moorings

thinkprogress.org
Congresswoman Who Used To Receive Welfare Wants To Drug Test Rich People Who Get Tax Breaks
Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) has had enough of the growing movement to drug test poor people who need government assistance. So on Tuesday, she’s introducing a bill that she says will make things fairer…
By Bryce Covert

Her “Top 1% Accountability Act” would require anyone claiming itemized tax deductions of over $150,000 in a given year to submit a clean drug test. If a filer doesn’t submit a clean test within three months of filing, he won’t be able to take advantage of tax deductions like the mortgage interest deduction or health insurance tax breaks. Instead he would have to make use of the standard deduction.

Her office has calculated that the people impacted will be those who make at least $500,000 a year. “By drug testing those with itemized deductions over $150,000, this bill will level the playing field for drug testing people who are the recipients of social programs,” a memo on her bill notes.

…Moore has been frustrated to witness attempts to tie those who avail themselves of the safety net to drug use. “Republicans continue to criminalize poverty and to put forward the narrative, the false narrative in fact, that people who are poor and reliant upon the social safety net are drug users,” she said.

In fact, evidence from test results among states that test welfare recipients indicates that they are no more likely to use drugs than the general population — in fact, they may be less likely.

Riarkle - The Analysis (Part 2)

Word Count: 12, 111 (wut) - Just so y’all know, this one the longest thing I put out here! If y’all want to just fav, reblog, and then finish it all later, I completely understand. 

Season ll had quite a few Riley/Farkle moments that need to be discussed. For those of you who haven’t seen part one of this analysis, here’s the link: http://analyticalinsights.tumblr.com/post/153717778316/riarkle-the-analysis-part-1 

Anyways let’s get right into it!

Carrying on where we left off last time, season two shows a much greater development of Riley and Farkle’s relationship. As we saw in season one, Farkle was initially the boy who the girls didn’t take seriously. Season two changed that. Hopefully this part of the analysis will be able to change some perspective on Riley + Farkle’s relationship. 

Also like I mentioned last time, I will be following the production order from this post —> GMW Prod Order

But all that aside, let’s tackle the first episode: 

1. Girl Meets The New World!

A/N: I know that technically this episode comes later in the season production wise, but story wise it is a direct continuation of First Date. It wouldn’t make sense for me to talk about it later when it is a direct continuation of the last episode of season one. Also, I tend to go on quite a few side-rants, so while this is an analysis, it is just as much a brain dump as well. Just keep that in mind!

And just as a quick aside before I actually start analyzing this episode, I have NEVER been a fan of the way they take jabs at Maya’s life situation. In the first three minutes of this ep, we’ve already seen Riley make at least 3-5 comments on Maya’s situation. I never really found it funny, just borderline rude and definitely awkward. This is just a personal opinion I’m inserting in here cause I felt like it needed to be said. That’s all! 

Anyways, just a gripe more than anything else! Let’s get it.

Actually, I lied. Lol. One more thing before I get into it. What you guys will notice is that while there are some Riley & Farkle moments, a lot of the episodes have meta more than direct moments. So don’t be confused if you see me talk about other characters/themes - it all ties back to Riley and Farkle. Also, I do analyze other characters as well, but it all goes back to Riley and Farkle at the end. 

While this episode along with GM First Date were very Rilucas focused, it did bring up something I found very interesting. Over the course of the show, we see Riley and Lucas try multiple times to sort out their feelings to no avail. 

And this is the first of many attempts where they just aren’t on the same wavelength. 

Let’s look at it for a second:

Riley: We’re just sitting here. 

Lucas: Yeah, we haven’t talked to each other much at all. 

Riley: It’s too bad, because you’re one of my favorite people to talk to.

(awkward pause) 

Lucas: I think your mom did a really good job on this place. 

Riley: Yeah, going to be a great hang out, isn’t it? 

Lucas: Yeah, look at all these NYU students. Smiling… 

Riley: Talking… 

Lucas: Looking real… 

Riley: Comfortable with each other, yeah. 

Lucas: Yeah. I don’t know why it’s so hard for us to talk all of a sudden. It’s not like we’ve changed. 

Riley: We’re boyfriend and girlfriend now.

Lucas: Yeah but those are just words, Riley. Words don’t change people.

- Girl Meets the New World

@maya-penelope-papaya made a very interesting post on smoothies and how that all relates to this. I’ll link it right here —> Smoothie Post

Anyways, as we see, as soon as Riley and Lucas become “official” or “feelings enter into their dynamic” they can’t talk. Or at least they can’t talk as comfortably as they used to. This is not only a common occurrence throughout all of the show in relation to Rilucas, but how every one of their attempts to “get together” end up. We see this not only in this episode, but in the Texas episodes (which we will address later) and the episodes that follow after Ski Lodge. Literally, and this is no exaggeration, EVERY SINGLE TIME that Riley and Lucas address their feelings, there is some general awkwardness/stiffness to it.

And I know I’m jumping ahead once again, but I need to make this point - After Ski Lodge, when the triangle is finally “solved”, why is it that Lucas and Riley interact on screen even less than they did before? Why is it that most if not all of their moments were either cut or lackluster?

Something to think about. I’ll definitely address this in part three. But for now, let’s continue. 

Maya and Farkle’s dialogue is equally as interesting. Although Farkle proposing was somewhat comedic, I think there’s also some sobering truth hidden within the comedy that I want to address:

Maya: Good-bye Maya Penelope Hart, hello, Mrs. Farkle Minkus. 

Farkle: All this time, I’ve been trying to love and appreciate her, but all it took was this big, hunking rock. 

Maya: Make a note, Riley. They put one of these in front of our face, and we get hypnotized by the sparkles. 

Farkle: Wait, you only said yes because of the ring? It had nothing to do with me? 

Maya: That would be pretty shallow of me, wouldn’t it? 

Farkle: I don’t care.

Maya: All right, Farkle, you’re a scientist, let’s do an experiment. Ask me without the ring. 

Farkle: Would you marry me? 

Maya: Die. Now ask me with the ring. 

Farkle: Would you marry me? 

Maya:I love you so much. 

Farkle: I believe you!

- Girl Meets the New World

I know this is supposed to be comedic, but let’s break this down. If this show wanted us to believe that Farkle loves Maya and Riley in the same way, they aren’t doing a very good job of making us believe that. Out of the few “moments” that Farkle and Maya have together, they are purely comedic/no sparks. This is the first instance of many throughout the season where we see that Farkle respond differently to Riley and Maya in terms of affection. 

Just taking a look at the dialogue above should be indicative of that. 

“Wait, you only said yes because of the ring? It had nothing to do with me?”

For arguably the entirety of season one, barring certain episodes, and for a good portion of season two - Maya and Farkle go back and forth between being friends and Maya not really appreciating his presence. This isn’t to say that Maya doesn’t care about Farkle - she does, but in certain instances, the validity of their friendship could be put into question. 

In regards to this whole ring situation, Farkle charmed Maya with his mother’s ring - not with himself. As soon as the ring is taken off, Maya is certainly less than enamoured with the idea of being Mrs. Farkle Minkus. But as soon as the ring is back on - she loves him. 

I also find it interesting that Farkle admits that he’s been trying to “love and appreciate her” all this time. And while I do wholeheartedly believe that Maya could benefit from someone who loves and appreciates her, Farkle isn’t that person for her. And that’s why Maya would never be enamoured with the idea of being Mrs. Farkle Minkus. And that is also why equal will never be the same. At least in regards to how Farkle Farkle doesn’t interact with Maya the same way he interacts with Riley, nor does he get the same responses. Because they are different people with different needs, different upbringings, and different personalities. Showing love and appreciation to Riley goes a lot further for Farkle than it would ever go for for Maya. 

