This is two white security guards versus one unarmed black man and two baby birds. Your move!
— Elroy Patashnik
In the study room, Annie helps Chang rehearse his audition for a stage adaptation of the 80's film "The Karate Kid" as the rest of the committee arrives. When Frankie and Dean Pelton show up they are inundated by requests to fix the school's wi-fi. Once Frankie mentions the IT lady is missing, Pelton recommends she hire a replacement and Elroy volunteers. Later in Dean Pelton's office, school board members Richie and Carl surprise Pelton with an offer to join the school board. Having a token gay member would repair the board's reputation after they cancelled a Gay pride parade on campus. While the Dean considers their proposal, Carl and Richie leave singing a song on their way out.
Richie and Carl corner the Dean.
On the school grounds, Elroy and Abed track down the wi-fi problem which turns out to be a birds nest. It's inside the school's router and Abed pleads with Elroy to leave it alone until the eggs hatch. Elsewhere, Chang and Annie are at the "Karate Kid" play auditions. The director Matt Lundergard notices Annie and has her read alongside Chang. Later at school they announce to the committee they were both cast in the play with Chang playing "Mr. Miyagi" and Annie taking the role he wanted, the titular "Karate Kid". When Pelton asks Elroy about the wi-fi problem he stalls for time. The Dean then mentions his offer to join the school board and asks Jeff and Frankie to discuss the matter in private.
Chang and Annie read for the director.
In his office he tells them the deal and Frankie asks him if he's ready to be defined solely by his orientation. Jeff convinces him to accept the job noting the good he could do once in power. At rehearsals for the play, Matt praises Annie's performance while harshly criticizing Chang. Meanwhile, Carl and Richie hold a press conference announcing Pelton's new position on the school board. In keeping with his new role, Pelton has a fake life partner on stage named Domingo. At Britta's bartending gig, Annie discusses with her how good her performance is coming along according to Matt. However, she can't condone his abuse of Chang and decides to do something about it.
The latest school board member is introduced.
Over at Greendale, Pelton learns Elroy and Abed are protecting a nest and allows them to resolve the wi-fi issues later. At the theater, Annie threatens to quit if Matt doesn't stop berating Chang. When he tells her to go she learns the truth about why they were cast. Matt saw talent in Chang due to his self loathing and treated him poorly to coax a good performance out of him. He only hired Annie because she fit the wardrobe from last year. His praise for her was because he knew her mediocre acting was the best she could do. Annie is humiliated but is thanked by Chang for defending him before she goes. In Dean Pelton's office, Carl and Richie tell him about complaints that he hasn't fixed the wi-fi yet and how some people are saying he's being too gay.
Annie exits the play.
In order to make everyone happy, Pelton goes to the campus router with security to get Elroy and Abed to move the nest. He backs off when Elroy notes the implications of two white guards accosting a black man. After having his men stand down, Pelton has Elroy concede defeat by pointing out its now just one openly gay Dean he is facing. Time passes as Abed and Elroy move the nest into an incubator, Matt continues to torture Chang and Pelton struggles to be a gay role model. He comes to a decision to hold a press conference where he gives a brief statement. Pelton admits he is a politician who lied his way into his current position and asks for their forgiveness.
Abed and Elroy move the nest.
He ends up kicked off the school board and goes to the committee meeting to apologize to Abed and Elroy for his actions. Abed depresses everyone when he mentions two birds died and one is barely hanging on. To change the mood, everyone agrees to go see Chang's play. At the theater, Annie is annoyed that Annie Kim replaced her but she and the group are enthralled by Chang's performance. Afterwards, the committee congratulate Chang on a job well done. Annie admits she is jealous but Chang says the price for acting at that level is high. When he and his cast mates go to an after party, Annie watches longingly. She happily accepts when Jeff asks if she wants to accompany him to a bar where the customers don't hate themselves.
Chang steals the show with his break out performance.
The Save Greendale Committee and Dean Pelton gather outside to set the remaining bird free. They wear cat masks and finger wings and try to get the bird to leave Greendale and fly into its natural habitat. Once the bird takes off, Britta is quick to compliment Abed on having made a difference on the bird's life. The bird, now out of the Committee's sight, lands into a nearby transformer station and settles into the control box.
Recurring or debuting running gags in this episode:
Awww!: When Abed claims a live bird was a symbol of his innocence, Annie does a muted "aww" in sympathy.
Bon Appetit!: Jeff and Dean Pelton question Frankie's sexual orientation after they hear her allude to not being prepared to make her sexuality an aspect of her role in society.
Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?: Abed points to all the Committee members and asks them if they are going to see Chang's play and says the same question "Karate Kid adaptation?". He doesn't ask Pelton who ends up having to do the bit by himself after everyone leaves.
Gasp: Annie reacts to Britta telling her to dial it back.
Gay, he's so gay!:
Despite claiming its only 2/7 of what he is, Dean Pelton agrees to pretend to be gay in order to get a promotion and even has someone named Domingo hired to play his life partner.
Jeff says he's curious about Dean Pelton's true orientation but quickly adds his interest is just from a scientific perspective.
Nice outfit: In the end tag Britta's outfit is reminiscent of her "cool cat" costume from the anti-drug play in Celebrity Pharmacology 212.
Name that tune: The Dolly Parton single "Jolene" is parodied in this episode as the song "Gay Dean".
Alert Nerd!: Elroy claims that "Donkey Kong" was plagiarised from "Construction Snake", a game he made.
IMDb: The 1984 film "Karate Kid" is continually referenced in this episode since a play adaption is being staged starring Chang and Annie until she is replaced by Annie Kim. The director actually gets some details about the story wrong during one of his outbursts. He claims that Miyagi fought against his own people and his wife lost a child in an internment camp. In the film, Miyagi (and historically all Japanese-American soldiers) fought in Europe against the Germans, not against the Japanese. The director also forgets that in both the film and his stage adapation, Miyagi's wife passed away as well.
Use your allusion: When firing Annie, the director tells Annie to "take a flying kick at a rolling donut," which is a reference to the line "take a flying fuck at a rolling donut," a Kurt Vonnegut quote that appears in Slaughterhouse Five and Slapstick.
Parody: Matt's abusive treatment of Chang to make him realize his full potential is a send up of the 2014 film "Whiplash" which has the same premise involving a music teacher and his student.
Resumé: Frankie mentions difficulties getting in touch with Greendale's I.T. Lady; actress Paget Brewster previously played this role in the Season Five episode "Analysis of Cork-Based Networking ". Frankie saying that her e-mails to the I.T. Lady bounce back in Aramaic and when she calls her all she gets is a high-pitched sound that makes her nose bleed, which references the science fiction trope about the paradoxical dangers of running into oneself (notably the 2004 film The Butterfly Effect and the 2014 video game Bioshock: Infinite).
“What happened actor? You crying? You cry when I tell you to cry. So reabsorb that disgusting droplet of salt and bad choices back into your doughy body. And then call your mother to see if you can be reabsorbed back into her doughy body or so help me God, I will take that tear, I will freeze it, and I will stab you in the eye with it, you waste of a soul-shaped hole forgotten by God.”— Matt Lundergard