There have been some complaints by our dear readers that my grades and comments related to this season have been unfair. These people feel I've given Dan Harmon too much credit and that he was at the helm for bad episodes in the past. Episodes that these people claim are worse than any of the first few of this season.
Let me address those comments in this review.
Dan Harmon is the GOD of the COMMUNITY universe. He created it and put himself into every episode (and by that I mean he didn't just let writers have their way with a single episode). With his departure, the new show runners, no matter their qualifications or talent, are at best demigods of that universe. And up to this point, they've helped deliver what amounts to mediocre/bad fan-fiction.
If you think any season 4 episode has been as good or even better than ANY season 1, 2, or 3 episode of the series, then that's your problem. We have totally different perspectives on quality. I'm not suggesting mine is more accurate than yours. My perspective is the one that comes from this mind, this soul, and expressed via these fingers right here (I'm holding them up for you). You don't have to like it. In the same way I didn't like the first three episodes of this season.
That brings us to the fourth episode which I previously mentioned was shot second (as far as I know). And that's what is very strange about it. Because I'd have thought it was shot much later in the process, after the writers and actors had worked out all the kinks.
This time most things feel very familiar. Comfortable. That's not to say the episode stands out as one of the best, but at least it can sit alongside those Harmon-era episodes that felt unusually below average. We get the return of the Germans, Chang (and his Changnesia), and geek-centric dialogue that doesn't feel (too) forced.
When the Germans figure out a way to take the study-room away from the group, our heroes suffer the consequences until they figure out a way to take it back (if god was still running this show, I'd detail that for you, but I don't make that much of an effort for demigods). Unfortunately for the gang, the Germans make themselves the victim and rally people to a protest the study group. And hilarity ensues. Followed by a message delivered by Hitler-Jeff.
This isn't an epic episode but it does have fun dialogue that works with our characters. It succeeds on a most basic level, never achieving greatness but works because of familiarity. This is one of those cases where if Harmon was still running the show, it would earn a much worse score. But because these try-hards are behind it, I'm actually inclined to praise them for it.
Reinholt: Don't worry. If there's one thing Germans don't do it's hold a grudge.
Abed: Unless we're talking about DIE HARD 3.
Jeff: Or the 20th century.
When the Dean reacts to the return of Chang, off in a different part of the school...
Abed: I just felt a strange disturbance.
Britta: Did you have dairy this morning?
Abed: Could be that. Or it could be that great evil's nearby. I'll take a provisional lactate.
Troy: I don't understand any of these puns. I think I need to learn history.
After Jeff gives a long speech...
Abed: You had me at 'ruse'.
Jeff: That was the last thing I said.
Abed: Good thing you said it.
And some other stuff. I'm super lazy tonight.
If I had to rate this episode, and I don't mind doing so, I'd give it:
81 out of 100
Though, after I subtract 50 Dan-Harmon-is-god points, the score is a 31 out of 100. So a failure. Sorry, I didn't make up that rule.
(so I made up that rule)