Director: Joe Russo — Writer: Hilary Winston — Aired: May 12 2011 —Season: Two — Number: Twenty-Four Summary: City College invades the Greendale campus creating an all-out paintball war between the schools.
Troy and Abed go to Dean Pelton's office looking for answers about the mysteries surrounding this year's paintball contest. Eric and the Dean are there, but before they can question anyone, Pistol Patty and the City College Storm Troopers arrive. Troy and Abed hide as the other two are shot repeatedly by the invaders. Pistol Patty reveals herself to be Dean Stephen Spreck from City College. Spreck tells Pelton he orchestrated the entire thing in order to get the Greendale students to destroy their own school. The troopers notice Troy and Abed eavesdropping and chase them off. The duo go to the Anthropology classroom where they meet up with the remaining Greendale students.
DUN DUN DUN DUN-DA-DUN-DUN-DA-DUN...
Troy proposes they form an alliance to stop the invasion and win the prize money to repair the damage done to the school. Sensing a paradigm shift to a Star Wars theme, Abed assumes a Han Solo persona and flirts with Annie whom he casts as his Princess Leia. The meeting is interrupted when Garrett spots a modified radio controlled car rigged with a paintball grenade slipping into the room. As everyone takes cover, Magnitude throws himself onto it before it explodes, sacrificing himself for the group. Spreck is in Dean Pelton's office, monitoring the situation through the drone. Jeff notices the camera as he inspects the device, prompting Spreck to reply over the school's P.A. system. Jeff vows that they will beat him and make him pay for what he's done.
A sacrifice of great Magnitude.
In Dean Pelton's office, paintball troopers present Dean Spreck with a prisoner, Pierce. He offers to tell Stephen everything he wants to know about Jeff. Back at the Anthropology room, Jeff and Troy rally the Greendale students while simultaneously bickering over the leadership position. Meannwhile Spreck taunts the Greendale students over the P.A. as his troopers continue to rampage across the campus. After eliminating two of the storm troopers, Annie, Abed, and Shirley manage to recover a large cache of paint. They bring it back to the alliance headquarters where Jeff and Troy butt heads over strategy. Troy wants to set up a trap in the library while Jeff thinks they should launch an assault on the ice cream truck and capture the paintball gatling gun.
The Greendale flag is violated.
Backed up by Abed, Annie suggests a compromise proposing that they split up their forces and carry out both plans simultaneously. Troy's team will carry out raids to engage as many of the City College invaders as they can; this will force the enemy to split up their numbers as well in order to deal with them. The two reluctantly agree and begin their individual missions. As planned, Troy's team diverts some of the ground forces away from the ice cream truck and into the library. However, the planned escape route is blocked accidentally by Garrett and they must fight their way out before the trap is sprung. On the quad, Jeff and his team launch their offensive, but despite gaining some ground, become pinned down by the gatling gun.
The Rebel Alliance.
Back at the library, Abed and Annie help Troy escape but he ends up running straight into a stormtrooper squad and is eliminated. The Greendale alliance begins to suffer many casualties on both fronts. Abed contacts Shirley over her comm headset and tells her to activate the trap as no one from their team is going to make it out in time. She activates the fire alarm, narrowly escaping the downpour of paint from the sprinkler system as well as a group of invaders chasing after her. Orange rains down, eliminating everyone left inside the building. As City College troopers close in on them, Annie and Abed share a prolonged kiss, losing themselves in their roles as Han Solo and Princess Leia. Meanwhile, Jeff's group is faring no better as they cannot safely approach the enemy base.
I'm out of it for a little while, and everyone has delusions of grandeur.
As Jeff and Quendra take cover, he tries to motivate her with an inspirational speech. He makes an attempt to get his team to continue the assault but ends up getting shot. Britta can only watch as the other students are quickly taken out as well including Quendra. She notices a large crowd of eliminated players on the sidelines cheering her on. Hope then arrives in the form of Shirley who is driving the campus security patrol cart. Relieved, Britta quickly climbs on board, and they continue the mission. After defeating the few remaining guards surrounding the ice cream truck, they finally make it to the machine gun. Britta manages to shoot its operator but gets shot herself by another hidden trooper.
