I loved this episode. I loved it from back to front, top to bottom, Chang to Annie. I was worried that once we came down from the high-concept episodes (which 5.01 – 5.05 have been highly conceptualized, even 5.02) that most of fandom, including myself, would be disappointed in the slower pace and the refocus on characters in their natural element. But this episode buzzed with a season 1 atmosphere of newness (thanks to a long overdue revolving of the cast, resulting in a rare Abed/Britta storyline and a never-before-seen Jeff/Duncan/Shirley/Chang adventure) and a season 3 atmosphere of familiarity and camaraderie. I have watched this episode eight times since it aired, nine if you include screencapping it for this picspam, and I still love every minute of it.
The Save Greendale Committee is still a thing, and they’re having a meeting today! The newest member is math teacher Ben Chang, who has unceremoniously taken Troy’s recently vacated seat. That’s okay — I like the potential of having Chang sitting right beside Hickey.
Annie’s compiled a “short list” of Greendales “most immediate” emergencies, and look at the size of those things. Britta rightly asks if deforestation is on the list, but Annie ignores her as Duncan pays lip service to their little club.
Duncan: “What this school needs is a band of heroes, champions willing to rise up and get all those potatoes out of the gym.”
Abed says they’re like House Vagadosh in HBO’s Bloodlines of Conquest, an obvious nod to Game of Thrones.
Duncan: “Bloodlines of Conquest, that is my show. They really get the incest right.”
There’s an awkward pause as his words sink in, then Hickey asks what the heck they’re talking about. Abed explains about Not Game of Thrones, “It’s based on these great books that nobody seems to read,” and mentions dragons, which gets Britta riled up. “Dragons? Is that a spoiler? I just started season one. I don’t start watching shows until they’re so popular that watching them is no longer a statement.” Abed is greatly annoyed by this. “So because you’re three seasons behind, we have to live in a fantasy world where there’s no such thing as dragons? Do we also have to pretend that Lord Stavarios is still alive? Oops.”
Everyone gasps in surprise (presumably the rest of them are caught up, so I guess they’re outraged on Britta’s behalf?) as Chang makes time-out motions with his hands.
Britta: “Thanks, Abed! How about I buy all the Bloodlines of Conquest books, read ahead, and spoil the whole series for you?”
Abed: “That’s insane. That’s something an insane person would do.”
Yeah, Britta, an insane person would read the series just to spoil someone… Wikipedia. Have you ever heard of that? Encarta it.
Annie tells the “knuckleheads” to focus on the tasks at hand, and assigns Britta and Abed to the task of updating the school census, “Give you a chance to squash this beef.”
The next item is the Midterm Dance, which is tonight and which is in need of decorating. Everyone uses evasion tactics to try to dodge that bullet, so Annie says, “Fine, I’ll do it!” Jeff (who takes a refreshing backseat role in this episode, which makes him a hundred times funnier in his few scenes) immediately volunteers to join the decorating committee, followed by Duncan and Shirley. Annie’s sharp as a tack. “Are you guys volunteering because you think I’ll do all the work?” They all deny it, except Hickey.
Hickey: “I don’t care enough to lie, so no.”
Annie: “I will reward that honesty by giving you something easy. A bulletin board fell down in the cafeteria a few months ago, think you can get it hung back up?”
Hickey: “I’ll give it a drive-by.”
First of all, I pointed out that fallen bulletin board in my picspam for 5.02! Secondly, Annie was directly responsible for said fallen board, since she was the one who started that riot. Thirdly, a drive-by, Hickey? A little extreme, don’t you think?
Annie’s excited that they’ve completed their first task, “Have a productive meeting.” I wonder how many tries it took before they earned that star? Annie accidentally puts a hole in the wall when she tries to move a star to the Task Wall, and then a bird flies out and freaks everyone out.
After some Donald Glover-less credits, we see Britta walking down the hall reading a huge book… but Abed’s way ahead of her. He’s wearing ear protection and staring at her as she screams, “Prince Ironstone’s daughter is his mother!” (The book is called The Sorrow of the Sorcerer’s Son, which sounds more like a book out of the Sword of Truth series, and the author is hilariously named Patrick A. Demon. I love the Community props department.)
