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Plot

“
Cancel this show and you cancel people, might as well bring dinosaurs back!
”
— Britta
Dean Pelton calls Elroy into his office and asks him to look at it a computer problem. Patashnik discovers the school has been hacked and a link to the schools Lunch Lady's private e-mails has been released. Later, the Save Greendale Committee is reading through the leaked e-mails over Britta's objections. Pelton arrives with Officer Cackowski who tells everyone what he and his partner Warburton have found out. The hacker wants the school to cancel a show the school booked featuring a racist comedian named "Gupta Gupti Gupta" or will release the committee's personal e-mails otherwise. Cackowski suggests they concede to the demands but Britta is unwilling to accept this solution. She manages to convince the others to stand united against the hackers.



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The Lunch Lady's emails are released online.
The committee holds a press conference to announce they refuse to give in to the hackers demand. Afterwards, everyone agrees not to look if any of their emails are hacked. Britta thanks Jeff for his support but he says he only did it because he's confidant he isn't at risk. Elroy corrects him pointing out the hackers can get to his personal account easily. That night, the committee meets in the cafeteria to set up Gupta Gupti Gupta's show. As expected, the hacker leaked all of their emails which causes tension amongst the committee. Despite the promise they made, its apparent everyone except Abed read the other members' messages. Things quickly break down as no one can resist commenting on messages they read related to them.



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The committee stands united...for now.
They begin to bicker amongst themselves and revealing embarrassing personal details about each other that they just learned from the leaks. Their arguments are brought to an end when the star of the show Gupta Gupti Gupta arrives. He sincerely thanks them for putting themselves on the line so he can perform which calms everyone down. They believe their sacrifice was worth it until they opened the doors to the show. Only Neil came to see Gupta Gupti Gupta who was unwilling to perform for an audience of one. Annie and the committee force him to start his act unwilling to let their efforts be in vain.



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We gotta be cool man, we gotta be cool.
When Gupta begins his set, Dean Pelton gets a text from the hacker threatening to make every Greendale student's emails public. Neil rushes the stage to stop Gupta but is restrained by Elroy and Jeff. Neil warns that, although his attempt to stop the show was thwarted, the committee cannot prevent "the people" from doing the same. At that moment, a mob of Greendale students stampedes toward the cafeteria to stop Gupta's performance. Britta orders Chang and Frankie to block the doors and Gupta to continue his routine. The comedian reluctantly obliges as the mob of angry students continues attempting to break through the doors. After Gupta makes a few poorly delivered and very offensive jokes based on fat people, Jewish and black people, Dean Pelton receives news that the hacker has followed through on his threat. The mob breaks down as the students argue with each other over the newly released emails. Meanwhile, Gupta continues his offensive act.



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We have to stop the people! Their freedom of speech depends on it! - Britta
The next day the campus is reeling from everyone's personal information having been released. In the study room, the committee struggles to find the lesson to be learned from all of this. Their discussion is interrupted by the arrival of Officer Cackowski and his partner Warburton. They announce they caught the hacker and present a kid named Ryan who disingenuously apologises for the havoc he wrecked. After they take him away, Jeff suggests the lesson to be learned is "Crime doesn't Pay".



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Ryan, aka String Cheese Hustler, aka Fart Mitzvah, Skull and Boners88 ...

End tag

Officer Cackowski and Officer Warburton sit in a patrol car on a stakeout in the midst of torrential rain. Warburton is monitoring the internet traffic with what looks like a regular radar gun. Cackowski asks Warburton about his values and the existence of God. Warburton says there is no rule saying they need to be friends. Cackowski asks if he is familiar with the rule of common courtesy and concluding that his approximately 11-year-old partner is cynical.

Recurring themes

Continuity

Continuity lists
Narrative
Recurring or debuting plot points in this episode:
  • History lesson:
    • One of the emails shown on the lunch lady's account is from the Dean and has the subject line "Buzz Hickey Memorial Services", referencing Buzz Hickey from Season Five. It alludes to either his death or possibly a new business he started.
    • Another one of the lunch lady's emails could indicate that Vicki either is or knows the lunch lady's daughter.
    • It's revealed that Jeff admires astronauts. This references his statement from the Pilot when he says to Troy that astronauts go to the moon to impress their high school quarterbacks. He's clearly admired them for a long time.
    • In an email chain to Jeff from Chang regarding the attractiveness of Annie and Britta, the only time Jeff replies is February 7th 2013, the date that the opening episode of Season Four "History 101" was first broadcast.
  • That just happened:
    • Jeff has apparently shared Frankie's defensive statements about her sexuality in "Queer Studies and Advanced Waxing" with the rest of the group, resulting in a betting pool being set up regarding her sexual preferences. According to Jeff, the pot is up to $300.
    •  After mentioning "Chapstick lesbian" Abed offers Frankie some Chapstick.
    • Annie complains about Abed making fun of her in an email to his girlfriend. This is apparently a reference to Rachel, who last appeared in "VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing."
    • One of the lunch lady's emails is sent to "Diane", referencing the running gag throughout the season of emailing Diane.
    • It's revealed that Leonard slept with Garrett's girlfriend in 2009 and that Garrett sent her plagiarised poetry.
  • Replay: Abed compares the episode's premise of revealed secrets to events of "Cooperative Calligraphy". Frankie then compares it to the events of "Cooperative Polygraphy", making "Basic Email Security" the third instalment of a trilogy. A Season Four episode with a similar premise, "Intro to Felt Surrogacy", is left unmentioned.
  • School song: The song "Daybreak" is heard again, this time as the entrance music for Gupta Gupti Gupta.
People
Recurring or debuting characters in this episode:
  • Returning students: Neil, Leonard and Garrett return.
    • Vicki and Magnitude are referenced in the lunch lady's emails. So are Neil, Garrett and Leonard (but they are seen in the episode as well).
  • Returning faculty: Dean Pelton's assistant Rhonda returns.
  • Familiar face: Gupta Gupti Gupta is portrayed by actor/comedian Jay Chandrasekhar who directed this episode. He has also directed a number of other Community episodes in other seasons.
Places
Recurring or debuting places in this episode:
Things
Recurring or debuting items in this episode:
  • Sweet spread: A rack of Let's potato chips is seen behind the committee as they prepare for the show.

