Friday, October 14, 2016

Episode Review: "Girl Meets World of Terror 3" (#3.15)

I actually took a class on chaos theory my senior year, and indeed, if you perform some series of continuous operations on some number x, and then perform the same stuff on an unimaginably slightly different number, say x+10^(-100000000000000), you can end up with wildly FANTASTICALLY different results. It's definitely interesting to see when and why that happens. So I appreciate Farkle and Smackle's brief explanations, ever more so by their lack of the phrase "butterfly effect." 

Holy crap, everyone just groaned when Ghost Auggie introduced the episode. How did that get on tv? That's hilarious! Loved that.


Did you see Maturo's satisfied look when he says "I'm your ghost"? I bet he thought of that himself. Honestly he just looks like a nun, and I'm not interested in going to church tonight. He actually said he was your ghost in the first World of Terror too. And it actually got a laugh then. So he probably thought he was making a great callback.


You can't tell from looking at it, but that's actually a doctored photo.

We head to an alternate timeline where Riley never met Maya and Riley's best friend in high school is her teddy bear.
Yeah, we know Abed. Honestly the problem here, and to be honest it's why I don't like that episode Remedial Chaos Theory as much as everyone else, is that nothing is canon! I have another 20 minutes of this episode and none of it matters. I want a story and character development. Not hypothetical situations. It doesn't even matter how good the writing is here (don't hold your breath), I have to hate it by default. I don't mind non-canon things, but they need to set up a mini one-episode canon that I become invested in and/or reveal something interesting about who the characters likely are when they are canon. For instance, DC does non-canon a lot and the vast majority of the time, no matter what else is the same or has changed, Lex Luthor is a good guy who uses his wealth, brains, and influence for altruistic means. It's like the canon universe is the one universe in which Lex went bad. This reveals something interesting about him, showing how very different he may be from, say, the Joker who never gets a good version (and if he does, it's a ruse or almost immediately does not stick) Stuff like that I can get behind. 

Other than the bear, Alternate Riley is just an extreme version of her real self and Maya has transformed into exactly who I would have dated if I went to this school. Ehhhhhh..... And by "date" I of course mean "look at but never talk to." There we go. Phew! Should have kept the faith you'd make the joke.
Alternate Farkle never grew out of being a sex offender, Smackle is somehow more of a stereotypical geek than when we met her in season one, and Lucas is the world's very first goth cowboy.

Strike that, second. Did you catch that the girl Joey and The Hombre fight over in that episode is Ainsley Hayes? SAAAAAAM. Yes. I was actually first exposed to her on CSI Miami, but I don't wanna talk about that.

Jokes aside I'm actually interested to see what he does with it. The golden rule about Lucas is that he's only compelling when they give him some range (there's a cowboy pun somewhere). I'm generally pleasantly surprised when Peyton has some room to do different things. That's what people say, but that's not precisely what it is for me - because "I have rage issues and a past!" Lucas usually doesn't work for me either. I just like when they're willing to make fun of him and acknowledge that his "Aw, shucks, ma'am" perfectness makes him kind of a goober.

Haha! I knew it. He's hilarious. And let me be clear Christian, I told you I was going to need some shots for this episode, but I haven't had any yet. Everything so far has been the opinion of Sober Sean. I think the writers are painfully aware of how awful Farkle was in season one. Yikes.

......Well they've done it. They gone and did it. Alternate Lucas and Riley have more chemistry than the real ones. 
Seriously. I love this scene.
And you wanna know how? Well I'm gonna tell ya, because that's my job. Because my name is on the door of this building. No, MY name is on the door of this building! I'm the Red Ranger around these parts, you're some Johnny-Come-Lately Green Ranger! Roger Stirling likes to remind people his name is on the door, that's what I was going for.

It's because Alternate Riley isn't that awkward mess she was in season one. She's ten times more bubbly, sure, but now she owns it, she's confident. It doesn't bother me anymore how annoying she is because she isn't taking any kind of bullshit from anybody. You think Alternate Riley would fall apart if some bully started texting her mean texts? Hell no. And she's instantly better than what we saw in Meets She Don't Like Me. And of course season one Lucas was an empty shell of nothing, so these small bits of character put Alternate Lucas way out in front as well. If Riley and Lucas had met like this in the first episode, I would be riding that train all the way to the station.
Okay not that station, but you know what I mean. Somehow we ended up with the opposite problem I predicted, where instead of not caring at all because it's not canon, I care too much because it's not canon. Weird.

Moving on, to quote ghost Auggie, "a world where everything is different*."

*Except Topanga being relegated to stupid child actors. That is not different, it is in fact the same.

Alternate Ava is kid-married to Doy instead of Auggie, and instead of telling you how fascinated I am, I'm going to show you.
Alternate Auggie doesn't exist. I don't know, is this suddenly my favorite episode? Cory isn't even trying to interfere with his students' lives! I'm on board with all of this, except for Farkle, but I'm willing to take that bullet. I think my next project after this series ends is to rewrite every episode with these characterizations. Or lack thereof. Cuz Auggie's not in the show.

What are you trying to tell us, Michael Jacobs? Is this what you wanted? Is this what we could have had? 

IS THIS WHO I COULD HAVE BEEN?

I don't mean to pile on, but Riley also mentions that in this world she doesn't spend so much time at the Bay Window.

Oh man, they're refocusing on Auggie. Sorry kid, I'm not really interested in your problems. I wanna see Riley and Lucas flirt some more.

Holy god, did I just say that? I ACTUALLY WANT MORE RILEY AND LUCAS. I'VE NEVER FELT THIS WAY. This is so insane, I honestly don't know how to deal with this episode.

Smackle somehow sneezes her headgear onto Farkle, I think we can just skip over that. Just hop and skip and jump right over. Nun Auggie gets some pity laughs out of the audience and we're at the Bay Window.