Hickey knocks on the janitor’s office door, and YAY! Jerry’s back! I love this guy! He makes Hickey wait as he finishes his snack, wipes his mouth, and throws away his napkin and plate.
Hickey: “Can you get me a drill, a couple of screws, and a bulletin board?”
Jerry: “No I cannot.”
Hickey: “Okay, I tried, bye.”
Jerry: “You wanna hang a bulletin board, you need to get a work order from the head janitor.”
Hickey: “They get more powerful than you?”
Abed’s dutifully talking to students to get them to fill out surveys when he comes across this lady from Switched at Birth. He tells her not to bother talking to him, because he can’t hear, and she signs that she’s deaf too.
Abed: “Are you deaf? But you read lips? Barba garba garba, garba barba barba.”
Carol looks confused. I wonder if Abed’s broken. (“It’s a mixer, we didn’t know how to reach you, it’s a mixer, it’s a mixer, it’s a mixer”)
Abed: “That was gibberish, you’re good!”
Carol: [“Thank you.”]
Abed: “I wish I knew sign language.” [“I detonated a mollusk.”]
She smiles and hands back the survey (without filling it out? Maybe it was just a signature situation and we missed it?) as Britta narrows her eyes in the background.
Britta: “Are you gonna have another intense burst of compatibility with a girl we never see again?”
Abed: “I can’t hear you.” [“Banana. Train.”]
Britta is not amused. It doesn’t have anything to do with psychology this week, at least not to her knowledge.
Annie’s flipping through a scrapbook or binder which I had assumed was hers when I was watching the original broadcast, but my player froze on a shot of the page when I was trying to screencap something else, and I realized it says “You can call me Queen Dean” with the Dean’s head pasted onto a bumblebee. Annie’s flipping through it looking for dance ideas, which makes me suspect that this is actually the Dean’s binder of theme ideas for dances… and if a Lorde-themed Queen Dean dance was had, I’m very upset that we missed it.
She says the dance needs to have a visual theme, like “Let’s Blow Off Steam” and the visuals could be trains. The Dean would be totally into that.
Chang: “I have an idea.”
Annie: “Chang, your last idea was to murder.”
Hickey tells “Edison” that the bulletin board is a no-go, and she goes full-Annie on him. “Really? So you did your best, and this task just… eludes you?” Hickey tries to turn on the whole jaded-adult-with-a-lifetime-of-disappointments argument, but Annie hasn’t been butting heads with Jeff for four years without figuring out a way around that. She says she’ll do it herself, but Hickey lacks Jeff’s inherent lassiez-faire attitude when it comes to thing-doing, so he challenges her, “I would love to see you try.”
Annie accepts that challenge, shifting to bulletin board duty as she slides the binder in Jeff and Duncan’t direction, much to their dismay.
Jerry greets “Professor Pushpin” as Hickey and Annie enter the… janitorial… barracks? But Annie’s done her research, and she greets each janitor by name, which surprises Jerry, but she chooses to focus on Crazy Schmidt instead. “How are CJ’s clarinet lessons going?” Crazy Schmidt is the soft target, and he immediately asks if Annie would like for him to put in a work order for her.
She gloats until Crazy Schmidt tells her, “That should happen in about three to six business months.” Hickey smirks as Annie asks if there’s any way the bulletin board can get bumped up ahead of “Lower flag for Reagan’s death.” (Also listed: Downsize Trophy Case, Nudge Pendulum, Dealphabetize Periodic Table, Restock Fruitopia Machines, Upgrade from Beta to VHS, and Inoculate for Poilo, among other things. You can’t really blame these guys — they’ve spent a lot of man hours cleaning up after various paintball, blanket fort, and the-floor-is-lava adventures.)
Jerry: “You gotta talk to a custodian for that. We’re janitors.”
Annie: “There’s a difference?”
Jerry: “We were just starting to like you.”
