Even though Community was technically back last week, it felt like this week it was truly back in its best form; it was actually fun! And made me crack up a few times! If you missed it, get thee to your DVR or Hulu and watch it immediately.
Anyhoo, prompted by the discovery that Troy’s monkey had been hiding all their stuff, the gang starts to reminisce about the year they’ve had. Everyone except Jeff and Britta think the year has been terrible: Pierce got hooked on meds, Abed had a nervous breakdown, and Shirley had an unplanned pregnancy. Jeff asks Abed, whose brain is a computer, to come up with some happy memories from the past year. Instead he blurts out, “Jeff and Britta are having secret sex!”
Abed’s three memories about Jeff and Britta hooking up, while funny, are actually glaringly obvious, and it seems more like Abed had just been keeping a secret that he’d decided to tell the group rather than having done any serious deducing. After the Jeff and Britta realization, the rest of the group decides it’s their fault that the year has been so bad; they’ve been putting themselves before the group. Jeff and Britta demand proof, and after some stops and starts, Pierce and Troy lay it on the table: Jeff stole Troy’s barber class wig (“Someone’s going to regionals!”) while Britta yanked Annie’s Chapstick.
The rest of the episode is a delightful kind of flashback/clip show filled with moments that were never actually in any shows. There are some hilariously weird ones (what did they do on St. Patrick’s Day, anyway?) and ones that we kind of wish had been full episodes (Wild West ghost town!). But they’re all used to resolve some issues among the members of the group.
The Jeff and Annie issue, for example, was expertly defused with a slow-motion montage set to Sara Bareilles showing Annie reading too much into her “meaningful glances” with Jeff. The montage’s escalating ridiculousness was hilarious: quick glance in the cafeteria, Jeff stopping Annie from stepping in poop, doing the Heimlich when she’s choking, saving her from a robot monster while the Dean looks on in a hot dog costume. We’ve all been there, right?
Then the poor Dean bursts into the study room, and after Jeff lashes out at him we’re treated to a stream of several well-dressed non-sequiturs from the Dean, my favorite of which was “Gone with the Windows, where we’ll celebrate our new energy-efficient windows with a cotillion.”
After a rundown of all their big fights, in which Jeff’s points out that Abed always has to “take everything we do and shove it up its own ass,” Abed says the group should just do what they always do and sulk away declaring that the group is breaking up. Instead, they half-heartedly finish their 20th diorama: a diorama of them making their 19th diorama. Before everyone leaves, though, Jeff rallies them yet again, and they end with the obligatory group hug. And naturally, now that Jeff and Britta have the group’s blessing to keep hooking up, they’re no longer interested.
This episode was actually hard to recap since so much of the humor was in the lightning-fast execution of the flashback. Highlights of this episode for me were Jeff’s ridiculous composite speech at the end (“It’s a locomotive that runs on us“), the revelation that Shirley sells Mary Kay-style cosmetics, Troy believes that cartoon physics apply in real life, and that Britta actually got to be a fun character again.