Sunday, October 18, 2015

Episode Review: "Girl Meets Texas: Part 2" (#2.21)

I've just finished part 2 and the most constructive thing I have to say is that my "Past, Present, Future" thing still works because of this line from Lucas, "But you two are nothing compared to Riley and Maya," when he's talking to the sheep and Tombstone. He's setting has past aside in favor of his present. The symbolism is still consistent.

The most destructive thing I have to say is that I despise the way they split parts 1 and 2. If you are going to drop a NUCLEAR WARHEAD like they did at the end of part 1, YOU HAVE TO PICK UP WHERE YOU LEFT OFF, you can't just dive in some ambiguous-many minutes later. How the fuck did they resolve that tension from the end of part 1? If you're not going to resolve it, then don't do it in the first place. YOU CAN'T BAIT YOUR AUDIENCE WITH A CLIFFHANGER AND THEN PRETEND THE CLIFFHANGER DIDN'T HAPPEN. DAMN.

You know what else didn't happen? Anything. For the first nineteen minutes, anyway. This episode is vanilla pudding. I'm not gonna yell in your face if you try to hand me vanilla pudding, but I'm not gonna fall in love with you either. 
Pictured: Super Interesting.
I'll start with Zay. He wailed about Vanessa in Meets Rah Rah, which I fully appreciate, but what the hell is the story? She didn't like him, so they tricked her into liking him. The word of some strange girls has swayed Vanessa's opinion of Zay. It's hard to be invested in a side story about killing ants while our main story is about slaying a dragon. Zay was excellent in part 1 as he contributed to and played off of the main story. but here... just more vanilla pudding. Why would I want to stop eating baked Alaska for a few minutes of vanilla pudding? It's distracting. Zay as a character, though, was still enjoyable, but the writing choices there felt like filler.

Then again, everything felt like filler. Can I get a count on Lucas saying "I don't know what's going on"? There were only two things on our checklist. Riley has to explain her "brother and sister love" to Lucas, which by the very end Lucas still claims he does not understand, and Maya's confession. So we got half of what we wanted. And that half was wonderful. The campfire was pretty close to perfect, but I'm just dead tired of Lucas saying "I don't understand." Maya's delivery of "Of course I like you" was perfect, though. The exact right mix of casual and emotional.
It sounds like I'm coming down hard on it, but it's still in B territory. It's just that coming off of Part 1's shining, magnificent glory, I expected a lot more, and I'm really pissed about the trick box vanishing act they pulled on part 1's cliffhanger. There was no depth here. It was as straightforward and predictable as possible. Point A to point A-and-a-half. I have nothing to analyze! I feel so empty without my analysis! There was a COUNTRY MUSIC PERFORMANCE for crying out loud! At least during Meets Semi-Formal the characters interacted during the song, so the story kept moving.

So that's the technical reviewer stuff. There remain two matters of personal opinion to weigh in on. Is Riley doing the right thing/does she actually mean what she's saying, and should Lucas have kissed Maya? 

The answer to the first comes from Rowan, I think. She's a good enough actress at this point that her delivery would be completely different if Riley actually believed what she's saying. You've all seen part 3 by the time I'm writing this, while I still haven't, so maybe I'm completely wrong and you're laughing at me. Well hahaha I can laugh at you too. Is it the right thing to do though? Maybe in spirit, her heart is in the right place, but the whole mystique with Lucas "not understanding" isn't fun for me. For the second matter, hell yeah he shoulda. But what do I know. I'm single as fuck.

Christian will be here eventually and I have no idea what he's going to say. I hope he can make me feel better about this. I'm going to get some Steak and Shake and watch part 3.
I was disappointed in this part too, and it seems to be for the same reasons as you are. In general this three-parter seems to be suffering from the fact that it in no way needed to be a three-parter. This is two episodes worth of material (and I believe when we first heard of "Girl Meets Texas" it was a two-parter, but then Disney would appear to have made them make it a three-parter and do a weekend event out of it) and while you can (without too much difficulty) stretch two episodes into three, you have to spread it out better than they did here. You stretch Episode 1 into 1.5 episodes, and then you stretch episode 2 into 1.5 episodes and you're good. 

