We've managed a direct pickup after last episode's cliffhanger, which is extremely rare in television. I appreciate this, Girl Meets World. Unfortunately, we're picking up somewhere I didn't want to be in the first place. Riley is still being the most condescending friend in the universe. Yes, even more condescending than Xarak'nar on planet Alpha 6-3e.
I've been playing Mass Effect 3 so I like outer space right now.
I do like the girls' reaction to this cute boy on the train. Female sexuality deserves fair and equal representation, good for you Girl Meets World. Lucas doesn't want to talk, and that's great, because I don't want to listen. We've got more important things to do.
We've got some things to sort out.
|S03E19, but I'm sure you knew that.|
They call back one of the best moments in season 2 of Boy Meets World, "You're Cory, I'm Shawn, just like it's always been." And that really was a satisfying moment. It settled the issue for Cory. But we've got twenty minutes left in this episode, as well as Girl Meets True Maya, so clearly we're going to get a lot more complicated.
Somehow it's all Shawn's fault though, because he bought Maya clothes.
Riley... shut the hell up, please... There's nothing worse than forced emotion. But not only is it forced in the writing, it's being actually forced in the scene by a character. Angler Riley Matthews, fishing for drama.
Well, this episode succeeds simply by having Cory Matthews and Shawn Hunter wrestling on the floor. I dislike it otherwise, though. Like Shawn said, the paradigm example of him trying to be like Cory was the Angela Adventure. But he learned from it and it made him a better person because he found his way through it on his own. His best friend didn't shove it down his throat, Riley. This really does exemplify one of the core problems with this show. The lessons, the humor, the plot, and now even the character development are all forced. That's all four categories that I used to grade Boy Meets World. This show refuses to let them happen naturally.
Back on Shawn though, yes, Cory influenced him, he hasn't put a bomb in a mailbox in a while. But Cory became more like Shawn too, more confident and comfortable and brave. People fucking change people, I thought that was the point! Why is that suddenly a bad thing?
"I don't know maybe I just let myself change too much." Wow, great writing, round of applause. Is anyone buying this? When we first checked in with Shawn on this show, it really didn't sound like he'd been wasting his time trying to be Cory. The Angela thing happened, yeah, but that was what, three years? Not "Most of my life" like he's claiming now.
THEY'RE FUCKING DOING IT AGAIN. Why does Topanga have to force Katy to have this realization about love? Why does the god damn Matthews family have to dictate the entire show? Why are they constantly forcing people to feel and do and think certain things? Yeah, it's nice that Katy feels loved, but why God didn't she get to figure it out on her own? OR, GEE, HAVE SHAWN TELL HER? WHY IS IT TOPANGA????
Don't do the handshake when I'm mad at you, Girl Meets World. You think you can win me back that easy? You think I'll just come RUNNING BACK, after WHAT YOU DID, because Shawn and Cory did the handshake? YOU THINK I'M THAT WEAK?!
Yeah I'm back.
I don't know man, Shawn didn't seem "destroyed" the last few times we saw him. I guess he's fixed now? Not like we can rely on it, I'm sure we'll throw him under the bus again next time Maya needs character development.
Oh look, it's Riley forcing Maya to paint and stuff. Riley has inherited her father's puppetmaster abilities. The similarity is undeniable. Comparing Feeny's lessons to Cory's forced puppetmaster lessons is the same as comparing Shawn's development to Riley's forced puppetmaster development of Maya. And I don't have something to compare to Topanga forcing emotions onto Katy, but I don't want you guys to forget about that one.
The girls fight with paint but I'm going to have to read other people's opinions on this, it just sounds like spaghetti noise to me. I honest to goodness can't pick out which lines are important. Does Riley feel responsible or doesn't she? Is it actually her fault or not? Does Maya want to change or not? How much? Do people change people or not?
The Triangle is not resolved. Shocker. And no, Maya, if he chose you he in fact did not choose Riley. Maya and Lucas have always had very different interactions than Riley and Lucas, that was the reason this all started. I don't understand why we're just erasing that.
Shawn loves Katy and that's real sweet but the audience needs to calm down. We've never even seen these two on a date, you are not invested in this relationship, this is not a payoff. Oh they're getting engaged, well, let's talk about that. I have to admit that it's something teenage Shawn Hunter would do, it does satisfy reckless spontaneity. Hah, I spelled that right on the first try. I want to care, Shawn has been my homie for over a decade, but I don't think this moment is for the Boy Meets World fans. We don't really know anything about this relationship, so we can't feel anything for Shawn or Katy here. Instead, it's a moment for Maya, and she's really happy, so that makes me reluctantly happy as well.
