Saturday, July 26, 2014

Episode 5x03 "It's Not You, It's Me..."

Hey, folks coming from Reddit, could you toss my post an upvote? Some childish people (I'm pretty sure I know who) are downvoting my review posts. I don't get any karma, it's just for visibility. Thanks!

Mister Feeny's class is coming to a close as he's just finished explaining to Shawn how babies are made. He also offers a quick reminder that next Friday is "college recruitment day", and that Cory's meeting with the Standford folks has been rescheduled. I'm not really sure when Cory stopped being a terrible student, but he's clearly left Shawn in the dust. And Shawn's not happy about it. Cory's looking at a lot of colleges that Shawn can't get in to, but Cory insists that he doesn't know what his plans are yet.

I talked a lot in the previous two episodes about Shawn's annoying whining, but his whining today is actually in good humor. We're bringing back the bromance today. 

They both decide that they should make new friends because they'll eventually end up at different colleges, but I mean there's no reason to think that these new friends will be at college, so this doesn't make a ton of sense. But that's love, I suppose. 

In class later, Shawn has found a new friend, whose name is Andy, to sit in Cory's desk. 

Cory proceeds to make friends with a guy named Lionel at the front of the room. Lionel offers Cory some grapes to celebrate their new friendship. It's pretty funny. Not much else to say.

At the apartment, Eric is apparently post-haircut. It is a drastic change from the previous episode, and nobody even mentions it.

They make a big deal about his haircut at the beginning of season 7, but this one passed without any notice. In episode 3.  It's strange timing. Had to check and make sure I was watching the right one.

Eric and Jack have 10,000 word papers to write. Eric can't think of anything and Jack's is mostly lies, so Eric comes up with the plan of making friends with "the dean" to make their college lives easier. Which dean exactly? There are a lot of deans. I don't think this is a very good plan, you guys.

At home, Morgan makes fun of Cory for being dumped by his boyfriend. Alan comes home and wonders why he didn't see Cory at "Pink's" around lunchtime, since Shawn was there (with some other people). What the fuck is Pink's? It doesn't even matter, I'm just amazed that they mentioned a restaurant in this show that isn't Chubbie's. Anyway this information just makes Cory feel worse.

So this next scene is exactly what the comments have been talking about so far. Eric's trying to get Jack in on his crazy scheme, and Jack is just like "come on man", "this is a bad idea man", "I don't wanna do this man". And eventually Jack caves in. The dean's office door just says "Office of The Dean", so we're just gonna have to roll with that. The Dean is a real jerk to Eric, essentially the Anti-Feeny. 

Now we're at Chubbie's with Corpanda and the guy who gave Cory grapes earlier. Topanga pulls her boyfriend aside and Shawn is just afraid of losing his best friend. But then Shawn shows up with three new friends, and Cory can't help lashing out.

It's all pretty silly, but there's nothing new for me to talk about. Next, Cory and Mr. Grapes go to Shawn's apartment to collect the stuff Shawn's borrowed over the years, and it's already waiting for him in a cardboard box outside the door. Inside, Shawn's throwing a party, and we get the same conversation that's been in every scene so far.

It's still funny, but I mean, of course it is, because it was funny the first two times. 

I mean, this episode a direct line from point A to point B. They're obviously going to make up, it's just a question of how many jokes we make in the meantime. 

It's night time now as Eric and Jack arrive at The Dean's home. I don't know how they got his address. They do the exact same shtick as before, where Jack doesn't wanna be here but Eric says enough nonsense that Jack sticks around.

Everything else aside, Jack is actually really funny here. Due partly to the fact that babka is just a silly word.

Next, these two hooligans are at the Matthews-Feeny backyard, where Eric Feeny-Calls his mentor out to them. Eric introduces Jack and COMPLETELY FORGETS TO ADD THAT HE'S SHAWN'S LONG LOST BROTHER, something Feeny would proooooobably want to know. Mister Feeny assuages their fears, and suggest they use their fear and anxiety as a topic for their paper, which Eric says is an "open assignment", so the topic can be anything. 

 The next day at school, Shawn and Cory show up at Feeny's office under false pretenses. Turns out, Topanga set this up to deal with their silly fight.

