I decided not to bother with a season 2 recap.
So, unsurprisingly, we have a new opening.
It’s just Cory, Shawn, and Eric, hanging out at Chubbie’s, with an electric guitar playing random riffs.
Cory has fully entered the throes of puberty. His voice has dropped pretty significantly from when we last heard him speak, and apparently he smells – although the smell is too much cologne, and not B.O. He’s also about the same height as Shawn now.
Cory is excited and nervous, because today is the day Topanga gets back from her summer trip, and Cory is going to finally ask her to be his girlfriend. If you’ll recall, Cory and Topanga had a couple of date-type things last season… but Topanga was only in like 5 episodes total, plus maybe a couple others where she was in one scene. So, while it’s clear the two like each other, and even though I know they’ll end up together in the end, I think we could’ve used some more build-up to Cory wanting Topanga to be his girlfriend. I mean, one and half seasons ago he didn’t want anything to do with her.
Cory doesn’t want to be late to school, and Shawn says that’s no problem for him, since he lives with a teacher now. I remember in an earlier review, questioning why Feeny was somehow leaving later than Cory and Eric, considering teachers usually have to be at school at least one hour before it opens to students. And once again, I have to question why Cory’s worried about being late, when Turner’s still not completely dressed yet.
Well, Cory and Shawn leave for school. Turner asks if Shawn maybe has forgotten something, and Shawn realizes he almost left his backpack behind, and he leaves while still wearing his pajamas and bathrobe.
Cory is wearing boxer shorts. Now, I am a lady-female, so I don’t know a lot about boxers vs briefs. But I’ve seen many shows where the teenage boy feels freedom when he finally gets boxers. I guess I can understand that. But I did hear from someone that it’s better to wear constricting briefs, because it makes spontaneous erections way less noticeable, by sort of containing them more effectively.
…Moving on, Cory spots Topanga, and then freaks out and runs away. Topanga is sporting a delightful mid-nineties tousled hair style, and a denim vest. Cory is intimidated by this show of 90s fashion, however. He missed Topanga over the summer, but he somehow misses her more in person. Shawn encourages him to just go over and ask her out, and Cory tries, but is hindered by the fact that his legs won’t actually move.
I don’t believe I brought this up before, but when people discuss BMW, usually the topic of Eric going from an average guy who isn’t the best at school, to possibly mentally disabled, pops up. There’s a theory that him freaking out so much over the SATs at the end of season 2 just completely messed him up. Remember, he was walking into things, he wore a coat that still had a hanger in it, he ironed his hand… Maybe the SATs were just too much for him, and he never recovered.
So here he is, stapling his sleeve to the bulletin board. Apparently he’s the new president of the film society, because extracurriculars look good on college applications. Eric doesn’t want to have to show the movie “Paint Your Wagon”, a cowboy musical, and wants to show a horror movie instead, but Feeny is adamant. I don’t know why Eric is the president of the film society if he doesn’t have any say in what movies they watch. I’d understand Feeny giving guidelines, like no horror movies, and they aren’t allowed to show R-rated movies schools, but… if Feeny’s just going to pick all the movies anyway, why even bother with a president? And as a side note, my only reference point with “Paint Your Wagon” is the one time they watched it on The Simpsons. It was a few years before I found it was an actual movie, although there’s no song in it that goes “gonna paint our wagon, gonna paint it good”.
Feeny goes on to say that “violent and twisted characters have no place on a school campus.”
Feeny gives them detention for holding a kid upside down and shaking the lunch money out of his pockets.
Cory gets up the courage to go talk to Topanga, who has a giant belt and a rhinestone flower on her denim vest – which may actually be a dress. She’s excited because they’ll in all the same classes again, and Cory says “…yeah I had a nice summer, too.” Then he just leaves.
