'Community' recap: Making the grade

Community-Mchale-ReligionImage Credit: Trae Patton/NBCComing on the heels of what could be considered an ”event” of an episode, Community was back in normal form last night, which is not at all a bad thing. Sure, last week’s episode was everything pop culture freaks (term used lovingly) could have hoped for, but its success largely hinged on the viewer’s ability to recognize the litany of movie reference it contained. On the contrary, this week was something for everyone.

It was finals time at Greendale, and the gang was looking forward to finishing Spanish 102. But their next step was up for debate. The gang (sans Jeff) wanted to move on to Spanish 103, until learning it was a 6 a.m. class, and Jeff just wanted to stay on track with his four-year graduation plan — group and friends be damned — which meant his Spanish days would soon be behind him. His announcement didn’t sit well Annie, whose overwhelming desire to keep her small circle of friends took precedence over her ability to make good decisions.

In other words: Annie went a little nuts. She told Dean Pelton that Señor Chang did not have the proper credentials to be teaching (something she learned only because she left her digital voice recorder rolling at the perfect time), and what resulted was the gang’s worst nightmare: Chang was ousted and Pelton brought in a real Spanish teacher who had prepared a comprehensive final exam for them. Que?!? They all ended up passing the test (in large part thanks to Pierce, wouldn’t you know), but agreed that they wanted to stay a study group. Anthropology, anyone?

Now that you’ve got the Cliff’s Notes, let’s move on to the fun stuff. The full load, if you will. Last night’s 10 best lines:

“Will someone back me up if I say this is ridiculous or is this going to be another Avatar situation?” — Britta

“I know the family downstairs hates me. I don’t need to understand why.” — Jeff, on why Spanish has no value beyond college credit

”I prefer the term ‘better than real’…” — Jeff, re: his fake degree

“Did you say ‘keytar’? Or did you just pronounce ‘guitar’ like a hillbilly?” — Jeff

“So I did what any man would do. I faked my way into a job teaching Spanish at a community college using phrases from Sesame Street.” — Senor Chang

“Word of advice: If an Asian man says he’s a Spanish teacher, it’s not racist to ask for proof.” — Dean Pelton

“Why’s she teaching Spanish if she’s a doctor? Go cure something.” — Troy

“At one point I was teaching you Klingon.” — Senor Chang

“Someone make her a dude, so I can punch her.” — Troy

“Did the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants poison each other’s food so they were too sick to leave? No. I’ve never seen it, but I’m pretty sure they mailed each other pants!” — Jeff

Well, that’s all for now, PopWatchers. We have one episode left this season. I know, I know. I’m already making my Disney face, too. But while you still can, head to the comments and tell me what you thought of the episode. Do you tip your bag boy? Was the plot about Troy as the Will Hunting of plumbing as forgettable for you as it was for me? And is there a greater thing than an Asian on the keytar? Comment away, while I sit here and listen to the soothing sounds of a babbling brook.

Comments (64 total) Add your comment
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  • LOL

    It was cookin’ along, but mostly ended with a whimper. Of course, the Pierce reveal was awesome.

    • Chance

      It’s hard not to “whimper” after the BRILLIANCE that was the Paintball CluFu.

      • me2

        I didn’t recognize half of the references last week and I stil loved it. this week, ho-hum. We need More Chang!

      • Arizona

        “And is there a greater thing than an Asian on the keytar?”


  • tellusataletunes

    “but its success largely hinged on the viewer’s ability to recognize the litany of movie reference”

    Totally untrue, as I gave no thought to any of that while enjoying last week’s episode; one which should go in the all time sitcom hall of fame.

    • Amanda


  • step

    Felt a little meh, after last week – it kind of felt like the entire episode was built to service the fact that Ken Jeong wasn’t getting enough to do. Unfortunately, throwing out a bunch of ‘Hey, you know what would be funny?!’s does not a good script make.

