by Mark Greig
I have a confession to make. Before starting work on these catchup reviews, I had never actually seen this episode before. Back when this episode first aired, I had just started a new job and was moving into my own place for the first time. It was something of a very hectic time in my life. As a result some things slipped. This was one of them. So now I've finally got around to watch it I have just one observation: why the hell did I take so long to finally watch this?
I love this episode. Compared to recent episodes, it was very low key. There were no paintball wars, zombie invasions or (spoiler alert) multiple realities. But that's okay. Not every episode has to reinvent the wheel. Sometimes you just want to spend some time hanging out with characters that you love.
The story was rather simple. So simple in fact it could've almost been a bottle episode (geddit? A bottle episode. I'll get me coat). To celebrate Troy turning 21, the group decided to do what most college students of legal age do: go out to a bar and get drunk. While there were some side storylines for Abed, Shirley and Pierce, this episode was first and foremost a coming of age story of sorts for the group's youngest members – Troy and Annie.
Jeff and Britta set out to teach Troy some valuable life lessons now that he is entering adulthood. Thanks to the awesome power of alcohol, they were able to teach him the most valuable lesson of all – adults are idiots, none more than Jeff and Britta. Troy came to realise that they were not the wise, cool adults he'd always assumed them to be. They're just as dumb as he is. Dumber even when they get a few drinks in them.
While Troy was learning how stupid grown ups truly are, Annie relished the chance to be someone else for the evening. She took full advantage of her fake ID and fully embraced the role of Caroline Decker from Texas. Decker was the complete antithesis of Annie Edison. She was a reckless drifter with no responsibilities. But by trying to be someone else, Annie got to take a look at herself and wasn't happy with what she saw. This is only natural. When we look at ourselves in the mirror we tend to focus only on the negatives. It takes someone else, someone like Troy, to see all the positives and remind us how awesome we really are. You're amazing, Annie. Don't ever forget it.
Congratulations! For finishing our little capsule of retro-reviews (we'll return around Christmas with the next review of "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas") and for reaching your own pinnacle of manhood, the bachelor pad. Like the first night out in a bar, the first place is better in theory, especially when it comes to cleaning. Mark, may all your house-cleanings be as sloppy and vaguely gross as Jeff and Britta drunkenly making out in the backseat of a car.
(Do I mean that? No, of course not.)
Notes and Quotes
-- As much as I love Stargate, Robert is wrong. Farscape is the better show.
Annie: “Weird night huh?”
Troy: “Yeah. Alcohol makes people sad. It's like the Lifetime movies of beverages.”
Troy: “I just spent the last two years thinking that you guys knew more than me about life, and I just found out you guys are just as dumb as me.”
Britta: “Da doi.”
Jeff: “Yeah, da doi.”
Robert: “What is wrong with you that you can sit here this whole time and never pick up on the fact that a man is hitting on you.”
Abed: “Oh I actually did pick up on it after a while.”
Abed: “I just like talking about Farscape.”
Annie: “I'm not a relaxed person Britta. I think ahead. I prepare. I don't improvise my life like Caroline Decker, who probably has really bad credit and an unfinished mermaid tattoo.”
Jeff: “You were born 21 years ago.”
Troy: “Which would make me 20, because everyone is 10 for two years. Because fifth grade is really hard for every...one. Mom how many lies have I been living!?”
Troy: “You’re Annie. You like puzzles, and little monsters on your pencil, and some guy named Mark Ruffalo. You’re a fierce competitor and a sore loser. And you expect everybody to be better than who they are, and you expect yourself to be better than everyone. Which is cool.”
Three out of four bars with red doors on L street.