What they did instead, it would seem, was not fuck with Episode 1 at all, and then stretch episode 2 into two distinct episodes. And there wasn't enough material there to justify it. So it was all just people negotiating over their feelings, with the only drama coming from the fact that people kept needlessly laying down emotionally-charged statements in public for no reason. And, then, yes, stalling in the form of country music performances and shit. While I lauded the music performance in "Semi-Formal" for being handled as well as those things could, this was not as good an example of it (although, thankfully, they didn't become characters in the story)

Also, I'm sorry, do mine ears deceive me? Is that rib joint they went to actually called Chubbie's? I... don't know how I feel about that. Good, I guess. I guess I feel good about it. 

Anyway, yeah, the good will I was feeling towards Riley and Lucas in the last episode are gone now. Lucas reverted back to his "Girl Meets Sneak Attack" behavior of being an vacuous empty shell for people to barter over. No attention at all was paid toward how Lucas was actually feeling and who he liked, which is just as well, because he seems content to like whomever he's told to like. At first he seemed like he liked Riley in this episode, and then he was assigned Maya, so, okay, he likes Maya. I don't know why they wussed out on the kiss, except that it's Disney Channel. But it was lame. Just kiss. God.

And Riley was just obnoxious. You don't need to be doing this in front of Farkle and Zay and everyone. What the hell is the matter with you? They all keep doing shit like that throughout this episode and the next one and I hate it. It's a fake attempt to create drama by just having people act in unbelievable histrionic fashion. 

Like Sean, I'm probably being too harsh here. There's still some good drama here, and this is a B episode. My loathing of Episode 3 is probably leaking in. But it was a let down considering Part 1 was so good.

R.I.P. Ben Savage in every episode. Come on, he couldn't have called to deliver that advice himself?

Episode Rating: B-
Episode MVP: Sabrina Carpenter (She played her part in all this well)

Oh yeah, Chubbie's. I felt good about it too. I think the secret is that nobody commented on it. Nothing like "WAIT RILES DIDN'T YOUR DAD ALWAYS TALK ABOUT A CHUBBIE'S, IT'S LIKE HOW OUR BAY WINDOW IS EVERYWHERE." It was just one line for the people who managed to catch it. Finally.

I really liked this, "So it was all just people negotiating over their feelings, with the only drama coming from the fact that people kept needlessly laying down emotionally-charged statements in public for no reason." That is the cliffnotes version of the review. That is precisely how I feel about it.

Rating: B-
MVP: Sabri-bri.


  1. Copy pasted, that's cool right?

    Alright, let’s get down to business. *Insert Mulan joke here*

    This episode rocked! It started out strong, was well-paced, allowed for development of storylines, more interesting character dynamics! This was the best since “Pluto,” bar none.

    Where to start? Okay, Riley and Lucas as “brother-and-sister.” Ham-fisted? Awkward? Perhaps, but it seemed deliberately so. This is a change in direction, and Riley appears to be trying to convince herself of this. A fair complaint, but far better than “Does he like me or not?” This is a nice continuation from “Yearbook,” for sure.

    The gang went out to dinner at Chubbie’s! I was ecstatic here—a nice change of pace from the bakery, and it was one of the funniest things we’ve ever seen Farkle do. Go back to his Farkle-y roots in a way that we didn’t expect. But it worked. And it was actually rather believable—Shipping Wars and I had a buddy in high school and college who went down to Georgia for work. He discovered the joy that is Southern Food and loved talking all about it. So yeah, it may be clichéd for a character to disregard some food that they think is beneath them, but darn it if it still doesn’t make me laugh.

    And the musical guest stars were nice too, in how understated they were. It was strongly implied that they were there as a favor of the restaurant owners, and the kids did not go “Oh my gosh! Celebrity! Be my best friend!”

    And Zay running into an ex-girlfriend and Maya and Riley pretending to be his current girlfriends was very funny. “Cotton-Candy-Face” definitely suits Riley and proves she can’t keep up anything remotely resembling a façade—which raises the question of how she wasn’t busted twenty seconds into “Tell-Tale Tot”--and I got a chuckle out of the middle name gag.

    The one question I had here was that this is Chubbie’s. I’m going to assume it’s just the name of the restaurant, with no connection to the original. That said, it would have been nice for a callback. Riley and Farkle remarking about stories their parents told about their restaurant, or maybe a picture of Cory or Eric with the plaque “Best Philadelphia Customer.”

