Community Review: Pile of Bullets

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Trust, betrayal, the fact that Abed apparently still has a girlfriend...

I think we should put all of these important aspects of Community Season 5 Episode 9 on the back burner while we discuss the really important matter at hand: Vince Gilligan's long-teased cameo!

Things Get Out of Hand

As someone who always adored Breaking Bad's comedic streak, I was de-lighted to see Gilligan pop up as the master of ceremonies in that bizarrely convoluted VHS game, whose Western setting ever-so-slightly evoked those meth-sprinkled deserts that Walt and Jesse were always tromping around in.

Sigh. It'll always be time to cook in my heart, you two crazy kids!

As for the half hour itself (well, the non-Gilligan parts of it, anyway): it felt like a bit of a decompression from the manic highs this show has been on for the past few weeks - and judging from next week's teaser, this week was just a spot to rest and refuel between whimsical epics.

Not to say that it was weak by any means; Brie Larson's Rachel is always fun to have on hand, and Abed and Annie's power struggle over the game was not only Community at its in-jokey best, but also did a great job using physical comedy to illustrate Annie's attempts to fill the void Troy has left in Abed's life.

The episode was just a bit quiet in a season that's been mostly about loud, thunderous statements - but we do need those quiet episodes, so all those thunderous episodes in a row don't totally pop our ear drums (you know, the ear drums of our minds? You know what I mean).

Speaking of things that are dangerous to your health: I did enjoy the extended look this week at a more sinister Shirley.

We've seen peeks of Shirley's not-so-nice side throughout this season - particularly last week, in Community Season 5 Episode 8, where she seemed to be corrupted by power in a matter of moments - but this episode was the first to fully engage with her as a person who might be a bit dangerous (and a person who might get a lot of the night's best Community quotes).

And I dug it.

Shirley has typically been my least favorite denizen of Group Study Room F - but as we find out more and more about what her sugar-and-rainbows schtick is papering over, I am more and more intrigued by her...especially now that Chang has gone from being a kinda threatening mad man to basically a helpless little baby.

Do you think she has it in her to be a serious threat? Is that what this season is leading up to? Some kind of epic Shirley showdown?

Is Shirley going to finally show her dangerous side this season?

VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing Review

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Community Season 5 Episode 9 Quotes

Annie: That's why Abed is like a brother to me. You guys are so alike.
Abed: I can't accept that based on one time machine story.

You're like ice cream cake out there--overkill.