Season 1, Episode 4 “The Nuchslep”

We are greeted again with the shot of a brownstone-like-manor house that seriously thinks it is in some high-bred European neighborhood or something. Never mind. Moving on… There is some bad sneezing going on which leads me to believe that someone has a cold, and due to its high pitch, I think it’s safe to say that this particular “someone” is a woman. And then it’s Niles. Nice…

Fran, like the kind and considerate woman she is, asks Niles if he is all right. Niles replies that he is “looking a bit queer”, and we have to remember that this was 1993. The audience laughs at this and Fran gives a subtle snide look to one of the cameras, indicating that she is as a-okay with homosexuality as I am. But then she says, “Don’t ask, don’t tell. But for god’s sakes, come out of the closet.” Not the direction I thought they were going to go with, but we can’t be right all the time!

Fran does the old “kiss my forehead to see if I’m feverish” trick and sure enough, Niles has a fever of 99-point something…I wasn’t listening. They mosey into the kitchen where the kids are perched around the isle and Fran informs Niles that she’ll tell him when dinner is ready. This gets a chorus of “YOU?!” from everyone involved, which leads me to believe that Fran can’t cook and frequently resorted to take-out… Niles heads upstairs to get some rest and Fran calls some potentially racist-for-comedic-effect Chinese mad-libs restaurant called something like “Fung-Lumbs”… She wants the family dinner, and says that she is in the mood for shrimp, and pulls a Danny Tanner when she asks Gracie (like Danny frequently would with Michelle) what she feels like. Gracie claims that she feels trapped, which is yet another example of her potential mental illness, and the audience laughs at the poor girl. Nice. Max joins them and demands to know where Niles is in stereotypical teenage girl fashion. Fran explains the situation and uses the fact that they are ordering Chinese food as a way to improve the children’s culture. Max then forks over a wad of cash and asks Fran to make sure that Gracie gets an “optimistic fortune this time”. So they’ve HAD Chinese food before…?!

Apparently the family has waited an hour and a half for their dinner, which leads me to believe that this is Friday night or tourist season. The doorbell rings as if on cue and Maggie goes to get it, and is delighted to discover Eddie on the threshold. Eddie gets a teenage boner which consists of him giving her this really creepy smile as Fran politely invites him in. Gracie asks about them kissing whereupon Maggie says, “Goodnight, Gracie!” which is actually pretty funny. Brighton then does the middle child thing where he claims that Maggie never stops talking about him. Subtle, but then Fran kicks and he blames her for everything, whereupon the younger children leave with the greasy to-go bags. Long story short, Eddie turns out to have flaming man feelings for Maggie, and after an uncomfortable giggling session with Fran, Fran decides to leave them alone.

Fran is caught eavesdropping by Niles and she demands to know why he isn’t resting in his shoebox of a bedroom (for the record, we haven’t seen it yet, but it’s probably a pathetic display of architecture). Niles says that he took a hit of eucalyptus while upstairs and had a dream about mating with a koala, to which Gracie says she’s dreamt about that, too. Maggie comes in and reveals that Eddie has asked her out after Fran interrogates her like some drunk sorority girl. Brighton demands in his annoying playful tone who is going to tell Max. Dilemma!

Max comes into his office with C.C. at his heels whereupon it is revealed that it is her birthday and after some playful banter, Max agrees to give C.C. her gift. He makes her sit down on that leather couch of his and gets down on one knee. That’s your first mistake there, buddy. He then says that she’s been alone too long. Mistake number two… He then says that she needs someone to love her, and Niles enters with a pomeranian dressed in a sweater probably knitted by Grandma Yetta. C.C. asks, “An engagement dog?” and Max is confused, but C.C. then proclaims, “What an engaging dog!” and grabs the poor thing, who growls in disgust, making Niles happy. Max explains to C.C. that dogs need the opportunity to become used to their owners, and Fran comes in and the dog (who actually belongs to Fran in real life) gets all excited and starts loving on the nanny. Fran proclaims that C.C. should name him Chester, and C.C. vehemently grabs him back, whereupon we are greeted with another snarl. Fran tells Max to buy C.C. a toaster oven or something after C.C. leaves with the dog.

Fran shuts the door to the office, which makes me think that Max is anticipating some form of heavy petting. Fran beats around the bush as to her being there, and finally cuts to the chase at Max’s urging, revealing that Maggie was asked out on a date, giving the time, but not the who. Max says that’s no problem, and then tells Fran that Maggie is not allowed to go anywhere. Wow, harsh! He then becomes annoyed and exasperated when his control is threatened by Fran saying yes. Max then asks if he knows this boy, which is a reasonable question. Fran tells Max that it is Eddie, who is delivering Chinese food for $4.25 an hour plus tips in order to go to Yale, which Max is impressed with, to study drama, which he’s less than thrilled with. Fran then says that he can’t shelter Maggie forever, which is true, and that she’ll sneak out to get felt up in a truck on some back road if he doesn’t watch his step. Max then gives his permission, but Fran must chaperone the date and Fran pouts like a three-year-old for being caught living vicariously. Fran tries to ease Maggie’s feelings by breaking it to her gently, but Maggie is all for it due to her nerves of not living up to her nun standards of self-control.

Apparently “nuchslep” means chaperone, and when Fran and Maggie arrive at the movie theater, the seats look really uncomfortable and are covered with that cheap red wool that makes wearing shorts in the summer a living hell. Maggie asks for Fran’s advice on how the date is going and Fran essentially tells Maggie that she’s being a mouse and to fucking communicate with this gorgeous guy who likes her. Fran talks about her first date and how she was able to talk, and tells Maggie to do the same. Eddie returns with three massive drinks and popcorn, and Maggie screams at him in this high-pitched, whiny voice that really grates on the eardrum. Thankfully the movie starts soon afterwards with Maggie looking uncomfortable.

