Riley and Maya enter Lucas in the Austin Round Up Rodeo in an attempt to bring honor to his family after failing the mutton rodeo at age six. Lucas is extremely vexed, as Riley and Maya don’t understand that they signed him up to ride Tombstone the Bull rather than a sheep. Do they let thirteen-year-olds compete in grown up rodeo events? This Yankee wants to know.
Cory’s Class: this week, we’re talking about the railroad. “I don’t get it, how does the railroad tie into what’s going on in our lives, Hambone?” Maya asks. I truly enjoy that Girl Meets World pokes fun at the fact that Cory’s lessons are entirely dictated by his students’ lives. Cory’s lesson is about how the railroad allowed for travel and to see how other people live.
Austin, The Rodeo: Riley and Maya are flippant about Lucas’s fears, until they see a bull. Maya is terrified and tells Lucas not to do it, swearing she’ll never speak to him again. Riley believes in him and wants him to earn back his family’s honor. Maya leaves, and Riley watches Lucas take the new record with 4.4 seconds. Afterwards, Riley goes to Maya, explaining that she knows Maya thinks Riley loves Lucas like a brother. She then talks out Maya’s feelings: “You couldn’t watch him because you were afraid something would happen to him, because you like him. You make fun of him because you like him, and you’ve never told me that either. Well you’re right, I love him like a brother. That’s how I love him.”
Pappy Joe’s: Riley addresses Lucas, explaining how important he is to her, but telling him that they’re now brother and sister. She never wants to lose the ability to talk to him about anything, so this is how it’s going to be. She then throws the onus on Maya: “I love you, Lucas. And now you know how. How do you feel about him Maya?” Dun dun dunnn.
Pappy Joe’s Porch: Lucas is understandably confused about today’s events, but Zay is willing to chalk it up to the confusing mystery of girls: “I used to tell Vanessa, clear as day: Vanessa, I’ll buy you a house. And I’d be yours forever. And I’ll buy you ice cream. You know what she’d say? I don’t want your house, I don’t want your ice cream, and I don’t like you. How am I supposed to understand that?” Riley and Maya make their entrance and only add to the confused feelings, Riley trying too hard to be cool (she says the word “brah”) and Maya still refusing to speak to him. Pappy Joe suggests they all go to Chubbie’s Famous Barbecue Pit for an evening out.
Chubbie’s Famous Barbecue Pit: Riley explains that she always wants to have Lucas around, she doesn’t want to break up and not like him anymore. The best way to keep their relationship where it is would be to act like brother and sister. Meanwhile, Farkle is calling out Maya’s care for Lucas while Zay deals with the return of Vanessa. Maya and Riley pretend to be his jealous girlfriends in order to change Vanessa’s mind about him. Maddie and Tae stop by to perform the love song “No Place Like You.” I mean, it’s no “Girl in a Country Song,” but I suppose this one fits more with the current plotline.
Pappy Joe’s: Cory has Pappy Joe give the kids a lesson from half a country away: the only way to learn is to go forth into the world and learn who you are. Also, be kind to one another. These kids don’t particularly struggle with being kind to one another, but I think that advice is going to be important in the coming weeks.
The Fire: Vanessa shows up and apologizes to Zay, saying she must have underestimated him if his friends were so willing to prove a point for him. Before Riley and Farkle leave for the same, Riley tells Lucas that Maya likes him and tells Maya that she knows Maya stepped back for her sake. At first Maya attempts to avoid the subject by making fun of Lucas, but Lucas isn’t about to drop the topic. Maya admits that she did think of Riley and him as brother and sister, and that she has feelings for him. In order to get her to stop talking, Lucas grabs her face, but as far as I can tell and camera angles reveal, doesn’t actually kiss her.
The episode closes with Lucas talking to Tombstone the Bull and Judy the Sheep, musing on just how complicated and scary things have become with Riley and Maya.
Riley’s Window: the Parents Matthews suggest that the girls focus on school so that they don’t find themselves in an uncomfortable situation. Riley and Maya insist that their friendship comes first, but Cory and Topanga think that their feelings will complicate more than they know.
Cory’s Class: this week Cory is discussing the Hoover Dam, and has a very simple assignment: “Your assignment is to hold everything back until I die.” Maya blurts out that something happened between her and Lucas in the middle of class, but Riley pretends like she didn’t hear her. Instead, she turns to Charlie and accepts his date request.
Cory’s Class Again: “You don’t think I can mash this into the end of World War II if I want to? America loves Russia! Then America doesn’t love Russia. Japan loves France now! Japan asked France to go bowling! So they go on a couple of dates, but then Japan says to France ‘I just want to be friends.’ So France says, ‘I have enough friends!’ So they try to be civil with one another, but there’s a chill while they’re hanging out by the lockers. There’s a CHILL.”
Auggie’s Room: Auggie has called Lucas in to inform him that Riley only has one brother–he can’t be it. He also offers one bit of advice: “Don’t hurt my sister.”
Topanga’s Cafe: Lucas and Maya awkwardly sit together, that is, until Maya pours a smoothie on his head for being too polite and weird. Zay and Farkle discuss the situation at hand, noting that Maya and Lucas are happier when yelling and making fun of each other, and that Riley and Lucas are similar but not sibling-like.
Topanga’s Cafe Again: Lucas refuses to be Riley’s brother anymore, citing Auggie’s feelings as his reason. Maya wants Riley’s advice, which she cannot give. Farkle and Zay are talking about how Riley and Lucas are both protecting other people’s feelings. Riley drags Farkle out just before he says that she still has feelings for Lucas. Farkle addresses the situation head-on, but Riley tearfully tells him he can’t tell anyone she still has feelings for Lucas. He appeals to her, saying that they don’t lie to each other, but it doesn’t work. She leaves on her date with Charlie.
Riley’s Window: neither Riley nor Maya seems overly thrilled with their dates and their current state of confusion, but affirm their friendship with ring power.
I never thought I could be this affected by the love lives of thirteen-year-olds, even when I was one. These were certainly not filler episodes–they threw everyone and their feelings into a blender, most likely changing everything for the rest of the series. Everyone did a great job showing how confusing and uncomfortable the situations were. I hope everything becomes less tumultuous for them soon, because I don’t know if I can take it.
Boy Meets World Throwback Factor: besides the barbecue joint being called “Chubbie’s,” nothing.
Episode Rating: 9/10.