The Grand "Steve" ConspiracyEdit
Have you ever noticed the conglomeration of Steves on Full House?
- DJ's Cousin Steve (played by Kirk Cameron)
- DJ's friend's Cousin Steve (Urkel)
- Uncle Jesse's Cousin Stavros (who looks exactly like Uncle Jesse)
- DJ's boyfriend Steve
- DJ's sister Stephanie
For clarity, we will refer to them, respectively, as Cousin Steve, Steve Urkel, Stavros, and Boyfriend Steve. (And, of course, Stephanie.)
It is widely known that Jesse (and by extension, his family) suddenly became Greek when his last name switched from Cochran to Katsopolis. It is also revealed later in the series that Jesse was born "Hermes Katsopolis."
It is also known that, early in the series, Jesse had graduated high school (revealed in the high school reunion episode) but then later in the series, Jesse had not graduated high school (and he began taking night classes and studying with Boyfriend Steve).
Speaking of Boyfriend Steve, his last name was initially Peters and then later became Hale.
Cousin Steve has no possibe parents that would make him DJ's cousin. Her father has one sister who is childless later in the series. Her mother's only brother is Uncle Jesse, who's clearly not Cousin Steve's father, right? (Uncle Jesse is father to twins Nicky and Alex, neither of whom is named Steve.)
Cousin Steve lives far away in Baltimore. His unidentified father is absent. He appears in the first season (which takes place shortly after DJ's mother died) but hasn't seen DJ in a few years, meaning he did not come to the funeral, even though he has a special bond with DJ.
Cousin Stavros looks identical to Jesse, even though they are only cousins. Stavros is also a conman.
The Urkel Connection
Steve Urkel's presence on Full House means that the two shows occur in the same universe. The immediate implication is that all of Urkel's ridiculous sci-fi inventions exist in Full House's world. In particular, time travel is possible. The alleged inconsistencies, therefore, are likely due to someone meddling with alternate timelines.
I believe the nexus of Steves holds the key to understand what is going on. I propose that "Steve," in the context of Full House is a signifier meaning "Time-Traveler." It is a pseudonym adopted by time-travelers to honor the inventor of time travel, Steve Urkel.
Who are the Steves really?
- Stavros is really Jesse.
- Cousin Steve is one of the twins (likely Alex)
- Boyfriend Steve is the other twin (likely Nicky)
- Stephanie's identity is up for debate (More on this later).
Stavros is Jesse
We see three versions of Jesse of varying Greekness throughout the series: Jesse Cochran (the least Greek), Hermes "Jesse" Katsopolis (the medium Greek), and Stavros (the most Greek). An initial change in the timeline resulted in Jesse changing from Cochran to Katsopolis, altering his memories accordingly. I don't have a definitive answer for this one, but I'll propose one as an endnote.
Now, for the emergence of Stavros, there are two possibilities: Either Stavros is a time-traveling Jesse from the future, or he is an alternate timeline version of Jesse. If the former, then Jesse's memories of growing up with Stavros must be completely false, creations of a time-ripple. If the latter, the two timelines must have somehow been woven together. I gravitate towards the first explanation because (a) Jesse has a demonstrated willingness to change his first name, (b) variations of the name "Steve" are used by time-travelers in this conspiracy, and (c) there is no mention of Stavros in any other episodes concerning Jesse's Greek past, suggesting that the memories of Stavros are only implanted when future-Jesse arrives.
The Twins are Steves
Cousin Steve can only really be DJ's first cousin if he is from the future, and the only known first cousins are Nicky and Alex, so I am not going to needlessly invent new cousins. (You know, Occam's Razor and all.)
So, if we work from the assumption that Cousin Steve is actually a cousin, he must be either Nicky or Alex. I think the Tanner family can sense that he is a cousin and that feeling of family overpowers their rational minds. He didn't attend his aunt Pam's funeral, because why would he time-travel to a funeral when he, instead, can time-travel to visit her when she was alive? He lives "in Baltimore" because he, unlike his brother, is not a permanent resident in the past, so he must claim residence sufficiently far away to avoid suspicion. His father is absent because his father is future-Jesse (Stavros?).
I think evidence points to Alex being Cousin Steve, drawing primarily on the episode "Yours, Mine and Ours" wherein Alex is sick and Jesse and Becky imagine the effects of their different parenting styles on the twins. If I recall correctly, Alex is influenced by Becky, and Nicky is influenced by Jesse. Consider: (a) Cousin Steve was sicklier in his youth: glasses, acne, braces, weak, scrawny, etc. Just like Alex as a baby. (b) Cousin Steve wants to spend time with the guys, perhaps making up for a weaker relationship with his father in his childhood.
Unlike Cousin Steve, there's nothing that forces the conclusion that Boyfriend Steve is a time-traveler. But consider that: (a) By now, the name "Steve" is clearly associated with time-travel, (b) once we have accepted that one twin is a time-traveler, the other twin's time-travel is obviously suggested, and (c) Boyfriend Steve can't keep his last name straight (a trait associated Katsopolises).
