Picspam: Community 5.10 “Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons”

001

Like most of the recent outings, this week’s episode opens at the conclusion of a Save Greendale Committee meeting, with the Dean making a note that the group should add “insurance” to their docket, because “The school needs some.” Chang immediately volunteers to “ask around on the street,” but a distracted Hickey makes a noise of disbelief and Chang replies, “Oh, too cool for street insurance? Must be nice.”

No, Hickey’s not too cool for street insurance, he’s just really upset that he hasn’t been invited to his grandson’s third birthday party. He says he barely gets to see his grandkid because of his son, and in a nice nod to continuity, Jeff points out, “You just saw your son at his wedding.” Hickey says that was his gay son, “Him, I get.” It’s his other son, Hank, that he doesn’t understand. His only hobby is, “What do you call that crap with the dungeons and the dragons?”

Abed, looking like he’s swallowing several sharp knives, bites out, “Dungeons and Dragons?” and the group gets excited when Hickey confirms it. Annie gets the idea to play it again in order to reunite Hickey with his son, which is kind of nice after last week’s episode — Annie’s consistent in the way that she believes people can be reunited just by being in the same place at the same time.

Abed: “Was everyone’s takeaway from last time that we can use D&D to reprogram brains? Nobody feels that we almost caused a suicide?”
Jeff: “We prevented one! Fa — bulous Neil felt like a nobody, and thanks to us, he’s still out there, doing this and that in the background.”

A teeny bit revisionist, but this scene needed to be quick so I’ll allow it — especially as it gave us the wonderful gift of Fabulous Neil literally doing this and that in the background of Jeff’s frame.

Abed: “A satisfying sequel is difficult to pull off. Many geniuses have defeated themselves through hubris, making this a chance to prove that I’m better than all of them, I’m in!”

Everyone agrees that they want to play D&D tomorrow night, and the Dean raises his hand and says, “It’s short notice, but I think it’ll be good for me.” Jim Rash is a national treasure.

002

I loved the credits of the first D&D episode a lot, but I appreciate that they probably chose a themed title card to help with time crunches.

003

I managed to be unspoiled about David Cross’s guest starring role, so I was especially surprised and delighted to see him sitting between Britta and Annie. Everyone’s silently waiting for Abed to hand out character sheets and Hank asks his father what drew his interest, at age 60, to Dungeons and Dragons. “Um. Dungeons. It’d be the dungeons.” Chang nods his approval and really, it’s these small character moments that make the episode. (Chang nodding his approval of dungeons, the Dean mirroring Jeff’s body language in the previous shot, etc.)

In the shot of Chang and Hickey, Abed is still going through the character sheets, but suddenly everyone’s been assigned and it’s time to start the game. Abed sets the scenario.

“A blood orange sunrise crests the peaks of Rage Mountain as the eight of you arrive at the troubled realm of Galindor. Ahead to the north, a bridged ravine. Beyond that, a mysterious black tower where, rumor has it, an evil necromancer dwells. Your goal: Reach the top of the tower and destroy the necromancer, freeing the realm from his evil magic.”

The ladies look so pretty in their shots.

004

Hank, sarcastically: “That’s just what I love about role playing games, is being told exactly what to do.”
Dean: “Me too!”

First of all, I’m perfectly willing to watch a spinoff of David Cross and Jim Rash as Hank Hickey and Dean Pelton, just going on adventures together. Secondly, even though my only previous D&D experience is “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons,” I thought the whole point of the dungeon master was to set these sorts of scenes.

Abed says they should all introduce themselves, so Hank starts, saying he’s Joseph Gordon Die Hard, son of Sir Riggs Die Hard. Abed is really bad at names, suddenly his main character in his cop movie (Police Justice) is even funnier. Hickey says he’s Sir Riggs Die Hard, which means he’s also Hank’s father in the game, and that’s when Hank figures out that this is a thinly veiled attempt to help him reconnect with his father. He grabs everyone’s character sheets and redistributes them, so now it’s like a fun game of trying to figure out which characters Abed intended each person to be. Annie makes a lot of funny faces at Abed to try to get him to control the situation, but he’s powerless.

