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'Girl Meets World' fan recap: No moose, but squirrel

Season 2 | Episode 5 | “Girl Meets Mr. Squirrels” | Aired May 15, 2015

The wait is finally over, Girl Meets World fans! Eric Matthews finally dropped by the show, but it took a BIG fight between Riley and Maya to get him there. And if it couldn’t get any better, Plays With Squirrels even made an appearance. (Looks like we have the answer to the age old question: “War, what is it good for?” Bringing Eric Matthews back into our lives, that’s what.)

Riley and Maya’s big spat begins when Riley doesn’t stick up for Maya—or say anything—when Lucas calls her “a short stack of pancakes,” in retaliation for all the times she’s called him “Ranger Rick” and “Huckleberry.” Riley argues that Lucas isn’t wrong, but Maya thinks that her best friend should have had her back regardless of who was right or wrong.

Things get so bad that the usually-thick-as-thieves BFFs declare that they won’t talk to each other during class (though they fail at this), with Maya going so far as to try to sit anywhere else. Lucas feels bad, telling Maya that her fight is with him, but she insists that it’s Riley who should apologize.

Worried about the girls’ friendship, Cory calls in the big guns—none other than Eric Matthews himself! As we soon learn, Eric has become mayor (!) of St. Upid Town after a landslide vote—there was a landslide, then everyone left alive voted for him—and he cares about people’s issues. Topanga doubts if he’ll be able to fix it, but Cory insists that Eric can do the impossible. Ben Savage’s delivery here is particularly effective as he conveys that even after all these years, Cory still believes that his big brother can step in and fix things.

But while Eric’s first attempt to mediate isn’t entirely successful, he does get Maya to open up about why what Lucas said really bothered her. Turns out Maya’s concerned about being short because she’s worried she won’t grow any more. Hearing this, Eric tries to “grow” Maya and “shrink” Riley, which obviously doesn’t work.

With the matter not entirely resolved, Cory brings Eric with him to school the next day. For his part, the older Matthews has all the students gather in the hallway. He asks Lucas what prompted him to call Maya short and Lucas explains that it’s because she always calls him names. However as Maya explains, the real issue here is not that Lucas called her a name, but that Riley didn’t stand up for her. She’d never really felt short until she saw that’s what her best friend might think of her.

To drive her point home, Maya tells Riley that everyone thinks she’s a klutz, even falling over to prove it. At first Riley can’t believe it, but when everyone confirms it, she feels hurt. She asks why no one laughs at her, and Maya answers that she’d never let anyone. (“Hey. No one laughs at her but me.”) Thinking everything is fixed, Cory is ready to celebrate, but Eric stops him and says they need to go deeper.

Eric’s right, because soon, the rest of Riley’s friends join her on the ground, admitting their secret insecurities. Farkle’s dreams of world domination come from feeling small and squeaky, Zay has a flat butt (which Lucas point out), and Lucas … well, he’s almost freakishly perfect, which even he admits to. So at the end of the day, the real problem is puberty and self-image issues.


Later at home, Topanga attempts to make Riley and Maya feel better about the way they look, by telling them that it’s what they do that counts. Maya doesn’t buy this because Topanga is a “brilliant, strong, Amazon warrior.” Topanga points out that they’re actually the same height, thus reassuring the young girl that her short stature is in no way an impediment to her.

Having fixed Riley and Maya’s friendship, Eric dons his Plays With Squirrels get-up and prepares to leave. But not without planting the idea that Eric Matthews could one day become the President of the United States, along with one last funny exchange with “Pangers.”

Topanga: I owe you an apology Eric. People who underestimate you are making a big mistake. Cory was right to have faith in you. You really are a mature, normal human being.
Eric: I am not!

The whole episode serves as a great reminder of not only Eric Matthews’s best qualities, but also what a funny actor Will Friedle can be—he did give us the Feeny call. It was especially nice to see Cory and Eric’s relationship paralleled with that of Riley and Maya’s, with Eric being grateful that his younger brother believes in his abilities enough to call him for help. It’s obvious when we see Cory’s expression that there’s no way he wouldn’t have called. Between Cory’s idealism and Eric’s understanding of people, Mr. and Mrs. Matthews have raised themselves some pretty great kids.

Girl Meets World Meets Observations:

  • Zay’s back, and it seems like he’s slowly transitioning into the core group of friends.
  • Riley totally gets her wackiness from her uncle.
  • I’m going to assume the mascot of St. Upid Town is the squirrel.
  • “Lose one friend. Lose all friends. Lose yourself.” Nice to hear Eric say it.
  • Morgan is the only Matthews family member left to make an appearance on the show.
  • I would totally watch a spin-off about Eric Matthews running for President of the United States.
  • Is it just me, or could Maya have been upset by Lucas’s comment because she has a bit of a crush on him? (And vice versa.) Their whole exchange—coupled with a few of Maya’s comments over the past few nights—seems to suggest this. Not to mention the fact that Lucas never really answered why he lets Maya get away with teasing him as much as she does.

How about you? What did you think of Eric Matthews’s return? Was it everything you thought it would be? 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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