Back with Shawn – who changed out of his bathrobe because he somehow has a shirt in his locker already – Cory wonders what’s wrong with him. He can talk fine when it’s just him and Shawn, but with Topanga he acts like a sea monkey (his words). The bell rings and Cory and Shawn don’t move, so Turner materializes from nowhere and tells them there’s this new thing this year where there’s this bell that means they have to go to class. I don’t know what his problem was, the bell only rang like 2 seconds before he got on their case about not moving. And then Feeny shows up and tells Turner that if he’s having trouble with Shawn, he should send a note him to himself.
In class, Cory’s still working on asking Topanga out. Topanga’s handing out some papers, and when she gives one to Cory, he says “Hey Topanga” and then instead of asking her out, she thanks for the paper and then salutes her. Shawn tells him to just act naturally, and so he stands up and asks Topanga what’s going on Friday night. She doesn’t know, and Cory says he doesn’t either, and gives her the thumbs up. I have to say, this is actually really cute. Cory hasn’t had that much trouble in asking girls out before, but he really likes Topanga, I guess, and… well, I just think it’s cute that he can’t quite get enough courage to ask her on a date, even when they’ve been on sort-of dates before.
Eric’s putting up another poster for Paint Your Wagon in the cafeteria, and people boo and throw things at him. Joey and Frankie offer to help Eric increase his ticket sales, because apparently no one is going to the film screening. I thought the film society was just a club that met up to watch and discuss films, not a group that charged admission to watch films. Actually, that’s illegal, charging people to watch movies, unless you have permission from the owners and copyright holders and whoever else.
Well, Joey and Frankie have helped out every club at the school, except the Mime Club, because… there’s profit to be had. Eric’s not so sure about letting a little rat like Joey help out. And then Frankie gets stuck in a box.
She just needs a denim hat with a giant flower on it, I think.
Topanga asks Cory what’s up – he’s barely said anything to her all day, and there’s the whole thing with him saluting her. He tries to pass it off like it’s the cool new thing to do, saluting people, but the guy he salutes just gives him a look. Topanga thinks she knows what’s bothering him, though – it’s about Friday night, isn’t it? Cory says that’s it, and he says he was thinking of getting a group together and going to Chubbie’s for a burger, but Topanga interrupts him, and says she’s going with someone else. Maybe I missed something, but I don’t know what the deal with Friday night is. There’s been no mention of an event on Friday night, or why Topanga would be going with someone to it. I think they’re just going about going to see Paint Your Wagon, but that’s only because I vaguely remember them seeing a movie in this episode.
Cory says he totally heard about Topanga going with someone, he must’ve just forgotten, and now he has to… go. Topanga shrugs and leaves, and Cory goes to beat his head against the vending machine.
And then the machine vends out a cola. Cory laments his stupidity and fearfulness – Shawn told him if he waited too long, someone else would come along and ask out Topanga first. Cory just wonders who it was, and Shawn reveals it was him. The audience does not approve.
Yeah, so, this guy is friends with Turner, and is on a job hunt. Then Cory shows up and gets all mad at Shawn for asking Topanga out. Shawn defends himself, saying that Cory never asked Topanga out, so it’s not like they were dating or anything. Eli – Turner’s friend – is on Cory’s side, saying that Shawn clearly violated “The Gentlemen’s Code of Dating” (a prototype of the Bro Code, I suppose) – you don’t ask out a girl your friend likes, or has just broken up with, then he says “Right, John?” And then they get into an argument about some girl.
Shawn still says he didn’t do anything wrong, he just asked out a girl who didn’t have a boyfriend. Then Cory calls Shawn his ex-friend, and makes a dramatic exit, except he walks into a closet, and then leaves with a sweater and goes out through the front door.
Cory asks his mom if she thinks opposites attract. She says yes, and starts to talk about her and Alan, and Cory interrupts, saying “Why did I ask a woman? They only bring ya heartache.” Then Eric comes in, Amy leaves, and Eric makes fun of Cory because the girl he likes is dating his best friend. Eric then dispenses some advice, as Cory is about to leave to confront Topanga. He says, don’t ask a girl directly. She’ll only feel cornered. You should ask her best friend what the girl thinks of you.
