I have said it before and I will say it again, this season has been the show's best. With a more serialized plot and and increasingly creative episodes, the writers and producers have outdone themselves. Not to mention those fantastic actors, all of them (well, maybe not Chevy) worthy of an Emmy nomination (unlikely since the voters can't figure the show out).
However, not all the episodes are epic and not all of them can impress as much as others. Yet, even when we have an episode that isn't as strong as some of the ones preceding it, COMMUNITY is still superior to most shows on television, and ALL 30-minute comedies.
Following the death of Starburns, the study group tries to deal with their sorrow via Britta's psychology expertise, something Jeff reminds her is not her profession. When the Dean informs the group that Prof. Kane has quit following the series of events depicted in the previous (and brilliant) episode, and that it means they have to repeat the class in the summer, things go from bad to so much worse very quickly.
This little plot point, that turns mighty, is totally inconsistent with reality or even what the show has established in the past, since this isn't the first time a professor has been replaced without affecting the students in this way. It is one of the few missteps by writers who would usually come up with reasons that make much more sense.
In any event, the students attend a cafeteria rally that is part mourning Starburns and part revolution against the school. When things get out of control, after several impassioned speeches from the gang, the Dean gives Chang and his evil group of kiddies the power to use any available force. Thus we get a riot partly the fault of the study group, and partly due to Chang's bastards. We also get more proof that Subway is the coolest company ever when they allow themselves to be used as an impetus for the riot and the ire of the students.
Later, when Chang finds out that the Dean is going to side with the study group, he knocks Pelton out and replaces him with a look/sound-alike. The two then ambush the so-called Greendale Seven at a school board hearing and get them expelled.
Back at Abed, Troy, and Annie's apartment, the study group meets for a callback to the great timeline episode, Remedial Chaos Theory --with the pizza guy who Britta is strangely attracted to included. Abed thinks he should have let Jeff roll the die and that this is the darkest timeline. But Troy, in a very sweet moment, tells them they will be fine because they have each other. Abed agrees and proclaims this to be the perfect timeline.
Awwww. It is the sweetest moment between the gang yet and it works nearly as perfectly as Abed's timeline theory.
Troy noticing urns on the Blu-Ray shelf.
Troy: What is that?
Abed: Starburns also left me his ashes. He requested they be burnt. I don't think he knows how ashes work. The small one's his lizard.
Troy: If we rub that, will he come out and do celebrity impressions?
Abed: I don't think so.
Troy: Then I want it out of here.
Britta tries to help the group through their grief.
Britta: As a psychologist...
Jeff: (interrupting) Student!
Britta: (still talking) I hereby offer my licensed...
Jeff: (interrupting) Unlicensed!
Britta: (still talking) services as a grief counselor.
Jeff: Grief causer.
Britta: If anyone needs to talk, the doctor...
Jeff: (interrupting) Not even close!
Britta: (continuing) is in.
Jeff: You seemed smarter than me when I met you.
Britta: Thank you.
Jeff: ...that this place, this Fallujah of higher learning, is a prison that none of us will ever escape.
Annie: I've given this place my childhood, my enthusiasm, and my loyalty. And in return, Greendale has warped me like a Barbie in a microwave! Our school flag is an anus!
Dean Pelton: You were the guys who drew it.
Annie: We're not even the best community college in our community. Let that sink in. And the cherry on top of this total lack of sundae, I'm failing a remedial biology class on a technicality! All because you (pointing at Dean Pelton) don't know how to run a school!
Dean Pelton: Ohhh, that's not...
Annie: Shame on you, dean! Shame on you! Edison out!
Pierce: Let's burn this mother down!
If I had to rate this one, and Starburns' charred remains say I do, then I'd give it:
87 out of 100
I enjoyed seeing the study group band together in mutual outrage and then find the joy, in an otherwise dark situation, in simply having each other. That level of sweetness doesn't always come off as genuine but it felt earned and believable. It will be interesting to see whether this makes them all closer for the rest of the season or if there is still a wedge off on the horizon ready to prove Abed's darker timeline theory correct, or should I now say disprove his perfect timeline theory?
I'm looking forward to next week's episode to see if Chang's master plan works. Also looking forward to the three episode finale in two-weeks. People have asked me if I plan on writing one big review or three separate, and the plan is to write three. However, I may change my mind after seeing them. Stay tuned!
So, what did you think of this episode? Comment below. Anonymously if you must.