Was I the only one confused at the start of this episode? I rewound it three times (is rewinding still a thing? I’m 80.) because I was sure it was an old episode. They’re back from break, it’s all New Year’s baby Jesus…what the hell? It’s March. Then I realized, Ohhh, right—this was supposed to air months ago, but then NBC went and fucked us all. (Sorry, NBC. Bygones. You’ve righted your wrong. We’ll move on as friends. JUST DON’T DO IT AGAIN.) So, willing suspension of disbelief (at Greendale, AS IF): It’s January, and the gang hasn’t seen each other all break. (Like…they certainly didn’t see each other last week when I was with Joel McHale watching Community.) Right, so here we go.
It’s the start of a new term, and that means Britta’s advancing in her psychology studies. This term, she gets to diagnose a student! Enter Jeff. He’s even swaggerier than usual (not possible!), and it turns out he’s got a new shrink and an antianxiety pill that puffs up his ego. Maybe he could use some detox programs in Maine? (Um, what is this wonder drug that will stop my heart from racing AND make me see only awesome when I look in the mirror? Also, why isn’t it advertising during Community like sad-robe Abilify???)
Annnnd…Abed’s Harrison Ford. (For the second time, actually. First Han, now Fugitive guy.) See, he’s spending all his money on hiring celebrity impersonators to reenact scenes from his favorite movies with him. Honestly, it’s not the worst idea I’ve ever heard (not like I would hire a Ryan Gosling look-alike for that “I’m a bird, you’re a bird” sequence from The Notebook or anything), except for Abed has no money. (And also, I’m doing that bird thing.)
Hypothetical random question: If you were recapping a beloved TV show and at this point in your recapping you accidentally dropped the guacamole you were eating on your very clean floor, would you scoop said guacamole back into the bowl and continue eating it? Oh, you wouldn’t? Ok, good, because I totally didn’t just do that. Where were we?
Chang’s got a gun! (I forgot about him. Drag.) And opening credits! Holy (dirty guaca)mole—we’re only at opening credits??? Moving right along!
Turns out Greendale’s as broke as Abed, and the only way Chang can continue to
terrorize protect students is to recruit some bloodlusty interns. (Ruh-roh: Methinks this is what McHale warned us about last week.) Hey, Chang—try Florida!
Meanwhile, Britta’s on Jeff’s case: She’s done some research on his meds, and turns out without his anxiety to balance the tremendous self-confidence, he’s vulnerable to a condition called hypernarciccosis. He needs to get off the drugs and stay away from flattering situations like weddings, gay bars and aviator glasses. Jeff’s not having it. He likes how he feels sans anxiety. (Please, for the love of God—WHAT IS THE NAME OF THIS WONDERDRUG???)
Annnnd…the dean is down. (I feel you, Dean. Those aviators set my ladyparts aquiver, too.)
Oh hey, it’s French Stewart as a French Stewart impersonator turned owner of celebrity look-alike-for-hire biz Doppelgëng! Turns out Abed’s 3 grand in the hole for all his make-believe fun. And also turns out Jeff would make an amazing Seacrest impersonator, only more handsome. (Oh, McHale and Seacrest—the Sam and Diane of the post-aughts.) Well, flattery will get you everywhere with Jeff—and it will also launch him into a fit of narcisorodriguez (or whatever Britta called that disorder he has). His apple is expanding to dangerous widths!
French isn’t heartless: Abed can pay off his debt if he and his friends work a party—a party that wouldn’t be complete without Oprah, black Michael Jackson and white Michael Jackson! (OMG, Britta really kind of does look like white Michael Jackson.) This is gonna be so, so good, you guys. Annie objects—they can’t bail Abed out every time he pulls an Abed (I’m glad someone’s taking the fun-boner-killing duties away from Britta; my girl B gets a bad rap), but Troy is there to save the day: It’s not their job to make Abed face reality. Abed is a magical elf who has made their lives more magical for being in it. Ok, everyone’s on board. Cool X 4.
Only…if they screw it up, it’s Ving Rhames/Michael Chiklis time on Abed’s ass, and I’m thinking not Lilo & Stitch Rhames and not Commish Chiklis. (Yeah, that’s right, I just IMDBed Ving Rhames—what do you want from me?) My money’s on Winger’s unshatterable ego getting them out of this sticky situation, but let’s wait and see.
It’s Howie Schwartz’s Star Mitzvah! Yes! (In case you were wondering, my own bat mitzvah theme was New York City, and the table I sat at with 15 of the 80 or so of my closest friends in attendance who I no longer talk to was called table Bloomingdale’s.) Shirley’s wailing Oprah-style, Britta’s walking backward while talking in a high-pitched voice and Abed is brown Jamie Lee Curtis! (I prefer Activia-era JLC, when she’s popping out from behind bushes and demanding diaries of strangers’ colon activity, but this works, too. Yay!)
Jeff, on the advice of his terrible shrink, has upped his dosage of (what sounds like) the most amazing pills on earth. He’s in grave danger! (Hee! Shamone!)
Uh-oh, the randy Jewesses taking their turn with Jeff have sent him headlong into crisis mode: He needs to be taken down a peg and fast. It’s Britta to the rescue: Jeff has bad posture, muscular manboobs and an abnormally high crack. Um. It doesn’t work, but you know what does? The award ceremony wherein the bar mitzvah boy wins everything and Jeff wins bupkis. Suddenly Jeff is less Seacrest and more Ferrigno. Enter Chang’s Brigade of Almost-Men! (And holy hell, will you look at Joel McHale’s freakin’ abs???) Tranquilizer gun! (Also, yes, Winger’s ego does unwittingly and unintentionally save the day. Gold star for me.)
Poor Pierce. And poor Troy. Abed doesn’t seem so magical now, he just seems sort of selfish and clueless. The gang worked their tuchuses off to help him, and Abed is already blowing his cash again—Patch Adamsing, no less. And poor Abed! (Danny Pudi, Jesus Christ, those puppy-dog eyes are killing me.) Are they growing up? Is this what’s happening? I don’t like it.
Turns out Britta’s pretty good at being a shrink. But Jeff’s out of her league: For her midterm, she’ll be diagnosing Abed, who is currently in the Dreamatorium playing Inspector Spacetime by himself. Things seems uncertain for Abed. And for Jeff, too, actually. Things are all upside-downy: Chang has minions, Britta’s making sense, I feel sympathetic toward Pierce—and let’s not forget that the evil air-conditioning dean is sure to be after Troy again soon. Yep, Chang(e) is definitely afoot at Greendale.
So what did you think? Are big things brewing for our beloved study group? Tonight was kind of a joy—while also being sort of dark for Community. It was nice to see Britta and Jeff together again and nice also not to hear so much from Annie or Shirley (I love them, don’t get me wrong, but just, y’know…a break from the holier-than-thou-ees can be good). I’m excited to see what happens. Until next week, Human Beings.