fräulein lauren stern looks at this week’s Community…
Since Community aired three weeks ago, the episodes have been both a hit and a miss for me. I really loved last weeks Inspector Space Time episode, but was very disappointed in the “Valloween” episode. But I knew I was going to love this one simply because CHANG returns and we finally get to see what Changnesia is really about. (Or do we?)
But since this episode was more than the return of Chang (or “Kevin”) let’s take a look at what happened this week…
The New Class
As we all know, the group missed the ball on the new ‘Ice Cream’ class at Greendale, so they are stuck with a completely normal and general history class. This means a new teacher, which normally is some crazy, out of the box character. Now I know we all haven’t seen much of the teacher yet, but I’m still fairly disappointed with how the character was written so far. When I look back at all the Greendale teachers of the past, they all had these quirks that made their respective classes so epically awesome from the very beginning. I mean who could forget John Oliver’s recurring role as Duncan or Betty White’s cameo? But this guy has been fairly boring so far, and I’m kind of hoping that he doesn’t keep to his word and stick around for long.
The Germans Return and The Big Protest
The main plot of this episode is a war between the study group and The Germans, who we previously saw battling Jeff and Shirley in an epic game of foosball last season. This time, there’s a new substituting for Juergen (Nick Kroll) and he’s willing to get down and dirty for the study room.
Throughout the episode, The Germans and the study group fight each other for the room, with the Germans winning every time. Slightly defeated but still willing to fight, the group devise a plan inspired by Hogan’s Heroes, where the group would arouse The Germans. They did this by luring them to celebrating their own German culture, which is forbidden at Greendale. This, of course, got them expelled from parts of the school (including the study room) by the Dean. Classic Community.
The next day the entire school protested their actions, which caused the big surprise — a huge self-reflection for the study group, who all this time have never taken into consideration how their actions affected the entire school.
Giving Back to Greendale
Once it set in that they were the “Nazis” of the school, decided to make Greendale a better place by doing whatever they could to make the school nicer. This was huge for the group – especially since members of the group expressed adamant hate for Greendale in previous seasons (ahem, Jeff). But thanks to the new writers, we’ve seen a softer side of some of the characters this season – which is still up in the air on the acceptability factor for most viewers (including me).
The most exciting thing about this episode is the return of Chang, which as you may have read in my premiere review, is one of my favorite characters. So when I heard he was coming back, I was floored! But as much as I love Ken Jeong and his character, I thought that there wasn’t really much development here.
The new writers really left us hanging since the premiere and they really left us hanging with this episode too. We didn’t learn much about Changnesia, other than there’s a chance Chang is faking it to get back into Greendale. And even that is still up in the air!
There’s also still that burning question of how this happened, which is starting to become that looming cloud no one wants around. All I have to say to that is — come on, new Community writers, pick up the pace here!
Overall, I enjoyed this episode which means there’s a good chance the writers just missed the ball with “Valloween.” Will it only go up from here? I hope so.