But, I digress. We’re almost done with this episode so let’s continue. 

Riley: Relationships are supposed to be about two people who make the choice to come together by themselves. 

Lucas: Of their own free will, at the right point in time. 

Riley: It has nothing to do with… how do they get these things so sparkly, Farkley? 

Farkle: Pressure. This diamond used to just be a piece of coal that was put under a lot of pressure. 

Maya: Yeah, I’m keeping it. 

Farkle: Good. I come with it. 

Maya: Huh, well, I really love you and everything. 

Farkle: Why, thank you. 

Maya: I was talking to the ring.

- Girl Meets the New World

So according to Riley and Lucas, relationships are supposed to be about two people who come together by themselves, of their own free will, at the right point in time, correct? 

But is that what happens with them?

Not exactly… but I’ll address that in later parts. All I want to say for now is that if relationships are supposed to be about two people who come together by their own volition, of their own free will at the right point in time, why has this never really been the case for Riley and Lucas?

We’ll address that later.

And moving on to Farkle - “this diamond used to just be a piece of coal that was put under a lot of pressure”.

Oh?

You know who else has been going through a lot which resulted in them becoming a “diamond” so to speak?

Farkle. 

We see him literally change before our eyes over the course of three seasons. He gets put “under pressure” for quite some time. 

Trying to discover what love is.

Trying to sort through his feelings.

Trying to make sure he’s “growing in the right way”

Dealing with insecurities while navigating life with his friends.

You can’t sit here and tell me that this boy hasn’t been constantly under pressure/put under pressure. 

Anyways, I’m jumping a bit ahead once again. As we’ll see later, this “pressure” really starts to affect Farkle as an individual. 

For now, let’s carry on to:

2. Girl Meets the Secret of Life!

The first thing I want to mention is that we learn arguably one of the most important lessons in this episode - people change people. This is a constant that is often being called back to in later episodes. Now, while there aren’t any explicit Riley and Farkle moments in this episode that really need to be analyzed, there are some interesting scenes that need to be looked at in order to present a more holistic understanding of Riley and Farkle as the show goes on. 

In this episode, we discover that there’s a different side to Lucas other than this whole Mr. Perfect image he had going on. Another “spot the difference” moment we have here is how Riley and Maya handle the news. As per usual, Riley’s reaction is nothing short of extra. Albeit, she wasn’t unjustified in her reaction, but it was extra nonetheless. However, when it comes to Maya’s reaction, that’s a different story. Throughout the entire episode, Maya’s response is generally one of understanding, curiosity, and concern - but never anger. Now, while it can be argued at this is because Riley had been on a date with Lucas and her feelings were very “high-key” here, it still doesn’t change the fact that her and Maya have always seemed to react very differently to Lucas when there is a conflict/issue (SOL, Texas, HS, Triangle, etc.)

One aspect of this episode that I find very interesting, is Riley’s initial reaction to Lucas. She believes, albeit somewhat erroneously, that this new information about his past means that she doesn’t know who he is anymore. While his past affects who he is, (GM PR) Lucas didn’t change fundamentally because of his past. He changed because of the people in his life who cared about him and wish the best for him. 

And finally, bringing this back to the point of this analysis - how does this affect Riley and Farkle?

Well to re-iterate what I had written earlier, “people change people” is one of the most important, revisited lessons in the entire show. And as we see throughout the season, Riley and Farkle have a significant effect on each other’s lives, especially Riley —-> Farkle. Anyways, I didn’t have too much to say about Riarkle here, but I believe that the people change people lesson was too important to gloss over.

Let’s continue.

3. Girl Meets Pluto!

This is the first episode where we are introduced to the Riley Committee. I won’t speak too much at length on it here as I’ve spoken on it elsewhere. But if you wanted to more know about the Riley Committee —-> Bird Watcher’s Post

Another interesting thing about this episode is Shawn’s comments when he opens up the time capsule:

“Ah. Me and Angela. We were going to be Cory and Topanga.”

Full stop. What’s one thing that Michael Jacobs has mentioned time and time again - There’s only one Cory and Topanga. And for bonus points - you don’t have a relationship like Cory and Topanga’s by trying to be Cory and Topanga. 

As we see throughout the entire show, the characters are trying to make the world their own - but also running into difficulties due to the BMW assumptions that are placed on them. We see a lot of the following:

Riley —> Cory

Maya —> Shawn

Lucas —> Topanga

Farkle —> Stuart

Here’s the problem - just like you can’t have a meaningful relationship by trying to emulate someone else’s, you can’t discover who are by constantly comparing yourself to others around you. Or those who you are “supposedly the same as”. 

A lot of Riley and Lucas’ relationship is founded on the idea that Riley wants to have her Cory and Topanga-esque relationship. The issue with this is that it flies in the face of reality. While Riley, for most of the season and a good portion of season three believes Lucas is her prince, and openly admits this, her actions say otherwise. Her actions show her constantly having misunderstandings with Lucas throughout the season (SOL, Texas) and not having this relationship that she had dreamed about. 

Meanwhile, throughout the season, we see Riley get closer with Farkle and understand who he is more and more as time passes. Another “spot the difference” situation is that when Riley and Farkle come to a disagreement in STEM (which I will address in more detail later) it ends with Farkle apologizing, Riley and Farkle coming to a mutual understanding, and them being the only ones to complete the assignment properly. 

Food for thought. 

Last thing I want to talk about for this episode is the time capsule and the theme of hope in GMW. When the group puts all of their belongings in the trunk, one thing is common among all of their choices - it is all something that gave them hope/belief in something. 

Lucas’ transfer slip

Farkle’s orange turtle neck

Riley and Pluto

Maya’s picture of her mom and Shawn. 

What I found especially interesting was Farkle’s dialogue about his turtleneck:

Riley: Your favorite orange turtleneck.

Farkle: It was the one I took off when I felt like I was nothing. But, you guys wouldn’t let me be a nothing. And since it’s us that’s going to be together when we open this, I can’t wait to see the something that I am. 

- Girl Meets Pluto

We know that Farkle constantly struggles with his feeling of “being a nothing”. However, what’s so significant about this turtle neck, imo, is that by putting it in the time capsule, it represents Farkle believing in his friends and his future.

What I also find especially intriguing about this whole dialogue is that the episodes after this show Farkle struggling with “who he is”, which is a common theme all the way up until the end of season three. It’s almost as if him putting the turtleneck in allowed him to discover other aspects of himself beyond who he initially thought himself to be.

Anyways, I’m rambling now - so I’m going to move on to the next episode.

4. Girl Meets Hurricane!

Let’s get it.

Season ll is the season of growth. This episode is one of the best examples of it. And while I KNOW that there are some salty Shawngela fans (whose feels I completely understand and for the most part agree with) but for the sake of this analysis - bear with me. 

This is the episode where we see the following things:

1. How much Shawn cares about Maya & how pivotal he was to having her feel/be hopeful. 

2. How certain romantic relationships are not ones you’ll stay in forever, but ones that you enter in order to be prepared for the relationship that you’ll be in forever. 

And for anybody who believes that Maya’s growth was just about “getting new clothes” needs to take a hard look at this episode and realize the significance behind getting the new clothes. 

