I think brushing your teeth is the worst aspect of the human experience. We've got unrequited love, impending and inevitable death, and the recurring desire to go to the bar as soon as it closes. Brushing your teeth is worse than all that.
Christian is out being a thespian this evening, so let's all wish him good luck with the show. BECAUSE THAT MEANS BAD LUCK, MUAHAHAHHAHAHHA.
I'm stalling. Let's get started.
Oh hey Sarah's in this episode.
Cory's been having these lines lately, where he's like "Seeeeee? I'm not always a totally shit teacher, huh? Huh? *wink*" It's pretty annoying. It's essentially the writers congratulating themselves for tying Cory's lesson in to the theme of the episode. Like.... Congrats, guys... You maintained the premise of the series.
And as we all know, today's theme is forgiveness. Yogi forgives his bombshell girlfriend in the background as the camera scrolls past. She doesn't seem happy about it, but nothing about this relationship has ever made sense, so why start now.
There's this bit here between Farkle, Zay, and Lucas where we get a concrete example of Farkle being a genius with Zay and Lucas both filling in slightly different flavors of "side friend." It's the most fun I've had with this trio in a while, maybe ever. Bask in the glory of Annoying-Genius Farkle, Conquerer of Creepy Stalker Farkle
Unfortunately, we transition to the Riley and Auggie Show, where the fun (predictably) collapses. I hate Auggie. I hate Auggie more than I hate brushing my teeth. Apparently he ruined Riley's bear when he was 3 years old and isn't interested in Riley's forgiveness. By default, Riley's innocence rides the dangerous line between "endearing" and "excruciating." In Rah Rah, they landed on the side that we all love. Today, regrettably, we're stuck in excruciatingville. Who the hell cares about this? It's five minutes in, when can we start the actual storyline? You know why I'm here, Girl Meets World, and it's not for Auggie Theatre.
We've got yet more filler as Topanga tries to be a waitress, with, of course, no mention of her previous experience as a waitress in Last Tango In Philly.
Katy continues to be a fantastic character with her culinary assault on her ex husband. ANGER, YES. SADNESS, NO. THE WINNING FORMULA.
You can tell how proud of themselves the writers are. "Oh that is good," Topanga says, about tying Cory's lesson to the theme. Nauseating. "The storm happened. You didn't," from Maya. ...Really? I honestly do like the intent here, it's just the dialogue is killing me.
Oh of course Auggie's reason for eating the bear was that he just wants to spend more time with Riley. I'm honestly sick to death of this stupid dynamic. NO ONE IS LIKE THIS. Cory and Morgan were always at each other's throats, giving actual weight to the rare emotional moments between them. Riley and Auggie are SWEET SWEET SUGAR CANDY 24 fucking 7. Add on the fact that it's taking time away from Maya dealing with her father, it's simply infuriating. I hate you, Auggie.
That's right, show me that poorly acted sad face you punk ass bitch. Get off my show.
Kermit's back at the bakery now, and this is like the fourth time the audience has laughed at something he said. That should happen zero times. The moment we see Katy's hateful reaction to this guy, he should not be able to make us laugh. We're on Katy's side by default, so why is Kermit telling us jokes? It's seriously misguided writing. Like, this isn't the typical charismatic dirtbag. Kermit is not charismatic and he doesn't pretend to be. He just... has joke lines for some reason.
Okay finally, we've got what we came for. The Spilling of Beans. The Having of Outs. And now it's over. What to say, what to say. This is why it's so much easier to post second, to say "Yeah Christian explained it well." I guess I'll just start writing how I feel.