The first time they did the "gasp Topanga" was at the end of 4x11, and it might be even funnier this time, if you can believe it. That was actually the other bromance episode too. Interesting.

 Shawn and Cory are both reluctant to try to reconcile, but Topanga insists that Mr. Feeny make an effort to fix this. He responds with one of my favorite Feeny lines ever.


Now for something I didn't expect. Shawn claims (yells, really) that Cory decided he was too good for Shawn the day they met. Honestly Shawn has yelled almost every line in this episode, it's really annoying. The flashback zooms out on some sort of zoo, accompanied by that one stock sound of children laughing, you know the one. It's the cringiest goddamn thing, these children are so terrible, and child Cory has glasses for some reason. But anyway, Shawn saves Cory after he falls into the llama pen.

The only remotely acceptable thing about this scene is that Topanga is here. They ACTUALLY decided to include a minor detail for the sake of consistency, albeit the consistency of a retcon. I've complained about the lack of those details so many times, so this instance is much more refreshing than it ought to be. You can tell they were fuckin DYING for content in this episode.

Woah okay, gotta draw the line there. I'll hug my best friend all god damn day, ain't no Topanga gonna tell me I can't. The audience thinks it's fuckin hilarious, but I'm not crazy about it. If we compare this episode to 4x11, which was the first time we did the "haha they're boyfriends" thing, this episode has been a lot less cool about it. Like, this episode wants us to think that there's something wrong with Cory and Shawn to be like this. I didn't mention that until now because I was trying to ignore it, but this "stop it, you're boys" really rubs me the wrong way.

And now the conflict is over. 

How bout you chill the fuck out Topanga? Jesus Christ.

During the credits, Jack and Eric have broken into The Dean's office. Jack's ability to speak Chinese buys them an extension on their papers. Yeah I can't explain it better than that.

Plot: 0.25 - It sucked. It could have been good, but it sucked. There was a beginning, and an end, but nothing in between.

Character Development: 0.25 - I guess we saw how Shawn and Cory met, which was new information, and Jack settles into his position as Eric's lackey.

Humor: 1.0 - Yeah it was pretty funny until Topanga's little outbursts.

Life Lesson: 0 - You can fuckin hug your friends if you want to.

1.5 out of 4.0. This episode sucks. 

I'm moving all the way across the country next week, so I won't be posting any reviews for a while. Maaaaybe the 6th for the next one. Sorryyyyyyyyyy

Thanks for reading! 

All images used under Fair Use.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Episode 5x02 "Boy Meets Real World"

Lots of opinions after 5x01. Seems that Jack is a polarizing character. Also I'm pretty sure this episode is terrible.

I'm sorry, whose what class? Is that before or after Mr. Turner's Particle Physics lecture?

Anyway we get a bunch of footage of these three colorful roommates being quirky or whatever, it's like MTV's The Real World. Cory even says those words explicitly, so either somebody got PAID or they're trying to appeal to a certain demographic. Shawn's bits are pretty funny, but all we see about Jack here is that he thinks very highly of himself. Someone mentioned in a comment on 5x01 that Jack has some seriously inconsistent character transformations, so let's keep an eye out.

In Feeny's film class the next day, Cory shows a preview of what he's put together so far, and everyone likes it, including Feeny.

Here's Mr. Feeny in The Graduate.

Feeny goes on to explain that if Cory keeps up the good work with this documentary, it could help him get into the film school at NYU. One of the extras is blatantly yawning in the background, maybe she didn't realize she was in the shot? It's kinda funny. The girl sitting next to Shawn, whose name is Angela, comments that Cory's documentary is a blatant ripoff of "that show on MTV, The Real World", and Cory's defensive response uses the phrase "real world" THREE times, so it sounds like they're trying to meet a quota for that sweet sweet payday.

Unsurprisingly, Cory's documentary is starting to get a little invasive.

A girl we've never seen before named Wendy is at the door, looking for Jack. Jack isn't home though, and this girl is apparently an acting major, so Cory tells her to kiss Shawn for the film. For whatever reason, she's down to clown, and of course Shawn is too. She enjoys this kiss with Shawn, and let's be honest, who wouldn't, so she gives him her number. Cory comments that a girl who came looking for Jack ended up with Shawn. God that was so weird to write, it's like, I'm relaying the nonsense content of a sitcom doing the nonsense content of a reality show.

