|Cutting It Close|
|Season 2, episode 1|
|Air date||October 14, 1988|
|Previous||D.J. Tanner's Day Off|
|Next||Tanner vs. Gibbler|
As Joey holds Michelle, he tells the family that she is ready to give it another go; namely, another game of "Ring Around the Rosie", and understanding that "We all fall down", the last line in the song, means exactly that—and in this case, it means sitting down on the floor. They all groan at this and walk away, not believing or even wanting to believe him, and Stephanie says that she is just going to misunderstand that last line again, but Joey assures her that he and Michelle have worked on that line pretty much the entire day, and that Michelle has it down this time, so they proceed with the game and the song. But upon singing the last line, Michelle is still standing, confirming Stephanie's fears and leading D.J. to say that she has a real mean streak, so it is clear that Michelle has a lot more comprehending and practicing to do regarding that last line.
Jesse is in his room playing his guitar when Stephanie comes in and shuts off his amp (to be reminded by the musician that the first rule of rock and roll is to "never cut a guy's power off when he's duck-walking"). Stephanie is playing a pretend game of "hairdresser" as Mr. Stephanie and has come to collect her next "client" (Jesse). Jesse does not want to play but thanks to her "crying bit" (and a serious guilt trip) Jesse gives into his middle niece and the two go to her "salon" (aka her bedroom) where Joey is seated after his appointment. Joey makes a comment about Stephanie needing a weed wacker for the "bush" that is Jesse's mullet hair and Stephanie says no she doesn't, pulling out a real pair of scissors. Jesse sees the scissors and panics and agrees to keep playing after reminding Stephanie to be careful with the scissors (as they all know only his hairdresser, Alejandro, cuts his hair). As Stephanie "cuts" Jesse's hair, Joey ask Jesse if he can baby sit that evening so he can try out his new Rodger Rabbit impression at a comedy club (going so far as begging in the cartoon rabbit's voice). "Mr. Stephanie" is enjoying the impression and is sidetracked when she accidentally cuts a chunk of Jesse's hair off, causing her to say "Have mercy!", and forcing him to go to his professional hairdresser, Alejandro. Heading back home, Jesse was too upset to see a road sign that says "Severe Tire Damage" while riding his Harley, resulting in a crash which totals the bike and breaks both of his arms, and thus resulting in a trip to the hospital and casts (or what he calls "concrete sleeves"). He comes home wearing the casts, much to the shock of the family (and the studio audience), and Stephanie frowns (and the audience groans). Despite his pleas, they want to see his new haircut, so they have to remove his helmet to reveal it. And while Stephanie is happy to see that he is okay, she tries to hug him, but of course, the pain from the injury causes him to yell. He then goes into the kitchen to fix himself a bowl of cereal. Danny volunteers to get the door, but Jesse says that "It takes a lot more than a couple of broken bones to slow down Big J." As he heads into the kitchen by using his whole body to open the door, Michelle's crying is heard, leading the guys to question whether that was a wet cry or a hungry cry. Danny says it was a hungry cry, leading Joey to help him (as a reminder, both Joey and Jesse had trouble with Michelle's wet cries—usually meaning a diaper change—in the series premiere).
In any event, Jesse's in the kitchen, noticing the Oat Boats cereal box on top of the refrigerator. As tall as the fridge as he is, he can't reach the box. So he gets creative. He first grabs a broom and uses the top of the stick to knock the box off the fridge, but now the box is on the floor and if he bends over to pick it up using his hands, it'll cause more pain in his arms than he has right now. So he then grabs a knife and stabs it into the box to pick it up, leading D.J. to remark, "It's dead. I think you can eat it now." In any event, he then takes the box, still stabbed in the knife, to the table. As Danny comes down the kitchen stairs holding Michelle, D.J. explains that Jesse is indeed perfectly capable of making a simple bowl of cereal. Jesse then uses his mouth to grab a bowl from the cupboard, and when Danny asks for help, Jesse again refuses, getting creative by instead using his head to grab the bowl (which elicits cheers and applause from the audience). Danny remarks, "You look good in a hat." In any event, Jesse puts his "hat" down on the table, picks up the cereal box, opens it up, and starts pouring as Danny asks him not to make a mess. Unfortunately, that's what happens. As he puts Michelle in her high chair, Danny gets the milk out of the fridge for Jesse. As Michelle watches, he has no problem pouring the milk into the cereal. But when it comes to bananas (or "naners", as Michelle would say), he again gets creative, as the broken arms prevent him from the usual "peel-and-slice" method. He puts the bowl on his chair, puts the banana on the table with the top sticking out, grabs a rolling pin, uses it to mash the banana, and then gets the whole banana into the cereal (which elicits applause from the audience). Michelle can only laugh as he puts the bowl back onto the table, grabs a wooden spoon, and tries to eat. But when he tries to get the cereal into his mouth, his aim is so bad that he accidentally flings it onto the floor! So, the only other thing to do is to put his whole head into the bowl. When Danny comes back downstairs all ready for work, he can't believe what he sees. All Jesse can say is, "What? You've never seen a grown man eat cereal before?" All Danny can say is, "Not like a Great Dane." He reminds Jesse about his injury and realizes the man needs...well, help. And speaking of which, through the Beatles hit "Help!", we get a montage of the things he needs help doing. Jesse finally gives in, and Danny transfers Michelle's bib over to Jesse, as he needs it more. A lot more.
