Community 5.13 Review: “Basic Sandwich”


You’ll have to forgive me. I’m a little short of words after watching another one of my favorite shows end for the season. I’ve lost too many of my favorites this past year (Psych, Breaking Bad, How I Met Your Mother) to even consider the possibility of losing another. However, as you recall, I wrote a (hopefully) compelling argument for the renewal of Community a few weeks ago, which you can find here. SO, if anyone knows any NBC executives, pass it along will you? I know of several (million) people who’d be grateful if you did. SAVE GREENDALE!!

*steps off soapbox*

Fat Dog for tonight’s episode! As you’ll recall, last week left us with a dancing Dean, Abed, and Annie who may have found a buried treasure map whose contents may lead to officially saving Greendale. As we begin, Hickey and Shirley have retrieved Greendale’s blueprints from City Hall and they study the map in relation to the blueprints. They find something (duh) and after a brief discussion about Duncan’s private areas and Abed thinking The Goonies‘ plot doesn’t flow logically (WHAT?! BLASPHEMY), they set forth to uncover Greendale’s treasure.

After a “shocking” (see what I did there?) removal of Duncan from the equation, the school board (and Chang) are in hot pursuit of our favorite gang. To throw the bad guys off the scent, Hickey and Shirley stay behind with Duncan the vegetable while the rest of the gang go into the trap-door that Abed found. They find a section of Greendale that was buried in the 197o’s. After a big announcement from Jeff and Britta, they find the computer room only to find that: *gasp* Russell Borchert (the treasure guy, impeccably portrayed by Chris Elliott) is alive!! He looks like a hermit but he lives down there with the love of his life (his computer) and him being alive is a game-changer for the Save Greendale committee. Well, if they can get out of the basement that the school board and Chang have locked them in. They screwed up Russell’s computer (which controls the door), but it still responds to emotions. After a moment of panic, Jeff takes over the computer and makes everyone look away. What follows is the audience learning something that we never knew but suspected all along: Jeff has FEELINGS!!! Cue the “Awww”!

Jeff’s feelings save them from their underground tomb, and they proceed (with the deed to the school) to use Borchert to force Subway out, leaving everything as it once was. The Save Greendale committee has really outdone itself this time. They saved it! Chang even turned on the school board and used their money to diamond-stud his teeth! Oh and Jeff and Britta aren’t getting married (Good news, Jeff and Annie ‘shippers)!! Finally! A reason for Starburns to play some Dave!!

This season has been quite a ride, but the standouts in this episode are clear. Joel McHale has always been one of my favorite parts of the show, but Dan Harmon’s return has continually signaled growth in Jeff’s character. One of my favorite bits from this episode was every time they started to lose hope, Jeff and Britta gravitated toward each other. It was a fascinating character commentary that indicated that the two characters had a void that would be left by Greendale and their friends. I think Harmon has known that we have to re-visit it to be done with it, and he’s accomplished it. Just brilliant. Aside from Danny Pudi’s Abed (who is always and forever brilliant) the finale’s other standout was Allison Brie. Annie was front and center for the story and she didn’t shy away from being a leader. She was able to showcase the complexity of Annie’s (CLEAR) feelings for Jeff, without being so obvious that it was distracting. If for no other reason, I would really like a Season 6 to explore Jeff and Annie a little better.

For the last time this season, here are some of my favorite quotes from the episode:

“He’ll live but his food’s gonna taste like burnt aluminum for awhile”- Hickey

“What does this look like?! An hour long episode of The Office!??”– Dean Pelton

Abed (reading): “Who’s hotter? Elliott Gould or Donald Sutherland?”

Dean and Jeff : “Donald Sutherland”

“We won’t know if they’re killer or not until they kill us”- Abed (on robots)

“We’ll definitely be back next year. If not, it’ll be because an asteroid has destroyed all human civilization”- Abed

Let’s hope you’re right, Abed.  I’d hate for asteroid to destroy us all so soon. It’s been a pleasure covering this season of Community, and I hope as much as anyone else that it gets one more go-round. I’d love to be able to tell my kids one day that endless retweets and repeating a catchphrase could one day sway a network into saving their favorite TV show. Stranger things have happened. Ultimately, I really enjoyed this season and I’m optimistic about a return. I leave you with one more quote from Abed: “It isn’t just their show, this is our show, and it’s not over.”

Say it with me: Six Seasons and a Movie. Goodnight, and good luck, Human Beings!

*cue Dave Matthews exit music*

[Photo via Justin Lubin/NBC]

Nick Hogan is a TV and movie fanatic. He loves writing reviews, TV discussion, and is always looking for new things to watch. He also co-hosts a podcast called Changing Panels ( about Comic Book TV. Follow him on Twitter @nickyahogan
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  • HawkeMan

    Ill be the first to say if Community doesn’t get a season 6 then the future of basic television will die with it! So many god awful shows get to stick around way past their prime (I’m looking at you 2 and a half men) and if the 1 great show that we have left gets put down then we should all abandon our TV’s because it won’t be worth watching anymore………until the Walking Dead comes back :P