Director: Jay Chandrasekhar — Writer: Andy Bobrow — Aired: January 2, 2014 —Season: Five — Number: Two Summary: Jeff settles into his new job at Greendale while Abed and study group take a Nicolas Cage class.
On his first official day as a Law professor at Greendale, Jeff finds himself unable to adjust to his new teaching position. He goes to his office to settle in and meets Criminology professor Buzz Hickey. Later in the study room, Jeff arrives just as the group finishes admiring Table MK II. When Abed proposes they all take a course on actor Nicolas Cage Jeff is eager to sign up until Annie reminds he has his own class to teach. Dean Pelton then shows up to give Jeff an impromptu teacher make over. Afterwards, the rest of the group attends the Nicolas Cage class which is being taught by the drama professor Sean Garrity.
"Buzz Hickey - Criminology".
Garrity states the focus of the course is whether Cage is a good or bad actor. The professor recalls Abed had a similar reaction to another class he took years ago taught by Professor Sheffield. Garrity assures there is no definitive answer to the question he is posing. In the cafeteria, Buzz shows Jeff the advantages of being a teacher such as cutting in line and intimidating students. Buzz demonstrates by bullying Leonard before taking Jeff to see the teachers' lounge where the faculty is having a party. Over at Troy, Abed and Annie's apartment, the group are doing their Nicolas Cage homework and watching several of his movies.
The Teachers' Lounge - members only.
Annie calls Jeff to see how he is doing only to overhear the partying going on in the teachers lounge. The following day she enrolls in Jeffs class and afterwards criticizes his lack of knowledge on the subject he is teaching. Annie insists he study up as she will be testing to see if he is qualified to teach. Later that day Jeff has lunch with Buzz who advises Annie be given an "A minus"; its a grade designed specifically to annoy overachieving students like her into dropping a class. Back at Abed's apartment, Troy and Annie are scared when they find Abed has become obsessed over Nicolas Cage's worth as an actor.
Awwwww, she in your class yo?
Later in Law class, Annie gets into a debate with Jeff over his class assignment. Jeff manages to win the argument causing Annie to leave in a huff which impresses the other students. Jeff explains how he outwitted Annie and begins to actually teach a lesson to his students. Jeff later finds Annie in the student lounge and learns she got an "A minus" from Professor Hickey. Believing her "bad" grade was due to her overextending her schedule she tells Jeff she has to drop his class. Over at the film studies course, an unhinged Abed shows up and launches into a medley of Nicolas Cage's performances.
"I'm a cat! I'm a sexy cat!"
Elsewhere, Buzz refuses to change Annie's grade despite Jeff confronting him on it. Later Jeff explains what an A minus really means to Annie who uses this truth to incite a student riot. At Abed's apartment, Shirley finds him in crisis over Nicolas Cage's acting ability. Shirley gets him to accept some things defy explanation like her own appreciation of the "Hellraiser" movie franchise. At school, Annie and an angry mob demand the Greendale faculty give them accurate grades. Jeff suggests they should all be united by their shared mediocrity which fails to mollify the protesters.
"IT'S RIOT TIME!"
Afterwards in the Dean's office, Pelton proposes to Jeff a true "Save Greendale Committee" made up of teachers and students. Together they will work to improve relations and ensure harmony on campus. Buzz joins them and apologizes for his part in what happened. Jeff accepts Pelton's plan on the condition that Buzz join him on the new committee alongside the study group. Some time later at the first meeting Jeff officially bans the Dean from attending. As they eat lunch, Pelton sadly looks from outside and sings a song in his head.
Troy and Abed stage an elaborate prank for Jeff in his new office disguising themselves as a potted plant and a leather armchair. Buzz Hickey walks in unaware of their presence and begins arguing with his pharmacist. Troy and Abed are frozen in place as Hickey describes his worsening medical condition, his inability to pay for the drugs to treat it due to his meagre salary and how he is now forced to tell his mother that they don't have enough money to pay for his father's burial. A single tear is seen on Troy's face.
Theoretical Phys-Ed: The class Abed takes is called "Nicolas Cage: Good or Bad?"
Express tuition aisle: Annie doesn't like Jeff's lackadaisical teaching methods, but his fellow professors don't mind. Jeff also openly admits to Annie that, having been a fake lawyer, he doesn't actually know law.
*Everyone's a critic: Britta's statement about the lack of Asian-Americans in the study group/committee and subsequent hesitance to take a course of action is probably a nod to the fact that the study group, while ethnically diverse, doesn't have Asian-American (or Latin-American) members. The demographical makeup of the group has been discussed in commentaries by the show's cast and crew.
Resumé: In the credit sequence, Troy is dressed as an armchair. This is a reference to one of Donald Glover's jokes in his "Weirdo" stand-up comedy routine in which he mentions getting raped by a man dressed up as a chair.
Up against the wall: Jeff's office number is D-502. "502" is the production number for the episode. The chalkboard in the study room, as it so often does, displays the production number in the top right corner. The markerboard in the study room and the chalkboard in Professor Garrity's classroom also display the production number.