Among the many other shows, we see Community make its return to television. And it was, okay.
This week we once again see Prof. Duncan try and score a date with Britta, to do so, he enlists Jeff’s help, and the two concoct a plan. Ian suggest going to a charity benefit, just the type of thing that Britta would be interested in. Naturally, the rest of the group, minus Abed and Hickey, come along as well. This is kinda where things took a turn for the bad. The story splits off into the various subplots that are the norm for a sitcom, and while far from bad, none were really great either.
Starting with the main one, we see Ian trying to nab Britta, how will he do this? Wait for her to have an emotional breakdown and move in for the kill. Despicable, yes, but keeping in line with what we have seen of Duncan so far. A wrench is thrown in the works when Britta runs into some of her old anarchist friends, gives a speech, and woos the crowd. Honestly, it was a pretty good speech, one of the better parts of the episode. After this we get a fall out between Jeff and Duncan, as Jeff spontaneously finds himself attracted to Britta again. What follows are some fun jabs at Dane Cook, because well, he’s Dane Cook. Britta falls out with her old friends, realizing that they have traveled down separate paths in life and she finds herself unable to connect. Its wrapped up with fairly awkward flirting by Duncan and Britta commenting on his and Jeff’s friendship, leading them to reconnect over a bro’s night.
This plot just wasn’t anything special, the whole Jeff randomly having a thing for Britta again was just out of nowhere, and frankly uninteresting. If it had been played up as Jeff doing it to give Duncan the metaphorical kick in the pants he needed to talk to Britta, it might have been more interesting to see, but this just fell flat. The only thing that really saved it from just being flat out horrible, was the bit of Jeff and Duncan’s friendship. Their friendship was a fun part of their characters’ in seasons one and two, and with Duncan being MIA throughout seasons three and four, it was really nice to see that come back. But apart from that, this just felt like a filler. We could have some great character moments with Britta, build up what we saw of her in “Geothermal Escapism” but we got nothing. It seemed the whole plot with Britta was only there to set up for the last three minutes with Jeff and Duncan.
While this happening, Abed was back a Greendale building his classic Kick Puncher costume to wear to the premier of the reboot (it’s a crime they changed the costume, it really is) he stumbles upon Prof. Hickey, and sprays foam over his duck drawings. Hickey cuff’s him to a drawer, attempting to teach him a lesson about actions and consequences. Abed pretends to like the comics, in an effort to connect with Hickey so that he will let him go. This fails, and we see the two explode at each other, Abed stating that Hickey’s comics are lacking because he doesn’t draw on any of his own experiences in writing them, which is a valid point to make about anyone’s work, and storms off, only to return with a script for a cop drama he had written. Hickey agree’s to help Abed, using his own experience as an officer to help Abed with the nitty gritty details he is lacking, and the two bond.
Like with the Britta and Ian, this was a fairly uninteresting story. Hickey does raise a point about everyone walking around eggshells on Abed, due his various issues and such, but its not the greatest. These various quirks of Abed have been done before, and in better ways. Hickey’s entire argument falls short of the mark because nothing new is brought up. He tries to teach Abed a lesson, but ultimately fails to do so. Abed doesn’t learn a lesson so much as he recognizes some similar personality traits in Hickey, their shared desired to be recognized for their creativity. While not bad, it wasn’t anything special, it once again feels like its just the writers trying to fill the gap left by Troy, even shown by Abed’s mournful gaze at Troy’s empty chair in the study room. If they play this up in later episodes, expand on these two working together on this project, it could make for a fun subplot for the season, so finger’s crossed that happens.
Our final bit, Chang and the ghosts. Amusing, but not really much to talk about. He talks to “ghosts” and questions his own existence. It was good for a couple of laughs, but nothing more than that. Shirley and Annie pretty much nowhere to be found this episode, they had a few lines and then just disappeared, not really contributing to the episode save for a single joke about corporations and mindless drones, but lets be honest, those jokes have been done to death that this point.
Overall, not really the greatest episode we have seen. It was far from the worse, but also far from great. It seems that the show is still trying to figure out where it stands after the loss of Troy. I can only hope it finds it soon, because I don’t think we can survive to many more episodes like this one.