Chekhov's Gunman


“Does a Pierce Crap in the Woods?”- Community Season 4 Episode 9 Review- ‘Intro to Felt Surrogacy’

Community Puppets

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!


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10 thoughts on ““Does a Pierce Crap in the Woods?”- Community Season 4 Episode 9 Review- ‘Intro to Felt Surrogacy’

  1. Maggie on said:

    I’m glad you liked the episode! I thought I was the only one. xD

    I don’t think Abed doesn’t have a secret. I think (hope really) that this will be something that they’ll turn back to. Either he lied (can Abed lie?) or he just didn’t share one. He did say that, right “I didn’t share one.” That can hint he has one. Gosh, I hope he does. I was disappointed in that too, but they wouldn’t tease us about such a popular character right? I mean, they could have just given him a stupid secret, like Britta’s. He does have lunch in Jeff’s car secretly from time to time.

    • I’m expecting Abed to just overflow with secrets at some point a la Troy from the Dreamatorium Episode. Abed also didn’t understand Inception.

    • Gabe the dopeness on said:

      “My Father is Withholding”

    • Yeah, it’s not that Abed doesn’t have any secrets, he just didn’t share one. But as he said, he’s an open book, he says whatever he wants. That doesn’t mean he has no secrets, just that he’ll share them whenever he feels like sharing them.

      • I suppose you’re right. I think it was just my own expectations being disappointed when he didn’t share anything, just because I like getting deeper into Abed’s head. There are Muppet Babies there.

  2. Gabe the dopeness on said:

    I thought the meta humor returned in force last night. It was really enjoyable in all aspects in my opinion. I’m not going to give up, ESPECIALLY after this episode. We HAVE to have a season five. Megan Ganz wrote the friggen finale, and her halloween episode was on point. Not to mention some of the cast’s day jobs is stand up comedy. I generally agree that the season has been light on the laughs but this episode really wasn’t.
    The season premiere episode, though…
    And do you know that some people on facebook seem to think that there are NEW writers? ADURR. Seriously if that’s the fanbase Community is dealing with, then NBC should renew just to SPITE those people.

    • Sometimes people on the Internet are just wrong. So, so wrong.
      And tonight was pretty funny, wasn’t it?
      “I lied, I did see the Blue Man Group. I just don’t get it. Why don’t they talk to each other? They have so much in common!”
      Here’s holding out for a Season 5. Have you read the episode descriptions for the rest of the season?

  3. Pingback: “This is the Pretty Mediocre Timeline”- Community Season 4 Episode 10 Review- ‘Intro to Knots’ | Chekhov's Gunman

  4. Pingback: “Invasion of the Abed Snatchers”- Community Season 4 Episode 11 Review- ‘Basic Human Anatomy’ | Chekhov's Gunman

  5. Pingback: “…And Pierce Didn’t Matter”- Community Season 4 Episode 12 Review- ‘Heroic Origins’ | Chekhov's Gunman

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