A quick review of this week's “Community” (available, as usual, on Yahoo Screen) coming up just as soon as we're workshopping new handshakes…
For the second week in a row, “Community” gives us an episode designed as a sequel to a previous one, with the return of Travis Schuldt (from season 3's “Digital Exploration of Interior Design”) as Britta's one true love
Subway, now freed of his “sandwich name” and able to go by Rick. That story was one of the best of the uneven third season, and there was more meat left on this particular bone than on last week's attempt to reprise “Cooperative Calligraphy” again. “Community” is always at its strongest when the stories have an emotional component to go with the parody, and Britta and Rick's genuine feelings for each other provided that amidst all the shilling for Honda, not to mention Billy Zane doing a poor job of disappearing from each scene. Another strong Gillian Jacobs episode to mark the season's midpoint.
The rest of the episode was fun, if forgettable. Chang's Power Point gag in the teaser was one of Ken Jeong's funnier moments in a while, as he tends to excel more when he's being dryly weird than when he's asked to explode, and Lisa Loeb was well-cast as Natalie Is Freezing's lead singer Julie (in the grand tradition of Hootie and the Blowfish, and Belle & Sebastian, the band has no one actually named Natalie in it, because they're artists) and that story was a good Keith David spotlight on the whole. (He and Jacobs were excellent in the scene where Britta couldn't remember the word for “drawbridge.”) And Paget Brewster had a nice moment as Frankie tried to console the Dean even as she was calling him stupid, though Frankie playing the steel drums in a misguided attempt to fill the Troy void didn't pay off nearly as nicely as Jeff promised. (Though maybe if he hadn't specifically promised such a pay-off…)
What did everybody else think?