Community, Ep. 3.02: “Geography of Global Conflict”

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Community, Season 3, Episode 2: “Geography of Global Conflict″

Airs Thursdays, 8pm ET on NBC

With the extremely disappointing news that just over 4 million people watched last week’s episode of Community, I worry more about how much longer it will be on the air. Of course by the end of the season they will be close to reaching syndication level and so I hope that NBC is smart enough to keep it around for at least one more season. These numbers are so low, however, that I don’t see it happening.

It’s a real shame because the show is back on form this week, after last week’s season premiere in which things needed to be tied up. The episode opens with special guest Martin Starr of Freaks and Geeks fame, who appears to be some kind of History teacher to Annie. When he asks for an answer from Annie, she goes to speak, only to discover that he is in fact talking to Asian Annie. One thing Community seems to do extremely well is doppelgängers. I’m sure you all remember White Abed from Season 1. As someone said on the IMDB message boards, “I can’t wait for Black Jeff.” However, unlike White Abed, who was very different from regular Abed, Asian Annie is almost entirely like regular Annie… almost.

Annie wants to start up a Model U.N. and suggests the idea to Asian Annie. In a moment of one-upsmanship, she states that she will be too busy, and walks away. As Annie later discovers though, it was a lie and now Asian Annie has founded her own Model U.N. Jeff, once again wanting to protect Annie goes to Martin Starr to complain, as we learn that his name is Professor Cligoris. Jeff’s attempted pronunciation of his name is one of the funnier moments of the episode. Annie threatens to start her own Model U.N, which leads to the Professor deciding that there will be a Battle Royale to determine whose becomes the official school version. This competition leads to some extremely funny moments, such as Troy’s use of a Southern accent for the country of Georgia, even though he seems to know everything about it. Or Jeff choosing the country Uruguay, which of course leads to Pierce calling it Ur-a-gay.

Meanwhile Britta, upon discovering that one of her old protest friends is locked up in Syria, decides to go back to her old protest ways, much to the dislike of new head of security Chang, who wants to serve and protect (in his own crazy way). This leads to a very funny but strange recurring plot in which they fight in various ways accompanied by Lionel Richie’sHello.” I kept trying to figure out if it was supposed to be a reference to something or whether it was just the show being odd. Chang then gets upset when discovering that Britta won’t do anything too wrong because her life is on track now and she doesn’t want to mess it up.

After doing so well together as a group and looking as though they would would win, a really bad smelling fart from someone causes them to lose focus and Annie storms off, chased by Jeff. He comforts her and tells her that he has been treating her like a child because he really likes her. He has been calling her “kiddo” the whole episode but at this moment they go to kiss each other, only to stop before they do because it’s still too weird. I’m glad, because I’m still in the minority who thinks that they do not suit each other as a couple. I see their relationship much more as a father/daughter one.

They go back to the Battle Royale to finish and each person of the group owns up to farting in a Spartacus like scene which somehow manages to be funny, even though it is very overdone in pop culture. Abed devises a plan in which they make peace with the other Model U.N and therefore and the more civilized group. As Asian Annie refuses, Professor Cligoris determines that Annie’s Model U.N. wins. At that moment, Britta runs in, covered head-to-toe in Barbie dolls, and causes the least amount of destruction that she can get away with, leading to Chang getting to use his taser on her, to everyone’s delight.

The episode was definitely a step-up from last week’s, but that was to be expected. It had much funnier moments and I laughed a lot. While the B plot from Britta and Chang didn’t really amount to much, it still gave them something to do, even if the way they tied it into the other story was weak. If this is indeed the last season of the show, I want to see much more of a progression with the characters and I worry that they are taking it too slowly. Sure, Annie and Jeff’s will they/won’t they is funny for a while, but we’re into the show’s third season, and there is only so long that they can keep that going before it gets monotonous. They need to prepare for the worst, and it doesn’t feel to me like they are doing that. But it’s only the second episode of twenty-four, so we shall see what they do in the future.

Yiannis Cove

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