Family Matters: Dark and Stormy Night

When the weather is too bad to go out on Halloween night, the Winslow family decides to play “pass the ghost story” instead.

Carl starts the story and we are transported to the castle of Count von Winslow (Carl). He then passes the torch to Harriette, who continues the story. She describes the countess (Harriette) as “the brains of the family.” And really ups the ante in this next part — the count and countess are VAMPIRES. We then see the count and countess drinking juice boxes of blood, which is cute and gross at the same time!

Now it’s Eddie’s turn to continue the story. He describes the “teen heartthrob” son of the family — who is like a 90’s Elvis Vampire version of Eddie Winslow. The big drama thus far is that Eddie Vampire is a rebel who doesn’t torture the townspeople.

Eddie passes the story to Urkel. And I’d like to pause a moment and give Jaleel White a lot of credit for maintaining the Urkel voice for NINE YEARS on this show.

Urkel describe an Earl, who is passing by and asks to stay at the castle overnight because his carriage has broken. The von Winslows are more than happy to have some fresh blood in the house. Urkel then passes the story to Waldo.

Waldo describe the von Winslow’s faithful butler, who ushers Urkel to his room for the night. Yeah…he doesn’t really contribute all that much before swiftly passing the story to Laura. And here’s where things get really interesting.

Laura describes the Earl checking out his bedroom and eventually hanging his coat on a hook on the wall. This hook reveals a secret revolving door with one of the von Winslow’s victims (Laura) chained to it.

The Earl removes her gag and she explains that she is a peasant girl and has been trapped by the von Winslows ever since her carriage broke down!!!! She explains that they are vampires and the Earl should absolutely not drink the wine because it’s drugged so that they can suck his blood more easily.

Laura then passes the story to Rachel. She describes how the Earl avoids drinking the wine. (There’s a lot of switching the cups Princess Bride style during this portion.) When Count von Winslow realizes the Earl won’t drink the wine, he flat out admits that he wants to drink his blood and challenges him to a duel.

After a harrowing battle in which the teeny tiny Earl fights off the much bigger and stronger Count with a wedge of garlic brie and then pulls down a large curtain to expose all the von Winslows to a ton of sunlight, he rushes upstairs to save peasant Laura.

To make things truly spooky, the Earl looks up right before he is about to kiss Laura and reveals that HE IS A VAMPIRE.

Very Special Halloween Lesson: Don’t ask to spend the night at strange homes!!!

Family Matters: Like A Virgin

Harriet finds a love note that fell out of Eddie’s pants pocket and she shares it with Carl. It says “Eddie, we were foolish to wait. Last night was so special, and now I want us to share this experience as often as possible.” This is literally the worst thing I could ever think of my parents finding and reading. Even now, as an adult and non-teenage person, I would gouge my eyes out if they found a love note in my pants pocket. Well, actually I would be like “what are you doing in my pants pocket and why did you read that?”

Anyway, it turns out the the love note was in reference to Eddie supporting his girlfriend through her mother’s rehab and wasn’t a reference to anything sexual at all. But instead of just being like “Okay, son. Sorry we snooped and ready your note,” Carl asks him point blank if he’s still a virgin. (At this point Urkel has come over to the house and is now eavesdropping from the kitchen.) So Urkel totally overhears Eddie say he’s a virgin and then decides that’s information that’s totally okay to share with all of the cool guys at school. Omg. Whattt?

To be fair, he’s trying to use Eddie as an example of how you can be a “real man” and also be a virgin, but wait yeah it’s still definitely not okay to have shared that information. But then Eddie tries to lie to everyone and say he’s not a virgin. And Steve is all like no, I heard you talking to your dad! Urkel is so not even amusing in this episode, except that he does kind of have a cool ninja-towel-fight with everyone in the locker room, so I’m giving him points on that.

Then Laura and Eddie have a heart to heart about the double standard of being a virgin for females and males. And Eddie finally realizes it feels better to stand up for his choices than to hide from his “friends” or try to lie. It’s not like everyone is all like Whoops, Eddie. We were wrong. You’re really a cool dude. They pretty much continue to think he’s lame but he feels a lot better for standing by his decision.

Very Special Lesson: Hey, I think this might be like the perfect not-played-for-laughs Very Special Episode. Good job, Eddie!

Family Matters: Saved by the Urkel

Carl get electrocuted by a lamp (after Urkel tells him it’s unsafe). Steve gives him CPR (while also walking the television viewers through the steps, but you should probably take a class before trying this yourself). Also, Steve’s chest compressions are noticeably too shallow, but I’m assuming that’s because he’s doing “CPR” on someone who is definitely not in cardiac arrest in real life. Carl wakes up and feels just fine, except for the fact that he now owes his life to Urkel.

So then Carl is super nice to Steve and it is weird. I hate it and I want them all to go back to being mean to him. What weird Leave it to Beaver world have we been transported into??  Okay, well he’s actually not that nice because he can’t manage to apologize to Steve for treating him like crap for his entire childhood. He finally does apologize, but he still feels indebted to Steve. He grants Steve his only wish in the world, unlimited access to the Winslow house.  Carl (obviously) regrets this immediately.