It wasn’t about Maya getting a wardrobe upgrade - it was about having someone in her life who cared enough about her to tell her that she should be doing better. 

It was about someone caring enough about her to be present. 

It was about someone caring enough about her to want to see her happy. 

Don’t give me that well-meaning but misguided Riley Matthews triangle-esque logic of “Maya became Riley because she got new clothes” b.s. cause it’s not true. 

Maya became hopeful because she finally had a real, tangible, positive role model in her life who cared enough about her to tell her what’s up.

Hell, Maya even says it herself:

“Thank you. No one’s ever done anything like this for me before.”

“It isn’t about the clothes, you know. It’s that someone wanted to do this for me.”

I literally don’t know what to say to prove that Maya just grew in season ll. But, again, I’m getting ahead of myself. So let’s continue. 

“Some romantic relationships are not ones that you’ll stay in forever, but ones that will prepare you for something greater”.

This is where things get a little bit touchy. I’ll be honest, I’m probably going to offend some people on here when I say this - but it needs to be said regardless. 

First, the whole conversation in the classroom with Cory was gold. I suggest if you guys have time - go back and watch it. But there’s a quote that I really want to address:

“The clothes look nice, Maya. But it’s the hope that looks great on you.” - Cory Matthews.

Maya hoping for things is what changed her for the better. It wasn’t the clothes. It never had anything to do with material possessions. It had everything to do with believing things would get better, which they did. 

On to the second important part of this episode.

There are certain relationships in this show that I believe won’t be permanent. This is due to a multitude of reasons - miscommunication, lack of connection, lack of growth, perception v. reality, etc. But, that doesn’t mean that those relationships are bad. Absolutely not. But, what it does mean is that those relationships are meant to teach the characters something significant.

Let’s hear what Shawn has to say on the matter during his conversation with Katy in Topanga’s:

“Katy, relationships end. Sometimes out of nowhere, on a sunny day. But you pick yourself up, and you rebuild. And you don’t look back.”

Apparently some of you are unaware of this because I constantly hear things like:

“Riley would never date Farkle. That’s breaking the girl code.”

“Maya isn’t going to be with her best friend’s ex-boyfriend if they do break up. You guys are reachingggg.”

Look. You guys need to believe in these characters. If their current relationships change, it won’t devastate them forever. Like Shawn said, you pick yourself up, and you rebuild. A middle school relationship ending will not be the downfall of these character’s lives like some of you so adamantly believe. 

And even if Riley doesn’t end up with Farkle or Maya doesn’t end up with Lucas, or even Josh, if their middle school relationships end - it most likely won’t break them, but help mold them into the people that they were meant to be. 

Almost done. Let’s talk about this scene briefly:

Shawn: Why did you leave me?

Angela: I wasn’t ready.

Shawn: And then you were?

Angela: Well, life goes on, Shawn. You know, I think life puts people in front of us, so that we can be prepared for what comes next. I was ready because of you.

Angela: Let what WE had make you ready for something. Life knows what it’s doing.

- Girl Meets Hurricane

This is such an important theme for not only Shawngela, but honestly every ship on this show except for Corpanga and Augava, imo. 

These writers could not have done a better job of trying to hit this point home. Not EVERY relationship that these characters step into has to be the “one”. Even the infamous Corpanga had issues. They dated other people. They broke up. They went through issues themselves. But they made it through to the other side. And not all relationships in these characters’ lives will do that. But the thing is, as the writers have shown us here, that’s okay. Not every relationship will work out the way you want it to, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t grow as a person from that. And more importantly:

It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop hoping for things. 

A pivotal idea for Riley and Farkle, because depending on how season four is written - this is what I believe will happen for them. I believe (with no offense intended) that they are currently in relationships that may not be the right one for them due to how they consistently positioned throughout season two and three. But we’ll save that for later. 

That’s about it for Hurricane. Let’s go on to:

5. Girl Meets the New Teacher!

Now there’s not too much here to say. But, what I want to mention is the fact that right off the bat, they hit us with some pretty great meta:

Harper: Frank Miller. 

Farkle: This is Batman!

Harper: A future Batman. 

Lucas: What’s the difference?

Harper: This story is a continuation based on an original series of characters. Do you guys know what that means?

Class: (Sarcastically respond “yes!”)

Riley: Aren’t you supposed to be teaching us important books?

Harper: Hmm, this graphic novel was as important to its style of literature as any book you can think of. 

Farkle: What’s it about?

Harper: It’s about a world that’s so tough that Batman fights Superman!

Lucas: You’re going to start by teaching us a comic book, Ms. Motorcycle?

- Girl Meets the New Teacher

I found that line about the continuation of a story to be pretty humorous, but I really wanted to discuss the end of the conversation. Both Riley and Lucas express doubt about the validity of teaching a “comic book” in English class. She states that they aren’t important books and the assumption is that one can’t learn as much from comic books as they can from real books. Almost as if the class is above learning from comic books because they are usually for children. 

Sound familiar? 

Often times, people will come and accuse us analytical bloggers of “reaching” and “looking too deeply” into moments that aren’t there. Our critics often argue that because the show is on Disney, there is no possible way that it could be deep.

Nonsense. 

The writers have said MULTIPLE times that we need to “look closer” and that “things aren’t always that simple”. Just because the target audience starts at age 6 does not mean the quality of story is low. 

Whew! Just wanted to get that off my chest… again! Let’s continue. 

At dinner, when Cory and Topanga are talking about their experience with Mr. Turner, Topanga mentions that not all history repeats - a direct continuation of the lesson they were learning earlier today. 

GMW is a continuation of a show with an original cast of characters. As such, people would come to the conclusion that because it’s a continuation - the characters would act the same. But as Topanga mentioned, not all history repeats itself. Just because there’s continuity doesn’t mean there’s always going to be similarity. 

And as Cory states, “It’s a more complicated world now. Heroes and villains aren’t as easily recognized now.” Things have changed in this world. There isn’t a Cory and Topanga relationship yet because Riley isn’t her parents. And honestly, I don’t think there ever will be. 

The world is more unforgiving than it once was. 

Continuing the conversation, Cory asks the girls who someone is with a lot of power - and we get the following dialogue:

Maya: Superman

Riley: Whoa. Then Harper’s like…

Maya: Batman!

Riley: Whoa!!

- Girl Meets the New Teacher

At first, we would assume that this conversation is only about Harper and Yancy, but upon further investigation we can come to a different conclusion. Who else in this series has stated that they are Batman or has been compared to Batman, thematically speaking?

Farkle. 

And who has been compared to Superman, thematically speaking, and has “powers” in the sense that they are seen as perfect - almost to a fault?

Lucas. 

Now what I am NOT suggesting is that Lucas and Farkle are going to fight. What I am suggesting is that the as the story goes on, we will see the boy with “no powers” rise up and challenge the world that he lives in. The “tough” world where he has to stand up and fight “Superman”. 

Also, an interesting statement made my Mr. Tuner really caught my eye - “What a kid is taught, is what a kid becomes.”

We see this play out so much in season three. These kids finds themselves in a whole host of situations that they should already know the answer to but don’t because… they forgot what they were taught. And for Riley and Farkle, this plays out in a big way because a lot of their scenes in season three allude to this. 

PR (Who we were affects who we are.)

GLONY (A week where we find out who we are.)

ACM (You’ll know that there’s more than one way.)

It’s interesting how the things these characters are taught can really affect the outcomes of their lives. 

