'Community' recap: And the baby daddy is ...
Did you really think I’d tell you right away? C’mon, people!
Now, where was I? Oh, yes. It’s final exam day in anthropology class, which seems to involve lots of toasts (Didn’t Professor Duncan [John Oliver] go on the wagon, or am I confusing him with another Brit [Vincent Nigel-Murray, a.k.a. Ryan Cartwright] on “Bones”?) and the pelting of overachiever Annie (Alison Brie) with paper balls. Here’s to the easiest school, the dumbest dean and the best blow-off class in the world! Cheers!
OK, you know that’s the cue for the dean (Jim Rash) to make his weekly grand entrance. What? He's actually wearing guy clothes. Must be because he’s got a Dean magazine writer in tow who’s doing a story about his out-of-the-box approach to education. You know, “Like ‘Children of the Corn.’ ”
And speaking of children, Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) is having indigestion -- or are those labor pains? -- and Pierce (Chevy Chase) wants to buy the rights to Abed and Troy’s awesome handshake, for a cool $1,000. And then there’s Britta (Gillian Jacobs), who’s grilling Shirley on her childbirth plans. “Are you kidding me? I’ll take whatever they got. Epidural is a proper Christian woman’s only chance to get wrecked.” Jeff (Joel McHale) starts goading “Back Seat Birther” Britta and before you know it, it’s turned into yet another Jeff and Britta bicker fest.
Their classmates are so not jazzed by this turn of events. “We came so close to having one class that isn’t all about them,” one says. “Remember when they all took that fishing trip on St. Patrick’s Day?” another recalls. “God, that was a good week!”
Never mind all that -– it’s baby time. Call 911. Call Shirley’s husband, Andre (Malcolm-Jamal Warner). Dean, get your Prius -– Yes, it’s cool you own a Prius, even with the lousy sightlines in back. Now go get it! -– and drive Shirley to the hospital. She doesn’t want her baby’s first memory to be Star-Burns (Dino Stamatopoulos). Can you blame her?
Uh-oh -- too late. Nobody’s going anywhere. Greendale’s World Food Festival -- lunch trucks with 18 different nationalities of dishes in the parking lot -– has turned into a “race kerfuffle,” according to the dean. “I didn’t even know there was a difference between North and South Korean barbecue!”
Nobody panic, but it looks like Shirley’s having her baby right here. In the anthropology classroom. Now, Chang (Ken Jeong) is 100% convinced: “This has got to be a Chang baby. Changs are never born in hospitals. More like taxicabs, hardware stores, bank lines, sewers. My nephew Chen was born on a treadmill at Bally Total Fitness –- 20% incline!”
Amid all the chaos, Troy (Donald Glover) and Abed (Danny Pudi) sell their special handshake to Pierce, who refuses to give it back after the magic wears off. They go crying to Jeff, who has no sympathy: “Who cares when Shirley is having a baby!”
Still, good thing Abed’s there … he’s the man of experience when it comes to birthing babies. Remember, he delivered one earlier this year in the back of an SUV, when “everybody was off in the background.” Abed tries to calm Shirley down, while Chang chimes in with his own advice: Put her legs over her head while facing the northeastern corner of the room, but don’t look at the door … that’s bad luck.
Also bad luck -– Shirley doesn’t want Abed taking a grand tour of her nether regions, so he’s out as delivery guy. Britta volunteers, but is grossed out by what she sees. Annie freaks out at even the thought of delivering a child without having first taken a class, read a book about it, etc., and the dean freaks Shirley out with his bizarre singing. Chang comes to the rescue with his soothing stories of Chang babies: seven generations of little scrappers, born in the worst conditions imaginable. Jeff gives Britta a pep talk, and she steps in and delivers Baby Greendale.
“It’s a boy! And it’s also a black person. Not that that’s important,” so sayeth the proud papa -- Andre, who’s arrived just in the nick of time.
And then there's the matter of a certain missing appendage. “I never told you this part, but all Changs are born with tails.” Hey, just like the guy who shape-shifted into Mulder on an episode of "The X-Files"! Still, the new parents decide to name their son after Chang. Welcome to the world, Ben Bennett. Not even a day old, and you’re already working your superpowers -– you've made Jeff and Britta uncharacteristically gushy, Troy and Abed got their mojo back and even the dean believes in himself now. Oh, and that cover story? Well …
Now that’s what I call a memorable final exam. A-pluses for everybody.
Extra credit: The big test’s today, and guess who didn’t study? Hey, there’s a fire alarm over there. It works in the movies all the time. Wait … what the …?
-- Alison Dingeldein
Photo: Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) is having her baby with the help of Britta (Gillian Jacobs), left, Annie (Alison Brie) and Abed (Danny Pudi). Credit: Lewis Jacobs / NBC