Hank: “Hello everyone, I am Tristram Steelheart. I am a holy cleric with a mace and a dumb name.”
Abed: “Ouch.”
Hickey: “I’m Tiny Nuggins, a thief, and the rest is gibberish.”

I bet Chang was supposed to be Nuggins, right? The rest of the characters are as follows:

Britta, with the same flair she used for Lavernica: “Greetings, I am Fibrosis the Ranger!”
Shirley: “Crouton, the half-Orc Druid! Druid?! Oh Crouton.” {She crosses herself, disappointed.}
Annie: “Hector the Well-Endowed? Again?”
Chang, talking about coincidences: “I’m a troll named Dingleberry! That was my mom’s nickname for me!”
Jeff: “I’m who Hickey was, Sir Riggs Diehard.”
Dean, leaning forward into the frame in excitement: “I am Joseph Gordon, son of Riggs! I protect the blade of Die Hard, a family sword whose power knows no evil. In our clan, the leader carries the hilt, his eldest heir the blade, for we believe man’s greatest weapon against evil is the bond –” {he chokes up, overcome with emotion} “– is the bond between father and son.”

Oh geez. That’s when you knew this episode was going to be funny.

005

Abed asks what they want to do, and Annie the Well Endowed proposes crossing the bridge (“Huzzah? Huzzah? Huzzah?”) but Hank Steelheart is feeling contrary. “What else is out there? What’s south, or east, or west? How about it, Aziz? If I walk too far south, do I fall off your graph paper there?” Was Aziz supposed to be insulting? I don’t get it.

Abed pulls out a huge three-ring binder containing details about the surrounding area. Hickey pleads with Hank, “It’s been five seconds, can you not do this?”

Annie the Well Endowed tries to pick up Hank Steelheart to carry him to the bridge, but Hank Steelheart casts Torvin’s Flesh of Fire, which burns Annie for six damage. The spell also sets the bridge on fire, so Abed prepares to roll for “dexterity checks,” which I would surely fail in the event of a fiery bridge collapse over a ravine, but Jeff tries to reason with Abed and says, “Considering the bigger picture, do you think it might be possible that you miscalculated the strength of the bridge?” Abed says that’s a good point — the bridge would’ve been constructed with primitive iron anchors, so the bridge gives way and they all plummet into Skull River. Way to go, Jeff.

The cool part here are the camera shots: when Abed tells them they’re all plunged into the river, the camera swoops down to Abed’s feet. They cut to a wide shot of the group in various stages of outrage, and then the next shot of Abed is up from below, as if we’re actually in the river looking up at the dungeon master. That’s one advantage this episode has over the other one: they’re not confined to the study table.

006

Hank and Hickey get into it then, and Hickey reveals that this is all about Hank not inviting him to his grandson’s birthday party. “He’s not your grandson, he’s my son, and I didn’t invite you to the birthday party because I wanted to enjoy it!”

That’s when Jeff stands up, with all of his resolved father issues, and tries to mediate in some way. This is an unexpectedly huge moment for him.

“You know, fathers and sons, there is a lot of power between them.” {Dean stands up and says, “Yes,” but Jeff snaps “Stop it!” and Dean sits down again.} “And I spent a lot of time letting that power push me away from my dad, and I regret it. So what’s ever between you guys will only get fixed when you’re together.”

Abed says they’re not together, and Jeff irritatedly says, “Abed, you’re not helping!” Abed would be a pretty bad dungeon master if he was — he has no time for your silly and varied father issues!

He splits them into two groups: Jeff, Hickey, Annie, and Shirley have washed into the left fork of Skull River, and Dean, Hank, Britta, and Chang have been washed to the right. I loved these teams when they first happened, and they did not disappoint when they were in action.

007

Dean acts out his character getting washed downstream, screaming “Father!” as the Hickeys stand unimpressed. Abed says he needs Hank, Britta, Chang, and Dean to go into another room before they can continue. Hank tries to leave, but Hickey has a proposition for him: “I’ll play your dragon game with you, but let’s make it interesting: If I kill the necrophile before you do, I come to my grandson’s birthday. Settle it like men… or whatever you call the guys that play this.”