This episode has a lot of funny bits, for sure, and it's a treat to see Shawn Hunter in action. I would have enjoyed it a lot more without all the forcing. And I get it, sometimes you need a helpful push from a friend to get going, but find me one scene, one moment, where Riley isn't forcing Maya. None of this felt natural. I guess the biggest problem is the scale of the drama. In "The Uninvited", the one that ends with "You're Cory, I'm Shawn," the drama was Cory trying to be like Shawn. Relatively low stakes. But here in Meets Triangle and Upstate, we scaled that bitch up, Maya has full-on BECOME Riley, and that's what makes it so hard to swallow, it's so much more dramatic and taking itself way more seriously.
But that's not exactly new, is it.
If you're going to comment that you enjoyed this episode, please address the fact that the entire thing was people forcing other people to feel and do and say things. That ruined it for me.
Like Sean, I think, I recognize there's a lot of good about this episode but it suffers by being the "To Be Continued" of one of the shittiest episodes ever. Still, I think this is mostly a positive experience. Ultimately, even when Boy Meets World did dumb narrative moves, fun character moves could keep an episode from being a nightmare. There's never not going to be something to appreciate when Shawn is in an episode. 'Master Plan' and 'Pluto' number among the best in the series, and while 'Home for the Holidays' and 'Hurricane' are not without flaws, Shawn always served to mitigate them.
I do like the return of the subway set, which it seems like we haven't seen in a while - because subway station is an odd standing set, there's only going to be occasional episodes where scenes ought to be set there. But everything Riley is saying is still made up nonsense.
I don't like any of this Topanga and Katy being weird and demanding about which of their daughters Lucas wants to hook up with.
I get what they're going for putting Shawn in this sweater, but it's still bizarre. And, like with Riley, it's made up for this episode. We saw Shawn, he wasn't rocking his leather jacket anymore, but he also didn't dress like Feeny. He dressed like a regular thirtysomething dude. Also, Shawn's house is AMAZING? How can he afford to live in that house? I get that he's upstate and not in the city, but still, that's like a really nice cabin. You know who usually don't make a lot of money? Guys who take pictures for a blog. Wasn't he not able to afford lodging in New York when he was in town and had to crash at Copanga's?
I was going to complain about the fact that the girls hopped on the NYC subway and rode it to upstate New York but I guess it is technically possible that they transferred to an Amtrak or something at Grand Central. But that would... theoretically take some time. That they get there, hang out there for what is easily an hour or two, buy a wardrobe, come back, have a paint fight? That's all night. It should be dawn at the end of this episode.
The whole thesis here is stupid. Shawn really hit it on the head, this show has pushed "People change people" a lot, and now they think that's bad? It's so weird. I get that you shouldn't abandon all of yourself to take on the traits of someone else, but, Jesus Christ, Maya and Shawn just obviously didn't do that.
I like that Riley tried to bring Pluto into it and Shawn shut it down. Also, "I didn't meet you until I was 32." Nooooope. Shawn graduated high school in 1998, so he was 34 in 2014 when he met Maya. Close though. But, seriously, if I can do that math, why can't they? The trio were born in a nice even 0 year, it's not hard. Hell, why even get that specific about the age? Just say "in my 30s."
I get the beef with what they did with clothes - not the least of which, for me, is the sheer ungratefulness for Shawn treating Maya to a whole new wardrobe which couldn't have been cheap. But, it was a random move for Shawn to have criticized Maya's clothes in the first place, and I remember we disliked it at the time. And she did seem to be dressed less like herself after that. No more band t-shirts and torn leggings and the like. So, what, is this yet another attempt to backpeddle by pretending it was all a plan like the triangle itself?
And then she changes and it makes her feel worse? Oh, great, Maya. Good thing Shawn just help you sell all of these hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise he wasted on your ungrateful ass to a thrift store for what was likely forty-seven cents. Glad it only served to exacerbate the issue. Well, at least you got a brand new set of clothes from this generous guy. I hope you don't get lots of paint on them later.
The scenes at the cabin REALLY pick up when Cory arrive. They were already fun, but they desperately needed someone who wasn't taking this situation very seriously. "What am I doing here? Do you know what kind of a schlep this is? Is this even a place?" "Y'aint me. I would never wear that." "I'm Feeny. You're Feeny's father. Captain Feeny!" are all golden lines. And I just enjoy how blithely Cory is taking everyone's freakouts.
