“Girl Meets 1961”
Season 1, Episode 9
September 19, 2014
“Girl Meets Crazy Hat”
Cory gives the class a living-history assignment that takes the four friends back to New York City in 1961.
Cory tries to get his class jazzed up about the '60s, but fails when no one seems to care about the past. He decides to let his class teach themselves, by having them research their great-grandparents who were alive during that time, to which Cory dubs "living history."
Rosie McGee arrives at a local Greenwich Village hangout called Café Hey and makes the acquaintance of the bartender and beat poet Ginsburg, who digs her vibe "immedia-tois." Following his stage performance, Ginsburg directs Rosie's attention, first to Bob Dylan and Joan Baez at a nearby table, then to a blonde-haired girl named May Clutterbucket. Rosie and May seem to hit it off almost immediately, and it appears that a friendship is brewing.
May notes that Rosie likes to observe her surroundings and the people around her, and thinks it's weird. Rosie asks about May's current plans, and May says that she is headed to an art gathering at Topanga Canyon. Rosie then writes "Topanga: What a beautiful name for something you want to love" in her journal, inspiring the name of her granddaughter.
A mysterious man wearing black gets up on stage and introduces himself as Merlin Scoggins, and performs his song. After the performance, he introduces himself to Rosie and May. Ginsburg takes the opportunity to photograph the three at the table, noting that this moment could mean a lot to someone one day in the future. May develops an inferiority complex after Merlin's song and believes that she could never be as good as him. At the urging of the group, May performs her song on stage. Rosie starts writing about May, referring to her as "The Girl With the Long Blonde Hair." May tells her that she is leaving and giving up her dreams, but gives Rosie her guitar, saying she'll be right back. Rosie continues writing in her journal as she waits for May, who never comes back.
The four friends gather at Svorski's Bakery, also located in Greenwich Village, to present their findings so far. Riley reveals that she found Rosie's guitar and "very weird" journal; Lucas mentions they don't talk about his great-grandfather much, but that his name was Merlin, which Farkle mocks. Farkle then reveals his great-grandfather's name was Ginsburg. Maya peruses an art book given to her by Ms. Kossal, and feels that she'll never be good as the artists presented in the book, who all had messages. Lucas tells her that it's because they said what they had to. Farkle takes an opportunity to photograph Riley, Maya, and Lucas, stating that the moment may one day mean something to somebody. The group gets up to leave, and Maya leaves the art book behind despite Riley's protests.
Riley and Lucas present their findings the next day in class. Lucas plays a record that Merlin Scoggins had made, then reveals that after his Cafe Hey appearance, Merlin got into trouble from making bad choices, going left instead of right, and states that maybe he needed better friends. Riley discusses the contents of Rosie's journal and reads "The Girl With the Long Blonde Hair" out loud, and it's revealed that Riley herself added some verses that are directed at Maya. Riley then gives Maya the guitar that once belonged to May Clutterbucket, allowing a lost family heirloom to find its way home after 53 years. Maya immediately takes the opportunity to improvise a song making fun of Lucas.
At home, Riley shows Topanga the contents of Rosie's journal, and Topanga is directed to the entry regarding her name.
Maya returns to the bakery to pick up the art book. Inside she finds a note from Riley telling her to change the world with her art.
Farkle presents his findings the next day. He asks Riley and Lucas for the year, month, and location their great-grandparents met. The two shock themselves when they realize they gave the same answers to Farkle's questions. Maya tries to hide her family history by saying her mother never discussed it, but ultimately Farkle forces her to confess that she is descended from May Clutterbucket, which amuses Lucas. Riley realizes that all of their great-grandparents met at the same place on the same day, but wonders why Maya didn't tell her. Maya says she felt ashamed about being descended from people who gave up. Cory tells Maya to change history, that just because May gave up her dreams doesn't mean Maya should do so. Farkle turns on the screen; Ginsburg's photograph of Rosie, May, and Merlin at Cafe Hey in 1961 is displayed, then fades into Farkle's very similar photograph of his friends in present-day Svorski's Bakery.
At the end of the episode, Cory arrives at his classroom prior to the start of the school day to set up, but finds Riley, Maya, Lucas, and Farkle had already arrived beforehand. Now with more interest in the 60s, Riley and Maya want to know where they will be going next. Cory quotes an excerpt of Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have A Dream" speech, telling the four friends they will be learning about 1963 next.
Rosie: Have we met before?