Far be it from the gang at Community to miss the opportunity for a themed episode. This week, love was in the air at Greendale as the study group prepared for the Valentine’s Day dance. How many freaking dances does this school have, anyway?
Britta waltzes into the study room, all smug about her new platonic friendship with a lesbian. She’s disappointed at the mild reaction from the group, particularly Pierce. After they catch Pierce popping a few painkillers (some impressive continuity from the writers; Pierce broke his leg several months ago during the trampoline episode), the group decides to stage an intervention for him. Jeff’s reluctant to participate, and an off-hand insult to the Barenaked Ladies causes an all-out fight culminating with Jeff’s declaration, “This? Is a fight. We are fighting.”
Professor Duncan approaches Jeff about a soccer game that night, and he’s impressed that an American knows so much about it. “I’m a stylish American. I’ve been forcing myself to like soccer since 2004.” Jeff invites Prof. Duncan over to watch the game instead of going to the dance with the nerds he’s suddenly mad at. It’s getting a little tired that, almost two full seasons into its run, the show is still dealing with Jeff’s conflict over being a nice guy. I can’t remember for sure, as I wasn’t yet as big of a fan last season, but I’m pretty sure Jeff deciding he’s too cool for a Greendale dance and bailing has actually happened before.
Troy and Abed, meanwhile, have fallen in love with the cute school librarian, but they don’t know how to handle the fact that they both want to take her to the dance. So, they do the only practical thing and confront her with their dilemma. Surprisingly,it works. “We need to get something straight first: this is the cutest thing that’s ever happened to me.” She agrees to meet them both at the dance.
Annie finds out that Britta and her new friend are both straight, and both using each other for bragging rights under the assumption that the other is a lesbian. Maybe it’s just the Seinfeld nerd in me, but this plot line seemed exactly like the episode where Elaine thinks she’s dating a black man, and he thinks she’s Hispanic. So I give it a resounding “meh.”
So as the dance kicks off back at Greendale, Jeff and Prof. Duncan settle in to watch the game. This episode had a fun smattering of absurd English slang (“I’ll see you at exactly 6:30. Or, as we call it in England, Gravedigger’s Biscuits”) It’s not long before Chang, a character with ever-diminishing returns, crashes the party in a Where’s Waldo-esque hat and scarf combo. Duncan, however, convinces Jeff to allow it: “Aw, let him in. He’s wearing the right colors and everything.”
The next scene, I have to say, provided the biggest laugh Community has given me so far. I’ll just transcribe it for you:
Duncan: Get over here. There’s room for three fannies on this couch!
Chang: Doesn’t ‘fanny’ mean ‘vagina’ in England?
Duncan: Everything means ‘vagina’ in England.
Then, finally, when Chang offers to order a pizza, Duncan jumps in: “I love pizza! In England we call them ‘Italian Fannies.'” This was pause-the-DVR hilarious. I love John Oliver.
Chang calls Starburns (did anyone notice that he’s Heartburns for this episode? Just me?) over in the hopes of turning it into a full-out party. He succeeds, and Jeff ends up having fun despite himself. Maybe he could have more fun if he spent less time with the study group. But after he kicks everyone out of the party, he’s sad to see that no one frantically called him all night.
At the dance, Troy and Abed end up burrowing deeper into their codependent friendship when Troy blows off the librarian for calling Abed “weird.” Britta finds out her new friend wasn’t a lesbian after all. And Pierce gets a pep talk from his hallucinogenic spirit guide, Andy Dick, and Annie feels bad that she can’t help him. They’re all feeling a little down, but a sweet “I love you guys” text from Jeff makes everything all better.
I don’t know, I thought the ending was pretty sweet but I thinkt he writers need to let Jeff grow as a character. He’s come to terms with his nice person/asshole dichotomy several times this season. He has a complicated but loving relationship toward his little band of misfits, and as annoying as he sometimes finds them, he also finds that things are a little hollow without them. Can’t we just take this as an assumption from now on, and let Jeff (and the rest of the gang) deal with new and more interesting storylines?
Photo courtesy of Spoiler Tv.