Running gags

List of Running gags
Running gags in this episode:
  • Bon Appetit!: A betting pool has been started regarding Frankie's sexual preferences. Jeff's pick in the pool is "chapstick lesbian", while Annie chose the most offensive option as she was forced to pick last.
  • Bueller, Bueller, Bueller?:
    • Officer Cackowski does the bit by asking if the committee is stoked about the new Avengers movie and points at the members saying "Avengers?" to each one.
    • Frankie does the gag after the press conference asking the committee not to look at anyone's emails if they are leaked and points at the members asking "Promise?" to each one.
  • Nice outfit: Elroy updates his wardrobe after reading the committees emails making fun of his clothes and wears jeans and a 2015 t-shirt.

Pop culture references

List of Pop culture references
Pop culture references in this episode:
  • IMDb:
  • Name that tune: Daybreak is used as intro music for the comedian's performance.
    • At the height of the argument, Britta quiets everyone and insists that the gang needs to "be cool", referencing the song "Cool" from the Broadway play "West Side Story".

Meta references

List of Meta references
Meta references in this episode:
  • Parody/Current events:
    • The computer hacking and threat to divulge personal information in order to stop a comedy show is a direct parody of the 2014 Sony hack. A group calling themselves "Guardians of Peace" was allegedly sponsored by North Korea government and asked that Sony not release the Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy film "The Interview". The movie dealt with the assassination of the Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
    • "Community" is produced by Sony Pictures Television and emails regarding negotiations with Yahoo over Season Six were made public as a result of the hacking. They can be viewed HERE.
    • Actor Joel McHale was one of the victims of this leak as an email mentioning him asking for a discount on a Sony 4K television was made public. They can be viewed HERE. (source)
    • Britta reads a congratulatory e-mail that Jeff wrote to "Reid Wiseman" regarding his successful return to Earth. Astronaut Gregory Reid Wiseman flew on Expedition 40/41 aboard the International Space Station and returned to Earth on November 10, 2014.
  • Up against the wall: Abed favors torrenting the Lunch Lady's emails so that he can avoid watching the ads. Frankie considers this illegal, as the ads help pay for the publishing of the emails, much like they help Yahoo fund Community.
  • Everyone's a critic:
    • Chang says that he hasn't been utilized well after he stopped being a teacher, which refers to criticism directed at how his character has been used on the show.
    • Abed references Season Two as the show's Golden Age, a sentiment shared by many critics and fans.
  • Homage: The episode end tag is a homage to a scene from the "True Detective" episode "The Long Bright Dark".
  • Résumé:
    • Officer Cackowski makes note of "a few old faces, a few new ones", directing the latter remark at Frankie. In real life, Craig Cackowski has been a frequent collaborator with Paget Brewster on the live stage show The Thrilling Adventure Hour, which recently finished its final show.
    • After explaining the depth of the hacker's abilities to publish personal information, Elroy says "It's Vietnam, baby!". Actor Keith David (Elroy Patashnik) played the role of "King" in the seminal Vietnam war movie Platoon.

Quotes

You have a computer in your office?Elroy
Yes.Jeff
Do you check your emails on that computer?Elroy
Uh-huh.Jeff
You look at boobies on it?Elroy
One time.Jeff
They got it. They got everything. Ha, ha, ha, ha. It's Vietnam now baby! It's Vietnam!Elroy
Did anyone see Jeff's letters? He writes to astronauts. Talk about creepy!Elroy
They're national heroes!Jeff
Yes they are! Leave them alone!Elroy
You two dated? (referring to Jeff and Britta)Frankie
This was a study group?Elroy
Yeah, Chang was our teacher.Abed
WHAT??!!Elroy and Frankie
Season Six Episodes

1. "Ladders"
2. "Lawnmower Maintenance and Postnatal Care"
3. "Basic Crisis Room Decorum"
4. "Queer Studies & Advanced Waxing"
5. "Laws of Robotics & Party Rights"
6. "Basic Email Security"
7. "Advanced Safety Features"

8. "Intro to Recycled Cinema"
9. "Grifting 101"
10. "Basic RV Repair and Palmistry"
11. "Modern Espionage"
12. "Wedding Videography"
13. "Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television"

Community Season Six DVD front cover.jpg

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