Nun Auggie's plan to unite Alternate Miley doesn't work. This might have been a better origin story, honestly. I'll just say that I don't remember their real origin story, but I'll probably remember this, so... that's something.
Riley accidentally got Maya a B- when she did her homework, so Maya's worst nightmare of being called on in class has been realized. So now there's going to be a rumble between them, like in The Outsiders.

...Yeah. Just like that.

Cory comes up with a way to extend his lesson about Newton to Riley's life. Honestly this too is more palatable than the real version. Like, Riley is in a bad spot, she actually needs help and Cory comes up with on-the-spot advice based on his life experience. He's not pulling the strings, he's just there for her. 

That's... all I ever wanted.

Okay so obviously Maya is warming up to Riley a little too fast, but the idea is fine. And like... Lucas being ready to protect Riley from Maya, even though Riley turned out to be in control? That scene has more character than the ENTIRE FIRST SEASON. WHY ISN'T THIS THE SHOW? 

GOD DAMMIT.

GOD. DAMN IT.

I don't know why Smackle and Farkle are here honestly, but nothing can ruin this for me. They hug and then walk through a dark doorway straight to bone city.

Auggie comes back into existence and it wouldn't take a lot of effort to count the number of people who are happy about it.

This tag scene... Is that how it happened? We haven't seen how Riley and Maya met before? No.... I dunno. I feel like we have. I'm not going to look into it, but I think we have. Isn't that why we first met these actors to begin with? Holy shit, that's kind of a big deal. 

So obviously this wasn't perfect. Sunshine Riley warming Maya's cold cold heart is pretty obvious and easy, but if we had put the right amount of time into it, instead of, say, whatever the fuck we were doing in season one, then it could have been great. And I've got to believe that this is who Lucas was supposed to be, who Jacobs wanted him to be, before Disney got in the way. I have to believe it in my heart because it makes the world okay again. 

If Riley and Lucas had talked this way originally, where Riley has her feet on the ground, brimming with confidence, instead of... you know..
Yeah, that. And for everyone about to say "Oh Riley was so much younger back then, blah blah," it doesn't matter. Season one Maya was perfectly capable of being confident around Lucas (which is why we shipped it.) Sixth grade Topanga was perfectly capable of being confident in herself, strange as she was, around someone like Shawn. 

Man... this is not how I expected to feel after this episode. Alternate timeline rocks. The "world of terror" is the canon one. Ain't that some shit.

Oh, hey. Sorry, I should have posted before now but I was busy and also I didn't want to. But, you've caught me at a moment where I seriously injured my ankle and am more or less bedridden so... let's watch this sucker. I'm going to post here when I have ORIGINAL thoughts, and comment on Sean's post when it's an offshoot thought about something he covered.

No, lie, when Auggie showed up it took me a second to identify who that was. Some of it may be the costume, some of it may be how much he's sprouting up, but I think some of it is I forgot about Auggie.

Haha, if Lucas wore a cowboy hat at all times in a Manhattan high school he would be the biggest fucking loser. His thing, Cory's thing, and Smackle's things don't work. In the case of Lucas and Smackle we saw what type of people they were before becoming part of the group... they weren't like this. And where did Professor Cory Plum come from? Cory's identity far predates Riley and Maya meeting. Why would their meeting change him from who he is now... basically the same exact guy he was on BMW but a little older and "wiser".  This Cory, like the other Cory, still had Mr. Fucking Feeny and he thinks education's all about names and dates nothing more? That's nuts. Farkle's works best because it's just who Farkle was only he's gotten a little more preposterous because he's too old for this. 

SEAN! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? How did you not pick up on the fact that the instrumental music they play when Lucas scarily knocks the gum off his hat is the EXACT music from "And Then There Was Shawn". That's an AMAZING callback. What the fuck are you talking abou-

video


Haha, I enjoyed that the show tried to create some build up and suspense to the question of "WILL THIS LUCAS ALSO WANT TO BE A VETERINARIAN?!" It's so amazing to me that after this long it's still, like, his signature personality trait. That he maybe wants to be a vet. 

I knew it was gonna be Doy. Oh man, I love that he can admit his name is Dewey in this world. Dewey is better of if Riley and Maya never met. Anyway, I can't remember, does Auggie having never been born track? Was he really born after Riley and Maya met? That doesn't seem right to me. Didn't we see these same actresses playing Riley and Maya, and an Auggie that was like 4?

You kind of hit on anything else I'd talk about. This is most certainly the best of the Worlds of Terror, but that's pretty faint praise. I'll go with....

Episode Rating: C
Episode MVP: Eh, Rowan mainly had to carry this one (well, her and August, but that part was no good), and she was fun, so Rowan Blanchard. 

90 comments:

  1. My favorite part of the episode was when Lucas asked Riley if they had the most important relationship and the whole class burst into laughter. These writers are so shady.

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    1. Yeah. I could be completely off the mark, but I think there was a lot of winking at the audience in this script.

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    2. Objectively speaking, yeah, I think the line was a wink and a nod at the audience--there were a few of those in the original show. Remember Shawn's line in "A Long Walk to Pittsburgh." when Topanga moved away?

      "What the hell kind of tv show is this?!"

      So, yeah, I'm thinking Sean's right about the origins of that line.

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    3. That was hilarious. That whole first scene was gold.

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  2. As a what if story, there was some nice stuff, but outside of that, this was another mess. Why can' they just do a normal Halloween episode, instead of this odd in between stuff?

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  3. this wasnt a bad world of terror but i prefer the boy meets world halloween and horror theme episodes like whos afraid of cory wolf, and then there was shawn, the witches of pennbrook and the psychotic episode.