Sabrina is able to summon her emotions and acts well, and "Your job was to stay" is the first legitimate piece of writing in this episode. Kermit lands in a strong middleground where he's not a villain, but he probably still doesn't deserve forgiveness. My biggest complaint though is that I don't think I understand why he left Maya and Katy in the first place. It was some half-assed 10 second explanation about them not believing in him? I don't honestly know. And that leads to my biggest complaint with the episode, which is time allocation. This episode is a big deal. We have groundwork for this. This is a bigger event than my race with Christian. So why does it feel so rushed? The first scene with Kermit in the bakery was four minutes long, but there wasn't any real content. We learned that he's Maya's dad, and, what? What? That he left? We already knew that. That doesn't take four minutes. The final confrontation between Maya and Kermit was only three minutes. It had plenty of content, but it was all crammed in there. Take time away from LITERALLY ANYTHING ELSE IN THE EPISODE and give it to this scene!
I would absolutely trade that saccharine snooze fest with Auggie for more time with Maya and her dad. Tell me you wouldn't. Then again, I as a human being had a good deal of trouble watching this girl choke back tears for three straight minutes. I don't know if I could have handled that much longer.
So she doesn't forgive her father, and that's fantastic. Maya thought she was supposed to forgive this guy, but acted on her own, as an individual, free from the confines of Cory's stupid classroom.
EXCEPT NO SHE DIDN'T! SURPRISE! IT WAS CORY'S PLAN ALL ALONG!
Cory "Nostradamus" Matthews never expected her to forgive her father, he just wanted her to forgive herself. Which she did, evident from her tearful embrace of her teacher. That is just shit, man. That is shit. What is up with this Puppetmaster Cory bull shit? Do you think Feeny expected Shawn to actually show up at the Super Bowl? He explicitly didn't want Eric to actually teach the citizenship class. But they made their own decisions. They had agency. This feels like Maya riding the rails of the Cory Express and I can't stand it. I'm gonna rewrite this ending for you, are you ready?
Maya: "I couldn't forgive him. But you know what? I forgive myself. Because it wasn't my fault."
BOOM. DONE. ONE THOUSAND FIREWORKS AND AN IRISH RIVERDANCE. Let Cory react to Maya's own decision, rather than this "ALL ACCORDING TO PLAN" mustache-twirling crap.
It's a good episode, but if we could cut the god damn puppet strings for one minute, it could have been great. That's a big part of why Texas was great that I hadn't considered. The kids were making their own decisions. They weren't living out Cory's grand master plan. Sadly, Maya wasn't so lucky today.
|Pictured: The Prophet of Ages|
Christian will be here eventually, maybe. There's a strong chance he'll waltz in here and claim that he got hit by a car while saving a puppy, but let's be honest, that's exactly what a liar would say.
I did get hit by a car while saving a puppy! That's absolutely true! He got that from my real life! I'm fine though - as is the world's dumbest and cutest dog.
Where's your teeth-brushing beef coming from? Both, in life, and in context of this review? What am I missing? Also, no, brushing your teeth is whatever. You know what's fucking weird though now that I think about it? Baby teeth. Auggie's missing some I noticed in this episode, something I hadn't noticed before, probably because he wasn't before. Baby teeth are weird, man. You start off with these teeth right, and then you're specially designed for you to lose them all, like, right off the bat. A handful of years in. And then you got a whole bunch of backups waiting in the wings because your mouth is going to get all big and those original teeth aren't going to be big enough for you. That's crazy. Good for us. God didn't blow us off on that one.
So, I'm going to start off by saying there's three major things here you didn't like that I had no problem with.
The first is that Kermit gets jokes. So what? Bad guys can get jokes. Hell, they gave Mr. Mack from The Center a joke or two And he's a cult leader! What's the problem? And I don't think Kermit's explicitly, like, a villain. Like you, I was also concerned about this episode because of the assumption that it would lead to Kermit being forgiven too easily for too unforgivable a transgression, and like you, I'm very glad that it turns out Maya did not forgive him after all. But I don't hate the guy, and I don't think he's pure evil. So he can have some jokes. They're, like, pretty light jokes after all. The dude's not hilarious, and the show doesn't treat him like he is. And they felt like pretty benign "Woo, this is uncomfortable, isn't it?"-type jokes someone would really make in this situation. They have to make something at least semi-likable about this guy, otherwise, like, why would Katy have ever been with him? Why would Maya want anything to do with him? etc.