Last comment on the episode: Foreshadowing about future events by Auggie Matthews - “Well… this dark haired girl and this blonde girl both like the same boy and they all stay best friends. Could that really happen?”

Just more proof that this show is much more nuanced than some initially believed it to be. 

Let’s continue! We’re half way there, lol.

6. Girl Meets Belief!

So, more or less, the entire premise of the episode is based off of Farkle’s question - “Why deeply believe in something you can’t prove?” And it is an interesting question, because we are allowed to see the characters wrestle with their ideas of what a higher power could be, etc. etc. 

But, what really stands out in this episode is the people that end up working together… and why they succeed. Usually Maya and Riley are able to work well together, but this was an instance where Riley’s “pushing” doesn’t actually result in the reaction that she wants out of Maya. Riley is used to living a very good life. As a result, it can be hard for her to understand different perspectives. Naturally, this can result in conflict between some of the people she interacts with in her life. 

Maya didn’t come from the same place Riley did. And on an issue as sensitive as this - being “pushed” usually doesn’t result in the reaction that one would want.

Something obvious that I missed when I first watch this episode is that they “switched” teams twice. First it went from Maya/Riley and Lucas/Farkle to Maya/Farkle and Lucas/Riley, and they were still unsuccessful. However, when they switched to Maya/Lucas and Riley/Farkle, they were successful (although it wasn’t until they ALL worked together that they were truly successful). 

Looking at their interactions, it’s interesting to see why the first and second teams failed: 

First Team - Lucas and Farkle: 

Lucas & Farkle:

Farkle: How can you go through life so blind, so trusting?

Lucas: I do trust in certain things. 

Farkle: Why? What is that? I don’t understand that. 

Lucas: I don’t know. I just feel like I have a better life because of it. 

Farkle: You have a better life because of look-at-ya! Your freak face is just a collection of cells and bone structure that was randomly and somehow so perfectly put together that if there is a force that did that for you, I’ll tell you right now, he hates me.

(and later)

Lucas: They burned Joan of Arc at the stake because they were afraid. Just like you’re afraid there are certain things that can’t be explained by science.

Farkle: They were afraid because they believed in witches and superstitions, because they lacked the knowledge to diagnose her condition. 

Lucas: Why do you have to call it a condition? She had a vision. 

Farkle: Well, you say “vision,” but you know vision, properly diagnosed by a medical professional is, “Whoo!" 

Lucas: Farkle, you did it. What I believe? All wrong. I really respect how you and your… your scientific mind have changed me. Oh, either that or pffft! 

Farkle: Okay, I can’t work with St. Huckleberry the Perfect. 

- Girl Meets Belief

Lucas and Farkle can’t work well for a variety of reasons:

1. Their lack of proper communication & refusal to budge on this sensitive issue.

2. Farkle’s insecurity. 

I’m really going to talk about # 2. It’s interesting that both in Topanga’s and after they switch teams, Farkle brings up Lucas’ face. And while it it humorous, it also does shed light into a side of Farkle that we see come up every now and then. 

We learned in Pt. 1 of this analysis, specifically in GM Flaws, that Farkle’s flaw is feeling like a nothing, correct? And we’ve also seen Farkle erroneously compare himself to Lucas and even use Lucas as somewhat of a measuring stick. It should be clear by this episode that Farkle has some jealousy towards Mr. Perfect, for multiple reasons. And as a result of this, it was another reason that Farkle wasn’t able to see/understand Lucas’ POV. 

Another thing to take note of is that Lucas brought up something very interesting. A theme that we see Farkle struggle with for the entirety of the series in various degrees. 

“ They burned Joan of Arc at the stake because they were afraid. Just like you’re afraid there are certain things that can’t be explained by science.”

Feelings v. Science. A battle that Farkle has to face internally regarding multiple issues. Some things can’t be explained by science. Some things just don’t make sense. Why is it that although some people feel as if they “should” be together, they don’t mesh as well as you would think?

Feelings can’t always be rationalized logically. Farkle even begins to admit this in his conversation with Maya:

Maya: Look, Riley and I are just taking friendly little break. It’s no big thing. 

Farkle: I’m not sure Riley sees it that way. The two of you can’t be apart. It shakes the foundations of the whole world. 

Maya: That’s not very scientific, Farkle. 

Farkle: Some things are just true.

- Girl Meets Belief

But, for now, let’s continue.

Second Team - Riley and Lucas

Riley: Okay, let’s just do the assignment then. How do you feel about Thomas Jefferson? 

Lucas: Well, the more I read, the more impressive he gets. 

Riley: Right? He never once wavered from what he believed. 

Lucas: I admire his strength of character. 

Riley: So we completely agree with each other. 

Lucas: Looks like it. 

Riley: Yeah. 

Both: So why do I need you? 

Both: I don’t know.

- Girl Meets Belief

In the case of Riley and Lucas - they were too similar to be of any benefit to each other. The point of the assignment was to find out “why deeply believe in something you can’t prove?” Lucas and Riley both take this stance, so they couldn’t have any healthy discourse on the issue that would result in them growing as people. Sometimes being too similar results in stagnation, not growth. 

This has multiple implications in the show, especially for Riley and Lucas. But for now, let’s continue. 

Third Team(s) - Riley & Farkle / Maya & Lucas

Riley: Why did my father assign us Jefferson? I get that he wrote the Declaration of Independence. He said, "We hold these truths to be self-evident.” Is that what he wants us to know? That believing in something is just the obvious thing to do? 

Farkle: Not to me. A scientist needs to hold things under a microscope, Riley. That’s the only way to really understand what’s right in front of you. 

Riley: Did you ever think that when you look through a microscope, you miss the bigger picture? 

Farkle: No.

- Girl Meets Belief

This show plays with dichotomies quite a bit. Feelings v. Science, Sense v. Sensibilities, Perception v. Reality. The question Riley asks Farkle is quite loaded - “Did you ever think that when you look through a microscope, you miss the bigger picture?” 

We see this happen quite a bit in the show. The characters get so “focused”, so “tied up” in what they’re doing - they miss the “bigger picture” or lesson that they were supposed to learn. Especially in regards to their feelings. 

Let me make this a bit clearer for y’all, cause I know that I can be vague sometimes. 

Farkle is someone who has been known to think and act in a logical and rational manner, “left-to-right” if you will. Now, Riley is challenging him to take a look at the bigger picture, and see that by only focusing on “left-to-right” you can sometimes miss out on the real things in life. Sometimes you have to look “right-to-left” in order to truly understand who you are and what’s best for you. According to the show - it’s not Sense or Sensibility that’s most important - but Sense and Sensibility. I believe this to be the same for Feelings v. Science. There are some things that are “just true”. 

And to offer another perspective - here’s an answer to an ask that @bmwwritinggmw​ got which I think would also give some more clarity on the importance of the “microscope” moment:

People look at Riley and Lucas, or Farkle and Smackle and they are watching the here and the now. When they do that, they miss the meta, the complexity, the subtext that is right under their nose. Rucas and Smarkle might be the relationships of NOW, but who are the relationships of FOREVER? And are we only watching the surface level moments on our TV screen or are we really listening to what they are saying? What is Riarkle saying? That’s for you to decide!

(http://bmwwritinggmw.tumblr.com/post/154063124844/can-you-explain-what-when-you-look-with-a)


Let’s move on. 

Lucas: So Joan of Arc. I think she was kind of amazing. 

Maya: Lucas, what is it that makes people like her and you have faith in a higher power? Riley of Arc is trying to push me there, but I’m just not the type of person that likes to be pushed, you know? 

