It’s Halloween in Greendale, and Community is at its spooktacular best. This week’s episode features an honest-to-goodness zombie uprising, deception, sacrifice, an Asian Peggy Fleming, and an (extremely) unlikely hookup. Intrigued? Keep reading for the spine-tingling, rib-tickling details.
- Director: Anthony Hemmingway
- Writer: Karey Dornetto
- Cast: Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Donald Glover, Allison Brie, Chevy Chase, Ken Jeong
Episode Title: “Epidemiology 206″
The study group – along with the rest of Greendale – is at the annual Halloween party at the college, where Dean Pelton has procured some suspiciously tasty taco meat. Jeff’s a Abed and Troy have come as an Alien and construction-mech Ripley respectively, although Troy opts out after Jeff points out how nerdy he looks, deciding to be a “sexy Dracula” instead. Pierce starts acting strangely after eating the taco meat, and the doctor from Jeff’s pottery class tends to him and the inexplicably large number of people displaying the same symptoms; eventually Pierce bites Starburns and all the non-infected start freaking out about the zombie outbreak. Meanwhile, Dean Pelton discovers that the “taco meat” is actually a secret government project and is ordered to lock down the school in quarantine while the army arrives, leaving the study group (minus Pierce) trapped inside.
- Zombie Ataaaaaaaack!: This episode manages to be both a pitch-perfect zombie parody and genuinely funny, a difficult feat to pull off. Everything, from the fact that not one but two protagonists are secretly infected but think they’re too “special” to succumb to zombification (spoiler: they’re not), to the way that Jeff complains about being stuck in a creepy, dark basement with an evil cat, create a deliciously warped version of the classic zombie tale we know and love. Abed simultaneously lamp-shading and subverting the “black guy dies first” trope was refreshing, in-character, and awesome; the way that everything basically returns to normal (just slower and dumber) once everyone’s a zombie is both intriguing and hilarious, given that the “what happens when the zombies win?” is something that zombie films never ever address.
- Troy of the Dead: When you think about it, Troy hasn’t ever had a “Community” episode about him (the football episode was about Annie, really) despite the fact that he may be the funniest character, so it was nice that he got to be the focus of this week’s installment. He actually undergoes a pretty involved character arc, as he eventually embraces his inner nerd – and while he was mindwiped at the end, it looks like some of the message stuck. The scene where he beats up his zombified friends to get to the thermostat is both poignant and hilarious.
- Clothes Make the Man: It’s impressive how the writers of “Community” managed to find costumes that absolutely reflected the quirks of each one of the characters: The too-cool-for-real-costumes Jeff is David Beckham, Annie is a sexy Red Riding Hood, Britta is a decidedly unsexy T-Rex (so much so that she can barely move), Pierce is Captain Kirk, the perpetually-misunderstood Shirley is Glinda the Good Witch but keeps getting mistaken for Miss Piggy, Senor Chang is Peggy Fleming just to provoke racist reactions, and Abed and Troy are, as previously mentioned, the Alien and Ripley. You can tell everything you need to know about them by what getup they chose; it’s these kind of details that make Community a great TV show.
- We’re Gonna Puke: OK, we’ve pointed out in the past that Jeff isn’t the only guy that the ladies can go for, but really? Shirley and Chang? That’s just… that’s just not right. Although we can’t complain too much, since it did set up the excellent post-credits scene where Troy receives an obscene phone call from Chang and is utterly bewildered by the message.
- “Note to self: Get oil changed. Check Netflix for that movie where Greg Kinnear is a ghost – no, an angel. And something called Human Centi-”
- “You’re safe now. But if that thing comes back, I’m going to need one or both of your phone numbers.”
- “Just been proven racist… by the racist-prover.”
- “I’m a sexy Dracula.” “You mean vampire.” “I don’t need to know which Dracula I am to be a Dracula. Nerd.”
- “Leonard, you better back that pumpkin ass up or I’m gonna make pie.”
- “Guys? I hate to be the ‘we’ve got company’ guy, but…”
- “It can’t be the end of days; it’s not 2012 yet.”
- “It could take years to take over the world.” “How many years?” “One, one-and-a-half.”
- “Special? You’re not special! I’m special! I was bit ten minutes ago and I’m fwwwaaaaaaaaaargh.”
- “Oh, cool. A dark basement. I was just thinking we should be doing this in a dark basement.”
- “Troy, make me proud. Be the first black man to make it to the end.”
- “Hey zombie Annie, what big fists you have… in your face!”
When Community is good, it’s really really good. This is a must-watch episode; it’s got great dialogues, great character interaction, great atmosphere, and it’s incredibly funny to boot. It’s pretty much perfect, which explains why we’re giving it…
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