“Does a Pierce Crap in the Woods?”- Community Season 4 Episode 9 Review- ‘Intro to Felt Surrogacy’
There are spoilers here. By clicking on this review, you accept the responsibilities associated with such.
This episode had me nervous. Besides the premiere, this is probably the nervous I’ve been for an episode this season, mostly because this felt (forgive the unintentional pun) almost exactly like something that people would pitch at a meeting of something Community hasn’t done, but totally would. It felt (I wish there were another word for this) like someone trying to masquerade as Community, picking up its remains and using it like Weekend at Bernie’s, and that could go so horribly, horribly wrong.
I haven’t responded to it as harshly as some. This isn’t the show “reaching,” despite what the people of Facebook might have you believe. Community totally would do a puppet episode. But I wanted to make sure that they did that up nice.
And I found myself liking it immensely. It’s probably the best Muppets reference this season. The fact that there’s even a competition is why this show speaks to me.
Like the other exemplary episodes this season (namely Thanksgiving and last week’s Britta outing), it’s a little light in the laughs department but brings an honest, sincere, gooey puppet heart to it that cannot be denied. That’s the Community we now live with, Earth. It may never again be as gut-bustingly funny as it was in its gloriest of glory days even on the strange chance that it gets a Season 5, but we’ll get an extra scoop of feelings ice cream on our communal sundae to make up for it.
This is far from a perfect episode, but I think it adopted the very broad Muppet style perfectly and found the right emotional beats. And the songs were pretty tops. And the sight of the Dean reacting so strongly to a sexy Jeff puppet will live on in the best parts of my nightmares.
Something I think the show did well comedically tonight was taking the obvious joke and then taking it up a notch, an area where the Season’s earlier episodes did not exactly excel. I liked Jeff one-upping Britta’s sex joke and particularly chuckled at Troy’s pure exasperation regarding the Blue Man Group. Oh, Puppet Troy. You really were the best puppet.
Moving over to the aforementioned gooey puppet heart that is actually probably some dude’s fist, while it makes sense that Abed wouldn’t have a secret to unveil, I was a mite bit disappointed that he just simply didn’t have one.
And some of the real secrets were better than others. Shirley’s was absolutely heart-wrenching, probably the best emotional commercial break the show has done since the Fat Neil revelation of “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.” And Jeff’s…. Oh, God, Jeff’s!
The tears entered my eyes as Jeff unfolded his story and then quickly left as we slowly realized that Troy almost burned down something and Britta had never voted. The song was still great, and the emotional hook still worked wonderfully, but I think some of the secrets could have been a bit deeper.
Also, Annie let Alex from A Clockwork Orange rub her feet and that is just the worst possible idea.
Overall, this is an episode that I loved and one I’ll certainly be watching again on Hulu. There’s a lot about this episode that feels like it’ll be a good end.
This is likely the last genre parody we’ll get this season, and that very likely makes it the last one we’ll see from the show. When Pierce disappears at the close of Year Four, he can now happily jaunt off into the woods with the Mountain Man. And the group loves each other. Truly. It’s only more and more apparent week after week.
There are only four episodes left, people. This Season hasn’t been perfect (far from it), but unless the next few episodes tank I’ll be happy with the way our time at Greendale closes.
Chekhov’s Gunman is a film and television blog moderated by Kevin Lanigan, a future writer of great movies and TV and creator of subpar Study Group puppets at best. You can follow him on Twitter if you’d like. Also, be sure to stick around here. Every week, there are new reviews of Community and Game of Thrones, as well as our most popular feature Mexican Standoffs. We also have regular pieces on how cool things are.
Dean you later!