Photo: Ron Tom / Disney Channel

Girl Meets Purple

The kids step up to save art class, but who will save Riley's soon-to-be broken heart?

Superintendent Turner (Anthony Tyler Quinn is back!) and the school board announce cuts that eliminate art classes, so naturally everyone freaks out because art is the only thing Maya is good at! That's sort of mean, sort of true, and sort of a wonderful setup for some of Rowan Blanchard's dancing. The use of purple (the color that mixes the wise intelligence of blue and the love of red!) feels particularly symbolic -- or not; this is the Disney channel.

Educating Miss Matthews

7

Fairly high marks this week since (a) it sees the return of Ms. Kossal's art class, and (b) Cory's lesson on the Dark Ages has actual, obvious, so-clear-it-practically-smackles-you-in-the-face relevance. It's interesting to see Riley flat-out call out Ms. Kossal's favoring of Maya, but it's also sort of rude that Ms. Kossal tried to hide all of the purple paint from her. I know a few people who would pay good money for that cat painting.

Also, I'm a sucker for a good Guernica reference, and the school board meeting reeks of the antics that Cory/Shawn/Eric/Topanga would pull back in their day. Farkle's performance, "A List Of Prime Numbers," is particularly inspired.

Callbacks & Easter Eggs

8

No wonder Riley's such a talented interpretive dancer. Every time you're not true to yourself, the Earth weeps.

Middle School Feels

5

What the what is going on Riley-Lucas-Maya? As if last week's weird "Riley sees Lucas as a brother while Lucas throws pining looks in her direction" wasn't enough, now Charlie's vanished, and Lucas is giving Maya compliments with a straight, adoring face while Riley looks on, panicked. It's a triangle that's going to be unfortunate, no matter which way it goes. Up to this point, the writers have done an admirable job of both promoting a solid female friendship with Riley and Maya, and advancing #Rucas as an exemplarily teenaged friendship-with-possibilities, with both relationships based on mutual respect. To reduce all that for the sake of eye-rolling, predicable drama is maddening.

Girl Meets Meta

8

Between his casually sudden reappearance and penchant for nonchalantly ruining Lucas's game (he called Maya a "blonde beauty"?!), Zey breaks hearts with his narrating of the obvious ("now they're just looking at each other, not saying anything," "no sacrifice too big for her friends"). It's hilariously over-the-top, especially when the camera cuts to Riley's reaction face. Yet, for all that, this is probably the episode with the best under-the-surface storytelling. Never change, Zey.

Satirical Style

6

Riley's denim jumpsuit gives off all sorts of amazing '70s-throwback vibes, Farkle's E=MC2 tee is perfectly appropriate for his new image, and Maya's hair waves are perfectly on point, but -- and I say this as a fellow short stack of pancakes -- she/the wardrobe department should know better than to try rolled cuffed jeans with booties, since it visually shortens her leg length. Also, Ms. Kossal's maxi dress and kimono outfit was cute the first time, but there was no need to repeat the exact outfit in different colors latter on.

New York Living

2

Cory's promise to move to Brooklyn if Riley brings home another cat painting is nothing more than an empty threat; contrary to it's popular stroller-friendly reputation, Park Slope is really (over)run by feral cats.

Window Seat Revelations

5

We're heading to a heart-breaking Maya-Riley re: Lucas convo soon, aren't we?

Cheesy Dialogue Filled With Truth Bombs

8

"I'm a happy artist. This is why I stink." - Riley

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