And then more nonsense. Cory, Topanga, and Shawn are eating at Chubbie's when Jack and Wendy show up on a date. Shawn pulls Jack into the back room to be like "what the fuck bro" even though it's totally not Jack's fault. Shawn is being completely ridiculous here. He shouldn't care at all about Wendy, and he shouldn't be mad at Jack when Jack couldn't have possibly known that Shawn was interested. But then Shawn's like "yeah you win" and storms off because this is season 2.

Jack is very sensible about the whole thing and even offers to end the date, but Shawn is still 13 so that doesn't work. Cory just stands by filming the ordeal.

At home, Morgan has hired her friend's older brother to be the new Eric, which is pretty funny. The real Eric shows up too and doesn't mind the fake Eric, and also informs Cory that Shawn and Jack are "about to kill each other". I am really bored with this.

 Corpanga arrive at the apartment, where Shack are arguing about some shit. We learn that Jack is paying for college with student loans and works for his spending money (his step dad is super rich) but Shawn still won't cut him a break. The scene ends with Shawn declaring that he's moving out because, again, he's 13. Eric has experience as a weather man, maybe he can tell us what to do about all this storming out. ...That's not clever, I'm sorry.

That's Topanga's angry-face, directed into Cory's camera. She's pointed out a few times that Cory is forsaking his best friend to make this documentary. And what the hell are Shawn and Topanga doing for their film projects? They were both in Feeny's film class with Cory. I want to know what they're making.

Outside the apartment, Cory defends his lassez-faire style of film making, but Topanga insists that he's being a terrible best friend, and then makes the worst dramatic exit I have ever seen.

Honestly, this is dumb. Earlier at Chubbie's and just now at the apartment, Topanga has been equally silent in these matters. She can just as easily try to help defuse the tension as Cory. Yeah Cory's the best friend, but she's still Shawn's friend, so I don't know why she's just watching it all happen.

At home, Morgan is trying to convince Mister Feeny to give life advice to the fake Eric. I never thought I'd say this but Morgan is probably the most interesting part of this episode. She misses her big brother and the replacement-Eric running joke is consistently funny. Cory arrives on the scene and decides it's his turn for advice. Feeny basically just tells him to stop being such an asshole. But in his sagely, inspiring way.

Now we're dacing. At the apartment. Jack is dancing with Wendy, and Eric with some unnamed girl. It goes on wayyy too long and Eric+his girl just keep doing the same four steps over and over, it's really strange. Jack isn't into it though, he's real upset about Shawn moving out, so the girls end up leaving. Eric tells a weird story about a brotherly experience he had with Cory, and even though he admits that it's a dumb story, he also points out that Jack doesn't have any stories like that with Shawn. It sounds like it's supposed to be profound, but it doesn't make any sense in the situation. The only thing it accomplishes is making Jack feel bad about not being close to Shawn, but he's been actively trying to get close to Shawn, so I don't understand this scene.

Meanwhile, Shawn is busy doing this:

Yeah that's believable. This is "south Philly" outside the building where Shawn and Jack used to live with Chet, some time before season 1. Cory shows up saying "I had a feeling you'd be here." No you fucking didn't, Cory. I would've expected him to be at Chubbie's. Or at the trailer. Whatever.

Cory films Shawn (at his request) as he tells the story of writing fifteen letters to Jack when he was about 10 years old. Naturally, Jack walks up behind him at that exact moment saying "I never got any letters."


Apparently Jack's mom threw the letters away before he could ever read them, and Shawn's response is "I don't believe that!" and he tries to storm off again. But Cory stops him this time and directly says "You're not listening to him," which is pretty much spot on. Except the fact that they're all adults and this shouldn't be happening.

So I guess this is the part where Cory chooses his friendship over his documentary. And that's enough to make Shawn realize he's being a dumbass.

