Girl Meets World’s season finale means that it’s time for Riley, Maya, Lucas and Farkle to graduate from middle school! They don’t seem too jazzed about it.
Bay Window: Lucas joins Riley and Maya to deliver a prepared speech about their love triangle with the help of index cards. In the end, what does Lucas want? For nothing bad to happen between them. I want to say good luck to him, but also these kids are insanely mature when it comes to their emotions, so who knows what is going to happen.
The Apartment Matthews: Cory and Topanga explain to Riley that life will always get harder, and that the love triangle is only getting worse because no one is talking about their feelings anymore. Maya and Riley both think that Cory hasn’t taught them enough. “Dad, you’re more than a teacher, you’re like a father to me,” Riley explains, delivering my favorite line of the episode. Lucas arrives to make his final decision: he’s going to stop the love triangle in its tracks and they’re all just going to be friends. In essence, he chooses himself, a la Kelly Taylor or Jackie Burkhart.
Back in Cory’s classroom, we see the immediately effects of Lucas’s choice. Maya is lying across two desks and moping, Lucas is facing the back of the classroom, and Riley has her face smashed against a window. “We value our friendship too much to look at one another,” Lucas explains. Cory makes them go back to their usual seats, then gives them their last assignment: they have to figure out what they’re giving back to their school.
Later, Riley says that she’s not ready to leave middle school yet. “We were kings, Matthews,” she says to Cory, echoing him and Shawn. They’re joined by Maya, Farkle and Lucas for one last lesson. Cory runs through a few key lessons from the show thus far–people change people, your biggest allies are the people around you, and you can tell your friends anything. Cory instructs them to live their lives and face whatever is coming next.
The kids have two surprises for their graduation day. The first is a friendship bench that features art pieces from all four of them. I find it interesting that the school accepted a gift from Riley, Maya, Farkle and Lucas and not say, the entire graduating class, but I know what show I’m watching so I’ll stop. As for their class prank, they’re stealing Cory–not in the wacky kidnapping a teacher way, but in the getting him a different job way. A phone call to Mr. Turner and a parent petition gets Cory a “promotion” to be a high school teacher. I would argue that high school isn’t technically a promotion from middle school, but see above.
Bay Window: the episode ends where it began, with Riley, Maya and Lucas sitting on Riley’s window seat and contemplating the state of their love triangle. Riley and Maya both still have feelings for him, but Lucas doesn’t want anyone to get hurt. No progress is made.
While the episode was totally fine, I was expecting more from this season finale. Middle school graduations aren’t as big of a deal as high school graduations, but the build up to this was so intense I was expecting more from it–at least that Lucas would make a decision between Riley and Maya. Here’s to hoping that season three hits the ground running.
Boy Meets World Throwback Factor: MEDIUM. We get another appearance from Harley–our last, unless he too jumps up to high school with the kids. The true throwback moment occurred when Riley paraphrased her father: “We were kings, Matthews!”
Episode Rating: 7/10
The sophomore season of Girl Meets World had a wide variety of episodes, both plot and quality-wise. On the high end, we had episodes like “Girl Meets I Am Farkle,” which dealt with topics like the autism spectrum and consent with a great deal of sensitivity. On the lower, we had episodes like “Girl Meets The Tell-Tale Tot,” which legitimately included a tater tot puppet acting as Riley’s conscience. Regardless, Girl Meets World is well on its way to finding its footing as it tackles important issues like friendship, feminism, relationships and consent. My suggestion for the third season is to avoid topics that they don’t want to address head on–we all saw what happened in “Girl Meets Commonism.”
Season Rating: 7/10