Monday, November 19, 2007

"You always ran like a girl" or The Big 3-0 (1.11)

Joey is making breakfast for the girls and warns them not to blow Danny's surprise birthday party. Apparently Stephanie let last year's attempt at a surprise slip, and is chastised for it. Jesse comes in followed by Michelle as the Good Year birthday blimp with a few balloons tied to her. Tie a few more on there so that she flies away, will ya? Jesse also tells Stephanie to not blow the surprise because he heard about last year.

Danny comes in, dejected and unable to utter the number 30. The girls try to cheer him up with their presents, a coupon book of favors and chores such as "Good for one hug" and "Good for one wash of Bullet." Bullet is Danny's hot red car (I'm not a car person, so don't ask me the make or model) that we see the family driving along the bridge in the opening credits. This car is apparently incredibly special to Danny, but seeing as we've never heard it mentioned prior to this episode, it's pretty clear that it's being introduced now to act as some sort of plot device.

The doorbell rings and the girls take off to answer it. It's a man. Not just any man, but a driver. In exchange for Jesse's fumigation of his house ("Thank God for silverfish!"), this man will chauffeur Danny around all day in a limousine. Heh, I hate to admit it but Joey made me laugh. He lists all the accessories included with the limousine and concludes with, "And a year's supply of calendars... one!" Don't get me wrong, I still think Joey's an idiot and completely unfunny, but hey, a broken clock's right twice a day. Sooo I guess you can't be unfunny all the time. As Danny and the girls leave to get into the limo, he tells Joey and Jesse that he absolutely positively does not want a birthday party.

As soon as Danny is out the door, the guys resume planning his birthday party. Jesse says that he's going to pick up his present, sheepskin seat covers for Bullet, that afternoon. This prompts Joey to say, "Boy, he really loves that car." At this point they're really beating us over the head with the foreshadowing. We get it. Bullet's fucked.

Cut to later that night where all the party guests have arrived. Among them is Caroline, the owner of the fishing boat that the guys went out on for their men's night, A.K.A. Caroline from one of the episodes ABC Family decided to nonsensically skip. Jesse returns and tells Joey that Bullet was totaled. They go outside to survey the damage, and sure enough, Bullet? Fucked.In the kitchen, Joey, Jesse and the girls decide that it's best to wait until after the party to tell Danny so that they don't ruin his birthday, and they also hide the seat covers to keep Bullet off Danny's mind. Caroline comes in to tell them that Danny just pulled up, so they move it into the living room and turn the lights off.

Danny comes in and feigns surprise. The fact that 15 of his friends cars were parked outside was kind of a dead giveaway. Jesse, usually one to shy away from the man-on-man affections, offers the birthday boy a hug. D.J. takes a Polaroid, dubbing it the "Before" picture. Danny opens his presents and just when they think he's done, Stephanie comes in with the box containing the seat covers. She tries to cover it up, but it's too late. Danny opens them, loves them and can't wait to try them out on Bullet. Jesse cuts him off in the kitchen and tells the whole sordid tale to prepare him for the stroke he's about to suffer. Apparently while at Pep Boys, a large truck rear-ended the parked car and sent it careening down the hill, through the guardrail and off the bridge into the San Francisco bay. Yikes. But also, totally not his fault. Danny thinks Jesse's joking and laughs it off until he actually goes into the backyard and sees the totaled vehicle. D.J. snaps the "After" photo.

Following the initial shock and horror, I have to say that Danny is taking this remarkably well. That is, until Jesse and Joey go on and on about how devastated he should be about it. Why would they want to make him more upset? I dunno. I'll chalk it up to Joey being an idiot, that's my default explanation for everything stupid that happens on this show. Danny sadly comments that this is a birthday he'll never forget and heads to bed.

The next morning, he's reading to Michelle. Joey comes in because he thought he heard Michelle crying. Danny says, no, that was him. Aww. Despite breaking Danny down and telling him how upset he should be about Bullet, Joey's now trying to say it was just a car and get over it. Get bent, Joey. I blame you for this. Jesse sticks his head in and asks Joey to go for a ride with him, while Danny stays home with the girls.

They end up at a car dealership, with Danny's insurance money ($11,700) to burn, staring down Bullet's twin. They show interest to the salesman, Paul, when someone calls the dealer and begins bidding on the car. Obviously, we find out that it's Danny on the line, and they bid against each other all the way up to a staggering $20,000. Danny bows out at this point, and Paul fibs to J&J that he went up another grand. They don't bite either, and rather than lose the sale, Paul ends up backtracking the price all the way down to $11,500.

Triumphant they return home to find Danny now gung-ho to purchase a Jeep wagoneer. He told about the ridiculous bidding war against some "yo-yo" over a car he hadn't even seen. He realized that he needed to let go of Bullet and his past and move on. J&J then reveal that they were the "yo" and "yo" at the dealer and that they bought the car for his birthday. Danny is touched and says a gift from his two best friends is the best way to start off a new decade and for the first time, it feels great to be 30.

The guys ask him what he's going to name his car, and Danny protests that a 30 year old man doesn't name his car. Then he sticks his head out the back door and says, to the car, "I'll be right back... Walter." Hee. Shot of the whole Tanner clan driving in Walter as a crappy cover of The Beatles "Drive my Car" plays. I think it's sung by the guys who do the theme song. They should stick to T.V. themes and steer clear of tampering with a classic.

No comments: