Okay but holy shit. Because that makes so much sense. Also I need you to get to friendship now! But the sneak attack is quite literally Maya's feelings for Lucas.
YES. Maya’s feelings are hinted at BIG TIME in this episode - and if you watch her, if you analyze her movement, her expressions, and, specifically, look at the classroom then the detention scene that I’ll get to; it IS obvious that this is IT. This is where she starts to feel for real.
As someone deftly pointed out, Missy is the farthest thing from “sneaky”, really. Hell, she’s described by Maya as a “bulldozer in a pink swear”!
The first thing that tickled me was the large number of reaction shots of Maya this episode, in parallel with what has become an essential tendency for Riley to ASK others what she feels. Hence, I started looking at both, and really comparing/contrasting in some essential scenes of the episode; and that brought the question of WHAT EXACTLY is JEALOUSY? Is it a spectrum? Are there different types of jealousy? @yeoldeshipper is absolutely catching my drift on that reflection: here (X) she posted a really neat cheat-sheet of JEALOUSY - read and be amazed how relevant it is. I’ve got a Maya/Missy set in the works to really telegraph all those observations we’re making - there is definite head-on confrontation between the two, practically rivalry. Maya’s responses to her, as well as to Lucas and her (noting Lucas’s responsiveness to Missy, which is hard to ignore in those 2 scenes at the beginning, and hell, even a little at the caf, up until she shoves food in his face and becomes downright nasty), are more emphatic than if she were just protecting Riley, especially when you realize how collected Riley becomes as the episode winds down - cafeteria and detention scenes. This classroom outburst is, frankly, the height of Riley’s freak-out, and the hallway scene that follows is more rooted in embarrassment than anything else, while Maya’s throwing words like “I loathe you” at Missy and staring her down like she’s about to kill her in that classroom. Add Farkle to this mix, and watch how Riley’s expansiveness is tamped down - you get even more depth to this whole episode (when I first watched it, all I saw was “jealous” Riley; boy did I miss the boat).
Now when I really looked at that classroom scene, and put the bookends together, so to speak, with the detention scene: something CLICKED. Namely, how they were using Missy to inform Maya’s character (blocking and costumes!), and, superimposing that with the Pearl Harbor lesson and how Cory was almost narrating (more than usual) = THE DAM FREAKING BROKE for me. From that point, you can start seeing all the foreshadowing and all the parallels with the later SOL/GMT/GMNY. It’s simply mind-boggling - and tells you that these writers had a clear vision of their characters and where they wanted to take them, from the get-go. I’ve put this up before, but it’s really one of those interviews that speaks to that vision, and my favorite bit from MJ is this: “I’m a funny optimist, which means I believe the best things will happen, but there’s always a funny road to get there. The beginning and end of the story is never as interesting to me as the middle. All good television shows – all good storytellers – can come up with a beginning and an end. The struggle is the center.” (X)
So, we know S1 is the season of FRIENDSHIP - and as I’m getting to shortly, it’s interesting that for Riley/Lucas, this whole affair ends on a note of friendship. S2 is the season of GROWTH, when we start getting much more development, for all characters individually, and their dynamic: Riley’s framework still hasn’t been fully blown, BUT it was finally, irrevocably, irreparably shaken by the Texas saga - and nothing will ever be the same. It snuck up on Riley, it snuck up on ALL OF US. A decent part of the audience would have more or less accepted Lucas felt for Maya (which he does, and he does first - before he feels for Riley - as the first 3 episodes I’ve covered have shown), but the BIG SURPRISE, the “sneak attack”, was Maya’s feelings. In fact, I was in disbelief - but rewatching, all the puzzle pieces are coming together. And now, now we’re abutting and starting the season of FEELINGS - and that destination was also set from the Pilot. How can you love two different women? Can you be jealous is different ways, to varying degrees? What you think you’re feeling is not necessarily what you are really feeling. These characters all have ground to gain in terms of insight into their feelings, but we, as viewers, if we care to look at their journey over the course of these 2 seasons can definitely see the subtleties and the differences in their mutual relationships. And it’s a beautiful and wonderful foray into the human emotional experience.
Re: Friendship. Man, I am dreading and excited to get to it!
Re: The concept of “echo” characters I brought up - it’s not an uncommon occurrence that characters act as foils to each other, at different times, in different ways. You can find that in literature, theater, film. And this really is the visual embodiment of that idea. It’s sneaky but gives you so much more information about the characters if you pay attention. I’ve been informed that this concept has been theorized about by @bmgmw and @yeoldeshipper; so in the interest of consistency, I will take up their term of “shadow characters”.
Here are the posts on GM Sneak Attack, so far:
- Jealousy? P1; The two hallway scenes, Missy/Maya/Riley (X)
- Jealousy? P2; Bay window; Riley’s unawareness; Riley/Maya/Farkle (X)
- The Sneak Attack. Major Foreshadowing P1; the classroom (X)
- Bonus receipts: Riarkle at the bay window (X)
- MORE coming up
Most importantly, thank you everyone for jumping in, expanding upon and adding to the thoughts/ideas I’m throwing out there! You’re all wonderful to read. @yeoldeshipper @bmgmw @westwingwolf @cowboyandshortstack @mayaahrt @rescueslove4life @huckleberryshortstack