Welcome back, Human Beings! It is so good to see you again. Last we were together, things were trippy for our gang. Starburns was dead (or was he?), Chang was in a vent, there was drama in the Sun Chamber…things were getting cray-cray. Now we’re back en medias hijinks, and it’s business as usual at Greendale (i.e. kinda sorta cray-cray).
Troy and Abed back from suh-mer! (Summer, NBC. SUMMER. Whatever.) The gang are all seniors at Greendale Community College (willing suspension of disbelief, engage!), and it’s nothing but hipster glasses and laugh tracks. Oh, we’re in Abed’s mind. Why though? We’ve only just begun! Oh, Britta. She’s busy Britta-ing things up already, working her Psycho 101 hoodoo on Abed, suggesting he go to his happy place to remain calm about the impeding end of school. (How cute is it that Abed’s happy place is still the study lounge? My happy place is Barneys New York where everything costs $3 and they give you your change in Cadbury Crème Eggs.) (Also, I had the exact same breakdown as Abed at the end of college, only with more uncontrollable crying and less being able to get out of bed because of the crushing depression, but that’s a story for another time.)
Fred Willard. Fun.
Back in the only marginally less-happy place of reality, the gang is off to register for the History of Ice Cream, which is obviously a Greendale class—and is obviously a popular one. Not to worry, Winger’s saving seats! The hell? Senior-year Winger is unsettlingly helpful. (Also unsettling? Britta and Troy are doing it. Dislike. Britta should only do it with Jeff. A lot. And we should watch. What? I didn’t say anything.)
Leonard!!! (Missed him.) And there’s the dean. (Missed him, too.) Oily musclemen with unicorn horns! (I didn’t know it, but I really missed them.) There’s only one way to determine who gets into the overbooked class and who doesn’t: The Hunger Deans! (I’m guessing this felt more timely before NBC postponed Community’s original air date. I can’t wait until the follow-up episode about the Iran-Contra hearings. Way to go, jerks.) (Also, if you don’t get that reference, it’s because I’m 100.)
Anyway, the gist is this: One red ball equals one ice cream spot. And Jeff’s determined to get all the balls. (Heeheehee.) Turns out he’s one class short of graduating (one semester early). The gang has a collective wack attack. How dare he graduate (one semester) early. Ooh, he’s so selfish. (Right? That’s selfish? Everyone thinks he’s really, really selfish. I don’t know. Pass, I guess, since this kind of stuff does seem like a bigger deal when you’re in school. And also, I don’t care because COMMUNITY, I’M SO HAPPY YOU’RE BACK!!!)
Cut to happy place: Lost records mean a lifetime sentence at Greendale. Sounds good to me too, Abed!
While Jeff is focused on his balls, Annie and Shirley are trespassing in the dean’s office due to their throbbing case of senioritis. Instead of moving everything to make it look as if they’ve moved the dean’s stapler, Shirley suggests filling his car with popcorn. (À la Real Genius. And also à la Happy Endings, which had this exact same popcorn line on a recent episode that probably taped after Community, only now Community looks like a copycat because the show was shelved for so damn long.) (Note to self: You watch too much TV.)
Troy and Britta are trying to be coupley, which is a mistake, because no couple can compete with the couple that is Trabed. Britta Brittas Troy and Abed’s first-day-of-school tradition of wishing and instead unwishes like the dumb idiot that she is. (I’m sorry. I actually love Britta. I just don’t like her with Troy. Troy and Abed, Britta and Jeff. WHAT IS SO DIFFICULT ABOUT THIS?)
Turns out Abed’s not the only one who wants to keep Jeff safe in Greendale. Annie’s not happy either, and the dean *may* have conspired to hold Jeff back, too. Tango! (Was I the only one hoping that the dean and Jeff would make out? No? Me neither.)
Uh-oh, Abed’s happy place has been compromised. Catatonia. Happy place within a happy place. Greendale Babies! Best moment ever. Well, not for Abed. He’s stuck. So…monologue time. In Babyville! Change is scary—but it’s less scary with friends. (Aww. It’s true!)
Oops, Leonard’s got their balls. Looks like they’re stuck together a little bit longer. (Yay.) Especially Jeff and the dean. They’re nabes. (Double yay.)
CHANG. Uch. Forgot about him. Oh! He forgot, too. He has Changnesia. He’s Kevin now. Maybe Kevin is awesome.
Bosom Buddies! Antics! (Seriously, if you’re not 36, did you understand half the references in this episode? Good, because you’re too young to deserve to understand anything.)
Honestly, a lot went on tonight. There were some missed opportunities, Hunger Games-wise (Britta is obvs Katniss, but a really ineffectual, misguided one, and Troy and Jeff are Peeta and Gale, and okay, that’s enough, I’ve said too much already). I almost wanted less of Abed’s world and more of the Capitol’s. (I’m sorry Abed! I love your world! But we can go there any time!) Or maybe I just wanted the group to stay together, instead of off in their little factions. It’s so long since we’ve been together—I can’t bear to split up again, not even for a minute. All in all, a solid, standard Community episode. (It speaks to how good this show is that “standard” in the Greendale world equals double-meta tangents and Greendale Babies cartoons.)
I can’t wait for next week. Until then, may the Deans be ever in your favor.
Check out the full episode below!