During the credits, we get a bunch of Real World style interviews with all the characters, and they're all pretty funny. Even Morgan's. Is this the season? The season where Morgan is funny? Is that possible? That remains to be seen. Either way, I still don't mind Jack after this episode. Shawn is pissing me off more than anybody else right now. This whole thing would have been resolved if he had just listened to Jack in the very beginning. It's like Turner all over again, except he's not a kid anymore.

Plot: 0.25 - The conflict was so forced. Shawn was being absolutely ridiculous, even for Shawn. I'm honestly amazed how patient Jack was with Shawn's bull shit.

Character Development: 1.0 - Shawn wants to get close to Jack now, so that's important.

Humor: 1.0 - Yeah it was actually pretty funny. Eric popped up every once in a while, Morgan and fake Eric were good, Feeny was funny... So that was fine.

Life Lesson: 0 - Don't be like Shawn in this episode. And don't... value a documentary over your friends... I guess...

2.25 out of 4.0 - The problem is sort of similar to the previous episode. They're frontloading this Shack conflict wayyyyy too much. We're not ready for this, it's coming on way too strong. We just met Jack, this is all happening way too soon for us to be invested in it. And Jack's biggest selling point, the fact that he's a buddy for Eric, didn't even come into play in this episode. And for the record, no, this episode does not make me want to watch The Real World.

Thanks for reading, see you Friday. Or Saturday. Who knows, anymore.

All images used under Fair Use.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Episode 5x01 "Brothers"

The new intro is... weird. It's really weird. It's a very significant departure from the first four seasons in that it actually has lyrics. I don't know who did the vocals, but they phoned that shit in, you can't understand a damn word. The characters are all "hanging out" in various locations, pulling pranks on each other, because look how real they are! They're so relatable! It's so in-your-face, I just don't like it. It's weird. And there really wasn't anything interesting for me to do with my logo.

How boring is that shit? If you've got a better idea, lay it on me.

Shawn and Cory are seniors now.

How exactly are they seniors, you ask? Well I have no idea. I had to give up on my timeline theory because the show contradicted itself so many times. Shawn even comments here that they've waited "three whole years" to go through that door behind them, the door to the "Senior Hall". And that just makes me weep for ever having TRIED to make a coherent timeline. THREE YEARS? YOU'RE TELLING ME THEY'VE BEEN AT JOHN ADAMS FOR THREE YEARS? BULL SHIT THEY HAVE.

I also doubt the existence of a Senior Hall, but I'm usually wrong about this stuff. And hey, Eric always walked around the same hall as Cory and Shawn when he was a senior. Ultimately, though, This introductory scene is really exciting to me, it just feels like Boy Meets World, you know? They both look and sound mature, and we're ready to go.

Inside the hall it looks like a Valentine's Day dance, with heart shaped balloons and silver streamers and shit, and the teachers are all swimsuit models. Topanga's being carried around by shirtless Roman gladiators, and Feeny is serving the boys milkshakes and prime rib. But then the fantasy breaks as the first bell rings.

So we're doing a front-to-back shot this season instead of the left-to-right hallway we've grown so fond of. Maybe "Senior Hall" was just an excuse to use a different set.

Surprisingly, that's all they wanted us to see at school. At home, Cory's telling Shawn how great it's going to be to finally have his own room.

So something's gone wrong at college. What a pity. All that work we did with Eric goes right down the drain, he's back to being an irresponsible goof. Apparently he didn't bother to fill out the paperwork for the school's dorms, so now he's here. And Alan doesn't seem to mind, while Amy's pretty pissed off about it. This is actually another character reversal. That speech from Security Guy that Alan made about taking off the kid-gloves in the delivery room when Eric was born? Well those gloves are back on and Alan's babying Eric again. Blargh.

