UPDATE: April Fools! Jesse and Becky won't divorce on Fuller House. But what will the show do about its current difficult situation?
Following Lori Loughlin's arrest in Operation Varsity Blues, the actress was fired from Fuller House, leaving the fate of Aunt Becky up in the air. Now, Fuller House showrunner Steve Baldikoski has confirmed how writers plan to cut Aunt Becky and ensure executive producer John Stamos can still appear. After 28 years of marriage, Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky will get divorced.
It's been a rough two months for the Netflix revival series. At the end of February, just four weeks after Fuller House was renewed for its fifth (and final) season, longtime Full House and Fuller House showrunner, Jeff Franklin, was dismissed from the series after allegations of inappropriate behavior and verbal abuse surfaced. Two weeks later, the FBI revealed Loughlin had been named as part of their college bribery sting - with allegations stating Loughlin and husband, Mossimo Giannulli, paid 500,000 to scam USC into accepting the pair's daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose, under false pretenses. Less than four days after the news broke, Loughlin was dismissed from Fuller House by Netflix.
Since that time, Netflix has been scrambling to rework storylines and production plans for season 5 of the show - which, previous to Loughlin's legal troubles, was set to include an extensive "farewell tour" for the Full/Fuller House cast set against Stephanie and Jimmy's wedding prep. Specifically, the wedding backdrop would allow Netflix to beef up the episode count (up from 13 in season 4 to 18 in season 5) and double the number of episodes featuring original series stars, including Stamos, Loughlin, Dave Coulier, and Bob Saget. Stamos, who also serves as Fuller House executive producer, was particularly frustrated by Loughlin's personal troubles and how they would impact the show's sendoff season - not to mention how a Becky-less Fuller House would impact Stamos directly.
Nevertheless, speaking to reporters at WonderCon 2019, Baldikoski reaffirmed his commitment to ensuring fans get plenty of Uncle Jesse (and Stamos) in the final season of Fuller House - explaining that the show's writers are reworking the upcoming slate of episodes to include an emotional sendoff for Jesse - one that will see the women of Fuller House reflect on their own lessons in heartbreak to help their uncle start a new chapter in his life.
"It was difficult and unexpected but we knew that Lori shouldn't return for season 5. But we already had John for 8 episodes. So we decided they'd get divorced and we added 4 more episodes into John's contract. It's not something we ever would have planned for Jesse and Becky but an unfortunate situation opened a door for us to do something bold with John and to say something meaningful to our audience. We decided that was a risk worth taking."
When pressed in a follow-up question regarding the reason why Jesse and Becky were divorcing, Baldikoski said the writers hadn't found a reason that felt "right" but seemed to suggest Fuller House wouldn't villainize Aunt Becky either.
"Divorce is much more common now than it was when ABC was airing the original show. And people divorce for plenty of good reasons. Not every divorce is a big ugly thing. That's the route we're going but we haven't found a reason that feels right for Jesse and Becky yet. We just know we don't want season 5 to be an indictment of Becky. This is a story about finding happiness. I think fans will be very satisfied even if they're sad things didn't turn out the way they hoped for these characters."
While fans will, undoubtedly, be upset that Jesse and Becky weren't left with a happy offscreen ending, there's no doubt the new arc is a poetic way to end a series that was, from the beginning, a story about learning to move on following unexpected loss and failed relationships. The premise of the revival series was, after all, centered around a recently widowed D.J. Tanner and recently divorced Kimmy Gibbler - years after the original series saw Danny Tanner and Jesse, his brother-in-law, move in together after Danny's wife was killed by a drunk driver.
At its core, the Full House series has always been about leaning on family and friends, sharing love and wisdom, and relearning to laugh and love.
It was right there in the theme song by Jesse Frederick all along:
"When you're lost out there and you're all aloneA light is waiting to carry you home."
For over three decades, Jesse was there to support D.J., Stephanie, (and Kimmy); now, having weathered their own troubles and come out stronger than ever, the women of Fuller House are going to have the opportunity to give back. It might not be the end that fans would have wanted for Uncle Jesse but it's a poetic turn for the final season of Fuller House - and one last, albeit unplanned, chance for the show to explore its central messaging. That is, unless Netflix chooses to continue the Full House franchise via another spinoff - this one starring Stamos as a newly-divorced dad raising Pamela (Jesse and Becky's adopted daughter) on his own - maybe even with the help of best friends Danny Tanner and Joey Gladstone?
To read Baldikoski's full statement (as well as a few more Fuller House season 5 story details) click - HERE.
Fuller House season 5 will debut on Netflix later in 2019.