Pre-Credits Gag: Becky finds the twins wearing cowboy outfits and building a fort out of cushions in the living room. She tells them that they shouldn’t have used all of the cushions in the house and then it turns out that Joey did it. How many of the pre-credits gags are about the kids seemingly doing something stupid and then it turning out to have been Joey? How many of the jokes on the show in general are like that? Also, Joey does an impression of John Wayne after emerging from the cushion fort that includes these really odd motions with his arm that seems offensive in a way that I have trouble defining.
Danny urges Joey to come at him with a banana so he can practice his self-defense training. Joey makes a bunch of noises that are supposed to sound like an Asian person performing martial arts moves (I should really start keeping a tab on all of the moments on this show that are blatantly disrespectful towards Asian people) and then he squeezes the banana so it shoots all over Danny’s face. Dang, Joey, Danny said to come at him with the banana, not on him. He even got it in his eye.
Danny routinely wipes his face with a cloth and then a knock on the door announces Jesse’s return from Papouli’s funeral in Greece. The girls rush to greet Jesse and then they spend about 30 seconds discussing Papouli’s funeral and how it was a celebration of his life before collectively agreeing to never mention him ever again. I was actually surprised that they had enough regard for continuity to mention him at all until Jesse introduces his cousin, Stavros, who’s come back with him from Greece. Oh, so that’s why they mentioned Papouli again. It was conveniently serving the plot.
Stavros is played by John Stamos with a prosthetic nose on. The quality of the overlay effects when he and Jesse are in the same shot are of a surprisingly high quality for this show, which is not to say that they’re good. Stavros is stereotypically Greek in a way that makes the earlier appearances by Jesse’s family members seem much less distasteful. I wonder if Jesse didn’t bring him back to the full house to prove that there was actually a greasier man than himself somewhere on the planet (I don’t mean that to be a pun or a double entendre. I am strictly refer to the amount of grease that resides on Jesse’s person).
This actually isn’t the first time they’ve ripped off the old Patty Duke identical Cousin routine on this show. During the first episode that Papouli appeared in, when Jesse’s entire Greek family showed up at the full house (except for Stavros for some reason), one of the Olsen twins played Michelle’s identical cousin. Although that’s not very interesting, I just thought I’d mention it because I’ve been watching this shit for over 3 years now so I’m cursed with such trivial knowledge and I literally have nowhere else to apply it.
Stavros manipulates the family into letting him stay at the full house. The first thing he does is take the girls to the race track. When he comes back, he leaves Danny’s car parked in front of a fire hydrant, which doesn’t make sense for a lot of reasons. First of all, I’m pretty sure that being from rural Greece wouldn’t prevent him from knowing that he shouldn’t do that. If he knows how to drive a car then he should know where not to park it. If he didn’t know better then why would he bother to mention it to Danny at all? And why would Danny let him borrow his car if he’s so unfamiliar with American driving customs? Finally, why didn’t he just park in the driveway? After Danny runs outside to move his car, Stavros hustles Joey at cards, scoring $20 and his watch. He also orders a pizza that he coerces DJ into paying for, claiming that he doesn’t have any money. He says that the pizza is for everyone but then no one wants it because it’s got lamb guts all over it. Yeah, I always hate it when someone orders a lamb guts pizza.
Becky comes home from working out and Stavros is compelled by how hot her ass looks in that little unitard. He starts rubbing his boner all over her in the kitchen and she tells him to back the fuck off because, even though she’s been systematically destroyed by her shitty husband, she’s still a strong enough woman to know that even though she looks super fine in her skin-tight gym clothes, that doesn’t give every oversexed ethnic stereotype the right to harass her.
The family all gather together in the living room and share their grievances about what a piece of shit Stavros is. The worst part is that Becky feels so violated by his sexual advances that she puts on baggy sweat clothes. Thanks a lot, asshole. Way to ruin it for the rest of us. Anyway, the whole family takes comfort in the fact that Stavros is leaving in a few days but then Jesse comes downstairs and tells them that Stavros is going to move to the U.S. and he’s invited him to stay at the full house until he finds his own place.
