‘Community’ – ‘English as a Second Language’: Good Troy Barnes

A review of the latest “Community” coming up just as soon as I picture you as Paul Giamatti…

After the pop culture inferno that was last week’s “Modern Warfare,” “Community” mostly(*) dialed down the references for a more character-driven – but still very funny – episode that asked an obvious yet necessary question: what are these people going to do once they finish their Spanish requirement?

(*) Though of course we got the extended, amusing flip on “Good Will Hunting” with Troy’s hidden plumbing gifts, and the brief courtroom drama parody (with Pierce as the judge and Abed as the court reporter), and, my own personal favorite, the small nod to “Fletch” with Pierce only knowing how to say “Tierra del fuego” in Spanish. “Community” is not a show that wants to go cold turkey on the reference humor, nor should it.

What could have been a rote exercise in plot mechanics instead turned into a nice character duet for Annie and Jeff, with her desperate to keep her friends and him assuming they’ll stay together – and, if not, no biggie, because he’s the studly Jeff Winger and can make new friends. And the scene at the end where Jeff says Annie’s dressed like a travel agent, and she in turn says, “I was going for more of a professor thing” – and the priceless reactions from both Joel McHale and Alison Brie after she said that – suggests that we’re not done with the obvious, comically rich but emotionally awkward sexual chemistry between these two.

Two things I’m curious about: 1)How much will the show feature Senor Chang (who was used just enough so that the character’s broadness never got tired) next year now that he’s going to be a student? 2)Given that this was structured like a season finale, what exactly do Dan Harmon and company have up their sleeves for the actual finale?

And how can I not love a show that features an exchange like the following between Troy and Abed:

“I think I got half of it, which got me through the half I didn’t.” -Troy
“Like the first season of ‘The Wire.'” -Abed

So good, and so nice to see Pierce get to save the day, and not even want or need credit for it.

What did everybody else think?