Eric's being a general nuisance to everybody, so Cory decides to spend the next day looking for an apartment for Eric. This is Boy Meets World, so their problem is solved by a quick trip to Chubbie's. A charismatic young man enters the "restaurant" and announces that he is looking for roommates at Pennbrook, because that's what people do. Cory's like "hey, you should meet my brother." But ah hah! Cory's forgotten the first rule of Chubbie's! Everybody always shows up, and in this case it's Shawn.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Jack Hunter, Shawn's half brother who apparently bailed on Shawn and Chet with his mother some number of years ago. I don't really understand how this works though. Chet had Jack with some other woman before Shawn was born, then married Virna and had Shawn. But Jack must have still been around at that point for Shawn to know who he is. But then how can Shawn claim that Jack and his mother bailed on them? How can Shawn even know who Jack's mother is? Unless Chet separated from Virna and lived with Jack, Jack's mother, and Shawn for some time, but that seems ridiculous. To paraphrase, Chet would have to go Jack's mother -> Virna -> Jack's mother -> Virna for Shawn to be saying the things he's saying.

Jack is played by Matthew Lawrence. Matt's career was basically done after Boy Meets World, but he was actually on a lot of shows before that, including 53 episodes as the lead role of "Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad", which is obviously a masterpiece of our times. I'm probably going to go watch it after I finish writing this. Holy shit, Tim Curry was on that show too. What the fuck is this thing? Now I really do have to watch it.

And there's nothing wrong with Matt, he's a fine actor, he's easy to watch, but he's a lot like Eli in that the producers want us to care a lot about Jack's relationship with Shawn right away, but we just don't.

Back at home, Amy is looking to Mr. Feeny for advice about Eric, and she gets a little heated.

It's BS too, you're not allowed to yell at Mister Feeny, who does she think she is. She doesn't need his help anyway as she works out on her own that Alan and Eric are best buds so Alan can't bring himself to kick Eric out of the nest. Yeah, duh. But again, we solved that back in season 4. I like that they're trying to include Amy though.

Meanwhile, Jack shows up at Chet's trailer to try to reconcile. I don't know why Shawn is so upset, it's not like Jack chose to walk out on them. Either way, damn I love Chet. He's real excited to see his son again, and it's honestly ADORABLE.

As you can see, Shawn is not 100% in love with this idea. Jack hits the road cuz Shawn is being stubborn, and Chet hands him a jacket from the rack saying it's "going to be a cold one tonight", which is, again, ADORABLE. Chet loves his sons.

Shawn is still being stubborn though and refuses to leave. 

Eric and Cory show up at Jack's place to check everything out and see if Eric would be a good fit as Jack's roomie. They're hitting it off pretty well, and they seem really comfortable with each other, even if Eric doesn't like the color of the refrigerator. 

So everyone on this show is being stubborn today. Eric may not be the responsible adult we saw at the end of season 4, but he is definitely still hilarious. 

At home, Amy reads her husband the Riot Act. He proceeds outside to tell Eric that he has to move out, because it's part of growing up, even though it's hard to let go of his son. Cory and Shawn are out there while it happens, and Shawn is now able to understand why his father was trying to "kick him out". So yeah, it's one of those neat little parallels where the two storylines intersect for a mutual life lesson. 

So we can see how far Chet has come since he ditched Shawn back at the end of season 2. Great stuff. There' s a little scene where Eric and Shawn are moving into Jack's apartment, and Chet gives them the toaster he's been trying to fix this whole episode. It really is the sweetest thing. 

Plot: 1.0 - There was a lot going on! We had the Amy -> Alan dynamic, the Alan -> Eric dynamic, and the Chet-Shawn-Jack triangle. Sometimes the events just flow so easily, and it's so easy to write the reviews for them. I don't know if my writing reflects that, but this is definitely one of those episodes.

Character Development: 1.0 - See that last gif above. Chet is a wonderful character. And we had some good stuff with Alan and Eric, even if we've mostly seen that development before.

Humor: 1.0 - Very funny from start to finish. The show is thoroughly in its "groove" at this point, the humor is so flawlessly intertwined in the plot. And that's how we like it.

Life Lesson: 0.5 - Ehhh, we sort of had the thing about fathers making the hard choice to let go of their sons. 

3.5 out of 4.0. Great episode, great start to the season, except for the atrocious theme song. Seriously what the fuck is that theme song? Also, thanks to an anonymous comment for reminding me about Shawn's other half brother in The Pink Flamingo Kid. I think my deduction on that one was that he's Virna's son with some other dude, probably some other guy in the trailer park, so in fact that guy and Jack wouldn't be related, but that's total speculation. And Shawn also had a sister for one episode, back in the first season. It's crazy how this show can be so good while also being so inconsistent.