Meanwhile, the elder Winslow children feel awful that they couldn’t help their father. They decide it might be a good idea to take a CPR class like Steve did. They also start being super nice to Steve, and it is similarly weird. As Eddie puts it “Look Steve, you’re a nerdy, annoying dweeb. But after what you did, the least I could do is put up with you.”

This leads Steve to realize that he doesn’t want their friendship if it isn’t genuine. So he tells Carl to just go ahead and be mad at him for all of the stupid stuff he does (i.e. sit down on a freshly varnished chair, break the whole house, etc.) This leads Carl to berate Steve in a full-on verbally abusive onslaught, to Steve’s glee. That’s pretty awful. Luckily, for Steve, Laura is still happy to have him as a friend. She acknowledges that he’s nerdy and annoying, but he’s still a good friend. And then she kisses him on the cheek!

Very Special Lesson: You can save someone’s life, but that doesn’t mean they have to like you. They probably should like you though. Yeah. They should seriously at least like you a little.

Family Matters: An Unlikely Match

Steve is rocking a really lovely yellow sweater and practicing great dental hygiene in the school bathroom when some jerk has the audacity to bully him. Okay, so Steve gets a little sassy with them when the cool kids are smoking in the bathroom. But they are literally KILLING him with their bad habit. Then instead of just shaming him with their words like the girls in Full House, they give him a swirly.

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[Side note: George Jefferson stops by to show Carl his new Porsche.]

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The next day at school Urkel tries to tell one of the bullies he’s been bulking up, and hasn’t seen another one of the bullies (Andre) around. Urkel assumes the bully is hiding because he’s afraid of Steve’s buffness. When Urkel learns that the reason the bully isn’t around is because he’s in the hospital with leukemia, Urkel decides to organize a bone marrow matching drive.

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Then we time jump one month to show Carl decorating the living room with junk he got at a police auction. Harriet had been bugging him to redo the living room, and Carl decides the best way to do this is to make it look like a drug dealer lives there.

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Meanwhile, at the high school no one has heard of cancer. Steve explains to everyone what a bone marrow transplant is and rallies all the over-18-year-olds into signing up to have their blood tested. And you know what? Nerds in sitcoms just can’t dry their hands. Stephanie Tanner couldn’t work the hand-dryer and Steve Urkel breaks the paper towel dispenser.

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Luckily, Steve manages to get the paper towel situation under control just before Andre enters the bathroom to thank him for saving his life. Andre can’t understand why Steve would do anything nice for him. Steve tells him that life is more important than people being a jackass to you. (My words, not his.) And Andre offers to let Steve give him a swirly. Steve declines this generous offer, and Andre offers to buy his lunch instead.

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Then we get a PSA from Laura and Steve. But really it’s just the actors not in character though still wearing their costumes. You can tell because Jaleel White isn’t being Steve or Stefan right here:

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 10.50.41 PMDoes anyone know if that number still works?

Very Special Lesson: Whenever you feel like treating someone like shit, just remember that person could be your bone marrow match.

Family Matters: Life of the Party

Laura’s friend Maxine is hosting a cool rooftop party, and some guy named Waldo has brought a bunch of mini-bottles in little compartments on the interior of his jacket like one of those guys who sold fake Rolex’s on the street in 1982. Laura tries to kick them out, but Maxine tells her to stop ruining her party. After the boys have had a few drinks, Laura is sulking by herself and giving everyone at the party some side-eye. Maxine tells her to lighten up and Laura has to admit that nothing bad has happened, so maybe she is over-reacting.

Then Urkel shows up and crashes the party. And even though he’s the lamest guy in school, he gets everyone at the party to “Do The Urkel” to a pop song called “Do The Urkel.” Like this guy has the Macarena of 1991 and somehow people are calling him uncool instead of trying to ride his coattails. I don’t get it.

Cool kid, Willie, is jealous that Urkel is commanding such a crowd without the benefit of alcohol–so he decides to get an unwitting Urkel smashed. Steve doesn’t notice the burn of the alcohol in the punch and simply assumes it’s mango flavoring. It doesn’t take long before he’s way more intoxicated than the rest of the party and everyone is laughing at him.

Then he decides to do The Urkel on the ledge of the building. He falls off and luckily catches on to another ledge at a lower level of the building. Laura’s Aunt Rachel, who is catering the party, walks across a clothing line like a tightrope in order to reach him. Then the two kids who brought the booze actually get arrested when the cops show up. I feel like we usually get a lecture or a heart to heart talk in these episodes, but nope. This is the real deal. Off to juvie!

The cool thing about this episode, is that Steve doesn’t get in trouble for drinking since he is so naive and this was really just a dangerous episode of bullying. So Carl makes him a hangover remedy and he’s so nice to him for once. Steve’s so pathetic right now, he can’t even be annoying. Oh yeah, and Steve vows never to drink again.

Very Special Lesson: Party punch is dangerous.