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  4. All I have to say right now is, yes, alternate-Cory was a better teacher. He's not Feeny but he -is- a good teacher. I will admit to some confusion as to how some of those things were different. Why didn't Cory interfere in her life just because Maya wasn't her friend? There were a couple of others, but that's the main one.

    And yes, we have seen their meeting before - Girl meets the Bay Window; almost the end of season 2.

    And this was really the first even -hint- of a relationship since they became a couple.

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    1. His whole idea of history and teaching was so robotic that I feel like Cory never met Feeny (or Turner) in this timeline.

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    2. Evi-That was a question that I had. If the only thing that was different was that Riley and Maya never met, why was Cory so diffrent? It was like he never had the influences of Shawn, Topanga, Feeny, or Turner to shape his personality.

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  6. Pretty nice quick review Sean.

    All I can add about World of Terror 3 is that it wasn't World of Terror 2, and that is a positive thing.

    One important thing to note, and it's hard to pick up from what we actually saw: At the taping, when ghost Auggie was saying goodbye to everything the line was longer. He added, where's dad? Apparently he didn't understand it and Jacobs told him that there is no dad, that's why he was never born. So at some point in this alternate timeline, Corpanga ended. Obviously at some point in editing that small but important was cut out. To me that would have been the MOST interesting thing in the episode, so maybe that's why they cut it.

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    1. I think it makes sense why they cut it out--chaos theory can have some far-ranging complications, but I think the writers may have realized that Riley and Maya not being friends should not have that large an impact on Cory and Topanga's relationship. Most of the changes in this episode made sense, that one would have been too far a stretch.

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    2. I see your point, Cryptid, but they way I saw it, without this EXTRA daughter that their daughter adopted, I think Cory doesn't push himself to be the best dad possible, and... etc etc. (If you don't buy that, I can accept it and see why not. It's how I look at it though, maybe)

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    3. 1960poster-Cutting out that line was a massive giant mistake. That needed to be in there, because it explains so many of the aspects of this episode that didn't make sense. Cory and Topanga breaking up has a huge impact/ripple effect. It explains why Cory is so different.

      If you only have 22 minutes, the easiest way to make time for that is to cut Ava and Dewey's subplot.

      Dr. P. Cooper-I agree. Without Maya to mentor/influence, he doesn't have to work as hard at being a parent. I can't imagine that raising Riley as a little girl was a major struggle. She seems like a pretty good, easy kid to be around.

      Also, if Cory and Topanga broke up, then many other things in the episode make much more sense. If mentoring/raising Maya is what really pushed Cory to be a better father and husband, then that helps to explain why Cory and Topanga divorced. It also explains why Auggie was never born.

      The problem in the episode is that you need to explain it. In "Quantum Leap," Al always told Sam what he thought the mission was and why he had to change history. In "Back to the Future" Doc clearly explained Marty's goals.

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    4. Kit, I agree about cutting Ava and Doy. I mean if there is no Auggie, why would Topanga have any kind of relationship with Ava at all. It seems like alternate universe Ava should just be living with her mom, oblivious to the Matthews' apartment.

      I do think they should have just come out and told us about the breakup of Corpanga. They left us subtle hints, but nothing definitive. The only scene where Cory and Topanga interacted was at the end when they opened the window and Maya came in, other than that, the two of them didn't share a scene, and neither ever mentioned the other.

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    5. I actually find the very idea of Corpanga divorcing very troubling, especially since we don't know what caused it.

      Are we supposed to believe that Riley's friendship with Maya is what kept Cory and Topanga, /the/ Cory and Topanga, from a potential separation? I can't imagine that and I don't want to imagine that.

      Or were Cory and Topanga already separated when the Bay Window is locked and Little Maya and Little Riley don't meet?

      It was implied way back in the Bad Future in "Seven the Hard Way" that Bad Future Cory and Bad Future Topanga were in marital therapy, for undisclosed reasons.

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    6. Cryptid456-I thought the moment the alternate timeline started was when Riley and Maya didn't meet because the window was closed. You bring up a very interesting theory.

      In the original timeline, Cory was the one who opened a window. What if Cory and Topanga separated before Riley and Maya met. If Cory isn't there to open the window, maybe that's the reason Riley and Maya never met as little kids.

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    7. Kit - Accept it was stated by ghost Auggie, who I trust more than real Auggie, that the point where it all changed was -at- that point. If Cory and Topanga breaking up was the route, it should have been -them- that needed to be fixed before Auggie started becoming real again.

      Whilst I do like Corpanga, a one-off alternate timeline episode that states a divorce is something I could get behind. But if you're going to do it, do it properly; don't hide behind it being about Riley/Maya. And given this story is about Riley, it probably can't be done.

      I actually really love alternate-timeline stories, for what it's worth, so maybe that's why I like the majority of this episode.

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  7. Agree with you, Sober Sean, all the way down the line, about this one. But OMG 1960Poster, that is VERY IMPORTANT information. So Corpanga dissolved before Aug was born, and Riles just lives with her mom, and THAT's why she and her dad have this distance between each other, and why it's a novelty for Sunshine Riles to be in his classroom. He wasn't there for her in middle school. When he and Topanga broke up (because how could they not if people don't change people), he became weird glasses-wearing Boring Anal Ultra-Feeny out of shock and mourning. Holy... We've stumbled into the darkest this show has ever gotten, so we quietly tried to hide it because Disney.

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    1. Wait, was there a line that mentioned that this was the first year Cory had Riley in his classroom?

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    2. I think it also explains why Riley is so cheerful and happy. She felt she had to be positive and stay positive during the divorce to cheer her mother up, and she stayed that way because it's who she is, but partly because she thought/thinks it's what her mother needs.

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  8. When I first heard about this episode, my assumption was that they were doing little vignettes as individuals stories. "What if Riley and Maya Weren't Friends?" "What if Farkle and Isadora Weren't Dating?" "What if Auggie Had Never Been Born?"

