A Long Walk to Pittsburgh: Part 2
|Season 4, Episode 17|
February 14, 1997
In an attempt to bring Cory out of his deep depression over Topanga's being forced to move to Pittsburgh with her parents, Shawn sets himself and Cory up on a double date with sisters Becky and Rosie Sparrow, two British exchange students. Despite Shawn's pleas, Cory can only lament about Topanga. Cory's date, Rosie, is very empathetic to his situation, and the two tearfully embrace.
Later that evening, Cory is sitting in Topanga's now-empty bedroom, and Eric soon arrives to take him home. Once there, Amy tries to comfort Cory, but cannot agree with his belief that he and Topanga are meant to be together; she tries to convince Cory that he needs to start meeting other people and date other girls, but Cory refuses to listen. Citing the fact that he is the one writing the letters and making the phone calls to Pittsburgh, Cory reassures Amy and Alan that he won't run off to Pittsburgh and risk being rejected; he opens the back door to go outside and, to his and everyone else's surprise, finds a rain-soaked Topanga standing in the doorway.
When Amy and Alan realize that Topanga's parents don't yet know she came back to Philadelphia, Amy decides to call them, but Cory attempts to dissuade her saying that Topanga's parents don't understand her, just like he believes that Alan and Amy don't understand him. Despite Cory's assurance that nothing will tear him and Topanga apart again, Amy calls her parents.
Cory and Topanga move into the living room and discuss their inability to communicate while they were apart. They both admit that it became all the more difficult to talk over the phone every time they hung up, so in a futile effort to not think about one another they kept themselves busy with other things. After they again profess their loyalty and love to each other, Shawn enters and applauds Topanga's stunt, but when Alan and Amy come in, Shawn scolds Topanga in front of them and abruptly exits.
Alan and Amy inform Topanga that they've called her parents to let them know she's there with them; Cory feels as though Amy is trying to end their relationship, but Amy believes they're still too young to be making such rash and inexperienced decisions. Cory then gives a long heartfelt speech about how he and Topanga became best friends when they were very young, how he later fell in love with her, and how he realized that Topanga was the one for him because she was the only girl he thought about; Topanga adds that she believes it's good that Cory is the only boy she has ever loved, and she looked forward to doing things with Cory and not with another guy in Pittsburgh just because she's there. When the doorbell rings, Alan reveals that Topanga's parents called her Aunt Prudence to come and pick her up; Cory is hopeful that she will side with them, but Topanga, knowing that Prudence has never been married or even in love, quickly eliminates that idea.
Prudence enters and sternly informs Topanga that she was instructed to take her home with her for the night and then put her on a train back to Pittsburgh first thing in the morning. When Cory begs Alan, who has has said little through most of the discussion, to give his own opinion, Alan simply instructs Cory to have faith in his mother, and she delivers:
Amy tells Prudence that it would be wrong for Topanga to have to go back to Pittsburgh, and then points out that there's more to Topanga's dilemma besides just being apart from Cory; Amy feels that for Rhiannon and Jedediah to tear Topanga away from the only home and life she's ever known, to have to make new friends in Pittsburgh, and then uproot again for college just one short year later is irresponsible. Amy then finally admits that she sees what Cory sees in Topanga and believes that he could not do any better. She then tells Cory that, as his mother, she never wants him to be in pain.
Amy's discourse resonates with Prudence, who sends Cory and Topanga outside while the adults have a discussion. Mr. Feeny joins the two on the patio and tells them about how he was once deeply in love with his wife only to lose her when she passed away; he reveals that he believes in the love that Cory and Topanga have for one another, and instructs them to cherish and hold on to it for all they're worth. When Prudence, Alan and Amy come outside, Prudence promptly clashes with Feeny, calling him "snappy" and "verbose", while Feeny staunchly defends his 38 years experience as a teacher (he also mentions the estimated 30 thousand students he has taught, holding Cory and Topanga in the highest regard). Prudence announces that she has spoken to Topanga's parents, and while she does not condone the seriousness of Topanga's relationship with Cory, she also cannot condone Rhiannon and Jedediah's actions, and is willing, with their agreement, to allow Topanga to stay with her long enough to finish high school with her friends. Cory and Topanga joyously embrace at the news.
- Cory says that Topanga pushed him up against his locker and gave him his first kiss when he was 13; however, in the episode in which this occurred, Cory's Alternative Friends, they were both 11.
- Cory makes the observation that he and Topanga are like Romeo & Juliet, but just as Topanga's Aunt Prudence arrives at the house, Topanga observes that Prudence has never been in love and probably doesn't even know who Romeo and Juliet are; Ironically, Prudence is played by Olivia Hussey, who played Juliet in Franco Zeffirelli's Oscar-winning film version of Romeo & Juliet in 1968.
- This episode takes place two weeks after the previous episode.