Riley’s ‘a-ha’ during the ha-hurr
Okay so I was watching Yearbook again and thinking about that ha-hurr scene and like why bring it back now? It was something Maya hadn’t done since S1. But things have changed since S1 (and definitely start changing more in Yearbook and beyond). And then I thought about how this ha-hurr was more intense/exaggerated/obvious. And how it was obviously more flirty (see Maya’s lip bite for one thing). And then I took a look at Riley’s reactions in the background:
So in the beginning when Maya and Lucas are having their “I’m gonna do it” “No” “I’m gonna do it anyway” “Please don’t” type of conversation, Riley is blissfully ignorant (see above). She’s probably so used to their game (it’s been going on for a year) and thinks little of it. (So far at this point of the series, the only time Riley seems to have any Lucaya suspicions was in Pluto when Maya knew his grandpa was called Pappy Joe, and even that wasn’t necessarily suspicions of anything besides that they’re closer friends than she assumed. The “game“ and teasing is still insignificant to her.)
Maya starts singing ‘ha ha ha hurr’ and Lucas asks them, “You guys wouldn’t judge me if I ran?”. Riley here (see above) is still very much like “aw how cute Lucas/just another day of Maya teasing Lucas” (it’s a face she’s made during the game often in s1) and sees everything happening as pure teasing/joking (i.e. not flirty banter).
But then it’s not just the singing ha hurr. Maya also does the “ha hurr” all up in his face (and for much longer than any of her other ha hurs), and Lucas doesn’t run. He just takes it. And Riley sees this, sees how physically close they are, and hears him ask Maya afterwards, “You okay now?” and she hears Maya’s little giggle and “That was good”. Riley starts to realize (maybe not fully, but her awareness definitely increases) the subtext of their game (flirtation) and you can see it as she watches them (see above). And having Riley notice this is important, as it adds to the whole “Lucaya best couple thing” thing scene. Not only does the whole class view Lucaya as a couple (which is already a pretty crushing blow considering that Riley even said it in the episode that it really bothers her what others think), but now Riley has this new semi-realization about Lucaya’s ‘game’, and she can’t even write off the class’s statements as completely unfounded. So she reacts and we get Morotia.
Also,if Riley can start to see the gist of the Lucaya game in this episode, then I’m willing to bet that in in GMT1 when she tells Maya that she’s “known [Maya thinks Riley likes Lucas like a brother] for a while”, that it goes back to this exact moment in Yearbook (aka right after it happened). At the bay window, when Maya says she didn’t find anything out (but is obviously lying), Riley plays dumb for the sake of friendship and starts talking about how the neighbor’s pony didn’t actually talk. Maya jokes ‘I can’t keep anything from you”, to which Riley replied “It’s because I’m a smarty pants!” Yes, the dialogue is disguised in comedy (I feel like the show does this a lot), but it’s also really true. Riley is smarter than she lets on, and between both her and Maya holding things in and not communicating well, well I’m prepared for some Rilaya conflicts in S3, with Lucas as a catalyst (but not the root of the problem per se)