This week’s Community started off a little jarring; probably due to the “indefinite hiatus” thing back in January, it seems like the last two episodes have aired out of order. After just watching the gang deal with Shirley’s wedding one week ago, everyone is hugging in the study room and talking about what they did “over break” and not mentioning a single plot point from the wedding episode. Oh well!
Abed’s winter vacation was apparently spent playing out elaborate fantasy scenarios with celebrity impersonators. This gag took me a minute to catch onto because the Tommy Lee Jones impersonator who burst into the study room to act out The Fugitive didn’t actually look anything like Tommy Lee Jones. The head of the impersonator ring, who just happens to look exactly like French Stewart if he dressed like circa 2003 Jennifer Lopez, comes to talk to Abed about settling his bill.
Turns out that dozens of fake celebrities will set you back a few thousand dollars; since Abed doesn’t have the money, Non-French Stewart offers the gang the chance to work a bar mitzvah to settle Abed’s balance. It’s significant that Troy, so often Abed’s partner in crime/fun, is the one who convinces the group that they should do it. It’s not enabling Abed’s delusions; it’s letting him make their lives more fun!
The gang was pretty good in all their costumes, with the highlights being Britta’s Michael Jackson and Shirley’s shouty Oprah. Jeff, whose recent prescription of anti-anxiety meds has unleashed his barely-controlled ego, is a taller, better-looking Ryan Seacrest. (Admittedly, Joel McHale was looking extra-dreamy this week.) He is instantly surrounded by a group of fawning women.
One thing that bugged me about the women at the bar mitzvah: isn’t this show supposed to take place in Colorado? If so, why does the entire group of women have exaggerated New York accents? There are Jewish people in other places, with other accents, Community casting team.
Meanwhile, Troy’s caught on to the fact that French isn’t playing around, and will break Abed’s legs like a movie villain if the group’s performances aren’t up to par. Toward the end of an increasingly ridiculous “award ceremony” where every award goes to the boy whose bar mitzvah it is, Jeff goes all Hulk-smash when he doesn’t get the Handsomest Boy Award. The guest of honor thought it was all part of the show, and Troy is relieved that they’ve averted disaster for Abed.
The episode ends on an unusually earnest note. This wasn’t one of Jeff’s big speeches; it was an understated moment between Troy and Abed back at their apartment. Troy comes home to see that Abed hadn’t learned anything about keeping his spending under control and had splurged on several more celebrity impersonators, including a terrible Patch Adams.
Troy’s attempts to get through to Abed on a level his calculating brain could appreciate was a testament to Troy’s dedication to their friendship, as well as his increasing maturity. As the members of the study group face the imminent end of their time at Greendale, they’re all preparing (or not) to face the world outside. While it’s a little worrisome to see Abed play make-believe with his alter ego from the dark timeline, it’s great to see Troy learning how to be an adult, and a good friend.