    But we're doing it as one big story? Alright, then.

    So seeing as they admit this episode is not canon, I think it's safe to assume the previous World of Terrors may not be canon either. World of Terror 1 is...Season One crummy, but nothing outrageously bad. If World of Terror 2 is no longer canon, then I say Hallelujah,

    This episode's opening is a mixed bag, Riley and Maya have a very strong "King" sense here, and this is probably the weakest we've seen Cory as a teacher in some time. It feels a lot more like Season 2. Say what you will about recent episodes, Cory has actually improved his classes for the most part.

    I enjoyed Farkle and Isadora's little explanation of chaos theory. It explained things briefly, and in a way the children watching this episode could understand, so good work there. Also, Farkle got to thump Friar on the head and Isadora didn't flirt with Friar.

    And I have to give the writers a fair bit of credit here. They get the ball rolling with the Chaos Theory. The Chaos Timeline is introduced very quickly, before the opening credits.
    Compare that to "The Santa Clause 3," which took over half the movie to even get to its Alternative Timeline.

    As for the changes themselves--Maya's makes a lot of sense. And Riley being Bubbly AND Confident? I had to think about it, but it does make sense. Maya was very much the more dominant friend in their duo when the show started, often getting her way over even more trivial matters.

    It doesn't make any sense for Isadora to not be at Einstein, since she and Farkle aren't dating and Riley isn't her friend. But it makes even less sense for her to have that dental work--she never had that, I don't even remember her having braces.

    Furthermore, why is Chaos Riley not friendly with Chaos Farkle? Their parents know each other--is it that much a stretch to think their paths would have crossed when they were little, regardless of Maya's presence?

    Ghost Auggie doesn't do much for me, but not just because we spend time with Ava and Doy--though they're not terribly annoying, aside from monopolizing Topanga's airtime. I'm more interested in seeing the effect that No Auggie would have on Riley. She loves her little brother.

    There is some interesting stuff here, and I was more invested than I thought I'd be. Sean's right about Chaos Riley--annoyingly bubbly, but also a lot more confident, more willing to try new things. And he's also right about Teacher Cory--this is much closer to what I wanted. We actually got to see Dad Cory and Teacher Cory. And it worked, for the most part.

    Inconsequential, but I did sort of enjoy it.

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    1. Cryptid456-"It doesn't make any sense for Isadora to not be at Einstein, since she and Farkle aren't dating and Riley isn't her friend."

      I totally agree with that. It's one of the many things in this episode that didn't make sense.

      "why is Chaos Riley not friendly with Chaos Farkle?"
      I had the same question. I understand Farkle staying the way he was in middle school, because he didn't have Maya's influence. I don't understand why Farkle and Riley weren't friends. Is it echoes of the llama pen? Did Maya have something to do with Riley and Farkle meeting?

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    2. Actually Kit, Riley and Farkle met at that little Halloween party we saw in "Bay Window." Maya was there too. Riley was "trying" to bob for apples, and Farkle lifted her head out of the water.

      It was the first time the girls met Farkle--which means that they hadn't been in the same class, at least at first.

      So it appears that Farkle and Riley would have met, with or without Maya.

      In any case, I have a hard time believing that the Matthews would have never made contact with the Minkii if both were in New York City, if only to catch up over coffee.

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    3. Perhaps Riley agreed to throw the Halloween party where they met Farkle for Maya, since she doesn't have anything. No Maya, no party.

      Stuart and Jennifer weren't particularly close with Cory and Topanga in BMW, so it was probably their kids becoming friends that allowed them to reconnect.

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    4. Patrick Logan-The idea that Maya is somehow responsible for the party and thus Riley and Farkle meeting works for me. Maybe Maya was the one who wanted to have the party, but her apartment was too small, so Riley asked her parents if they could host the Halloween party.

      I thought Maya may have been the one who encouraged Riley to bob for apples.

      The idea of alternate timeline episode was good, but they needed to do a much better job of explaining why certain things were different. We're all pretty serious fans of the show, and even we couldn't figure everything out.

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    5. Well, Jennifer wasn't close to either of them true, but Topanga and Stuart were quite good friends. She may have never felt anything for him the way he wanted, but they were still friends up to the point he was removed from the show. If anything, them not being friends makes -less- sense if Cory and Topanga really did divorce (though, as stated, I don't really accept that from what we saw).

      But I did get the impression Maya was the one who got Riley to bob for apples. In fact, the whole party may have been due to 'Riley finally having a friend', and wanted her to find some more friends, as it appears that without Maya she never gets -any- friends.

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    6. Also, yeah. I thought this was a good episode honestly; but the alternate timeline didn't quite make sense. Even if you look into the idea of Corpanga breaking up, some of it is made worse by that aspect; even if some things make more sense. Much as I didn't like the three separate stories thing they've been doing, this might have been better that way. And cut out the stuff needed to 'fix' the timeline back to the usual - just have it being a 'what could have been' kind of story.

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  9. Sean, Sean, Sean. You have surpassed yourself.

    "Man... this is not how I expected to feel after this episode. Alternate timeline rocks. The "world of terror" is the canon one. Ain't that some shit."

    Agreed. I think this is one of my favorite episodes. Auggie was awful, Farkle was way over-the-top but like Sean pointed out, it was on purpose. I liked Maya a lot here and Riley's confidence, oh my God, was a treat. Lucas didn't even annoy me. WHAT THE FUCK!? (I do want to know how much they had to pay Corey Fogelmanis to wear that stupid wig)

    1960 mentioned that Corpanga was no more in this timeline...huh. That could have been really interesting.

    There's not really much more that I could add but damn. What could have been.

