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Episode 24: “Girl Meets Belief”
The topic of religion is the main focus as the kids learn about Joan of Arc and are partnered up with their corresponding friend whose belief system is on the other end of the spectrum.
Characters & Story (with Commentary)
Topic 1: A Conversation With An Old Friend – Auggie
As the teenagers of the cast talk about Joan of Arc, Auggie is speaking to someone. At first it seems like an imaginary friend, but the friend he is speaking to isn’t someone imaginary – it’s Ms. Svorski. Someone who he worries is lonely and, also to cope with her not being alive, he likes to talk to her. However, he fears that he would be crucified like Joan of Arc for doing so. Something he fears so greatly he lowers the sound of his voice and asks his parents repeatedly if they will protect him. Which, of course, they say they will.
Topic 2: I Need A Fact I Can See – Farkle
Being that Farkle is a man of science, someone like Joan of Arc to him is ready for the looney bin. However, Cory reminds Farkle that you can’t base your beliefs solely on what can be easily seen. There are lives and worlds we know exist, yet can’t see; there are colors, in what seems like clear space, between people; and considering how computers can find out things in one click, who’s to say that a being doesn’t have the same ability? Thus leading Farkle to not necessarily becoming someone who can be strongly about faith like Lucas and Riley, but he can appreciate the results of what faith can bring. After all, scientist have to have a strong belief in what they wish to discover or explain in order to forge facts.
Topic 3: When You Believe – Maya
It has been long established that with Maya, believing in things which require faith and hope is devastatingly hard. Even now, with Shawn in her life, Riley, Riley’s family, and her mom having a steady job, there remains an almost inability to put an investment into something which requires you to be vulnerable enough to believe. Yet, with everything she has, and her slowly gaining hope for the future, it seems she is stepping slowly toward regaining her faith in humanity, and not just certain people.
I liked how the show displayed the contrasts between characters be it between those who lean more toward Farkle and Maya’s point of view, or Riley and Lucas.
It was sort of nice to see that Maya really does get tired of Riley sometimes. For, in the episode, Maya finds a five dollar bill and Riley pesters her about putting it back where she found it, causing a temporary rift. To me, the beauty of this scene is that it reminds us that Maya took that $5 because, unlike Riley, she isn’t given an allowance of the same level. Hence why Riley can afford to replace that $5 and let Maya take it when she thinks she struck gold twice. Also, piggybacking on the first compare and contrast comment, at the end of the episode when Maya talks about praying, it shows once more one major difference between Riley and Maya: Riley prays for herself, and what she wants, and Maya’s first notable prayer was for others. Which isn’t a setup to me going in on Riley to call her selfish, since arguably she isn’t, but it does push the idea that perhaps because Riley does so much for others, maybe she is praying someone does something for her. Then, with Maya, maybe she prays for others since she seeks outside of herself for happiness, faith, and things which could bring her peace.
As could be noted back when I used to cover Switched at Birth, there is nothing I love more then when shows establish a character leaving, or something that happened, that has nothing to do with what is currently going on. So with Auggie speaking to Ms. Svorski, it was so hard to not shed a tear. For not only was he fearful about speaking to her, yet still doing it, but it shows how much she meant to him that, months later, the writers made sure to note she may be gone from his world, but not forgotten.
Zay isn’t in the episode after being fairly consistent for awhile, and nothing is said about his absence.
On The Fence
A part of me wishes Topanga’s role on the show had a stronger presence than what it does. For, granted, she isn’t capable of being as active in the main storyline since Cory pretty much sets the tone for each episode, but I’d like her to have Cory’s prominent part sometimes.