|I want to play this game... now!|
The study group must pitch in to help save Pierce's inheritance.
In the three episode finale, this episode is officially numbered as 3.22, but I am going to number it based on the order it aired.
Deal with it!
When Pierce's half-brother, Gilbert (played by the great Giancarlo Esposito) fights for the family inheritance in an 8-bit world called Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne, the gang teams up to fight fire with fire. Literally.
If I were to break this episode down completely, in a way that would do my love for it justice, I would be writing all night and I have two more reviews to complete. So, instead I will just jot down my favorite moments and take it for granted you have watched the episode and agree it is brilliant, without needing to justify it.
1. The opening credits are done in 8-bit video game style, graphically and musically, as the gang gets their avatar scanned in.
2. Pierce is supposed to bring 7 friends but only has 6, so the player icon says "Insufficient Friends" instead.
3. The hippie zombies attack is apparently humping the life out of your character.
4. Pierce digs himself into the ground, followed by his brother suffocating him inside the hole after he wipes out the gang. Later, when Pierce feels like he can't compete with his brother, he digs a hole again and tries to suffocate himself. Britta saves him only to accidentally kill him when she tries to give him a hug. It's adorably sad and funny.
5. Abed's love for Hilda, the video game character with options that touch him in a special place. She turns out to be the daughter of the blacksmith...
6. Annie and Shirley's thieving, murder, and arson spree at the blacksmith's shop that starts off innocently enough when Annie just wants a free weapon. One of the funniest moments of the season.
7. Britta's attempt to make a buff potion that turns out to be a deadly poison that kills Gilbert.
8. Jive turkeys!
9. After Gilbert has defeated the gang near the finishing point, they respawn and Jeff gives them a rallying speech about how prepared they are now. They then run into the next room and get gang raped by the hippie zombies.
10. Abed's baby factory makes him a filthy rich kingpin and he's able to supply the gang with crazy weapon platforms that they then use to beat end-game boss Cornelius.
11. The boss fight and all the fun ways the gang attacks the giant Cornelius monster, ending with an homage to Dr. Strangelove as Pierce rides a nuke in on target.
12. Pierce letting his brother win (awwww).
13. Abed extracting his dearest love from the game server onto a USB stick.
Britta: (upon entering the game) Which one is me? I assume nothing because I'm not racist.
Cornelius Hawthorne: Nevertheless, I designed this game to be played, upon my death, by you and whatever cabal of fruits, junkies, and sluts you call your friends.
Pierce: Her name is Britta.
Cornelius Hawthorne: (laughing) Worst son ever!
Abed: You can leave notes. This game is incredible.
Britta: (after killing Pierce) I guess there's no hug button.
Abed: (discovering Hilda's vast source of topics) Holy crap. Where have you been all my life?
After Annie accidentally sets the blacksmith on fire and then begins hacking him to death, Shirley is shocked.
Shirley: Now what are you doing?!
Annie: (finishing killing him) He was suffering!
Shirley: Yeah! From axe wounds!
Britta: Here's the thing about women, Jeff. We don't hack and slash our way through life because we're one with life.
Annie tries to hide the blacksmith's body.
Annie: (dragging the body) Help me hide the body.
Shirley: Oh my lord! Oh my lord!
Annie: Shirley, these things happen in video games.
Shirley: They do?
Annie: Yes. We can't get hung up on real world morality. We need survive and win.
When the blacksmith's wife appears and begins screaming for help, Shirley kills her.
Shirley: No witnesses! Grab everything you can carry. (equipping the axe) I'll check upstairs for any more family. Don't give me that look! These are your loose ends! I'm just tidying up!
Jeff: (to Britta) This place is 20 cat turds and a Pixies poster from being your apartment.
Troy: He's shooting lightning and I'm naked!
Jeff: Dammit! I thought we could count on Britta to not screw up drinking!
Troy: Unbelievable! Jeff bet all our lives on Britta and won! And I lost my pants to a pair of nines.
Pierce: Uhoh. He's playing the Rainman card. Let's bounce.
Britta: (upon seeing Abed's castle) I hope this isn't blood gold.
Troy and Abed: Troy and Abed shooting lava!
Abed: Hello my love. I said I'd come back for you.
If I had to rate this episode, and an 8-bit mechanized warrior says I do, then I'd give it:
97 out of 100
Creatively epic. Hysterical at times. And with the perfect amount of heart. An episode I will happily watch several hundred more times before I die (unless I die today).