Community Review: Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne

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Have you ever wondered what your favorite study group characters would be like digitized in a video game? The first episode in tonight's Community trio answered exactly that question!

In "Digital Estate Planning," Pierce was sent to Hawthorne's headquarters presumably to collect his inheritance, but it turns out it wasn't as easy as he thought.

The Study Group Follows Pierce

Pierce's father's longtime assistant Gilbert, played by Once Upon A Time and Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito, had a surprise in store. Thirty years prior, when Pierce begged his father to get into the video gaming business, only to be passed over for moist towelettes, Mr. Hawthorne decided to develop his own video interactive video game that Pierce would one day participate in.

The only hitch here is that Gilbert was playing Pierce for the inheritance. Not only did Gilbert feel that he deserved the inheritance for working for Pierce's father all of these years - after all the man did once sit on Gilbert's lap at church just to get a better seat - but Gilbert had a secret of his own.

Pierce's openly racist father had an affair with Pierce's hot African American nanny's sister and that woman gave birth to Gilbert! Lo and behold, Pierce has a half brother! This episode really pushed the envelope as far as offensive jokes and comments, but it was done in an almost ironic way because the crux of Pierce's character is that he's completely oblivious and often makes prejudicial comments. In fact, the only person more offensive than Pierce was really Pierce's father.

We all know that Dan Harmon likes to do fun gimmicky episodes, for instance "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas." I liked seeing the video game versions of the study group. I also enjoyed seeing how they each reacted to the video game world.

Of course, Abed thrived and fell in love with a woman who had an extensive knowledge in programming. Pierce could barely figure out how to walk. Annie was trying to be nice but threw down when she had to. When she and Shirley accidentally killed the people in the weapons shop, I have to admit I was laughing. Jeff was trying to take control and strategize, but per usual he was making a mess of things.

The ending was sweet as the study group realized that winning wasn't everything. The only thing I really missed from this episode was Dean Pelton. I really miss my Dean! Will he pop up in parts 2 and 3 of the Community trio tonight?* Tune in to find out and don't forget to check our Community quotes from this episode!

* We've posted reviews of those installments, too: Dan Forcella lived "The First Chang Dynasty," while Matt Richenthal lamented the loss of Dan Harmon in his Community season 3 finale review.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (118 Votes)

when annia and shirely klled the couple I laughed so hard I had to pause so I could enjow the rest of the episode sosososososo much better then what most other tv shows are doing!!!!!


Best stylistic episode yet!


Yeah, Joyeful I kept wanting to rewind. The great thing is I can watch all three of last night's episodes On Demand, and I'll probably get more out of each of them. Video Britta and Abed were hilarious for opposite reasons. And yeah, Shirley's reaction to Annie's murder was hilarious (another murder). lol All that and a sweet ending too.


Great review. Not only was this brilliantly executed, but it was hilarious. It was so awesomely, absurdly offensive. Some of the imagery in the game just had me dying of laughter. Britta's strength potion - oh my gosh. And the opening scene in the game with the spider-hippies "violating" and killing Jeff, and Jeff's anger at that...I could not stop laughing. A general rule of Community should be to pause if there's anything written on the screen in a scene. When Gilbert gave himself all the powers, one of them was "testicular fortitude"...I almost died. The character development was also awesome. That's definitely a Piercinald Hawthorne that we've never seen before. I loved it. Great episode.


Awesome, simply awesome. I agree with others, accidentally mercy-axing the flaming blacksmith, then the wife, then finding out these were Hilda's parents and home... exceptional!


OMG Annie and Shirley killing the weapon maker and his wife, then burning down his house, while stealing all his weapons and armor... OMFG! I LOL'ed so damn hard.



Leigh r

@RajBauer I didn't say I didn't like the episode, I gave it a 4. No need to be annoyed, can add in Breaking Bad, been a long day.


Gilbert's mother wasn't Pierce's hot nanny. It was his nanny's hot sister.


This episode was awesome so I totally disagree with your review and I also am annoyed that you would refer to Giancarlo Esposito from OUAT instead of the much superior breaking bad, I mean hello he is GUS FRING.

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Community Season 3 Episode 20 Quotes

White crystal, do you think dad was into meth?


A 100 year old man spent 30 years creating a video game? This I have to see.