There was something altogether jarring about Friday night’s “Girl Meets World” episode, mostly in that in one way or another, almost every element of the half-hour felt somehow off in comparison to what we’ve seen in episodes in the past.
Take, for example, the Farkle character. Is the show trying to humanize him, or take away some of his stranger angles? There was just something about him through most of this story, that revolved around Riley’s hunt for an old teddy bear, that felt somewhat out-of-character for him as opposed to the guy we knew before. He did have a great moment with Topanga where she explained why she was happy to help engage the search, but we’re looking for Farkle to have a more defined story since so far this season, he’s felt a little bit lost.
Elsewhere, where in the world did the Zay / Maya pairing come from? It felt almost like “these are the actors that we have the most often, so let’s find a way to get them more scenes together.” We’re certainly not opposed to the idea of the pairing, but it would have been nice to see it come across a little bit more organically. Also, that whole sequence where Zay was trying to make his case to Josh of all people as to why he and Maya should spend time together was a little out there in its own right.
On the positive side of things, Zay telling Lucas that he felt “abandoned” was one of the better zingers of the night. To us, this character is the master of the one-liner.
There were some other positives in the story, given that it was nice to get more flashbacks to the past once more, just as we also appreciated having this episode about staying true to oneself in the midst of so many about characters moving forward in life. That aspect of it was similar to “Girl Meets the Bay Window,” which is probably a top 3 episode of the entire series for us.
In the end, the whole is not greater than the sum of the parts here. Individual pieces of “Girl Meets Bear” worked, but we still find ourselves wishing that certainly character plots were set up further in the past, and that the show really found more of an emotional rhythm this time around. Some of the smaller reveals (the Zay / Maya talk) started to overshadow the intention of the story. Grade: B-.
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