In a delightful bit of continuity, this week’s Community picked up with Britta having gotten the results of the personality tests she’d given the group a few weeks prior. And, as always, we get a Halloween theme episode, this time without everyone in costume. (I have to say that I missed getting to see Britta in her aggressively un-sexy animal costume. There’s always next year?)
As her lame pre-party starts up, the first thing Britta does is pull Jeff aside and tell him what has her so worried: one of the test results for the group came back as a strong indicator for homicidal tendencies, just as the lights flicker ominously. The Dean (Hallo-dean?), who comes by to encourage everyone to come to the Halloween dance, tells them the lights are flickering for Halloween atmosphere. And will continue to do so through All Saint’s Day”¦ month.
Back to the potential murderer among them. Britta “Brittas” the situation by testing everyone with a scary story and seeing how they react. After telling a sort of 1950s horror story, what with the madman with a hook hand and the teenagers making out in the car, she asks everyone how the story made them feel. Her story made Abed feel nothing, not because he’s a killer, but because it’s unrealistic and not relatable to the audience. He launches into a scary story of his own, in which he abandons every horror trope in favor of realism. He assures us the people in his story are eventually killed.
Each study grouper then gets a chance to tell a scary story. Annie’s descent into surprisingly explicit gore was reminiscent of her sex scene description from the Dungeons and Dragons episode from last season. These are actually the moments I like Annie the best: when she drops the “perfect Annie” demeanor and really goes for it. (See also: last year’s paintball episode.) Pierce’s wasn’t scary at all but was simply an excuse for him to offend both women and minorities. Shirley’s self-congratulatory rapture story was not scary to any of the non-Christians in the group.
Once Annie realizes that Britta ran the test through the feeder backwards, though, everyone relaxes a bit and Britta resolves to re-run the tests. (Did anyone else notice how weird it sounded for them not to use the word Scantron, since it’s a brand name? It was obviously a Scantron! Scantron.)
It turns out that, instead of containing one homicidal person, everyone in the group has some kind of psychological problem, except for one. They decide not to learn who the one “sane” person is so that they can all retain the hope that it’s them. However, in what was apparently supposed to be a sweet moment, we’re told that the sane one is Abed. Of course, that only makes me wonder if Abed’s computer brain just knew how to answer the questions correctly in order to get the “right” result. I guess we’ll never know!
Even though we got a week off between them, did anyone else find it a little tiring to get two “wacky story” episodes in a row that didn’t really do anything to further the action on the show? Do Troy and Britta still like each other? Did Annie move in with the guys? And while we’re at it, it’s worth pointing out that it’s been almost a month since we’ve seen either of the (awesome) new professors, and we haven’t seen (or really even heard about) John Goodman’s awesome air-conditioning repair vice dean since the premiere in early September. It’s nice to see Community doing what it does best, but I was excited to see where they would go with some of the new stuff this season, and the answer so far is “not much.”