Just like that, Community was back in tip-top form, delivering one of its sharpest episodes thus far. So much for last week’s moldy sandwich! Yesterday’s show, “Debate 109,” should become a rubric of what the series needs to do each week to succeed. This episode limited the exposure of Britta, who is appealing so long as she’s kept to the sideline. It introduced a new and deliciously memorable character in the form of Jeremy Simmons, the wheelchair-bound champion debater who quotes German poets while weeping. And it stayed true to its main characters, even while deliberately reminding us of how stereotypical they are. Adding the tantalizing possibility of a Jeff-Annie romance just made the whole enchilada that much yummier. And hot.
For this Friday the 13th, let’s recap the 13 best lines from last night’s episode, in chronological order… go!
1. “This is wrinkling my brain,” Troy says while watching Abed’s seemingly prophetic film. Then the actor who’s playing Troy in Abed’s film says, “This is wrinkling my brain,” to which the real-life Troy responds, with increased alarm, “That’s wrinkling my brain!”
2. Professor Whitman (the always appreciated John Michael Higgins) tries to convince Jeff to join the school’s debate team: “I am offering you an opportunity to spend the night drinking from the cup of life, rather than romancing your nether regions in front of the E! channel.” Yet another sly reference to Joel McHale’s other gig.
3. Dean Pelton: “The best compliment our sports program gets is that our basketball team is really gay.”
4. Troy while watching another one of Abed’s films: “Why am I crying? Was I accidentally listening to ‘Come Sail Away’ by Styx again?” Troy is rapidly becoming the funniest character on Community for me.
5. Pierce: “Jeff, I think your shirt’s trying to get out of your pants.”
6. Professor Whitman: “By Zeus, what sort of jackassery is this? We’re in the middle of a championship debate!”
7. Not a quote, but the Annie-lets-her-hair-down-and-magically-transforms-into-an-even-more-adorable-young-woman scene must be mentioned. Between Community and Mad Men, Alison Brie is having quite an exemplary year, and she could be on the verge of stardom much sooner than anyone anticipated.
8. “I will not be pitied,” Pierce exclaims before stepping into a drum and falling into a cornucopia of instruments. Epic fail.
9. Jeff arguing for the inherent evilness of the human species: “I would respond: ‘There is none righteous. No, not one.’ Now, I realize Mr. Simmons’ quote was from the great Franz Wickmayer. Mine was just from a simple desert handyman… named Jesus.” By the way, is Franz Wickmayer an actual German poet? Am I misspelling the guy’s name? A part of me thinks the show’s writers used that name specifically because they were amused by the idea of people struggling to Google it.
10. During the debating montage, Jeff mentions Abu Ghraib as an example of mankind’s evilness. Simmons’ rebuttal: “Apu from The Simpsons.”
11. Another one of Jeff’s arguments on the behalf on mankind’s depravity: “Ketchup is a vegetable!”
12. The slo-mo shot of Simmons ejecting himself out of his wheelchair and gracefully floating through the air, arms outstretched while bracing himself to be caught by Jeff… well, that’s an image you don’t see every day.
13. Annie: “He was horny, so he dropped him. Man…is…evil!”
So, PopWatchers, are you with me? A significant upgrade over last week’s episode, right? Where do you guys fall on the show’s philosophical debate: Is man good or evil? And raise your hand if you’re in favor of an Annie-Jeff relationship.