Lucas: Yeah, I’ve noticed. I don’t think you can be pushed into something this important anyway, even by Riley. 

Maya: Yeah. Joan of Arc thought she had a voice in her head. (Laughs) 

Lucas: Yeah. Look, don’t expect it to be big, loud and obvious. For me, most of what I believe comes to me when it’s quiet. 

Maya: Yeah? I don’t get a lot of quiet. What do you do? 

Lucas: I don’t know. You just… you just listen.

- Girl Meets Belief

Sometimes things just aren’t big, loud, or obvious. In life, sometimes it takes a little bit more tact to understand how things will play out. This is a theme that the writers have been trying to pound into our heads for sometime now. Another instance where the writers are telling us to “look closely” cause there might be more to this story than we realize. 

Anyways, that’s all I really have to say on that episode. The rest of it gets a little preachy, and I’m not down for that. So instead I’ll just leave some final thoughts:

*They bring up people change people again.

*It’s only when they work together that they’re truly successful

*Maya prays. And while I’m iffy on that scene, I found it interesting that she took Lucas’ advice to heart. 

That’s about it! Let’s move on.

7. Girl Meets Yearbook!

Just real quick before I continue, I have to say I LOVE Lucas Friar is season ll! He has so much more of a personality in season two than he does in season three. #bringbacktherealfriar. 

Moving on. We see Mr. Matthews discuss at length Greenland and Iceland. And Riley’s comments are quite interesting:

“So they made everyone think of it in that way even though it wasn’t true.”

Sounds like another meta line of Perception v. Reality. 

Hell, even Lucas says it - “So you’re saying the perception of something doesn’t always make it so”.

Although it wasn’t the goal of Cory’s lesson, it is another instance of the writers having no chill in trying to get the audience to think deeper. To think that maybe it’s possible that the story we perceived this to be, isn’t the story that they are actually trying to tell. This is the last time I’m going to bring up Perception v. Reality in this post. I’ve shown multiple episodes where they have used this theme, and if there are people who still want to argue against it, it’s their prerogative. I AM NOT going to try and beat this theme over the heads of any doubters anymore. Watch the show. That’s all I have to say about that. 

Right after Mr. Matthews finishes his lesson, Yindra congratulates Lucas and Maya on winning favorite couple. It’s interesting to see how the classmates perceive their relationship. And the fact that they see Lucas and Maya as “fiya” (which is a very Lucas & Maya theme) according Sarah. But what is really somewhat concerning is that Lucas, who arguably was in a non-official, official “thing” with Riley Matthews does not come to her aid in any sort of way. For the rest of the scene, after questioning Yindra’s statement, he’s relatively quiet. For someone whose said that it’s “always been Riley”, he has a weird way of showing it. 

For those who believe that Riley and Lucas are this “happily-ever-after” couple, does this not strike you as concerning? That during the entire time their classmates were goading Maya and Lucas, Lucas didn’t say anything to assure Riley that he felt the same way she did? That she was right and that she had no REASON to feel any type of way?

Last thing I want to mention about this scene is that we learned an episode before this that being “similar” doesn’t necessarily mean that one has good chemistry with another. Or that one will be good for another. And in this episode, one of the first things Riley mentions to try and dissuade her classmates is “but we’re so alike.”

Jus keepin it 100. 

So after this whole interaction, Riley becomes Morotia M. Black. And what we should take notice of is that while Farkle was going through his own identity crisis, he immediately heads over to Riley’s house right after Maya does. 

And it’s just another instance of where Farkle knows what Riley is thinking/feeling, and he responds appropriately. 

What did Cory tell us in the Pilot? 

“Bad things happen when you don’t know who you are”.

Lucas shows us the importance of this with his monologue:

Lucas: All right, you know what? It’s Lucas time. You’re the best Farkle we got, and everyone knows it. And you are a complete ray of sunshine. And you are not. And that’s who we are. I don’t know what this is. But I do know that if you let someone say who you are, then you really won’t be who you are, and you certainly won’t end up being who you were meant to be.

- Girl Meets Yearbook

When we see Katy and Topanga in the diner, their conversation is also something to pay attention to as well:

Katy: Something will change because of this. When you become someone else, even though you’re just acting, it’s impossible not to discover something you didn’t know before. 

Topanga: Hmm. Do you ever do Maya? 

Katy: Ooh, I can’t. When you have strong emotions for someone, it’s like you’re too close to see straight. 

Topanga: Hmm. Do Shawn. 

Katy: Hey, I’m Shawn. That wasn’t good. 

Topanga: You having some issues there, Katy? 

Katy: You set me up. Huh.

As we can clearly see from this interaction - having strong emotions for someone can significantly alter one’s perception of a certain situation. We see this play out in this episode with Katy, Maya, and in future episodes with Riley and Farkle - specifically Texas pt. lll and New Years.

The last things I really want to touch upon with this episode are Farkle’s discovery, so to speak. While Riley “went back” to being who she was, Farkle opted not to. And there’s nothing wrong with that. This is the episode where he openly states that he wants to be given a chance to grow. So he stated that he won’t necessarily wear turtle necks as much (I don’t know if we see him wearing them much after this episode) and that he wants to find out who he is. What is a Farkle? What does that mean? And what implications does this have for not only himself, but his relationship with others (and for the sake of this analysis, Riley). 

As we see in later episodes, it’s a concept that he still wrestles with, but it’s a concept that has been more or less in full throttle since GMW Flaws. That’s progression. And that’s development. And this allows Farkle to start considering things such as feelings and what that means for him. 

Anyways, let’s continue. 

8. Girl Meets Semi Formal!

I don’t have too too much to say about this one. But a couple of things I want to speak on. 

This is the second episode where we see Riley ask about what Maya learned when she was Riley. And this is the second episode where Maya lies to her face. What I find very intriguing is that had Maya NOT lied to protect Riley, but had been honest about what she had learned, we probably wouldn’t be in this situation in the first place. 

I think, while I applaud Maya’s efforts to protect Riley, this is just an example of how that can backfire. Because Maya wasn’t able to tell Riley what she had THOUGHT was true about her and Lucas, Riley stayed in this mindset where it was supposed to be Lucas. Who knows what would have happened had Maya been honest about how she felt earlier - but it is interesting to see the effects “comitteeing” Riley had on Maya, and as a result, the rest of the group.

Anyways… on to the next episode!

9. Girl Meets Farkle/I Am Farkle!

This episode is fantastic. For a multitude of reasons. Just as a quick side tangent, I have to applaud the GMW Writers for taking the chance to talk about autism. I think that it’s really bold of them to do so and I’m glad that they took the opportunity to speak out on it. 

Anyways, on to the episode. 

Farkle and Smackle. Two geniuses. People who share similar interests. Does this mean that they are able to sustain a romantic relationship? Only time will tell. But, it is quite compelling that one of the first things Farkle says to Smackle, which she confirms is that like forces repel. Even though we find out later that they don’t have as much in common as we initially thought, it’s interesting that their first perception of their relationship is that it could not work due to their similarities. Notice how a lot of these themes are repeating themselves. You guys… pay attention to the themes that repeat. 

So what I found interesting is Riley’s comments on love:

Riley: Farkle. Did you ask us to help you understand love?

Farkle: Yeah.

Riley: Then go figure it out. 

What did Michael Jacobs say about love again in GMW?

