Episode 28: “Girl Meets Commonism”
“Girl Meets Commonism” is a bit of a throwaway episode. Nothing significant happens in terms of story and while one could argue there are bits and pieces which maybe of importance later on, only time can validate such an opinion.
Characters & Story (with Commentary)
Topic 1: I Wanna Be Like You (Auggie & Topanga)
As noted quite a few times before, it must be awfully difficult having parents like Cory and Topanga. First off, they are touted as the perfect couple and then comes the issue of how accomplished they are at their jobs. Cory is a well-respected, and slightly unorthodox, teacher and Topanga is one of the top lawyers at her firm. So, being that this show is about commenting on the lives of adolescent from Auggie’s age to Riley’s, so comes the idea that they wanted to peer on children pressured into becoming something.
Now, I should note that Topanga isn’t at all saying Auggie should become a lawyer. However, being that Topanga is the one he spends time with the most, and it has been established he respects her more because she makes more money, naturally he emulates her. Issue is with this, he doesn’t think there is work involved to become a lawyer. He just sees her in a suit, coming home in victory, and providing him a comfy lifestyle.
Which you may wonder: how is this pressuring him? Well, it is because Auggie isn’t exemplary. Like Riley, he seems nice but average. So of course he wants to meet the bar his mother set, and while him pretending to be a lawyer in class doesn’t lead to much more than the class bully perhaps wanting to slug him, there comes the question of this failure perhaps affecting him later on. Especially if this series continues on for years and Auggie finds himself really having to address what he may do in life and what may require him to work harder than perhaps he feels capable of.
Topic 2: Cheaters (Maya, Farkle, Riley, and Lucas)
With it being discovered that Farkle allowed Maya to cheat on his test, based off a puppy dog look, so comes him getting in trouble for helping her cheat. But all I found myself wondering during this was, what happened to mature Farkle? For in the episode he whispers he loves Maya and seems as head over heels in love as he did earlier this season yet, if I recall right, he is dating Smackle. Which doesn’t mean he still can’t have a crush on Maya, but it just seems weird he can go from being the more consistently mature one of the group to regressing to his old ways almost from episode to episode.
But I digress for the main point of this whole cheating thing, to me, is to show how far Riley will go to defend Maya. Perhaps to show she is her mother’s daughter, she grasps onto whatever weak idea or ideology in order to make Maya not seem like she did something wrong, and in this episode’s case she uses communism. Something which she doesn’t understand at all and, naturally, the show portrays in a negative light in order to make the idea of a free society, with social classes and all, the better way for people to live.
Topic 3: The End of Commonism (Maya, Farkle, Riley, and Lucas)
Something that, with time, everyone gets. For while the “Commonism,” as it is eventually called, does push Maya toward learning, it comes with Maya, Farkle, and Riley, becoming less unique individuals. Something which bothers Lucas, and drives Cory just a tad bit nuts. So, craving to peer pressure, and learning their lesson, they decide among themselves to go back to how they used to be. Likely meaning that Maya will go back to being lazy, Farkle the genius, and Riley the naïve little flower girl with great potential only realized when her friends, or friendships, are in trouble.
How Far Will You Go: While a slightly lame episode, as said in the overview, arguments can be made that bits and pieces can be considered important. One of them being, how far Riley maybe willing to go to protect Maya. For, in this case, she helped Maya cheat in order to possibly inspire her to study more. Something which worked for with a high mark, Maya did look into communism and was answering questions Cory asked with a real answer and not sass. Pushing the idea that as much as sometimes Riley seems like she is getting the most out of her friendship with Maya, perhaps this perception is short sighted.
A Look Into Auggie’s Life: With us seeing Emma Weathersby (Sanai Victoria), and his class, this episode begins to make Auggie seem like more than Riley’s little brother, but a character who may actually have some importance. For even with him having, every so often, a storyline dealing with his own growing pains, they are so few and far in between that his character often seems like filler. But with us being introduced to Emma, his class, and the teacher which makes him stutter, Mrs. Ducksberry (Michelle Page) I feel like maybe the character eventually may be worth taking seriously.
What To Do With Topanga: For the most part, Topanga is a supporting character to whatever Auggie is doing, and every now and then she takes part in Riley’s stories. However, in comparison to Cory, honestly it feels like she could come and go as she pleases. If she isn’t there, it doesn’t matter and just with a “Mommy is working late on a case” she could easily be dismissed. That is, as opposed to Zay, who was a disappointment this episode, whose absence is noticeable and almost questionable.
Question(s) Left Unanswered
Do you ever wonder why Riley calls Maya peaches? Do you think maybe their friendship was born from Maya sharing one she had with Riley?
“Without incentive, there’s no motivation. Without motivation, there’s no advancement.”
— “Girl Meets Commonism.” – Girl Meets World