Plot[edit | edit source]
|In the study room, the gang meet up in costume so they can all go together to Vicki's Halloween party. Pierce is the only one not invited and before they could leave he calls Troy from his mansion. He locked himself in his panic room and asked for his friends' assistance in getting him out. Jeff immediately suspects that he is trying to stop the group from attending the party without him. He refuses to go until the Dean shows up. Scantily clad in a ring girl outfit that coordinates with Jeff's boxer costume, Pelton implies he is going to Vicki's party as well. A disturbed Jeff changes his mind and decides to go help Pierce out. The group arrives at Pierce's mansion and are amused by the tacky 80's style decor. Troy, having lived there previously, directs them to the panic room. He activates the communication system and they are able to talk to Pierce via a telescreen. Pierce informs them he hasn't been trapped long but can't remember the code that opens the door.
|He tells them they need to find a red notebook he misplaced which contains the code. Pierce then admits the reason he is in the panic room is because he thought he saw the ghost of his dead father. Jeff resignedly joins the study group when they decide to stay to help Pierce. After splitting up to cover more ground, Jeff and Britta discover Pierce's bedroom. Britta starts to get upset when Jeff begins mocking a photo of Pierce dead father. She suggests that Pierce may be haunted not by an actual ghost but by unresolved daddy issues he had. Jeff then starts to rant against Cornelius Hawthorne which turns into a rant about his own father. He then clams up when he realizes that Britta set him up so he could open up about his own problems.
|Over in the mansion's library, Annie and Abed are carefully searching the room for the notebook. Annie gets distracted when she discovers a chapter entitled "Pierce Hawthorne's ideas for ladies". As she reads it, Abed examines a nearby bookshelf containing various Norwegian troll dolls. He pulls one and the shelf spins sideways to reveal a secret chamber. Annie realizes that this isn't the notebook they are looking for and then notices that Abed has disappeared. Uneasy being alone, she hesitatingly walks out into the hallway to find him. She gets spooked when she looks into the hallway mirror and sees what appears to be Cornelius Hawthorne standing behind her. Meanwhile, Troy and Shirley are trying to find the library. Troy points out a private room that Pierce refused to let him go into.
|Shirley enters in believing it's the library but it turns out to be Pierce's special playroom. Shirley quickly ushers Troy outside and tells him to forget about what was in there and also that she knew what it was. They then notice the rattling of a doorknob at the end of the hallway. Troy opens up the door and finds Annie on the other side. Annie tells them she lost Abed and the three resolve to find him. Unbeknownst to them, Abed made his way to the mansions security room and has been watching "Cougar Town" on TV while also keeping an eye in the group's activities. He turns his attention to the surveillance camera in Pierce's bedroom and watches Britta and Jeff. Still being pressured by Britta about confronting his daddy issues, Jeff reveals he has his dad's phone number for three weeks now and hasn't had the slightest urge to call him.
|Abed switches his attention to old surveillance footage of Pierce's bedroom. It shows someone watching Pierce as he slept. Abed continues to examine the footage unaware that a shadowy figure is behind him. Elsewhere, Jeff is chased by Britta who is still nagging him about his father. He finds his way to Cornelius Hawthorne's bedroom and locks himself inside. After drinking from the bar, he discovers the red notebook which has the code. In the hallways, Annie, Troy and Shirley continue their search for Abed. Back in Cornelius' room, Jeff is annoyed by incessant knocking at the door. He opens the door to find no one there. The room then shakes violently as a portrait of Cornelius warps and give off a sinister glowing glare. He leaves the room, finds Britta and they both quickly leave the area.
|Meanwhile, Troy, Shirley and Annie notice a wall seemingly coming to life and flee in terror. They run into Jeff and Britta and they all head towards Pierce's panic room. Via the telescreen they see an unconscious Pierce inside. Jeff enters the code he found but when they enter the room is empty. Pierce suddenly appears behind them and reveals it was all a prank. Abed shows up as well with videotape footage showing how Pierce accomplished this. After seeing footage of a shadowy figure watching him sleep, Pierce seals the panic room shut. He claims the figure must really be the ghost of his dead father. The door to the panic room starts to open from the outside revealing Gilbert Lawson. He explains that six weeks ago he had come to the mansion to give Pierce the deed to the place. After noticing unpaid bills he took care of it and decided to stick around secretly.
