The Dean's latest spontaneous purchase - a giant fibreglass hand - proves to be quite difficult to get rid of.
I want to like this episode. I really do. It has such a promising set-up, involving a road trip (I love road trip stories), a giant fibreglass hand and a slightly non-linear structure (love those too).
But Abed calling attention to every narrative trick just isn't funny any more (if, in all honesty, it ever was) and Jeff telling him off about it is, as Annie equally annoyingly points out, even worse. Meanwhile, the rest of the story isn't really a story, it's just a series of scenes we've seen before, only less funny.
Like most of season six, there's nothing offensively awful about this. Also like most of season six, the self-consciously meta, fourth-wall-breaking aspects and Abed's obsession with the idea that he's living in a TV show are the most annoying, a one-note joke that got old several seasons ago.
It's not all bad. There are some decent one-liners (see below). Frankie's way of getting Abed to help is pretty clever, and while the Space Elder stuff is once again verging on too weird, it is quite funny.
But honestly it's just... boring. Really, really boring. I'm kinda more interested in what Chang was doing all episode and how he ended up covered in feathers, which is worrying on several levels!
Bits and pieces
- This episode has the darkest, weirdest, tag of any episode. If you like really black comedy, you'll enjoy it. Otherwise, not so much.
- Abed trying to induce a flashback to three weeks earlier looks like Hiro time-and-space-travelling in Heroes.
Elroy: Dean, can I talk to you privately?
Frankie: I'm pretty sure the answer is 'no'.
Britta: Carefully! Carefully!
Annie: Who lifts a giant hand off a person haphazardly?
Dean: Abed's the most human among you, and I think we all know how ironic that is, no offence Abed.
Abed: None possible.
Space Elder Britta: What are you guys talking about?
Dull. One out of four giant fibreglass hands.
Juliette Harrisson is a freelance writer, classicist and ancient historian who blogs about Greek and Roman Things in Stuff at Pop Classics.