Episode 4: “Girl Meets Pluto”
As the adults primarily reminisce about the past, the whole cast finds itself wondering what the future may hold. Especially Maya and Shawn.
Review (with Spoilers) – Below
Characters & Story (with Commentary)
Topic 1: A Brief History Lesson – Cory, Topanga, and Shawn
As always, Cory begins a history lesson and finds himself thrown off course. This time though what throws him off is talking about how history isn’t truly set in stone for what is once fact can become no longer true. Pluto being a planet is the example used. Leading to a brief discussion dealing with how naïve Riley is, and how much everyone keeps her in a bubble, but then it evolves to Cory remembering, thanks to Farkle, that 15 years ago he buried a box of memories.
Thus leading to Shawn being called, shovels being bought, and everyone digging in Mr. Feeny’s yard. Which, of course, leads to Feeny showing up, a Boy Meets World flashback, and the girls doing Eric’s Feeny call. Though what matters most is what is in the box.
What Cory buried in there was the jean jacket in which he and Topanga shared one of their first “I Love You” moments; what Topanga put in there was a letter from a girl named Lauren who almost ruined the epitome of relationships which is Cory and Topanga; and as for Shawn? Well, he buried stuff which reminds him of Angela.
Something which becomes a constant subject for you can tell her walking out on him still affects him. For one, he is still hurting from it. Though perhaps the biggest issue is that it makes him question the idea of finding love once more. After all, he imagined Angela to be his Topanga, and look what happened. So, now 15 some odd years later, without ever finding someone new to enjoy silence with, could he perhaps ever find someone?
Topic 2: What To Put In the time Capsule – Riley, Maya, Lucas, and Farkle
Switching to the kids, after all the time capsule stories and everything, the kids too put their own stuff away to bury. For Farkle, it is the orange turtleneck which we last saw when he was bullied, and his friends came to his rescue and reassured him he was loved, accepted, and would be fiercely defended; for Lucas, it the transfer slip which got him into Cory’s class; and for Riley it is what looks like a tangerine which represents Pluto. For being that she wants to believe Pluto is a planet, and things can change, she wants to plant that hope inside the box.
Leaving the question of what Maya put in there. Well, it is a photo of Shawn and Katy presenting her a cake. Something she hopes may happen again, but being that Maya’s motto is “No hopes, no disappointments” she seems to not put much stock into the idea.
Topic 3: Hopes For The Future – Shawn, Maya, Riley, and Katy
Something she communicates to Riley and with this we seem Riley redeemed a bit. For while often spoiled, childish, and privileged, there come moments when you see Maya is more than just some girl who keeps Riley entertained and protected. Something which is seen as Riley yells at Shawn for hurting Maya’s feelings, and adding onto her beliefs that maybe she may only have the surrogate family Riley provides. Also, we can see Riley cares about Maya by trying to remind Shawn how his words affects others, and how him losing hope for love isn’t only possibly hurting Maya, but is perhaps hurting the future possibilities for himself.
A point she seems to get across since, by the end of the episode, it seems Shawn and Katy do flirt a little bit. Now, whether something may come of this or not can’t be confirmed, but it seems progress is being made. All in front of Maya too.
As always, I love when Maya’s insecurities and issues aren’t one liners, or part of a joke, but actually addressed. For while I get this show is on the Disney Channel, and they only do a few serious episodes for a show during its entire run, it is episodes like these which give me hope. If only because it means Disney maybe open to change, and also open to the idea of diversifying their main channel as much as they have done with ABC, ABC Family, and the many different companies the company owns.
But, refocusing on Maya, truly you have to give it to Sabrina Carpenter, and Rowan Blanchard, for knowing how to play, and create, multifaceted characters. And while I’ll admit I come down on Riley in a flash, it is hard to argue against that being a good actor is about getting a reaction out of the audience. Which Blanchard does for whether she is acting like an annoying, overly protected child, or someone with a sense of empathy who wants to protect those who protects her, she does it quite well.
However, as I’ve said since the beginning, Carpenter takes the cake. After all, Maya is a very real character. One who is capable of being happy, but at the same time allowing herself moments to remind you, and perhaps herself, that she should enjoy the happiness in the moment. If only because happiness isn’t a stable emotion, and life makes few, if any, promises. Which, as someone who has been watching the station since the late 90s, seems like a borderline evolution. Just because, as said, there has never been this type of consistency when it comes to a character’s personal issues.
While I, of course, would like something good and stable to happen to Maya, at the same time I do feel like this show tends to lean on the ideal situation happening far too much. Which is only bad because it just seems like a boring route for Katy and Shawn to end up happily ever after, just as much as it is kind of boring that Cory and Topanga are mostly without issues now. Mostly because it seems like the show is really off balanced. Take the whole issue of relationships on this show for example. Damn near every adult relationship, outside of Cory and Topanga’s, is awful. Then, damn near every kid seems strongly affected by the issues of their parents relationship, which makes them all a bit more dark and jaded, while Riley lives in such an ideal state it seems everyone is around her just to know what happiness and stability looks like. Which makes any of the shifts on the show weird. For with Maya, and Shawn to a degree, getting what they want, does that mean, eventually, everyone is going to have this ideal situation Riley, Cory and Topanga have? Or will there possibly be some characters who get their happy ending, and others who may at least get peace? Either way, despite this week long marathon, call me intrigued.