Hank is onboard, with the understanding that if Hank wins, Hickey isn’t allowed to go to Thanksgiving or Christmas at Aunt Rachel’s. Hickey says Hank doesn’t even go to those, and Hank says, “Yeah, but I will if you don’t.” The deal is struck, and Jeff looks like he’s miserable about these stakes. Poor guy.

The other four go into Abed’s room with Abed, and Joseph Gordon Dean calls, “I will find you!” as he holds his hand out to Jeff Riggs Diehard. After the door is shut, Annie and Shirley look at Hickey with trepidation; no one likes the implications here, and it’s good that these three, with their various family issues and hangups, are the ones on Hickey’s team. They have the most motivation to fight for him, which makes me think Abed knew what he was doing when he split the groups. Britta is a natural ally for Hank, since she revealed some father issues early on in season 1. Chang doesn’t talk about his father, only his mother and brother, and the Dean was always going to defer to Jeff anyway, so he’s the wildcard.

But Jeff’s on the other side of his father issues, in a place where he knows it’s better to let go of the resentment and try to start the healing process. Shirley is deeply family-oriented, she’s always going to be in favor of keeping a family together rather than tearing them apart. And Annie could’ve been the wildcard here (we don’t really know where she stands with her father) if it weren’t for the fact that she wanted to do this D&D game solely for the purpose of reuniting Hickey with his son.

Hickey: “Well, I’m assuming you guys can help me beat him, because if we lose, I’m gonna punch each of you in the heart.”

My sister was in town staying with me when this episode aired, and “I’m gonna punch you in the heart” is a joking insult we have traded multiple times a day since then. Thanks, Hickey!

008

After the first commercial break, everything is YELLOW. Abed sets the scene for Team Dad (that’s what I’m calling the Hickey-Jeff-Shirley-Annie team, it’s not their actual team name.)

“You awaken on a muddy riverbank, surrounded by treacherous, godforsaken, non-zipline-vacation jungle.”

Annie the Well Endowed jumps immediately to practicality, opting to build a fire and construct a rack to dry her “boots and oversized codpiece.” Crouton Shirley offers to make s’mores out of “horsemeat and… some more… horsemeat,” I guess Crouton was carrying all the food so the other group will need to hunt. Tiny Hickey Nuggins is frustrated with fires and “horse s’mores” and declares, “The river runs east, I head west!”

Abed: “Tiny Nuggins scampers into the jungle.”
Tiny Hickey Nuggins: “Hey, pal, I didn’t scamper in the jungles of Nicaragua, I’m not gonna do it now.”

Crouton Shirley calls for Tiny Hickey Nuggins to come back, and then tells Abed that she follows him. Jeff Riggs Diehard follows, too, but Annie the Well Endowed tries to reason with Tiny Hickey Nuggins: “If we rest, we’ll regain strength faster!”

Tiny Hickey Nuggins: “I’ll lose my family! I’ll imaginary sleep when I’m imaginary dead!”

Abed says there are hobgoblins in the brush (the sound effect there is cool) and Annie whispers “Hobgoblins!” and Abed confirms, “Larger, stronger, and worth more in Scrabble than regular goblins.” Jeff Riggs Diehard instructs everyone to get down, but Tiny Hickey Nuggins yells, “I punch him in the heart!” and adds, “There are no women with them, are there? I’ve got class.”

Abed says Tiny Hickey Nuggins charges toward them, which alerts them to his presence, and it’s accompanied with the sound of footsteps through brush. He rolls the dice and the chest punch is unsuccessful, and Tiny Hickey Nuggins falls to the ground, pursued by hobgoblins with spears.

Crouton Shirley: “Oh no! I cast Entangle on them!”

Abed narrates the vines and branches entangling four of the hobgoblins as Shirley does an amazing witchy hand gesture.

