Here we are, guys. The series finale of Girl Meets World. It's fitting, perhaps, that we say goodbye (again) to Cory and the gang on the same day we say goodbye to President Obama. Not sure why it would be fitting. But perhaps it is.
Let's get into it!
Commercial: There's a CGI Descendants TV show? Weird. Dove Cameron reprises her role in voice form. It's weird that it exists. Oh, and there's an actual Descendants 2 coming as well. Back off about the Descendants, Disney. Kristin Chenoweth does not seem to be reprising her role as Maleficent in the sequel, surprising no one. I can't even stomach Once Upon A Time anymore, so I am going to hard pass. That show's still on?
Liked the first scene. "What? You're too far away now" was great and the revelation of Kerri Abelson, the third best friend who moved across the street and was forgotten was good too. And, look, Cory's finally going to tell them about Belgium 1831. Not the most audacious prediction ever made but, still, called it! Kerri Abelson is a hilarious bit to kick things off, and that sort of awareness is sorely missing from this series. That joke feels straight out of Boy Meets World, like oh crap, things go wrong sometimes, our bubble is a lie. So how do we go from "Why do people become friends if it's not forever" in the episode right before this one, to "I don't care, she's gone" (which was hysterical by the way) in the very next one? Michael Jacobs wrote both scripts! Mike, you just wrote the exact opposite of this! And that would be fine if it served these kids a dose of reality, or if anyone at all commented on Riley's total lack of consistency on this. It fuels my hatred of those "always forever" speeches from Riley. That's clearly not who you are, it's not your history, it's not reality. So as a total change of pace from that, yes, I loved the Kerri Abelson bit.
This is ridiculous, but when Lucas suddenly popped up to say "What if we're not ready for this? I'm not ready for this, Riley!" I realized I had completely forgotten about him. Like that he was a character on the show. I was kind of in a "Oh, it's the last episode, soak it all in. Oh, this may be Farkle and Smackle's last bits." and just.... I forgot that Lucas was someone. I was like, "Oh yeah! Lucas." Not sure what it says about Lucas, but.... can't be anything good. But, really, it's just that I don't care about the kids and these non-BMW character scenes are just something to get through. I suppose that sentence just said it all. I'll say it again.
Girl Meets World (2014-2017)
But, really, it's just that I don't care about the kids
and these non-BMW character scenes
are just something to get through.
Yeah, I think we all came into the series with that mindset. It's too bad they weren't able to change our minds. Well, they did for like a second in Charlie Gardener's first episode. Semi-Formal remains the best episode.
Oh, we get some meta commentary with "Sometimes things end before they're supposed to, but we did our best, and we hope you'll remember us fondly." We'll see how it goes!
I almost never watch the opening credits. When it starts playing, I click over and do something else until the theme song ends. I watched it this time, and a lot of the scenes in the new opener (which I've probably watched wayyyyyyyy less than the original one) were brand new to me. I remembered some of them (the direct references to BMW, the one where Farkle pretends like he's going to throw the football and then drops it) but some were new to me somehow.
Okay, so, some other things happen (Hi Ava. Ava does a whole bit with an English accent and boy howdy let me tell you, that is some funny stuff. The audience can't get enough so clearly, I am in the wrong, for I am not laughing. Maya comes to appreciate Farkle's efforts that I brilliantly wrote about in his ranking post and gives him a kiss on the cheek in the middle of class, completely defying any remote attachment to reality.) and then OH MY GOD, ALL THE BOY MEETS WORLD CHARACTERS ARE GATHERED TOGETHER AT CASA MATTHEWS! Blink and you'll miss Minkus and Harley, as it turns out neither has a single line and may as well not even have been there. Which is fine, really, because it's weird that they'd be there. And I don't care that much about them either. 17 and 20? Psh. Let's focus on the Top 10.
Hahah, Eric is looking at Turner for some reason. Everyone was looking toward Shawn and Katy, then everyone looks at Riley when she enters except for Eric, because he thinks everyone is turning to look at him (probably). Talk about blink and you'll miss it. Oh wow, that is great. I wish they'd called that out. Had everyone turn and had Eric be, like, "Yes. Hello. It is I."
