'Community' recap: Best. Lawyer. Ever
“Guten Tag, homies.” Greendale is a sea of green hats. Like the kind grown men wear in public in Bavaria, with the little feathers in the brims, only in bright Kelly green. Is it the return of the Greendale Hat Club, or could it be Oktoberfest? Make that Pop and Locktoberfest, homies (“The winner gets to annex Poland” -– that Dean Pelton [Jim Rash], always such a card). It’s all too cartoony for Jeff (Joel McHale). Abed (Danny Pudi) too. So much so that he’s painted a tunnel on the side of a building to test Greendale (more on that later).
Soon, however, Jeff’s got bigger worries than how to find a pair of lederhosen in his size on such short notice. Who’s at the junk food machine but one of the lawyers from his old firm? Before you know it, it’s all “Tango!” and “Sundance!” (“We worked with different partners”). Alan Connor (Rob Corddry) is on campus for a Narcotics Anonymous meeting, and Jeff is soon back to his old lawyer self. He ditches class -– and the gang -– to have drinks with the other half of the “Litter Bugs.” And he has no interest in joining their pop ’n’ lock team, either. This side of Jeff I really don’t like. Stay away from the suits, please.
Señor Chang (Ken Jeong), on the other hand, really, really, really wants to be one of the Heather Pop-and-Locklears (almost as good as “Heather be thy name” from “Wayne’s World 2”). Since Jeff’s not interested and Chang’s got all the moves, they let him in. His one caveat: If they win, he gets to join the study group. Weeeellll ….
Oh, and did I mention that Annie (Alison Brie) recognizes Alan from NA? And lets slip that Alan bragged about ratting on a rival during one of their NA meetings? They put two and two together and get Jeff.
Who needs a dorky Greendale hop when you can hang with all the “cool” lawyers at Jeff’s old firm? And you know where Jeff goes, the rest of the gang will soon follow. In this case, it’s Annie + 5 (Alan invited her -– and Jeff -- to the firm’s little soiree). As Britta (Gillian Jacobs) puts it, “God, it’s a sea of Wingers.” They get a pep talk from their fearless leader, Ted (Drew Carey), who has a hole in his hand. Seriously. He even does a little parlor trick, dropping an olive through it (but can he tie a cherry stem with his tongue?). Among all the chatter, we learn a few things about our boy Jeff (he cheated on the LSAT and conned his way into the firm. Surprise, surprise). We also see what makes Jeff tick -– “Caring is a disease” -– that is until the gang changes his mind in every ep.
While the lawyers rub off on Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown), Britta and Pierce (Chevy Chase), our mini-Watergate team -- Abed, Troy and Annie -- break into Alan’s office to find the e-mail he sent the state Bar about Jeff. Abed, of course, has come prepared with a backpack full of stuff people use for capers, including a suction cup and a bottle of chloroform, which comes in handy when they’re caught red-handed by the janitor. After a hilarious Troy (Donald Glover) panic attack and an odd but funny Abed solution, they skedaddle back to the party with the goods. They’re blown off by Jeff again, so head back to Greendale …
… where Chang’s been popping ’n’ locking for four plus hours. It’s down to two teams –- the Heather Pop-and-Locklears and the Poppy Lockstockings (oh, the writers had fun with this one). Chang’s about to collapse when the rest of the team bursts in, in matching gold satin jackets. Sweet. Troy takes over for Chang (who promptly collapses on the floor), followed by a Jeff who’s once again realized the meaning of true friendship. We see some slick moves by Troy, Jeff and Abed (the puppet!), and Chang’s dream of a happy future with the study group. A fantasy quickly burst when Annie and Shirley run out on the dance floor to hug Jeff, disqualifying the team and handing the victory to the Poppy Lockstockings. Chang morphs into his bad self (was that a puka shell necklace? No wonder he’s evil!), cackling on the floor till the dean (looking like he walked out of a Heidi movie) has him thrown out.
Extra credit: A cartoon Abed (remember that tunnel he mentioned?) tries to lure Troy to the other side. “You have to believe, Troy.” Troy’s all ready to take the leap when the real Abed stops him. “I may have done some damage there.”
-- Alison Dingeldein
Photo: Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) spreads the word about the Pop and Locktoberfest at Greendale. Credit: Harper Smith / NBC