Happy Valloween, Human Beings! A belated apology for my tardiness, and an early one for what might be a tripped-out recap. I’m in a post-surgical, post-Vicodin haze (jealous???), so if you have trouble distinguishing the gang’s hallucinations from my own, inquire within and I’ll do my best to parse out reality from chemically enhanced delusions. With those disclaimers out of the way, onto the recap!
It’s Halloween at Greendale. THINGS. Annie as creepy floor-walking Ring girl kind of rules. The other costumes don’t, though, in their defense, I don’t yet understand what Abed is (call me out in the comments), and I think Britta is ham? Or lamb? I don’t know. Off to Vicki’s party! But first…off to Hawthorne Manor! Turns out Pierce locked himself in his panic room (he’s not invited to Vicki’s because of that whole pencil-stabbing thing). He’s been kind of depressed since Troy moved out and his horrible father croaked, so Jeff and co. have to stop by and help him for just a minute (and not, I’m sure, the entire length of the episode).
Okay wait, costumes redeemed. Ring girl No. 2 is pretty awesome. (But Jim Rash, please lay off the Ab Roller®. You are scaring me.)
If anyone’s looking for the 1990s, they’re over here at Hawthorne Manor (AMIRITE? I’m really sorry, you guys. Vicodin). But really, it’s pretty cheesy up in here, in a way that makes me feel comforted because no joke, all the rich kids I grew up with had houses like this, all Formica and aqua and neon. Actually, comforted is probably the wrong word.)
Pierce doesn’t want to be a burden (yes he does), but he needs the gang’s help: He can’t remember the code to get out of the panic room, and he also can’t remember where he put the journal where he wrote the code down. Also, Pierce’s ghost dad may be wandering the halls. Obviously this is a lie, says Jeff. EXCEPT, creepy shadow. (Dun dun dun, but a quiet one, because really, that’s not much of a twist.)
The gang splits up to find the code, with Britta “I will fix things with my Psych 101 prowess” Perry and Jeff “I will fix things with my gigantic rock-hard man boobs” Winger joining forces. It’s the battle of cautious forgiveness and cynical grudge-holding as Britta and Jeff investigate Pierce’s tubular bedroom. Britta believes that people can be haunted by unresolved issues from their past. Jeff, on the other hand, thinks it’s the living who choose to be haunted. It’s up to Pierce to free himself from the tethers of his terrible father like Jeff did and move forward like Jeff did and WAIT JUST A MINUTE. Is it possible that Britta actually makes a really good shrink? And do you think she takes my insurance?
Meanwhile, on the other side of the mansion…. Secret chamber! Creepy shadow! Reference humor! (Oh my god, walk-in cereal closet. Want one.) Heeheehee, Troy in a tiger costume in a sex swing. Adorbz. Only, Shirley doesn’t think so. In fact, all Pierce’s dog collars inspire her to warn innocent Troy about his new girlfriend’s modern appetites. I always forget that at heart Shirley’s a self-righteous asshole because she’s just so lovable. I’ll forgive her antifeminist leanings since a) she’s just worried about Troy and b) she’s a plot mechanism whose job it is to remind the characters and us that ultimately Troy belongs with Annie (or Abed) and Britta belongs with Jeff. No time to explain, though, because there’s Annie, and now they’re all off to find Abed (who, oh, whoops, forgot to mention, disappeared into the secret chamber. Sorry you guys, I’ve been eating Vicodin like popcorn over here. Haha, JK, but no seriously, I’m out of it.)
Meanwhile, Abed’s fine. In fact, he’s in Abed heaven, having stumbled on the mansion’s control room. In the eye of the panopticon that is Pierce’s home, Abed can watch the gang AND Cougartown. (A happy Wino-ween, indeed. Oh wait wait, Hallo-wine. Whatever, mine’s cute too.)
Cut to the camera on Britta and Jeff: More daddy issues. Turns out Jeff’s found his father but hasn’t called him yet. (Stow this, people: I can’t wait to see who guest-stars as Mr. Winger.)
“I remember when this show was about a community college.” —Abed, resident truth teller
More lurking ghostliness in archival footage while Pierce sleeps. Jeff flees from psyche-mining Britta, loathe to heal his heart hole. In another corridor, Shirley, Annie and Troy, who only just remembered how much he enjoys talking to naïve Annie (see above: re natural and obvious couplings), are going about their business when things start shaking and hands grope through the walls, NBD. Running, screaming, etc., etc.
Uh-oh, Pierce is dead and Troy broke the remote. Oh wait, Pierce isn’t dead. Phew. Turns out old Sour Grapes was just upset about not being invited to the party. (Except we already guessed that, so there’s another twist coming. My money’s on the lurking shadow.) Gilbert! He’s been living at Hawthorne Mansion in secret. His only purpose is to take care of people, and since his dear departed (awful, racist) dad passed, he’s been aimless. For the first time ever, Pierce is in a position to help. Aww, hugz. Roomies!
Jeff calls his dad. More high jinks. The end.
Another good (if not great) episode. Last season took a few weeks to hit its stride, too. (Remember all the awful Todd business? Ugh. TODD.) I’m hopeful next week hits it out of the park—and that in the screwed-up world of delayed premiere dates, it means we’re all celebrating Thanksgiving in the Dreamatorium. Until then, Pilgrims. Gobble gobble.
Watch the full episode below!