It’s almost time for Awards Night at John Quincy Adams Junior High, and there are some mixed feelings in the bunch. “Scam!” Maya declares, before Cory announces that she is to be the recipient of the Griff Hawkins Totally Cool Award. Love the nod to Adam Scott’s character on Boy Meets World, but as my sister pointed out, wouldn’t the name of the award make more sense if the kids went to Cory’s Philadelphia alma mater instead of a school in Manhattan? Finalists for the Scholar Athlete Award include Lucas and a boy we’ve never seen before named Billy Ross. When Cory announces that Farkle will receive the Confidence Award, he finds an answering machine instead of his student.
Farkle is hiding in Harley’s janitor closet when the gang finds him—someone has been bullying him and he doesn’t want to be Farkle anymore. Maya tries to coax him out—he embraces his weirdness, and that’s what makes him unique! But Farkle’s not really all about being unique at the moment. Once again: Farkle and Maya 4EVA.
Cory and Topanga are alone in their apartment, basking in their currently child-less state. UGH AVA busts in (do Cory and Topanga not lock the door to their NEW YORK CITY APARTMENT?) and interrupts their quiet night in. “Mommy says you’d be happy to watch me while she tells Daddy what he’s doing wrong,” Ava explains, informing Topanga that she’s not allowed to kick her out of the apartment this time.
Cory shows examples of heroes who have stood up for themselves and what they believe in—Gandhi, Jackie Robinson, Malala—and asks the class if they’ll have the courage to stand up to someone trying to take their spirit away. Riley gets the encouragement she needs to go to Harley’s janitor closet and bring her friend out of hiding.
Farkle refuses to leave; someone told him that he was a nothing and had no right to walk around pretending that he was actually friends with the likes of Riley, Maya, and Lucas. Maya demands the name of the person so she can lay the smack down (she wants to defend his honor because they are LIFERS), but Lucas picks her up and stops her from kicking ass. Lucas, let her do it! Harley explains how he, a former picker-onner, had his view changed when one of the kids he bullied refused to back down. Harley now has the janitor job because of him and holds his former tormentee in high esteem. “Heeeeey, Johnny Babboon!” he says when Cory walks in the room.
“This is where we talk about important things,” Maya and Riley explain, inviting Lucas to the inner sanctum that is Riley’s window seat. “I want my Farkle back. We’re not the same without him. If you tell him I said that I WILL JACK YOU UP, SON.” Maya declares. Cory tells them they have one day to deal with the problem themselves before they enlist an adult’s help. He takes his leave only to march back in, yelling “GET OUT!” at Lucas. Lucas scrambles out of the window sans one shoe.
Lucas’s concern for Farkle makes newcomer Billy Ross scoff. According to him, Lucas is better off without Farkle—he’s a nothing, after all. Whatta dick, am I right? Lucas doesn’t take to this well and lightly pushes Billy against the mat-covered wall (Disney, folks). Maya hops on Lucas’s back to stop him—after all, Billy isn’t worth it! “The Billy you know is your teammate, that comes way before whatever these guys are to you… you’ll find out sooner or later that they’re not us,” Billy explains.
“Where’s my brekkie?!” UGH AVA yells as she busts into the Matthews’ apartment. She warns Topanga not to give her a toaster pastry—we all know that it’s a shortcut. Topanga picks Ava up in a hug and kisses her on the cheek, demonstrating to everyone that they should be nice to those who need it, even if they don’t treat everyone in kind.
Riley has her classmates write a label on their foreheads to illustrate their flaws—Riley has INSECURE, Maya’s is BROKEN, and Farkle’s reads NOTHING. Billy admits that he’s jealous of their friendship and has Farkle write JEALOUS on his forehead. Billy apologizes and does the secret handshake with Farkle. To hammer the point home, Harley makes an appearance and introduces Cory as Mr. Matthews rather than Johnny Baboon. Riley is voted most likely to stand up for what she believes in at their Awards Ceremony. It could have been preachier, that’s all I’m saying.