Everyone tells Jesse about what a rotten son of a bitch Stavros is, which I was actually sort of impressed by because direct communication is so rarely seen as a solution to a problem on this show. Naturally, this approach completely fails, as Jesse is personally offended by factual accounts of his cousin being a shitty creep. As Jesse completely disregards the legitimate concerns of all of the people he’s closest to in defense of some obscure relative of his, Stavros comes downstairs with a packed bag, reporting that he has to go home to Greece to help his village because it was destroyed by a natural disaster. Everyone is immediately fooled by this obvious ruse and then they all set to work planning a fundraising dance-a-thon at the Smash Club to help out.
Wow, this plot sure took an abrupt left turn. As predictable as this show usually is, I definitely didn’t see a fundraising dance marathon coming. 3 hours into the dance-a-thon, the participants start to feel pangs of exhaustion, and it’s kind of like that movie, “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” except without any of the relevant social commentary or sympathetic characters.
Stavros calls an end to the dance-a-thon and accidentally drops a plane ticket as he heads into the crowd to collect money. Becky and the girls find it and discover that Stavros is leaving for Florida later that evening, which leads them to conclude that the whole dance-a-thon is a scam. Yeah, I don’t really know how they got from point A to point B that time, but whatever. They decide that they’d better tell Jesse about it rather than just confront the situation themselves for some reason but then they conclude that Jesse still wont believe them so they’d better cook up a zany scheme to expose Stavros, then they do that fake huddle whispering that I hate so much while Becky explains the plan.
Becky hangs out in some Smash Club office where she stashes a microphone in a pot of flowers and then lures Stavros in and tells him that she’s down to fuck. After about 2 seconds she gets him to admit that the dance-a-thon was a scam and that he’s using the money to run off to Florida but then Michelle comes to the door and tells Becky that the microphone isn’t on. Michelle leaves and then Becky tells Stavros that it’d grease up her runway if he laid out his plan in great detail one more time and since he’s just an ignorant cultural stereotype he doesn’t even think twice about complying. It seems odd to me that such a rapey guy would be so accommodating, but whatever.
Everyone in the club hears about Stavros’ diabolical scheme as it’s broadcast through the sound system. Becky tells Stavros that he’s been exposed so he tries to make a b-line out of the club with all of the cash. Danny tries to stop him with his self-defense class moves but he just sort of stands in front of him while doing a karate kid pose, which doesn’t really do anything. Does Danny’s self-defense training count as a subplot? It was mentioned briefly once before and then only came back for this one odd moment, where it had virtually no effect. Why was it included at all? I guess it wasn’t really that much more pointless than any of the other subplots on the show.
Jesse asks Stavros why he’s such a dickhole and Stavros tells him that he’s tired of hearing about how successful Jesse is back in his village. Jesse tells him that even though he’s got an incredibly cushy and glamorous life, he worked hard to earn it, which is the biggest fucking lie I’ve ever heard in my life. After hearing that crock of shit I’m kind of on Stavros’ side. Maybe there should be some sort of program where people from poor countries are given opportunities to take advantage of the Tanner’s unearned privilege and wealth. I think that it might make the world a better place.
After Jesse’s condescending, self-aggrandizing speech that’s tragically devoid of truth and self-awareness, Stavros is ushered away and then Jesse apologizes to the crowd and offers to return their money. DJ suggests that they give the money to the children’s hospital instead and everyone applauds. Um, ok. I mean, of course it’s always a good idea to donate money to the children’s hospital, but that just kind of came out of nowhere. Jesse apologizes to Becky for not listening to her and she’s like, whatever, it’s not like he ever listens to her about anything anyway. Then she says, “when you care about someone, sometimes it’s hard to see the truth” but is lamentably unable to apply this knowledge to herself. Poor, tragic Becky. She would have been better off with Stavros.