    The campfire scene. Very nice. Important development. There’s not much to say here as it didn’t excite me in the same way. It was definitely important with Riley emphasizing her desire to keep Lucas as a friend. Some might raise an eyebrow at Riley stating flat-out that Maya liked Lucas, but hey, it beats stretching this out any longer. And more to the point, as much as Riley wants things to remain the same for herself, she doesn’t appear to want that for her friends. Cory desired homeostasis in his life and everybody else’s lives—he despised any notion of change. Riley appears to want things to change if it means things are better for her friends, so long as she actually gets to keep her friends.

    The almost-kiss between Maya and Lucas. We knew it was coming, and frankly I’m a little surprised it was only an almost. But it’s hardly anything to make a fuss about keeping a secret over—which makes me wonder what they’re going for in Part 3. A lot of fans predicted in their really bad fanfiction (WHICH I NEVER READ) that if Maya and Lucas get together, Riley would start dating Farkle. Thank God, that doesn’t appear to be going on here, it was more “Let’s leave. Oooh, there’s ice cream over there.” That said, I have been wanting those two to interact more one-on-one for months.

    Zay won me over. It took him a while, but yeah, he won me over. He actually feels like a character now. And Pappy Joe was fantastic here—the lesson was something Cory-ish, but it had some Southern charm. There was nothing in this episode I didn’t like that wasn’t supposed to be that way.

    On to Part 3, full speed ahead!

    Grade: A
    MVP: M.C. Gainey, due to the likelihood, we’re not going to see him again for a long time if at all.

    1. Cryptid, I agree that things are ham-fisted and awkward now and it is being done deliberately. It was easy for them to slow play the romance stuff for a year and a half, as all the kids were just growing up. But now both girls are into the same guy and the pace has to pick up in response, but none of them is experienced enough to know how to do this smoothly (as if it could ever be done smoothly outside an Archie comic).

    2. True, 1960, but my point was more that now the awkwardness is deliberate. Compare this to early episodes like "Sneak Attack" or "Farkle's Choice," (Filmed very early even with a later air date) which were far more awkward in the romance.

    3. I was agreeing with you. Sorry if my reply didn't make that clear.

  2. Sean, I'm surprised you didn't thrown in a Cory-brought-pudding-to-college joke.

  3. I'll copy and paste like Cryptid.

    Man, I really enjoyed the acting in this part a lot. Sure, there were some hamfisted parts, but I think they had to be. I liked how they picked up this part literally seconds after the end of part 1, so it feels like things are happening fast. Pappy Joe is working like a damn charm, and I love this character. He feels like real person, and it is helping move the story. While Farkle wasn't given much, his presence was felt in a subtle way. Being there for Maya at Chubbie's was a small, but sweet moment. And while the Vanessa stuff literally came out of nowhere, I like how the girls were right there ready to help him get the girl. Oh, and yes, Zay is now cool w/ me. It's obvious he works better in Texas, but he's working so well that I won't hold it against him.

    Now lets get to the heart of this episode, the love triangle. Riley is trying to sell herself on a line of BS that she's trying to buy. Yet, its obvious she doesn't. I love how she's doing everything she can to step aside for Maya, so her friend can be happy. And I love how Lucas is almost oblivious to this, and doesn't believe Riley. That scene at the campfire was so good. I like how each time Lucas was trying to get Riley to stay, the camera cut to Maya and it looked like she was getting just punched in the gut. I felt bad for her. We know how she wants the status quo to stay, because that means nothing bad is happening. The almost kiss was perfect, because it would have been so cliche for them to kiss. I think if they kissed, Maya would have been so conflicted. It's obvious she doesn't want this to play out like this. I'm really looking forward to see how they resolve all this in NY. Things are really shaping up nicely, and I give credit to Rowan, Sabrina and Peyton for pulling all this off spectacularly.

    Episode Grade: A- Not as good as Part 1, but I think I liked the acting in this episode more.

    Episode MVP: Rowan Blanchard. Damn, she's just been a house of fire these last number of episodes. She's been absolutely fantastic.

  4. Well, Sean, I definitely understand your point about this being the filler episode of the trilogy. And it was. Not too much happened from a plot point. BUT I chose to review this episode from a character stand point.

    So, jumping on the copy/paste bandwagon.

