How many more times are they going to remind us that high school is very very different from middle school? "You'll start going to Friday night parties." Except they won't, because they have no social lives outside of a windowsill. But that's not the point. The point is, you're totally going to stop being friends if you don't resolve The Triangle. ...Wait, what? This is one of the most unnatural progressions on the entire show! The whole school is breaking up and suddenly this girl in the bathroom has made Riley and Maya decide to address The Triangle, something no one else in this universe has been able to do. I don't know how we got from A to B, but the theme song is playing so we're already at, like, G, and it's time to move on.
It's not a triangle though guys! Definitely not! I bet they'd pinky swear on it, we've got nothing to worry about. Needless to say, it's going to be difficult for Girl to meet Triangle, because there isn't one. Not on this show.
Maya is very dopey-Shawn in this episode. The humor focusing on Maya being a dope and Riley's forced quirkiness, rather than, you know, wit, like we saw in the last two episodes.
"Miss Matthews, I'm sure Miss Hart can speak for herself." Yeah that Spanish teacher made an impression, but Professor Dead Poets Society over here just made it to the top of my list. An important question here is how far along we are in the semester. Telling your student she's incomplete and needs to find herself is pretty rough for like, third week of school. But hopefully they've built a rapport already and this isn't as insane as it sounds.
Riley is concerned over Maya's deflation (on the Bay Window, not at a party, like I said). Riley is far more concerned about what happened in art class while Maya is worried about The Triangle. It's not one though! Trust me. I like one line in particular here from Riley, talking about how Maya would fight for what she believes in, she says "Even me. Especially fight me." That's another one of those Boy Meets World nuggets, like "We're gonna get massacred no matter what we do." On the other hand, on any other day I feel like Riley would start crying if Maya stood up to her. But in this moment, in this scene, I am a fan.
We're reenacting the jelly-bean scale scene from Torn Between Two Lovers. The references are enjoyable in that they're relatively subtle. They could have easily had Cory in here making faces like "oooooo I seen this beforeeeeeee" while the audience goes crazy, but they actually decided to leave it for us veterans to find on our own. I appreciate that. We've got Farkle commenting on "there's no scientific way to do this" while Shawn said "We are gonna decide this scientifically." And then:
"We're not gonna decide the rest of my life with jelly beans, Shawn."
"Then who is gonna decide the rest of your life, Cory, you?"
"You're gonna let jelly beans decide my future?"
"Well who else is supposed to decide your future, you?"
Maaaaaaaaaaaaan, I wanna pay homage to classic Boy Meets World scenes. I don't wanna do the rest of the stuff on this show, but here, I am a jealous, jealous man.
The boys hit "Personality" and "Deep Conversations" like Shawn and Cory did, but they skip over "Honesty" for some reason and jump right to the hormone question, albeit with a G rating. Far less winking and shoulder nudging and far more of some... annoying sound, I don't like it. I just wanna watch Boy Meets World.
|Who's got the better... you know...|
"For the good of all of us. Choose." It's not a triangle though! Guys! I cannot be more clear! There is no triangle on this show! They wouldn't lie to us!
Oh hey a not so subtle reminder from Katy that Cory and Topanga are the best. It has to stop.
WOAHHHHHH, WOAH WOAH, okay, who the fuck wrote this script, one sec. Joshua fucking Jacobs, there's a shock. What is this moment where the idea of being a "strong parent" makes Katy burst out laughing? Please don't ship the characters down the river like that, Joshua. She is a strong parent, that's been the whole point since the first time Shawn went to confront her. I honestly can't believe that just happened.
Cheryl... my poor Cheryl Texiera, you don't deserve this. I'm sorry this happened to you.
I appreciate that Joshua gave Cory this line, "Secret of blahblahblah," it definitely makes Cory seem more self aware, more of an actual human. My gut feeling is that Joshua had Cory say "Secret of life" like he normally would and Ben (who directed this episode) suggested a change. Who knows.
At the Bay Window (not at a party) the girls reach today's Big Conclusion, that Maya has somehow become Riley. I'm glad Maya's fighting that because I don't buy it.
OK. ALRIGHT, are you telling me, that Maya likes Lucas because she (subconsciously, perhaps) wanted to become Riley? "You'll need to show me a lot more than clothes, and hair, and a boy before I believe that it isn't." Well I've got bad news for you Maya. That's all this show is about. I definitely approve of Maya's outrage at this nonsense, but I have a bad feeling it won't stick.
Yeah it didn't stick. So they go off on an adventure to find Maya's "voice."
IS THERE A NEW PLAYER IN THE GAME OF THRONES?! IS SHAWN ABOUT TO GET DUMPED FOR THAT SWEET SOUTHERN HONEY BARBECUE?!