    Best line of the night was: ‘Maybe not too cool, maybe just, you know, not psycho.’ – Britta

  • Elizabeth

    I loved how Abed repeated Ben Affleck’s line from “Good Will Hunting” and the following scene in the classroom.

    Nothing was going to top last week’s episode… even if they trotted out a half-naked Jeff ;)

    • Sara (other one)

      Let’s not discourage them from trying!

      • Elizabeth

        I wasn’t… I never would ;) If they had done that, between Jeff, Rob Lowe on Parks and Rec, and Jon Hamm on 30 Rock, I would’ve left my house and played in traffic at the end of the night. That would be too much awesome for me :)

    • Ceballos

      Yeah, “Good Will Hunting” is a favorite of mine, so I didn’t find it forgettable at all.

      I loved the reverse “Good Will Hunting-ness” (Troy being urged to become a janitor instead of a student) and the way Abed simply paraphrased Abed’s speech (making it seem like he simply didn’t want to see Troy in class anymore).

  • JLC

    Agreed. They couldn’t have ended the season with the paintball episode because they needed to set up next semester. So anything was going to be a let down from last week. It was still pretty good.
    BTW, how awesome is it going to be learning what everyone did on their summer break?

    • Blame Leno

      that was hillarious!!!!

  • Maserda

    Wow, I thought this season was the finale based on what happened.

    I thought it was funny how the class revolted using the wrong name. “HANNAH! HANNAH!”

  • Kendall

    Actually, I thought the Good Will Hunting parody was pretty frickin’ funny.

    And I’m totally gonna incorporate “Disney Face” into my lexicon.

    • Isembard

      I second that. I wasn’t all that moved by Good Will Hunting, but I loved this parody.

  • pop

    the good will hunting subplot was silly – i enjoyed it. i love that troy was so upset with abed “he said the best part of the day is when he thinks i won’t be there”

    • JC

      Enjoyed that Community reveals just how cruel that line from Good Will Hunting actually is.

      I lost it when Troy walked up to the chalk board, looked at the equation and just pocketed the chalk on his way to the water fountain.

      • pop

        yes!!! that was perfect.

  • Sue

    The line about the sisterhood of the traveling pants was awesome!!!

  • mkaffeine

    In terms of last week’s episode, I agree with me2: even without getting half the references, it was a riot. My fave line in this week’s episode was Jeff barking at Abed: “She’s the Ark of the Covenant!”

    • Amanda

      That line made me spit the water I was drinking all over my keyboard. HILARIOUS!!!

      • CB

        I rewatched that part at least 5 times. Danny Pudi’s reaction was perfection.

  • elena

    Loved this episode. I totally understand Annie’s pathological scheming, and her disney face was the most hilariously cute thing. Jeff’s rant about the sisterhood of the traveling pants = best half-assed pop culture application ever. I love the fact that Jeff attempted to namecheck the sisterhood because he thought Annie would understand.

  • stef

    when they were hit with tasers and Jeff admitted he was peeing was pretty darn funny too!

    • katemae

      “I’m peeing. I’m peeing. I’m pee-ing.” So funny.

  • Ceballos

    So, who do we want to play the anthropology professor next season? (With “Scrubs” canceled, that frees up John C. McGinley’s docket.)

    • JLC

      Great suggestion. Actually, Donald Faison wouldn’t be half bad either.

      • Ceballos

        …or if they want a woman (and she’s interested in doing comedy) they can go after Lily Tomlin.

    • tnsmoke

      Will Arnett!!!

  • Bug

    Aww, sad that no one else liked my favorite line: Troy saying he was going to get a college degree so he could understand the shows on HBO.

    • SaneN85

      Shortly followed by him saying he only got half of the first season of The Wire.

  • Isembard

    I loved this episode. Had me laughing throughout. And I love that they’ve found a way to keep “Senor Change” interacting with the gang as a fellow student since he can’t be their teacher any more. Love, love, love this show.

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