In the hallway, Hickey asks Annie if she’s had enough, but clearly he doesn’t know Annie Edison but at all. He says he admires her idealism, but that he doesn’t think she’ll be able to stick it out long enough to get the board up. Annie accepts the challenge and holds out her fist, and I guess it’s actually a character trait of Hickey’s that he doesn’t know how to handshake.
They pass by Abed in the hallway, who spies Britta hiding behind the old-timey cellphone. He opens his locker but turns away before he’s spoiled by Britta’s spoiler trap. She tells him this isn’t over, and his reply is “Sandals! Sandals!” but in sign language, so who knows what he actually meant.
Annie and Hickey walk into the custodial mixer (“It’s a mixer, it’s a mixer”) still trading barbs, then Annie greets Deputy Custodian Lapari, attempting to engage him in conversation about his daughter, but he’s not interested. Hickey takes the lead instead, pointing out a gorgeous wood-burnt sign and asking if the woodshop teacher, Mr. Whitney, had made it for them. He then mentions that he notices Mr. Whitney’s toilet flushes like a turbine, “Probably exceeds code,” and Lapari’s smile disappears. “What’s wrong with a little friendship between departments? How can our committee be your friend?”
Enter Bob. OH MY GOD IT’S NATHAN FILLION. It’s like this show knew my mum wasn’t watching and decided to try to appeal to her demographic. Nice try, guys. My mum will never understand an episode based entirely around a bulletin board.
I’m not sure if custodians are misogynistic, or if Annie’s reputation precedes her, but none of these custodians want anything to do with her. Bob chooses to chat with Hickey, discussing his upcoming election and the lovely spread at the party. Then Bob gets down to the real issue: They can’t do anything about this bulletin board thing until they get these pesky filters off of their computers so that they can browse the internet freely.
Hickey: “They want their porn unblocked, then they’ll give you your board.”
Annie: “That’s what that was? How did you know, did you investigate pornography when you were a cop?”
Annie… c’mon… you lived above Dildopolis… I expected more from you, young lady.
Hickey: “Welcome to the labyrinth, kid, only there ain’t no puppets or bisexual rockstars down here. And at the center of it all, if you’re lucky: a piece of cork and a few pins. So, what? Is it worth it?”
Annie switches gears: It’s time to Winger speech this guy.
Annie: “Is that what a bulletin board is to you, professor? A piece of cork? That’s not what it is to people that lose their pets, people that need rides, people whose bad band need bad bass players. To them, every pushpin has the power to change the future. So yes, professor. It’s worth it.”
The student has become the master. (Also, we all agree that she mentioned bad bands/bad bass players because she was thinking of Vaughn and Pierce, right?) Hickey knows a lady in IT, so Annie Disney-smiles at him as he leads the way.
Abed runs into Carol and signs, “I learned how to say this in sign language,” to her utter delight. She says he’s a fast learner, and he repeats the same phrase to her in sign language. She reminds him that she can read lips, but he repeats the phrase a third time, it’s basically the most adorable thing he’s ever done. Besides all the stuff he’s done with Troy. And that stuff with Hilda. And that time he fell for the Secret Service lady. Let’s face it, Abed’s pretty adorable.
The Midterm Dance Decoration Committee is in full swing, which means they’ve pretty much just decided to put out food and lower the lights. The four of them silently contemplate the bare (and frankly gorgeous) cafeteria before Jeff admits that maybe they should do a bit more, you know, just to meet the bare minimum.
Chang raises his hand and says he has an idea, and I swear this bit is my favorite subtle bit this show has ever done: all three of them slump at the sound of his voice. “I have an idea!” *simultaneous shoulder slumps* It’s glorious. Don’t forget that Chang’s last idea was “to murder,” so it’s not like he’s been throwing out good suggestions.
Chang: “Bear down… for midterms!”
They all stare at him blankly, then Jeff asks, “What?” Chang repeats it a little slower, and then Duncan says, “You can’t just repeat it, you need to explain yourself.”