Guys, my DELIGHT at everything about Eric's moonwalk to Feeny, I can't even tell you. I had to pause and collect myself. I had to rewatch it a few times. All before he said a word. I was cutely aware this time, in a way that I wasn't when watching the Boy Meets World finale, that this is the last episode of Eric Matthews I'll ever get and I tried to drink it all in. But, like, why are they fighting? And, is that it? It ends like that? Eric and Feeny are not talking to each other? WHY? Come onnnnnnn. Still, I liked it. I'm easy when it comes to them.
Watching Eric moonwalk toward Mister Feeny erased every negative feeling in my life. At a different time in my life, I'd make a gif out of it, but we're all getting old here.
Hey, Shawn and Katy time. Rider gets one last chance to mispronounce "Philadelphia", Maya tries to stop them from rewriting history (You're on the WRONG show, toots.) The Shawn/Turner scene was great. Short and sweet (which is necessary, we only have 25 minutes here) but nice. I'll let Sean handle that, since I expect he has more to say about it. My prediction about Katy being pregnant did not come true, but I believe other people correctly predicted Shawn wanting to adopt Maya, which hadn't really been a plot point that was on my radar but, sure, makes sense. I enjoyed Topanga wanting to bring the subject back around to her. I also got to marvel one last time at just how likable Cheryl Texiera's Katy is.
Yeah I need to get on my soapbox for this one. You may have already noticed my shrine to this moment that I posted today, where comments are disabled because it's bigger than us and should be left alone. By some crazy twist of fate, the character ranking post for Turner managed to line up with the night the world got to see him reunite with Shawn. If you don't know, I initially started Boy Meets World Reviewed because people were arguing over Cult Fiction for all the wrong reasons and I needed to talk about it. Begun by Shawn and Turner, by Shawn and Turner undone. To have some thousand odd people here reading as I come full circle to where I started... I wish I could describe it. Thanks for reading. Sincerely. This is an enormous moment for me, and it makes the entire series and wait and everything worth it. Like Katy says, "Thank you for everything you've done to help make Shawn who he is." I'm finally ready to let go.
The adoption thing is nice, but entirely secondary.
The Morgans! So, like I predicted, their appearance is also brief (though, really, I think they got more focus than everyone but Shawn, Eric, Feeny, and Josh, by virtue of them all getting two scenes rather than one) and entirely about jokes about how there were two of them. What I was NOT expecting was this surreal situation in which they just... both play Morgan. And it's treated maybe that there's only character there, but they're aware that it's two different actresses but maybe the characters aren't (Josh does say "My sister!" looking at them both)? It's weird. I like it and I don't. It's cute, and it's a way to include them both, but I also don't like boiling the character down to just that behind the scenes quirk. Like, I'd have liked to have learned something about what Morgan's actually doing. Still, good to see them. Lily Nicksay is definitely the stand out of the two, makes me wonder what may have been if she'd stuck around. Hope to see more of that actress.
I didn't get much out of the Morgans, I think Christian has always liked the character more than I do, but I loved the idea. There's just no explanation for this, and I'm a big fan of absurdist humor. "So Mike, which one's gonna play Morgan?" "Both." "Yeah bu-" "Both."
There is absolutely no way they could have done it better in my opinion. And I never would have thought of that, so, yeah, the official Sean Seal of Approval on that decision.
Feeny's scene was nice. Don't really have any thoughts. Was nice. Thanks for the lessons, Mr. Feeny.
And the final advice scene (and most effective) is Eric's, which is fitting (especially since Shawn does get to be in that final scene, so he's not shortchanged at all) since the main aspect of Eric this series as held on to has been his idiot savant-like wisdom. Will's hilarious ("I can play Topanga!"/"Go and find your favorite quiet place. Mine is under the ocean.") and imbues Eric with such heart and fun. I think I'll miss you most of all, scarecrow. Still, I wish Eric got a bit more of a goodbye. His impression of Topanga followed by "Perfect!" is one of the funniest jokes in this series. Will is just spectacular. And Rider was talking in an interview recently about how he still can't do a scene with Will because they laugh too much, and specifically mentioned that that's why Shawn and Eric don't interact in this episode. I don't know what more of a goodbye we could have done with Eric since they're still not sure if they're moving yet. I'm really happy with this scene, because it has Eric ending exactly where he wanted to be at the end of Boy. "I'm gonna be a good person, who cares about people." He said that to Feeny, and now he's actually doing it in a Feeny-esque role of giving life advice. That's a home run for me.
