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Girl Meets World - Girl Meets High School Part II - Review



Now that’s more like it.

Though by no means a perfect outing, “Girl Meets High School Part II” is a fascinating object lesson in how Part I should have gone. In fact, Part II arguably indicates that perhaps the biggest problem with Part I is that the two were separated in the first place. Where Part I felt formless and frustrating, with platitudes circling each other in an endless loop, Part II is a perfectly fine story. We have direction—the gang, rather than simply talking about feeling out of sorts, are out of sorts, put into various positions where their expectations for high school are not met. We have world-building—supporting characters and specific cliques, even if the jokes don’t particularly land.

Unfortunately though, we still have a decent bit confusion in the lesson land. The final ending idea, that the gang can stand through anything together, is perfectly valid. I wouldn’t expect anything less, and it is a satisfying final shot to watch them cling to each other as the chaos of high school hits them on all sides. But the journey to that idea is strangely convoluted—in ways I’m still puzzling over a day later. Judging by Part II, the seniors were always trying to unite the group and make them stronger. Assuming that they might fall apart later due to the pressures of high school, they broke the gang up in a safe, protected manner, hoping that they would realize on their own while the cracks were superficial that it was best to stay together.

Why The Hole specifically would achieve that is never really explained however. nor is what felt like a 180 degree turn in the argument from last episode. Yes, Lucas and the others were arguing for ignoring the command, while Riley was a staunch supporter of listening to the universe, but at the heart of the matter was the question of whether the universe was taking care of them. Lucas and Zay adamantly charging into the locker room, certain they would be treated like kings, while Farkle and Smackle look to dominate over the braniacs, might make for a more interesting episode but it also seems like an only vaguely related conflict. It’s an easier conflict, of course, and one that lets Riley off the hook (someone please do correct me if I’m wrong, but fairly sure Riley never once apologizes for telling Lucas he has no shot at the football team)—but it’s a tangential one nonetheless.

Which brings us back to the central issue: Most of Part II’s weaknesses stem from Part I. For example, as an independent scene, the seniors appearing at the bay window is fine. On the nose, perhaps, but that’s on par for the show. As a continuation, however, it seems like a strange moment—we already know the seniors are trying to do right by them. We just learned that Friday. The only novelty in the beat is discovering that the seniors have a triangle of their own going on, and while it’s satisfying to hear someone yell that they really need to just pick already, it hardly gets us any closer to that decision.

Maybe that’s why, once again, Auggie and Ava take home the prize for the night. Their story is simple: Ava is upset due to her parents’ separation, and Auggie attempts to cheer her up. But with a simple story comes a simple, character-derived solution and a simple arc. First Auggie tries an imaginary friend. Then, when that fails, he asks for help. But the important thing is that he’s caring to try, and ultimately, standing with her is all he needs to do.

But don’t mind me—how is everyone feeling about season three? Let it all out in the comments.

About the Author - Sarah Batista-Pereira
An aspiring screenwriter and current nitpicker, Sarah likes long walks not on the beach, character-driven storytelling, drama-comedy balancing acts, Oxford commas, and not doing biographies. She is the current reviewer for Girl Meets World.

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