Thanks for reading! See you Wednesday. 

All images used under Fair Use.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Episode 4x22 "Learning To Fly"

Regarding Girl Meets World, I really hope this whole "OH IM SO AWKWARD AROUND LUCAS" thing doesn't last much longer. 

Okay so Eric has been accepted to Beach State University, and is taking Cory, Shawn, and Topanga with him to visit the campus because he doesn't have any friends.

Gee, it's almost as if his long-time father figure isn't knocking on death's door. You might almost think that everyone on the show has completely forgotten about it.

But yeah, clearly Beach State is no Harvard. And Feeny says as much to Eric in the backyard. As usual, Feeny thinks Eric is taking the easy way out with Beach State, and tells him to give serious consideration to Pennbrook, a fictional school that's actually worth a damn. The Feenster goes back inside, leaving Eric with "I know you'll do the right thing." That's sweet, but we already dealt with this "easy way out" stuff more than once. Oh well.

Topanga shows up and tells Cory she can't go, since her aunt allegedly doesn't want them together overnight without supervision. And thinking back, that does match what little we know about Topanga's aunt from Long Walk part 2. Cory's pretty upset, and goes so far as to mispronounce "kibosh". It's pretty clear that Cory wanted to have sex with his girlfriend on this trip, and it's not entirely clear how Topscotch feels about that, but she walks away without saying anything.

Apparently Eric has a female friend at Beach State and the three boys will be staying in her room at a sorority house. But the... I don't know... house mistress..? has very strict rules against boys being in the house, so it's time for stealth. She's even got a harsh German accent to drive the whole thing home.

This is a pretty fantastic running joke. Shawn does that a few more times, where he knows what someone else is gonna say, it's pretty funny. The girl is named Julie, played by Brigitta Dau, and she hasn't done anything else worth mentioning.

So Eric and Julie go to "windsurf around campus", leaving Shawn and Cory to fend for themselves. They're just sort of hanging out for like 10 seconds when Julie's roommate, Mary Beth, comes home. She was supposed to be at her boyfriend's this weekend, but apparently something's gone wrong. The introductions are a bit rocky.

Mary Beth is played by Lisa Dean Ryan, who was on 48 episodes of Doogie Howser, which I guess is significant. Shawn (because of his dream) explains that Mary Beth has just broken up with her boyfriend. Cory is kind and sympathetic toward her, which immediately sets off those Rebound Hormones in her brain. Meanwhile, Julie is showing Eric the "rec room", and Eric's starting to wonder if there's any actual learning going on at this school.

That couple are just sitting there sort of rocking back and forth on each other's necks for the entire scene, it's really awkward to look at, and must have been even more awkward to act out. I love this dude with the sunglasses though, and his bottle simply labeled "Beer". This is cool though, this is definitely not the same Eric that started out the season. He's realizing on his own that getting a degree here would be a waste of time. Good for him.

Back at the sorority, Cory and Shawn are still in the room for some reason, watching Mary Beth throw the mementos of her recently-broken relationship out the window toward a very very fake and not-moving sepia tone beach.

Also, it kinda looks like Shawn is wearing black nail polish in this episode, and I forget where I saw this, but Rider said he slammed his finger in a door the day they filmed this, and that's why it looks like this. Fun fact.

May Beth kicks Shawn out of the room so she can seduce underage Cory in private. She goes into the bathroom and shouts about how awful men are, and Cory vents his frustration about Topanga bailing on him, and then Mary Beth re emerges. 

I don't think this would work on me. No woman has ever used an oversized football jersey in an attempt to seduce me, and I hope it never happens. Who the hell wrote that? "Dude bro what if a girl was like, into sports like us dude?" I don't know. Whatever.

She is goin HAM on this one, lighting candles and shit. Like, you can't mix sensual candles with a football jersey, those are two very different kinds of sex. Mary Beth puts on some porno music and Cory tries to bail, but the grungy German house mistress mother person is vacuuming right outside the door. MB's got her game face on now, but Cory insists that he has a girlfriend, and decides to prove it by calling her on the phone. Topanga's aunt picks up, and through some convenient dialogue, we learn that Topanga never even asked her aunt about going on the trip. So she's a big fat liar. 

