Director: Tristram Shapeero — Writer: Chris McKenna — Aired: April 21, 2011 —Season: Two — Number: 21 Summary: When Troy's monkey reappears, the study group starts reminiscing about the past year together.
The study group is working on their final project for Anthropology Class, which is a diorama of them making their second to last diorama. Annie's Boobs appears and steals Troy's paint brush before retreating to a nearby vent. He is pursued by an oiled up and semi-naked Chang, who discovers a trove of objects the monkey had been stealing since being released. Chang brings the items back out including Annie's purple pens which she accused the group of stealing. The group recalls a couple of adventures they've had over the season: being shot at during a visit to a ghost town and filling in for the Glee Club who died in a bus crash.
The study group's final diorama.
Annie's Boobs returns.
Chang decides to oil up.
Chang finds the monkey's treasure.
Troy and Abed getting shot at!
The study group fills in for the dead glee club.
While several group members believe the past year has been dark, Jeff and Britta argue they are all focusing on the bad stuff. Jeff suggests that Abed comes up with something positive that happened this year. After taking a moment to think about it, Abed offers the revelation that Jeff and Britta had been secretly having sex all year. He points out several things he noticed over the semester which was Jeff and Britta went into the restroom together at the Halloween party, overhearing Jeff proposition Britta after he left his therapy session with Ian Duncan and having walked in on the two of them half naked in his dorm room after the group's river rafting adventure.
Britta flirts with Jeff at the Halloween party.
Jeff propositions Britta in front of Duncan.
Abed finds Jeff and Britta half naked in his dorm room.
This leads to an argument about their deception and also other ways Jeff and Britta have been selfish: Jeff switches wigs with Troy during a barber class to steal credit, Britta interrupts Troy and Abed's viewing of The Cape's premiere to watch a news report on Tunisia, Jeff escapes a group talk by yelling that the group is giving out free iPhones, causing them to be mobbed by nearby students, Britta steals Annie's chapstick without asking and carelessly throws it on the floor, the group stands in front of a destroyed house with the Dean reprimanding them. When he demands that someone take responsibility, Jeff and Britta trick the others to step forward for the crime, exonerating themselves in the process.
"What are you doing, The Cape is premiering!"
"We need to talk."
"These guys are giving away free iPhones!"
"The guilty party step forward!"
Jeff and Britta counter with evidence of selfish acts from the other group members: Pierce injects himself with flu shots in an attempt to gain godhood; Shirley recruits Annie, Abed, and Britta to help her sell makeup kits only to inform them that they owe her 50 dollars for opening them; Pierce steals food from Abed's plate while making bird noises; Jeff sees Troy and Abed mocking him while wearing his jacket; the group is soaking wet after pulling a deflated raft out of the river while Troy explains why he popped it, Abed approaches Jeff in the cafeteria wearing a Cape costume and knocks his food tray on the floor; Annie (having started self defense courses) accidentally knocks out Pierce and Shirley. Annie and Shirley contend that those situations weren't as damaging to the group as Jeff and Britta's shenanigans.
"Pierce , you've had three flu shots! That's for the health center!"
"I'll be a living GOD!"
"Please open your starter kits."
Okay, now that the seals have been broken you each owe me fifty dollars.
"I'm Jeff Winger, does this hard boiled egg make me look fat?"
"I've seen enough movies to know that popping the back of the raft makes it go faster."
Jeff states that they were kept their hook-ups a secret specifically so it wouldn't impact the group. Annie scoffs at this idea and mentions how he wasn't discrete when flirting with her all semester. Jeff feigns ignorance over this and Annie presents a few examples: Annie pays for her lunch as Jeff briefly glances at her, Jeff and Annie stand next to one another, eating lunch and looking at one another, in the ghost town Annie is about to step in dog poop but Jeff grabs her arm, Annie chokes on food in the cafeteria and Jeff gives her the Heimlich maneuver, Annie stands in the path of a rampaging Boob-A-Tron only to be pulled out of the way by Jeff; Annie and Jeff spin two jump ropes for Pierce and look at one another.
Denying any romantic undertones exist in these examples, Jeff states that a similar examples can be pulled from Pierce and Abed's relationship: Abed gives Pierce change for a dollar, so he can use the vending machine; Abed, dressed in his Cape costume, performs moves in the study room while the group and a disinterested Pierce look on; in the ghost town, Abed points out to Pierce that his fly is open; while Pierce jumps rope, Abed smiles at him from a table nearby. The group is a bit disturbed by the imagery stirred up by Jeff's examples and Abed tries to get Jeff to admit there is some truth to Annie's claims. Jeff still denies it and claims that it's just because he has chemistry with everyone. Dean Pelton then bursts into the room in a yet another costume after having overhearing their argument.
Jeff then mocks Pelton for repeatedly dressing up in ridiculous costumes and several examples follow: The Dean dresses as Catwoman and announces Feline Awareness Week; the Dean dresses as Mozart and announces a Music Department Fundraiser; the Dean dresses as Tina Turner and announces Daylight Savings; the Dean dresses as Julius Caesar and announces a free Caesar salad bar in the cafeteria; the Dean dresses as Scarlet O'Hara and announces a Green Window initiative. The Dean leaves, upset and offended. Shirley tries to get them to stop fighting, but Troy disagrees and says they should continue to get it all out of their system this time.
