Community, "Remedial Chaos Theory": Troy and Abed's new apartment

Quick Take: Community, “Remedial Chaos Theory”
"There's no such thing as Single-Malt Platinum Boobs and Billiards Club? Oh... I guess I never said it out loud." - Jeff

 Community - Remedial Chaos Theory

Review: Community, “Remedial Chaos Theory”
(S0304) I officially have a new favorite episode of Community. Or should I say seven versions of a new favorite episode? The world of Community has always been... erratic, to put it mildly. Paintball matches, in-class live births, Senor Chang – it’s a chaotic life at Greendale. And chaos truly reigns this week when the study group convenes at “Troy and Abed’s new apaaaaartment!” With a simple toss of a dice, Jeff sets seven different timelines into motion.

When the pizza guy arrives Jeff assigns everyone a number, and in the interval before the dice lands, Abed announces that chance is in control, and so we watch the next few minutes unfold seven different ways. A lot does and doesn’t happen depending on who leaves to go get the pizza from the delivery guy, and we get a lot of insight into where their character development might be going for the rest of the season.

For starters – and really, it’s where this whole mess starts and ends – Jeff appears to be turning into the new Britta. In the final, real timeline, Abed intervenes and catches the dropping dice, exposing Jeff as trying to get out of going downstairs to get the pizza. Jeff finally concedes and goes downstairs, hitting his head on the ceiling fan on the way out – the only constant through all the timelines. While he’s out, everyone starts having fun. Thanks to Britta.

When Britta gets cut off from singing “Roxanne” by Jeff, she excuses herself to go to the bathroom to get high. When she doesn’t leave to get high, she comes back engaged to the burnout pizza guy. Dark, right? And all because Jeff stops her from trying to have some fun. Pierce is feeling abandoned by Troy, and so he tries to have some fun of his own by bringing a Norwegian troll from Troy’s old room, which may or may not be cursed, to terrorize him with. When Troy opens up and thanks Pierce for his support, however, Pierce tries to take back the gift, starting a tug-of-war that sets the apartment on fire, leading to the gun that’s concealed in Annie’s purse to go off, which shoots Pierce in the leg. I’ll get back to that.

For all the “shippers” out there – aside from the getting a glimpse into the life of “Tro-bed,” there are some major developments between Britta and Troy, and Annie and Jeff that ultimately don’t get to happen. Troy walks in on Britta smoking up, but doesn’t care. They share a cute moment over some Popeye candy sticks – which Britta mistakes for a joint – and even though it didn’t really happen, we’ll likely get to see it again, in some variation or another. Jeff eventually hits his head in every timeline, and whenever he and Annie are exempt from pizza duty, they range through “cute moment” to “make-out session.”

Even though Abed ultimately catches the dice before it rolls, forcing Jeff to go get the pizza and ensuring drama-free fun, it seems as though the other timelines are playing out simultaneously. In the darkest objective story-arc, Pierce succumbs to his wound and dies, Jeff loses an arm in the fire, Annie goes insane with guilt, Shirley relapses into alcoholism, Troy loses his voice-box and has to speak through a device on his throat, Britta gets a blue streak in her hair, and Abed makes everyone goatees so they can commit to being evil versions of themselves.

As chaotic as the show wants you to think it is – it isn’t; Abed intervenes. Abed controls the course of events, not chance. Abed decided who to pick for the study group in the show’s premiere. Abed had a weird sense of déjà vu when his alternate self chose to become evil. There are no coincidences on this show, and there is no doubt in my mind that Dan Harmon has big plans for the rest of this season.

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

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On: Thursday, October 13, 2011
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

It's funny: while watching last week's episode I was thinking about how this new season has been set in *relative* normalcy for all of the wackiness that dominated much of the second half of last season. And while I sometimes pined for a normal-ish episode in which the gang gets into antics in an episode not "themed" by Westerns or sci fi or religion or such, I must admit that in this season's early going I was looking forward to the flights of fancy that surely lie ahead. 

That's all to say, look forward to catching up on this one out on the west coast !

On: Thursday, October 13, 2011
Kristin Hunt said:

Yeah, Jeff has been a pretty huge buzzkill thus far (and I really don't get the appeal of him and Annie -- it's creepy!). But I loved this episode. Restored my faith in this season, which I think started out pretty shaky. The bumper alone was hysterical.

On: Friday, October 14, 2011
Mark D Curran said:

Also very interesting to note: this week's and last week's episodes were swapped in broadcast order (hence the "Are you sure its 303?" joke)

In "Competitive Ecology" last week, Pierce brought up his Eartha Kitt story, and Shirley mentioned Britta's marijuana lighter. In the "prime" timeline where Abed catches the dice, none of these secrets are revealed.

Food for thought.


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