Despite bringing the Disney Channel series to a full-circle conclusion, Friday’s Girl Meets World finale left a few loose ends untied — and you’d better believe that was intentional.
But before we talk about what wasn’t in the episode, let’s quickly recap what actually went down: For starters, Riley’s friends braced themselves for a future without her, including Lucas, who (rather quickly) accepted that they would break up if she moved to London. Maya, on the other hand, knew full well that no amount of distance could ever hurt their friendship. And you knew it was a series finale when Zay got his long-overdue props; Riley assured him that their friend group wasn’t officially complete until he joined it.
The cherry on top of the finale was, of course, the monstrous smattering of original Boy Meets World cast members that returned to help Riley figure out… something. (I know the gang had good intentions, but somewhere between Eric yelling at Feeny and Morgan pretending like she wasn’t clearly two separate people, I feel like things kind of went off the rails.) But it was all worth it to see Shawn tell Maya that he wanted to adopt her, then hearing Mr. Turner admit he always regretted not doing the same for Shawn. (Just stab me directly in the heart, why don’t you?!)
Interestingly enough, even though Mr. Turner regrets not adopting Shawn back in their Boy Meets World days, series creator Michael Jacobs says there’s no way it was ever going to happen.
“To create closure in any circumstance, you have to be certain that it’s what the audience wants and it’s the right thing to do,” Jacobs explains. “If Shawn was adopted by Turner — remember, the Matthews also wanted to adopt him — that would have been a betrayal of his father. Chet Hunter was such an interesting character, and Shawn’s chasing after his father was so remarkable. I wanted to sustain it. There was something instinctive in me that said, ‘Being adopted was not his happiness.’ Just like there was something in me that said, ‘Maya Hart is the beginning of Shawn’s happiness.’ She attracted Shawn to the idea that he could be a father and a husband someday. That’s why we wrote the Turner line. You think your closure is going to come from one place, but no.”
Jacobs adds that he “didn’t want anything to change in the end,” which is why — surprise! — Topanga decided to turn down the job and keep her family in New York. (Fun fact: Corey Fogelmanis tells TVLine, “It would be really dramatic, but I kind of wanted the Matthews to actually move away. But I’m really happy with this ending, too.”)
OK, time to reveal what you didn’t see… If you were caught off guard by Eric and Feeny’s suddenly hostile relationship, don’t worry, you didn’t miss anything. Their drama is of a behind-the-scenes nature:
“Will Friedle [as Eric] did a YouTube video where he announced that he’d be running for president, and it got a spectacular amount of views and reaction,” Jacobs explains. “So we were talking about this episode, and he said, ‘I want to do something that tantalizes the audience as far as the relationship between Eric and Feeny. They’re going to expect me to go up to him and do the Feeny call.’ So I said, ‘Let’s go the other way. Let’s have you upset with each other.’ He goes, ‘I love that! Why?’ And I go, ‘That’s up to you.’ So I wrote the script for him and we put in the conflict, and Will Friedle will reveal what happens between Eric and Feeny and why. I think that will be a lovely YouTube video someday.”
So, what did you think of the finale? Do you hope the show finds new life on another network or streaming service? Grade “Girl Meets Goodbye” below, then drop a comment with your full review of the episode/series.