Niles makes Belgian waffles for breakfast the next morning and Maggie’s head is down contaminating her food. Max asks how the date was, and makes it a point to let her know that her hair is in the syrup. The table syrup or her own personal syrup? Because either way, she’ll have to wash her hair or Niles will have to go shopping… It is revealed that Fran dominated the date with jokes and funny stories and Maggie says that she’s never going to see Eddie again because she is worthless and pathetic and unlovable and a slew of other negative adjectives, which prompts Gracie to ask, in Michelle Tanner fashion, if she may have Maggie’s waffle, because she believes her older sister should be allowed to starve, too.

Meanwhile, as Max comforts Maggie, the telephone rings and Niles goes off to fetch it to stop the disturbance of the family meal. Niles comes in, 1990’s phone in hand, and proclaims that “Master Eddie” is on the phone for Fran. Fran is shocked at this declaration in her pale blue flowery bathrobe, while Maggie looks disappointed. Fran speaks to Eddie with a series of “uh-huh’s” and barely any other pleasantries, and the third “uh-huh” makes the audience crazy; Fran then bids him goodbye. Fran then says that Eddie wants to see her Friday night, and then asks for the syrup, and Maggie makes some snide comments while Brighton tries to turn the whole thing into mud wrestling. Maggie then declares that Eddie was her boyfriend (yet five seconds ago she said she wasn’t going to see him again) and throws down her napkin (the second time now) and proclaims that she hates Fran. Harsh…

After the commercial break, Max tries to put a Band-Aid on the situation by asking Maggie if she would like to go to Rumplemeyer’s for some ice cream. I assume that it is later in the day, as Fran’s hair is fixed and she is dressed. Maggie then screams, “CAN’T YOU JUST LET ME DIE IN PEACE?!” At that point, my own mother would probably either demand respect from me or just leave me alone. Fran and Max them blame each other for Maggie’s and Eddie’s relationship going awry, while Niles innocently stands by dusting…all that’s missing is a French maid outfit. Fran then compares their failing with Maggie to baby birds, and then Max mentions death. So is Maggie having boyfriend trouble or does someone think she’s going to die now…? Max then says that Fran has no boundaries, which is the classic sign of autism. I know; I have it. Max then says that she is more like Maggie’s girlfriend than her nanny, which makes Fran all hot and bothered and proclaims that he is a genius before splitting to braid Maggie’s hair…or something.

Maggie fondles a panda bear on her flower comforter as she leans against some pillows found in Sleeping Beauty’s bedroom as Fran knocks on the door. Fran is greeted with a harsh, “GO AWAY!” Fran offers Maggie some Mallomars, which Wikipedia calls “chocolate covered marshmallow treats”, and Maggie claims she is too depressed to eat. Fran tells Maggie that friends, as she considers the two of them, don’t steal boyfriends, and then says that all these guys were crazy for her but never fell in love with Val. Owch. Fran then brings up the O.G.C., the Official Girlfriend’s Code, which is a totally real thing, much like the “Bro Code”. The rules are as follows: 1. Never gossip about your best friend (a totally moronic rule that nobody follows); 2. If a girl falls for a guy, and the guy falls for the best friend, then the friend has to dump them. I’m starting to think that the second rule only applies to this situation… Fran then says she’ll “dump” Eddie, and Maggie wants a Mallomar, but Fran has eaten the whole box.

Fran goes on and on about rules of the O.G.C., and apparently there are at least twenty-seven rules, if not more. She feels she looks good (although Maggie’s outfit is more my style) and that she has to look hot in order to dump Eddie. Maggie tells Fran to destroy Eddie, and Fran seems willing to do so. Maggie asks to listen, and Fran points her to the butler’s pantry (which mysteriously disappeared after the first season) where they find Niles already listening. I guess that’s how he gets his kicks… Fran answers the door and calls him “Ed”, but he doesn’t get it, offering up some spare ribs, which Fran thinks is a wooing tactic. Fran goes on and on about how Eddie is so into her, and he doesn’t understand, looking about as innocent as a puppy on Christmas. Eddie is amused after he figures out the situation, and then almost claims that Fran is old enough to be his mother, but quickly says “sister” instead. Fran then thinks she’s being dumped, but is told she is being bribed with the ribs because he wants Fran to give Max his picture and resume. OH, so the kid wants a job! I get it…

Fran asks why Eddie didn’t ask Maggie and Eddie says that he doesn’t want her to think he’s just using her because he really likes her. He then admits that he doesn’t mind using Fran, because it’s not the same. Fran agrees to give Eddie’s information to Max and, since this is the 1990’s, it’s all in a neat little manilla envelope. Sweet. Eddie then wants to take Maggie out on a walk so he can make out with her without Fran or somebody else breathing down their necks. Fran opens the butler’s pantry to discover everyone behind it and each member of the family makes up an excuse as to why they are there. Fran then pimps Maggie out and she asks her father’s permission before potentially getting some action, and he lets her go. Max uses Fran’s analogy at allowing Maggie to grow up, and Fran appreciates it.

C.C. enters after Niles announces her with some sort of dead red-furred creature about her neck, prompting shocked expressions from Fran and Max, the latter of whom is probably upset at all the money he shelled out for poor Chester. C.C. gives the, “What did I do?” expression that sitcoms have always been known for. Chester then bounds into the kitchen and Fran takes him into her arms, proclaiming that he must watch himself, because C.C. may need a muff. I wonder if it was before or after that expression meant something other than a Victorian accessory…


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