Director: Jay Chandrasekhar — Writer: Dan Guterman — Aired: 5/12/2015 —Season: Six — Number: 10 Summary: While on a road trip to get rid of a Greendale artifact, Abed turns the situation into a feature film.
Space Elder Abed, can you reach backward with your mind and save our species?
— Future Frankie
The Save Greendale Committee are travelling in Elroy's RV on a road trip to deliver a giant hand that Dean Pelton bought to its new owner. Abed provides meta commentary as everyone tries to pass the time. Elroy privately tells Pelton they are almost out of gas only to have him blurt the news to everyone. Annie suggests they all charge their cell phones at once. This causes the battery of the RV to be drained and the vehicle comes to a complete stop. Abed laments during the committee meeting three weeks earlier no one agreed to his suggestion of creating a moment to flashback to.
Committee road trip.
Elroy fails repeatedly to start the engine so he goes outside to check the battery. Meanwhile, Frankie finally contacts roadside assistance. She learns help won't be coming for awhile as local tow trucks are involved in an "Armed Forces Day" parade. Pelton blames Frankie for this happening since she insisted they sell the giant hand he bought. Jeff in turn criticizes Pelton for making yet another mess the committee has to resolve. Abed tries to inject some meta narrative but gets shut down by Jeff just as Elroy returns. He tells them the primary battery is dead and becomes furious when he learns everyone used up the secondary battery's energy as well to charge their phones.
The RV batteries are now drained.
Later, the committee settles in for the night and Abed imagines a flashback to a slightly different scenario from three weeks ago. Elroy apologizes for his behavior earlier and for stranding them here by not filling up the RV gas tank. This starts a round of apologies from the other committee members for helping to create the mess they are in. This includes Frankie who regrets acting unprofessionally by yelling at the Dean. However, Pelton fails to offer his own apology just as Abed has a another variant flashback to three weeks earlier. In it he lays out a story structure for the road trip which has a minor disaster leading to a bigger one.
Abed has a flashback.
Back in reality, the committee is offended Pelton refuses to accept any responsibility. He tells them they bullied him into selling the giant hand but now he wants to keep it. He storms out of the RV in tears and only Abed goes after him. Concerned that something bad is about to happen, he joins Pelton who is on top of the vehicle where the giant hand is. When the straps restraining the hand loosen, Abed tells the Dean to flashback with him. In his re-imagined version of the meeting, Pelton and Abed convinced everyone to double the restraining straps. This has no effect on their current situation as the hand falls off the top of the RV anyway.
Abed and Pelton join the giant hand on the RV roof.
The rest of the committee runs out to find Abed struggling to lift the hand believing that Pelton is underneath it. While they are distracted, Dean Pelton emerges from his hiding place runs into the RV and locks the door refusing to let anyone in. Jeff asks Abed to talk some sense into Pelton since he briefly bonded with the Dean. When Abed instead loses himself in a flashback a frustrated Jeff gets physically abusive towards him. Frankie intervenes and motivates Abed to talk to Pelton by appealing to his meta sensibilities. She has him imagine they are currently in a flashback and that Abed is actually reliving the past.
Abed time travels to change his own mind.
Abed takes her advice and fantasies he is in the future as a "Space Elder" along with futuristic versions of Frankie and Britta. He "returns" to the past enlightened and tells everyone the meaning of the giant hand. A hand's function is to grip and release, the giant hand is a reminder to gain better control of both things; to hold on and also to let go. Having heard Abed's speech, Dean Pelton opens the door and sincerely apologizes to everyone. He joins the committee in a group hug just as Elroy finally returns. Elroy admits the reason he took so long checking the other door was because he had to use the bathroom. With the crisis resolved everyone heads back inside.
The buyer of the Dean's giant hand, Blake, is leaving a voicemail to Greendale because the sellers have not turned up at his house. It's shown that he has a giant wristwatch to match with the hand. Blake starts arguing with his wife Karen about Blake buying over-size items on the internet. Karen believes that he's buying them as a means of coping with trauma, since their young son died when flying a giant kite. Instead, Blake reveals that since their son's body was never found, he thinks his son is still in the sky waiting for a better father with a bigger hand. Karen and Blake end the discussion by talking about divorce.
Abed says his obsession with the flashbacks led to him "Christopher Nolaning" the roadtrip, indirectly referring to the director's movie "Inception", where the ripple effect between the real and dream worlds also constantly affect each other.
The episode also borrows heavily on Nolan's film "Interstellar", with Abed "flashing back" to the past in futile attempts to alter the present. With help from Frankie, Abed envisions himself flashing back from the future to save the present, parodying the future humans who are ultimately responsible for resolving the plot of "Interstellar".
The group inside an RV with a giant hand strapped on top of it is a possible reference to the film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, where a group of two drag queens and a transgender woman travel across the Australian Outback with a giant steel stiletto heel on top of the RV.
In one of Abed's flashbacks, Dean Pelton and him perform a dance made famous by the rap artists "Kid 'n Play".
Current events: Blake who bought the giant hand also lost his son because of an accident when flying a giant kite. This possibly refers to a real life event from March 2015 where a Vietnamese five-year-old boy was killed under similar circumstances.
Everyone's a Critic: Jeff's blow-up at Abed about his constant breaking of the fourth wall echoes some of the online criticism about the character and the meta references in the show as a whole.
IRL: Actors Matt Besser and Danielle Shneider are married in real life since 2008.
In his RV, Elroy has posters of two bands, "Kneecap Jenny" and "Forlorn Embassy".
Abed's flash forward appears dirty and apocalyptic. The setting greatly resembles the apocalyptic Gallifrey flashbacks often seen in Doctor Who. This may be a subtle reference, since Community already loves referencing Doctor Who through Inspector Spacetime (television show).
“What happened?”— Dean Pelton
“I'm not telling you!”— Elroy
“Fair enough. We're all going to die!”— Dean Pelton