When I mentioned “double Brie” during yesterday’s What’s On Tonight, I didn’t know how right I was: the lovely Brie Larson made her grand return to Community in an episode largely dominated by another Brie, Alison, whose Annie is now an unmistakably different character than she was last year. She has an actual personality again, one that’s entirely her own and not dependent on her relationship with Jeff, and the show is SO much better off for it. The Annie of season four couldn’t have had the steely, idealistic resolve of the Annie in “Analysis of Cork-Based Networking.” Traveling with Professor Hickey (we’re well aware how good Jonathan Banks is at getting what he wants), she helped keep a stuffed episode together.
“Cork” was consistently funny (BEAR DOWN FOR MIDTERMS) and oh-so-Sorkin’y, but considering the number of guest stars, including Nathan Fillion, Paget Brewster, Kumail Nanjiani, and Robert Patrick, and that’s just the Greendale staff, it could have felt too busy, never allowing one new face to establish themselves before moving onto someone else. But because Annie and Hickey were also largely being introduced to these characters, we saw things through their eyes, and it worked, not only as stunt-casting but as a peek into Greendale’s weirdness. Last week redeemed (EVIL) Britta; last night, it was Annie’s turn.
Meanwhile, FAT DOG FOR MIDTERMS.