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'Girl Meets World' fan recap: Ranger danger

Season 2 | Episode 3 | “Girl Meets the Secret of Life” | Aired May 13, 2015

Of all the classes, in all the schools, in all the world, Zay Babineaux had to walk into Cory’s. And because this is Girl Meets World, he doesn’t come empty-handed. Turns out the newest kid in school brought along some baggage—and all of it belongs to Lucas. This means we finally discover just what it is that brought Ranger Rick out to the not-so-wild East Coast.

The episode starts out in Cory’s classroom, and it looks like we might actually learn what happened in Belgium in 1831. Clearly this is turning into a running gag, but at this point even want to know. (Yes, I could just Google it. But I refuse to be deprived of a heartfelt learning moment that is also connected to Cory’s life.) But despite Farkle’s best efforts to get an education, the lesson is interrupted again when Lucas’s best friend from Texas, Zay, saunters into Cory’s class and drops a big ol’ bomb: Ranger Rick wasn’t always such an upstanding guy. In fact, he was expelled from their last school.

This sends Riley into a tailspin wherein she questions their friendship and the trust she’d placed in him, even though both Lucas and Maya try to convince her otherwise. Even Cory doesn’t escape Riley’s anger when she asks why he didn’t tell her, even though he knew. (He was probably too busy freaking out that his daughter was growing up to actually focus on anything else.) In any case, he urges her to have an open mind and accept that Lucas made a mistake and can change.

In order to drive his lesson home, Cory assigns his class a math problem to solve. They have to figure out how long it takes a couple of friends to wash a car together. He even specifically says that Riley and Lucas must work together. When the gang, and Zay, get together and try to complete the assignment, it quickly devolves into a water fight that eventually ends with Riley forgiving Lucas.

The next day in class, Cory reveals that despite Farkle having worked one out on paper, there is no real answer to the question he posed. Rather, he’d wanted them to learn that “learning from the people you care about is more important than any words on a page” and that “people change people.” Thus answering the question of the secret of life.

Unfortunately, Zay misses this lesson because he’s too busy skipping class and antagonizing a guy who really doesn’t want to be his friend. When he gets into trouble he calls out for Lucas, prompting Ranger Rick to come to his friend’s rescue. As he confronts the much bigger and clearly older bully—with Riley, Maya, Farkle, and Cory watching from a distance—Lucas reveals a much darker, Liam Neeson-ish side of himself as he threatens the other guy. It’s a nice reminder of his short temper (which we’ve only had a glimpse of), and it makes Riley’s exclamation of “He wants to be a veterinarian!” all the more hilarious.

Having dispatched the bully with nothing but the power of words, Lucas checks in with his best friend, who tells him he missed knowing he had someone who’d have his back and get him out of trouble. At his words, Lucas tells him that while he missed his friend too, he doesn’t want to be that guy anymore, causing Zay to finally accept that his old friend may have changed. Pals again, they walk off—presumably back to class.

Of all the characters on the series, Lucas has had the least need to grow as a character. He pretty much started out as a prince on a white horse (or a cute boy on a subway seat), so it was great to have a completely Lucas-centric episode that not only delved into his backstory, but made him a much more flawed—and therefore inherently more interesting—person. If anything, it kind of explains why he’s always focused on doing the right thing and playing the “moral compass” for his trio of friends. Though I do hope this darker side makes an appearance in the future.

More than that, this show can’t just be about Riley’s growth as a person, we need to see the people who surround her develop, as well. And so far the show has done a good job with that. We’ve seen Farkle question his self-confidence and Maya grapple with her abandonment issues, while Cory learned to appreciate what Topanga does for their family and Topanga worked to find a balance between her job and her ideals. It was about time Lucas got in on the personal-growth train.

Speaking of learning lessons, I love that Cory explained that his penchant for letting his four favorite students interrupt class with full-blown discussions about their private lives comes from a desire for them to learn from each other. While he might never live up to Mr. Feeny, he is doing the best he can to help them become better people, something that even Maya, his biggest critic, recognizes. This just makes me doubly excited for her to actually meet the old man. Thankfully, that’s tomorrow night!

Girl Meets World Meets Observations:

  • Even though Zay has transferred to John Quincy Adams, I doubt he’ll be joining our core four with their adventures. He’ll probably fade into the background, where he’ll hang out with last season’s Rebel Kid. It’s a shame, because he makes Lucas more interesting.
  • Tonight’s episode was meta in a much more subtle way than the last two nights. I hope we keep it at this level going forward.
  • Considering this show’s love of commenting on itself, it’s funny no one mentioned the campaign video Riley and Maya made last season—especially since they contacted two of Lucas’s old friends (neither of which were Zay) for it.
  • I love you Cory, but no one deserves math homework from a history class. Even if you aren’t supposed to get an actual answer.
  • I’m glad someone finally brought up how much older Lucas looks compared to his classmates.

So what’s up Girl Meets World fans? How did you feel about this new side of Lucas? Excited for tomorrow’s big episode? Drop a comment down below!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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