Chang: “It’s midterm time. People have to bear down? Study hard, get to work. Bear down for midterms!”
It’s so so SO great, because this is the sort of material that works for Chang, and works for Ken Jeong. I can’t imagine anyone else delivering those lines as well as he did: so earnest, so certain, and so dumb at the same time. It’s like he’s the group airhead, but with Chang’s particular murderous streak to go with it.
Shirley: “Is there a dot I’m not connecting?”
Duncan and Jeff shake their heads at her, flummoxed.
Chang: “Ah, it’s a play on words. ‘Bear down’ is an expression…”
Shirley: “I know the expression, Chang!”
Duncan: “‘Fly on the wall’ is an expression, but if I were to pitch ‘Fly on the Wall For Midterms,” you might ask ‘What do you mean?’”
Then Chang starts crying.
Chang: “I understand I’ve been crazy in the past, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating to be completely dismissed like this. I don’t even know if you guys see me as human anymore. I don’t know if it’s like a joke to you, are all Asian men like a joke? Is it like a racial thing?”
They all deny it with horror (and it’s true, it’s not a race thing, this is clearly just a Chang thing).
Chang: “I paid for my crimes! Underneath all the craziness, I am still a human, and I do want to make a difference. Can you respect that?”
He’s sobbing, it’s pretty amazing.
Jeff: “Chang, what can we do here?”
Chang: “Bear Down for Midterms!”
Shirley: “Okay, we’ll… put up some bear things?”
Duncan: “We’ll bear down… for midterms!”
Paget Brewster appears as IT Lady Debra, and I have to say, again, that I really like how this show is handling its guest stars. While I would’ve liked to have seen a bit more of Nathan Fillion and Paget Brewster, I also understand that more of them would’ve taken away from the time spent on the other two storylines, and it’s not like we only get glimpses of them.
Debra’s just not understanding the custodial conundrum, because if they can’t get to a certain website, all they need to do is submit the URL for her to unblock it. Annie’s had just about enough.
Annie: “Okay, what do you want?”
Debra: “Excuse me?”
Annie: “Tell us what we can do for you, so that you can do this for us.”
Debra: “Oh! Cool! I didn’t know it could work that way! I guess I could use decent parking. Right now, they make me park in Annex B, like a… lunch lady.”
She says it with such disgust! I love the depth we’re getting from this episode, even after all these seasons. We always knew Greendale was quirky, and that the Dean had his own hierarchy of school officials (for instance, I bet new law professor Jeff Winger doesn’t have to park in Annex B) but I like that Greendale has its own system. We know the custodians are more important than the janitors, and that the IT department is crammed into a tiny office. Most of all, we have more reason to believe that the lunch lady from the musical montage of 5.03 is the Ass Crack Bandit, and that she’s built up years of resentment based on being treated like the lowest caste at a community college. (Or she’s a red herring.)
Annie says they’ll talk to Parking.
Annie: “But Debra, let’s be clear, I want everything to get through that porn blocker.”
Debra: “What do you mean, everything?”
It’s scary and Khalessi-y. Debra understands completely. Hickey looks a little uncomfortable.
Chang’s very happy right now, and he even tells everyone:
Chang: “I’m very happy right now.”
Jeff: “So just… bears everywhere?”
I don’t know why it’s so funny to me, probably because it’s four adults (well three adults and Chang) who don’t normally do this sort of thing, and yet here they are, spread out on the floor, drawing amazing pictures of bears and cutting out posterboards for a dance that none of them even care about. It’s easy to picture Annie getting enthusiastic about this stuff, and back in the day, she would’ve been helped by Troy (who was easily enthused) and Pierce (who was good at banners) while the rest of the group was off having their own storylines. But here we are, with Cool Jeff Winger and Has-Better-Things-to-Do Shirley and Will-Use-Any-Excuse-to-Get-Out-of-Anything Duncan grouped here on the floor with Formerly-Insane Chang, essentially decorating for what could be an eight-year-old’s birthday party. It’s just funny.
Chang: “And then we’ll have some cakes… party hats… birthday stuff!”
