Attention, students, time for another public service announcement from Greendale’s own Radar O’Reilly, Dean Pelton (Jim Rash). Have you signed up for your spring electives? You’ve still got time. Flipping through the catalog, I see there’s the dean’s P.A. announcement class or that joke-writing class Annie (Alison Brie) left hanging after the setups section.
Not for you? Perhaps you’d like to join Britta (Gillian Jacobs) and Troy (Donald Glover) in The Actor Inside, or get on the waiting list for Abed’s (Danny Pudi) media choice -– Who Indeed: A Critical Analysis of Television’s "Who’s the Boss?" (Talk about an arcane topic for a dissertation!). Need to drink your way to an A? There’s always Italian Wine Tasting, the choice of Pierce (Chevy Chase), Jeff (Joel McHale) and -– surprise! -– Chang (Ken Jeong), who’s only there for the “drunk ladies, fancy bathrooms and a room full of free coats.”
Pierce, who owns a wine cellar with a “special gym” in it, presents Jeff a bottle of Hawthorne Manor 2009, which he refuses with typical Jeff flair. Then the two spot a young hottie, Wu Mei (Michelle Krusiec). Jeff is smitten. Pierce too. Who will win? The man with the Winger Zingers, or the sexist old guy? First up is Jeff. Wu Mei is so not interested. “Please take weird haircut, stupid grin and go sniff another dog’s ass.” Ouch!
With that, we’re over to Professor Garrity’s (Kevin Corrigan) acting class, where Troy is trying out stage names -– Trevor St. McGoodbody definitely gets my vote. But first, a trust circle, where each student can share a profoundly deep and painful memory. Troy’s? He hasn’t got any. He was captain of the high school football team and very popular. Boo hoo, especially when it looks like some of these wannabe thespians were anything but. So Troy comes up with a surefire winner -– molestation by an uncle (is nothing taboo on this show?). Even Britta is moved.
Time to sample Professor Sheffield’s “Who’s the Boss?” class and see how Abed is doing. Who is the boss? Well, that’s easy, he tells the prof (played by the ever wonderful Stephen Tobolowsky): Angela. No-brainer, right? Apparently not. Hey, if you can milk a class out of this, plus the required textbook at $35 a pop, why not? That’ll pay the Nick at Nite bill for a few months.
Electives over, it’s time for the gang to regroup in the study lounge. But wait -- where’s Pierce? Ah, there he is -- with his new fiancée, the hottie from wine class. Never mind that they just met. They have so much in common! Turns out Pierce has been to China many times -- his Hawthorne Wipes is No. 1 in Asia. After a few minutes, they knew they were meant to be together forever. “Or at least until she gets heavy.” Does Pierce know no bounds? Why am I even asking?
Jeff, of course, is peeved. He’s sure it’s all a scam, that Wu Mei is only after Pierce’s money or a green card. He’s seething, while Annie’s already planning the engagement soiree with the help of a pregnant Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown), and Britta and Troy are in their own little sympathy-fueled world. Abed is suspicious and confronts his BFF. Troy ’fesses up, and Abed warns him –- “Britta’s attracted to men in pain. It helps her pretend to be mentally healthy.” So, how to fix things? Why, milk it for all it’s worth. “So much darkness. My soul is darkening. My heart is mad at my kidney, and my mouth …” There, there, Britta’s here to soothe you. After this, you’ll need that glass of cognac in the bathtub. That’s Acting 101 homework? Where do I sign up?
Jeff sets up a grilling -- I mean, meeting -- with Wu Mei to apologize and offer his legal assistance. Thanks, but no thanks. She’s already a dual citizen, and her father’s lawyers are all over the prenup -- don’t want Pierce making a run for her family’s fortune. Annie sees the whole thing and gives Jeff a good grilling.
Also in the hot seat is Professor Sheffield, who’s butting heads with Abed over the question of “Who’s the boss?” He’s not a fan or a groupie, you see. He’s an academic! Oh, spar, spar, spar. Abed informs him, “My mind is open, professor, as open as the door to Mona’s bedroom. It’s a shame yours isn’t.” Ouch! OK, Abed, you know so much –- you teach the class. “Cool. Cool, cool, cool.”
Not so cool is Pierce and Wu Mei’s engagement party, which goes off in typical Greendale fashion. Hey, it was either that or slashed tires. Chang keeps referring to Wu Mei as the hot Red Dragon. Which turns out to be the translation of her name, as well as the brand of moist wipe she’s just handed Jeff. Coinky dink? I think not. Jeff doesn’t think so either. Good thing he downloaded that Wiki app on his smart phone.
The toasts are underway -- “Thank you all for coming. I know it seems fast, but when you find the right person, you just know it. I know that because I’ve found the right person seven times” -– when Jeff bursts in with his evidence. Wu Mei is NOT a student, she’s a corporate spy who works for Red Dragon Wipes, the No. 2 competitor in Asia that’s currently attempting a takeover of Hawthorne Wipes. Oh, horrors!
Could it get any worse? Of course it can -- this is “Community.” Pierce admits he was just using his company to get Wu Mei in bed. And Britta lets slip about Troy’s “molestation,” and he’s forced to ’fess up and apologize. She’s not buying it, but he manages to smooth things a bit. “Maybe, someday, you’ll fall for someone who, other than his irrational fear of automatic toilets, is normal.” Awww. Troy then comes clean to his classmates, who take it pretty well, considering. You see, Troy wants to be interesting and fit in with the acting class. Apology accepted. As the hammy professor puts it, “The pain of not having enough pain is still pain, young man.” Oh, and would you like to try out for his all-black production of “Fiddler on the Roof,” called “Fiddluh, Please”?
Then it’s Abed’s moment in the sun. Who’s the boss? Angela, of course, thus negating Sheffield’s raison d’etre. But wait -– there’s always “What’s Happening!!” I’d so take that as an elective. Raj, Rerun, Dee and Shirley -- definitely.
To further tidy things up -– and make amends -– Jeff attempts to reunite Red Dragon with Pierce. They belong together. They’re deceitful, rude and racist, and they both come from moist wipe dynasties. Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. God help the rest of the world!
Who knew spring electives could be so fun?
Extra credit: “Someone drop an Old Testament beat. Dreidels!” Where’s Abed’s scratched record app when you need it?
-- Alison Dingeldein
Photo: Will they make it to the altar? Pierce (Chevy Chase) and Wu Mei (Michelle Krusiec) on "Community." Credit: Lewis Jacobs / NBC