After five seasons of catchphrases, open doors, and She Wolf pride, Fuller House's final episodes have landed on Netflix, and just in case you were wondering, there were happy endings all around. In the show's last episode, D.J., Stephanie, and Kimmy all walk down the aisle and marry Steve, Jimmy, and Fernando, respectively. Unlike past Fuller House weddings, this one actually ends with all three couples saying "I do," despite a few hiccups along the way. This milestone moment for the women seems to mark a new beginning for them all, but rather than have D.J., Stephanie, and Kimmy embrace a future where they all embark on separate paths, the show opts instead for an ending that promises more of the same for the trio. And I'm okay with that.
Fuller House has always been like a box of off-brand cereal: too sweet, deeply nostalgic, and a little stale. It's reassuring to see the series stick to what it does best, which is present a core female friendship that is unshakeable. In the penultimate episode of the season, Fernando and Kimmy tell D.J. they're moving out so Fernando and Jimmy can continue to expand their sandwich shop business beyond San Francisco. Their planned move has ripple effects as Stephanie, Jimmy, and baby Danielle plan to relocate to an apartment closer to the original shop. That would leave the eldest Tanner sister and Steve alone in the Tanner family home with Jackson, Max, and Tommy.
If you've guessed that at the last second Stephanie and Kimmy (and their husbands) decide not to move out after all, well, then no points for you, because what else would happen on this show? There's no real tension in the proposition that the She Wolf pack will be split up, because it goes against the entire ethos of the show. Fuller House, like Full House before it, is the story of an unconventional family, and to have D.J., Stephanie, and Kimmy suddenly separate into perfect nuclear families after marriage would have ignored the entire premise of the series. After all, these are the same women who spend their wedding night eating ice cream in the kitchen together while their husbands are… somewhere.
The series maintains the status quo as the final credits roll: D.J., Steve, Stephanie, Jimmy, Kimmy, and Fernando will all continue to live under the same roof with their assorted kids. As a statement on the power of found families and the strength in numbers approach to child-rearing it's a beautiful and fitting tribute to the legacy of Full House. And, okay, it's more than a little saccharine, too, but that's pretty onbrand for this franchise.
As comforting as it is to know D.J., Kimmy, and Stephanie will presumably grow old together in the Tanner manse to fulfill their destiny of becoming this generation's answer to the Golden Girls, there are parts of the final season that absolutely didn't work. For instance, poor Aunt Becky's absence from the wedding, and the lives of her family in general, is waved away with a quick mention of Nebraska from Uncle Jesse. Meanwhile, the show entirely gives up on explaining why Michelle doesn't bother to send so much as a congratulations card to her sisters on their wedding day. Obviously, Lori Loughlin's legal problems and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's disinterest in acting are behind the characters' absence, but surely there was a better way of handling the onscreen explanations (or lack thereof). A show about an obsessively tight-knit family like the extended Tanner clan can't get away with that kind of hand-waving without it feeling clunky.
Missing family members aside, Fuller House also decided to toss in a last-minute miracle pregnancy for Stephanie in the final moments of the show. Stephanie's frank discussion of her fertility struggles in season 1 was a highlight, and seeing her bond with Kimmy when her former nemesis served as her surrogate gave season 4 an extra layer of emotion. Throwing in a miracle pregnancy after all that suggests Steph's journey couldn't be complete without her physically carrying a baby, which is regressive in a way that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Despite its missteps, Fuller House's ending is satisfying in its mundanity. It's comforting to know that no matter what else happens in the world, the Tanner-Fuller-Gibbler family will continue to have wacky adventures together with periodical visits from crotchety versions of Danny, Uncle Jesse, and Joey. The show ends the same way it began: as a big, bustling mess full of people who clearly love working together. And no matter how cynical my heart may be, their love remained infectious straight through to the utterly predictable ending that left the door open for more. Fullest House 2040, here we come.