It’s time for the spring semi-formal at John Quincy Adams Middle School, and Riley has been obsessing over Lucas asking her for the last ten months. Nervous about what the dance will bring, Cory uses his class time for etiquette lessons using a video from the 1950s. Video star Billy supports Riley’s point about asking your date out ten months in advance, but Maya isn’t having it: “Billy’s dead, and all his friends are dead too, except one–oh wait, he’s dead now too.” Sometimes tough love is the way to go, folks.
The Hallway: Riley gets the elaborate dance proposal she’s been looking for, including balloons, roses, a disco ball, someone on rollerskates, and a drop-down banner. She agrees, only to find that she’s just said yes to Charlie Gardner, not Lucas. She lies to Charlie, claiming she can’t go because she has to babysit Auggie. Lucas overhears her and expresses disappointment–he figured that they were automatically going because of their previously established amorphous love interest status. Of course!
Apartment Matthews: Eric walks in dressed as security detail, giving Cory the code name “Undahpants” and says that he’s being stalked. Of course, the person stalking him is HIS security detail, but that’s Eric. He’s in town to meet with an evil representative from an evil company that is trying to get him to shy away from a more environmentally-friendly company for his latest venture.
Topanga’s Cafe: Eric runs into Jack Hunter, his college best friend and Shawn’s brother. Eric explains that he’s a senator now and Jack gives the rundown of what’s happened to him over the past years. He had joined the Peace Corps with former girlfriend and roommate Rachel McGuire, but ultimately, she stayed and he left to join an evil company. He is the evil representative meeting with Eric!
Riley’s Window: Having heard that Riley lied to Charlie and Lucas, the Parents Matthews command her to go to the dance and choose between them. Lucas and Charlie talk out the situation–Lucas thinks that he and Riley should have been a no-brainer, but Charlie points out that he shouldn’t have waited. Now they’re friends and aren’t planning on making Riley’s choice any easier for her.
The Semi-Formal: Riley goes to her father for advice, who pushes her in Jack’s direction to show him humanity or something again. Jack compares Riley’s conundrum to the Rachel situation (see Boy Meets World, Season 5), in which she liked Jack as a boyfriend and Eric as a brother. Riley asks what the status of their friendships are, and the boys explain that she talks to Eric all the time, but not Jack. Riley seems to take all of that in, and it looks like we’re seeing the end of Lucas and Riley.
Australian band Shepper performs “Geronimo” as the kids bop around and try to work out this tangled web. Riley and Lucas discuss their issues, namely that Lucas waited too long to ask and Riley made it too big of a deal. They all agree that they’re friends and continue bopping. The episode ends on an unrelated note: a PSA starring Eric, Riley, and Maya about global warming.
There were a lot of great elements in this episode–namely Maya’s 1950s narration of Riley’s problems, Jack Hunter’s return, and the way that the Parents Matthews make Riley deal with her problems. The weakness comes in dealing with the love triangle itself–they nearly commit to making a choice about Riley and Lucas, but ultimately leave everyone awkwardly hanging around. We don’t need immediate closure on character relationships, but we need better than what we’re getting.
Best Line: “You know who hangs out at dances–your old friends polio, typhoid, and the DEVIL,” the most important line from the etiquette video.
Boy Meets World Throwback Factor: super high. Eric returned again, we got an appearance from Jack Hunter, and the two of them discussed their respective relationships with Rachel Maguire.
Episode Rating: 8/10