“Everyone will be brought into the equation. To answer this as simply as I can without giving anything away, the “Girl Meets” angle has always been a very important part of the show. Every episode is titled “Girl Meets” something. If we did “Girl Meets Love,” it would not be one episode. It would be a sustained series of episodes in an attempt to explain, for this generation, what the perception of love is, versus what love may actually be, versus are we ready for that at all? Something that is so important cannot be something we tell in one story. But the understanding of how to grow and what’s valuable to these kids will manifest itself over these episodes. We want to do it intelligently, and what we’re not looking to do is a love triangle.” (Link to MJ interview)

So if you guys won’t listen to me, or any of the other analytical blogs on here, at least listen to the show creator. The story of love in GMW will be done over a series of episodes. This isn’t something that can be done in one go. Everyone will be brought into the equation because everyone has something different to gain from the story. 

Farkle is currently trying to discover what love means to him. And by no means am I trying to take away from Farkle’s relationship with Smackle. But, it is evident that this story is much more complicated than we initially thought. 

10. Girl Meets STEM!

Arguably, the most high-key Riarkle episode. I ain’t gon waste no time on this one!

So we see Riley Matthews on a mission again. I want to draw your attention to what Topanga said when the girls congregated in Riley’s room:

Topanga: Unfortunately, Riley, this is a serious problem. Other girls your age start to drift away from STEM subjects. Science, technology, engineering, math - the research shows we tend to play the roles we think we’re supposed to.

- Girl Meets STEM

Once again, the show addresses the fact that “playing the roles we think we’re supposed to” is a serious problem. Within the context of this episode, this is in reference to the women drifting away from the subjects that eventually become “male-dominated”. However, this is also another moment where the show is intentionally pointing out that just because we feel we’re supposed to do something - doesn’t make it true. We see this play out once again with Riley and Lucas. Literally, Riley stated to Maya two episodes prior that she was supposed to like Lucas and she wanted Maya to tell her what she was hiding. I don’t know how many more instances the show has to give before we start to realize that supposed to is an issue. 

Anyways moving on to one of the multiple high-key Riarkle moments in the episode:

And the transcript for those who don’t/can’t watch:

Riley: By relegating me to a second-class marble dropper, you are stopping me from realizing my full potential. 

Farkle: Riley. I’m just better at you than this.

Riley: Farkle! If you were my friend, you’d want me to get better. I like science. Why don’t you want me to get better?

Farkle (confused): I do. There’s no situation where I wouldn’t want that for you. Riley. I’ve always been your friend.

Riley (somewhat taken aback): I know. 

Farkle: I’m sorry.

Riley: Okay.

(a few moments later)

Farkle: A real friend doesn’t let another friend fail. Our failure isn’t your fault, Riley. Our failure is on me. I should have had more faith in you. 

Riley: (narrows eyebrows in confusion/contemplation)

- Girl Meets STEM

In this scene, we see how even when Riley and Farkle are upset with each other, Farkle’s priority is usually Riley. While Riley accused Farkle of a few things, I find it interesting that Farkle backs down as soon as Riley accuses him of not being her friend. Farkle’s relationship with Riley has always been a priority to him in one form or another. This is just another instance where we see that. Also, I find it an interesting contrast to Lucas - who accuses (albeit somewhat correct, but still inappropriate nonetheless) Riley of being too much and never apologizes. Even when he finds out that Riley was correct later on. 

However, Farkle Minkus, who has seen that what he said/did hurt Riley, or at least made her feel some type of way, immediately apologizes, reaffirms their friendship, and reminds her that there is no situation where he wouldn’t want Riley to get better. 

Something to ponder for sure. 

Also, another thing to note about this scene is how quickly Farkle’s words diffuse Riley’s anger. Riley came at Farkle expecting to have to fight him. What she didn’t expect was for him to relent. Science has always been important to Farkle. But his friends (especially Riley) have always been more important. And this is just another example of this. 

Let’s continue:

The transcript below:

Riley: What if the experiment isn’t about sludge at all? There’s a lot of layers to experiments, right?

Farkle: Well… there’s what’s going on in the surface…

Riley: And what’s going on that you don’t see. So what’s going on here?

(moments later)

Riley: Farkle, this isn’t the experiment!

Farkle: It isn’t?

Riley: No! That is! (pointing to the girls holding Yogi).

- Girl Meets STEM

There’s what going on in the surface, or what’s going on that’s obvious - and what’s going on that you don’t see - or rather, what’s going on that you may not fully understand. This is big not only for meta purposes, but for Riley and Farkle themselves. As we track the growth of Riley and Farkle, we see instances of what’s going on that’s obvious - Riley’s feelings for Lucas, Farkle’s rationalization of ideas and concepts (things have to make sense). And then there’s what’s underneath the surface - Riley’s reality doesn’t line up with her ideals - being with Lucas isn’t what she thought it would be, believing in something doesn’t make it true, Farkle’s struggle with his feelings - figuring our that there are somethings that are just true. 

It’s a progression of their development as individuals. Riley and Farkle constantly better each other, constantly help one another to improve, and constantly allow the other to grow. An organism needs to be allowed to grow to thrive, no?

And, arguably the best scene of the episode:

If there was only one scene in this season that I could hand pick for you guys to pay attention to - this one would be it. Everything in this scene screams at you to PAY ATTENTION! Let’s take a look at it:

Mr. Norton: Riley! Farkle! I believe just before things exploded you were about to present some findings?

Riley: In middle school, girls tend to drift away from science. Isn’t that right Mr. Norton?

Mr. Norton: It’s been happening so many years that I started to keep a record. Not many figure out my experiment, but those that do have always benefited from the lesson. 

Riley: We let what happen in here come between us. It’s sludge! And it muddies up what we think about each other (while keeping eye contact with Farkle). All of us have unlimited potential. Farkle and me, well, our beaker is clear. 

Farkle: Because Riley didn’t drop the marble. 

Mr. Norton: Why not, Riley?

Riley: I felt like if I did, I would lose a part of me that is valuable. I like science and I like figuring stuff out. 

(and later)

Mr. Norton: It is 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. 

- Girl Meets STEM

Now as we see, everyone’s beaker’s are muddied up - except for Riley and Farkle’s. So, why is this significant? Most would argue that this is because Riley and Farkle will have an easy time realizing their feelings and whatnot. I strongly disagree. What I would instead suggest is that based on the scene above, it is apparent to me that Riley and Farkle don’t get in each other’s way.

Riley has the tendency to be a well-meaning, but often misguided protagonist. This isn’t a bad thing - in fact on a coming-of-age story, it often thickens the plot. However, this tends to put other characters off, or because of Riley going “full-on” she often misunderstands people’s intentions and actions which makes her come to conclusions that aren’t often in line with reality.

We honestly don’t see this with her and Farkle. Riley has (in a non-malicious way, might I add) contributed to regressing Maya’s growth and pushing Maya and Lucas back into their respective boxes in season three. We don’t see this with her and Farkle, ever. Any time in season two or three where there is an opportunity for Farkle to grow, Riley supports him and vice-versa. Their results are “clear” so to speak. They don’t really get in each other’s way - except in GM High School, and even then that was more about their group than Riley and Farkle as individuals. 

I still believe, that if Riley and Farkle decide to “acknowledge their feelings” it won’t be an easy road. They are both in relationships as of Girl Meets ACM, and Farkle and Smackle have what appears to be a much more solid relationship than Riley and Lucas do. So, with that being said, if Riley and Farkle are going to be a road that is explored - don’t expect it to be an easy one. At least, that’s my opinion. 

