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October 1, 2014

'Community' Season 2, Episode 6 Recap

by Zack Handlen, posted Oct 28th 2010 11:45PM
Troy and Abed in 'Community'['Community' - "Epidemiology"]

'Community' is one of the few shows on TV right now that walks the line between realism and absurdity without ever really
going over to either side completely. On the one hand, it's a series about a group of losers, outcasts and social malcontents who attend classes together and hang out. On the other hand, it's a confection of pop-culture in-jokes, movie references and homage.

'Epidemiology' is a terrific example of the sort of rewards this mix can yield. Remember how good 'The Simpsons' was in
its fourth season -- how the crazy adventures were all grounded in solid characters and warm, believable family relationships? 'Community' doesn't have the same consistency yet, but episodes like this one show that it could be there soon -- tonight giving us an all out zombie apocalypse that never lost sight of what holds the series together.

It was Halloween at Greendale, and everyone was in costume and attending the school's annual holiday party. Unfortunately, the dean bought some tainted meat at a discount, and the bad food gave Pierce a strangely aggressive kind of food poisoning, one that made him shuffle, moan and bite anyone who wasn't already infected. Worse, his bites passed the sickness. Soon, half the campus was zombized, and Annie and Rich (Jeff's rival from "Beginner Pottery," Season 1) realized that people could die unless the temperature in the building was turned down.

I'm not sure if it will ever happen, and I don't even know if it would work that well, but I would dearly love to see an hour-long movie-themed episode from this show -- "Epidemiology" is well-paced, but it might've been able do more if it had had a little more space to breathe. The ep ran through the standard zombie/horror tropes: Survivors board themselves up until they realize one (or more) of their own has turned; someone faces a friend who's been turned and appeals to their humanity, only to get bitten; the smug one gets taken down by his vanity; and two characters have sex because they're frightened for their lives.

It worked, because no one acted out of character to get to a joke. Jeff was self-centered, Annie was a do-gooder (I've listed costumes below, but her "Little Red Riding Hood" outfit is almost painfully perfect) and, most importantly, Troy and Abed were best buds. Troy saved the day in the end (but not before getting bitten himself; zombie movies have a history of "no survivors") and realized that it's more fun to nerd out with your pal than to walk around pretending to be a sexy Dracula. Truly, a lesson for the ages.

Also...

-- Characters' choice of costumes is one of the best parts of Halloween-centric episodes, so: Jeff as David Beckham (expensive suit, soccer ball), Britta as a T-Rex (like last year, wearing something that shows as little skin as possible), Troy and Abed giving us their take on the loading-bay scene from 'Aliens,' Pierce as Captain Kirk, Cheng as figure skater Peggy Fleming, and Shirley as Glenda the Good Witch (aka, Not Miss Piggy).

-- "I'm saying I remind girls less of taking their little brothers to Comic Con."

-- The "Code Name Pheonix" stuff is a nod to 'Return of the Living Dead,' one of the all time great munching dead movies -- it's the one that gave us "BRAAAAAAAINS." (Also: "Send more paramedics.")

-- "Oh cool, a dark basement. I was just thinking we should do this in a dark basement."

-- Jumping cat scare! Multiple times, too. (Horror movies always have fake scare scenes, and a surprising number of them involve leaping felines.)

'Community' airs Thursdays at 8PM ET on NBC.

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8 Comments

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Giancarlo

Just one thing: I'll never be able to listen to ABBA again and not think about this amazing episode.

We go back to the regular episodes next week, I'm excited

October 29 2010 at 8:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
YouFaceTheTick

Sounds like their action movie/paintball episode from last season.

October 29 2010 at 6:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
brandon11

Loved this episode. Pierce's costume becoming "alarmingly authentic". Troy being "the first black guy to make it to the end". And George Takei!

October 29 2010 at 5:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
beanspants1

This episode was great. It hit all the zombie movie points while throwing in extra. Extra like an Abba soundtrack, some great costumes, the cat flying back and forth, and the Dean's messages.

Troy - "Yeah, you bit me now I'm a zombie. Whatever.... Why did I think this would work??"


Also, the Dean shouldn't watch Human Centipede. It's a horrible (boring, formulaic, uninteresting characters) movie once you get past the main idea.

October 29 2010 at 12:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave

Having never seen a zombie movie, I didn't really care for the concept, but I was still entertained. I laughed my head off at the cat gag. I also thought it was funny to see the army dude reach in hs coat for a gun(?) to take care of Dean Pelton. Chang and Shirley was too far. Ick.

October 29 2010 at 10:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Benjy

You didn't even metion the Dean as Lady Gaga!!!!

Also, The Dean's intercut voice memos were great (including a reminder to pick up the film "Human Centipede")!!!

Also, the closing credits segment where Troy finds out that Chang and Shirley did the deed was great.

"Community" rocks!!!

October 29 2010 at 3:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ColinInLA

Too far a stretch for me tonight. I much prefer when they go for wit rather than absurdest, cliche-driven homage. This one veered too far afield.

October 29 2010 at 3:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lucycaruso

BEST EPISODE OF THE SEASON LOVED IT SO MUCH!
Abed- ZOMBIE ATTACKKKKKK!

October 29 2010 at 12:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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