Shirley looks alarmed, and she glances at Duncan questioningly, who gives her a similar look back. It’s the second time they’ve exchanged glances like this, and I never realized the potential these two have in a one-off storyline until this episode.
Chang: “This is coming together better than I thought!”
Duncan: “I’m sorry… Birthday stuff?”
Jeff, pointedly: “Yes, Duncan.”
Duncan: “Okay, I’m sorry. Birthday stuff.”
Jeff nods in a “Let’s appease the crazy person!” way, so in a truer sense, everything that happens is actually his fault.
Parking Department head Waldron has an amazing print of a parking lot behind him, and again, I love this show’s prop department. He’s played by action movie star Robert Patrick, and he brings a certain gravitas to the Parking Department.
Waldron: “I’ve always had a passion for bulletins. If parking for the IT guy puts that bulletin board back where it belongs, I won’t stand in the way.”
Annie and Hickey breathe sighs of relief a little too soon, because Waldron wants something, too: control of all the bulletin boards on campus.
Annie: “You might wanna start talking turkey, Waldron, because the Macy’s parade is almost over, and grandma’s getting drunk.”
He wants control of the boards because he wants to eliminate carpooling; his department’s power comes from a scarcity of parking spaces, “Just like your dad’s comes from a lack of hugs,” and parking spaces aren’t scarce when people ride together. Where would one advertise for carpools? A bulletin board.
Hickey’s reached his limit, but Annie agrees, telling Waldron that she’ll talk to the Dean.
Abed has an adorable conversation with Carol about the sounds Ewoks make, awww.
Shirley is so right: “I don’t know what we did, but we sure did the hell out of it.” Jeff’s finally realized that dance decoration is all about themes (it’s like he’s growing up!) and they all look so proud that you just know it’s about to go bad.
Right on cue, Neil comes in with their sodas (three whole packs, don’t strain yourself, bud) and promptly drops them on the floor in horror.
Neil: “Too soon, guys. Way too soon!”
Shirley: “Too soon for –?”
Neil: “Too soon for this! After this morning in Wisconsin? Bear breaks loose at a kid’s birthday party, mauls a bunch of people? Why am I explaining this when this is obviously a ghoulish reference to it! The news has been covering it all morning!”
Chang thinks about it for a minute, then snaps his fingers. “That’s where I got the idea! You know how sometimes you hear something, and forget you heard it, but think you came up with it — oh man, this is bad. We’re in crisis mode now. We really messed up, you guys.” Classic.
So this isn’t the first time the Dean has served Annie alcohol in his office (“Basic Lupine Urology”) but it’s still disheartening to see a recovering drug addict sipping on a strawberry margarita. Maybe it doesn’t have alcohol… that’s what I choose to believe.
He appears to be having a southwestern-themed celebration, whether it’s about the bulletin board, the midterms, or just another bribe Annie has to get through to get a signature is anyone’s guess, but it looks delicious. He toasts to hanging a bulletin board, and adds, “Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.” When Hickey refuses to say that and toast, the Dean in turn refuses to sign the form.
Hickey: “Dammit, Annie, don’t do this.”
Annie: “Whatever you’ve got in your butt, can we get it out later?”
She grits that out in a fantastically scary way, like she’s two minutes away from popping a Valium and complaining about the grounds staff at her house in the Hamptons.
Hickey: “When? After he signs it? After it’s all too late?”
Annie: “You petty old man!”
Hickey: “When we started this, I thought you’d get a taste of the system and spit it out, not open a bottling plant! You’re just like all the people that –”
Annie: “What? The people that… put you here? The people in the big machine that made you fail? You went from being a cop to teaching Criminology because of the system, right? Unfortunately for Greendale, you have to prove it by getting nothing done! Well here’s a bulletin for you: Annie Edison doesn’t get nothing done.”
Almost as good as “Jeff Winger never learns!”
Hickey: “And where should I put that bulletin, Edison? On a sham piece of cork controlled by a parking guy that lights his cigars on student ride shares?”