    Personally, I felt Part 2 was even better than Part 1. I loved this episode. Rowan did a great job playing Riley. Clearly Riley was lying that she only liked Lucas as a brother but she's falling on the sword to make Maya happy. She's very much like Cory as she wants everyone to be happy.

    The BBQ scene was superb. Chubbies. I'm surprised it took 45 episodes of this show to get a Chubbies reference. Glad it was subtle though. I thought the scene with Maya and Farkle was adorable. Zay was awesome and I liked the scene with Maya and Riley pretending to like him. I felt it was well-done. Zay and Farkle were both great. If those two could get more time being friends, I'm all for it. The singing scene was decent. I've never heard of the girls who were performing but no big deal. I'm a little glad they didn't try to bring in someone a bit more popular, such as Hunter Hayes...because Hayes looks quite a bit like Peyton Meyer.

    Now the campfire scene. I liked Riley asking Farkle to go out for ice cream. It was clearly just friendly and to get Maya, who is stubborn as a mule, and Lucas to talk. That's all it was. Sabrina Carpenter outdid herself this whole episode. While Rowan and Peyton were both great again, Sabrina put a lot of emotions we haven't seen in Maya so far. She put in fear. We haven't seen Maya like anybody (other than Josh which is not gonna happen) and it scares her.

    Grade: A+
    MVP: Sabrina Carpenter, by a mile. She's never been better.

    That said, I totally get why you'd give it a B. But it was a damn good one and I can't wait to see what you guys say for Part 3.

  5. Still single as fuck even after your weekend wiith the pretty girls and harry potter sean? Damn Howd that happen?

    But anyway onto the matter at hand. I watchStill single as fuck even after your weekend wiith the pretty girls and harry potter sean? Damn Howd that happen?

    But anyway onto the matter at hand. I watched parts 1 and 2 together so maybe its influencing my opinion just a tad but i LOVED part 2. I liked part 1 a lot too mostly because I just assumed it would all be setup and the bull wouldnt even come in until part3 from the promos so that was a nice surprise. But boy did I love part 2.

    First of all the jokes were great. I loved when maya and riley were pretending to be fighting over Zay to make Vanessa jealous. Its a story thats been done a hundred times made unique by these great characters. Riley seeing maya put her arm around Zay and immediately understanding what was going on and then jumping in on the fun was great, made better by the fact that Riley sucked at it. But the cherry on top was when she calls her Vanessa and they all just completely jump ship.

    But more important than anything is just how completely and bafflingly well written the character interactions were. Maya NAILED her big scene. Riley was the most likeable she's ever been, AND she has a very real problem now that we can all sympathize with her on.

    1. But nothing was better than the way they all watched those guest stars playing a country song. I know you said sean that it was better when they were dancing at the semi formal (which also happens to be one of my all time favorite scenes), but I think you missed something in this one because I loved it. Nothing has ever been more realistic than the way they were all half glancing at each other and then looking away. They were all doing the same thing but each one just very slightly different. Lucas looked at Riley and Maya a pretty equal amount of times. Maya was mostly looking at Lucas. Riley would look at Lucas and he’d catch her staring and shed look away like when your crush catches you staring. And then she remembers she’s not supposed to feel like that anymore so she looks back at him and gives him a big smile to show it’s not weird. And everything after that was pretty much just her staring at Maya. It was so on point with everything the characters were going through. And I rambled about that for FAR too long but whatever we all have our thing. I think stolen glances is 100% key to any love story. It was pretty much the foundation of Jim and Pams romance for the first three seasons of the Office.

      And just to be clear I’m not the least bit invested in who ends up with who. I just LOVE what this is doing for the characters. Situations like this usually tend to make someone or everyone look really bad and they are all just coming out of it looking like better and better people. I like that Riley and Maya both know that they have to put their friendship first. They just aren’t sure what the right way to do that is yet.

      Rant over. Sorry that was long I didn't get to comment on the first post. I'll probably think of more to say later but that was first impressions

    2. hmm just ignore the very top part of my first comment. My comments always seem to get a little fucked up

    3. I COMPLETELY agree with your glance theory. It's near the same information being broadcast as when the camera shows Maya's expressions when Lucas was pleading with Riley at the campfire.
      And Sean, Lucas is as confused AS FUCK. The girl he's into is being crazier than usual by pushing him unto her friend. did he miss something? Well, turns out he did, but STILL. Shouldn't he get a say? Now everything's weird and he probably has Riley saying she'd rather have him to talk to forever, than date, break-up, and hate each other. Poor Huckleberry.

