A confrontation in the study room between Abed's Pillowtown denizens and Troy's Blanketsburg followers has Greendale on the verge of a civil war. Afterwards, a documentary crew follows Dean Pelton to the student lounge to find Jeff. They were hired to film the attempt by Troy to beat the Guinness World record of the worlds largest Blanket fort. Dean Pelton pleads with Jeff to help negotiate a peace between the two rival forts. In Dean Pelton's office, Troy, Abed, Jeff, and Pelton's attempts to end the hostilities fail. Troy demands that Abed surrender or there will be consequences. Abed refuses and at midnight Troy's Blanketsburg forces attack Pillowtown. With war officially declared, the rest of the study group assume roles in the conflict.
How it all started.
Shirley joins Troy and is made second in command which Pierce considers a slight and leaves Blanketsburg to joins Abed. Annie sets up a neutral clinic to treat the wounded while Britta takes photos of the war. Jeff gives both forts the same inspirational speech to keep the war going so classes are cancelled. This angers Annie who tells Jeff he should take this more seriously as Troy and Abed's friendship is at stake. Meanwhile, Pierce suffers a humiliating defeat during a brief battle between the forts inside the library. He attempts to redeem himself by presenting Abed plans for a fearful weapon of mass destruction.
Who wants to miss more classes?!
Troy learns about the W.M.D. and forms an alliance with the head of campus security Sgt. Ben Chang. Blanketsburg's ranks are bolstered by Chang's security force known as the "Changlourious Basterds." This group of middle schoolers he recruited from a previous security gig Chang had at a Bar Mitzvah begin terrorizing the Pillowtonians. Abed responds by having Pierce unleash his doomsday device codenamed "Pillow Man". Pierce successfully uses the plow armor suit to rout the Changlorious Basterds during one of their raids on Pillowtown. As the tide of battle shifts, Abed sends a classified e-mail to his generals outlining Troy's weaknesses. This includes his tendency to be distracted by shiny things and his inexplicable bouts of crying.
Troy is devastated after receiving an intercepted copy of the message and composes an email in response. He tells Abed that no one but him has the patience to deal with Abed's issues and he can consider him his first and last friend. Upon Jeff learning how personal the grudge has gotten between them he sets up another meeting hoping to gain peace. It backfires as in a heated exchange Abed and Troy raise the stakes of the war deciding that whoever wins gets to stay in the apartment and the loser has to move out. The next morning, the final showdown occurs with both sides meeting in the cafeteria. A great war ensues with heavy casualties inflicted on both sides. However, the fighting concludes in surprising fashion with an announcement Dean Pelton.
The beginning of the end.
He lets everyone know that the representative for Guinness who suggested they break the worlds record was fired. With nothing to fight for or against all the combatants promptly walk away from the field of battle. Abed and Troy are the only ones remaining and continue to pillow fight. They tell Jeff it will be the last thing they will ever do together. Jeff points out that they like each other so much they are would rather keep the conflict going forever. Jeff comes up with a solution and gives Abed and Troy "imaginary friend hats" he gave to them in the Dean's office which they threw away and they become friends again.
Jeff then reveals that he actually went to the Dean's office and "searched" for the friend hats, showing that he does take what's happening amongst his friends seriously even if he's not entirely sure why.During the war, Britta tries to get photographs of the events that occurred, only to mess up every photo, except for her final shot with Troy and Abed doing their signature handshake. The narrator reveals that she, in very Britta style, was trying to get an image of light reflecting off a plate of waffles and took her lone great picture by accident.
A nice gesture: Troy and Abed's hand clap is shown once again in this episode.
Discontinuity: The campus map used for the engagement diagrams is highly inconsistent with the one used in other episodes, usually displayed behind Dean Pelton's desk.
History lesson: The study group's past history is briefly touched upon by the narrator of the documentary. Annie's wish to be a Health Care Administrator is also mentioned which is something she herself had stated in "Mixology Certification".
Climax: The war is ended simply by the Dean announcing the Guinness Rep is no longer coming.
Previously: A shot of Pierce's medical records include "Broken legs; set, caste, pain meds" on Nov 4 2010. This is a nod to the events in the Season Two episode "Aerodynamics of Gender" when he double bounced and broke both his legs on the trampoline.
Replay: The documentary theme is used once again, but this time in the style of filmmaker Ken Burns format.
Winger speech: Jeff uses his gift of persuasion to keep the feud going longer so he doesn't have to attend classes.
Troy and Abed offer a DVD entitled That's Enter-Chang-ment during the end tag.
Come sail away!: Troy cries when he sees the e-mail Abed sent listing his weaknesses. Abed also mentions in the email that it is easy to make Troy cry.
Man crush: Pelton cries for Jeff to save him during the initial skirmish when the two opposing forces collide in the study room.
Nice outfit: Pierce creates the "Pillow Man" suit as a special WMD. Both sides of the conflict have uniforms that identify them as Pillowtonians or Blanketsburgers. In the end tag, Dean Pelton can be seen in his cotillion oufit from "Paradigms of Human Memory" on a DVD entitled "Craig Pelton: A Year in Paris".
Behind the scenes: According to Pierce's medical records, the date of the events of the episode is April 1, the weekend before this episode aired. However, according to Shirley's text to her husband, the date is March 20, possibly the Thursday the episode would haveaired if not for the hiatus.
Résumé: The narrator of the documentary is actor Keith David, who has done voiceovers for Ken Burns documentaries before. He is never shown onscreen but Jeff is heard talking to him during his voiceover. He recognizes him as the actor Keith David. He once starred in the short lived TV show The Cape which was mentioned in Paradigms of Human Memory and shown to be a favorite of Abed's. However, Keith David denies to Jeff that he had been on the show.
A Changlourious Basterd says, "You guys like pillows? How do you like these pillows?" while pummeling a student. Community creator Dan Harmon has repeatedly stated his dislike of the film Good Will Hunting and the "Do you like apples?" line in particular.
Troy and Abed's pledge drive mimics how PBS (the network most associated with Ken Burns documentaries) interrupts their programming to solicit funding donations.
Up against the wall: During their pledge drive in the end credits, Troy and Abed beg for donations explaining that Greendale programming is in danger of going off the air. The show Community has struggled with ratings throughout its run on NBC leading to questions, around the time this episode aired, about a fourth season.
In 2007, the writer of this episode, Andy Bobrow, wrote, produced, and directed a ten minute short film called "The Old Negro Space Program". It was a mockumentary done in the style of Ken Burns' films. It chronicled the struggles of black astronauts excluded from "white" NASA and the formation of their own group called NASSA (Negro American Space Society of Astronauts). It later became the inspiration for this episode.
“I know there's a lot of blanket stackers and pillow packers out there thinking it's gonna go down tonight. But there's a lot of us folks from the scene in between saying: 'Hey, we're all looking to chill out, and lay down with someone special.' This is real Neil, with pipes of steel, signing off with the smooth sounds of Daybreak.”— Fat "Real Neil" Neil
“Well, that's it. I just heard from the Guinness rep. He's not coming. He's been fired, in what he described as the world's biggest mistake. I doubt that will make the next edition.”— Dean Pelton