Stay on target!
Shirley retaliates, taking him out as well. The Greendale students celebrate, thinking that the contest is over. However, two more invaders exit a nearby van and shoot Shirley in the back. A third paintball trooper shows up to congratulate them; he then promptly shoots them both. Revealing himself to be Pierce in disguise, he addresses Dean Spreck who was there to witness the final battle. He tells him to pay up the prize money and to make the check out to Greendale College. The students rejoice as they erupt in a chant of "Human Beings!". Afterwards, the study group assembles for the final meeting of the semester. They all have to decide which course they will take together next year. Jeff compliments Troy for his ideas during the paintball contest and asks his opinion on the matter.
Pierce ends up winning the contest for Greendale.
Troy accepts the praise and decides they should all just sleep on it. Pierce walks into the study room at that point, looking for his day planner. Jeff attempts to make peace with Pierce and extends an offer on behalf of the study group for him to rejoin them. Pierce refuses, saying he's done with the group for good. He leaves, but Jeff smugly predicts that he will return soon. The study group waits, but it soon becomes apparent that he's not coming back...
Homage: This episode is a direct homage to Star Wars and has very obvious references to it. Examples include:
Dean Spreck and his paintball troopers walk down the hallway, mirroring Darth Vader's first appearance in "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope".
The text crawl used in the opening.
Abed taking on the Han Solo persona and convincing Annie to play the role of Princess Leia.
The paintball troops pull down the statue of Luis Guzman just like citizens of Coruscant pulled down Emperor Palpatine's statue in "Return of the Jedi".
A scene where a paintball RC drone races through the hallway of Greendale followed by paintball troopers mimics a similar shot in Star Wars involving a droid and two stormtroopers in the hallway of the Death Star.
Jeff's plan to assault the ice cream truck is similar to the assault on the Death Star.
Jeff tells Leonard, "I'll see you in hell", a line said by Han Solo in Star Wars Episode V: "The Empire Strikes Back".
Pierce disguising himself as a paintball trooper is reminiscent of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo disguising themselves as stormtroopers.
Know Your Meme: Vicki valiantly charges head first into the enemy while screaming her name, a reference to Jenkins.
"Cougar Town" crossover
In "Critical Film Studies" Abed tells Jeff that he had a cameo in his favorite sitcom "Cougar Town". Two of the shows stars, Busy Philipps and Dan Byrd, appear prominently in the crowd of Greendale Students celebrating their victory over City College. Danny Pudi would later return the favor by appearing in a cameo on "Cougar Town".
Busy Philipps and Dan Byrd cameo as Greendale students.
In an extended version of the scene where the Greendale alliance argue over strategy, Shirley attempts to remove herself from the game but is stopped by Britta.
When Troy's team is pinned down in the library by City College paintball troopers, Star-Burns unsuccessfully tries to avoid gunfire by calling on "the spirits of the elders" to aid him. DVD commentary suggests he was high at the time.
“Greendale students, I understand you've unified and intend to draw this game out. Well, if it's a war you want, it's a war you will lose. City College is stronger, faster, our sperm counts are higher-even in our women. Resistance is as pointless as your degrees. Honestly, ask yourselves-what does Liberal Arts even mean?”— Dean Spreck
“Everyone look alive. Leonard, good enough. Greendale, it's been a pleasure fighting with you. Some of us won't make it, but there is a place where we will all see each other again, and that place is Denny's.”— Jeff
“Which Denny's? If it's the one near the 15th exit, I'm banned.”— Leonard
“Then I'll see you in hell!”— Jeff
“Well, I'm out. We lost.”— Jeff
“See you at Denny's?”— Britta
“Denny's is for winners.”— Jeff
“I've been in a few real wars, and this is a lot more terrifying.”— Leonard
“You know, I've been coming to this school for twelve years? I've never been friends with anyone here for more than a semester...probably for the same reason I've been married seven times. I guess I assume eventually I'll be rejected, so I push people, test them until they prove me right. It's a sickness, I admit it... but this place has always accepted me, sickness and all. This place accepted all of you, sickness and all. It's worth thinking about.”— Pierce