So Cory asks Topanga’s best friend Trini out. If you don’t remember Trini, that’s because we have never seen or heard about her before. She’s played by the late Brittany Murphy, who was in a lot of stuff in the 90s. I always thought when she was on this show she looked like a female Shawn. She’s wearing the same sort of long denim vest Topanga had on before, with a giant pink belt, pink polka dot shirt, and hot pink leggings. Like, 90s. Wow.
Cory tries to explain his situation to Trini, but she assumes he’s just trying to ask her out. Before he can explain he isn’t, Shawn and Topanga come in, and then Cory tells her he’s totally actually asking her out.
Enter Eric, Frankie, and Joey. Eric says the whole thing was a bust, no one’s buying tickets. But Frankie and Joey, who are wearing suits and are trying to get Eric to call them Mr. Brown and Mr. Blue, have evidence to the contrary.
And that’s pretty much the entire scene.
At the actual film screening, there’s 6 people in the audience – one couple, and the Mime Club. Feeny tells Eric not to feel too bad that no one showed, and then he leaves because mimes are creepy. I like that Mr. Feeny demanded Eric show Paint Your Wagon, had nothing to do with ticket sales, and then just left before the movie even started. I mean, how easy wold it be to just show a different movie if the only adult is going to leave before it even starts?
After Feeny is safely gone, Eric runs to the back and lets Joey, Frankie, and the crowd in. As it turns out, with all the adult supervision gone, they’re going to switch the film roll for “Texas Gutsuckers V – Leon’s Revenge”.
Cory and Trini nab seats right next to Shawn and Topanga. Shawn puts his arm around Topanga, so Cory does the same with Trini. Shawn eats a bunch of Tic Tacs, and Cory goes in to kiss Trini, who was just blowing a bubble with her chewing gum, so Cory gets a mouth full of gum.
Eric goes on stage to present their special guest – Leon from “Texas Gutsuckers”, however, they are greeted with something far more terrifying.
Everyone scatters, except Cory. Topanga hangs back to have a chat with Cory. She asks what his deal is, and when he says his problem is that Topanga went out with his best friend, Topanga points out that he went out with her best friend. Cory says it was just to make her… he doesn’t finish and tries to leave, but Topanga yells at him about why he can’t just talk to her. Cory yells that he’s tried. It’s easy in his head, and all summer long he had no trouble “saying it” to imaginary Topanga. She asks him what exactly he’s been trying to say, but he can’t say it now, not in front of all these… empty chairs.
Topanga doesn’t get it. They’ve been friends their whole lives, they’ve always been able to talk. But Cory says that’s just the problem. I’m only more confused by what he means now. But Cory says “If I had to dream up the perfect woman, she wouldn’t even come close to you. Would you be my girlfriend?” And then she kisses him.
Then Cory asks “Yes or no?” and she kisses him again.
During the credits, Shawn and Trini arrive, applauding. It turns out this whole thing was just a set-up. Cory thanks Shawn for doing this, and then Cory and Topanga kiss again.
If Topanga knew the whole time, why didn’t she just ask him out? In that Turnaround Dance episode, she was obviously against the societal standard that a guy has to be the one to ask out a girl all the rest of the time, and girls can only ask out guys during special occasions, so why could Topanga just ask out Cory and let Cory get his words out when he was ready? Well, we’ll never know. I’m pretty sure from this point on, Topanga is in every episode, or at lest most of them. Trini is only in a few more episodes, though.
And finally, this episode was dedicated to the memory of Arlene Grayson, who was a producer on this show and “My Two Dads”, and some show called “The Torkelsons.”
Shirts – 12
Shirts/jackets – 11
Overalls – 2
I didn’t count any denim pants, because those haven’t gone wildly out of style.