009

Two of the unentangled hobgoblins fire arrows at Crouton Shirley, and they land in her shoulder and chest. Annie the Well Endowed fires back, and the hobgoblins retreat. Jeff Riggs Diehard is the most excited of all, especially considering he did absolutely nothing to defend Tiny Hickey Nuggins or the ladies during this hobgobfuffle: “Yeah, you better run! Go find a name that’s not just another creature’s name plus ‘hob’!”

But Crouton Shirley has been fatally wounded; the fall into Skull River plus the arrows were just too much. Tiny Hickey Nuggins can’t believe it: “That’s it? She’s dead?”

Crouton Shirley: “Yes, Hickey. I’m dead. But it’s okay. I’m on your side. Which is why I’m dead. I may be gone, but just remember, whenever the wind whispers through the woods: You got me killed.”

Perfect. After she’s gone (YEAH, for the rest of the episode!) Tiny Hickey Nuggins addresses Abed.

Tiny Hickey Nuggins: “Now you listen to me, young man, I’ve punched about a thousand hearts in my life, I never, never missed!”
Abed: “Have you ever been a three-foot-tall halfling running through two-foot-high vines trying to punch a seven-foot monster? I’m gonna go check on the others. You might want to check your character, or just kinda generally take this game seriously. Your son does.”

Hickey looks a little ashamed as Abed gets up. Annie the Well Endowed, meanwhile, says, “I take a moment of silence to mourn my fallen comrade, Crouton… before rifling through her belongings!” She snatches Shirley’s character sheet as Jeff joins her in going through Crouton’s horsemeat and various witchy sundries.

010

Abed’s barely through the door to address Team Son when Joseph Gordon Dean accosts him, begging for news of his father, Jeff Riggs Diehard. Abed tells the group that they have no way of knowing where Team Dad is or how they’re doing, so Joseph Gordon Dean sits back on Abed’s bed, disappointed.

Abed: “You’re still traveling north along the cliff edges of the Hawthorne Mountains.”

AAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! He named a mountain range after Pierce!

Hank Steelheart (a cleric, I guess that gives him magical abilities?) casts a healing spell on Britta Fibrosis.

Britta Fibrosis: “Oh, thank you. But I’m not gonna help you kick your dad out of your life. I don’t think this competition is healthy, and I don’t think what you did back there was cool.”

Aw Britta, toeing the party line! Don’t worry — she’ll be swayed by Hank Steelheart’s father issues soon enough.

Hank: “Look, you think I’m the bad guy because I didn’t invite him to my son’s birthday. But you know where he was for most of my birthdays? A little place that rhymes with ‘not there.’”
Chang: “Times Square?”

The Dean gives Chang the most epic of side-eyes after that (and meanwhile, the Green Acres theme song is stuck in my head now) and then Abed tells the group that they’re being attacked by “three huge white arachnids… with eagle wings!” I’m not even scared of spiders and that sounds terrifying to me. Hank Steelheart mutters, “Sky Spiders,” and then Joseph Gordon Dean charges forward, standing on the bench at the end of Abed’s bed.

Joseph Gordon Dean: “I draw my sword, and I cry out, ‘Back, eight-legged demons! I will not scoop you up with a catalogue and let you outside on this day!”

Hank Steelheart stands and tells Joseph Gordon Dean to stay his blade. “Sky Spiders are as frightened of us as we are of them. Plus they eat all of the Sky Mosquitoes.”

011

He casts “Speak with Monsters,” and he greets the spiders. The lead one secretes some silk, a sign of submission, and Britta congratulates Hank Steelheart as Chang Dingleberry says, “Damn, you made that Sky Spider your bitch, yo!” and holds out his fist. Hank Steelheart, just like his father Tiny Hickey Nuggins before him, is incapable of shaking hands or fistbumping properly.

Back out in the common area, Team Dad seems to be working like a well-oiled machine now that Hickey is taking the game seriously. They’re ambushing the hobgoblin’s lair, presumably to avenge Crouton, and it’s one of the best sequences.