FIND OUT NEXT TIME! But seriously fuck this cliffhanger.
Well they absolutely shit on Katy as a character today, but the big question is whether or not they shit on Maya. Is this stuff actually true? I like that they built up to the jelly bean scene with Lucas, citing the library with Riley and the campfire with Maya. But did we build up to this with Maya? She definitely felt like a background tagalong character in Meets High School 1 and 2, and she didn't do shit in Jexica, but she stood out in Permanent Record.
Okay, I (like Lucas) have reached a decision. It's bullshit. Just a few minutes ago we had Lucas explaining what he likes about Maya and it's not the same stuff as about Riley. Wouldn't Lucas have been the very first person to notice if Maya turned into Riley? How did this whole process, that's just so obvious to Cory and Topanga the best parents on earth, fly completely over Lucas's and Farkle's heads? There's no way they would have missed it. I certainly could have missed it, which is why I had to honestly consider it, but if Lucas and Farkle didn't notice then I can't even try to pretend that it's true.
And that shit with Katy is completely irredeemable. How did that happen?
Sorry for the delay and all that.
I don't like anything about this opening. I don't even know what the problem is. It's just not funny. I see them making a lot of jokes. They're not funny jokes. But we've been here before. And a lot of the humor is resting on the acting of other actresses, and most of them aren't very good. And this seems to be a very Maya/Lucas/Riley focused episode and that's no good. So, this one's probably gonna be bad is my guess.
Art teachers and students and appreciators on TV shows are always too confident about what different abstract paintings mean. "Oh, a bunch of purple? This painting's bullshit. This isn't who you are" You don't know. You're a high school art teacher. It's like the fourth week of class. No one acts like that. You're not the Feeny of art just because you jump to wild too-personal conclusions based on nothing. "I'm not going to give it a grade. I'm going to call it 'Incomplete'. Because that's what this says about you." You should be fired, Art Teacher. Also, why is Riley always so willfully incompetent at art? It isn't like her. If she's bad at art, fine, that can be funny, but that she refuses to do the assignments doesn't mesh with her people-pleasing "Let's do our best!" personality. Why couldn't she have just drawn terrible benches? This is why you're getting bad grades, Matthews.
But anyway, I guess the Art Teacher's right now. I guess Maya has been changing her personality, even though she's seemed completely normal up until this episode. Nope, guess she's been throwing herself under the bus, I guess she doesn't stand up for herself, I guess she's meek and identity-less. That all just happened. Or maybe they're pretending it's how she's been for a while now, even though that's bullshit.
Oh. Jellybeans. I get it. What a pale imitation of a good scene. Great, Lucas decided. And put all the jellybeans on the Riley scale. And when he did it felt like nothing because we got it when Cory put the jellybeans on the scale. It made perfect sense, and even us Lauren fans knew that this was the way it would have to be. We may have wanted Cory to pick Lauren, but Cory could never pick Lauren, and we knew that and it felt right. That Lucas felt strong enough about either of them to put a whole bag of jellybeans on their side feels cheap and unearned.
And I have a sense they're going to throw Maya under the bus to do it. She's just a clone of Riley? Since WHEN? Since today. That's it. It's never been like this in any other episode. And now Lucas just likes Maya because she's pretending to be Riley? She HASN'T BEEN. His dynamic with her was TOTALLY different and THAT'S why he liked Maya. We SAW it. Fuck you, you cheap hacks. Too fucking lazy to actually write yourself out of this story you bumbled your way into it so you lie about what the story was. You're talentless.
Whoa, what's going on with Katy? I get that this is being played for laughs, but this is.... ill-advised. This is like the writer only saw "Girl Meets Maya's Mother" and not any other episode she was in. Also, what the hell is this accent? Is this Irish? Canadian? What is this supposed to be?
And you know what makes all this worse, it's also not funny at all. It's like aggressively not funny.
I enjoyed Maya telling off Riley. Too bad I know it's going to turn out Riley was right.
Yeah, hey it was a pointillism cat. Hey, Maya admits it. She's just abandoned her personality. Apparently. Makes no sense. Hasn't been set up by the material in any other episode. Yes, Maya is committing less petty crime but.... that's good. It's her maturing. Shawn stopped blowing up mailboxes, and everyone didn't freak the fuck out because this means he's not Shawn. Shawn and Cory occasionally dressed alike too. You know why? Because teenagers in the same social groups dress alike. God, they did this just to get themselves out of this triangle mess, you know they did. This was a travesty.
Episode Rating: F (Completely unredeemable horseshit, and not funny to boot)
Episode MVP: Sabrina Carpenter (There were definitely times her line readings made me feel real bad for her)