George Feeny awoke from a dream: In it, he was still an educator, but his classroom was a rundown Boston hospital and his students were aspiring surgeons. It was a pleasant fantasy, but wakefulness had snapped him back to reality, back to the confining borders of a New York City subway poster. Had it really been less than a year since the gods tricked him into leaving his high-school purgatory, only to stick him here, where he’d very nearly reached out to the younger Mr. Matthews and secured his freedom once and for all?
But when had Mr. Matthews ever listened to Mr. Feeny? He was little more than a figment of support and wisdom to both Matthews boys, particularly that one time when he was literally the figment that helped the older Mr. Matthews pass a history test. “It’s time you did this on your own,” were George Feeny’s famous last words to Mr. Matthews, attempted guidance that all but ensured he’d later be wrested from his corporeal form, a spirit blown by the winds of the Matthews boys’ each and every need. The gods were cruel, and George Feeny was their puppet.
George Feeny had grown to hate the sound of his own name, but he wasn’t accustomed to seeing it flash across the news ticker on the TV screen mounted within view of his poster prison. “Mr. Feeny and Eric Matthews are coming to Girl Meets World in May” the headline read, and George Feeny’s heart skipped a beat. “May”? According to the dates he’d seen on discarded newspapers, that was less than a week away. “Coming to”? Surely “coming to” would be followed by “and staying”—that’s just basic English, one of the many subjects George Feeny taught during his illustrious academic career.
But then George Feeny remembered something: Faint murmurs from a woman named Bonnie Bartlett. Who was she to him? He no longer recalled, but her words rang in his ears clear as day.
[Michael Jacobs] said that it would be a tradition that, for as long as the show goes on, you’d be on the first episode of each season. So, yeah, you’ve done a couple, and he wants you there when you can. And when you will.
“When you will.” George Feeny had no choice in the matter. Just like the classroom, just like the subway poster, George Feeny would come to Girl Meets World—whatever that was—without consent. This was his life now, a bizarre episode playing out as if only to illustrate some convoluted point in Jonathan Turner’s Macbeth lesson plan. Just as prophecy was set against the Scottish king, so was fate opposed to George Feeny.
That’s when he heard the terrible cackle of his own personal Weird Sisters: The eldest Mr. Matthews had come to retrieve George Feeny. “Feeny!” Mr. Matthews called out, the comedic crack in his voice many years behind him. “Feeee-nay?” One last utterance, and George Feeny would be free—but would he really be free? “Feeeeeeeeee-nay!” With that, George Feeny’s field of vision filled with light, and he felt an invisible force pushing him forward—through the poster frame, then onto the subway platform.
“Well done, Mr. Matthews,” George Feeny said instinctively.
George Feeny then appeared in the second-season premiere of Girl Meets World, airing May 11 on Disney Channel. The gods were so pleased with his performance that they brought him back on May 14, part of a week-long Girl Meets World premiere event. The eldest Mr. Matthews followed in his mentor’s footsteps the following day, May 15. Once more, Mr. Matthews was doing something with which George Feeny was intimately, begrudgingly familiar.