For time’s sake, I’m going to talk about Rah-Rah, Rileytown, Cory & Topanga, Texas Pt. 1 & 2, and Money at the end very briefly. I really want to talk about Texas Part 3, New Years, Bay Window, and Legacy to wrap this all up. 

11. Girl Meets Texas Pt. lll!

While there is so much in this episode, just to keep this analysis from being any longer than it had to be - let’s just skip to the important parts. 

Farkle’s conversation with Cory in the classroom was a good reminder of a few things:

1. Feelings are still something he doesn’t understand. However, the difference here as opposed to previous episodes is that he’s able to acknowledge that he isn’t as well versed on feelings as he would like - as opposed to shutting down the idea all together. 

It seems that his relationship with Smackle is allowing him to gain some new perspective… Who woulda thought?

Right after this, we see the whole interaction with Charlie and Riley. For the longest time, I thought the whole scene was strange. But, after re-watching I finally realized what was so weird about it:

Riley isn’t being honest with her feelings, and in typical GMW fashion - Farkle is the first to notice. Farkle was asked by Mr. Matthews to “fix” things. And while he does his best, he still falls short because like everyone else involved in the group - he’s too close to see straight. 

2. Our strong feelings for one another can affect how we perceive the situations that they face. 

We see this with how Farkle deals with the whole Maya/Lucas/Riley situation. 

He just focuses on Riley. 

As I’ve mentioned in other analyses, for the entirety of this episode, Farkle absolutely disregarded Maya and Lucas’ feelings, and had a almost laser-like focus on Riley and her feelings. Albeit, she wasn’t being honest, but nonetheless it is interesting that he does this given the fact that he’s supposed to love Maya and Riley equally. 

And as a scientist, these aren’t very objective testing methods. Focusing on only one variable (Riley) will always ensure that your conclusion is far from accurate. For someone who claims to not understand feelings - he has an interesting way of showing it. 

Also just an interesting comment made by Charlie Gardner - “She ends up with Farkle, how did we not see that coming?” (Potential foreshadowing…)

The following scene that ensues is absolutely fantastic - pay attention to the nature of the flashbacks:

The second flashback we get (after Farkle reassures Riley that her and Lucas’ first failure was due to nerves) was of the library scene. I find it interesting that the library conversation seems to be the only really good scene that they can pull of Lucas and Riley having a decent conversation - yet it happened over a year before Riley and Farkle’s conversation. 

Why is it that they couldn’t show Riley and Lucas having a “great conversation” in season two?

Anyways, let’s continue. 

The third flashback we get is Maya “ha-hurring” Mr. Friar in different episodes. Because of this, Farkle comes to the conclusion that Maya’s feelings are ambiguous. 

..

.

wut?

Literally an episode before this, we see Maya lean onto Farkle’s shoulder while they have a conversation about Maya’s feelings and Farkle tries to get Maya to admit that she cares about Lucas. I’ve mentioned this in other posts, but outside of Riley and Lucas, Farkle is the only other person that Maya really opens up to about this whole situation before New Years. 

How can Farkle NOT be sure? There’s so much evidence to support that he knew what was going on. Unless Mr. Minkus was so concerned with another variable (Riley) in this whole situation that he didn’t really pay attention to Maya’s feelings. 

Even after Farkle states that he’s not sure how Maya feels, Riley rebukes him immediately, shocked that he would even admit such a thing. It’s like Katy said, sometimes you can be too close to see straight. And this goes beyond just impersonations.  

And the fourth flashback is very interesting - Farkle tells Riley about a scene from a previous episode that he wasn’t even there for. He just knows Riley so well that he knew what her reaction would be. He knows Riley so well that he can tell when she’s lying about her feelings - even if everyone believes her. He knows Riley so well that he can tell when she’s being bullied before anyone else can even catch on. 

Nuff said. 

Anyways, y’all get the idea with the flashbacks. Let’s move on to the high-key scene of this episode:

The fact that their interaction ends with an “I love you” is very interesting. Although, at this point in time, Riley and Farkle are still very much platonic, it says quite a bit about their relationship. We have seen throughout season one and now season two all the times that Riley and Farkle have been there for each other in a variety of situations. Even as an analyst, this scene was tough. Riley admitted that the feelings are hard and Farkle admitted that he didn’t know what to do with all these feelings he was having - but the preview of coming attractions is what’s important. 

What comes after this? What’s next? How do we proceed with our feelings? What happens when we’re not honest with one another?

Let’s continue on.

Only three more episodes left!

12. Girl Meets the New Year

Welcome to Sense and Sensibility - also known as the episode that most people either misunderstand or somewhat goes over their heads. Hopefully I can help illuminate some understanding. But, in the instance that I can’t - I’m calling for help from @bmwwritinggmw, @bmgmw, @sapphireofthe90s, @summonerserahheart, @srnackle, and @cowboyandshortstack​! Y’all are much smarter than I’ll ever be, so if you have anything to add - please feel free to reblog!

Anyways, remember what Michael Jacobs said about doing Girl Meets Love:

“If we did “Girl Meets Love,” it would not be one episode. It would be a sustained series of episodes in an attempt to explain, for this generation, what the perception of love is, versus what love may actually be, versus are we ready for that at all?”   

Just keep that in mind. Anyways let’s continue. Harper writes the following question on the board - Does Love Make Sense?

Follow that up with Farkle and Lucas’ definitions of Sense and Sensibility respectively:

Sense: Good, intelligent judgement.

Sensibility: When feelings get in the way of [sense].

Basically, as Harper put it: “What you think you should feel vs. what you feel.”

And then Charlie mentions - “I might have noticed that in order for a relationship to work, you need sense and sensibility.”

As we discover in this scene, it’s not enough to just have “sense” or “sensibility” - you need both. A relationship needs to not only make sense, but make you feel strongly as well. At least according to the writers it does. By “stepping back” for Maya, Riley assumed a position of sense while neglecting her sensibilities. And by allowing herself to explore her feelings, Maya assumed a position of sensibility while somewhat ignoring her sense. 

Sense and Sensibility are important in deciding on matters of the heart. It’s important that one doesn’t significantly overtake the other, or else we can enter into relationships where we don’t grow as much as we should or relationships where it makes sense but our heart may not be fully in it. There needs to be a balance. 

We also see this theme strongly in the third season. Especially with Riley and Farkle individually. With Riley, we see that her “sensibility” clouded her judgement somewhat. And like Mr. Matthews mentioned later on, feelings can tear apart growth and friendship. What gets torn apart if the friendship remains? Growth. 

Let’s discuss this briefly. 

With Farkle, his sense allowed him to justify his “not choosing” between Riley and Maya because that way “you get to keep them both”. His good, intelligent judgement works well, until it doesn’t. What happens when feelings get in the way? Even though Farkle claims to have not chosen, everything in season one, two, and three state otherwise. And this isn’t me saying that Farkle doesn’t care, love or appreciate Maya. But it’s abundantly clear that he doesn’t share the same relationship with Maya that he does with Riley. This episode is proof of that. In my humble opinion, there’s nothing that I can say that would suggest that Farkle loves both Riley and Maya in the same way. He may love them equally, but he certainly doesn’t love them the same. 

Going back to the classroom, Harper also states that Jane Austen teaches that romance comes with conflict. 

“Two young women with different ideas about what love is.” 

and

“Love is never easy. And often comes at great cost. And the relationships that seem the strongest are the most tragically torn apart.”

