Episode 7: "Girl Meets Maya's Mother"
Knowing what your skill or talent is, is the focus of the episode which features Minkus in adult form.
Review (with Spoilers)
I genuinely laughed this episode and I can’t fully explain why. Be it because this episode didn’t have Disney Channel styled jokes or simply because I have adapted to them, I can’t say. But as with most of the series thus far, for every bit of silliness we get out of the Matthews and we see how they are the ideal family, there on the polar end is Maya ready to show what life is like for actual people outside of the usually perfect world of sitcoms. So let’s talk about how it was to meet Maya’s mother.
Topic 1: An Old Rivalry Reborn – Topanga and Cory (Featuring Minkus)
Stuart Minkus (Lee Norris), Farkle’s dad, makes an appearance on the show during career day and it seems he has done well for himself, as I believe Mr. Feeny said he would. He owns his own corporation, has a helicopter, and yet has his brilliant son in public school. Go figure? Anyway, with Minkus’ return in both Topanga and Cory’s life comes their old rivalries coming back to life. Be it Topanga vs. Minkus when it comes to how many As they have, of which now their children are included in the count, or Minkus vs. Cory since Minkus seems far from over Topanga. Making me wonder who is Farkle’s mom and how does she take being the 2nd choice?
Topic 2: What Am I Good At? - Riley
With Riley being well established as someone trying to find herself, usually in the pursuit of trying to be like someone else, or just to be more likable, it seems she has finally realized her talents lie somewhere in the area of fixing things. For with her having the personality which desires everything to be right in the world, it seems she may slowly realize her talents may lead her to being a social worker, among other similar professions. Though in her first unofficial case, dealing with the relationship between Maya and her mother Katy (Cheryl Texiera), her desire to help people may not falter, but with those two it surely does get tested.
Topic 3: I Don’t Want Her to Be Like Me – Maya & Riley (Featuring Katy)
Since meeting Maya it has been easy to assume the worse about her parents. If just because we never saw them and the way she talked about them lent to the idea that they were neglectful, let her go where she wanted in the middle of the night, and generally all they did was provide a bed for her, some food, and a roof over her head. Though with meeting Katy some of the missing puzzle pieces provide a clearer picture.
Like why Maya not having a smart phone, or why no one is home to help her with homework, and topics like that. We learn that Katy is a waitress and with no mention of Maya’s dad paying child support, much less alimony, likely this means Katy has to do double shifts and can’t afford to get Maya a fancy phone, help her with homework, and dote on her like the Matthews family does Riley. Something which she sadly realizes as Riley confronts her as if Katy doesn’t have a job which she could likely easily get fired from for wanting to take off for every event her daughter has. Such as the art show Maya is part of since her teacher recognizes her talent.
And really, I feel sort of shamed of myself for thinking badly of Katy before all this since you can see she is someone who tries her best to be an optimist, but life has shown her pessimism is likely a safer route. For while Katy dreams of being an actress, either due to lack of talent, or simply never being at the right place at the right time, she never got her big break. Add on a failed marriage and a child who she fears may not achieve more than she is, and you can see Maya’s story isn’t the only heartbreaking one on the show.
Though, as I’ve probably said before, I love Maya and her storyline if just because it feels so rare, if not unique, to show a family like this. Especially on the Disney Channel which, if my memory serves me right, hasn’t had a lot of single parent families, outside of their movies, and is really exploring the idea that life isn’t always perfect, but you can find a way to make due. For Maya, while her mom cannot provide the ideal family or material life for her, she can at least go to the Matthew’s house and get a sense of family and the push she needs to believe in herself and be something bigger. Then, as for Katy, while I’m sure she may sometimes feel like a failure in her own life, and maybe as a mom, you can see she loves Maya and while their relationship isn’t ideal, she still does her best to provide for her, show she loves her when she can, and accepts that while she can’t provide her the family life Maya deserves, at least through Riley she can have good influences, see what an ideal family is like, and know that there is a chance Maya can maybe be something more. Even though she herself has found herself stuck in a diner for now.
Things To Note
Riley still has a major crush on Lucas, which she is hiding less and less, and I think the show is setting up Maya and Farkle possibly becoming something. She draws him as a bird for art class and the reason behind it was because he needs to be protected. Something which could be seen as either her thinking of him as a friend, which it hopefully is, or something more. It is hard to say which is for sure.