Noting Cory's new vulnerability, Mary Beth tries once again to take advantage of him, and then she goes to take a shower. 

She is completely dry after her shower, as you can see, and also has some sort of something covering her cleavage. Overt sexual dialogue? Absolutely fine. Cleavage? THINK OF THE CHILDREN. And apparently she'll be going through her entire wardrobe this evening.

I don't know, there hasn't been much to review since that scene with Eric. It's mostly just Mary Beth trying to seduce Cory. 

This episode wasn't written by the same guy who wrote the wrestling episode, 2x21, so I'm not sure if that's a throwback or just a coincidence. I hope it's a throwback.

Eric walks in on the proceedings and Cory asks MB for a minute alone with his brother. This is a real treat as Eric treats Cory like a mature adult, and doesn't try to scold him or talk down to him or anything. Basically like "Topanga is worth waiting for, but you can make your own decisions." Cory quickly turns that around on Eric, saying that Beach State is the easy way out, and that he'll quickly regret going to school here. It's a neat parallel, that they're both being faced with an easy "sure thing" that would ruin the work they've put into more valuable but less certain alternatives. We also learn that Eric never went to his interview for Pennbrook because he got scared. 

That is a great question Eric. A wonderful question. Mary Beth walks back in the room just then and Cory officially, explicitly turns her down, setting an example for Eric to follow. He does indeed follow, saying "Let's go." You gotta love the sincere moments of brotherhood on this show. Or maybe it's just Eric in general. Either way, Eric has finally chosen to bypass the easy route without pressure from his parents or Mr. Feeny. 

After some stock footage of a college campus, we're inside the Dean's office at Pennbrook. Eric wants another interview (since he missed the original one), but the Dean doesn't want to play ball. This is one of those scenes where you can see the microphone at the top of the shot for a split second.

Eric isn't taking no for answer, and it's honestly pretty amazing. It's a great scene, lots of emotion and "wow, Eric's really grown up". He talks about how Pennbrook will push him to reach his potential, and that if they don't accept him then the school "isn't living up to its potential." That really is a great line.

At the Matthews house, Cory and Topanga are discussing the fact that she blatantly lied to his face, but neither of them is really making a big deal out of it, which is weird. But Topanga explains that she didn't trust herself not to jump Cory's bones during the trip, which is a wonderfully refreshing take on teenage sexuality. The girl is having sexual urges?! THINK OF THE CHILDREN. So yeah, it's a cool scene. Except when you remember that she was ready to run away from home to spend the rest of her life with Cory, but is not ready for sex. Not being ready for sex is totally fine, I just think running away from your parents should come after being ready to take your clothes off.

 During the credits, Eric is opening a letter from Pennbrook with friends and family eagerly looking on. You really have to watch the scene for the full effect, but he's finally done it. Eric got in to a good college. The (in my opinion) best character arc in the series has reached its glorious, teary eyed conclusion. 

Plot: 0.75 - I really liked the foundation. Having Eric and Cory face similar trials of temptation and persevering. The problem is that it dragged on a lot during the middle. I mean how many times did Mary Beth change outfits? Good otherwise, though.

Character Development: 1.0 - Eric got into college! What an amazing ride it's been, from doing Feeny's gardening in 2x23 all the way up to now. I loved every minute of it.

Humor: 0.75 - Lots of seriousness in this episode, but the few jokes it did have were great. Shawn especially was very funny.

Life Lesson: 1.0 - Once again we've learned to try to avoid the easy way out. Cory and Eric both stood up to the temptation of a "sure thing" in favor of something worth working for.

3.5 out of 4.0. - The ending alone makes this episode a must-watch. But the whole ride is a lot of fun. The scene with the Dean of Admissions at Pennbrook is outstanding.

That's another season down. I want to thank everyone for all the love and support. The reviews this season have been consistently hovering around 150 unique readers, which is awesome. I'm going to take the rest of the week off, and then come back next Monday with a new title animation for season 5. Thanks again!

All images used under Fair Use.