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  10. Vaguely off-topic. Yesterday, was Rowan Blanchard's birthday:

    From Corey Fogelmanis: https://www.instagram.com/p/BLkHvaFlXIr/?taken-by=coreyfogelmanis

    From Sabrina Carpenter: https://www.instagram.com/p/BLjRnX9hXhi/?taken-by=sabrinacarpenter

    From August Maturo: https://www.instagram.com/p/BLjPfr_Bun8/?taken-by=augustmaturo

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  11. Of course Auggie thought of "I'm your ghost" himself. He used the pun before in the first World Of Terror.

    Honestly I thought this episode was the best of the three Halloween episodes. It was a heck of a lot more self-aware (the groaning bit when Auggie walks in was hilarious, as you said) and wasn't just a bunch of bullshit like World of Terror 2 was. I know you're going to argue that it still was a bunch of bullshit - but nobody transformed into cartoons, there was no repeated dance numbers, and there wasn't a random kid actor under the bed. This was actually a really compelling alternate universe IMO.

    Also, fun fact you probably don't care about - the kid that played Simon P. Littleboyeater in Meets Terror 1 (Nicolas Bechtel) is now in Disney's show Stuck in the Middle. Which is pretty sub-par so I don't recommend watching it.

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  12. The first thing I want to say is that you shouldn't really slight an episode just for being non-canon. I mean, I get where you're coming from, but if the episode is entertaining enough and allows the show to do things they wouldn't normally try, then don't we win as viewers? One of my favorite American Dad episodes ("Hot Water") was entirely non-canon. In fact, a lot of AD episodes tend to go outside the universe of the series and experiment with different things. That's also why people look forward to the Treehouse of Horror special every year, because it allows The Simpsons to break the rules and do unconventional things from a storytelling perspective. I don't know, I embrace non-canon episodes all the way.

    With that being said, I must have fallen into an alternate reality myself because I didn't like this episode. In fact, I was fully prepared to find out everyone here hated it too so the reactions are genuinely shocking. I enjoyed the first scene a lot, and it gave me hope that maybe this episode would be worth watching. Then once the alternate reality stuff kicked in, everything fell apart and part of me just checked out instantly.

    I don't know why, Sean, but this feels like the kind of episode you would have thrown to the bushes on the Boy Meets World blog. It just reeks of the kind of BMW episode you would hate. When Maya told Riley she had no business talking to her, I sat there and laughed because I got no emotion out of that scene at all. But I will say that this was an interesting review. Looking at the episode that way helps me see that.....that......nah, it wasn't doing it for me.

    An episode about the kids' disinterest in Halloween, and them realizing that the holiday is for everyone no matter how old you are, could have been great. That opening scene gave me so much hope, and they don't even go back to it at the end of the episode! I don't know. I predicted it would suck, and while it's not "World of Terror 2" bad, I don't need to watch this again.

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    1. Mike Anderson-"An episode about the kids' disinterest in Halloween, and them realizing that the holiday is for everyone no matter how old you are, could have been great."
      That episode would have been fantastic. Riley decides she's too old for tick or treating. Auggie is sad and disappointed, because he looks forward to trick or treating with her, even if Maya usually comes along too. It would be great if the episode somehow involved the Greenwitch Village Halloween parade.

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    2. Kit Cosmo - Yeah, I would love a regular Halloween episode like that. Just the kids getting into some antics and having fun. This one didn't even feel like a Halloween episode.

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    3. That's been the main problem with all the Halloween episodes. The first one came closest, though the third one was a bit iffy. It's something across many shows these days, where Halloween episodes get basically treated as 'non-canon' - so it gives them the license to do whatever they want with them.

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  13. Overall, I think this episode was a good idea with poor execution. Other smart and clever posters have answered most of the questions I had. (special thanks to 1960poster for explaining that in the alternate timeline Cory and Topanga divorced).

    For me the one unanswered question is Lucas. The Lucas we saw should have been the Lucas we saw in season 1. He never met Maya before moving to New York, so he should still be the Lucas we saw in season 1. That person was not the man in black.

    That being said, I kind of like dark, mysterious brooding Lucas. If we had him in season 1, this show and the triangle would have been totally different, and I think in a good way.

    At first, I wondered if Chaos Maya was going to bring Chaos Lucas and Chaos Riley together, just in a different way. It sort of happened, but I wish that aspect could have been developed further.

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    1. I agree with your sentiment about a good idea with bad execution.

      It continues to amaze me that even the bad Disney shows churn out pretty respectable Halloween episodes (check out those from Dog with a Blog, they were great) GMW, which is one of the 2 good shows on the network (along with Liv & Maddie), can't get one good one in 3 tries.

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    2. Kit Cosmo - I was thinking the same thing about Lucas. When Riley and Maya first met him, he was white bread/tap water bland. If he was more of a tough guy when we first saw him, and his friendships with the gang softened him up, that would be character development and we would see in this episode what happens when he no longer has those friendships.

      It's like in Sean's review of "Seven the Hard Way" when he talks about what Jack could have been. Pretty much the same thing.

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    3. (new poster here)

      While I see your point about Lucas not being that way back in Season 1, he's also been alone and without friends for a few years now. Riley asks him about whether or not he has any friends and he says only Zaye. He could easily have gotten broodier without constant friendly interaction.

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    4. My partner made the same point whilst watching the episode.

      Personally, if we'd gotten this Lucas I could be invested in him as a character.

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    5. First, awesome name Tiffsquatch.

      Second, while you raise a fair point, I'm not so sure we can fairly call Friar "alone." In Season One, he frequently went back to Texas to visit friends, whom we met in "Friendship"--though I honestly don't remember whether or not those Green Screen Kids even got names.

      And then there was that whole Missy Bradford thing--Friar contributed diddly squat in "Sneak Attack," but Riley and Maya and Farkle were not the only ones to reach out to him.

