Sometime before Girl Meets Yearbook, Maya finds a $5 bill on the floor of the school and picks it up. Riley argues that she should put it back, because obviously it belongs to somebody else who dropped it, but Maya keeps the money, believing she has the right to keep stuff she finds on the ground since there’s no way of knowing who dropped it. Riley asks Maya if she thinks a higher power is watching over everything she does, but Maya does not believe in that.
In class, Cory pairs the kids to work on assignments. Riley and Maya are paired up for an assignment on Thomas Jefferson, and Lucas and Farkle are paired up to study about Joan of Arc. Riley and Maya have a hard time because Maya doesn’t want to do any work, and Riley knows she’ll be stuck doing the whole assignment herself. They also start arguing about how Maya doesn’t believe in anything (notably God). Farkle and Lucas argue because Lucas believes that Joan of Arc had a vision when she heard the voice of God, whereas Farkle believes she had a medical condition and was therefore crazy. The pairs both get a little sick of each other and decide to switch around so that Riley and Lucas can work together and Maya and Farkle can work together.
When Riley and Lucas begin their assignment, they discuss Thomas Jefferson and realize they have all the same opinions about the man. That strikes them as a little boring, as there is really nothing to discuss. Maya and Farkle discuss Joan of Arc, and Maya says that she was just a goofy teenage girl who wanted to share what she believed with the world. Farkle points out how much that sounds like Riley, and suggests that Maya might admire her a bit. Maya tries to deny this, and says she is enjoying some time apart from Riley as they work on their assignments with different partners, but soon admits she does in fact miss Riley.
Riley and Maya decide they’re still better off not working together, so the kids switch around again so that Riley and Farkle work together and Maya and Lucas work together. Maya asks Lucas what it is that makes him and Riley believe in a higher power. She tells him she feels like Riley is pushing her to believe, but she doesn’t like to be pushed. He tells her not to expect something big, loud and obvious, and that most of what he believes comes to him when it’s quiet.
Later, in the bay window, Maya asks Riley whether she prays. Riley answers “all the time”, and Maya asks if she doesn’t think that’s a little greedy. Farkle agrees and asks if she doesn’t think she should leave something for someone else. Lucas sides with Riley and argues that everyone gets heard by God. Cory comes in and tells the kids that different people believe different things, which is okay, but it’s good to listen to your friends before you decide for yourself. Riley whines about people not believing in what she believes in, and Farkle rhetorically asks Cory to prove the existence of God. Cory asks Farkle whether he can see him right now; Farkle says yes, since the air is clear. After using a prism to refract the light surrounding the air into a rainbow, Farkle learns that just because you cannot see something does not mean for sure that it may not be there.
Through the assignment, the kids learn that Jefferson thought religion should be a personal choice, and that Joan of Arc, whether she really heard the voice of God or not, believed in something so strongly that it inspired an entire nation. Farkle states that while he’s not sure anymore about the existence of a higher power, he is grateful that he and his friends are here together, thankful even if it was a higher power that assembled them together. Riley decides to let Maya’s beliefs be Maya’s business. Maya, however, decides to listen to Lucas, and reveals to Riley that she prayed, making Riley ecstatic that Maya now believes in God as well. Maya tells Riley that she prayed for all the people in the building across from her window and that she also prayed for Riley to have eternal happy days; but to Riley’s surprise, she did not pray and ask anything for herself, since she didn’t want to bug God about her. Riley then says “huh”, as she realizes that this whole time, she’s only prayed and asked about herself, and has never prayed for the sake of anybody else.
This was a great (albeit unofficial) follow-up for The Forgiveness Project (if the episodes weren’t aired out of order). I like the idea of tackling beliefs. I think its important for people to believe in stuff. I don’t think that its wrong to talk about God. Its not wrong to believe in something. I think it is important to acknowledge that there is a God. Besides presidents were a apart of history and you have to learn about them so it was only right for Riley and Maya to talk about Thomas Jefferson. I also liked Auggie’s subplot in the episode, I love that he’s still worried about Mrs. Svorski, it was a sweet moment, and makes me wonder why we don’t get better Auggie subplots like that. Overall, this an great episode, and I highly commend the writers and the Disney Channel for making this episode happen.
Next time, it’s New Years Eve! Actually, at the time of this posting its Mother’s Day, but it’s an episode about New Years.