'Community' recap: Bromance, romance and Shirley's baby daddies
Well, well, well, looks like Greendale’s becoming a three-year college. Congrats, “Community”! Here’s to many more years of anarchic fun.
Now, on to the show, where a multi-ethnic, sort of politically correct baby shower is under way. I say sort of because Pierce (Chevy Chase), the man who never met a culturally offensive phrase he didn’t like, is in attendance. At least he’s subbed “You People” for some of his more jaw-dropping utterances.
Anyway, mom-to-be Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown), with her baby daddy candidates -- Chang (Ken Jeong) and Andre (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) -- in tow, is unwrapping gifts. From our culturally sensitive party planner Annie, (Alison Brie) comes an African American doll and a framed letter from the manufacturer promising to expand its selection. Next up is Troy (Donald Glover) and Abed’s (Danny Pudi) gift: a gallon of water, for when Shirley’s child “is a lone scavenger in a nuclear wasteland.” Well, that’s better than the sawed-off shotgun they wanted to get the tyke. And winning the prize for most bizarre gift is Chang: a pizza box containing a cigar cutter, a Maxim magazine and hot sauce (“It’s a theme gift”). Um, I guess it’s the thought that counts.
Looks like Britta (Gillian Jacobs) came empty-handed. Too interested, I guess, in the hunk in Troy’s history class -- Lukka from the Balkans (Enver Gjokaj) -- to buy a shower gift. Troy and Abed think Lukka’s awesome because “he has an accent, he rolls his own cigarettes and he plays the same video games as us.” Sounds perfect, eh? Britta thinks so too, and just happens to wander by Abed’s room while they’re playing video games. She wrangles a date with Luka, much to Troy and Abed’s disgust. See, she ruins all the cool guys for them, including Jeff “Nipple Play” Winger (Joel McHale). File that under TMI. Fast-forward to the date, where Britta learns to her horror that Lukka misses “clearing his fields and forests of unclean people who stole his country.” Eek!
Then there’s Shirley, who wants to raise the baby with Andre, not Chang. Can you blame her? She asks Jeff to help get the saw-happy Chang to sign away his parental rights (“Parental rights? You’re adopting me?” Um, no). Figuring it’s his last chance to be a dad, the teary-eyed Chang comes up with a solution: job + apartment = role in the baby’s life. Since this would also get Chang out of Jeff’s apartment, Jeff is all for it. Next thing you know, Chang is channeling a ’50s sitcom dad and weirding out Andre: “I’ve got a baby coming. I can almost hear the pitter patter of little Chinese feet across the treetops.” This is all too much for Shirley, who rails at Jeff for spoiling her plans.
Meanwhile, back in Britta Land, our heroine has popped by Abed’s very spacious dorm room again, where the guys are killing video game villagers, in hopes of getting Lukka to spill about his genocidal past. He doesn’t take the bait, but he does spot a DVD he’d like to borrow, “Kick Puncher 3: The Final Kickening.” No go, though -- Abed’s stopped lending, ever since Pierce started writing on the DVDs. Wouldn’t you know it -- “Kick Puncher 3” goes missing, and Britta suggests Lukka took it. Troy and Abed know better -- the security camera in Abed’s room (“It’s for an extremely thorough documentary I’m making on my life”) caught Britta red-handed. They don’t believe Lukka’s a war criminal (Troy: “What war is he a criminal in? The battle for our affections?”).
And then we’re over to Jeff’s apartment, where he finds Chang teaching two kids Spanish. He thinks they’re Shirley’s sons, but oops, they’re not. ¡Ay, caramba! Talk about the roommate/dad-to-be from hell. Jeff rips into Chang and kicks him out: “You are a horrible human being, and I will never feel sorry for you again!” Following the don’t-get-mad, get-even credo, Chang turns Jeff in for kidnapping. Jeff spends the night in jail, and is eventually released, but not before a cop gets a dig in about his pasties … I mean nipple guards for running (“Olympic athletes use them”). Chang is then hauled in. Jeff tries to convince Shirley that if they put their heads together, they could get rid of him for 20 years, but Andre pleads Chang’s case, Chang apologizes, Jeff apologizes and all is right with this little stretch of Planet Greendale.
But there’s still the little matter of Britta, Lukka and the boys. We segue to the library, where Britta’s looking dejected. In saunter Troy and Abed -- hey, they’re all wearing green! What a coinkydink -- must be St. Patrick’s Day. Anyway, they had a chat with Lukka about his past and finally believe Britta. They vow to go easier on her as long as she doesn’t tell them details on the guys she’s dating, “unless they’ve committed genocide” (Troy) or “if they’re left-handed. I want to know about that. I’m making a chart” (Abed). Deal.
Well, that was all over the place. Some great lines, but an odd plot. At least it advanced things a bit with Shirley and Chang, and the bromance is still solid. On to next week!
Extra credit: The gang’s gathered in the study room, but nobody’s chatting. Not aloud, at least. Nothing but tap, tap, tap. “Well, this is fun.” Indeed, Abed, indeed.
-- Alison Dingeldein
Photo: Lukka (Enver Gjokaj), left, Troy (Donald Glover) and Abed (Danny Pudi) bond over video games on "Community." Credit: Jordin Althaus / NBC