more 3x09 thoughts
At least they didn’t do Boy Meets World over again in this one…OR DID THEY?
Elaborate headcanon time!
So we heard Cory reference the falcon. What Topanga said was “I want you to be free to soar majestically as long as I know that you’ll always come back to me.” This was right as they were going into the Lauren arc.
So, Lucas thinks he’s Cory and Riley’s Topanga (based on the jelly bean scene, called back here, which was yet another recycled BMW scene from the Lauren arc.) However, I think Lucas is Lauren. Riley is Cory. Maya’s Topanga. I’ve been saying that for ages though. Now the show has actually said it. “You’re my extraoridinary relationship.” Not just a scene where they repeat Corpanga’s words, but a scene where Riley actually tells Maya “we’re like Cory and Topanga.”
And by Riley’s own admission, Lucas is just some boyfriend who might not be that forever. It makes me think of Cory’s version of the jelly bean scene. Shawn says, “It’s a tie. You like Lauren as much as you like Topanga and you can’t live without either of them. … Maybe this was a bad idea.” Cory replies, “No. No, this was a good idea. Shawn, yeah…I like Lauren. I like spending time with her…but I can live without her. I-I can’t live without Topanga. (puts the whole bag on one side of the scale) It’s no contest.” And then he doesn’t turn around and get all wishy-washy about it. He knows who his extraordinary relationship is. And Riley knows who hers is. Lucas is the Lauren of this show. The stumbling block on the way to the true endgame.
Or I’m deluding myself.
Fandom can squabble over whether Rilaya is romantic or platonic, but it’s literally canonized that Maya and Riley are the extraordinary relationship. And it’s because they’re the extraordinary relationship that I want them to be romantic. In my eyes, not having it be a romantic relationship would be a waste of the greatest potential this show has.
Riley and Maya have made eye contact in literally every single episode of GMW. Lucas isn’t even in every episode of GMW.
I said recently on my other blog, about another show with
queerbait a femslash couple that’s frustratingly not actually canon yet (and even gayer than Rilaya) that heteronormativity has a flipside. It leads to a certain blindness toward things that are not straight, but it also leads to lazy writing of het ships. Because romance is so readily assumed between boys and girls, writers take shortcuts. Who needs to spend time building substance these days? And because audience’s just accept heterosexuality, you can just have another character say that these two have chemistry, without actually demonstrating that chemistry on-screen. Like, if the writers put the kind of development into Riley and Lucas’ relationship that they put into Riley and Maya’s relationship, I’d be significantly less bothered by the pairing. (I doubt if I would really ship it as such, but it wouldn’t bother me the way it does now.) If the writers would spend as much time and energy on their M/F romances as they do on their F/F gal pals, maybe I’d actually give a damn. I mean, if you’re gonna ignore the potential in Rilaya, at least do something interesting. Put some time into really developing the relationship between the characters beyond superficial details. Make me care about the story. Whatever it is that appeals to that portion of the audience is completely missing me. I’m not connecting with this random boy from the subway.
And it’s not just that it’s a straight ship. Representation is important and seeing a story told with LGBT+ characters is always refreshing. But I’ve shipped straight ships before. I loved Corpanga. For all of their gooey sap, they still had substance. It’s not because R*cas is straight that I dislike it.
If any other relationship had gotten the kind of development that Rilaya has had, I might not have bothered to make this blog. It’s becuase they have what is so sorely lacking in the rest of the show that they seem so obvious to me. If there had been any other element balancing out the scales, I would’ve just dismissed my thoughts as reading too much into it. But Rilaya is and always has been head and shoulders above everything else that this show has to offer. It’s no contest. They are this show’s extraordinary relationship.