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Community - Basic RV Repair and Palmistry - Review: "The episode that holds a grip on the season"

This is the episode of Community I wanted to see all season; I don’t mean that I knew what this episode was about or that there was hype about it, I mean that this is an episode that features pretty much what I love about the shows. Fun gimmicks, good character dynamics, and people coming together accepting each other. That’s what made Community special for me to begin with. There’s fun with the meta elements and there is fun interactions and conflict that lead to an endearing ending. This is a Community episode done right.

The episodes tackles only one storyline which is usually the way Community works best: the gas of Elroy’s road trailer runs out and everyone is trapped in the middle of the road, as they were going to sell off the latest purchase of Dean Pealton, a giant hand. This leads to all kinds of conflicts and confrontations as to who has the fault of this happening.

Abed is obsessed with the need of a flashback to 3 weeks early in order to above a bigger disaster than the one incoming in the structure of the episode, playing with the meta elements of the show, which is always amusing. But being meta for being meta, aside from a good gag, is not as good as it unveiling something more.

Jeff is fed up with Abed’s obsession about them being on a TV show; for most of the show he has either ignored it or he has just told him to quit it, but this is the first time we see Jeff actually reaching a breaking point and outright calling Abde out and even slap him by the end.
This season has explored Jeff and Abed’s dynamic more than the previous ones, and even while Jeff loves Abed, this particular quirk of his already got to his nerves.

It leads to all kinds of funny lines, but it also leads to clearing up the air between these two, and Frankie is the one who calls him out asking what got into him. Sure, there is the whole thing about fixing what’s happening after the Dean locked everyone out, but it is mostly Jeff being tired of Abed’s obsession. But by sidelining him and taking control of the situation, Frankie showed Jeff that there are better ways to deal with it than losing control, sometimes it’s better to just dive in Abed’s logic.

The Dean was the outright star of this episode, having so many good and hilarious moments all around. I love that he gets called out for his crying fake apologies; he does always do that, and he is finally confronted for his childish attitude, which lead to even more funny moments. I just love how he is convinced to flashback with Abed to three weeks earlier to make the strap thicker, but it obviously doesn’t work.

There is a lot of rapid fire, the lines come one after another and there are no slow gaps or tone downs to the episode, the pace remains the same through the whole episode, and we see all the quirks of all the characters conflicting with each other.

And there’s something remarkable about Abed’s end speech:
I have discovered the meaning of the giant hand. A hand has two functions, to grip and to release. But without both of these powers, it is useless. Like newborn infants, we grab what comes near us, hoping to control it, taste it, jam into another child’s eye. But the time we spend in control of our world, is the time we spend letting go of others. Ideas, stories, pride, girls in soft sweaters, video games, buttered noodles, gripe one for too long and you lose so much that you’ve never held.
This giant hand was sent to all of us as an invitation, to increase our mastery over the power to hold on, and let go.

That speech is touching because it is true; all of the group were holding on their pride and conflicts instead of just letting go and coming together to fix the issue at hand, and they realize their mistakes, with the Dean opening the door to apologize, and everyone comes together, they become closer together.

And that’s how a good Community episode goes: it has fun with crazy gimmicks, it arises ongoing conflicts among the characters and makes them all come together to go through hardships. And that’s how it works, that’s how you become closer with others. And that’s when Community hit all the great notes.
I hope the show keeps this up for what’s left of the season, because these are the kinds of episode I want to see on a weekly basis on the show.

Grade: A

Stray Observations:

-Chang only showed up at the end, and they cut off his explanation of being covered in feathers. I thought it was pretty funny!
Now, with Dr. Ken picked up by ABC, it lies the question of what will become of Ken Jeong on Community; he has said he will never leave Community, so he’ll probably stay somehow.

-On related news to that, Paget Brewster’s pilot “Grandfather” got picked up by FOX so chances are that, if renewed, Frankie won’t be around Greendale next season. That is going to be such a huge loss! Frankie has been the breakout character this season!

-I left out the last minutes of the episode out of the review because they were just piling on who bought the hand and I really didn’t care for me. The episode was more about everything else and this was a little, enjoyable, extra, but that isn’t that much worth of a mention.

So here there are, some of my favorite lines!

-Dean: “Elroy we are not here to snoop or judge you. You are not the first person to have dirty dishes, CD ROM porn, or framed photos of yourself with two bi racial teenagers in a park.”

-Dean: “The last thing we need is a panic.”
Frankie: “What’s going on? Did we run out of gas?”
Dean: Yes! It’s all empty! It’s all empty! I never have anything like it! The needle is invisible!”
Annie: “Oh my god!”
Dean: “There’s no needle! It’s gone! It’s under the plastic or maybe the engine tried to use it as fuel!”
Elroy: “Stop yelling!”
Dean: “Well, stop being out of gas!”

-Abed: “I guess we are not doing the 3 weeks early thing.”
Jeff: “Abed, insert dialogue here by you dropping the fourth wall shtick.”

-Annie: “When they put you on hold, you hang up and you call right back. Frankie taught me that”.
Frankie: “Yeah, it’s me! The one you put on hold, see where that got ya? Can you send somebody or not?”
Operator: “Please hold.”
Frankie: “Don’t you dare!”

-Britta: “We got Britta’d. Yes, I use it too.”

-Jeff: “Abed, is this a show? I thought you said you knew this wasn’t a TV show.”
Abed: “Season 2 you mean? I don’t know, I can change my mind.”

-Jeff: “Abed come back. I’m not sorry.”
Abed: “It’s not good to be back.”
Frankie: “What the hell was that?”

-Annie: “Are you going to eat me first?”

-Dean: “If I am child, you are a child abuser! Not cool Annie.”

-Jeff: “Shut up Abed, go flashback and cut some stuff.”

-Dean: “I’m an adult! And you can’t make me not cry!”

-Jeff looking at Britta squeezing her way in the hand: “What’s wrong with me if that’s hot?”

-Dean: “Nice uncontrollable question marks, Britta! Can’t even fake them?”

-Dean: “Super realistic Annie, you are a real sociopath.”

About the Author - Pablo
I'm currently studying Psychology while also writing fantasy books (one already published in my home country, Chile, you can check it out on the facebook icon). I watch many different types of shows, including my favorites Revenge, Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time and about 23 more. Currently writing reviews for Once Upon a Time, The 100 and Community
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