      That being said, without having Zay around, him becoming broodier does make sense...though one wonders why Zay's father wasn't transferred to New York.

      I'd liked this Friar, but there is still the risk of having a group of four that is constantly together and thus diluting the impact of the episodes. As I've said before, having a group of four (or five) rather than three often makes the lessons be broader and therefore, less impactful.

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    6. See Zay's father not being transferred is another issue. It's becoming quite clear that not all the changes can really be attributed down to 'because Maya and Riley aren't friends'. Riley and Maya's changes can be attributed fairly to them. Some other things can be, some at a stretch. But some, like this, just don't seem to have any signifcance to because of the bay window being shut.

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    7. Tiffsquatch- Welcome! This is a great place to discuss the show with smart and interesting people. I could maybe see Lucas become the man in black without friends, but it's a bit of a stretch.

      Will van Roekel-If they wanted to do a "Quantum Leap" fix the past to set the future right, they should have had everything be related to the window being closed. If for some contractual reason Ava and Dewey had to be in the episode, give them the role of guide. Have them explain why things are different.

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    8. Kit - I think the way the story was set-up, flashing back to the bay window, they believe that everything was tying back to Maya and Riley not being friends. I don't agree with it, at all, but that is how the story was framed. Personally, I would have cut out the 'fixing' of everything. Just have the whole thing as a single 'what-if' story. In reality, what the story was saying is that events don't really matter; we are who we are and no matter what, eventually Riley and Maya would be friends, Auggie was real again even before we went back to the real world, Farkle and Smackle would date. I don't really know chaos theory, but that doesn't seem to be what chaos theory is about. Basically, individual choices are meaningless, because eventually things will happen the way they are meant to.

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    9. Thanks everyone! I've been lurking for a while and have really enjoyed everyone's opinions on the show.

      This is complete speculation and not reliant upon any kind of evidence but what if Zaye's dad wasn't transferred because Lucas never talked about his great new friends? I'm imagining a world where Lucas constantly talks about how happy he is in NY and Zaye asks his Dad to request a transfer. But if Lucas doesn't have friends, then Zaye wouldn't be chomping at the bit to go somewhere that his best friend was unhappy.

      It's a tenuous explanation I know...but maybe?

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    10. An interesting thought Tiffsquatch, and the thought crossed my mind.

      Would Zay's transfer be contingent on Friar's friendship with Riley and Maya?

      Back when Mike and I were kids, several of our friends transferred from our first elementary school. Not once, but twice, a friend transferred to a different school, because their best friend transferred there first.

      However, there's a difference in transferring one school district over (and maybe less, we had a lot of schools in our general area, not to mention our original elementary school sucked) and moving a thousand miles away, for one friend.

      It's a toss-up, but it's certainly a reasonable conclusion to come to.

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    11. The only issue I have, is that when Zay first trned up didn't he make Lucas believe he moved because of him, then Lucas said 'so, your dad got transferred too?', left me with the strong feeling that Zay did not want to be moving to New York.

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  14. Here's the promo for "Girl Meets Her Monster"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Brvh7DJqVvs

    Honestly, this looks fantastic.

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    1. "A binge watching obsession"
      Those old-aged B/GMW writers would never. Yay for incorporating modern, NORMAL TEEN things.

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    2. Danielle Fischel wrote this episode, and directed. The last time one of the actors wrote an episode, it was "Girl Meets Semi-formal," when the personification of awesomeness that is Will Friedel gave us a terrific episode and a superb Eric.

      I cannot wait to see how Danielle writes Topanga.

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  15. I dunno. I think having Corpanga break up because Maya isn't in Riley's life is very troublesome. She was what, 6 or 7 at the time? I would have thought if their marital issues were going to spring up again, they would have by now.

    Yeah, there is some clear similarities with Seven the Hard Way; but the difference is that was based around -their- friendships. If Corpanga is that reliant on their daughters friendships... not to mention, Auggie was being born it appeared not -that- long after Maya and Riley met for the first time.

    In reality, Auggie's non-birth and Lucas being as he is; are the changes I have the biggest issue with. And the fact that I don't buy Corpanga breaking up due to Maya not being Riley's friend. If this was a series of changes, fine, but it all being due to -one- change, just doesn't work for me.

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    1. It bothered me too--I only brought up "Seven the Hard Way" because it was the only way I could imagine a not-married Cory and Topanga.

      Well, "Seven the Hard Way," or a sequence where Riley has a nightmare about her parents divorcing.

      As for No Auggie--that one's a bit easier, if allowing for stretching the timeline, which is certainly something the Feeny-verse is no stranger to.

      Let's suppose that the circumstances surrounding his conception were reliant on Riley and Maya's friendship. Suppose Uncle Eric or Grandpa Alan and Amy took Riley and Maya out for the day, as an anniversary gift to Corpanga and then Corpanga went on a date. If there's no Maya, then maybe there's just enough difference in the timeline of that one day that Auggie is not conceived.

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    2. Hmm. Yeah, okay, that's a good point. It's still a bit of a stretch, but if we go with Auggie being unplanned, then it's a 'stretch within the bounds of realism' as opposed to 'what are they on to think I can buy this'. Which is fine.

      I could easily see Young Riley having that kind of nightmare though; as she finds out more about Maya's family life.

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    3. Heck, I could buy Current Riley having a nightmare about her parents divorcing.

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    4. Not so sure about current-Riley. Maybe as a one-off, but with Shawn back around I think he'd point out how much he'd already seen them work through. Also, except maybe for some season 1 GMW episodes, there's not really anything to base it off, and she's the hopeful one.

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    5. Maybe Lucas came to their school same as he did in the first episode, except this time without having Riley and the rest of them as his friends he soon went to this state - maybe he felt a bit lonely, depressed, aggressive and he embraced the role of the dangerous Texas outcast.

