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Review: 3.04 “Remedial Chaos Theory”

3.04 Remedial Chaos Theory

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There is a thread on the forums about how to sell the show to your friends. I think we have finally found the answer. I’m fairly certain the show will be judged by this episode for the rest of it’s life and will without a doubt go down as one of the best in Community history. This episode contains everything that Community fans have come to adore. It’s a lovely little bottle-esque episode with multiple timelines. To get my complaints out of the way, there was no Dean or Chang this week, but the episode didn’t call for it. This story was exclusive to the group, and I don’t think it could have been done better in any way. This episode ought to put all the nay sayers to rest who have been questioning the quality of the show this season. “Remedial Chaos Theory” shows that Dan Harmon & Co. have lost none of the magic that we all dearly adored in the first two seasons.

There are too many things to think of to name why this episode is great, but I’ll give my most vague answer to that question. The reason this episode works is because it has a perfect balance of what everyone wants – humour, character exploration and chemistry.

Humour. The episode came out of the gate running. The opening lines of the episode were “Are you sure it’s 303? I thought it was 3.04”, poking fun at the episode swap between what we know a 3.03 and 3.04. Then there’s the instant classic tag with the evil study group that highlighted Abed and Troy’s evil selves. Without a doubt this is the best tag yet featuring Troy and Abed. I will even go as far as to say it’s better than all of the “Troy & Abed in the Morning” tags.

I don’t know how the rest of you feel, but once again Gillian Jacobs stole the show. I am really happy with the way Britta’s character is being used this season. All my complaints about the lack of Britta stories in season two have now gone from my head. I’m not saying this episode revolved around Britta, but I do think she was the anchor for the laughs of the night. Everything from us finding out she is a stoner to attempting to sing Roxanne only to be shut down by Jeff was really really funny. Hilarious! Her “HUNGEE” (hungry) dance/song is apparently a creation entirely of Gillian Jacobs, with the script reading “Britta does a crazy dance”. This is classic Britta. It will be added to what is surely to be a number one album on Billboard along with her other hit song “Hit me with your Genies Bottle”.

Next in line for laughter was probably Troy. Once again, his immaturity is the subject of all of his laughter. We discover that, along with rats, Troy has a fear of a Gnome that was stationed outside his room when he was living with Pierce. Pierce then decides to give this gnome to Troy as a house warming gift, which has a chokehold-like effect on Troy when Pierce holds it up to his face like a gun. My favourite Troy moment in this episode was when he returns from getting the Pizza to discover his apartment on fire along with Jeff’s arm, Pierce on the ground from being shot and general chaos from his quick trip downstairs. The puzzling/shocked look on his face is awesome.

Do I need to tell you guys how funny the tag is? It’s one of the best, if not the best overall. It features an evil study group followed by Troy and Abed watching Inspector Spacetime. The rest of the group deserves honourable mentions for hilariousness too. the only two who didn’t have any real laughs were probably Jeff and Annie, who were too busy with each other in most scenarios to get much other interaction in with the group.

Now onto the chemistry. This episode is bursting with chemistry almost to the point where it is incomprehensible. I’m gonna have to break it down on a pair by pair basis.

Troy/Britta: Maybe there’s something here? I kind of got the sense that the shippers will be pleased with this episode but the feeling I got from it was that Britta acted like a bigger sister to Troy who was unhappy with being treated like a kid by Jeff, only to pull out a candy cigarette.

Annie/Jeff: A lot to say here. In one scenario, they kiss. In the other ones they still bond. All of the hopes of them getting together that were crushed in “Geography of Global Conflict” are probably reignited after watching how close they came.

Pierce/Troy: This one is a little more complicated. In more than one scenario we see Pierce tormenting Troy with the Gnome gift. In another scenario we see Pierce trying to stop Troy from opening the gift because of the kindness displayed by Troy. What does it mean? Did Pierce once again revert to his old ways and try to get under the skin of Troy by bringing something Troy fears? It appears that Pierce was once again motivated to do this for attention, for shock value.

Jeff/Pierce: My whole Pierce and Jeff becoming father and son theory was kept alive here, even if only for a second. Pierce brings up Jeff’s father, which is quickly shrugged off by Jeff.

Troy/Abed: Bromance as usual.

The pairings were, however, the more uninteresting part. The part that intrigued me the most was the groups dynamic when someone left to get the pizzas. With Jeff gone, the group seemed happy. This made my mind run miles within seconds. It wrinkled my brain. With Jeff gone, the group comes together and starts singing and dancing together in a very heart warming scene. Does this mean Jeff is the cancer of the group? Would they be better off without him? It made me sort of sad to think about, because I do think the group cares about Jeff. With Troy and Abed gone, things quickly turn downhill. Does this mean that the group would fall apart without them? When the others leave, the events that conspire are mixed, but they are almost nothing compared to Jeff, Abed and Troy’s timelines. Maybe Abed is right. Maybe Jeff will remain a conniving son of a bitch until the day he dies.

What did we learn from this episode? Well, for one, Annie’s got a gun! I’m betting it has to do with the terrible apartment she lives in. Abed offers a safer place for Annie if she moves in with himself and Troy, but Troy looks a little confused and puzzled when the idea comes up. We also learn that Britta seems to know her way around Jeff’s apartment. While talking to Troy in the bathroom, she states that Jeff has a safe underneath his sink with all of his toiletries in it. While it may mean nothing, I think these two are still at it. When I say at it, I mean they are probably still banging. It could easily be said that she just knows her way around there from all the secret sex last year, but I have a feeling there’s more to it.

This episode leaves us all with the same question: Which timeline is real? The answer may be obvious to some, but it may not always be as simple. I personally think Jeff’s timeline is real, Evil Abed refers to this timeline as the prime timeline, and everything all seems fine and dandy in this universe. Also, if you think about it, nothing has really changed in this timeline. It’d be the easiest for this one to be real. I think one thing is for sure though, this won’t be the last we see of the other timelines.

That’s about all for this review. I give this episode an A+

Observations:
– Forget what I said, it’s a troll (not a gnome) and it’s name is Torg
– Room 303 or 304? A reference to the episode switch that happened with this week/last week
– Jeff quickly dismisses Pierce when asked about his father
– Britta seems to know her way around Jeff’s apartment
– I believe Jeff’s timeline is real, evil Abed called its the prime timeline
– Troys candy cigarettes
– Did we know Britta was a stoner?
– The ME SO HUNGY Britta dance was made entirely by Gillian Jacobs
No new episode next week, but we will have Halloween the following week!

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