Community 3.11 “Urban Matrimony & the Sandwich Arts” Recap

Community fans! It feels so good to open up a word document and write about the show again that I may just end up dancing through this recap. Don’t judge me, okay?

In the ‘real’world, much has happened since we last left off in December (did we mention Jim Rash won an Oscar?) But in the Greendale world, nothing has really happened at all — and it was a comforting sight to have our first scene back be the study group eating in the cafeteria together, just as they’ve been doing regularly for the past two years.

Our usual lunchtime conversation has Jeff complaining, Annie waxing poetic on the loss of Greendale’s coffee shop, and businesswoman Shirley trying to assert grown-up thought into the picture (a sandwich shop, she thinks, would work perfectly in the coffee shop’s absence.) Pierce shows up with a new wardrobe and new plans — now that his father is gone, he’s taken over the entrepreneur role and is investing in new products, such as an automatic security camera. Britta jumps on board with Pierce’s new attitude, suggesting he partner up with Shirley which could help make her sandwich shop a reality.

In the middle of all this, the doors burst open (literally) and in dances Andre, who sings a love song to Shirley before asking her to re-marry him. Of course, she accepts — much to Britta and Jeff’s dismay. Though the rest of the study group is happy for Shirley (Annie obviously the most so), Britta wastes no time asserting her feminist opinion while Jeff complains about how he will never get behind the idea of marriage. When Shirley arrives, she announces that she’s planning to have her wedding in the study room and then asks Jeff to give a speech on her behalf. As such, her sandwich shop venture falls by the wayside, though Pierce tries his best not to feel too offended.

Meanwhile, Troy and Abed resolve to become ‘more normal’so as not to embarrass themselves at the wedding per Shirley’s wishes. They decide to ‘de-weirdify’themselves in their dreamatorium for a full 24 hours, an experiment which has rather hilarious results as both emerge, well…normal. Or at least, as normal as Troy and Abed will ever get. No pop culture references, mature and spot-on articulate conversation, even a regular handshake. Perhaps a testament to how much their personalities have come to define them on the show and within their social circle, this transformation leaves them barely recognizable.

Britta, desperate to steer Shirley away from a life of limiting herself by signing her life over to a guy, backhandedly ends up appointing herself as wedding planner. I sincerely love when Britta gets so riled up at others over her own insecurities, only to end up in a situation she would kill for a way out of. Nonetheless, she succeeds somewhat in her plan because Shirley’s focus on her wedding soon fades. She goes to Pierce to work on a business plan for Greendale’s sandwich shop, but when Pierce shows Shirley the beginning of his pitch, Shirley is far from impressed. She tries to get herself out of the project by saying she would rather be with Andre and Pierce uses this opportunity to plead his case, admitting that Hawthorne Wipes fired him after his father died and he’s not an entrepreneur of any kind — just a kid with money. Since pouting friends are clearly the way into Shirley’s sympathetic heart, she stays to help him.

While Annie and Britta attempt to plan out flowers and color schemes, Jeff struggles to come up with a speech that he feels comfortable with — he’s so against weddings that he just can’t get behind the idea enough to support it. Annie tries to tell him to open up and look inside his heart, though when Jeff does, all he apparently sees is alcohol. (This is why Jeff Winger and I are meant to be.)

Shirley and Pierce bring their completed pitch to Dean Pelton, who is impressed with their presentation as well as the fact that Greendale apparently provided them with such professional business knowledge. As the three toast their success, Shirley suddenly becomes aware she’s late for her own rehearsal, and rushes back to Andre.

Or should I say, rushes back to hell. In the interim, Britta has somehow managed to plan a rather beautiful wedding, though seeing her biggest fears realized on a grand scale leads her to fly off the handle in a way that only Britta Perry can. Shirley shows up excited to share her success with Andre, but Andre is upset that she put work before him. The two get into a huge argument, only to be eclipsed by Britta and Jeff, who have gotten themselves more than a little drunk. Suddenly, we’re back to a scene straight out of season 2’s ‘Mixology Certification'(must these two ruin every good event by arguing and getting wasted?) As the argument rages on, Jeff becomes completely vulnerable as he opens up to the entire room about daddy issues and promises, while Britta opens up about her fears of being nothing more than a wife with no direction. Their argument allows Shirley and Andre to realize their differences and how important it is to respect each other, especially in a lifelong relationship. The two make up, and end up getting married on the spot.

As for Trobed? Our favorite duo is too busy being normal to remember what it’s like to be weird — in fact, it’s only the resurgence of Annie’s Boobs that reminds Troy that he likes being weird…it’s a part of him, and he misses it (I feel like this is a moment where I should call all nerds to unite — be proud of yourselves!) While Abed is at first a bit harder to convince, he eventually returns to his former self and soon the Trobed we know and love is back — handshake, Inspector Spacetime talk and all (nevermind that being ‘normal’causes Abed to be dumped by the girl he’s talking to at the wedding, a small moment that I think has the potential to lead into a more serious situation as the season goes forward.)

Dean Pelton comes by to tell Shirley that while the school board loved her sandwich shop idea, he decided to sell the space to Subway instead (he then throws a fit over not being invited to Shirley’s wedding.) Shirley is at first crushed, but Annie encourages her to not give up on her dreams. All in all, the episode was a little more down-to-earth than our usual craziness — but a solid, serious and emotional episode all the time. It’s good to be back!

What did you think of Shirley’s wedding? And did you enjoy the episode’s tag? (Although I was hoping for a Troy and Abed tag after such a long time away, I did enjoy Pierce’s ice cream escapade.)

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