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|Season 1, Episode 17|
February 25, 1994
Jeffrey C. Sherman
"The Fugitive" is the 17th episode of season one of Boy Meets World, and the 17th of the overall series. It first aired on February 25, 1994. The episode was written by Jeffrey C. Sherman, and directed by David Trainer.
It's a dark and stormy night at the Matthews house and Cory is completely bored. He wants to play baseball outside but a soaking Alan arrives and tells him he can't go out. Cory shuffles off to his room, wishing something exciting would happen. He gets his wish when Shawn shows up unannounced in his room, dripping wet and urging him to keep quiet because the police is after him.
Cory asks his soaking friend what happened and learns that Shawn blew up the mailbox in front of the grocery store where Cory's dad works. Shawn is afraid to go home so he pleads to hide out in Cory's room for a few days until he figures out what to do. Cory is glad for some excitement and, after promising not to tell anyone, he goes downstairs to not-so-subtly sneak Shawn some dinner. His attempt at acting normal immediately has everyone suspicious but Cory quickly grabs his dinner, claiming he needs to eat in his room because he has a lot of homework. Once upstairs, he finds Shawn has changed into some of Cry's drier, but smaller clothes before he can eat the meatloaf Cory brought, Eric waltzes in and believes that Cory is hiding a puppy. He goes along with it, distracting Eric long enough for Shawn to hide in the bathroom. Unfortunately, his mom needs to use Cory's bathroom and Shawn manages to sneak out the bathroom window and back in through the bedroom window. Eric catches him and simply demands they do his household chores in exchange for his silence.
The next day at school, everyone is discussing the cherry bomb incident. Shawn isn't in class and never went home so Mr. Feeny asks anyone with information to speak up. When Cory blurts out some details of the event, Minkus accuses him of covering up for Shawn. Mr. Feeny moves it along and starts his lesson on The Tell-Tale Heart. As he reads a passage about the protagonist's guilt, Cory feels his own heart beat in fear and worry. Cory rushes home and almost gets caught by Amy but, though she seems to know Shawn is hiding under the bed, she doesn't say anything about it. Cory frets about being caught and his dad, who also seems to know about Shawn hiding under the bed, tells Cory that he knows about Shawn blowing up the mailbox. He relates a story about a kid in his neighborhood whose behavior escalated, just like Shawn. Then he sternly tells Cory that no matter what, Cory should always tell him the truth and if he ever does something like Shawn did, don't be afraid to come home.
After his dad leaves, Cory finally decides it's time to confess to his parents and thinks they might help explain the situation it to Shawn's parents. However, Shawn rushes out the window before Cory can bring his dad back upstairs. Cory confesses to both his parents about hiding Shawn and they merely say that they knew all along. Alan elaborates on the story about his friend and reveals it was him. He stole stole and vandalized property as a kid but he had a friend like Cory who led him down the right path. Mr. Feeny finds Shawn sleeping in his classroom. At first, Shawn thinks Cory told but is quickly told otherwise. Mr. Feeny thinks Shawn is causing harm to his friendship with Cory by lying and making Cory lie. He uses some canvas as a prop to show how even the smallest rip can tear something very strong apart. When Shawn asks if Mr. Feeny will turn him in, Mr. Feeny simply replies that he won't have to and leaves.
That's the moment when Cory arrives with a backpack. Shawn had contacted him earlier for some supplies but Cory didn't bring anything; except for Shawn's parents waiting outside. Shawn wants to run away again but Cory pleads with him to come back to his "side of the line". Ultimately, Shawn agrees and leaves with Cory to face his punishment. In the end-credits tag, Cory and Shawn excitedly reunite after a month (and do a little dance). Alan is watching a game going into last minute, Amy is finishing up an important spreadsheet, and Eric is just about to score a date with a girl on the phone. Suddenly the power goes out and everyone is upset and confused until Alan realized the electric bill he paid was put into the mailbox outside his store. Shawn bids a hasty retreat, leaving the Matthews family in the dark.
- Ben Savage as Cory Matthews
- Rider Strong as Shawn Hunter
- Will Friedle as Eric Matthews
- William Daniels as George Feeny
- Lee Norris as Stuart Minkus
- Lily Nicksay as Morgan Matthews
- Betsy Randle as Amy Matthews
- William Russ as Alan Matthews
Cory: You blew up a United States mailbox?
Shawn: Well, it's still standing. Although the sides did puff out like a fat guy burping. All the stuff inside got torched, though. You should've seen the flames. And the freaked out look on people's faces.
Cory: Why am I never around when the great stuff happens?
Alan: Cory, you're grounded for two weeks.
Cory: What'd I do?
Alan: I don't know but the way you're behaving it's gotta be at least two weeks.
Topanga: I think Shawn was making a daring political statement.
Minkus: And what statement is that? Build more prisons?
Shawn: Cory, all our lives we've done these little things but we've always stayed on this side of the line (gestures with hand).
Cory: What line?
Shawn: The line that separates the "little bad" from the "big bad". The line I blew up with my cherry bomb.
Alan: You see, guys like you and my best friend Richie, that's the way you think. Guys like me and Shawn, we don't think like that.
Cory: Did you ever go to California?
Cory: Well, what happened?
Alan: I don't know. Somehow I ended up here. In a room. With you.
Shawn: What do you want from me?
Cory: I want you to come back on my side of the line.
Shawn: How am I supposed to do that?
Cory: Just go home.
Shawn: My parents are gonna ground me for, like, a year.
Cory: Well, then, I'll see you in a year.
Shawn: Man, I'm gonna get so killed.
Cory: Yeah, well, we're only twelve. We live again.
- Mr. Feeny taught The Tell-Tale Heart in this episode which caused Cory to feel guilty about keeping a secret. This plot is mirrored in the Girl Meets World episode, "Girl Meets the Tell-Tale-Tot" where Cory teaches the same story and causes Riley to feel guilty about keeping her own secret.