Community 5×03 ‘Basic Intergluteal Numismatics’ : the return of Starburns

Source: NBC

Community takes a bold step with its third episode of the season, with a chilling homage to David Fincher’s Zodiac. The episode not only brings in some big time guest stars, but drops some major bombshells as well. But did this noir-ish tribute work? Lets get into after the jump

First off, I am glad this episode of Community gave everyone a chance to shine, especially Annie. Alison Brie is extremely cute and she is also a very talented actress as well, she is funny and intense at the same time. This is a very strong ensemble cast and the more they work together the better the episodes are. It must get difficult finding something for all six main characters to do, plus Jim Rash, Ken Jeong, then adding guest stars like Jonathan Banks, John Oliver, and Ben Folds, plus the satellite characters like Neil, Garret and the return of Starburns. This episode found a way to get every involved and gave everyone something funny to boot.

Source: NBC

Source: NBC

On the negative side of this, a golden opportunity was missed to showcase Ben Folds guest appearance. The episode focusing on Dave Matthews Band would have been a nice bit of business as Ben Folds is also a 90’s folk/college rock star. He was just underused, and hopefully pops up in a later episode.

The episode as a whole didn’t quite work for me. It was dense with funny jokes (the songs, little sight gags in the background), almost like an Arrested Development episode. But the Zodiac angle just felt off. It was executed very well, the episode looked dark and ominous.  It was just too close of a copy to be a parody. It did a nice job of pulling from other psychological thrillers like Silence Of The Lambs (the night vision under the bleachers scene) and Hannibal (Abed trying to feel the crime scene) and Se7en (Starburns hide out). But again it was more clone than parody.

Community normally does a very good job with these one-off episodes; the Law and Order episode the Dungeons & Dragons episode, the video game episode and of course the Paintball Episodes. Bit this one missed the mark.

This episode also shoehorned in the huge bombshell that Pierce has died. Most know about Chevy Chase’s messy departure from the show and this episode closes the door for any return. I understand the writers didn’t want to make a big deal of Chase’s exit, but this really throw away scene in a one-off episode didn’t do Pierce any justice.

What did you think of this one-off episode? Did the parody hit its mark or was it too much of a clone? Does Community need to get back to its normal zany antics? Was it just too soon for a one-off? Did Pierce get the send off he deserved? Let me know what you though in the comments below.

is the Unemployed Critic, a fat guy sitting in the basement watching TV. When not huddled on the couch in the dark watching TV, he can be found sitting by himself in a darkened movie theater. When not immersed in media he can be found playing basketball or nursing one of his basketball related injuries.

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