Episode 12: "Girl Meets the Forgotten"
This episode is about learning to appreciate the people who do stuff for you not just because it is their job, but because they care.
Review (with Spoilers)
After 3 lackluster episodes, Girl Meets World reminds us why this spin off has purpose. For while the episode is a bit lesson heavy, and hardly focused on any story which may mean something in the long run, it does have heart. Even to the point of getting me teary eyed. As for why, look below.
Topic 1: The Underappreciated (Mother) – Topanga, Maya, and Riley
As Topanga balances being a mother, while also being a prominent lawyer, both Maya and Riley take advantage of all she tries to offer them. That is, until they learn what it is like to have to handle multiple responsibilities themselves.
There isn’t really much to say here. Well, outside of how increasingly unfortunate it is that Maya seems to get her breakfast at the Matthews household and is there before even Riley gets up sometimes.
Topic 2: The Underappreciated (Janitor) – Lucas, Harley, and Farkle
Boy Meets World alumi Harley returns and, well there isn’t much in the way of fanfare. However, being that he is the janitor, and good at this job, and that the episode deals with how the non-teaching staff know the kids as much as the people the kids are stuck with all day, he shows Lucas and Farkle, who are stuck with him for a week, how much pride he takes in his job to make theirs easier.
I sort of found it weird that the Boy Meets World alumni wasn’t put with the Riley and Maya since between Riley learning about her dad when he was a kid, much less him getting the chance for the touching moments they share with the cafeteria lady, it seemed like an odd cameo. One I’m sure fans of Boy Meets World won’t mind, but all the same it seemed like a wasted opportunity for the show to remind us how far Cory has come.
Topic 3: The Underappreciated (Cafeteria Lady) – Geralyn (Sonya Eddy), Riley, and Maya
As punishment for taking advantage of Geralyn, the cafeteria lady, Cory forces his daughter, and surrogate daughter, to have kitchen duty for a week. During this time they learn how, despite them not originally knowing Geralyn’s name, she knows all about them. She knows their favorite food; a little about their lives enough to provide some extra food for them, like she does for Maya; and how, despite her job being thankless, it brings a smile to her face since she gets to help take care of 1000s of kids a day. Leading Maya and Riley to learn to appreciate her, as well as Topanga.
Oh, this storyline made me cry. Mostly because, thinking back, I can’t recall the name of a single person who wasn’t a teacher or worked in the main office. Heck, I can’t even remember the name of the various crossing guards who were sometimes nicer than anyone I knew at school. So with Geralyn sort of speaking for all those we didn’t take notice of, and took advantage of, it instills some feelings of guilt. Yet, at the same time, it reminds you that while these figures sometimes seem cold, robotic, or like well-made androids, they are people. One’s invested in your well-being beyond your knowledge, and someone who enjoys the little things like a “Thank you,” or even the shallow pleasantries of “How are you?” despite the only appropriate answer being “good.”
Things To Note
Auggie is not in the episode.