NBC announced late last week that Dan Harmon's Community
will be picked up for a full season, despite schedule shifts resulting in declining ratings. In just six episodes, the ensemble cast has proven itself greater than the sum of its parts, each character has had a chance to interact with all the others quite differently, adding new dimensions with ease and proving the show doesn't have to rely on Joel McHale
and Chevy Chase
, because it isn't meant to. The main plot driving this episode is the Spanish class' Día de los Muertos celebration, aka Mexican Halloween, which Sr. Chang and several students confirm is a sexual position.
Halloween at a community college is a much different affair from the bacchanal at four year schools; the only party to be found is hosted by the Spanish club, which is usually organized by an overachieving teenager who was largely ignored in high school and for once gets to host the party. In this case, it's Annie taking charge, making sure everyone from the study group shows up, particularly Jeff, who is the cool kid on campus and the de facto nucleus of the group.
If he doesn't show, Annie worries, everyone will live in order to get home in time for the news. Pierce attempts to add the party to the planner on his cell phone using voice command, which of course he still hasn't figured out, and accidentally calls his mother, who further reveals Pierce's suspended adolescence.
Jeff plans to ask out his foxy professor, but offers Britta veto powers first. Jeff is rejected by a doctor because she doesn't want to compromise the student/teacher relationship and Sherry doesn't like the idea of anyone but Britta stealing Jeff's attention, and makes shaming this woman her top priority, but more on that later.
Finally, the audience who has so quickly grown to love these characters gets to see them in costume, and the gang does not disappoint, delivering one of the most satisfying Halloween episodes of recent memory. Britta in a shapeless but cuddly squirrel costume, complete with nut, as Annie removes her cape to reveal a really hot (and appropriate) skeleton catsuit, Jeff, true to form, doesn't do costumes.
Abed comes in out of nowhere, completely in character as Dark Knight
, right down to the comically gravelly voice, used to perfection as he critiques the party snacks. He walks over to Troy, dressed as Eddie Murphy
, who says, "Can I ask you something I always wanted to ask the real Batman? Am I attractive?"
The laughs don't quit as Pierce rolls in wearing a muscle suit with a hawk on his arm. "I'm the Beastmaster
," he says, referencing the 80s Schwarzenegger-reject fantasy flick, which, along with Jeff's admission he saw Ghostbusters
in the theater, skews the program's target demographic further toward the non-traditional students' than that of the freshmen.
Sr. Chang, who is missing the faculty party in order to supervise the Día de los Muertos fiesta and administer extra credit points, is offered $20 to take Jeff as his plus one. They leave to go get Jeff's (presumably only) costume: a cowboy hat, belt buckle, and spurs.
Meanwhile, Pierce, in an effort to appear young and hip, trades Starburns prostate medication for ecstasy and starts "tripping balls." Yes, the phrase "tripping balls" was used at 8/7 Central on free tv. The hippies have officially won the culture war.
Taking a tip from Sr. Chang, he employs the nuclear option for seducing a woman, straight up asking for sex with an honest compliment. It works, and they discreetly leave the faculty party together. As they walk past the fiesta, Jeff is called in to help Pierce, who, in the dark throws of a bad trip is threatening to kill himself from a fort made of desks and chairs. Jeff bids the professor goodbye and goes in to talk to Pierce. As the fort begins to crumble, Batman heroically saves the two to the score of The Dark Knight before giving a never-ending monologue about remaining vigilant.
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Story by Matt Anaya
Starpulse contributing writer
Image © NBC Photos