The next scene essentially functions as the goodbye for Farkle, Smackle, and Zay. Smackle's bit is cute, though it kind of feels like her goodbye was last week. Riley says "Our circle of friends was never complete until you showed up, Zay." That's the kind of thing that sounds like bullshit when they try to communicate it to people like Jack and Rachel on Boy Meets World, but it sure feels true with Zay. Thanks for everything, Zay! Zay rocks. Go do something where you're a main character, Jazz Jr. Farkle's goodbye is the least interesting of the three, a fitting tribute to how worthless Farkle has been this season. Josh shows up for like ten seconds before his sister bails on him, that's rude. We got to see Riley and Lucas outside, but missed out on Josh and Maya inside. I think a lot of people would have appreciated a final note on that story.
I find Lucas and Riley's goodbye rather interesting. It's treated very much like a breakup scene without, really, any difficult feelings. It's brief, it's sandwiched in between other goodbye, Riley's clearly not all that upset about it. And, jumping ahead, this is really the final Riley and Lucas moment. We later find out that Riley's not leaving and there's no "Oh, yay, we don't have to break up." I kind of take this to mean Lucas and Riley split either way. They both feel ready to move on. I'm really glad you didn't hate this, because I liked it. The dialogue is standard fare, but the tone has an incredible maturity that we have almost never seen in a relationshippy scene on this show. One last time, fuck the Triangle. Jacobs clearly still has the chops for the tone of this dating stuff, I'll always wonder what could have been without Disney.
Oh man! The Bay Window is the NOOK Cory wanted from Season 7! Well, that almost lets the bay window off the hook for all its bullshit. Almost. Somebody around here should have caught that. On the other hand, I love that it caught us off guard. What a fun tie-in.
Farkle erasing "Belgium 1831" one last time because they're not ready/don't have to learn it yet was a fitting coda for... the Belgium 1831 joke.
Okay, that final scene. I don't mind the callbacks to Brave New World, or the flashback, or even Daniel Jacobs' gratuitous cameo as a customer. Oh thaaaaat's what that is. What I don't think is right, despite my fondness for Katy, is her being part of it. This was a moment for Cory, Topanga, Shawn, and Eric. They were the four from that moment. And, like, what is Katy doing quoting dialogue from it? She wasn't there. Katy's an important character, one who deserves a goodbye, but I feel like she got one in her scene with Shawn and Turner. This would have been a nice moment for the main characters from GMW and the main from BMW to share together, but the addition of Katy and the lack of Eric bums me out.
I'll give GMW this. Maybe because it was less obvious, maybe because we didn't see it coming, maybe because of how much Rowan and Sabrina have grown, but their quoting of the dialogue they shared in the pilot together pulled on my heartstrings more than the quoting of lines from Brave New World. I was disrupted by "Big world." "Ours now." because it just doesn't sound like what the show is supposed to be about, it's not yours, you're 15, but it does have that throughline of uncertainty about the future that Meets World thrives on. Although Riley still has to make sure they'll be friends FOREVER, and I just can't believe that she still needs confirmation at this point. Like, it's a thousand times stronger when it's implied and taken as fact. Everyone walked away from BMW knowing Shawn and Cory would always be friends, why does it always have to be so explicit with these two? As always, though, Maya does a delightful job of keeping her best friend from getting too crazy.
And that's it! Goodbye GMW!
Episode Rating: B+ (Ultimately not much to complain about here, I think they did a good job, especially walking this difficult needle of writing something that was probably a finale but they didn't know definitely was)
Episode MVP: A few good performances here, but the one I think I was struck by most was Danielle Fishel who really sold her big scene at Topanga's. We've talked a lot about how Danielle's been relatively shortchanged in GMW, it was nice to see Topanga be such a big part of the finale. Yeah, they're leaving Philly for Topanga's internship at a law firm, and I like how they paralleled that. Topanga going away for whatever reason is always a big to-do in this universe.
Don't worry, folks, and stay tuned. The show's over but Sean and I are not saying goodbye juuuuuust yet. We'll have likely a few formal goodbye posts wrapping up the series and the blog, and there's still the character list. I know it's hard not to get caught up in the feelings of the show ending and the blog finishing the series, but let's try to keep a lid on that until those specific posts and try to talk about the episode here. (Even though I already fucked that up when I was talking about Turner in this post.)