I liked this episode. I also think I may end up being in the minority on that when all is said and done. After “Cooperative Calligraphy“, anything that didn’t reach it’s same level of amazing may be seen as a let-down, but I thought it did well in answering a lingering plot issue. That, and the typical levels of absurdity we are use to at Greendale, made for an enjoyable time.
“Conspiracy Theories” started with Annie showing off her latest diorama she made for her Environmental Club, in preparation for the Bio-Diorama-Rama. Troy & Abed then took off to build a blanket fort, and Dean Pelton introduced the A story for this episode. It appears Jeff has been taking a class with the only problem being…well it doesn’t exist. Jeff, not one to back down, decides he is going to prove to the Dean this class is real. Annie decides to tag along, and thus our story kicks off. Make no mistake about it, this is a Jeff/Annie (/Dean Pelton) episode the entire way through. Shirley & Pierce, aren’t seen again until the end of the episode, and it was almost the same for Britta except for a brief cameo midway through the episode.
Jeff goes to show the Dean the classroom (which is, woops, a supply closet), but to everyone’s surprise Professor Professorson shows up announcing he has indeed been teaching the class to Jeff. Jeff has no clue who this man is, but he is willing to let it go by because he just managed to score a free credit here! Dean Pelton seems to be happy with his findings, and goes back to writing his novel “Time Desk”. This is where Annie takes hold of the situation, wanting Jeff to not be lazy, and instead find out who this man is. The episode really feeds off the Jeff/Annie dynamic that they’ve shown in any story arc they’ve had together. Jeff has no interest in investigating this further, but like usual if Annie presses hard enough Jeff will go at it anyway.
Jeff, like he has mentioned before, cannot seem to say no to Annie. Annie has found out that the Professor isn’t who he says he is, and this leads to: Annie/Jeff finding this man (who’s really Drama Professor Sean Garrety), a chase scene throughout the huge blanket fort, then Prof. Garrety’s capture where Jeff finds out that the Dean is behind all of this. The even worse part about it? He’s obviously trying to teach Jeff a lesson, which we know Jeff is none to thrilled about at all.
Few quick notes on the B Story, the blanket fort. It was huge, and spread out through most of the hallways and rooms closest to Abed’s dorm. I think it would be a blast to actually go through something like that. It featured thing’s such as: Pierce’s Mom Memorial Tunnel, Civil Rights Museum, and a Turkish District. This is where Britta shows up (despite her earlier pleas that it was too childish) for a cameo, in what I’m assuming to be the High Art Room. The entire thing was over the top, but fun to see. In the end, when the fort became too mainstream (Greendale Journal Mirror reporting the blanket fort craze was sweeping campuses everywhere!) Troy & Abed determined it had to be shut down. This only means doing other things, such as making cardboard submarines!
The episode ends with everyone shooting each other with fake guns, as this was originally a lesson by Annie/Dean Pelton too teach Jeff a lesson about the slippery slope of academic fraud. That turned into a lesson teaching Annie about friendship. It all ended with the local police teaching all of them a lesson about using fake guns to…well…teach each other lessons. The lead up and actions during the entire gun fight scene were the important issues faced here. We know at the end of last season Jeff and Annie kissed. As we learned in the first episode of the season, and had re-enforced this episode, Jeff then didn’t bother to talk about it anymore the rest of the summer.
Despite acting cool about it beforehand, she really wasn’t. It isn’t fun for anything to share that moment, then basically be completely ignored. Not only that, but we got the confession from Annie that she loves Jeff. Is this loving him as a friend? Is she in love? These are questions to be answered later, as in the end all we get is Jeff admitting Annie was impressive in going off the cuff during their little charade (After which Britta gives a look that let’s us know she’s not sure what’s going on, but also that if it’s what she thinks it is, she doesn’t seem to happy about it.)
What we do know for sure is that Annie has grown up immensely since the beginning of the series. A Jeff/Annie relationship works now, because we’ve been able to see her grow more into being a woman. She may only be 19, but she has been through stuff (with her addiction), and this season has seen her take steps to show her independence more She is showing she can’t just be ignored or stepped on, but that she may also make some mistakes along the way. Annie confessing her feelings out in the open is showing her vulnerability as well. This may not be the best episode of the entire series, but it was fun, and was important to the progression of Annie. That and the fact Jeff, despite his best efforts, cannot get away with *anything*.
Episode Grade: B+
Best Lines & Other Random Thoughts
- I just would like to say in last week’s review that I called the Jeff/Annie thing. Alright, done gloating. I don’t think we are done with Jeff/Britta, though. Not, only because of Britta’s look at those two at the end, but also the writer’s have said they like to keep their options open with the relationships. I do think however that Jeff/Annie will be end up being the main couple of Community. Jeff/Britta have chemistry, but as I’ve heard Dan Harmon mention on DVD commentary, that doesn’t automatically mean it’s sexual chemistry. They both are of course very similar, and sometimes it’s more fun to see them get into mischievous games together. Jeff/Annie do have that certain relationship-y chemistry, part of it is being opposites, part of it may be sexual chemistry. Whatever it is, it just works.
- “You notice all the animals are wearing sunglasses?…Because the future is so bright!…Yeah.” (I loved the reaction by Annie when she said that.)
- “I hear one kid made a diorama about a world without dioramas.” (Pierce’s absolutely confused facial reaction after this statement, was priceless as well.)
- “Enjoy eating fiber, and watching “The Mentalist””.
- “Who wants to hang out in a blanket fort, with grown men, in tiny underroos?” Like clockwork, the Dean enters the room. One of my favorite running jokes.
- “Com you globen…bluh…”
- Speaking of Troy, I think an episode with him and Britta is up next. This season Abed/Shirley, Jeff/Annie, Pierce have all had eps basically built around just those characters, and I think those two are next. Don’t be surprised too if it involves romance.
- “Yes, you made that clear in your 11th “I can do this myself.” text.”
- “…figments. Thoughts of hot air. From the lips of a ghost, in the shadow of a unicorn’s dream.”
- “Did you just mispronounce et cetera?”
- “Well guess what? Annie’s got a gun!”
- Is there anyone on Community who isn’t hilarious to watch cry?
- “Fact: In 100% of all fake gun related shootings, the victim is always the one with a fake gun.”
- Of course, you’ve started looting Leonard. Of course you have.