58.Texas part 3
In this episode, the kids are back in New York and trying to deal with the fallout of what happened in Texas.
In terms of Boy Meets World, there were about three references. First, the Movie date that Riley and Charlie go on refers to the boy meets world pilot when Cory suggests Eric takes his date, Heather, on a movie date where he won’t embarrass himself. Thematically this episode is reminiscent of when Topanga gave up Cory in college but then had second thoughts when he actually appeared to move on. Also when Dana started dating Cory in the third season and Shawn thought he would be okay with it but he wasn’t.
This episode overplayed its hand. First off there shouldn’t have been a part three they should have ended them at two they aren’t even in Texas anymore. Secondly, if they were gonna do a third they should have shown us in action how things went so wrong with the trio and what everyone was feeling. But Girl Meets World went into one of their worst habits. Helicopter parenting.
For the first part of the episode, Cory and Topanga are just talking at Riley and Maya while offering them no advice at all. It’s a bad start. I would have much rathered they talked through the scenario with the kids like Amy and Alan use to. Then maybe if they wanted to they could have a convo between just the two of them to hype their parental anxiety about Riley and her feelings.
Also, they have Topanga say we just have to let them be. This seems to have been done to protect Topanga's perfect image because she is just as on top of them as Cory is and also added no worthwhile advice. Continuing with the theme of helicopter parenting the whole family is at the door reacting to Riley and Lucas and it just feels so claustrophobic like let Riley breathe. It doesn’t even make sense they just let them go to Texas without them. Also, Cory sent a letter saying you have to let them get experience.
Also in Girl meets Rah Rah we see there is a difference between parent and teacher for Cory. But not in this episode he is still a crazy dad not even bothering to seriously tie his lesson into history. I don’t get it Girl Meets World was doing so well I wonder if they got production notes to get more involved or something? This whole episode doesn’t really make sense. It’s like a finale hyping ya up for high school but there are still seven episodes left in season 2.
Also, they did a lot of flashbacks and filler. I feel like we spend more time looking through the past and having everyone react to what’s going on than actually focusing on what’s going on. I liked Auggies brother talk with Lucas I thought that was funny. I also liked Farkle's part of sleuthing out what’s going on and having an emotional scene with Riley and giving us a dramatic setup by threatening to reveal Riley's secret; she still likes Lucas.
However, Farkle's involvement doesn’t even make sense. Cory tells him to fix everything but because they are stalling the conflict nothing has actually happened yet so there is nothing to fix at the moment. That is the heart of the problem of the episode to me. They are giving us all this analysis but very little has happened yet to warrant it cause they haven’t let it play out. I like Charlie's involvement he was another bright spot of the episode. He definitely complicates things. What if he ends up with Riley?
Maya who pushed Riley into dating Charlie indirectly was really bad this episode. Did she really think in front of the whole class and her father was the best time to tell Riley something happened between her and Lucas? Also, she is terrible to Lucas her whole afraid to feel thing is getting tired. She dumped a smoothie on his head after he tried to share a moment with her and not only did it not make any sense it was awful and we would never accept that if Lucas had done that while she was telling him about her home life.
Ultimately this episode established that Riley definitely still holds the torch for Lucas and In that way, it moves the story forward. However pretty much everything else was flawed and it seemed like this episode was just dragging out the Texas episode which is sad because the first two were awesome.
Homework: Heart of a lonely hunter season 3 no such thing as a sure thing Extra credit pilot season 1
59. Girl Meets Real-world
In this episode, Riley chooses between good and evil.
Maya makes a metaphor about how turning evil is easy as turning a doorknob and it’s easier to do it next time. This metaphor is very similar to the one tear of the tapestry metaphor Feeny made in season one. As an episode theme, this episode is like season seven You light Up My Union. Because both are about learning if people are truly good or evil. The homeless guy is a reference to the monkey keeper from You Light Up My Union.
This episode was disappointing because it had so much potential. As a concept, Riley turning evil is really cool. Little miss sunshine having a teen rebellion is actually a great concept. Some of the best episodes Cory ever had were when he stepped out of the good guy role and did something bad.
However, the plot was so watered-down and sanitized that it was hard to take it seriously. Even Riley's friends infantilize her when she says she is going to be evil. They all patronize her. It would have been interesting if Riley started acting out because she didn’t like that her friends patronized her. But they don’t really go that route instead in a comically obvious set up they have her eat Zay's cookie from his grandmother the only one he had. And yes that was bad but it was not good enough to hold up this entire story. Riley actually played into her friend's expectations by doing something so cookie-cutter.
That premise ruined the rest of the episode. I couldn’t believe anyone outside of Zay actually really cared about this because it wasn’t bad enough. Also saying she likes being evil could be cool but they didn’t flesh it out. Like what if she started hanging with a bad crowd and tried to be with people who were more into doing bad stuff and who believed she could too. Then her friends could actually have something to fight for. Riley could learn why she doesn’t want to be a bad person why doing bad things isn’t who she wants to be.
Also, I hated how they kept questioning Zay. Why does he need to forgive her when she already said she isn’t sorry. They pressed him more about forgiving her than they pressed her about apologizing. Also, Riley was so demanding like I want your forgiveness now. When you are the one in the wrong you don’t get to dictate when you are forgiven that’s something she should have earned. Honestly, it would have been a good additional lesson.
Another thing, right at the beginning of the episode they have this debate scene and Cory tells Riley not to just believe strongly but actually hear out the other side. This was an excellent plot point that was just dropped. Yes, Riley had to argue a side that she was opposed to. But as we saw in the episode Riley started to believe people were evil. So she didn’t abandon her beliefs and make an argument for something against her beliefs she got new beliefs and argued those. Switching your beliefs isn't the same as learning to think critically.
Then in the end she just switched back because Cory tells her to all that character development wasted. I wish she would have learned to understand a perspective that she didn't agree with. I would have like to see a meaningful scenario snap her back. Have her learn by experience not just turn on a dime.
Auggie's storyline was good I liked that he was trying to save the environment one beach clean-up at a time. I also liked the episode insinuated that it wasn't just the action but the attitude of little Auggies everywhere that can inspire bigger change. Ultimately this episode blew its potential because of Disney/Girl meets World's need to keep the characters unblemished with real-world situations and tribulations. Also while the scene with the homeless guy was nice watch how much better it’s done in this episode's homework section.
Homework: You light up my union season 7 Extra credit the fugitive