Community Recap: Season 3 Episode 12

Community Recap: Season 3 Episode 12

Tamar McCollom, Opinion Editor

After much delay, the new semester at Greendale is finally under away, and Community is back into the swing of things.

The episode begins with the whole gang meeting up in the library study room to discuss their Winter Break (bear with it—January wasn’t that long ago). Britta is excited about her new class, Introduction to Human Psychology, in which she has to diagnose a fellow student for her midterm.

Enter two Community favorites who may or may not need psychological analysis.

Jeff returns unusually calm and collected because over the break he changed therapists, and his new therapist has put him on anti-anxiety medication.  Now, he’s easy, breezy, and beautiful. As Jeff puts it: “Swagger has a new swagger.” Psychology genius Britta is appalled. She claims that what little anxiety-filled self-doubt Jeff has is the only thing keeping his ego in check. Britta says he’s a “textbook narcissist.” Jeff retorts that he’s an “exceptional narcissist.” Touche, Winger.

And in comes Abed, hands in the air, swearing that he didn’t kill his wife while an armed policeman follows close behind. Alas, Abed has neither a wife nor an evil bone in his witty body, but he does have a new favorite hobby. Over Winter Break, Abed discovered a celebrity doppelganger service, and he’s been using it to recreate movie scenes.

Alas, Senor Chang (in his glorious return as the new campus security) knows none of this, and shoots at the whole spectacle, landing him in the Dean’s office. The jig is up. Senor Chang needs more boots on the ground to protect the halls of Greendale. He’s a “one-man army,” and he needs more support. The lean, mean Dean machine protests that Greendale is broke, and instructs him to buck up. Of course, Senor Chang decides instead that he must find other comrades himself.

Meanwhile, Britta takes on Jeff as her new project in her crusade to save humanity from, well, everything imaginable including Jeff’s ever-growing ego which hits a new high when he dons his aviators. With his new anti-anxiety medication, Jeff’s ego is like an apple that keeps expanding and expanding. As Jeff points out, a balloon would have been a more apt comparison, but Britta’s on her way to lunch, apple in hand and in mind, and this is Community. Nothing is ever that normal. And to prove that theory, Dean Pelton drops to the ground upon glimpsing Jeff in all of his glory, screaming, “Look at his shadow!”

Annie is perturbed with Abed’s new obsession with celebrity doppelgangers, and she’s pushing for an intervention to bring him back to reality. But Troy comes to Abed’s rescue: “Abed doesn’t need reality. Abed is a magical elf-like man who makes us all more magical by being near us.” Pause for ceremonial awwwwww.

But perhaps Annie is a wee bit right. Abed has accrued a $3000 debt, and a sinister French Stewart impersonator (played by French Stewart himself) has come to collect. Abed can’t pay in cash, but there is another way for him to make good on the money. French decides that the study group is going to pay off Abed’s debt by impersonating celebrities at Howie Schwartz’s bar mitzvah.

Shirley is Oprah, Abed is Jamie Lee Curtis, Annie is Judy Garland, Pierce is Fat Brando even though he wishes to be Burt Reynolds, and Troy and Britta are both versions of Michael Jackson. Seriously, Britta looks so much like MJ. The bone structure is dead on. The nose!

But most of all, French claims that Jeff is a dead ringer for Ryan Seacrest except that he’s taller and has a more defined jaw. As Jeff’s inner anxiety-free, ego-filled monologue says, “You’re more handsome than the guy who is famous for being handsome.” Cut to a shot of the apple expanding.

Everything seems dandy until French pulls Troy aside and tells him that he’s going to break Abed’s legs if this doesn’t work out.

Once at the bar mitzvah, sinister French Stewart lays down the law. There are stringent rules to being a celebrity impersonator: “Stay in your quadrants. Quote lines from movies that you are positive your impersonatee was in. Do not leave your quadrant, burp, cough, fart, hiccup, or cuss.”

Of course, within moments, Abed, dressed in a Jamie Lee Curtis black minidress with his hair slicked back, is out of his quadrant, cavorting with Geena Davis. French is not pleased.

Jeff (AKA more handsome Ryan Seacrest) is out of control. He’s doubled his dosage of anxiety medication, and he’s found a band of middle-aged groupies to fawn over him. One groupie reveals that there will be awards at the end of the night, and they claim he’s a shoo-in for Most Handsome Young Man. Cut to apple expanding.

The awards begin, and unsurprisingly Howie Schwartz is cleaning up… at his own bar mitzvah. Jeff, surrounded by his new posse, becomes progressively more antsy and more sweaty as the Most Handsome Young Man award approaches.

And when Shirley, who has a surprisingly good Oprah voice, announces that none other than Howie Schwartz, the handsome 13-year-old devil that he is, has taken Most Handsome Young Man, Jeff explodes. Cut to apple expanding. Jeff splits his suit, rips off his shirt (revealing surprisingly toned abs—kudos Joel McHale), jumps on stage, steals the award and the microphone a la Kanye, and makes out with Shirley a la Adrien Brody.

Senor Chang and a police force of13-year-old boys jump into action. Chang shoots Jeff in the butt with a tranquilizer. Chang the world!

All hangs in the balance with French until Howie Schwartz approaches his father, ecstatic: “I love you, Dad. I knew you’d invite the Hulk.”

After French lets them off scot-free, Troy hurries home to go find Abed… who is in the recliner with a cast reenacting Patch Adams. Enough is enough. Troy has joined Team Annie, and it’s Intervention Time. The celebrity impersonators have to go, and Abed has to trust that Troy knows better sometimes. After a heart to heart, the two make up, and promise to always be best friends. But Abed skips their handshake, leaving Troy hanging, to race off to the dreamatorium alone… where Evil Abed awaits.

Abed asks where Troy is, but Evil Abed isn’t having it. Evil Abed likes his goatee and his alone time. Evil Abed preaches independence, rebuffing Troy, because when you’re alone, “The only pee breaks are yours.”

In another horrid development, Britta picks a disheveled Jeff up from the side of the road. Jeff is rightfully embarrassed, but Britta comforts him: “What you’re feeling is shame. It means you’re getting better.”

I hate to rain on the Community parade, but nothing is “getting better” if Jeff and Britta are together and Troy and Abed aren’t. Dan Harmon, fix this now.