ice cream.
DJ invites Stephanie to help with decorations for the baby shower which leads to an exchange of expository dialogue about how all of Stephanie’s time has been taken up by her dance lessons lately. I guess that’s much more efficient storytelling-wise than ever actually showing us these dance lessons. Even though the situation is made abundantly clear by the girls’ exchange, Stephanie proceeds to complain to Comet about how hard the dance lessons have been and then decides that she’s going to tell Danny that she wants to quit. It seems like these pity-parties that Stephanie has with Comet have become a pretty regular thing. I guess that when you have two actors with such an incredibly limited range of abilities you’ll just stick with anything that even sort of works.
Becky shows Danny, Joey and DJ all of the corny activities she has planned for the baby shower but then she has to hastily conceal them as Jesse approaches. Jesse asks if there isn’t anything he can do to help set up for the party and then makes a bunch of references that only a fucking idiot wouldn’t see as a dead giveaway that he knows about the baby shower. Becky eventually hands him $10 dollars and tells him to go see a movie, which is yet another extremely telling exchange about their relationship. Man, they’re really breaking it down this episode.
Stephanie comes downstairs to tell Danny that she wants to quit the dance lessons but instead they engage in an incredibly overused sitcom cliche in which he preempts her statements with a series of lengthy pronouncements about how proud he is of her for taking the lessons. He revisits his regrets about not pursuing his dream of being a high-jumper as a youth which prompts a lengthy fantasy sequence about her future as a dancer.
Well, fuck, here we go. Another painful fantasy sequence. This one’s quite a doozy, too. The most remarkably thing about it is that, for a fantasy about Stephanie becoming a dancer, it’s surprisingly short on dancing and seems much more focused around singing. The whole cast dance around in white suits and they don’t even do us the courtesy of having them lip synch over people who can actually sing. There’s also a surprisingly self-aware song lyric about how Danny is using Stephanie to compensate for his own unrequited childhood ambitions that’s almost actually funny. Also, that’s a pretty goddamn cheap looking set if you ask me.
After Danny comes back to reality (relatively speaking), he grabs Stephanie and tells her again how proud he is of her and then, as is always the conclusion when this particular sitcom cliche is utilized, he asks, “now what was it you wanted to tell me?” She tells him that it was nothing but he’s not even listening anyway because what the fuck does he care about how she really feels?
After some corny party games are played at the baby shower, Jesse comes homes and everyone yells “Surprise!” Can I just say that this is the most convoluted premise in the series so far? Let me see if I’ve got this right: Becky wanted Jesse to come to her baby shower but she knew he wouldn’t so she told him that it was going to be a regular party. So what exactly was supposed to happen when he figured it out? Why would she put herself in that situation? But anyway it doesn’t even matter because Jesse already knew about the secret baby shower and invited a bunch of filthy biker guys as revenge, adding an extra-ridiculous twist to an already inexplicable narrative.
Becky immediately blames herself for the mishap but then Jesse tells her that he knew about her scheme and was just playing a joke on her. Yeah, but the baby shower’s still ruined. Where’s the joke? After an exchange with Michelle about how she spilled the beans about the party, Becky continues to blame herself for Jesse inviting a bunch of disgusting greasy strangers to her baby shower. Jesse admits that he’s also to blame because he bribed Michelle into telling him about the baby shower and then they agree to always be honest with each other. Wait, what? Well, that may have been the most carelessly slapped together plot of the whole series but at least it’s over.
Before Stephanie’s big dance performance, Danny sneaks backstage and tells her that if her performance goes well she’ll be admitted into a rigorous Summer dance program. Stephanie is clearly distressed over the idea but Danny continues to willfully ignore her feelings. After the presenter has to tell Danny to turn his bright ass camera light off because it’s bothering everybody, that delightful tune “Motown Philly” by the timeless Boyz II Men comes on and a bunch of little girls dance onstage in bastardized versions of that Janet Jackson Rhythm Nation get-up except with sequins and an exposed mid-riff. Creepy! All of a sudden Stephanie starts to bust out some really odd dance moves that clearly aren’t part of the routine and then all of the other girls just stand there and stare at her like, “what the fuck?” Stephanie says she’s sorry and runs offstage and then an intermission is called.
Danny goes backstage and asks Stephanie what the fuck her problem is. She says that she doesn’t have what it takes to be a dancer and then Danny displays an abrupt and uncharacteristic insight into Stephanie’s inner workings by saying that he thinks she fucked up on purpose. The music comes on as Stephanie admits that dance classes are hella hard and she doesn’t want to do them anymore. Danny says that he understands and they decide that she should continue to practice dance but not so rigorously and I have to tell you that I’m totally fucking amazed. For a second I thought that they were gonna present a bogus lesson about how it’s ok to quit when something’s hard but they’re actually bestowing us with the most elusive and necessary lesson of the entire series: moderation. Sweet, sweet moderation! Up until this point it’s been totally unheard of. Could this be the start of a bold new era of logic, tact and consideration for others? Somehow I doubt it…
Danny and Stephanie hug and say that they love each other and then she apologizes to the other girls for fucking up the dance but none of them seem to even give a shit. They all just shrug it off. She asks if they can have another shot at doing the routine and then, even though there shouldn’t be any mulligans in dance if you ask me, the presenter says to go right ahead because what the fuck else are they gonna show the audience? It’s not like parents ever expect this kind of shit to be any good anyway.
The episode closes out with a lengthy redo of the Motown Philly dance routine. As awkward as it is to watch a bunch of little girls gyrating around for several minutes in those totally inappropriate outfits, it’s not nearly as uncomfortable as watching the cast clap their hands and bob their heads to a Boyz II Men song. But what can I say, it’s the 90’s!