Also, like, assuming this show last a few more seasons, I don't think we've seen the last of him. I wouldn't mind if we have, since it kind of seems like Maya got her closure and Katy needs none, but I just don't see them not coming back to this at some point, especially with Cory implying forgiveness in this situation is not impossible, just not so quickly forthcoming. And I'm fine with that. Maya should not forgive Kermit over the course of one episode, but I wouldn't mind it happening over the course of the series if I feel like Kermit works for it.
You know what I would like to hear though? That Kermit has been, at least, helping out financially since he left. To not do so actually would be unforgivable. I get the impression that he's not rolling in the dough even now, and may not be any better off than Maya and Katy are (he mentions he wouldn't have been able to afford all the food Katy threw at him, but that may just have been a joke about how much it was, but with shaggy hair and beat up clothes seem to be implying a poor guy) but you still gotta send a check every month dude. An at-least-50%-of-how-much-it-costs-for-Maya-to-exist check. I think you gotta do that by law.
I do feel like I get why Kermit left, though. He has no excuse, and it's not a good reason, but I get why it happened. I think it's why most fathers leave. My guess is the majority of fathers who abandon their kids don't do so out of complete disinterest, but it sounds like he wasn't doing any of them any good, and so he just left. He had a line that I liked which was (roughly) "You screw up enough times, and it begins to feel like leaving. So, then you do." He mentions, also, that he'd always blow through his paychecks. He doesn't say on what, because it's a Disney show, but my guess is it wasn't on video games. Also, based on their ages now, it seems like Kermit and Katy would have been about 20 when Maya was born. Most people aren't quite as stable as Cory and Topanga at that age. Come to think of it, do we even know if Katy and Kermit were ever married?
I'll get to the other things that didn't bother me, but since we're on Kermit, I'll also add that I don't entirely agree with being pleased with Katy's reaction to him. Yes, you're a big Anger = Yes, Sadness = No guy (Personally, I'm not 100% on that philosophy for a TV show, because sometimes sadness is more narratively appropriate and sometimes it's the more interesting angle for the character to take) but I don't... like the kind of anger she shows here. Throwing food? Proclaiming that they're over it, and then hitting him again? It kind of... doesn't seem like she's over it. It's a little "doth protest too much." I would have preferred cold indifference. Her degree of anger makes it seem like she's still a little hung up on him, and I don't like that. I also don't like that no one so much as uttered the name "Shawn" in this entire episode. He didn't need to be in it, as his reaction to the whole thing would have swallowed up Maya's, and this was an episode for Maya, but it would have been nice if Kermit had learned that Katy had moved on, and particularly that Maya had a real father figure in her life.
I also didn't mind Cory in this episode at all. Nothing about this seemed diabolically mastermind-ish and, despite your accurate examples of the contrary, it's not like you have to search high and low for examples where Feeny was rather unbelievably sage-like as a teacher (and I kind of think Feeny was somehow expecting Shawn to get to the Super Bowl, wasn't he? I mean, they tried to come back and be like "We get it, it's about doing your best." and he's like, "Fuck you. Go to the Super Bowl.") but, like, this isn't an insane leap on Cory's part. If we know anything about Cory as a teacher, is that he explicitly only cares about the education of Riley and Maya, so if he's going to do this forgiveness project, I don't think it's a huge leap that he'd come up with the idea that Maya needs to forgive herself for Kermit because it's not her fault. Anyone can see that she has inferiority issues relating to that, and so, sure, Cory might try to get her to address that. Also, while he never expected her to forgive Kermit right off the bat (which is reasonable, who the hell would expect someone to forgive their wayward father, so quick? Cory saw the complicated Chet/Shawn dynamic, he's got some experience here) he also did mention that he hoped she would do so eventually. It felt like he wasn't expecting it, but he did think that would be nice. He's Cory, he wants everyone to forgive everybody and then all hug and get cake and go to bed. I don't know, I thought Cory was fine here. I liked Cory in this episode. For me, it doesn't take away from Maya's moment at all that Cory expected it to go this way. Feeny, Alan, Turner, and Amy were all often unsurprised at the moves Cory and company made, even when they themselves were. Adults do know more than kids do. Kids are figuring shit out for the first time, while adults have already been there, done that. It just seems like a version of that.
