Warning: this post contains spoilers from episode 5.10 of NBC’s Community, “Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons”
No two father/son relationships are alike, and Community showed two very different relationships tonight. One is not a real father and son relationship, and only originated because our fellow Dungeons and Dragons players switched characters. This led to Jeff becoming Dean Pelton’s father.
The only word I have for that relationship is creeptastic. Pelton took the opportunity to be as close to Jeff as he could be. Sometimes I think Pelton needs a help group.
Then there was Buzz Hickey and his son for the real father/son relationship. Previous episodes have shown Hickey’s past was not full of sunshine and rainbows. Like the rest of the group he has a jaded past, and it is probably one of the reasons why he ended up at Greendale. It was already established during Troy’s last episode that Hickey had a gay son who was getting married. However, this episode revealed he had another son, and that he did not have the best relationship with this son.
The game was created because the group wanted Hickey to bond with his son, but the strained relationship starts to show even before the game begins. Hickey’s son knows what the group is trying to do, especially after the game characters are revealed. He quickly separates himself from his father, and they begin to try to get to the necromancer first in order to beat the other.
When the two are reunited in the game an all-out war begins to happen, but somehow after everyone else has died they slowly start to compromise while playing the game. Hickey still tries to remain in charge, but he is slowly allowing his son to have more say. They are finally starting to work together. Yes, they are working together over the game, but they are finally coming to terms with each other. Hickey may have been emotionally stinted in the past, but I think he is trying to be a better father now.
The mention of Jeff’s and his father’s relationship is mentioned, and Jeff said the best way to make it better is to spend time with each other. I believe Jeff is right about Hickey and his son needing to spend time with each other. I also believe Hickey and his son have a better relationship than Jeff and his father because Hickey was willing to put in an effort, and in the end was starting to work with his son. Both people need to be willing for a relationship to work.
It kind of reminds me of Abed and his father. Abed’s father was not willing to let Abed try film studies until he saw Abed’s film. They were able to connect over the film. Sometimes it is hard for emotionally stinted people to connect with each other, but this is why we have films and Dungeons and Dragons. They get to see someone’s perspective more clearly.
Side note: It was interesting to see how Abed divided up the groups. He put the known manipulators in one, while the other group held the more off-putting characters. I’m not saying I find any of the characters off-putting. Instead they have been generally characterized this way on the show.