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The triangle is over and it seems the person not chosen is not only fine with it but may have an option waiting for her.
Lucas | Maya | Riley | Josh | Smackle | Farkle
Main Plot (with Commentary)
Topic 1: Sherpa (Evan, Riley, Maya, Lucas, Smackle and Farkle)
The boy who seemingly was going to be the new Charlie is anything but. He, instead, wants to be a Sherpa, he wants to guide these young people. Though with him talking to Riley all night, it is a major red flag for that seems like such a romantic gesture. I mean, seeing how Lucas’ reacts, you can tell that dark side of Lucas that defended Zay, he may be a bit territorial as well. But things calm down, for a few minutes.
If only because Evan decides to pull out the Official Guide to Who Belongs With Who. A book which shakes Cory to his core since, I assume, that was what got him in trouble in Boy Meets World and almost destroyed Cory and Topanga (whose couple name I surprisingly don’t know). Now, the book begins how you would expect it to with one thing needed being romance, which Riley wins, and then there is adventure, which Maya wins, but then comes conversation. With this comes Farkle and Smackle, as always, showing what a healthy, drama-free, and perhaps best case teen relationship could look like.
I mean, let’s break it down. Do they flirt with other people? Yeah, both in front of the other and behind the other’s back, like Farkle kissing Maya, but it seems they ultimately trust one another. Hence why Smackle, despite some of her touching issues when we met her, likes, enjoys, and initiates touch and contact with Farkle. He communicated with her and built up a trust and in many ways, while both now minor characters, they present the type of relationship I don’t even think Riley could fathom or compete with. There is just something so genuine about these two. It isn’t an infatuation like it seems Riley has with Lucas, nor is it based off perhaps Maya getting the type of love, affection, and attention her dad isn’t giving her nor Shawn on a consistent basis.
Topic 2: [I Wish] Age Weren’t Nothing But A Number (Maya and Josh)
Which leads to the reveal that Maya is dropping out. It seems the writers want us to believe this whole Lucaya thing was a long game con. One in which Maya simply wanted to see if Lucas was good enough for Riley, leading back to those episodes in season 2 or 1 where Maya was noting how she saw something Riley didn’t. Back then I remember thinking, maybe she saw that Lucas and Riley were more like brother and sister than anything, but perhaps what she truly saw was they were perfect for one another. The problem was, between Maya investigating this by putting herself in Riley’s mindset and Lucas’ Riley attributes becoming appealing, she got lost and thrown off track. She forgot she was wearing a mask (Mr. Robot has this whole mask thing stuck in my mind) and eventually became it.
But now that is over and so comes the situation between her and Josh. This boy has been saying no to Maya since she introduced him as Uncle Boing Boing, but then he really sits down and talks with her, holds her hand, and you can’t help but come to the conclusion that pretty much age is the sole thing keeping them apart. For he admits he likes her, without the usual asterisk that Lucas throws in. However, despite Katy likely not giving a damn since that is the type of parent she is, he doesn’t want to go there with her. He wants to let her grow, as he does himself, and they both play a long game. One in which, someday, they might be together.
Topic 3: Rucas (Riley & Lucas)
With Maya out the way, because she realized Lucas is too nice, despite his dark side, and that all he does is make her want to dump smoothies on his head, Rucas can begin. Well, at least continue anyway. Remember they tried to date before but that didn’t work out. Part of the reason being, well you can’t say they really talk that much. Yes, they know each other, but you don’t see Lucas on the tail end of long and deep conversations with Riley. Maybe conversations reassuring her of who she is, but not like the conversations she had with Evan. Which I think is why Lucas got jealous. His relationship with her, despite their mutual crush, never evolved to that level, it isn’t on that Farkle and Smackle level, and he already almost lost her once to another guy. So, he steps up and asks her out.
However, despite this being what Riley wants she is realistic about it. The more mature Riley is in this episode and she recognizes that there isn’t a high chance she’ll have a situation like her parents where Lucas will be the one she spends the rest of her life with. Maya is forever, sure, but Lucas could just be her first boyfriend and that’s that. Which, I feel, is the type of writing I wished this show consistently had. I mean, there is a way to balance silly Riley with this one right? There has to be a way to show something solid like Smackle and Farkle; something uneasy, maybe a tad taboo, like Josh and Maya; and something like Lucas and Riley which seems written to be fate, but ends up not being so right?
We have this one little life and for a lot of it, we just blow around in the wind. But if we’re lucky and we believe that life knows what’s best for us, sometimes we land on the right someone to talk to.
— “Girl Meets Ski Lodge – Part 2.” Girl Meets World
You know, the best thing about this show to me is, as time goes on, is how it displays romantic relationships. They have some like Katy and Kermit and like Ava’s parents; there are the Cory and Topanga’s as well as perhaps Katy and Shawn. These relationships show that adult relationships can be complicated, messy, and downright disastrous. However, that doesn’t mean that is the end of your love life. Whether you have kids or otherwise.
On the same token, you have the former triangle, Smackle and Farkle, and even Auggie and Ava to boot. Smackle and Farkle, low-key, I think are the perfect educational/ entertainment tool of showing a healthy relationship. One based on compatibility; one based off admiration for your significant other, without the sarcasm we see Topanga fling on Cory; and one which doesn’t try to be flashy or anything like that. They like one another because they do. They talk with one another so they can solidify their feelings and know it isn’t mere infatuation, and I feel like we don’t see that enough in media.
That is, as opposed to the triangle where you have a Lucas type who basically is almost a blank slate. You can, like Riley, paint him to be whoever you want. A knight in shining armor, the boy next door, and you get stuck there and ignore, if not forget, his bad side. Which isn’t me putting this down, but with Riley coming out admitting that she and Lucas may not be forever, I feel like that was an important thing to do. Yeah he is cute, yeah she likes him and he likes her, but that isn’t a guarantee for anything. It just means things will start off well. Now if they can make it to Smackle and Farkle’s level or Cory and Topanga, only time will tell.
With that said, you have to love the way the lighting was done, unless this was just acting, which made Riley and Maya’s eyes twinkle when they were looking at their love interest.
I really hope Zay either recaptures that spirit of saying what perhaps the writers think fans are going to say or he gets some sort of storyline of his own. Even if it is just something on Farkle/ Smackles level which is consistent but not the main to do, it would be better than him being a weak comic relief character.
On The Fence
With the triangle gone comes the question of what is going to happen to these three now? Not in terms of their friendships but their characters. Will Riley and Lucas simply be a couple and this stunts their growth? Will Maya be sort of downgraded like Farkle kind of has been? The future seems a bit unclear yet with this storyline finally over, it is hard to not get excited to see what is next.