Gear up, Community fans — only one episode remains before the show is taken off the air for an indefinite amount of time. Although we know for sure that our favorite study group will come back to complete their run of 22 episodes, it still doesn’t do much to ease our pain — especially when we get great episodes like this that remind us just how fun, witty and special this show really is.
It’s Friday at Greendale, and Annie wants to know what the study group is doing this weekend (or, ‘who’they’re doing, in Pierce’s case.) Britta tells everyone she’s volunteering at an animal hospital, while Abed shares his excitement over his newest pride and joy — the $299 Limited Edition ‘Extended Extended’Batman DVD (autographed by Christian Bale, of course) which he plans to watch with Troy. Meanwhile, Jeff becomes increasingly annoyed with a trio of rowdy European hipsters who have taken over the foosball table in the cafeteria. He interrupts them, feeding the group a classic Jeff Winger charm story but the boys don’t buy it. After losing one round, Jeff finds his inner competitor unleashed.
At la casa de Trobed, Annie is doing her daily chores for the boys and decides to clean off the television. Her good intentions are marred, however, when she mistakenly steps on — and crushes — the prized Batman DVD. Troy, who happens to be home at the time, sees the disaster happen and immediately freaks out. He tells Annie she has to confess which of course Annie is against as she thinks Abed will be too angry at her. Troy tells her that she can’t fool Abed – and besides, Abed is too smart and he’ll know if anyone tries to do so. Which means Annie’s only option is coming clean; something our favorite perfectionist has no intention of doing.
Meanwhile, during after hours at Greendale, a now-determined and competitive Jeff is playing with the foosball table. Shirley comes by and interrupts him and after Jeff spouts off some diatribe about how foosball is ‘a guy thing,’Shirley starts to play, impressing Jeff with her superior skills. Jeff asks her to help him with his technique and Shirley at first refuses – she doesn’t want her inner darkness to come out and she doesn’t want to be evil. She eventually relents, and while the two are practicing (Shirley becoming increasingly more violent as she slaughters Jeff), the hipsters show up and challenge the duo to play Monday morning. And it’s on.
Abed and Troy come back from being out of the apartment, only to find that they’ve been robbed — or rather, that Annie has staged a robbery. When the cops come to check on the situation, Annie tries to sell the robbery story by saying that in addition to the DVD, the thief has also stolen her necklace. But Abed isn’t so quick to believe that a robbery took place — as evidenced by the lack of forced entry and nothing else having gone missing. He very seriously surmises that it must have been the landlord, especially since he was dressed as the Joker for Halloween last year. While Troy continues to try to get Annie to confess, Abed disappears and reappears as Batman — Christian Bale voice and all. He starts talking about how he’s going to seek revenge on the person who committed the crime and as he goes to climb out the window, Annie finally breaks down and stops him by admitting she was the one who really broke his DVD. Abed doesn’t believe her, though, saying that if Annie’s words were true she would’ve come forth hours ago.
During dinner (at the presumed same Mexican restaurant that Dean Pelton took Jeff during their mall date) Jeff tries to get Shirley to talk about how she started playing foosball. Shirley admits that she had a lot of anger as a child, and foosball was a relief — she took her competitive aggression out by playing, and her greatest achievement was playing so hard that she made one of the young boys cry and pee in their pants. With a realization of horror, Jeff realizes that the young boy was him — it was Shirley who had made him pee his pants all those years ago and who tormented him afterwards by laughing about it. ‘You were Big Cheddar?”You were Tinkle Town?’Jeff freaks out and storms out of the restaurant, leaving Shirley behind.
Trobed’s landlord is drinking on the couch, enjoying his evening when Batman!Abed crawls (rather clumsily) through the window. ‘Where is it?’he asks as Troy and Annie come after him. The landlord tells him whatever he has is in the closet and Annie opens it to reveal a massive pile of shoes (including her own) that the landlord has stolen. She seizes the opportunity to continue the lie, saying that the landlord also has the broken DVD. Back at Greendale, Shirley has texted asking him to come and talk because she feels bad about what she did to him. Jeff starts yelling about how he changed himself just because of what had happened during that game, which turns into an amazing moment of uber-competitive foosball. As the two argue, they morph into anime characters battling in epic conditions — a fun moment that only Community could pull off without being completely random. When they come to a rest in the game due to the fact they’ve placed the ball somewhere that neither of them can touch, they realize that foosball was important to them because at the time, it was all they had. It doesn’t need to define them now that they know the type of people they are. Once Jeff and Shirley realize how they’ve been acting, they back off and apologize.
Back at casa de Trobed, Annie finally admits that ‘on behalf of all of us that are not perfect’she broke the DVD. Batman believes her — but says she has to tell Abed, who may not be as forgiving. In one of the more brilliant moments of the night, Batman disappears and we see the real Abed again, who seems to forgive Annie anyway. Shirley and Jeff show up as planned for the Monday foosball game, using their new found surprise strategy of getting the ball to the middle in an unplayable position to best the group of hipsters. ‘Since when are those two so close?’Pierce asks, as the two leave arm in arm to spend time together. Pierce speaks what we may all be thinking, given the amount of time we’ve seen Shirley and Jeff together in this show — but as we now are aware, the two have a closer bond than we ever could’ve imagined. The episode tag is a YouTube spot for Leonard’s frozen pizza recommendations.
What did you think? Did you enjoy the Jeff/Shirley interaction? Did you miss Britta? What was your favorite Abed!Batman moment?