Abed: “You’ve tracked the hobgoblins to this shack. One guard hobguards the door — that’s what they call ‘guarding.’”
Tiny Hickey Nuggins: “Go!”
Annie the Well Endowed: “Sniper arrow on the guard.”
Abed: “It strikes true, the guard drops.”
Tiny Hickey Nuggins: “I move to the doorway. Detect traps!”
Abed: “None detected.”
Tiny Hickey Nuggins: “I enter.”
Annie the Well Endowed: “Left flank.”
Jeff Riggs Diehard: “– RIGHT!” {He’s totally into this game.}
Abed: “One hobgoblin, facing east.”
Tiny Hickey Nuggins: “Backstab!”
Abed: “Double damage. Critical hit, he’s dead. Footsteps behind the door to the north.”
Annie the Well Endowed: “I notch two arrows.”
Tiny Hickey Nuggins: “I climb the walls to get above the door.”
Abed: “Five goblins enter from the north.”
Annie the Well Endowed: “I fire!”
Abed: “Both arrows hit.”
Jeff Riggs Diehard: “CLEAVE!” {Seriously, he’s so intense about this game.}
Abed: “You kill one and wound another.”
Tiny Hickey Nuggins: “I drop on the last one and grapple.”
Abed: “You’ve got a hold of him.”
Tiny Hickey Nuggins: “This one’s for Crouton.”

012

Abed begins to talk as the grappled hobgoblin, vowing that the Dark Lord will kill them all, but Tiny Hickey Nuggins cuts him off. “Wait, these things can talk? I want two taken alive, I wanna try something.”

That’s when he becomes a cop again.

Tiny Hickey Nuggins sits down with the first hobgoblin, Golback, accompanied by Jeff Riggs Diehard. He says he’s putting down his weapon so they can talk. Golback calls him “Human trash,” but Tiny Hickey Nuggins levels with him: “We’re looking for a necromancer. We don’t need two goblins to find him. So between you and your friend, who do you think is the most useful?”

Cut to Tiny Hickey Nuggins talking to the other hobgoblin, named “Klang,” accompanied by Annie the Well Endowed. Klang insists that Golback will never turn, and Tiny Hicky Nuggins agrees, “Oh yeah, because of that famous goblin loyalty. I could never drive a wedge between you and some guy from work.” Klang corrects him: He was best man at Golback’s wedding! Now Tiny Hickey Nuggins has an in.

Back to Golback, again accompanied by Jeff Riggs Diehard, and it’s fantastic that Abed stays so dedicated and that Danny Pudi pulls this off so well. Tiny Hickey Nuggins mentions that Golback just got married, and adds, “Too bad about the food.” Golback starts slinging insults, then stops and asks, “Wait. What about the food?”

And then back to Klang and Annie the Well Endowed, where Tiny Hickey Nuggins is saying that Golback didn’t like Klang’s wedding toast. “Golback said that?!”

Then over with Golback and Jeff Riggs Diehard again (who is oddly holding a ruler? What were you doing with your free time there, bud?) and Tiny Hickey Nuggins says, “Klang doesn’t approve of you and Lisa, Golback, and I don’t get the sense it’s because of his feelings for you.”

We end with Klang, who is near hysterics as Tiny Hickey Nuggins says, “You know, I think about Lisa, sitting in that hole in Darktooth Canyon, with little Frimrock and Griknog rolling about on the wolf pelts. Come on, between you and me, which one do you think is yours?”

Klang cries out in anguish, then says he can tell them where the necromancer dwells. Tiny Hickey Nuggins and Annie the Well Endowed do a fingertip handshake that is downright adorable. Somewhere off-camera, Jeff is still playing with that ruler.

013

Hank Steelheart sings a hymn to the impressionable Chang Dingleberry and Britta Fibrosis as Joseph Gordon Dean stares out the window forlornly. Abed enters with an update.

“The Sky Spiders have flown you as far as their complex religion allows. They set you down and express, through intricate prancing, directions to the tower.”

Everyone’s excited except for Joseph Gordon Dean, who resumes his stare as a voiceover begins over a panning shot of the map (it was actually called “Godforsaken Forest,” and there’s a Brutalitops Memorial Bridge).

