Review: ‘Community’ – ‘Laws of Robotics and Party Rights’: Death tab for cutie

A review of this week's “Community” (available, as usual, on Yahoo Screen) coming up just as soon as I watch magicians bully jugglers…

Though Jeff the student became Jeff the teacher last season, the show hasn't really done much with the idea, and I was glad to see so much of “Laws of Robotics and Party Rights” devoted to Jeff's class and his usual need to be the coolest guy in any room. Making his opponent be a convicted killer taking the class remotely via a telepresence robot(*) added an extra layer of absurdity to this type of story, but also an extra level of menace. The show made great use of the weird movements and sounds of the robot as it craned its neck up and down in hostile fashion, turning the whole story into a fun, strange mash-up of “Cape Fear” and “2001” (or insert your favorite prisoner revenge fantasy and artificial intelligence run amok films here), that then pivoted into the climax of “An Officer and a Gentlemen” at the end(**), with the Dean carrying Jeff away against his will. Inspired silliness all around.

(*) A week ago, Brian Van Holt appeared in the “Cougar Town” series finale only via tablet; here, he appears only via tablet. One more and we've got not only a trend, but a really specific career niche for the guy.

(**) This would, I suppose, turn Garrett into Debra Winger's friend who drove David Keith to suicide, but this would then open up the usual David Keith/Keith David confusion, and just make me even more eager for “Community” to cast the former to interact with the latter.

The B-story at Abed and Annie's apartment, meanwhile, nicely addressed the tensions created by Britta being a coucher (and I've attached a poll below for you to vote on whether Abed's Seinfeld impression or his Don Draper is better), while illustrating how well Annie has come to understand (and fear) Abed since moving in with him. The show only occasionally acknowledges the extreme downside of having Abed as your friend, but it managed to do so here in a comic manner, rather than just making the whole thing seem sad. And the two stories intersected amusingly for a few moments with Britta's long, confused run on the meaning of “hoist with his own petard.”

I'm hoping we get some more extended Frankie and/or Elroy spotlights soon, but on the whole I've been really enjoying this season, and “Laws of Robotics” was another strong outing.

What did everybody else think? Were you amused by the cameo appearance by Troy's arm, or just reminded again of how much you miss the apartment's earlier tenant?