Dean: “My God, Annie! What kind of labyrinth have you created? Certainly not the magic kind with puppets and macho rock stars!”
Hickey: “You whored yourself out, kid. You wanted that board so bad that you made every board on campus worthless, and in doing so, made this school just a shade dirtier.”
He stands up as Annie blinks back tears, and then he hits her with his best, most truthful shot: “I thought better of you, young lady.”
In a way, this is what we missed with Pierce. By making him a bumbling, racist old man who was too hung up on his own insecurities, we didn’t get this fatherly dynamic from the only member of the group who had the years of life experience and wisdom to be able to dole it out with any credibility. The few times that Pierce was able to be the wise one were some of the best scenes of the series, but they were so few and far between that they feel like anomalies. Instead, these sorts of lessons were usually left up to Jeff, whose fatherly advice often got lost in his obvious attraction to Annie. In fairness to Pierce and to the writers, the point of the study group was that everyone was messed up enough to be at this particular community college, so Pierce couldn’t be too wise, but at the same time, I think more scenes like this one between Hickey and Annie couldn’t have hurt.
The advantage to having Hickey here now is that he possesses the same jaded perspective of the world as Jeff, so the lessons are essentially the same. Picture Jeff in this storyline. It’s easy to imagine him running with Annie from janitors to custodians to IT to parking and then give up at the Dean (who would have had a more outrageous demand for Jeff than “easy peasy lemon squeezy”) where he would then give a similar, but more hand-gesture-y, speech about labyrinths and the dirtiness of the school. The difference, now, is that his disappointment doesn’t mean as much to Annie as Hickey’s does. The difference is that she doesn’t need Jeff to learn these lessons anymore, and ostensibly, this means that maybe Jeff doesn’t have to play that role anymore.
Annie: “Yeah, well, I didn’t think anything in particular of you, and now I see why!”
The Dean admits that he didn’t follow most of that, but that he thinks he should probably tear up the contract. Good call, Dean.
Annie is here to inspect the Midterm Dance, and she’s deeply confused. Jeff practically jumps out of his skin when he sees her and tentatively asks what she thinks about their theme: Fat Dog for Midterms.
Annie: “I don’t understand.”
Jeff: “It’s an expression: Fat dog for midterms! Like, ‘Don’t sweat it, fat dog it.’ ‘Hang out, relax, like a fat dog.’”
Duncan says Annie can look it up on Wikipedia, and Shirley chimes in, “There’s an entry in there,” and then they do this amazing little over-the-shoulder high five. Yes. I need to see more of this. Please.
Annie’s still confused, but not in her usual manic way, more like she’s exhausted and her brain isn’t connecting what she’s seeing, so Jeff takes a page out of Chang’s book.
Jeff: “You know, Annie, sometimes it feels like you don’t take us seriously.”
Duncan: “I guess we bring it on ourselves, but it’s still pretty frustrating.”
Shirley: “Annie? Is this a race thing?”
Annie: “NO! God, no!”
She doesn’t see the connection, and she’s not really letting it go until Chang says she’s just overthinking it. “It’s decorating! Just pick an idea and bear down on it!” Jeff does this head swivel toward Chang in horror as Annie reprimands him. “Really poor choice of words, Ben. Too soon.”
But in the end, it works, because Annie decides to just “fat dog it” and let it go, to the delight of the group.
The great part of this whole B-plot is that at any point in any former season, Jeff and Duncan (and later Shirley) would’ve bailed on this whole thing. I’m not sure if it’s their loyalty to Annie, since she expected them to finish this task with some modicum of dignity, or if it’s the new social construct of them all being on a committee to save the school, but it’s really nice to see them actually put their heads down and try to salvage this terrible bear down idea instead of turning on Chang and running away as fast as they can.
Later, at the dance, Carol spoils Abed for the ending of Bloodlines of Conquest. Britta appears and hands Carol a wad of cash, and Carol flounces with a rather cruel grin at Abed. This plan was delightfully misguided by Britta, who just wanted to teach Abed “a lesson,” though from her tone, it seems she’s forgotten what the lesson actually was. But now, not only has she spoiled Abed for a book AND TV series that he was enjoying, but she’s broken his heart only a couple of weeks after his best friend in the world took off to sail around the world.
