Girl Meets World: Season 2 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Episode 29: “Girl Meets the Bay Window”

Overview

In an episode which could have worked as a series finale, we watch as the show preps us, and Maya for the transition from Middle School to high school. Which includes us seeing Riley and Miley as kids, and us learning how they became friends. Prepare for a tear jerker.

Characters & Story (with Commentary)

Topic 1: “Change fills my pockets with pennies of uncertainty” (Riley and Maya)

It is time for Riley, but not yet time for Maya. Riley is ready to change the bay window and while Maya is usually up for any of Riley’s schemes and experiments, this is one she can’t agree to. For her, with her life of instability and chaos, the bay window is one of her constants. It is the place where she met Riley, it is the place she would run to when her parents argued, and it holds so much for Maya that it is damn near like a sanctuary.

For Riley though, it is just part of her past. It represents her as a child and now she is going to high school. She is getting older and the bay window represents the style and place she was at 7 and with her growing up in a stable household, she has the foundation she needs to build. So she needs her personal space, and her friends, to grow with her.

Topic 2: Childhood Moments (Young Riley [Lindsey Lamer] and Young Maya [Ivy George])

Though the 7 year old versions of Riley and Maya are at first presented as annoying, with time it becomes apparent that the writers have crafted such strong characters that you don’t even necessarily need the actresses we are familiar with, to a certain point. For Lamer as Riley is pretty much Riley stripped down to her most naïve and whimsical state, and then there is George is Maya. Now, if you thought Maya in modern times made you tear up, picture 7 year old Maya when her dad and mom were arguing and she decided to escape their yelling. Imagine 7 year old Maya as she first experienced abandonment and the seed was planted that good things don’t happen to her, and imagine a girl on the brink of despair climbing into a strange girl’s window just because her singing, and her bay window, represented the life she wished she had. For 7 year old Maya, one can only fathom that coming into Riley’s room, Riley’s world, was like stepping into a fairytale. One with parents who love each other enough to have a 2nd kid, one with parents who have enough money where they can afford to throw Halloween parties and invite so many of Riley’s friends and, ultimately, accept Maya pretty much as their own and love her as much as they love their own.

Topic 3: “Let’s just keep the old memories somewhere safe. You may decide that you want to visit them again later.” (Maya and Riley)

Overall we are presented quite an emotional rollercoaster ride and in many ways it was to signify change is on the horizon. Not just for the girls, but for the viewers as well. For, likely, what the show has in mind is that viewers are going to grow up with this show as people a bit older than me grew up with Boy Meets World. So, in one a rare example of not presenting a heavy handed lesson, the episode is dedicated to growing up gracefully, with hope, and without fear. For yes, you maybe not who you once were, and may not be heading to new frontiers feeling you are fully ready, but you have people and places which will be your safe place. Also, there are somethings, no matter what, which will never change. For Maya and Riley it is their friendship, their Farkle, and now possibly their Lucas but, most of all, it is their promises to each other.

Highlights

A Character Development Episode: While a lot of this show deals with what seems like filler and situations which likely will only be found on stations like the Disney Channel, this episode is the type of episode which reminds you what is so great about the show, and why it matters that this is on Disney. It presents emotional complexity, has a lesson within the storyline, and doesn’t treat its audience as if they don’t have a care in the world.

With Maya, we see a lot of issues not often displayed when it comes to characters on shows geared towards kids or tweens. She has parents who are divorced, by abandonment, and it deeply affects her. It is clear why she acts the way she does, for perhaps she has come to notice that being a rebel gets her attention and sympathy, which she may not want consciously, but subconsciously she knows that is how she will get her needs fulfilled.

Then, with Riley, you see the opposite. We see stability and maybe even a case of over bearing parents, for what 7 year old has a baby monitor? But, that thought aside, it shows the type of life which produces someone like Riley and shows why her and Maya make great friends. They are what each one needs. Maya brings a sense of excitement and a sense of the real world to Riley’s curated life, and Riley opens Maya up to the fantasy world she could only dream of for what Riley has is never stable in her own.

I mean, even if you look at the developments as of late, like Shawn, while it is nice that he comes around and cares for her, and her mom as well, he isn’t a stable figure. He, like many things in Maya’s life, are temporary. He just comes from being friends with Riley and part of the experience of the ticket.

Some Backstory and Foreshadowing: How Maya and Riley met, as well as how they met Farkle, and why Riley calls Maya “Peaches,” have been constant questions in my head for ages. All of those things get answered in this episode and by actors who strangely can present the idea that Riley and Maya don’t belong to any one actor, but are almost like beings within themselves. To the point that whether they are 7 years old or 21, they can draw emotions out of you and bring you to tears.

Low Points

Let’s Not Talk About Lucas and That Love Triangle: While only talked about a little bit, there is a small comment on how Lucas feels about the girls, and it seems clear that he isn’t ready yet to step up and speak on how he feels. Instead, he is sticking to the coward’s way out and letting the girls decide between them.

On The Fence

Farkle’s Role Downplayed: Fully recognizing that the show is about Maya and Riley, and the boys are sometimes just there for potential love interest, if not so this isn’t written off as a show for girls, I must admit I was hoping for more when it comes to Farkle. For while Lucas is new to the group, Farkle has been with them since damn near when Maya met Riley. So you’d think there would have been more to his part in the grand scheme than Riley noting, in the present, how handsome he got, and us meeting him in the past and him making his promise to love the girls the same. But perhaps what truly got on my nerves is that we didn’t get to see future Farkle, or Lucas even, and get some foreshadowing on what happened to them, especially in terms of with the girls.

When Cory and Topanga Met Maya: With Maya just one-day climbing into Riley’s room and them becoming friends, you have to wonder how Cory and Topanga reacted. Much less, how Katy and Kermit did when they found out Maya was gone. But that would be a bit much, I admit.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

Why in the world weren’t Cory or Topanga mad at the mess Riley made as she ripped and tore up the bay window? She stripped off wall paper, or paint, tore down curtains, and left her room dirty beyond what I can imagine Topanga could mentally deal with.

Collected Quote(s)

“Change fills my pockets with pennies of uncertainty.”
—“Girl Meets Bay Window.” Girl Meets World

“The truth is, people get comfortable with what’s familiar […] and when you get too comfortable, you don’t allow yourself room to grow. The worst thing you can do is fold your arms and refuse to accept what’s gonna come anyway.
—“Girl Meets Bay Window.” Girl Meets World

“It’s totally okay that you want to create space for new memories. Let’s just keep the old memories somewhere safe. You may decide that you want to visit them again later.”
—“Girl Meets Bay Window.” Girl Meets World

Things To Note

  • Baby Maya: Ivy George
  • Baby Riley: Lindsey Lamer
  • Old Maya: Ruby Lewis
  • Old Riley: Mariah Buzolin

About Amari Sali 2801 Articles
New Jersey native Amari Sali takes the approach of more so being a media advisor than a critic to sort of fill in the gap left between casual fans of media and those who review productions for a living. Thus being open about bias while still giving enough insight, often with spoilers, to present whether something is worth seeing, buying, renting, streaming, or checking out at all. An avid writer, Amari hopes to eventually switch from talking about other people's productions to fully working on his own. Such a dream is in progress to becoming reality.