If Community eventually just becomes about a war between alternate timelines every week? I’m cool with that. After two parallel universe Student United Nations went head to head a few weeks ago, this week we’re treated to SIX different alternate timelines, as we get to see how Troy and Abed’s housewarming party would be subtly – and not so subtly – different if each member of the group had just left to pick up pizza.
What worked so well about the episode was, more than anything, the build. It’s a slow burn, but from Britta getting shut down singing The Police’s "Roxanne" in every timeline, to Pierce finding more tortured ways to work in a – terrible – story about having sex with Eartha Kitt in an airplane bathroom, each iteration was funnier than the last. And, brilliantly, we also got more info about situations we didn’t get to see all of at first, like Britta smoking pot in the bathroom, and what was in the – horrible – present Pierce got Troy.
Basically, everything Pierce does is the worst, in case that isn’t clear.
But even more brilliant is how the writers got to move forward existing storylines, while playing in six different universes. We get to see different ways Annie and Jeff’s relationship could move forward, and the same with Britta and Troy. There’s even a sense of resolution for Pierce and Shirley’s, by comparison, slighter storylines.
Oh, and then there was the tag, which you might have missed. The extended clip continued the worst of all possible timelines, where Pierce died, Jeff lost his arm, Shirley is a drunk, Troy lost his larynx trying to eat an evil troll doll, and worst of all? Britta died a blue streak in her hair. So Abed does the only natural thing: makes felt goatees for him and Troy, and the two swear to head back to the “good” dimension, kill their doubles, and take over their lives. Back in the good dimension, Abed senses something wrong.
Will we ever see Evil Troy and Abed again? I mean, probably not, or if we do, it’ll be a callback, since – despite going crazypants – Community always finds a way to ground the show in relative reality. But man, that would be awesome.
This was, if not one of the best episodes of Community, easily the best one this season. Funny, creative, and more than anything, heartfelt. Hopefully we’re on a roll with that from here on out.
- Donald Glover screams better than any other actor on TV.
- Britta’s “hungry” dance was, I think, my favorite repeating riff, because they clearly kept making her film it over, and over, and over…
- Who wouldn’t want a scale model of the boulder scene from Raiders in their apartment?