TV RECAP: Girl Meets Upstate

Recap, Television

Last week’s episode ended toying with our freaking emotions with Lucas (Peyton Meyer) sitting down at the Matthews’ dinner table and announcing to the parents that he has finally made a decision between Riley (Rowan Blanchard) and Maya (Sabrina Carpenter). So naturally, WE DO NOT GO TO THAT STORYLINE RIGHT AWAY!!!! Instead, Riley and Maya are on a subway, one not too different from the one from the pilot, where this “triangle” seemingly all began. But instead of focusing on the boy, the goal is to make Maya find herself again.

We do eventually return to the Lucas, where he is still sitting at the table with Cory (Ben Savage), Topanga (Danielle Fishel), and Cathy. All parties wanting to know what he has decided, regardless of their children not being there at all. They too have been wrapped up in this love story as well.

The girls have gone upstate, to Shawn’s (Ryder Strong) cabin to be exact. Because if Maya is supposed to be the Shawn of Girl Meets World who better to help her find herself then Shawn, the guy who literally left town on a soul searching journey across the country. On Boy Meets World there was a time when Cory wanted to be just like Shawn (insert flashback), but in order for their friendship to work there needed to be one Shawn and one Cory. Shawn reflects on his life and how Cory’s presence in his life changed him, made him want to be more like Cory. And how he failed in trying to have the same life as Cory. The girls are realizing the same thing has to happen for their friendship as well; their friendship has always been best when there is one Riley and one Maya. That Maya has tried to have what Riley has in her life. So Shawn accepts the challenge of trying to get Maya back to her old self.

Outside of Cory, Shawn expresses how Maya and her mom have had an impact on his life and made him want to change. Become a person who wants, and deserves a family. Which is something Maya herself has always wanted (remember the birthday wish, time capsule).

The girls and Shawn think the best place to start to find the old Maya is to change the outside, in hopes that it’ll change her inside as well. But it doesn’t take long to figure out that a change in clothing does not change a personality. So reinforcement comes in the form of Cory Matthews. Fighting ensues between the two because Shawn has come to the realization that even as an adult he is trying to become more like Cory. That his influence on his life is still as strong as it was in high school. Riley asks Maya if in her attempt to become more like her, she developed feelings for Lucas because she did.

Back in a leather jacket, Shawn begins to look like himself again. But similar to Maya, a change in wardrobe does not equal a change in person. But we know what will, BRING ON THAT OLD BEST FRIEND HANDSHAKE!!! With Shawn seemingly back to normal (the handshake works that fast I guess) it’s time for Maya to find herself again. And where best to do that, then in the art room at the high school.

Faced in front of a black canvas Maya begins a new painting, inspired by her friendship with Riley. Using it as a way to express her frustration in how she was unable to achieve the kind of life Riley has, that despite being just like her she still didn’t have the family she always wished for. The paint comes off the campus and on to the two girls and becomes an all out paint fight. Maya mad a Riley for changing her, and Riley desperately trying to bring the old Maya back. The high school art teacher, the man who made Maya realize that she was changing in the first place, interrupts the paint fight. Upon looking at the painting the Maya had made he notes that the painting has destruction and chaos, but in the sidelines there is a little glimmer of hope. Which, even though we’re not all art majors can figure out that it is meant to represent Riley’s influence of Maya’s life, aweeee….

Back to the weirdness at the Matthews’ kitchen table, Lucas STILL HAS NOT TOLD US WHO HE PICKED!!! He has sought out refuge at the bay window, waiting for Riley and Maya to return (seriously, loving how the show is calling out some of its own ridiculousness, who would just be sitting there for five hours). Zay (Amir Mitchell-Townes) and Farkle (Corey Fogelmanis) meet Lucas at the bay window. Lucas asks Farkle about Riley and Maya and why he never chose between the two of them. With Farkle responding that he has loved each one equally, that way he got to keep both of them in his life. But Lucas knows he has to choose. And just like that Riley and Maya pop into the bay window, covered in paint. Everyone wants to know who Lucas picks, but Maya says it doesn’t matter. And in that moment when we were all Zay, “we’ve waited for two years.” She says it doesn’t matter because he picks Riley. If he goes with Riley he gets Riley, if he choses her then he also gets Riley. Because that’s who she has been acting like. She needs to become herself again in order to figure out her true feelings for Lucas.

The climax of the episode with Lucas “choosing” gets upstage between the ultimate relationship of the show between Riley and Maya. This ‘triangle’ as been fun and all but that’s not what this show was based on. The friendship between the two girls has always been the focus and seemingly always will be. Their friendship and how it changes as they grow up, like we saw with Cory and Shawn. Cory and Topanga’s love story was great but we also loved watching the greatest friendship of all time between Shawn and Cory. The parallels between the two shows are evident; maybe at times it can seem forced. But you love the show anyways because it’s Cory and Topanga, because it’s Cory and Shawn back together again, because it’s Riley and Maya. And in the last minutes of the episode where Shawn proposes to Maya’s mom Cathy is not realistic or not, we’ll accept it. Because it’s the characters we love, from shows that we have grown up with and cannot let go of.


“I know that language, that’s Topanaganese.” Shawn (Ryder Strong)


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