|He admits that he was trying to fill a void in his life left by the death of Cornelius by taking care of Pierce the same way he took care of their father. He apologizes for his actions and is about to leave when Pierce offers that he can stay as his roommate. He accepts and they both embrace in a hug. Afterwards, Pierce says goodbye to the group as they leave for the Halloween party. Shirley asks if he wants to come but he elects to stay at home with Gilbert. Britta suggests to Troy that they ditch the party so they can watch an episode of "Inspector Spacetime" together. Annie asks Jeff if he is coming wants but he passes as he has some unfinished business to take care of. Later at his apartment, Jeff regards the boxing gloves he was using as part of his costume which were once owned by his father. He pulls out his cell phone and dials his father's phone number.
Troy and Abed are playing around with the revolving bookcase secret entrance much to Pierce's annoyance.
- Annie mentions the reason why Pierce wasn't invited to Vicki's Halloween party; earlier he taunted her so much she put a pencil through his face in the Season Two episode "Intro to Political Science".
- Troy mentions that Jeff killed Pierce's father Cornelius Hawthorne in the Season Three episode "Advanced Gay".
- Annie recaps the events in the Season Three episode "Digital Estate Planning" and recounts how Pierce lost his inheritance to his illegitimate half brother Gilbert Lawson while playing a video game.
- Troy mentions having lived at the mansion which he did in Season Two.
- The 'Special Gym' that Troy and Shirley find is mentioned in the Season Two episode "Competitive Wine Tasting".
- A painting of Cornelius similar to Pierce's from Advanced Gay is shown hanging in the Hawthorne Mansion. The word "LIAR" is sprayed over it.
- Pierce mentions, "Ghosts can't go through doors, they're not fire". In season 3 episode 21 (The First Chang Dynasty) Pierce mentions, "Fire can't go through doors, they're not ghosts".
- The Paper fortune teller sequence in the opening credits is the same one used in the Season Two episode "Epidemiology" with the new addition of Jim Rash's credit which features a man in an electric chair.
- When Annie recaps Pierce's familial history and when she realizes how ridiculous it sounds she says: "I guess I never said it out loud". This is exactly what Jeff had said in the Season Three episode "Remedial Chaos Theory" after reading aloud the ridiculous name Abed gave for a fake Billiards club he was supposedly invited to.
- Pierce says: "Ghosts can't go through doors, stupid! They're not fire!" which is a reworking of a similar quote from Ben Chang in the Season Three episode "First Chang Dynasty": "Fire can't go through doors stupid! They're not ghosts!".
- Catchphrase: Shirley says "That's nice!" after hearing that Pierce has decided to not go to the Halloween party and instead wants to stay at the mansion with Gilbert.
- School supplies:
- Jeff's cell phone makes an appearance when inside Pierce's bedroom he checks his messages instead of looking for the panic room code (which is 1989, the same year the panic room was installed).
- The Norwegian troll doll, revealed to be named "Torg", is referenced when Abed sees an empty spot where it used to reside next to other troll dolls including one that looks exactly like it named "Grot".
- The boxing gloves Jeff had as part of his costume turns out to be gloves used by his father William Winger.
- School song: "Daybreak" is heard in the episode, it's Troy's ring tone.
- Familiar faces: Gilbert Lawson makes a surprise return at the end of the episode. In one scene, a small portrait of Gilbert seems to have been taped to a family portrait of the Hawthornes, possibly added by Pierce after he realized Gilbert was his half-brother.
- Troy and Britta coo when Shirley mentions that her family is going with a Star Wars theme for their costumes this year: Her husband Andre is going as Han Solo, Elijah and Jordan are going as Stormtroopers and baby Ben is going as an Ewok. Abed does a courtesy "Aww!" and mentions that Shirley doesn't have enough children.
- The group, sans Jeff, coo when Pierce apologizes to them for being such a burden.