Further, we have seen that Cousin Steve (Alex) has a special bond with DJ. It is not a leap for his brother Nicky/Boyfriend Steve to have a special bond as well. Nicky (as seen in the imagined future in "Yours, Mine, and Ours") is the more dimwitted twin (having been influenced more by Jesse), so he perhaps doesn't understand the taboo against incest. This is borne out by Boyfriend Steve also being something of a dimwit. We also see Boyfriend Steve has a link to Jesse when the two of them study together, whereas he has no significant (as far as I can recall) interaction with his mother Becky.
One objection I can foresee is, if Cousin Steve and Boyfriend Steve are Alex and Nicky, why then do they not look alike?
This objection is, strangely, eliminated by a heretofore unmentioned cast member: Michelle. Michelle is played by the Olsen twins, who are commonly assumed to be identical twins (At least, I always assumed they were.) But the Olsen twins are not actually identical twins; they just looked enough alike as young children that they could believably play the same role. As they grew older, their looks diverged somewhat. Whether or not Nicky and Alex are played by identical twins, I think we can easily accept, based on this Olsen-clue, that the characters might not be identical twins whose appearances, upon reaching adolescence, diverged. They still looked somewhat similar (both being handsome young men and all). So, this objection is insignificant.
The Identity of Stephanie
One last question lingers: What time-traveler caused the initial transformation of Jesse Cochran into Jesse Katsopolis? Here are my thoughts.
What significant life event accompanied the transition between Cochran and Katsopolis?
The cutting of Jesse's long, luxurious hair by that other "Steve:" Stephanie Tanner. It happened in the first episode of Season 2, which is also the season where Jesse became Jesse Katsopolis.
Now, obviously, even if Stephanie is a time-traveler, cutting a man's hair could only change his life after the haircut and not his history. Thus, the haircut is purely symbolic. By severing his hair, Stephanie was severing Jesse's connection to his original past. It merely signifies to us that, yes, Stephanie, too, is a time-traveler, and that she is the one responsible for altering Cochran family's heritage. How? Inconclusive. Who is Stephanie, really? Still a mystery.
Possibilities: First, there is the possibility that Stephanie is simply herself, Stephanie Tanner, and hasn't time-traveled yet. This is unlikely since "Steve," in the context of Full House, is a time-traveling pseudonym that is only adopted afterwards.
So, who are the other suspects? It must be someone with some stake in Jesse and his past and heritage. Also, since the particulars of time-travel in this universe are not known, we might suppose that, not only are these people capable of traveling bodily through time, they are also capable of advancing or regressing time in the context of their own body, an "age-travel" if you will. If we don't allow for this, there is a complete lack of possibilities within the show.
Stephanie is DJ from the future. DJ, if she continues her relationship with Boyfriend Steve, could one day learn the secret of time-travel. Perhaps, appalled by her incestuous relationship, she would want to restart life as Stephanie. Or perhaps there's something in DJ's life that she wants to change as Stephanie (However, if she wants to influence DJ's life, it probably would have been preferable to assume the identify of an older, mentoring sister. More on that in a bit.) There is a lot to support the idea of Stephanie being DJ from the future, but much of the argument is speculative, I admit. Against the theory is that it has nothing to do with Jesse's heritage.
Stephanie is Michelle from the future. Michelle could have come back in time to become Stephanie so that she would have an older sister who is closer in age and better able to guide her. Also, Michelle has a strong connection to Uncle Jesse, so she would have more inclination to travel into the history of his family. Keeping with the time-traveling incest theme: Could she have injected herself into Jesse's family tree (perhaps posing as a Greek woman, but I'm not sure that's necessary for this to work), thereby altering all of the family below her? This would also account for her closeness with Jesse: her great-great-...-great-grandson. She also has a Greek look-alike, strengthening the case for this theory. (Also supporting the Stephanie-is-Michelle Theory is the likelihood that Michelle, Nicky, and Alex will not be a part of the new "Fuller House" series, obviously because they are busy time-traveling.)
Stephanie is Becky Donaldson/Katsopolis. The rest of her family is time-traveling, so why not her? The problem is that she's not blonde.
Stephanie is her mother, Pam Tanner. Pam is, obviously, Uncle Jesse's sister, and Jesse is at the center of all of this. Under this theory, instead of dying, she escaped the car-crash by time-travel. Posing as the young Stephanie would give her a fresh chance at a full life. She, being his sister, shares the exact same heritage as Jesse, giving her ample reason to visit their ancestors. Furthermore, since Greek culture places great importance on family (immediate and extended), Pam would have reason to turn her family Greek to strengthen family bonds in her absence. Lastly, if Pam is still alive as Stephanie, and Cousin Steve knows this, he has another reason not to attend the funeral.
The "Steves" of Full House are all time-travelers. Cousin Steve is really Alex Katsopolis from the future. DJ's Boyfriend Steve is really Nicky Katsopolis from the future. Jesse's Cousin Stavros is really Jesse from the future. Stephanie is most likely Pam Tanner (or next most likely Michelle Tanner) from the future.
The Entire Show Takes Place in PurgatoryEdit