Danny is turning 30! Danny’s only 30!??! He’s got a big house and 3 kids… Man, that really makes me feel bad about my life… I guess Danny didn’t spend all his free time writing a dumb ass blog about a shitty tv show…
Anyway, the family discusses the surprise party they’re planning for the evening until Danny shows up and expresses his unease about turning 30. Every time he tries to say “30” he stammers, which is the latest in an endless stream of unfunny reoccurring gags. He also talks about how much he loves his car, Bullet, which might just be a little set-up for the rest of the episode. On his way out Danny declares that he doesn’t want a party while striking the oddest pose for no apparent reason.
The moment Danny leaves, the Uncles set to work on planning his party. Jesse is going to take Bullet in for new birthday seat covers but first he and Joey stand around talking about how much Danny loves that car. Hmm… I wonder what’s gonna happen…
In the very next scene Jesse arrives to the party with the news that he’s totaled Danny’s car. Oh my god I did not see that coming!!!
Danny isn’t home yet and the family decides not to tell him about his totaled car until after the party. Danny comes home to a room full of undeveloped characters, including Cousin Ed (I’m eager to find out if we ever see him again… he doesn’t have any lines but is clearly well regarded by Danny) and Caroline, the fishing boat captain from episode 5. I think it’s kind of odd that Caroline comes back when we’re still yet to see Grandma or Bubba the turtle again (I’m really upset over the mysterious disappearance of Bubba the turtle), especially since Caroline makes no relevant contribution to the episode.
While Danny is opening presents, Stephanie busts out the sheepskin seat covers that the Uncles tried to hide and of course Danny insists on putting them on the car that very minute (hence them being hidden). He’s horrified at the sight of his ruined car but tries to take it all in stride. For some reason this prompts the Uncles to elaborate on how fucked up the situation in, especially Joey, who recounts all the wonderful experiences Danny had with Bullet and declares that the car represents Danny’s 20’s. Way to pour salt on an open wound, Joey. Danny goes to bed destroyed and we can only assume that the partygoers head home because we never see them again.
In the morning Danny finds himself experiencing an existential crisis but Jesse assures him that he’s got a big surprise in store that will fix everything. The Uncles head to a classic car dealer that has the exact same car model as Bullet.
They get to work on getting a price on the car that is equal to the insurance settlement for Bullet, but wouldn’t you know it? Someone calls in who wants to buy the car over the phone, sight-unseen. The Uncles get into a bidding war with the caller, who of course turns out to be Danny. After a bit that you’ve seen a dozen times before on way better sitcoms, The Uncles get the car.
When the Uncles get home Danny goes into a whole spiel about how he’s over Bullet and wants a new jeep instead, but then he’s all jazzed anyway when he sees his replacement car. The moral is kind of jumbled here, as it seems to be about moving on and accepting change but then Danny gets the same exact car, so I’m not even sure why the music comes on.
Anyway, Danny is finally able to say that he’s 30 and then the family goes for a spin that utilizes stock footage from the shows opening set to the worst cover of “Baby You Can Drive My Car” I ever heard in my life.
Firsts: Bullet the car (also death of), view of the backyard set