While Cory has Shawn, Topanga has Trini (Brittany Murphy), Frankie (Ethan Suplee) has Joey (Blake Soper), and Mr. Turner has Eli Williams (Alex Désert), who joins John Adams High as media arts teacher. Under his tutelage, Cory learns the price of journalistic freedom when his exposé costs Janitor Bud (Bob Larkin) his job, though Mr. Feeny (William Daniels) finds another way to use his talents (in the 1972 musical 1776, Daniels played John Adams). Cory and Shawn also come to see different sides to Feeny, their principal, and Frankie, a poetic thug.
Just as Cory is transitioning into adulthood, Boy Meets World's third season has a transitional feel as the tone turns serious more often, like in "Hometown Hero," in which Cory and Shawn break into the chemistry lab and start a fire, and "Brother-Brother," in which Cory has a hard time letting Eric go. It's still an entertaining show, but a little less funny, even if it allows Strong and Daniels to do some of their best work. Fortunately, there are still plenty of upbeat episodes. In "Train of Fools," for instance, Cory throws a New Year's Eve party in a subway car, and in "I Was a Teenage Spy," he travels back to 1957 in a nod to Happy Days. Unlike previous sets, this one eschews audio commentary. --Kathleen C. Fennessy