Air Date: January 8, 2015
The episode starts off in a classroom that is not Cory’s, Mr. Norton’s science lab. With the lab partners being divide off as girl-boy pairs; Riley with Farkle, Maya with Lucas, Sarah with Zay (yay Zay), giving everyone the opportunity to analyze theses partnerships.
Mr. Norton (Jeff Douchette) explains to the class the experiment they must, drop a marble of unknown substance into a beaker of water and figure out what the sludge it turns into is, in order to make the water clear again. Noting to the class that not many students over the years have been able to figure it out. The procedure is that one partner drops the marble at a certain time, the other one figures out the contents of the sludge, but who does what? That, the science teacher says, is what the students must decide themselves. Farkle (Corey Fogelmanis) immediately delicates Riley (Rowan Blanchard) to be the one to drop the marble and assigns himself to be the one to do the ‘science.’ This does not sit well with Riley, watching Farkle dominate the partnership stating he’s the best at science therefore she should do the easier part of the experiment.
At the end of the day, when the time comes for the students to drop their marbles, Riley with Maya (Sabrina Carpenter) is shocked to see that all the girl classmates from the partnerships have been the ones delegated to drop the marbles. When Riley expresses her disgust with the situation she is surprised when most of her fellow female classmates have no problem with being assigned the easier task and being excluded out of the harder work. Stating that each of them are propelling the social injustice of the female stereotype that women will allow men to do the hard work for them, instead of being able to do it themselves. Despite her mini sermon the girl classmates drop the marble anyways, including Maya.
The next day in class when the other partner is supposed to inspect the sludge Farkle faints when he discovers that Riley did not drop the marble into the beaker of water. When Riley tries to further sway her fellow female lab partners to not give in to allowing the boys to do the work for them, she calls for a class meeting by the bay window. A location that in normally reserved for Riley and Maya time has now been opened up to every girl in the science class. When Topanga (Danielle Fishel) sits in with the girls she tells them that around the time when girls reach their teen years girls seems to drift away from the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) classes. And if they want the perception of girls in those fields to change it will be a life long task.
The fight moves to Cory’s (Ben Savage) class, the girls sitting on one side of the classroom against the boys on the other. The boys wondering why all the girls are mad at them stating they have done nothing wrong. In Riley’s confrontation with Farkle comes the lesson from this episode. The boys are equally at fault for the problem as the girls are. As much as the girls did not argue their worth and ability to do the harder part of the assignment, the boys allowed them to coast by. They allowed the girls to do the easier part of the experiment instead of pushing them to reach their full potential. In order for there to be change in the perception of females in male dominated areas there has to be an effort from both genders.
Meanwhile with Topanga, Auggie (August Maturo) celebrates when he receives a participation trophy after his soccer game. When Ava (Ava Kolker) comes over to celebrate her team winning against Auggie’s she is confused as to why Auggie has the same trophy as her even though her team one. Feeling that the hard work he put into the same did not matter in the end if she was not getting recognized for it. Auggie does not understand Ava anger, giving trophies to everyone demonstrates good sportsmanship. While Ava explains to Auggie that if he knows that he will get a trophy no matter how he plays, he will no longer feel the need to improve.
Back in science class, Farkle figures out the marbles are just balls of dirt. Riley uses that information to explain her hypothesis for the experiment. If the marble got dropped into the beaker, the water would have turned into sludge. Mudding up what they think of one another. When looking at each other through the beaker, they would only be able to see one another if the marble had not been dropped. She believes the true meaning of the experiment was to show the gender roles in the STEM classes; and that in order for the water to be turned clear, the boys should have not allowed the girls to drop the marble in the beaker.
FAVOURITE QUOTE: “It’s beneficial for young men and women to realize right now the value of working together as equals in all things because when you do the results are clear.”
Mr. Norton (Jeff Douchette)