Abed believes this is futile since they've tried that before: A camping trip where the group bickering leads to Abed reminding them within that flashback of an arguments during the painting of Shirley's nursery which leads to yet another flashback of Caesar Salad Day where the group's argument causes Troy to scream. The flashbacks cycle through each previous scene with Troy's yelling getting louder until present day Troy is shown with a nose bleed. This causes Annie to believe that their group dynamic is toxic. Abed suggests that they follow the same routine they always do and declare that the group is breaking up. The group contemplates this for a moment but instead decide to follow Shirley's lead and try finish their diorama project together. The solemn moment is interrupted by Chang who bursts out of the air vent.
Anyone got any Iodine?
When they are done, Jeff stops them from leaving delivering another speech. The speech is inter cut in a montage of other speeches he made previously that year at various events the group took part in; at a haunted house, with Mexican drug-runners, at an old west locomotive, river rafting, Caesar Salad Day, on a camping trip, inside a mental institution, and the group comforting Abed about The Cape's cancellation. Jeff ends his argument by saying that despite the arguing and fighting, they are becoming closer and more fantastic as a group. Everyone is sufficiently moved to reconcile and they all hug it out. They tell Jeff and Britta they can continue hooking up but the two decide not to. Chang returns to find them all gone. He then begins to reminisce about his time in the vent with Annie's Boobs.
"Look, we've known each other for almost two years now."
"And yeah, in that time, I've given a lot of speeches. But they all have one thing in common...
"They're all different. These drug runners aren't going to execute Pierce because he's racist..."
"It's a locomotive that runs on us!"
"...and the only sharks in that water..."
"...are the emotional ghosts that I like to call..."
"...and the dangers of ingesting mercury!"
"...because the real bugs aren't the ones in those beds!"
"...and there's no such thing as a free Caesar salad! And even if there were..."
...The Cape still might find a second life on cable, and I'll tell you why..."'
"That water is a lie!"
"Harrison Ford is irradiating our testicles with microwave satellite transmissions!"
"So maybe we are caught in an endless cycle of screw ups and hurt feelings."
"But I believe it's the universe's way of molding us into some kind of super group."
Recurring or debuting plot points in this episode:
While all of the "clips" are never-before-seen footage, some come from episodes that are canon, like the Halloween and Christmas episodes, but divulge new information about what happened.
It's mentioned in "Romantic Expressionism" by Troy that in High School when Annie was freaking out while on Adderall, she ran through the hallways screaming "Everyone is a robot!". One of the flashback's sees her in the Greendale hallway faced with an out of control robot.
During one scene from the Dean's montage, a Radio-Controlled Car is on the table in front of Jeff. It was mentioned in "Aerodynamics of Gender" that Jeff and Troy had been playing with RC Cars the previous week but it was never seen on the show.
It is hinted in previous episodes throughout Season Two that Abed suspected Jeff and Britta were secretly hooking up. Several of the clues he picked up on were these:
In "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons", Jeff asks what is he not good at and Britta replies sex. Abed is shown to be curious at this statement as it implies they had done it more than once.
Winger speech: This one alternates between nine Winger speeches from the past (chronologically in the show, however like all the other clips it's actually new footage), and one that takes place in the present.
That just happened: At the end Jeff asks Chang how many vents he was going to crawl out of this year. In the previous episode "Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy" Jeff saw Chang crawl out of a vent at the police station.
Middle Eastern Magic 8 Ball: Jeff's comments about Chang and air vents seems to inadvertently foreshadow the beginning of Season Three's "Biology 101" which has Ben living in the air vents.
The episode is an homage and parody of a "clip show", an episode of a television show comprised of clips from previously aired episodes. This subverts the old formula by using almost entirely new footage shot for this particular episode.
“"The X of it all" is an annoying phrase that had started creeping into business speak, particularly in the meetings we had with executives. Typically in reference to the process of making the show. "We need to address the Bob Greenblatt of it all," or "What are you guys doing about the budget of it all?" It was super annoying to us so we made fun of it. Seemed like a thing Annie Edison would do.”— Andy Bobrow
The music in the song performed by the Study Group as they fill in for the Glee Club is the fifth and final track on Childish Gambino's "EP", called "Not Going Back". Community is scored by music composer Ludwig Göransson, who works with Donald Glover in his music career on Gambino's releases from as early as "Culdesac" to his most recent release "STN MTN / Kauai".
This episode is the source of the phrase "Six seasons and a movie!" which became a rallying cry for people trying to keep Community on the air. In the context of the episode, Abed is referring to the NBC show "The Cape".
Clip show episodes are usually included in a show to save money on the budget, as not much new filming is required. However, this episode showcased all new and extravagant footage. Additionally, in order to acquire the rights to "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles, Dan Harmon had to pay $30,000 of his own money.
Look closely and you can see that the study group's diorama includes a model of Chang peering into the library study through a window. The front can be seen indistinctly at the very beginning and when the study group is finishing up the diorama. The back can be clearly seen when Chang is walking into the empty room right before his final monologue.