Shawn seems like he's trying too hard in that leather jacket. I do think Shawn has outgrown that look. I like the Cory cites the mailbox after I made a reference to that as the iconic rebellious Shawn antic, and the B&B too, and ran away to find himself 72 times is great. As for the handshake - I loved it, and it was great - but it's weird how much of a staple people seem to imagine this is in their relationship. To my knowledge, this is only the third time they've ever done it, right? Once in Season 1, the reprise in the Season 2 opener when they decided to never do it again, and now? Were there more in Season 1? It is a great handshake though. I rewatched it a lot just now.
The whole art scene is dumb. It's dumb they go to the school in the middle of the night alone with Cory's tacit permission. It's dumb they have a paint fight. This franchise really seems to enjoy food fight/paint fight type humor. Oh god, and lame art teacher thinks her art is brilliant now. Her art that she literally just randomly created by throwing paint on paper in a fit of rage. I suspect none of the writers of this show have so much as held a crayon in their life. Ugh, MAKE HER CLEAN UP THIS MESS AT LEAST, ART TEACHER. Maya has purple hair for the rest of the episode, it'd be cool if she keeps it.
What was with Farkle's little giggle face when he said "I Am Farkle"? What was that bit even about? Was it like a "Ha, you thought I wasn't going to be in this one!" type joke? Anyway, I'm glad we found out who Lucas was going to meet in Riley's room, it was really weird that he went off, and then hours passed, and no one met him in there. Anyway, I hate the scene because I hate this story arc and it's all bullshit. I'll say no more about it, I've made my point.
Like everyone else I have issue with Shawn getting engaged to someone who, last time we saw them together, he just asked out on a first date. But it has been over a year. What bugs me is that I just don't have a good sense what they've been up to since then? I'd been assuming they'd been dating, which would kind of justify the engagement, but Shawn and Katy feel a little estranged when he sees her and like he's trying to win her back with this move. And, really, how well were they making this relationship work when he lives in a cabin in the woods way outside the city AND travels a lot? That's more what bugs me. I get with Rider we can't see him much and we have to assume some stuff. Just be more clear on what we're supposed to assume.
Still, Rider sold the shit out of it, as did Cheryl.
Anyway, good work Shawn, see you at the end of the season when it's the wedding, and then once more next season (if there is one) when your son George Jonathan Chet Hunter is born, and then one last time at Riley and Maya's high school graduation.
Episode Rating: B- (There was enough here I loved, fanservicey or no, for me to have given it an A, but because of all the mess of wrapping up the attrocious storyline of last week, it knocks it down to a B-)
Episode Rating: I can't choose and I won't choose. Ben Savage and Rider Strong tie. Ben was the best thing about the cabin scenes, but Rider had a powerful moment at the end.
"Captain Feeny" is a golden nugget of a line. Mark Blutman penned this episode. He wrote a TON of episodes of Boy Meets World as a dynamic duo with "Howard Busgang," who we've not seen on GMW yet. And he actually wrote B & B's B 'n B, so it's really satisfying that he got to call back his own masterpiece of an episode here in Upstate. What's interesting about Blutman is that he's the filler guy. He wrote a ton of forgettable BMW episodes, and a ton of forgettable GMW episodes, but he finally caught his break at the end of season 3 with the Brother Brother/You Can Go Home Again sequence, followed up by Ain't Gonna Spray Lettuce and B 'n B. He's definitely capable and has a feel for the Meets World humor that appeals to Christian and me, like "Captain Feeny."
It's weird, we both have a lot to complain about, but I think I enjoyed it as well. Like, it's stupid, there is some stupid stuff, but B- still feels right.
Defining a "staple" is difficult. I mean, is "undahpants" a staple? We all know it, despite only happening once. I'm okay with calling the handshake a staple. It's an act of love between the greatest friendship on television.
And I'm also totally down with permanent purple hair on Maya.
Eh, no, I don't consider "undahpants" a staple of a series. It's definitely a famous moment. I don't know, I've just frequently interacted with people who had somehow tricked themselves into believing the handshake was something Cory and Shawn did throughout the show, like... dozens of times during the course of the series. Like it was the equivalent of their catchphrase.
Yeah, Blutman's good. He's got some stinkers like "Who's Afraid Cory Wolf?" although, in fairness, the problem with that one is primarily just... the plot, and he likely was assigned that. But "Brother Brother", "You Can't Go Home Again", "Ain't Gonna Spray Lettuce...", "B&B's..." are all top notch. "Brother Brother" and "B&B" both made those top 10 list of ours (9 and 6 for me, 7 and 10 for you) and "You Can Go Home Again" made mine too at number 5. That's a good record for Mr. Blutman.