    4. I have no issues with your theory, but as I alluded to in my post those 2 and a half minutes could have been spent advancing the story in other ways while they all stole glances at each other to get the message across.

    5. Yes you're right there may have been a way to do that without wasting two minutes on those singers we don't care about. But I'm willing to forgive it because I was really blown away by how subtle they were being about it and how incredibly familiar it was when they were looking around at eachother. It was so realistic it was eerie. Like I feel like I have been in Maya and Riley and Lucas's positions at some point in my life and that is exactly what that looked like.

    6. I mean how often do we get to use the word subtle in this show? If it wasn't clear I give this episode an A+. Maybe the content wasnt as much as a lot of other episodes but the jokes were well timed, the interactions were realistic, and the acting greatly exceeded my expectations

    7. Good Look Detective, we gave this episode the same grade. HIGH FIVE!

    8. *Slaps palm* Good to know some other people are on the same page as me! I thought this was the best of all three parts

    9. I agree.

      But looking back, I LOVED the ending of Part 3.

    10. Heh. It was just for fun, not really a date. It seems like I'm pretty alone about this episode. I dont know, there's just no real content until the campfire. The humor and acting were good but that doesn't earn an A from me.

    11. Heh. It was just for fun, not really a date. It seems like I'm pretty alone about this episode. I dont know, there's just no real content until the campfire. The humor and acting were good but that doesn't earn an A from me.

    12. I think, Sean, especially after how much happens and is finally said in Part 1 this was definitely slower. Like you said. Not much really happens. The only real change is we see more of the hints that Riley is faking it...but until the fire nothing has happened. Well acted nothing, but nothing

  6. Copy and pasted as well

    So in the opening we see that Lucas is still confused and that perhaps Zay doesn’t understand women either. Now Riley continues fooling herself about how she feels about Lucas. She appears to be caught up trying to help Maya AND not clearly understanding the advice Jack gave her in “Semi-Formal”. Though to be fair I would guess that when you and your best friend both have the same crush and it’s really the first crush for the both of you it’s unlikely that 14 year old kids would know how to work through that easily. And where did Riley and Maya shop when they came down to Austin? Does Demolition have a stereotypical country/western branch down there? The boys are pretty much dressed as they are in NYC with the hats added. Seems like the wardrobe was a little overdone for TV. Farkle’s line about Pappy Joe not wanting to be a cliché was great.

    So now they are going to eat at a BBQ place named CHUBBIES? Really? That seems it was a decision made solely for the old time BMW fans that aren’t getting a guest star or flashbacks in this trio of episodes (And sadly as big of a BMW fan as I am, I totally missed it the first time I saw it).

    Complete aside here – they are on a ranch outside of town, and Pappy Joe doesn’t go with them. So how are they getting into town? None of them drive and I would assume public transportation doesn’t stop at the end of the driveway. /Rant over

    So they look like they ate about $100 worth of ribs. Good thing Farkle is loaded. Maya is really troubled now, so much so she asks Farkle for help. That seems out of her comfort zone. Riley and Lucas do some line dancing and Riley tells Lucas why she is doing what she is doing. It’s the whole don’t date and break up and hate each other thing that Topanga used on Cory in “Pairing Off”, except Topanga was serious and Riley is pretty much just using it as a justification for what she is really doing. This is so much NOT like Riley. This is probably the first adult decision she has ever had to make. So, score for growth on one front but lose points for lying about it to Lucas. It still good though.

    Farkle is trying to understand what is happening to Maya when Vanessa shows up and it’s great to see Maya and Riley completely put their problems aside and completely throw themselves into helping Zay get her attention. So the two of them have not completely lost themselves yet, and that is good. I think it means that eventually they will figure this out and remember who they are.

    Now it’s show time and I have to ask, WHY THE FUCK DID THEY HAVE TO DO THIS? (Coming clean – I love country music and Maddie and Tae are talented and the song was fine. I’m not ranting because I hate the music.) They spent 2 and a half minutes on this scene and most of that time was spent on shots of the duo on stage with just a few seconds showing Maya and Riley glancing at Lucas. That time should have been spent on almost anything else that furthered the story. I have to assume that for some reason this was forced on the show, but who knows. I just think it completely stopped the pacing of the real story and was unnecessary. At least when they did this in “Semi-Formal” we had some dialogue and the story was moving on.

