“Together Her Cats Can Do Anything”- Community Season 4 Episode 8 Review- ‘Herstory of Dance’
The following is a review that contains lots of spoilers, so you best check yoself, foo’.
My secret love for Gillian Jacobs and Britta are far from hidden and she really has been the MVP this year, so when I read on Wikipedia that this episode was coming, I was absolutely ecstatic. Britta has never been the best proponent of plot (many of the show’s best episodes eschew her almost entirely), but she brings with her an incredible amount of heart and the absolute joy of watching Gillian Jacobs do weird physical comedy.
Tonight’s episode wasn’t exceedingly funny, but it also wasn’t trying to be. While lacking belly laughs it still ended up being one of the sweetest half-hours the show has ever produced.
Not that the episode was devoid of laughs. Tonight’s Dean outfit is in high competition to be one of his best, fighting tooth and nail against the Duala-Dean of Man and that time he reminded us to Tina Turner our clocks ahead for Daylight savings. I will also forever love the line “He’s like the Colin Farrell of people.”
But speaking of the Dean, I was oddly fascinated by one of his moments here tonight. I’ll get to Britta soon, but I want to talk about this first. Dean Pelton has a habit of being a joke pony: Come in carrying jokes- usually in drag, deliver jokes, and leave. He’s probably the closest thing this very cartoony program has to an actual cartoon character, like if Cheers were periodically interrupted by an ambi-sexual Fred Flintstone. But his moment tonight of defense as to how difficult it is to plan a dance was wonderful and broke up what we’ve come to expect from these little drive by Deanings.
To cover tonight’s big A-story, if the big Britta moments tonight didn’t move you I don’t know exactly what will. Perhaps an emotional bulldozer is in order? The resolution and Jeff’s texted apology was so sweet and earnest and seeing Britta win warms the very chasms of my heart in a way that I wasn’t quite expecting.
The plot was so nicely, sweetly Britta. She made an honest mistake and stuck to it, for once not wanting to be known as the one who messes everything up. And I was rooting for her. I mean, haven’t we all forgotten Susan B. Anthony from time-to-time?
I am very disappointed, though, at this point by the Troy and Britta relationship. It has been an overwhelming amount of nothing. There’s just nothing there. They haven’t had a plotline in weeks and the plotlines they have had have been aggressively meh. I understand that Britta is the worst, but I find it hurtful that Troy wouldn’t jump to Britta’s defense. Ever. None of the times she’s suffering have seen Troy jump to her aid. I was rooting for these two and am rather let down by what I’m seeing.
But can we just consider Peirce officially redeemed? After the last episode saw him bond with Jeff and this one saw him saving the day with Britta, I am now firmly in the “liking Pierce” camp. The writers this season, despite the notable if overstated missteps, have really brought our boy Pierce back from the edge. It’s true that Chevy has since jumped off the edge, but smart odds are on that we will never see a Community without Pierce.
Jeez, we only have five episodes left…
Now onto Abed.
Tonight’s Abed story was predictable, but in a pleasant kind of way, and Abed usually refutes that kind of complaint by simply mentioning it out loud. That won’t work in every situation, but I found it charming here as he was slowly seduced by Envy Adams from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Brie Larson, to prevent the Internet from yelling at me). I found their chemistry to be sweet and surprisingly existent.
And, hey, look, you guys! Character development! Character development! Legitimate steps forward for Abed. It was like watching a unicorn give birth, or finding a Nielsen box. It’s absolutely incredible, but in just eight episodes we’ve seen big steps for Jeff, Britta, Abed, and Pierce- of all people. I have yet to die laughing this season, but the arcs are nothing short of very impressive.
Community still doesn’t know what to do with Shirley and Annie, but Community has never known what to do with Shirley and Annie so I don’t know how much of that I can hold against them.
Britta for the win!!!
The Puppet tag was great and satisfied a long-standing need I wasn’t entirely aware I had.
The Dean’s line about most students having given up in the mid-90s was beautiful.
Can we see Britta’s apartment? It may be a little late for the writing DJs to be taking requests, but we’ve seen some variation on everyone else’s living spaces and I’d be curious to see what the apartment of an anarchist cat owner looks like.
The Quirky Girl was amazing, from her first moment on screen. This must be how old people see Zooey Deschanel. She drives a scooter, she plays the saw… Well done.
Chekhov’s Gunman is moderated by Kevin Lanigan, a future writer of movies and television and present actor in an all-white production of A Raisin in the Sun. (Spoilers: The raisins get sunburn). Check back here every week for reviews of Community and Game of Thrones, and also our weekly Mexican Standoffs section, and our posts every other Sunday about some topic in media.
Dean you later!