014

“Father, forgive me. I have traveled so far from you. How many game days since the Skull River ripped us apart? How many real hours since I’ve gone pee? We seek this Necromancer, why? Why? Our reasons are dreams, our dreams, dust. I send word on wings of sparrows, in hopes they may find you. Abed says the odds are near impossible. That’s enough for me. Should you receive this message, I know of a way to reunite. According to my character sheet, if I rub the blade of our magic family sword, while you rub the hilt, twin beacons of light will reveal our locations to each other. Each night I will think of you, and rub, praying for the night fate will find us rubbing together. Your son, Joseph Gordon Diehard.”

On the one hand, it’s very funny. I laughed through the whole monologue, especially with him wondering about bathroom breaks, or when he pulled out a folded-up season 1-era photo of Jeff that he apparently carries around with him. it makes sense to have the Dean and Jeff in these respective roles because no one was going to work harder to get back to Jeff than the Dean.

On the other hand, it’s kind of weird to mesh the Dean’s very overt sexual fantasies (along with these double-entendres about nightly rubbing) with a serious issue like father-son relationships. I feel like they should’ve gone for one or the other — Dean being dedicated to getting back to Jeff because he’s deep in the role, or Dean being dedicated to getting back to Jeff because he wants to slide down his body.

Anyway, Abed rolls the dice every time Joseph Gordon Dean hands him a scroll tied with a scrap from his shirt, and judging by the wastebasket in Abed’s room, he’s written at least 20 unsuccessful letters. Finally, Abed rolls the right combination, to his utter astonishment.

015

Abed tells Jeff Riggs Diehard that a sparrow lands on his shoulder, carrying a note. Jeff unties the scrap from Joseph Gordon Dean’s shirt and reads the letter. “Abed, I… rub my sword’s hilt?”

A beam of light shines as the hilt searches for its blade, and a connecting beam shines from the north. It turns out both groups are ten miles away from the necromancer’s castle, which means they’ll be getting there at the same time.

Tiny Hickey Nuggins: “This begins in a race.”
Hank Steelheart: “But it may end in war.”

He launches into a tangent about a popcorn kernel stuck in his tooth, it’s all very Todd Margaret.

After the break, Jeff and Annie are conferring off to the side while Abed is in with Team Son. They present Hickey with the idea of calling the game off, but Hickey is determined to see it through. “You’ve seen the way he talks to me! He doesn’t want his own father in his life! He’ll do anything to win, and that includes attacking you. And you best believe that your little friends in there are drinking up his Kool-Aid.”

016

Over on Team Son, their friends are drinking up the Kool-Aid. Dingleberry Chang kisses his hand as even Joseph Gordon Dean looks affected.

Both groups arrive at the tower at the same time, and each team greets the other warily. Joseph Gordon Dean, in a choked voice, says, “Father!”

Jeff Riggs Diehard grudgingly replies, “Joseph Gordon,” and JGD makes to move forward and hug him, but he’s restrained by Britta Fibrosis.

017

Britta Fibrosis: “We are here so Tristram Steelheart, Lord of the Sky Spiders, can slay the necromancer. You guys cool, or are we gonna have to get red?”
Jeff Riggs Diehard: “Tiny Nuggins, Waterboarder of Goblins, will do the slaying, because every man has the right to hang out with his grandson.”
Dingleberry Chang: “Too bad you’re outnumbered.”
Joseph Gordon Dean: “No they’re not.”

He steps forward and opens his arms.

Joseph Gordon Dean: “I am not part of this. I am Joseph Gordon Diehard, and I am only here to hug my father, which I now do.”
Tiny Hickey Nuggins: “It’s a trick!”
Jeff Riggs Diehard: “I’m not letting him hug me.”
Joseph Gordon Dean: “I hug my father!”
Tiny Hickey Nuggins: “He has gunpowder in his pants!”
Jeff Riggs Diehard: “I draw my sword! Stay back!”
Britta Fibrosis: “I draw an arrow!”
Annie the Well Endowed: “So do I!”
Dingleberry Chang: “Troll sound!”