    Now we come back to the ranch and Pappy Joe fills in for Cory with a lesson. That was cute. The teaching “from beyond the grave” line was a little creepy though. And I thought Riley’s comment after Pappy Joe said that Cory is “good people” and she said he isn’t was completely out of character. I’m not sure if that was intentional from the writers trying to show she is out of sorts or just them giving us a shitty line.

    1. Replying to my own post to continue -

      The campfire scene was clearly the entire reason the show came to Texas. It was done pretty well. Riley telling Maya she could never do anything to hurt her seemed forced though and not heartfelt like it should have if she said it at a time when it would mean something special. Riley is really forcing the action here, and while she has a right to choose to back away from Lucas, and a right to tell Maya what she is doing, she has no right to tell Lucas that Maya likes him. That isn’t how the real Riley would act and I think again just shows how confused she is. And it doesn’t help Maya either, because she didn’t appear ready to let Lucas know. And truly I feel sorry for Lucas now. The girl he wants has just tossed him in the brotherzone (without stopping in the friendzone first) and now she expects him to instantly have romantic feelings for Maya. At no point did anyone ask Lucas how he feels about all this, and they are just treating him like a prime cut of meat. (It’s a good thing Farkle and Smackle have hooked up at this point or Farkle would probably just go over the deep end. He tried for these 2 girls for years with no luck and now both of them want his best friend instead. That must suck) The entire scene really felt like a bunch of 14 year olds that have no idea how romantic relationships work are trying to get their post graduate degrees in romance before they have even gone on a real first date. I applaud the writers for this. “Please don’t tell my sister” was just a great line.

      I completely knew that during the epilogue that Lucas was talking to the animals before they told us. I’m sure that on some level that he is comparing Tombstone and Judy to Riley and Maya, though truthfully I’m not sure which animal is being compared to which girl.

      Grade: A- This was another great episode, but I thought it was not quite as good as part 1. I don’t want to call it filler, but more of a bridge from what happened in part 1 to part 3 and it did it well.
      MVP: Sabrina This was a really tough call. Rowan and Peyton were both outstanding again, but to me Sabrina’s performance was better overall. Her emotional scenes seemed real and Maya came off as very confused and scared. Amir was also once again very good.

      What I liked: The dialogue was good, it was well acted all around and there weren’t any major screw ups. Once again Farkle seemed to be there solely to observe and as long as it pays off in part 3, I’m ok with that. I also liked that for the first time in 200 episodes of the “Meets World” franchise, Cory did not appear. I had commented earlier in the season that except for Riley and Maya, any character should be considered “expendable” and left out if they did not advance the story in a realistic and believable way. They could have easily given us 2 minutes at the Matthews house with Cory, Topanga, Auggie and Ava just to get them all screen time, but they didn’t and they were correct not to. Most importantly, they didn’t have Lucas and Maya kiss at the campfire like everyone expected. That would have been too sudden and more importantly even though Riley might not have considered a betrayal, I’m sure that Lucas and Maya would have.

      What I didn’t like: The scene with Maddie and Tae was wasted airtime and slowed the pacing down. We could have had 2 minutes more of almost anything else they did here, and it would have made it better. That seems like a pretty weak hate list, but it is what it is.

  7. Okay I was right I forgot to include a ton of stuff in my first post and I watched the episode again so here goes round 2. First of all Sean I totally thought of the first review when he was talking about the past and future to the sheep and the bull that was like prophetic.

    Wow Wow wow to the acting in this episode. Riley did a great job but Maya just absolutely nailed it. I know that everyone loves her angst and problems and I do too but to be honest I always thought her more emotional scenes were a little weak. Like in hurricane when she'd try to pull off the more emotional stuff it just would come off like a little bit too much overacting. This was a really huge challenge. So much that was conveyed had to be done just through their facial expressions and intonation and she really stepped up to the challenge. Her campfire scene was absolutely perfect. She played it off with exactly the right mix of "I don't care" "shutup" and "of course I like you". It felt very very natural and exactly how this situation would be handled. Lucas is a straight shooter and he just wants to know what's going on. Maya, however has known exactly what was going on longer than anyone and has done everything she could to keep it under wraps.

