Episode 5: “Girl Meets Mr. Squirrels”
Maya and Riley get into a huge fight over Riley not being as loyal to Maya and Maya is to her, so Cory calls in Eric to mediate.
Review (with Spoilers) – Below
Characters & Story (with Commentary)
Topic 1: A War Is Brewing – Riley, Lucas, and Maya
After more than a year of torment, Lucas finally says something back to Maya. As for what it is? Well, he calls her short. Something which Riley doesn’t defend Maya from since it is true. This offends Maya, since she always, without question or being right, sticks up for Riley, so now the two are bickering with one another.
Topic 2: The Mediator Steps In – Eric, Riley, and Maya
Being that Cory feels this fight is beyond him, he calls in Eric from St. Upid Town to assist him. After all, Eric has become a mayor of a town due to him knowing how to deal with people’s issues, so handling the issues of Riley and Maya shouldn’t be so hard right? Wrong.
You see, Maya is starting to grow tired of defending Riley, without question, yet then comes moments like these in which Riley doesn’t say a word. Something which hurts Maya for she, for quite some time, has defended Riley against those who call her a klutz. A name which Riley didn’t know others called her and, since she is a bit sensitive about her height, as Maya is about hers, it makes her feel bad and there comes mutual understanding and a mission accomplished for Eric.
Topic 3: A Sharing of Insecurities – Farkle, Lucas, and Zay
While the girls share their insecurities, and bicker, the boys join in a small way. Farkle speaks on his compensating for being like a mouse, Lucas tries to say his life is hard too but pretty much gets shut down by everyone, and then Zay tries to deal with Lucas saying he has a flat butt. Which, of course, really isn’t on the level of everyone else’s issue, but being that Zay is seemingly being setup to be a comic relief, I guess we’ll explore his issues sporadically, if at all.
Being that I’m bias toward Maya, naturally I found myself loving this episode. If only because it shows the writers know that Maya and Riley’s relationship sometimes isn’t balanced. Yet, to prove these two are going to be long-term friends, who both honor and respect one another, they show that Riley is willing to catch up to the amount of loyalty Maya shows.
Though, at the same time, like in the last episode, it shows how important communication is. For being that Riley didn’t seem to know the extent of which Maya defended her, of course she would feel that Maya being called short wasn’t a big deal. I mean, let’s take into consideration Riley never stops Maya from making fun of Lucas, her crush. It isn’t because she doesn’t want to get in the middle of whatever those two got going on, but more so because she probably, silently, agrees with Maya.
Setting the two girls story aside however, I got to say seeing Eric back was something. Mostly because my memories of him have devolved into his Feenay call, and him chasing girls. So seeing him in all his eccentric wonder was quite good. Especially since he was quite funny.
But, as much as I loved Eric’s appearance, I do feel he takes away from the seriousness of the situation. For while the show always has always had some sort of comic relief, either by using Farkle or Auggie storyline, Eric just seemed to be overkill. Which I mostly say due to it seeming his lines were just purely random, as well as how Will Friedle interacted with the cast. Take for example the running gag of him messing up everyone’s name, much less how he used Maya’s hair to wipe his tears. In those moments, you could see the Disney side of the show become far too overbearing to the point it made his guest star appearance, and role in the episode, almost ruin the nostalgia factor.
I would be remiss however if I didn’t mention Zay. Someone who I want to like, almost purely due to skin color, but I need him to not be so one dimensional. Because as a comic relief he rather sucks, and being that he doesn’t have the best chemistry with Lucas at this point, he almost seems like a forced part of the group. After all, he served one major purpose in revealing Lucas’ past, but now needs to establish himself as a person who has a life outside of Lucas. Which, some fathom, could be starting a romance with Maya. An idea which is interesting to me, but at the same time it isn’t like Disney is going to approach any of the issues which could come with an interracial romance so nothing strongly interesting may come from that. That is, unless a serious effort is put into making them a couple. But considering how Maya has been mostly attached to Farkle, I doubt her course would change to Zay.