Boy Meets World – 102 “On the Fence”

We begin with an exterior shot of the school.

I think it’s a slightly different shot from the one in the first episode.

We join Cory and friends at… lunch, I guess. They spend an awful lot of time in the cafeteria, it’s hard to tell. Crazy-shirt-kid has been replaced by partly-shaved-head kid.

Cory, Shawn, and that kid have a conversation about what superhero they’d want as their dad. Shaved-head kid wants Batman as his dad because Batman has awesome gadgets and the coolest car ever. Shawn says Batman already has Robin and has no room for the likes of him. Batman does actually have a son. And on some Earths, a daughter.

Cory scoffs at the choice of Batman in a father. He’d rather have Superman, because Superman is faster than a speeding bullet and whatnot. Shawn shoots down this choice in a father as well, with the reasoning that Superman can see through walls so you’d never get away with anything. Shawn has a point, but he’s kind of being a killjoy. Perhaps this has to do with his own father issues that we’ll learn about later. Well probably not.

Anyway, I’m very disappointed that Shawn doesn’t have chocolate milk with him in this scene. I was hoping that would become a thing.

Shawn pulls out a big water gun and sprays Resident Nerd Minkus in the back of the head. Minkus is quietly reading, and doesn’t even react. At least, not until partly-shaved-head kid sprays him with an even bigger gun. Then Minkus pulls out the biggest water gun I’ve ever seen, which he had stashed in his trombone case.

Also it seems that Shawn is drinking regular milk, which is way lame.

So Minkus and that other kid have a stand-off, the other kid gives up, and Minkus takes his water gun, trombone case, and book, and leaves. I wonder where his trombone is. Or if he just bought a trombone case specifically to sneak his water gun into school.

Where’s the faculty in this scene, anyway? Maybe school security was more lax in 1993, but it seems like someone should’ve been monitoring the cafeteria.

Cory scoffs at the prospect of a water gun and goes to fill up a water balloon. He turns to find the whole cafeteria pointing water guns at him. You know, I grew up in Florida in the 90s and I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t find a big group of kids like that, all with waterguns that big.

Er, anyway, they all spray Cory, and Mr. Feeny comes up, and… I guess he thinks the wetness around Cory is due to him screwing with the drinking fountain. The joke isn’t entirely clear.

Back at Cory’s house, he starts schmoozing his mom to get her to buy him a watergun. She’s fine with it, until she sees the one he wants is $50. Holy crap, $50 is a lot of money for a watergun. Toys R Us’s most expensive one right now is $39.99

It’s sort of weird that there’s an entire catalog dedicated exclusively to water guns, too. Was that really a thing they had then?

Cory’s dad comes back from fixing the boys’ bathroom and Cory tries to get him to buy the water gun. His dad says maybe they’ll get it for him for Christmas. Cory says sarcastically that having a squirt gun in December means he can be the boy spreading pneumonia, but for one, no one would foresee a water gun attack in December, and two, if he gives everyone pneumonia, he’d definitely have the best water gun in class, with everyone out sick or dying.

…On a lighter note, Cory goes upstairs to kvetch at Eric about their parents. Eric has some fancy watch he’s trying to set. Cory asks about their parents letting Eric buy it, and he says since it’s his money, they told him he could spend it however he wants. I seem to recall almost the exact same line being said in the first episode. Maybe Eric being able to spend money however he wants will be a recurring theme in the show.

Cory tries to get Eric to buy him the water gun. Eric shoots him down and makes his watch blink 12:00 instead.

The Matthews family has a gigantic front yard.

Funny how many people come in through the back door. What is that about sitcoms, anyway? Most of them have a front and back door, stairs in the living room and kitchen, and everyone always uses the back door to enter the house rather than the front. I think most people besides Shawn and Topanga usually used the front door on this show, though…

Cory’s dad is downstairs fixing the sink and asks if he can have Eric’s job. Mr. Matthews says no, and that Cory should enjoy his time as a kid rather than getting a job. It’s sort of interesting, Cory wants a job so he can get money to buy a toy so he can enjoy his youth, but his dad just wants him to enjoy his youth, but Cory doesn’t think he can do that without the money to buy that water gun. You’d think we’d learn a lesson about not needing tons of money to enjoy ourselves in this episode, but… nope.

Cory goes outside to ask Mr. Feeny, who is gardening, if he can shovel his snow this winter, and asks for a $50 advance. Feeny understandably says no.

Cory also calls Edgar Allen Poe a major freakoid, which Feeny basically agrees with, after Feeny mentions grading his class’s essays on The Raven.

Feeny does offer Cory money to paint his shutters, however. Feeny was offering him $80, but the way he phrased it and Cory not being the brightest 11-year-old thinks he’s getting $58 for it, and Feeny does not correct him. The audience applauds Feeny’s craftiness.

Cory is proud of his work. He also says he put three coats on. I know he used spray paint or an air brush or whatever, but I think three coats for that many shutters deserves a bit more than 80 or 58 dollars. But I think everything over $1 is too expensive, and this was made in 1993, so maybe I just have a warped sense of a fair price.

Cory’s dad picks up a shutter to inspect it, and…

…whoops.

Cory says of his blunder that he’s a “kidiot” after his parents say he’s not an idiot, he’s just a kid.

Cory’s friends show up, ready for “water war” action. Minkus is dressed as a wharf fisherman.

Cory tries to convince his friends that painting is way fun. Minkus is the only one who gets the literary allusion to Tom Sawyer, being the only one who read the summer reading list.

Cory offers to pay his friends the $7 he has left over from buying his water gun to help him, and they agree. Cory has great friends. I don’t know that I’d take a third of $7 to paint a fence when I could be out doing something fun.

And apparently his friends agree with me, because they decide to leave after Cory flips them some attitude.

Then Feeny comes out of his house and complains that a drip of paint is on his side of the fence, and wants Cory to paint his side of the fence because the dripped paint isn’t exactly the same color. Cory then dies.

Cory gives a rundown of his past two days, all the painting and buying and earning, and says that he owes $8. Cory’s dad welcomes him to adulthood. Cory’s dad then encourages him to go to the Water War and stay 11 years old as long as he can. Cory happily skips away.

He comes back later, dripping wet and brimming with energy, to find Eric completely exhausted from his job as a bag boy. Eric wonders how their dad can do it all – working a full-time job, taking care of kids, and doing all that stuff around the house. Cory says it’s because their dad is Superman, and we come full-circle to the beginning of the episode.

Later at dinner, Cory says the dad – who I remember is named Alan – works too hard and sprays him with a water gun. He then reveals that he traded his big water gun for two smaller ones, and his dad got one. So then Alan and Cory attack everyone else, and the four oldest Matthews run into the backyard, leaving Morgan stranded on the kitchen counter. She helps herself to a cookie.

Right before the credits, Morgan calls the police to report that her family is fighting and she’s stuck. They get some of Mr. Feeny’s plants wet, and Morgan reports that her family shot the neighbor. The episode ends with Morgan asking what their home address is. I sure hope they got that sorted out before a police car and an ambulance showed up.

What is up with Morgan’s pants?

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