By Tyler Marshall
Tonight’s episode of Community reminded me a lot of the debate episode from season one. Not in a bad way, of course. It quickly became something of it’s own. The episode had the classic A-B plot, the first involving Annie’s rivalry with “other Annie”. The B-Plot involved Britta and Chang finding a mutual need for one another in one of the most unusual ways I’ve ever seen.
The episode began with guest star Martin Starr as professor Cligoris lecturing his class from a wheelchair. The opening scene establishes a competitive yet hostile friendship between Annie and Annie Kim (aka other Annie). The group is convinced other Annie is an evil evil version of Annie. Jeff is quick to jump to defend Annie saying she is better than other Annie in any category. This is a very different side of Jeff than we’ve seen before. Jeff is quick to compliment her without a hint of sarcasm. Again, this is where I feel the debate episode creeping up. It has a Jeff/Annie shipper vibe to it, and by the end, as we all know, they kiss. This episode takes things in another direction. Jeff/Annie shippers probably had their hopes shattered again tonight, with Jeff and Annie mutually deciding that it is too weird and creepy to be together.
Annie as a character in this episode has evolved in the classic Annie way. If you recall last year’s bottle episode (Cooperative Calligraphy), Annie’s moral triumph is learning to trust the group. The reason I bring this up is because of the little freak out Annie has at her U.N. table. It reminded me of the little freakout she had in the bottle episode. Annie’s moral triumph in this episode seems to be that you can’t have everything. This also seems to be her character path over the last few episodes. Annie wanted Han solo, she got Abed. She wanted to prove that she is an adult, only to figure out she is still an insecure kid. Perhaps too young for a somewhat mature Jeff, who does his best to up her spirits and support her throughout this episode.
Speaking of shippers, there’s a whole new category: Chang and Britta. This B-plot was definitely the highlight of the episode. Britta’s need to be recognized for her disobedience meets Chang’s need for power and authority. Together they complete each other. The score for this episode was hilarious. I don’t seriously see this relationship going any further than it did in this episode, but the story did it job to the fullest. It further established Chang’s new role as campus security as well as helped bridge the gap between the old hipster/wanna-be activist Britta and the new maturing Psychology student.
Gillian Jacobs was brilliant in this episode. Every little thing from her failed garbage can kick to her attempting to each Chang’s written warning were hilarious. The crazy barbie outfit was awesome too. Britta beat ya to it, Lady Gaga! If there’s one thing I will remember from this episode, it’s Britta smashing a painted red globe with a hammer while sitting inside a dog cage being dragged away by Chang. Wow, that sounds bizarre.
As for other observations, the writers seem to be keeping on the Troy hating on Britta thing. Where this goes, I don’t know; probably an episode where they find a mutual respect for each other by the end. Pierce seems to have returned so his season one self and Shirley got minimal screen time. Abed’s movie references were again, hilarious. I like him in the supporting role. It’s when he’s the funniest, although I do like Abed based episodes as well.
The tag was funny as well, classic Troy/Abed with some Pierce in there. I give this episode a B+/B
– I miss magnitude POP POP
– “I will follow you from a respectable distance.”
– Troy’s Georgia state accent for the country Georgia
– Awesome “Crisis Alert!” montage
– “Hello” by Lionel Ritchie will never be the same again
– “You’re acting like a little school girl, and not in a hot way!”
– Abed mumbling nonsense while he expects a cut-away