Those broken arms disable his ability to move them and thus cause him to have trouble doing things such as dressing and undressing, getting in and out of bed, brushing his teeth, shaving, stamping envelopes, playing his music, and even making himself breakfast, lunch, and even dinner. Stephanie feels responsible for Jesse's accident, and it takes the combined efforts of her dad Danny, her older sister D.J., and the rest of the Tanner household, to persuade her otherwise.
When Danny catches Jesse kicking his trashed motorcycle from the wreck, he brings Stephanie out to help him feel better. As usual, she refuses because she says he hates her (which leads to more groans from the audience). He explains to "Stephanie Judith Tanner" (as the inspirational music plays) that he doesn't hate her, and that everyone learns from their mistakes... eventually; giving examples from this episode: his missing that sign was not going to stop him from riding a motorcycle, and so her cutting off a huge chunk of his hair should not stop her from playing "hairdresser" with him. He says (as the music stops) that if he can't write any music in his current shape, she can help him by writing lyrics, and she accepts. And with that, he hugs her, and does not feel any pain at all! In her words, "The curse is broken!", and she can spend more time with him. The chat is capped off with both of them saying "Have mercy!"
In Michelle's room, Jesse asks her what he thinks of his new hairdo, and if it is better than Don King's or Garry Shandling's, to which she says no on both counts. He realizes that the new hairdo means a new chapter in his life, having had that same hairstyle since he was 16, having ridden the same motorcycle he wrecked earlier, having dressed the same, having listened to the same music, and even having worked in his parents' exterminator business. He promises to be open to change from here on out and become more mature. He jokingly asks Joey, who served him four glasses of iced tea earlier, to serve him another glass (as Jeff Franklin's EP credit appears). Joey grants him his wish, and (as Thomas L. Miller and Robert L. Boyett's credits appear) Michelle gives a goodbye wave to Jesse as he and Joey head downstairs (as the audience applauds).
Stephanie does not actually cut Jesse's hair; she cuts a mullet wig instead.
[Opening teaser: in the living room, Joey holds Michelle, hoping she understands the "We all fall down" line of "Ring Around the Rosie" after practicing it with her all day long.]
Joey: Trust me, Michelle, you are ready. OK, come on down, guys! Everybody come on out to the living room! Hurry up! We're gonna do this right now! Hurry up! We're gonna do this right now!
[Danny and Jesse come downstairs, while D.J. and Stephanie emerge from the kitchen.]
Danny: What is it? OK, what?
Joey: Michelle is ready for another try. [They all groan at this and walk away, but Joey's not gonna have any of it.] Freeze! [They do.]
Stephanie: She's gonna do it to us again.
Joey: No, she won't. I've been working with her all day. Believe me, the kid is psyched.
Jesse: OK, let's give the little ankle-biter one more try. Come on everybody, hold hands.
[They do, and get in the usual circle formation, per the game's rules.]
Joey: Here we go. Come on, Michelle!
All: [singing] Ring around the Rosie/A pocket full of posies/Ashes, ashes/We all fall down! [They're all sitting down on the floor....except Michelle, who sticks her tongue out.]
Stephanie: She did it again.
D.J.: The kid's got a real mean streak.
Danny: Am I interrupting something?
Jesse: I don’t wanna talk about it right now. I’d leave, but I can’t reach the gate hook.
Danny: Jesse, there is nothing you can do about your arms. But there is something you can do about Stephanie.
Jesse: What are you talking about?
Danny: Steph is scared to death to go near you. She’s afraid she’s gonna hurt you again.
Jesse: Well, tell the little rug rat she’s wacko.
Danny: [a little angry] I think you should tell the little rug rat she’s wacko. [Jesse looks at him, while Danny changes his tone to sound more calm] In maybe a... nicer way.
Jesse: You’re right.
- The first episode to use the new Lorimar Television logo, but the only one without the use of its music
- The last episode to use the season one intro – however, two images are changed: The guys trying to attract the ladies at the park is replaced by Danny and Michelle napping in a rocking chair in her room in the opening (this would normally be seen in the closing for this season and the next), and Stephanie riding in the banana seat of Danny's bike is replaced by the guys hanging out at the park from the season one closing credits
- The first episode in which Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (Michelle) are credited with the rest of the cast
- The last episode where Jesse has long hair
- The first episode to use the new electric guitar-backed theme song (which would be used until the end of the series)
- The first episode to open with a teaser
- In all the scenes where the family helps Jesse with his basic chores, the Beatles' 1965 song "Help!" plays throughout; it was the title song for both their film and its soundtrack album, and was a number-one hit for three weeks
- The second episode where Stephanie's full name is addressed; the first being "Sisterly Love"
- Goof: When Danny takes the bib off Michelle and then puts it on Jesse, they pan to a shot of Michelle, and she still has the pink bib around her neck