    Also I loved Lucas's line "Please don't tell my sister". that was perfect.

    It might seem like I can't gush anymore over this episode but there's more. I was very tentative about the whole "it's like theyre brother and sister thing". I thought semi formal was good because it kind of made it clear that she would be choosing the brother and sister dynamic because she's not willing to risk their friendship for the potential in a relationship. This episode clarified that more. She WANTS so badly to be platonic if it means everyones happy and she gets to keep her friends forever. Her and maya didn't just come to the same conclusion separately. Maya said the brother and sister thing and Riley heard it in the yearbook episode in the classroom. I always thought it was weird that she just didnt hear that, so good to know she did and they both just chose to ignore it for a long time until Riley finally decided to put it out there. There is nothing platonic about Riley and Lucas. But she knows that it would make all of their lives easier so she's trying to force it to be true.

  8. Glad to hear you guys (Well, Christian at least) hated Episode 3. I got scared when I saw how much people liked it on reddit. I found it one of the most baffling 30 minutes of television I can remember. It bugs me so much because, like you guys, I thought Episode 1 was one of the best they've done. It was as if the writers finally understood where they could take the characters! But now they're back to this running in circles with meaningless 'complications' in relationships based on no significant evidence seen in-show. It feels like this arc ended up trying to cater to shippers without going all the way and alienating one group, which results in a conclusion that could have been all right if they'd walked in to it differently but now makes no sense. And I'm so sick of them trying to hammer in phrases on us: "BAY WINDOW," "HE'S MY BROTHER!" etc.

    Sigh... I complain and yet I'll continue staring at this trainwreck in the slim hope that it one day feels worth it.

    1. Also, as an educator in training, I am disgusted with how the writers are depicting Cory as a teacher in this series, and Episode 3 was pretty much the nail in the coffin. Yes, I'm aware it's just a show, but everything about his teaching method should have gotten him fired and I really hope nobody watching this show takes the things Cory does or the 'lessons' he teaches remotely seriously. I am cringing at the prospect of them continuing to use Cory as the teacher in the following story-lines. It's made even worse by the fact that Harper had a legitimate method to her teaching that painted teachers in a positive light and she has now been removed from the show for all intents and purposes.

    2. I also disliked part 3, for what it's worth. So much so that we're having trouble finding the energy to write the review. It's just depressing.

  9. I enjoyed Part 3 for the most part mainly for how they handled the kids emotions like they were actual middle schoolers. Normal kids in 8th grade have no idea how to separate different emotional connections, i.e. do I like him or do I like like him. The worst part of course was Cory in the classroom, its like the whole Cory the Teacher vs. Cory the Father dynamic was never mentioned on the show. At this point Cory is more of a babysitter than a teacher. I liked the Farkle and Zay interaction at Topanga's because it introduced what several people were thinking without really breaking the 4th wall. This episode handled the complexity of Riley's emotions pretty well. Nothing is cut and dry with human emotions such as just because Riley and Lucas are a like doesn't mean they are brother and sister. Just because Maya says Riley likes Lucas like her brother that doesn't make her right, that is just her observation of the situation. Riley and Maya are best friends who are like sisters but we never truly know what goes on in someone else's mind. The ending made sense because now Charlie is involved and Riley is trying to bury her feelings for Lucas by focusing herself and her emotions on Charlie. While Farkle made her realize some of her true feelings she still has to take into account everyone else who is involved and their feelings. This was the realistic way to end this 3 episode arc. The way these characters interact on this show is going to be fundamentally different because BMW was based around boys and this is based around teenage girls which is a different dynamic especially pertaining to friendships.

    Does anyone here listen to the GMW Podcast?

    1. I sort of addressed this in my review of part 3, in my second segment. This is supposed to be the climax of the season. You BUILD UP to the climax with confusing feelings. Then you go to Texas and figure them out. But they decided to make it worse instead. We learned nothing, I'm even more confused than when we started. Not much of a climax at all.

      And no I don't listen to the podcast, I dislike them.

  10. Seriously NOBODY brought up the BMW music playing in the campfire scene? Not the super iconic one you're thinking of but the sad, emotional one

    1. Dang! You're right...wait a minute...I think that may be the music that played when Chet Hunter died.

      *lip quivers*
      What are they playing at?!