Now I’m going to talk about season three events again - only because this is applicable here. In season three, we see Riley try to suggest to Maya that the reason why she potentially had feelings for Lucas is because she wanted to be just like her. Yet, nothing in her actions up until Girl Meets Triangle would suggest she was “being Riley”. Riley has a very narrow-minded view of what makes her great, and her insecurity coupled with her misconstrued ideas about romance result in a growth-destroying end for her, Maya, and Lucas. 

While Riley and Maya are still the best of friends - their growth was absolutely demolished. Because they refused to let their friendship take the hit, something had to - and the only thing left was growth. 

However, what’s very interesting is that as we see in season three, Farkle’s growth is left untouched. Because he wasn’t directly involved in the triangle, his growth is still there. Along with his feelings and friendship. And not only that, he’s given the opportunity to find out more about who he is in ACM because as Riley put it:

“I would always want to know who you are.” 

Last thing I want to mention is Riley and Farkle’s interaction. I find it interesting that Farkle still denies that he knows how Maya really feels given everything we saw in Texas Pt. 2 & 3. Farkle is still so focused on Riley that all he wants to do is make sure that she’s okay and that she doesn’t start off the New Year on a lie. 

And while I know Farkle’s actions leave much to be desired - as Harper mentioned earlier - romance comes with conflict. Riley stepped back for the wrong reasons, and keeping quiet about it wasn’t doing anybody any good. It was tearing apart her relationships and making her life unnecessarily difficult. 

I admire Farkle’s commitment to Riley - but I also believe that his laser-like focus on Riley definitely presents a potential problem for them in the future if he’s not careful. 

Anyways, that’s all for this episode! Almost done!

13. Girl Meets the Bay Window

Hmm… where to start? The whole opening scene has a lot to pay attention to.

“Why do things change, Farkle?”

“Because things grow.”

Growth was the main theme of this season, and the main theme of this analysis as well. As we learned earlier - in order for an organism to thrive, it has to be allowed to grow. And, as Maya pointed out - “[Farkle], you’ve been growing ever since we met you.” 

The biggest change in growth or perspective for Farkle this season was acknowledging that feelings are a very real thing, which he doesn’t understand. As a scientist, acknowledging that one doesn’t understand something is a big deal. Especially when it’s something as complex as feelings. 

Let’s continue. 

During the flashback scene of Maya, Farkle, and Riley, I want to address two things specifically - 

1. “Wift” your head, Riley!

2. What if you love one of us more? What if you marry one of us?

Okay, so “wift your head, Riley” within the context of the episode was in reference to Riley needing to lift her head out of the bowl filled with water and apples in order to stop struggling. Simple enough. But within the larger scope of the show - Riley is in a position where she desperately needs to “wift” her head. This is a show about Riley trying to “meet the world”. As Cory mentions in the pilot, she wasn’t ready to make the world her own yet. She hadn’t “wifted” her head, so she couldn’t. What does “wifting” her head consist of - Learning how to make the right decisions so growth isn’t affected (GM GB), Sense v. Sensibility (GM The New Year), Perception v. Reality (Entire show), Not being swayed by other’s opinions of you (GM Yearbook, Ski Lodge). 

You guys get the idea. It’s important for Riley to lift her head and pull the curtain back if she’s ever going to make this world her own. 

Moving on. Young Riley’s comment to Farkle is very interesting. One thing I’ve noticed is that whenever Farkle announces/explains his “equal love” for Maya and Riley, there’s always questions. (GM Pilot, Bay Window, and Upstate). 

In the Pilot, Cory questions how it’s even possible for Farkle to love two people in the same way who couldn’t be any more different .

In Bay Window, Young Riley asks Young Farkle what would happen if he loved one of them more?

In Upstate, Lucas asks Farkle why he loves them the same. 

As I stated in the first part of this analysis, I do not believe that it’s possible for someone to love two people the same way. And as I’ve shown in this part - Farkle doesn’t. There’s no proof of that other than Farkle’s words. But as we’ve seen from this show time and time again - talk is cheap. These characters are growing. They are bound to say and do some things that may not accurately reflect their reality. 

Let me just ask a couple of questions - If Farkle loves Riley and Maya the same, where is Farkle and Maya’s STEM esque episode?

If Farkle loves Riley and Maya the same, how come Farkle completely neglected about Maya’s feelings in Texas Pt. 3 and New Year?

If Farkle loves Riley and Maya the same, how come Farkle and Riley seem to have this almost telepathic understanding of one another, yet Farkle seems at times to not understand Maya at all?

If his feelings for the girls were the same, wouldn’t he treat them the same?

Right after this, we get a musical number and I just want to highlight Farkle and Riley’s scene (I cut out Maya’s first line in the transcript):

Young Riley (singing): I am dreaming, of a hero! Who will treat me, like a princess.

Young Farkle (singing): Like me!

Young Riley (still singing): Not you.

Young Farkle (still singing): Okay. 

Young Riley (still singing): And he’ll be my handsome prince. And I’ll love him. 

Young Maya (singing): Like a brother. 

Young Farkle (comes back and sings): No, the other. 

- Girl Meets the Bay Window

Isn’t it interesting that Riley said that she’s dreaming of a hero who would treat her like a princess - and he would be her handsome prince? All of this in an episode where just minutes before this, Riley calls Farkle handsome. Just something to keep on your mind. At this point, I’m sure I’ve told you guys to keep like 10 different things on your mind, lol. 

And just another intriguing interaction between Riley and Maya:

Riley: Maya, what’s important now is “who are we going to be?”

Maya: What happens to who we were?

- Girl Meets the Bay Window

It affects who we are. 

Let’s continue. 

Another interesting comment to take note of is the fact that one of the things that Riley uses as a way of convincing Maya that things won’t change is the fact that Farkle promised to love them equally. However, if we look at their relationship, that’s one of the biggest things that has changed. 

I was going to talk about Legacy, but honestly I’m worn out. I’ll probably add it in Part 3! I hope y’all been enjoying these analyses. 

Final Thoughts

Rah-Rah, Rileytown, Cory & Topanga, Texas Pt. 1 & 2, Money, and Legacy are all important episodes you need to re-watch as well for meta/Riarkle purposes. I just didn’t want to add them in here to make this post any longer than it already is. 

Also, after doing a rewatch of 15+ episodes, I’m absolutely convinced these writers know what they’re doing. So many things that they had talked about in previous episodes come up in season three. So many things that are briefly touched upon are addressed full on in season three. Honestly, if you guys want to really understand the show - do a re-watch. It’ll do you a world of good.  

For example - the lesson on Friendship, Growth, and Feelings in GM Texas Pt. 3 comes full circle in Girl Meets Ski Lodge Pt. 2 and the episodes that follow it. This show has a very cyclical nature to it if you pay enough attention.  

Anyways, whew! If you made it all the way to the end, you’re a trooper. 

Thanks for reading!

- A.I. (The Analytical Batman)

Őszinte pillanatok 3

17 évesen megpróbáltam megölni magam. És csak azért nem folytattam a próbálkozást mert nem sokkal később az életembe csöppent egy ember. Valaki aki aki megerősített. De ő is csak egy átutazó volt mint mindenki más.

Ha őszintén felvállalod azt, aki vagy nagy az esélye hogy sokan  elítélnek és lenéznek. De nem azért mert kevesebb vagy. Hanem azért mert mersz más lenni, mint az átlag. És ebben rejlik az igazi erő.
—  Kate Moore