Fourth-season opener finds Blossom Russo (Mayim Bialik) off to France, fleeing boyfriend Vinnie (David Lascher) and looking to stay with her estranged mother (Melissa Manchester), now a cabaret singer in Paris.
Subplot, evidently inserted mainly to keep teen idol Joey Lawrence onscreen as much as possible, finds Blossom’s brothers (Lawrence, Michael Stoyanov) working as couriers to gain passage to Paris; they’re carrying contraband and become involved with cops ‘n’ robbers.
After quickly finding mom, who’s disinterested in her child’s welfare, Blossom develops romance with handsome waiter Laurent (Jacques Coltelloni). Vinnie, who’s managed to get to Paris himself, stumbles on Blossom and Laurent in amazingly short order.
Meanwhile, Russo pere (Ted Wass) stays home with girlfriend Sharon (Gail Edwards); and grandfather Buzz (Barnard Hughes) has disappeared altogether, having been demoted from regular to recurrent; and co-star Jenna van Oy pops up in her regular role as Blossom’s best friend (and Sharon’s daughter), Six — and also as Blossom’s conscience and as a look-alike French salesgirl.
Episode misses much of the wacky hipness that brings “Blossom” above most teen fare, though there are moments — as when Anthony describes France to dimwit Joey as “the country that keeps Germany from invading Spain,” and when machine-gun-mouth Six describes to Blossom what’s been going on back home.
Lawrence gets a rare opportunity to “act”– Joey still resents his mother’s having walked out on the family — and Joey is allowed to show occasional glimpses of intelligence and insight (though not enough to lose the audience that finds Joey’s usual dumb hunk appealing). Manchester sings a few songs, the Blossom-Vinnie-Laurent triangle is resolved, and wheels are set in motion for episodes to come.
Pic looks and moves OK under John Whitesell’s direction, though use of Parisian locations isn’t particularly imaginative, with action coming to a head on — where else? — the Eiffel Tower.