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    6. Evi-This makes total and complete sense. I love this explanation for the Chaos/Alternate timeline Lucas.

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  16. I've been thinking about alternate timeline (Chaos) Lucas, and I agree. I really wish this was the character we had in season 1/the series. He's dark, mysterious, brooding, and everyone thinks he's a bad boy. A few episode later, everyone has to rethink that idea when he gets the second highest score on a test. This would be a classic valuable lesson about judging people based on appearances/snap judgements.

    Alter his backstory slightly. Instead of moving because he got into one fight defending a friend, it's because he was in multiple fights. He would be the guy who stepped in when bullies were picking on younger/smaller kids. I'm picturing the classic "pick on someone your own size."

    You could still have the love triangle, you could still introduce Zay later in the series, and over the course of the series Lucas would get less dark.

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    1. Not a bad idea, Kit. A "don't judge based on appearances" would be a fine idea for an episode. A little simplistic, but then again, this may be the sort of lesson that needs to be repeated over and over.
      On the other hand, given Friar's golden boy looks, it may have been better for him to revealed to be a jerk.

      And I think it was implied that Friar routinely saved Zay's neck from fights, and that the one that caused his expulsion was escalated, and Friar actually seriously injured the bully.

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    2. It was heavily implied that it was repetitive. That's why he was so annoyed when Zay managed to get himself into trouble with that other guy in Zay's first episode - it was a 'here we go again' kind of deal.

      I do like the version of Friar we got in this. But yeah, a don't judge off appearances would work better if Lucas was revealed to be a total jerk. At least partially because judging to be good off appearances doesn't get played with enough.

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  17. Ratings are in - 1.7 million views - which is in line with the rest of season 3.

    Still somehow beating Liv & Maddie, so who knows maybe there is a season 4. It's getting to the point of the year when that announcement must be coming one way or the other. Even if it is picked up they couldn't start filming until next year though as Sabrina is about to start her first tour and it doesn't end until the holidays.

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    1. I'd argue that's better than expected due to struggling ratings. How many of else were tempted to skip this episode because of last year's Terror?

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  18. A couple bits about the dialogue in this episode. We actually had two callbacks that I forgot to mention.

    Maya sniffing her essay and saying it smelled like a "B-" harkened back to "Permanent Record."

    Maya being called on in class led us back to a BMW classic--"Uh oh. Uh oh! UH OH!" We haven't seen that since "Yearbook."

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    1. I noted the Uh oh one as well. Have to admit the B- reference slipped through though.

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  19. As much as I'm sick of this show wasting my time by recanting plot lines and showing me AUs that will never exist in canon, I do have to admit that I had a much easier time watching this than last year's musical crossover.

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    1. Also, not only is Chaos Riley more dynamic due to her confidence and bubbliness, but even seeing her have a definitive personality is extremely refreshing considering her lack of developed character in the past.

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    2. I know. I actually liked this Riley. Sure, she's annoying but it's kind of in an obnoxiously happy Luna Lovegood way. Chaos Riley doesn't give a shit if people don't like her....that's actually interesting.

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    3. Alternate Riley is super legit. Luna is good comparison.

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  20. Hmm, remember how in one of the first episodes of the season they talked about constant parties and dating drama being a big part of high school? Haven't seen any of that... some triangle stuff and Zay showing interest in Maya like 10 episodes ago. No dating and definitely no parties. And almost no interactions outside of school or Riley's house. The show has gotten better, but it still feels like a little bubble to me.

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    1. Yeah that's hilarious. We spent a few episodes talking about how craaaaaaazy different everything is gonna be, and literally nothing is different.

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    2. Cory's classrooms are a little bit improved, but for the most part, the only thing different is that Farkle is taller than Friar now. Which is funny in its own right, but the day-to-day tone doesn't feel very new.

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    3. I would love to see them at a high school party. Maybe Lucas and Zay get invited because they're on the team, and they bring Riley and Maya. It would be great to see a dance. They could an episode that's set over the course of the day. Start the day of the dance, and end that night.

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  21. This one finally aired up here last night. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy a WOT episode, one which carried with it the non-promise of Ava-Doy no less, and was surprised when, for the most part, I did.

    The alternate Farkle/Isadora bits weren’t any good, another wasted opportunity as they could have done something good. I didn’t have much use for Auggie in this one either. But, everything else basically worked for me, at least in part because I’m not going to sweat the timeline details if the show isn’t.

    I still wouldn’t place it very high in the GMW firmament. But this review was one of my favourites, and the ensuing discussion was fascinating. Coming to this late, there is not much for me to add.

    Of particular interest was commentary that followed 1960's report about what wasn’t included in the episode. While Will’s point regarding how ghost-Auggie (or nun-Auggie, I saw a leper in burial sheets) set it up is well made, I still saw it the same way Cryptid did: that the event that was different occurred earlier and itself lead to divorce which then lead to the Bay Window window being closed.

    Or maybe they were never married to begin with. I was reminded of Season 2 discussion in this blog in which a theory about Riley’s paternity was floated. But this would all be far afield from Disney territory.

    I too enjoyed this Riley, and Rowan Blanchard was again very funny. But, there seemed to be more than a touch of Dunning-Kruger about her confidence. Her best and presumably only friend is her teddy bear. And if continually wearing a cowboy hat would be problematic in high school, I can’t imagine what going through the day skipping from point A to point B would do. Alternate Riley was fun to be with for an episode, but I wouldn’t want a steady diet of her. I didn’t see her as preferable or more admirable.

    Count me as one of those who enjoyed “Remedial Chaos Theory” way more than Sean. If they hadn’t started WOT3 talking about chaos, I won’t have considered there was a resemblance. Among the differences, while Community accepts randomness, even with randomness as the theme of an episode, GMW pivots back toward familiar “life knows what it’s doing” ground.