Abed: “I’m devastated.”
Britta: “Well now I feel bad. But… you learned a lesson, and I gave a differently-abled person a job!”
Silver lining! Abed leaves her, and now Britta feels really bad and asks him to come back, “Let’s be fat dogs about this!”
Confession: I am the only person in the entire world (okay that’s probably not true) who doesn’t care for Brie Larson’s character on this show. Like… not even a little bit. I don’t even dislike her. I just don’t care, so I find everyone’s excitement about her befuddling. I’ve found all of Abed’s other love interests more interesting than her. But she’s here and I don’t want to spend all my time complaining about her, so here we go.
Abed never called her, and he’s sorry. “That was the year of the gas leak, but I won’t use that as an excuse.” I love that this is still a thing. Rachel asks if he’d like to get lunch sometime, and he says, “No, I’d like to go to dinner, now.” Which is sweet, because he’s still a little teary, but this feels like rebounding since he was in love with Carol like 40 seconds ago. Anyway, Rachel says that’s doable, since she started this coat check illegally.
Annie sadly contemplates the empty wall where the bulletin used to hang as “More Than This” by Roxy Music starts to play. It’s pretty good montage music.
Oh look, a montage! As a reporter covers the Bear Down story (and a ticker talks about LeVar Burton and his non-celebrity companion being captured by pirates), Hickey contemplates his murder board, where we learn more about him — namely, that he was a detective on the ripper case that still haunts him, and that he was suspended from it after an altercation with another officer. We also pan over Bob and Debra, who didn’t get their bribes, before we land on Abed and Rachel eating popcorn and watching Rick and Morty.
Hickey jumps up and starts ripping the papers from his cork board.
He drills the bulletin board in himself before finding Annie (and her grateful smile) in the crowd. The music stops and the Dean appears with two custodians, who advance to, I guess, beat up Hickey? Detain him? Tickle him until he pees his pants? So Annie jumps on one of them.
Jeff and Duncan run over to break up the kerfuffle, and Jeff nearly gets to second base in the process.
The Dean faces off against the very group that’s trying to save his school, and they all stand between he and Hickey defiantly. He decides to make a tactical retreat, giving Annie a sharp look as he goes. Once they’re gone, Hickey gives Annie a grateful look and thanks her, and she returns the thanks. It’s a really sweet scene and a good example of how Annie can get stuff done without having to bulldoze everyone or create a labyrinth.
Chang, meanwhile, starts teaching the students the Fat Dog dance.
There’s a brand new dance
It’s an old phrase
It’s called the Fat Dog
And it will amaze
You’ve heard this expression
Your entire life
It’s not made up
It’s not made up
Garrett’s jerkily learning the dance near one of the decorations, but he bumps into one and the ears fall off. He gasps in horror, then screams, “IT’S A BEAR DANCE!”
End episode. I loved it.
This is also my favorite tag. Duncan runs out of staples and calls in to GCC Supply, but after he runs through the usual three-part menu, a different voice says, “For Marigold, press 3.” Out of curiosity, Duncan presses 4, and another voice says, “Marigold. For Obsidian, press 1. For Aqua Cerulean, press 2. For Arcadia, press 3.” He presses 3, and the voice says, “Enter activation code.” He puts in four random numbers, and the voice says, “Confirmed. Arcadia initiated.”
A human picks up and asks, “What’s your clearance level?” to which Duncan replies, “Top!” but he gets cold feet and tells the guy to “cancel it,” and he hangs up. Then he hears something flying overhead, like a missile or something, but Duncan spots his spare staples on his desk and mutters, “Right in front of you, stupid!”
This, plus the Army rations that everyone ate at the Halloween dance in season 2, along with the fact that apparently all Greendale students are in the Army reserves according to the bylaws, makes me wonder… what exactly is Greendale’s relationship to the military?