Okay, if I was a fan of Riley & Lucas since at least GM Truth, I’d be pissed about what Lucas’ moment turned out to be. It’s surface level cute. I won’t and can’t deny that. It’s just when you really think about it, it doesn’t hold up to some of the better moments that these characters have had with other people. And on its own, it is highly suspect when you consider the significance and repercussions of what is being promised. It’s clear their fans thought it was going to be a kiss from the second that scene happened. Back in Truth, Riley clearly thought his moment would be a kiss too. And it would have been the perfect time to do so. I thought it was going to be a kiss. I only wavered a little thinking it would be ironic if his moment was breaking things off with Riley permanently. But it’s worse like this because it’s like a promise being broken.
So what did the moment turn out to be?
Riley gets permission to talk to anyone she wants, but they have to save the important stuff for each other. Thanks ever so much, Lucas, for giving Riley permission to lead her own life. How does that even work with Maya & Farkle or her parents around? Like is it just an understanding that they shouldn’t talk to anyone else who they could possibly be attracted to? That’s a great foundation for trust. NOT! Let’s see how good they are at communicating about important things when the time arises.
A promise that they’d go to dances with each other, but Lucas doesn’t even have to ask. Remember the problem in Semi-Formal was that Lucas automatically assumed they were going together, and Riley wanted the ask. So Riley has already given up something she wanted. The chance to talk about something important to her has come and gone.
The sandwich/drink/cake things is cute. And there is an understanding of if you are getting something for yourself, I’d like something too, and I shouldn’t have to ask each time. You should want to do nice things for me. Promise made. We’ll see if it holds up.
The jellybean thing seems really sweet until you consider everything about why there is a jellybean in the first place. First of all, Riley really thinks there is going to be something else in that box. She is expecting something big like a ring before they even managed to really date. She screams for Maya, and then says nevermind when it turns out to be just a jellybean. Just like Riley thought Lucas was going to tell her he liked her or that he loved her back in the library before they can have any significant time together. Riley still thinks it is a meet/get together and then skip to the happy ending without going through the effort. Her fantasy confirms that. We saw what happened in the jellybean scene. We saw that things remained even. I have no doubt that Lucas used those things to make his choice. But I have serious doubts that he really considered the significant differences in everything he said. Riley is probably thinking that she got more jellybeans. I wonder what she’ll think if someone tells her the scales were even and what the answers were. Will that jellybean still mean as much?
All in all, as much as they think about talking to each other all the time about important things, they didn’t do it. They certainly didn’t address any of the necessary issues that need to be addressed. There was a lot of insecurity in Riley’s voice in this scene. Very childlike. Very much like she was afraid Lucas would take something away from her if she said the wrong thing or asked for too much. Where is the girl who strongly asked why she wasn’t allowed to talk to who she wanted? She was more confident talking to Maya in the bay window about how she doesn’t know if her & Lucas will last, but she does know her & Maya are forever.
So yes, if I was a Riley & Lucas shipper; I’d feel cheated. Even not being a shipper of them, I feel cheated. I was hoping for a good talk about all their issues. If they had done that and still got together, I’d give them more credit for possibly being able to work. If Lucas had had this kind of lackluster moment with Maya, I would have screamed for Maya to walk away. That it was just begging for trouble. If Maya had been in Riley’s place in Truth, and Lucas had promised her a moment; I’d feel cheated and pissed that there was no kiss like I was expecting. An official get together should have a first boyfriend/girlfriend kiss in any show. Especially after all the trouble this triangle caused. A kiss would have been cathartic. Cory & Topanga had a first official boyfriend/girlfriend kiss when Cory asked Topanga to be his girlfriend. But Riley & Lucas are not Cory & Topanga. That’s fine. They don’t need to be. They shouldn’t be. But they do need to hit the romantic beats that couples traditionally hit when getting together, being together, and staying together.
I want better for Riley Matthews. She said she wouldn’t settle for anyone less than Farkle, and so far Lucas isn’t making the grade even with his best efforts at this point in time.