Community, Season 3, Episode 5: “Horror Fiction In Seven Spooky Steps″
Airs Thursdays, 8pm ET on NBC
After the amazing “Remedial Chaos Theory” from a couple of weeks ago I knew that I would go into the latest with a bit of a bias. After all it was one of my favourite episodes from the entire show. So when this episode began with a similar bottle episode plot I was slightly concerned. Luckily what we instead got was a consistently funny spoof of the classic “horror stories at halloween” convention.
Using the premise that Britta has taken Psych tests at random and determined that one person in the group is crazy, she decides to stage a pre-party in order to get to the bottom of who it is. By having each person in the group tell a scary story she can then figure out who has the psychotic tendencies. Of course this is all really just an excuse by the writers to bring out the eccentricities of the group through their storytelling, but when it’s this funny it doesn’t matter.
Each story is more crazy than the last as we start with Britta’s classic “hook for a hand” jiller tale that is hilariously still infused with her speech. This evolves into a story by Abed that rids it of the classic horror story conventions and changes it into a much more realistic but ultimately un-scary tale of a couple in a log cabin who are fully aware of the killer on the loose and know how to protect themselves. This premise holds one of the funnier moments of the episode as Abed’s character turns on the radio and begins to hum along to a song. When stopped mid story and hum, he explains that turning on the radio at the exact point that the news mentions the killer would be far too coincidental.
There are other great stories as we go along such as Annie’s, about a vampire (Jeff) and the two girls he lusts over (Annie and Britta). There is also Troy’s, about a mad scientist (Pierce) who captures two fighter pilots (Troy and Abed) and sews them together, leading to them gain ESP and doing much worse to him, such as putting a butt on his chest and giving him feet for hands. Shirley’s story about a group of rowdy teens who don’t get taken up in the rapture is one of my favourites as it allows us to see how little Shirley understands about some of them. She sees them as people who listen to Death Metal and pour weed onto themselves because that is a “pot bong.”
The point of all of these stories is to show how the group each see each other within their dynamic and it still gives us each person’s funny quirks. We are shown that Pierce is a dirty old racist; Shirley is a Bible loving Christian that sees herself as better than everyone else; Troy and Abed are getting far too close; Annie is jealous of Jeff and Britta’s closeness; and Jeff doesn’t care about anybody but himself.
In the end we learn that Britta did in fact mess up the tests and after running them through again, she determines that actually all of them but one are crazy. They decide to not learn about who it is, however the audience is given the knowledge of learning that Abed is the only sane person, which I totally called. The show is constantly alluding to that and while at times it can be hard to believe, it’s still nice to see because with the problems that he has and the way in which the group see and treat him, it’s gratifying that he is the only sane one.
While it wasn’t one of the best episodes of the show, it was still a great one and now that we are getting a little bit further in the season, I can kind of see where this is going. My prediction is that we are going to see some large conflict between Shirley and Britta. Also I really hope that the Annie and Jeff plot line gets resolved either through them ending up together or their realization that it’s not meant to be because this will they/won’t they every episode is annoying and reserved for an older sitcom like Friends. Finally I feel like Troy and Abed’s close friendship will be knocked in some way purely because they are spending so much time with each other and beginning to get a little sick of it, although I personally still love it. Where do you see the show heading and what did you think of this episode?