    Though I can’t claim to have really liked the Ava-Doy bits, they were less objectionable then they easily could have been.

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    1. Hi Milestones! It's good to hear from you.

      I had to Google Dunning-Kruger to realize what you meant, and while I think you raise an interesting point, especially in the context of the regular, canonical episodes--it was not long ago that Riley and Maya thought they were the Kings of Middle School. I'm not quite sure I agree with you within the boundaries of this episode.

      Bearing in mind that I am in no way whatsoever even a novice at studying this material, from what I read on Wikipedia, under Dunning-Kruger, an incompetently skilled person neither understood the extent to their relative inability and did not recognize that others may be more skilled than they.

      I don't think Chaos Riley's confidence is built off of ignorance, necessarily. It came across that she genuinely didn't mind what people thought about her. Mike and Sean compared her to Luna Lovegood, from the Harry Potter books.

      That being said, just because Chaos Riley doesn't mind what people think about her, you definitely have a point that her skipping from Point A to Point B would likely make her a target for bullies. Mean text messages might not phase her, but a more physically aggressive bully may be more of a problem,

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    2. Hi Cryptid, always good to talk to you, my friend, even if it is a week after the fact. Looks like that's the new normal for me.

      The way I thought about it, the Riley-Maya relationship is symbiotic, and confidant Chaos Riley was without something she didn't know she was missing.

      But maybe we are supposed to think that Riley would have been better off without Maya. That would be really interesting, even if it cuts against they way they have normally framed their friendship, as recently as the opening of this episode.

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    3. Likewise, Milestones. My friend, I have missed our correspondence.

      I don't think we're supposed to think that Riley would be better off without Maya--if nothing else, Chaos Riley doesn't seem to have quite as altruistic instincts as Regular Riley. Which, assuming the writers ever give Riley an actual goal--her wanting to do good in the world, somehow--could come into play eventually.

      That being said, you raise a good point. Riley loves Maya dearly. The question of a person you love being someone you may be better off without is interesting, and actually raises important questions about the very idea of love, but probably too complex for a half-hour sitcom.

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    4. Milestones - It's not just the set-up. It's also that after Riley and Maya started becoming friends, that's when Auggie started solidifying, becoming real. If it was their divorce that started the whole thing, it should have taken Cory and Topanga moving to reconciliation to start making him real again. It's quite clear the writers saw the bay window being closed was where things went differently; and I just cannot accept that Maya not being friends could have such a profound affect on Cory and Topanga, that it led to their break-up. That means they're stating that a relationship that had at least lasted, in some form or another, since they were thirteen could break apart purely because their -daughter-, not even themselves, had no friends? Or not Maya in particular? That leads to all sorts of uncertainty of their longtime success, as in, are they staying together for Maya? Once Auggie has graduated, are they going to go the way of Topanga's parents?

      Then again, this implies they actually ever think of what any particular episode means if studied against the context of the entire series, let alone both series.

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  22. Interesting points, Christian. I especially liked your commentary on the DC Alternate Universes and how Lex Luthor is almost always a good guy. I loved playing "Injustice: Gods Among Us." Alternate timelines can actually be a lot of fun, if the authors take enough chances.

    Don't have much more to add the episode's content itself--though I do agree that Isadora's appearance here was ridiculous, and Cory's teaching methods are about as opposite as one could imagine (likely on purpose).

    Also, on a time-related callback we all missed, and I only realized two weeks ago, but haven't had a real chance to comment on yet? Remember back in "Real World," when Farkle and Riley were debating and Farkle added that there was no such thing as time? I'm not positive, but that may have been a call-back to Season One of Boy Meets World where Minkus had that super elaborate mathematical formula to try to understand Feeny's legendary Car Wash problem and then repeatedly popped in and out of existence when he hypothesized that "maybe time wasn't linear, but a series of random events."

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  23. Having read Christians review now - yes. We do know that Auggie was born after Riley and Maya met - Cory was rushing her to the hospital and Mrs Svorski was babysitting.

    Having said that, they used the same child actors of when they were seven as when Auggie bit the bears face off, and I believe he has stated it was when he was 4, so that is a bit silly. And I am not entirely convinced that, even ignoring that, it tracks that they met before Auggie was conceived.

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  24. the way Riley acted as alternate universe Riley remind me a bit of season 7 Eric in a way lol

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  25. There's an easy way to fix this episode. Instead of having Riley and Maya not meeting being the thing that change everything, they should have done it as a more generic imagine spot. What if we lived in a world where things were different? Sort of like the "Friends" episode, "The One That Could Have Been." The episode of "Friends" wasn't based around one thing happening or not happening, instead each character was imagining how different his or life would be if one or two major things had/hadn't happened, and how that would impact the rest of the characters.

    The writers would still be able to mention Chaos Theory/Alternate Universes, they still would have been able to show everything they showed, and there wouldn't need to be an explanation for why things were different. We as the audience would have been able to accept everything, without trying to figure out how other changes were caused by the bay window being shut. You could still have ghost Auggie watching.

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  26. Yeah. Would have worked better. That's how I -thought- they were going to do it. Of course this is just my 'don't make everything reliant on the bay window!' talking as well.

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  27. So you know how Will Friedle kept teasing we'd see more Eric outside of GMW? Well it's finally here. He made a little Eric Matthews for President campaign video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5J4-FhALQA&sns=tw

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    2. That was so awesome!

      Eric Matthews for President!

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  28. New Tweet from the Writers

    "Two mothers cause two teenage girls hurt, pain and humiliation just because Riley is selfish and Maya kidnaps a movie star. GMW: November."

    Okay...are they summarizing the plots of both new episodes? "Hollywood/Hollyworld" is supposed to be next after "Her Monster."

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