Community, "Biology 101": magical tables and musical chairs

Quick Take: Community, “Biology 101”
“You are human tennis elbow. You are a pizza burn on the roof of the world’s mouth. You’re the opposite of Batman.” – Troy to Britta

 John Goodman as Vice Dean Laybourne

Review: Community, “Biology 101”
(S0301) It’s a happier, “deanier,” less weird semester according to the show’s opening dance sequence, and you definitely can’t argue with Chang in a money suit... and... Shirley and Dean Pelton wearing the same glittery purple dress... okay, so the overly cheery outlook is all in Jeff’s head. But Starburns has added a lizard to his hat and namesake, Leonard has prescription socks, and the show is definitely setting itself up for what should hopefully be another great ride through the study group’s struggles with their post-secondary education, Abed’s meta-verse, and of course, their sense of community.

Pierce’s departure from the study group at the end of last season has been on all of our minds this summer, and Greendale’s favourite misfits are no exception. With the introduction of the head of Greendale’s prestigious Air-Conditioning Repair Annex – Vice-Dean Robert Laybourne (John Goodman) – and the group’s new biology professor, Michael Kane, (Michael K. Williams), Jeff and company will need all the support they can get.

Aside from an “enlightful” summer of evolving through Laser-Lotus soul re-zoning, Pierce has concluded that the study desk is magic, and wants to come back. Issue solved. Or is it? Following Pierce’s lead, Jeff suggests that everyone has evolved; that everyone’s friendships extend beyond a study group, and assures Pierce that they’ll “see him when they see him.” Well, the magic desk gives Pierce a One-Up. On the waiting list for Biology.

After interrupting the fiercely intense ex-con, Professor Kane, with his cell-phone and his “classic Winger” attitude, Jeff gets kicked out of the class, and by extension, the study group. While he confronts his own mortality in a monkey-gas-induced hallucination in the vents, the group attempts to help Abed cope, first with the unrighteous postponement of Cougar Town to midseason, and then with the trauma brought about by Britta’s attempt to cheer him up with the fictional, British equivalent, “Cougarton Abbey.” It only lasts six episodes and ends with everyone dying, which breaks Abed even further, until Britta uncharacteristically restores the balance by showing Abed “Inspector Spacetime,” the Doctor Who-inspired sci-fi saviour of television since 1962.

Right, so I mentioned monkey-gas, and no, I haven’t been near any. The Dean’s new goatee-infused power-trip leads him to start trying to be proactive, and, believing that Troy’s pet monkey is living in the vents, has his security team fumigate all the ducts and air-shafts. But it’s not Annie’s Boobs bouncing around in the vents – it’s Chang. Implicit rat jokes aside – Chang has no job, no home, and no money to go to school, so he’s taken up refuge in Greendale’s ventilation system. Jeff chases Chang back to his hole, believing he has evidence of Pierce’s sabotaging his Biology spot, but gets stuck just as the gas is being pumped.

Jeff eventually confronts the group in a furious craze over his being left out, and takes a fire-axe to the study group’s desk, doing as much damage as his latent, and possibly delirious, racist rant just prior. Pierce, too, uncharacteristically restores the balance, by making up a story about bribing Dr. Kane to get into the class. He convinces everyone, thereby making room for a stirring Winger speech to take it home, uniting everyone before they learn very terrible news.

Britta is going to study psychology to be a therapist. No wait, that’s not it...

Dean Pelton – emasculated, broke, and clean-shaven thanks to the imposing figure of Vice-Dean Laybourne (who really knows how to command a power trip) – has discovered Chang’s secret hideout. After the opportunity crashes onto his desk, Dean Pelton offers Chang a job that pays in room and board. But it’s not Señor Chang that’s making his return; it’s Security Guard Chang. El Tigre. Ya bit? YA BIT?

I’m very excited for this season’s recurring guest-stars. Goodman and Williams are both extremely accomplished actors, and carry a great presence with them. Goodman just exudes Vice-Dean Laybourne’s power, perfectly contrasting the inept and insufferable Dean Pelton. Beneath Williams’ rough exterior and his proclivity to play gritty, street-tough gang members, is a new layer for Community to evoke from the actor. Professor Kane has a new appreciation and respect for life after observing a blade of grass breaking through the floor of his jail cell. All right, it’s not a huge step, but it might very well be the right one.

By Mark D Curran

About the author

Mark is a freelance writer, student of English and Philosophy, and still has too much time on his hands. If you have any of your own, check out the blog and follow him on Twitter!!/MarkDCurran

More From Mark D Curran

"The pink stars are falling in lines."
Read More
"It's stuck on 2003." - Michael Bluth
Read More
If the impact of last night’s finale of the Walking Dead was at all diminished by the quality of season premieres it went up against, I’d hate to see how it would have matched up against those same shows’ finales.
Read More

Email (Will not be used):


characters left

Featured Articles

Popular Today


Recent Comments

Boardwalk Empire, "Two Boats and a Lifeguard": daddy issues
Are you looking for a partner for the relationship or for fun? Then you came to the right place. We are providing you the best dating...
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
I can verify Bear Claw. Good man. I cant vouch for the other participants. It is to bad society does suck so bad that this type...
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
Lake Michigan is not an ocean. Has anyone seen my white dog? Lost him while hiking in Arkansas
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
I too also as well live on the island, I can attest that Dan lives in the ocean as he has for hundreds of decades. We locals call...
Parks and Recreation: why is everyone so mean to Jerry?
It's funny because its so not funny.
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
I too live on the island and ISLANDER does not know what they are talking about. Dan lives out in the middle of the island with...
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
this is not real i know that goat and it is not "doc's" its my neighbors goat. and by the way i live on the very top of that mountain...
Parks and Recreation: why is everyone so mean to Jerry?
I just finished the series on Netflix and can not wrap my mind around how he is treated. I never found humor in any of the scenes...
Swamp People, "It's Personal": men at work
Wow, very hard work , 1st they are hooked with a hook in there mouth , 2nd they come along with a shot gun and shoots it in the...