Community Recap: Season 3 Episode 13

Community Recap: Season 3 Episode 13

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Tamar McCollom, Opinion Editor

Nearly every show on television has touched on Occupy Wall Street themes, and even Greendale can’t resist the influence of the movement any longer. This week’s episode of Community  discussed the greed and inhumanity of corporate America, but don’t expect the usual 99 percent rhetoric here. It’s still Community after all. And by still Community, I mean still brilliantly unusual even  when taking on the most usual of topics

Greendale takes its “first steps forward into the realm of the legitimate” with the grand opening of the Subway shop in the cafeteria. This, of course, is the Subway that beat out Pierce and Shirley’s business plan for a sandwich shop two weeks ago, and thus none of the gang is thrilled about its presence. Pierce thinks he’s found a loophole to get the Subway closed when he finds a clause in the Greendale by-laws that requires that any company seeking profit at Greendale must be 51 percent owned by a student.

But alas, the Dean has already unknowingly covered his bases. There happens to be a new student at Greendale who skirts the bylaws, and his name is Subway. Due to a new and surprisingly legal provision called corpohumanization, real people are allowed to represent the collective humanity of business owners. A Essentially it’s Citizens United in reverse. Instead of corporations being recognized as an individual, and individual can now represent a corporation. And Subway, a strapping  5 foot  10 sandy blonde-haired man may have renounced his former identity to be the  human form of the Subway, but don’t be mistaken. Subway’s just a normal college student, and he’s going to “party as hardy as [his] morality clause allows.” Except his contract doesn’t allow him to engage in romantic relations…

Cue the anti-establishment Britta freakout. Britta is outraged, but not surprised. She of course predicted corporations taking human form in her high school column, “Britta Unfiltered.”  Shirley might normally be opposed to Britta’s anti-normative ways, but this Subway battle is personal, and she’s ready to go behind enemy lines. Shirley suggests that Britta, who she deems to be a “progressive woman of a more liberated looseness,” seduce Subway to get information. Pierce is all for this “whorsemanship,” or as he corrects himself “whoreswomanship” since he believes it to be the 90s.

Britta squawks at being used until she discovers that Subway is just the kind of touchy-feely, animal-loving, Orwell-reading man that she would normally love. They bond over their love of 1984 after Subway highlights a romantic passage from the library’s copy, and it turns out Subway is only spending three years as Subway in order to fund his lifelong dream of opening a “non-profit shelter for handicapped animals.” Swoon. Britta’s in love. Forbidden love.

Troy and Abed’s love, however, seems to be running thin. Their apartment is tented for termites, and their solution is to build a pillow fort, an epic sequel to the blanket fort. However, Troy and Abed aren’t the inseparable duo they once were. When the Dean informs them that they beat the Guinness World Record for the longest pillow or blanket fort (they’re in the same category), Troy suggests that they switch back to a blanket fort because it’s easier. But Abed scoffs at the idea since he doesn’t care about the Guinness World Records and is more focused on the challenge ahead. Troy, wounded, gives in.

But lo and behold, Vice Dean Laybourne, the secretive head of the air conditioning team, is here to chat. And this time, he isn’t trying to recruit Troy into air conditioning instead of plumbing. He suggests that Troy is playing the Constable Reggie to Abed’s Inspector Spacetime. A heavy insult, indeed. Troy confronts Abed saying: “I’m not your sidekick; I’m your underkick.” Have you ever heard Troy so sad when Lavar Burton isn’t around? Troy holds his ground. He’s making his own blanket fort, and the pillow fort and the blanket fort will just have to coexist. That is until the Dean endorses Troy’s blanket fort over Abed’s pillow fort for the Guinness World Record scout. Dean Pelton mandates that Abed deconstruct his pillow fort, so that Troy’s blanket fort can go for the record that Abed doesn’t care about.

Meanwhile over at Sandwichgate, Pierce, in between drinking ink from pens, has a new plot to foil Subway. He wants Britta to plant a microphone pen on Subway. Of course, he also secretly plants a microphone lipstick on Britta. Thus, even though Britta snaps the pen in half before engaging in “deviant sexual acts” with Subway, the whole thing is still caught on tape. Pierce and Shirley present this to a Subway executive, who disposes of Subway after listening to the tape, claiming: “I might have been raised in the Bay Area, but I’m a father now.” Subway, the love of Britta’s life is thus replaced, with a more conventional corporate replacement Subway, and their eternal love is dashed.

Meanwhile, in Plot B territory, as Subway takes on the definition of humanity, Jeff is forced to recognize his own lack of humanity. After discovering that he has a locker, Jeff uncovers among other things a letter that calls him an inconsiderate jerk. Of course, this letter is written by someone named Kim that Jeff has never even heard of. Annie interprets this as a hate letter from a scorned lover that he “made out with and forgot.” Hint, hint, Winger. She isn’t talking about Kim, here.

Jeff and Annie track down Kim’s locker only to find out from a glasses-clad young man that Kim died two weeks earlier.  Annie suggests that since Jeff can’t apologize straight to the late Kim that he should ceremonially apologize to her locker instead. But just as Jeff starts to apologize to the locker… Surprise, the glasses-clad man pops out, and reveals that he is Kim. And don’t be mistaken by his gender. According to Kim, 16 percent of those named Kim are male. Male Kim is miffed that Jeff never remembers him, but he’s willing to accept an apology.

Annie, however, won’t stand for this gender switch-up. She was hoping that Jeff’s confrontation with an ex would tune him into her secret pain over Jeff. She storms off after berating Male Kim for his feminine name and screaming, “Put it in a letter, Jane Austen.” Annie later apologizes, but sistah we feel you. Jeff and Annie forever.

Love continues to be thwarted as Troy and Abed’s eternal love (really the only eternal love that matters) still hangs in the balance. Even though, Abed initially agreed to take down his pillow fort so that Troy’s blanket fort should survive and prosper, he still has reservations. And these reservations are only heightened when the meddling Vice Dean Laybourne convinces him not to “compromise craftsmanship to placate mediocrity.”

Abed stands his ground with his pillow fort, and war ensues as the pillow comrades and the blanket comrades go head to head in battle. My heartbreak over the sudden demise of Troy and Abed was only magnified after watching their long, pained stares as they each retreated back into their forts. The best (b)romance on television in shambles. But perhaps, next week’s episode, a continuation of the epic Pillow v. Blanket battle, will hold a reunion. My trembling heart can’t handle this unrest.