Browse the Garden

Monday, August 29, 2016

Barry the Farkle Bear: A Girl Meets World Theory

On the most recent episode of Girl Meets World, Maya wants something, Riley loses something and Cory loves tacos. 
Crazy right? Well, considering the writers are clever, and they often add allusion to other pieces of literature, films and use symbolism to tell a "behind the scenes" story this episode took the cake!

We start with Maya and Riley preparing for the big day at Pacos Tacos. Maya is really excited about those tacos, and she really wants Bobbi the Bobblehead. Riley promises that there won't be any "stops in Rileytown". She cuddles Barry the Bear before going to sleep, but when she wakes up, the bear is gone!
As Maya mourns the delay in getting The Bobblehead, Riley mourns the loss of Barry. 
Boy was this symbolic. 
Just a few episodes ago, Maya gave up something and Riley replaced someone in her life. 
This all goes back to the dreaded Ski Lodge where it all went terribly wrong. 
 Maya tells Lucas, who she likes, to go to Riley and tell her that he loves her. (He doesn't tell her that by the way.)
Lucas and Riley promise to have important talks and be officially together. But Riley has replaced someone that she actually has important talks with. 
Farkle, who has been there for her since childhood. 
Zay asks Farkle and Lucas why they switched characters in this episode. The exact opposite of subtle. 

I'm convinced that the bear Riley lost represents Farkle, because Riley says this: 
"A teddy bear is a source of joy, and comfort and security and love. Barry was my childhood. Everything he went through, I went through." 
That sounds like Farkle because he's known Riley since childhood: 
He was bullied in Girl Meets Flaws: 
Riley was bullied in Girl Meets Rileytown: 
Farkle was the first to notice. 
That's just one reason I think Barry represents Farkle. Let's not forget the episodes where Farkle wears a bear shirt. 
The first episode is Girl Meets Truth, where Riley doesn't want to break Farkle by telling him the truth. Instead she boosts his confidence, and he changes his entire personality "because Riley said so." 
This is also the episode where Farkle kisses Riley. 
The second time Farkle wears a bear shirt is Girl Meets Smackle. The classroom lesson is The Trojan Horse, and the kids have a debate on whether or not beauty is skin deep. Riley gives Farkle's arch-nemesis Smackle a makeover and pushes Farkle toward her. What Riley doesn't realise is that she accepted the Trojan Horse and changed the entire dynamic of their friend group. 
The next bear shirt is in an episode that I think foreshadows the entire story: Girl Meets Commonsism. Farkle tells Riley that he'll always be on Riley's team. 
The kids lose their individuality and create a wall to seperate them from the rest of the world. This foreshadows Girl Meets Yearbook where Farkle changes first to "Donnie Barnes" and Riley changes to "Morotia M Black". Both are negative characters that appear to be the exact opposite of who Farkle and Riley appear to be. In an attempt to save them, Maya changes to "Riley". Lucas gets upset, just like he is upset in Commonism. 
When they tear down the wall, Farkle is not only wearing orange, but a bear on his shirt, representing his individuality. The kids go back to being who they truly are, and they learn that being different is a good thing. 
The last time Farkle wears a bear shirt is the Ski Lodge episode. He's on edge this whole episode, tells Riley that he's dead inside, expresses that the triangle needs to stop, and he tells an interesting story to Riley. In an attempt to look for a moth, Farkle, "wanders of the trial, slips and falls and ends up hanging by a tree branch." He says that he was "hanging by his fingertips" until Maya tears off the path and saves him. 
Interestingly enough, both Maya and Cory tell Riley that Barry the bear has been hanging on by a thread for years. I wonder what they are referring to? 
Farkle has wanted Riley's attention hasn't he? Since the first episode if I remember correctly: 
Barry was first mentioned in Girl Meets Forgiveness, when Riley couldn't forgive Auggie for tearing off his face.
She's never been able to let that go. I wonder why? 
Cory and Topanga give Riley the bear on the way out the door when Riley is sick. They say that Barry's face is like when they are looking right back at her. Interesting. 
In Girl Meets Smackle, Topanga says something really interesting, and it ties in with my Romeo and Juliet theory. The idea of Cory and Topanga as both a couple and individuals appear to be idolized by most of the characters in the show. Auggie bit the face off, so what does that mean? 
Auggie and Ava appear to have a Cory and Topanga love story going on. That's interesting. 
Not to mention a certain other word that is constantly brought up by an upset Farkle: 
So Farkle calls Lucas a face all the time. And apparently Lucas is supposed to be the "Topanga" to Riley's "Cory". 
Well . . . 

Topanga, dressed in orange no less, has a very important talk with Farkle about how her previous self, "the wacko" is just part of her scrapbook. 
Farkle has been "lost" for a while now, ever since his transformation into "Donnie Barnes" 
When Riley turns back to herself in yearbook, Farkle decides to change. He stops wearing his signature turtlenecks, especially his favorite orange one. His wardrobe changes from bright colors to black. 
We see this expression on his face after Lucas "chooses" Riley in Girl Meets Triangle, and from then on, Farkle appears to be more and more sad and angry. :( 
Topanga and Auggie pick up on Farkle's behavior right away. He's very sad when Riley can't find the bear, and she decides to let it go. Especially since Topanga and Farkle connected that bear to an important part of Riley's childhood. 
The Matthews family knows how important Farkle is to Riley.
This is why Auggie asks Farkle to the movies at the end of the episode. ( A supposedly comical moment that really wasn't. Does Farkle look happy? I don't think so) 
Cory has an entire lesson about how we shouldn't take people close to us for granted, and Farkle is the main topic: 
But Farkle doesn't have a "face". He's "not part of the story", so Riley is blind to his pain: 
This is clearly displayed in Ski Lodge. 
But we also know that Riley cares for Farkle, and once she is able to make decisions for herself, without the influence of others, Farkle is the first person she goes to. 
Right now, Riley is distracted by the idea of a Cory and Topanga story. She's not even aware of her own story. 
She needs to go back to the beginning: 
And realize that her Prince Charming was there the entire time ;)
So, long story short: 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Win A Date With Tad Hamilton: Riarkle the movie

Because The Longest Ride had so many parallels to Lucaya, I want to bring up a film that mirrors what I believe will happen in Riley and Farkle's storylines. 

