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With the loss of Barry the Bear-Bear comes part of the end of Riley’s childhood. But while Riley has her usual odd storyline about growing up, Maya maybe is given the option to give up something of her childhood as well.
Maya | Riley | Zay | Auggie | Cory | Topanga | Josh | Farkle
Main Plot (with Commentary)
Topic 1: The History of Barry the Bear-Bear (Riley, Auggie, Cory, and Topanga)
Overnight Riley somehow loses Barry the Bear-Bear and with that everything stops. Mostly because Riley makes everyone feel guilty enough to look for it. Be it a reminder to Auggie that he bit the bear’s face off, or reminding Cory and Topanga that they gave her that bear out of guilt when they couldn’t stay home with Riley when she was sick. The bear, needless to say, is part of Riley’s childhood, and you know how everyone is when it comes to protecting Riley’s youth.
It is understandable that losing a childhood item like a teddy bear would be traumatic. However, I am very unsure why they tore up the whole apartment for it when the last place she saw it and had it, was her room. That was when things got a bit too much for me and of course, Riley making people feel bad enough to help I thought was petty. Thus taking away from the sympathy you want to give her.
Though I have to note, I found it very weird that when it came to her friends, no one really wanted to help find the bear. Maya was more focused on getting tacos, and neither Farkle or Lucas actually wanted to help. Lucas is Riley’s boyfriend (?) so you’d think he would have been gung-ho! Then with Farkle, he used to have a huge crush on Riley, and pretty much is her best guy friend, so why in the world is Zay the only one trying to help? Someone who is the newest one of the group, often the outsider looking in, making commentary like he is watching the show with us. And on that note, anyone else feel that his friendship with Lucas, is more due to the length of time they have known each other than them having something like Riley and Maya or even Cory and Shawn?
Topic 2: We All Have Mementos and Grow Up (Cory, Auggie, Farkle, and Topanga)
The search for Barry leads to people finding things they weren’t looking for. Auggie finds Cory’s dad silver gloves and while Cory seems to lose them fairly often, and thinks Auggie would too, he trusts him with the family heirloom. On the other end of things, two of the least focused on characters have a moment as Farkle discovers the season 1 version of Topanga and asks about how to know if you are growing up the right way?
I probably didn’t make the whole silver gloves thing seem as big as it is. If only because the lack of Boy Meets World memories make me unsure if those gloves were brought out for the sake of the episode or if they are something Cory has historically lost many times? Yet, it was still a cute moment him giving his son the necklace. Especially since Cory doesn’t have a lot of precious moments with Auggie.
Those two aside, I liked the Farkle and Topanga moment. Both characters, but especially Farkle, have rather odd names, lived their childhood beating their own rhythm and not strongly influenced by others, and yet there came a point where their eccentricities seemed to disappear overnight and that weirdo became just a page in a scrapbook. Something I think Farkle maybe wrestling with for while I’m sure life is easier being who he is now, is that fully and really him? Did he abandon himself to be someone else, if not who he thinks others would like him to be? Maybe I’m looking too deep into this?
Topic 3: Planning For Those Awkward Moments (Josh, Maya, and Zay)
Long Game. That is Josh and Maya’s plan and it includes holding hands a bit, Josh not looking at Maya funny when she calls him an affectionate nickname, but still there is long game. They aren’t going to be together anytime soon, and seemingly aren’t making plans to hang out. So, enter Zay. With him feeling like an outsider and knowing that with Lucas dating it is going to get worse, he asks Maya if they could sit with one another. Not in the form of dating, he doesn’t take it that far, but with the seeds planted that he liked how Maya made him feel during that car wash episode, and him sort of being antagonistic toward Josh, it seems he may not just be gearing toward avoiding being a third wheel but something more.
Shall we call this a race swapped Angela/Shawn 2.0? I kind of want to, especially since the idea of Zay and Maya together came a long time ago, but I must admit I have some reservations. Mostly, if not only because I don’t want Zay to be part of some love triangle or become a placeholder. I want him to be a series regular and not pop in and out, but if it is just to keep Josh and Maya’s long game alive, I don’t want it. Zay is a loveable Black weirdo and I weirdly identify with him. So, naturally, I just don’t want to see the kid invest in Maya emotionally, which you already know is going to be a rollercoaster for both, and see him heartbroken because either she outright rejects him, he basically just becomes her means of learning what love is only to fully experience and pursue the experience once Josh is available, or this evolving into a love triangle where she has her childhood crush vs. her high school boyfriend.
It’s funny about these things we hold on to and how life lets us know when it’s time to let it go.
— “Girl Meets Bear.” Girl Meets World
Farkle and Topanga having a conversation about growing up weird and then worrying whatever happened to the old you as you grew up.
The seeds being planted for a Zay and Maya romance.
The whole bear situation was ridiculous. They tore up the entire apartment instead of just Riley’s room. Does she sleepwalk anymore? Is that why they had to remove cushions and throw things all around like this was some 90s Nickelodeon game show called “Needle in a Haystack?”
On The Fence
While the looking for the bear part was ridiculous, on top of the guilt Riley placed on everyone, the flashbacks about what made Barry important, as well as disfigured, were cute with the younger versions of Riley, Maya, and Auggie. In fact, I found the younger Riley and Maya taunting the modern Maya hilarious.