Tonight’s episode of “Girl Meets World” (entitled “Girl Meets Sweet Sixteen”) is the penultimate installment of the show, at least on the Disney Channel. Given that the finale is so close, it only makes some sense that the writers went into this with the idea of bringing you some closure for some characters and relationships.
The romantic ones – Hey, Farkle and Smackle finally admitted their feelings for each other! While this has certainly been one of the most-obvious pairings on the series, at the same exact time it was nice to have some of those feelings out in the open in a way that felt true to these characters. This episode also made sure to give Riley / Lucas their own little moment, which is good given that their relationship has oddly been nonexistent for much of the season. Given that we know how the two parties feel about each other, we feel like we would’ve seen more of them than we had.
In the end, though, we’re aware that this is not a show about romance. It’s about friendships and life lessons, and sometimes not things working out exactly in the way you would expect. More on that now.
Could Riley and her family leave? – Right in the middle of a story about her Sweet 16 and using the past to dictate her future, Riley received some shocking news from her mother Topanga: She had received an offer to go and work as a partner in the London office! This was effectively a chance for her dreams to come true, and with that would come a substantially higher salary than the one she receives at present. At the same time, it means uprooting the family’s whole life.
There are several things that we love about this reveal, starting with the nice gender role-reversal that it is the woman who is incredibly successful and rising the ranks with the breadwinner salary. Meanwhile, we love Topanga being firm that this is not something to automatically say “no” to just because it would hurt Riley’s feelings. She’s a human being with her own wants, and it was right for the show to acknowledge that. Having it serve as a cliffhanger is a little heartbreaking, but there is one more episode to come and that will serve as a nice opportunity to dive into this and explore it so much further.
Little odds and ends – Seeing the tribute to some of the show’s main friendships, whether it be Riley and Maya or Lucas and Zay, was a lovely tough. We especially love Zay’s little monologue about the red wagon, given that it felt almost like a comedic set and something that was organic as opposed to the product of the writers room.
As a whole – “Girl Meets Sweet Sixteen” was a worthy penultimate episode of the series (pending that it does not get picked up elsewhere), and one that touched on a number of important notes including friendship and the big changes that come in life. There were elements of it that felt rushed, but it’s hard to know when the writers in the making of this season started to realize that season 3 could be the last. Episode Grade: B+.
What was your take on “Girl Meets Sweet Sixteen” as an episode, and some of the various twists that existed within? Share some of your thoughts below, and head over here to take a look at what is coming up in the upcoming finale. (Photo: Disney Channel.)