A previous online discussion about the nature of finales sparked the memory of one of my favorite shows and hence, one of the better finales out there. If you are not a fan of Boy Meets World well you are missing out on great stuff and we can no longer be friends. Cory, Shawn, Topanga, Eric, and good old Mr. Feeny helped teach me a lot about life and love. Over the years of seeing it as it aired and the subsequent reruns I have seen since then, the characters were always relatable, the lessons applicable, and the shenanigans were still funny. About a month ago a very special tribute by one Samuel L. Jackson (the “L” stands for mother******) where he performed a slam poem about the show that sparked a collective nostalgia at a pretty huge level. Check it out here for yourself.
A previous post of mine discussed at length the relationship aspect between Cory and Topanga so I’m going to focus on the final few episodes. As one relationship is forced to take a pause when Angela leaves to be with her dad, Shawn is distraught but Cory says that he will always be there for him. And then Topanga comes in to say that she got a prestigious internship in New York City so they need to move. Right after this revelation we get the two parter finale. Strewn through every scene is a montage of flashbacks that harken back to similar moments throughout the years. Asking Mr. Feeny for advice recalls all the previous questions and Feeny call montage is hilarious. The reflections of the past show how much things have changed and also how they have stayed the same while providing some fan service to classic scenes.
The decision to move to New York summons a new journey for our protagonists but it also means leaving behind family and loved ones. We see that the farewells are not as tragic as once believed since Eric and Shawn are coming with them. Plus, Jack and Rachel are off to join the Peace Corps so new adventures for everyone. Two characters (re)appear to truly show the aspects of past and future giving their blessing towards this ending and new beginning. The first is Chet Hunter (in invisible to everyone else ghost mode) who comes to be together with his sons one last time as they may not see each other for who knows how long and tell how proud he is of their accomplishments. Jack even refuses his step father’s money following his late father’s example that “money doesn’t make you rich. Life makes you rich.” The future is show via Joshua Gabriel Matthews, the youngest of Allan and Amy’s kids who was almost lost after being born. Cory says goodbye to his little brother and imparts some words of wisdom that probably go over the three year old’s head. And in the ultimate call back, Cory says the name of the show and declares “now I get it.” But before they leave, there is one final goodbye that needs to be done.
The four go to the classroom one last time and Mr. Feeny is there awaiting them ready to impart just one more lesson. “Do good.” And they each say their goodbyes and hugs while thanking their mentor for helping them become the people they are today. As they depart, Feeny stares at his empty classroom and finally says: “I love you all…. Class dismissed.” It’s a beautiful poignant moment where real tears are shed by actor, character, and viewer alike. And so they go on, some leave while others stay while all are hesitant to take this action but know in their hearts that it is the right decision. The boy has met the world, and it is now time for the man to continue this endeavor. Reflections of a life once lived continue to be a part of their present and future. For even more feels, consider watching this compilation video I found of all the things that happened in the finale. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILY1vX2Pzv8 This will probably make onions be magically cut around you, fair warning.