Win A Date With Tad Hamlton is all about the perception of love versus what love actually is. I think the narrative of this film parallels with the relationship between Farkle and Riley quite nicely. 

Pete's character is very similar to Farkle in terms of his cynical view and his caring personality. Pete will do anything for Rosalee. 

Rosalee is very similar to Riley with her sweet personality, positive outlook on life and her tendency to not look past the surface of things. 

When Tad Hamilton enters Rosalee's life, Pete is thrown off course and he begins to see that he is losing the girl of his dreams to an idealistic concept. 

Tad Hamilton is a movie star. Good looking, with the ability to do almost anything that Pete cannot do.

This film is very clever in terms of the dialogue, the symbolism and the overall dynamic that Pete faces while Rosalee is blind to his struggle. But the audience can easily see his behavior. 

This dynamic is continuously displayed in Girl Meets World as Farkle gazes at Riley during class. 

Another obvious plot point in the film is perception versus reality. What does that remind me of?

Farkle continues to call Lucas a "face" throughout the show, and that's no accident. 
When Shawn tells the girls about Angela, Riley says, "So he fell in love with a concept. It was doomed from the start." 
When Riley and Lucas first meet, he tells her his name, and she says. "I love it." 
This event is repeated throughout the show and it has no real depth other than those lines. 

Riley does not see Lucas for who he is, and she continues to ignore his "Texas" personality. In Riley's fantasy, Lucas appears to be a cookie cutter cowboy and the picture of a "western hero." 
In the film, Pete repeatedly tells Rosalee that she has not fallen in love with who Tad Hamilton actually is. What she likes about him (his roles in romantic films) is not real. 
While Rosalee continues her relationship with Tad Hamilton, something pushes Pete to finally tell her how he feels. The moment when he realizes that he's losing Rosalee for good. 
This moment reminded me of two scenes in Girl Meets World, and both are at a moment where it appears Riley and Farkle are losing eachother. 
The first scene would be Girl Meets Texas part 3 where Farkle tries so hard to get Riley to admit she is hiding her feelings. 
Both Riley and Farkle say "I love you" here and it's a meaningful moment for the story. 
The second moment is the rooftop conversation they have in Girl Meets the New Year. Farkle clearly expresses his feelings here, but they are said in a platonic way. 
When Lucas finally chooses in Girl Meets Triangle, and the girls decide that he pickes Riley, Farkle looks crushed, and angry. From then on, Farkle's behavior changes and he drifts further from Riley. He tells her quite blatantly in Girl Meets Ski Lodge:
but she is still blind to his pain. 

This happens in Win A Date With Tad Hamilton when Rosalee chooses to go with Tad Hamilton to California, leaving everyone behind. Pete continues to get more and more angry and frustrated until he finally confronts Tad Hamilton. 
Pete basically tells Tad that he knows nothing about Rosalee, while Pete knows who she truly is. Now Farkle knows Riley more than anyone. He can tell when something's wrong, and he remembers things about her. (Pete has a great line in the film about a starfish necklace) 
The point of this scene is that Tad and Rosalee don't know eachother at all, just like Riley and Lucas don't know who they truly are. 
Lucas and Riley get together at the end of Ski Lodge part 2, but they base their relationship on a concept that they will have important talks, and they'll have a sandwhich. Lucas gives Riley a jellybean- sugar which was referenced earlier in the show to be bad and fake. 
In Win A Date With Tad Hamilton, Rosalee realizes that the concept she believed she wanted is not what she cares about at all. She also realizes that Tad fell for the concept of her, and not who she truly is. She realizes that Pete is who she truly cares for, and she hurries back to him. 
Only to find him gone. This is where I believe the Girl Meets Bear narrative comes into play for Riley and Farkle. Now that Farkle has watched Riley choose Lucas, he's heartbroken and he's lost who he is. 
As Farkle talks with Topanga about how to know who you are, he connects his previous identities to Beary the stuffed teddy bear, that Riley has lost. It is implied that Beary left because he knew it was time, and that Riley didn't need him anymore. 
Right before Rosalee finds Pete, she runs into the bartender, Angelica who had a crush on Pete. She tells Rosalee that "when great love is rejected . . . something inside a man dies." 
Farkle's lost who he is, but I'm sure he'll find that again, because this isn't the end of his story or Riley's. 

At the end of Win A Date With Tad Hamilton, Rosalee and Pete create their own movie. And Pete takes the place of Tad Hamilton in the movie they watched at the beginning of the film. It's a wonderful scene that expresses what real love is versus the concept of it. 

Riley and Lucas are in a relationship based on a concept, but Riley's relationship with Farkle is real. Riley doesn't see that yet, because she is blinded by the idea that she has to be Cory and Topanga. 

Farkle is blinded by the idea that he is not part of Riley's story, but that will change once Riley sees the reality and stops falling for the concept. 
Once Farkle and Riley see who they truly are, then their real story begins. :) 
We already know how it ends: