Community-Review-S5ep7 – Bondage And Beta Male Sexuality

Posted: March 4, 2014 in Community-Reviews

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Mixology

It really isn’t often I get to compare an episode of Community to another episode of Community unless they are blatant sequels or even prequels… so when i can say that this episode relates to the Season two Mixology Certification,  I don’t want to come off as if i’m trying to stretch it. This episode IS, structurally, very similar. It is played out like a play, with the main characters divided into two’s, and utilized for their strengths and unknown emotions.

For example, Britta is the focus on what is arguably the episodes A-plot, where she has quite literally hit an existential crisis, in which she questions what she has done with her life. While the two male leads, Duncan and Jeff, start off playing the cliche “Male character handing off a women to another male character” trope. However, this soon disintegrates in a very Mixology kind of way. One character is taking another, more broken, perhaps even crushed, character, home.

In this case, Duncan stars. Not only is he perhaps one of the most stunningly hilarious (re)-additions to the show, but he does pack a surprising emotional punch to a show that is often overlooked as broodingly cold. Right when you think his story is rapped up, another aspect is brought up. Friendship. Something I have forgotten is that the fact that Duncan has known Jeff for a longer period of time, longer than any other of Jeff’s best friends, yet they aren’t particularly kind to each other. Everything they do for each other comes off as a hesitant favor rather than a friendly assist.

I loved how this was yet another way this show could address, if not rekindle, the flame that was brewing when it was in it’s second season, arguably it’s creative peak. Season five definitely seems as though it has sprouted into it’s own, skyrocketing once more to the sorrow lows that were season four, and we are only half way through this unfortunately short season.

Before I delve into my favorite aspect of this episode, I want to touch on Kevin (Chang’s) small C-plot. Man… this show can hit so many different notes at once, it is almost disorientating. Chang, gets systematically driven crazy. The only thing that bugged me (and perhaps will never stop bugging me) is how it is never explained how, or why, he is driven crazy. We know the show is always realistic at root, not matter how wacky and ridiculous the situation is, they will never delve into the paranormal for any reason. It’s understandable that Chang gets a hilarious venture in the C-plot, I only wish it was explained more… however, it can indeed be argued that it is yet another point made within this episodes theme, crisis.

Here it is, the B-plot was my favorite. After the departure of his best friend Troy (Donald Glover), Abed (Danny Pudi) is understandably broken up. It’s almost as if his every action is made just to show the lone gap, not only in his life, but in our eyes as well. He marches down the hallway in a cheesy cyborg-costume and yet you can’t help but think that wide hallway is missing one person. It’s a slightly harrowing experience, and thankfully it did not overstay it’s welcome.

He ends up accidentally (right?) destroying Buzz Hickey’s (Played wonderfully by Jonathan Banks) sketches. Which gets him handcuffed to a filing cabinet, which in turn makes him miss the premier of the new kickpuncher… which if you cannot guess is a slight at Robocop (Even the change in the cyborgs outfit color is mentioned in a clever offhand jab). But where this episode shines is within the interaction between Hickey and Abed, both of whom are creators in crisis.

One is lacking substance, while the other is lacking material, and by the end, they both come to terms with each other. While it’s not as profound as the A-plot with Britta and Duncan, it is not only heartwarming but even more realistic (if I dare say so). These characters aren’t best friends now, they aren’t blood brothers, they simply understand each other more. In this time of crisis for Abed, I think he needs a friend.

Grade: A-

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