- The study group coos a third time when Pierce offers Gilbert to be his roommate and they both hug each other.
- It's a mixer, it's a mixer!: Abed instantly memorizes the date that Pierce's panic room was purchased (June 30, 1989), and points out that it was the date of the theatrical release of Do The Right Thing.
- Like an evil genie: The Dean enters the room and freaks Jeff out with his costume right after Jeff tells the group they shouldn't let a "lonely ridiculous person" derail their plans.
- My other half: After Britta mentions that matching Halloween costumes are worn by couples, Jeff warns her about "her boyfriend's boyfriend", since Troy and Abed's costumes are much more matching than those of Troy and Britta...
- Man crush: ... and later bails when he sees Dean Pelton wear a costume that complements his own.
- Nice outfit: Jeff is dressed as a boxer, Britta is dressed as a ham referencing (by chance) the character of "Scout" from the movie "To Kill A Mockingbird", Troy and Abed are dressed as Calvin and Hobbes, Shirley is dressed like Princess Leia and Annie is dressed as "Samara" from the horror movie "The Ring". Dean Pelton shows up dressed in the outfit that Jeff had intended Annie to wear, that of a boxing ring girl.
- Rhyme time: Troy tells Pierce "No sweat, Boba Fett!"
- Shout out:
- Jeff mentions David Lee Roth.
- The room Jeff ends up alone in that features a bar is a reproduction of the country club/snob "bar room" from "Caddyshack", starring Chevy Chase.
- TV Guide: "Cougar Town" is mentioned by Abed, Jeff mentions "Miami Vice". Jeff mentions the Hannah Barbera cartoon "Scooby-Doo".
- Well read: Jeff mentions "Peter Pan" when describing how Pierce has never allowed himself to grow up.
- Everyone's a critic:
- Abed states, " I remember when this show used to be about community college," after watching Britta and Jeff argue on the monitor in the surveillance room.
- Annie says she hates referential humor. In various interviews such as this one, and on DVD commentaries with creator Dan Harmon it's mentioned that actor Chevy Chase has been very critical of "Community"'s type of referential humor stating it's not his type of comedy.
- Résumé: Abed notices that the panic room was installed the same date in 1989 as the release of "Do the Right Thing." Giancarlo Esposito, the actor who plays Gilbert Lawson, had the break-out role of Buggin' Out in "Do the Right Thing".
Reception[edit | edit source]
Critical reaction[edit | edit source]
Ratings[edit | edit source]
- “After a 42% drop in Week 2, it's back to Deathwatch for 'Community.' Sigh. Emotional rollercoaster, that one is.”— Daniel Feinberg, twitter.com
"Paranormal Parentage" drew 2.76 million viewers, earning a 1.2 rating/4 share among adults 18-49, down 33% from "History 101" on February 7, 2013("[zap2it.com]]"). Initial reports placed the rating at 1.1("[zap2it.com]]"), leading Andy Bobrow to post a pair of self-deprecating Tweets:
- “I'm afraid I killed Community.”
- “I know it's not all about me, but 43% of the people who watched my episode decided not to watch another one.”
Production[edit | edit source]
A photo of the shooting script for "Paranormal Parentage" was tweeted by the writer Megan Ganz. It is the second episode of Season Four of Community but originally was intended to be the third episode. The scheduled was shifted to accommodate a closer air date to Halloween, but the entire season was put on hold from its October 19 premiere and eventually pushed back to next year. After being promoted as airing on October 26, it eventually debuted on February 14 (Valentine's Day). NBC decided to promote the episode and acknowledge the weird discrepancy by by coining the term "Valloween" and using the word in the official commercial for the episode seen below.
Quotes[edit | edit source]
- “The only thing spooky about this place is the tacky decor. It's like David Lee Roth threw up Miami Vice. Ugh. So tacky.”— Jeff
- “I’m gonna set my shrink ray to “daddy issues” and blast that sucker full of closure!”— Britta
|Season Four Episodes|
1. "History 101"
|Season One • Season Two • Season Three • Season Four • Season Five • Season Six|