Thursday night, NBC blessed us with three episodes of Community. And it was glorious! First up was “Digital Estate Planning,” which took us back to the good old days of 8-bit video games. The Greendale Seven worked together to help Pierce claim his inheritance, defeating evil hippies and a Harry Belafonte look-a-like along the way. Next, it was on to “The First Chang Dynasty,” which dealt with the ongoing feud between the study group and Chang.

Check out our review of both episodes below…

The Players:

Episode Title: “Digital Estate Planning”/”The First Chang Dynasty”

“Digital Estate Planning” – Pierce fights for his inheritance after being summoned to Hawthorne Enterprises by his deceased father’s right-hand man. The study group tags along for support, and gets pulled into a video game battle.

“The First Chang Dynasty” – The group plans a sneak attack to loosen Chang’s grip on Greendale. With Chang’s birthday serving as a distraction, Jeff and the gang make their move. Meanwhile, Troy turns to the Air Conditioning Repair Annex for help with their escape.

The Good:

  • “Digital Estate Planning”: “Digital Estate Planning” was a magnificent episode, bursting with creativity. Watching the 8-bit representations of each character was hilarious, from Jeff’s perfect hair to Shirley’s plump body type. There were great video game details, like figuring out which button was used for jumping or how to stock up on weapons. It was absolutely incredible. We’re hoping NBC makes Journey To The Center of Hawkthorne an actual game.
  • Annie and Shirley’s Murder: One of the best moments in the game world featured Annie and Shirley’s avatars trying to buy weapons from a blacksmith. Not only do they end up killing him and his wife, but they also burn down their home.
  • Abed’s Babies: Abed would fall in love with a milk maiden in a video game. That’s just who he is! In the end, he raises a whole army of children, all of whom chant, “Cool, cool, cool.”
  • Jeff’s Speech: Even as a video game avatar Jeff knows how to give an inspiring speech. It was completely adorable to see his 8-bit self stand on a table and lead the group to victory. It was small details like that that made “Digital Estate Planning” worth watching.
  • Elaborate Heist: In “The First Chang Dynasty,” Community returned to the ongoing plotline as the Greendale Seven tried to take down Chang with an elaborate heist. The episode wasn’t a full-on homage to Ocean’s Eleven (which would have also been fun), but did make reference to heist movies. It was exciting and funny throughout. Abed and Troy’s plumber disguises were spot on, but the best moment was the Dean’s rescue. We missed him so much!

The So-So:

  • Out of Place: “Digital Estate Planning” was absolutely delightful (for reasons stated above), but only as a standalone episode. It completely ignored everything that’s been going on in Community lately. The end tag was also a bit odd. We see Troy and Abed returning to Greendale when in fact they’re still expelled. Still an excellent episode, but did feel sort of out of place.

The Quotable:

  • “Oh that diabolical old fossil face.”
  • “So a 100-year-old man designed a 30-year-old video game? This I gotta see.”
  • “I assume nothing because I’m not racist.”
  • “This place is 20 cat turds and a Pixies poster from being your apartment.”
  • “Here’s the thing about women Jeff, we don’t hack and slash our way through life because we’re one with life.”
  • “Unbelievable. Jeff bet all our lives on Britta and won. And I lost my pants to a pair of nines. “
  • “Look I hate cops!”
  • “Love is not admissible evidence! I’m working on a cop opera.”
  • “Not a lot of people get a second chance, just you and probably Obama.”
  • “Do you know how long someone as sarcastic as I am would last in prison? Suuuch a long time.”
  • “Don’t be so dramatic Troy. The answer is simple. We just have to plan an elaborate heist!”
  • “I just want to reiterate that this should be the only time you seduce a child over the Internet.”
  • “Negative. The pixie has left the toadstool.”
  • “Shirley, never change. Or do if you want, I’m not the boss of you.”

Overall:

“Digital Estate Planning” and “The First Chang Dynasty” were two very different episodes. But they were both charming and funny. The former took risks by going 8-bit, and its attention to detail made it a true work of art. While the latter returned to the series’ current arc and wrapped it up quite nicely.

Rating: 9.5/10

Community will return next season at a new day and time. Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on NBC

Photo Gallery:

What did you think of last night’s first two episodes?