018

Abed asks if Jeff will lower his sword (no) and if the Dean will back off (“I HUG MY FATHER!”) and then announces, “You’re impaled.”

Then Jim Rash does one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. He mimes being run through with a sword, then he mimes struggling through his stab wound to hug his father. It’s hilarious and uncomfortable and amazing. Before he slides down the entire length of Jeff’s body, he whispers, “Worth it!” I don’t know how this cast kept straight faces.

019

Battle ensues as Britta Fibrosis yells, “Son slayer!” Among the highlights are Annie the Well Endowed using her well-endowed-ness to spray stuff all over the enemies; Dingleberry Chang making odd hand gestures and growling “Dingleberry smash!”; and Jeff repeatedly yelling “Cleave! Cleave! Cleave!” and making slashing gestures. Tiny Hickey Nuggins and Hank Steelheart avoid the fray and head for the door of the tower.

020

One by one, the comrades in arms fall: Jeff Riggs Diehard joins his son Joseph Gordon Diehard in the afterlife-slash-foyer, followed by Annie the Well Endowed, then Britta Fibrosis, and finally, Dingleberry Chang. Tiny Hickey Nuggins and Hank Steelheart don’t even notice they’re gone until Hickey runs out of throwing knives. “Will one of you guys take care — what, you’re all dead? I keep going!”

Abed narrates them going into the necromancer’s lair, where they see “his bed, some bottles of goop, some other necromancing crap,” but the necromancer is missing. Hank Steelheart makes to search the room, then stops and asks Tiny Hickey Nuggins if he’s going to stab him in the back while he’s searching. “Hey, I am a thief, not a wuss! I search too!” But it turns out, the back door of the tower is open — all towers have back doors, duh — and the necromancer has escaped.

021

Hickey is outraged. “You can’t just say he’s gone, you owe us an ending!” Abed argues back that he owes Hickey nothing, that spending an hour arguing over who gets to kill a necromancer outside his front door will usually result in the necromancer finding a way out. (I suppose this is the overall motif for this episode: They didn’t owe us a satisfying ending or credible character development for one of our original cast members. I’m not knocking it, but we have to admit, there’s still a lot of backstory to explore with any of our original Greendale Five, yet we’ve spent this entire episode on one of the least interesting aspects of Hickey’s backstory.)

Abed says they might find the necromancer if they work together, but Jeff chimes in, “Take it from a bunch of ghosts: This is no kind of life. You need fresh air and frozen yogurt. It’s on me.” The rest of the ghosts react excitedly to this (he just means he’s buying it guys) and he adds, “Hug it out,” which disgusts the two Hickeys still in the game.

They start arguing about what they’re going to do to get the necromancer, with Hickey opting to loot upstairs as Hank goes down the ladder.

Hank Steelheart: “I can hear you — can I hear him looting upstairs?”
Tiny Hickey Nuggins: “Not if I move about silently!”
Hank Steelheart: “Fine, fine, if I heal you, can we divide the potions?”
Tiny Hickey Nuggins: “Okay, but I decide who gets what.”

And with that, they start to compromise and work together. Annie asks what’s happening, “Do they like each other now?” and Jeff gently places his hand on her shoulder and says, “Are you kidding me? They can’t stand being in the same room. I also don’t think they can handle being apart. And I think they just found a way to avoid doing either. And that’s the best most fathers and sons can do.” I can’t figure out this show’s angle on father-son relationships.

Out in the hallway, Dean hugs Jeff and says he’s really proud of him, and Jeff asks, “Does anyone know where we can buy a real sword?” They all leave to get frozen yogurt, Dean getting one last squeeze of Jeff’s bicep as they go.

022

Abed is having a Dungeons and Dragons tea party with Annie’s stuffed animals, but he grows increasingly frustrated with them as they only pass crumpets and pour tea. Annie asks if she can have her “stuffies” back, and Abed, disgusted, tells them all that they’ve been murdered by goblins. It’s a cute little tag.

What did you think? Better or worse than the first Dungeons and Dragons episode? Or were they pretty much the same to you?

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