Upstate: The influence continued…


YAY!!!! Best episode of the season, dare I say series so far.  Thank You Mark Blutman for a brilliant script and Joel Zwick for excellent direction. Shouts to Cheryl, Rider, and Sabrina  for very strong performances.

The search continues where Girl Meets Triangle left off… Riley has taken Maya on an adventure to find herself, which leaves Lucas surrounded at the table being confronted by the parents.  Who all want to know who he likes more Riley or Maya?

When the girls arrive at Shawn’s cabin there are details that clearly highlight who he is a photographer. He makes the assumption that Maya has runs to him, but it was Riley who made that choice. While there are things that scream Shawn Hunter there are some that don’t.  What’s up with the tea and Swedish butter cookies??

As Riley explains, Maya is broken because of him. She used to be tough and edgy just like he is….was? He asks “What happens when you meet a good influence and they start to change you for the better?”

In explaining the good influence Cory is to him he tells the girls about Cory wanting to be like him just as Maya has done by become Riley.  We get a wonderful little BMW flashback and he points out that Cory had (has) everything he didn’t (doesn’t) have; the wife, the family, the kids.

“I’ve got trees and that squirrel I talk to, Hi Stevie” “Cory Matthews messed up my life.” “And I’m not going to let that happen to you because of some second generation Cory Matthews.”   “You’re going to protect me from her?”  “Didn’t I say id always be there for you?” “Like Pluto” “Be quiet baby Cory.”

“I didn’t meet you til I was 32, but you’re the reason Maya, that I believe I can be a father some day” What a powerful testament for Maya to hear. Even she has influenced Shawn. “And that’s not because of Cory Matthews.”  “That’s your own unique voice saying you care about me. You should listen to it more often.”  “Maybe I should.” “So you came to see me because you disappeared a little?”

“Let’s get you back. We will pinpoint the exact moment you stopped being Maya and you’ll see it had nothing to do with me.” As the girls dump out the clothes that Shawn spent his savings on for Maya. That has everything to do with him. Haha

Lucas who is still hangin with the parents makes a comment to Katy that Maya is influenced by her is the way she is because she (Katy) is a wonderful mother. Learning the girls went to Shawn seems to put everyone at ease.

Awww it’s Maya’s 14th birthday picture. The one she put in the time capsule, but only she knows that. The pictures that is her hope. Maya claims to not remember what she wishes for but Shawn knows. This extra special wall of photos includes a picture from his first date with Katy which he is bashful of because not only does it show he cares for Katy but Maya as well, because he did something on her 14th birthday that he was proud of.

“I know what you were wishing for Maya,I’ve wished for the same thing my entire life.” “I care about your mother, I hope that’s okay.”

This next moment between Shawn and Maya is so precious.After hearing that Shawn is very fond of her, Maya runs into his arms and engulfs him the tightest hug, she then admits she’s very fond of him as well. Riley pushes Maya to sell her clothes because they aren’t her. Her hope was never in clothes it was in Shawn.

Cory is called in by Shawn and questions why only to be tackled by Shawn because Cory destroyed his life.  “You turned me into you!” “That’s crazy!” Eventually Shawn admits that it’s possible Cory had too much of influence on him. Maya asked how she can change back in which he responds that he wants what he is supposed to have not what Cory and Topanga have.

At the Matthews things are very calm for Katy Hart. She knows that Shawn will say the right thing to her daughter and she has nothing to worry about. Topanga shares with Katy that she’s never seen Shawn’s eyes light up as much as they do when he is around Katy and as she is explaining this Katy is quick to blame it on Maya but is letting her wall down until it crumbles. “I love somebody and somebody loves me.”  She admits with a shaky voice. This is coming from a woman who got married and was left with a 5 year old daughter to provide for and raise up on her own. This is a woman who gave up on glory, long ago, she gave up on her dreams. But then she found Shawn and her world changed.

Shawn is back in his leather jacket, but clothes don’t change a person. Their perspectives have to change too. Leave it to the BFFs to lend a helping hand. Speaking of hand, after Cory reminds Shawn of his spontaneous personality and how he lived in the moment. (This is the best way to live, in my opinion) we get the handshake!!! Oh that was so awesome!

Upon learning that Shawn feels differently Maya wants to know what that is and asks Riley to help her find herself quickly. Which transitions to the school art room where things get messy, in more than one way.

This paint fight revealed so much about the action behind Maya’s change, just as Shawn revealed earlier.  “I was a little girl and I climbed through an open window because I heard singing. I was attracted to what I saw inside.  It was someone safe.”“Hello” “This little ray of sunshine who didn’t have a care in the world.” “You had everything. Family meals around a table. I wanted that.””How was your day Maya, it was great dad. You had that.” “You went to bed with a smile on your face every night, while I went to bed wondering if my father was going to be at the breakfast table in the morning, I wanted that.” “I wanted what you had,  everyday was a new adventure …..”  ” I did my job!”  “I did my job too” “No! You let me become too much like you!” (Maya found herself by painting her feelings and those feelings were of anger of what she didn’t have)

In Maya’s painting that is full of anger and betrayal.  Mr. Jackson who walks into what he assumes is an empty art room, see’s “a unique voice who’s learned to appreciate the influence of hope.


Lucas who has been in the bay window alone for 5 hours waiting and ready to make his decision about this Riley and Maya triangle he has found himself in is confronted by the girls and of course Maya doesn’t give him to chance to decide because she knows that she has let Riley influence her and needs to find out what she feels once she’s found herself completely.


As Riley and Maya are talking to Topanga and Katy about the whole triangle nonsense. Maya admits that “We’ve decided we’re going to take a breathe first and find out who we all are.”

Being the spontaneous person that Shawn is known to be, he burst through the door with this grand gesture.

“I’ve been reminded that you can’t help but be influenced by the people or the events of your life. And these can cause you to loose a part of yourself sometimes. Or forget who you are for a while. Or what you need to be who you’ve always wanted to be.” Telling Katy that he loves Maya and that he’s in love with her, Shawn does what he wants in his life, what he knows is right in his heart. He gets down on one knee and asks Katy to marry him. With a teary eyed Maya and the Matthews surrounding them Katy says yes and Maya’s hope come true of a family is just beginning.

Girl Meets Upstate= the essence of people changing  people. How is it that the messages of this show just seem to seep into my life at the moment I need them?!


Photo Credit: Disney

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