Oh, I also didn't mind Auggie and Riley's story here. Yeah, August Maturo sucks, but he was offscreen for a lot of it, and I found Riley's continual bitterness about it funny. I don't like the resolution of why Auggie's not sorry, I enjoyed it better in my head when I assumed it was simply because Auggie can't be expected to show genuine remorse for something he was a toddler for and couldn't possibly even remember doing. There's been a few episodes where it turns out Auggie was doing this or that because he just loves his family so much. Blech. And like him sagely laying out why it happened when he's some dumb 6-year-old was lame. How is he that articulate? Who is he, fucking Calvin, philosophizing as he sleds down a hill with his stuffed tiger? That said, I'm not sure "always at each other's throats" is how I remember the Cory/Morgan dynamic. There's a few moments, but, like, I don't know. I think of them as mostly getting along. Or rather her mostly sitting quiet at the dinner table while the real characters talked.
You know what bugged me in this episode? How they felt the need to have Riley present (and commenting) in like all of the Kermit stuff. I was glad Maya finally noted that she never let Kermit speak in his first scene, because, like, all it was was Riley and Maya and Topanga having a conversation recapping stuff to each other. Kermit, like, might as well have not been there. Which is kind of a waste of one of Kermit's two scenes. The best scene in this episode is absolutely Kermit and Maya's talk, as you said, and I think we could have had more of that if we hadn't had to waste time with "And here's what RILEY'S thinking about all this!" Riley even suggests she should go at one point, and I was like "YUP!" but someone stopped her. It's cool if there's an episode where Riley doesn't really have much to do. Cory had episodes like that. Cory had a ton of episodes like that. Still, I liked Rowan in this one. Rarely do I not.
I didn't care much about the Farkle/Lucas/Zay movie C-plot one way or the other (besides that I don't think Farkle wanting to demonstrate his intellectual worth quite tracked as an excuse for his deliberately dickish actions), but I did like Lucas and Zay's dynamic here. They reminded me a lot of Cory and Shawn in the (few) episodes that wasn't about one or the other of them, and so they'd just be this like synchronized duo of morons who were always on the exact same page, but that page was a page or so behind where they were supposed to be. Cory and Shawn were always a lot of fun in those situations. There's a lot of fun to be had with the differences between them, and ultimately I wouldn't trade those difference for anything, because that more or less made the series, but they were always a ton of fun when they acted exactly the same. Helped reinforce why people with such different backgrounds, temperaments, and life philosophies could be so close. The "I'm the straight arrow!"/"I'm the wiseacre!" dynamic with Lucas and Zay has been wearing thin.
Huh. No lefties of the main fivesome. For comparison, Cory's a lefty, Shawn, Eric, and Topanga are righties. I woulda put Shawn or Eric as lefties before Cory, but sometimes those don't go the way you'd think. Also, they're fictional characters, and their handedness is dependent upon their actors'. But then I'd also put Rider Strong as a lefty.
Oh, also, my favorite thing in the whole episode is the very end where everyone hands Cory a note saying they forgive him but won't explain to him specifically what he did. And he's all upset and neurotic and demanding to know. It felt very Cory. On Boy Meets World, that would be the A-plot of the episode and it would be fantastic.
Also, thanks for trying to wish me bad luck tonight, Sean. My show went well, and sold out, but then I got HIT BY A CAR, ya DOUCHE.
Episode Rating: B. All in all, I thought this was a good episode, but not a great one and they probably didn't do enough with the premise, which kind of writes itself frankly. But the final confrontation was very good, and there was nothing here I really minded.
Episode MVP: Sabrina Carpenter. She's had better performances, but it was still the best of the episode.
There you go everyone, Christian didn't mind anything, but somehow we still arrived at the same grade.
I think Feeny expected super bowl tickets, but I refuse to believe that he expected Shawn to go. That's why seeing Shawn on TV was so special, that he was genuinely impressed. Maybe that's the core issue, is that it's impossible for Cory to be impressed without being surprised. And then how am I supposed to be impressed if Cory isn't impressed? It's not genuine development as long as Cory keeps setting the whole thing up. Like could you imagine having this great personal breakthrough, and then your teacher says "Actually I planned for that to happen"? That would suck. It wouldn't feel like it's yours anymore.
On Kermit, I specifically said he wasn't a villain, but it still strikes me as weird that he's making the audience laugh. I get the whole "this is awkward huh" attempts at humor, that's natural, but having the audience laugh at it makes it confusing how we're supposed to view this guy. How are we supposed to reconcile Maya bursting into tears at the mere sight of this guy with the fact that he's making people laugh? It's not impossible for that to happen in real life, but on a TV show where you get to control those types of things, it makes more sense not to do it. I think the only joke Mack has is when he tells Eric he can't join the cult, and that wasn't really him telling a joke, it was his honest reaction.
Auggie fucking sucks and you're wrong. We might have to do a case study on Morgan. I remember her generally annoying Cory.
And yeah, Katy said they were married in a previous episode, something about exchanging vows in front of the G Man.
I'm going to try to come up with something I can do instead of MVP. I never take it seriously anyway.
I still think you're wrong about the Cory thing. He didn't go "Ha! That was my plan ALLL ALONG!" like he'd just outfoxed Maya in chess. Maya came to him, crying, saying she failed his assignment by not forgiving her father, so Cory assured her that this was never something he expected her to do, so she hadn't failed anything. He was making her feel better by explaining himself. You're being too hard on him, I think.
The Mack joke I was thinking of was after Alan almost killed him, Mack going like "You know, I'm sensing a lot of anger here...." in kind of a funny way. I don't know. I think you're splitting hairs by saying "Well, see, that wasn't actually a joke, Mack was just giving his honest reaction." Whatever, the point was Mr. Mack was given lines that were meant to be funny. So Kermit said some mildly (and, I mean, mildly) funny things. So what? He wasn't like, being a jokester, he just kind of made light of some stuff like when Katy went crazy and threw food. Characters you aren't supposed to like are funny all the time in things. Maya bursts into tears because he's her wayward father, we don't need him to be SUPER GRIM in order to justify it. I don't even kind of grant your premise on this one. I don't know why this is bothering you. Dude was bland enough, and you want to take away the few semblances of personality he showed? I think what he did was completely believable, and I actually think your suggestion would have made his involvement worse, not better.
I dunno, Feeny was really weird in The Eskimo. You like that episode more than I do. It's a good episode, but not in my top 10 or anything. Feeny bothers me in it a lot. I don't get what he's going for, honestly. He always pisses me off in that scene in the classroom with the four of them.
Good, I think you should come up with your own thing! Because, yeah, man, your MVPs are weak! Recent ones have included: Sarah, Tombstone the bull (with the provision that it wasn only because Sarah wasn't in the episode), the Claymation animators from World of Terror 2, and yourself.
LOOK AT THIS GUY. This guy doesn't even have THE ESKIMO in his top 10. How am I supposed to write a blog with and have a conversation with this guy when he doesn't even respect The Eskimo. It's sheer madness. Tell me how I'm supposed to handle this.
Hey. those animators showed up to that episode. And don't get mad at me just because you don't understand Sarah.