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Community: The First Chang Dynasty

“Fire can’t go through doors, stupid! It’s not a ghost!”

I'd like to start by thanking Josie for helping me out with the big Block o' Community this week. I've said it once and I'll say it again, you are a very beautiful star, Josie.

These truly are dark times for Greendale Community College. The loveable Dean Pelton has been abducted and replaced by a Dean-o-Changer/Deanogänger/DoppleDean. The architect of this coup is that modern day Stalin, Benjamin Franklin Chang. Using his army of prepubescents, Chang has turned Greendale into a totalitarian police state on the verge of complete and utter economic collapse. The only hope for Greendale's salvation rest with seven expelled students, who are determined to rescue the imprisoned Dean Pelton, liberate the school and bring down Chang once and for all. They just need to ensure that Pierce has no input in the planning.

In case Pierce didn't make it clear enough, this was Community does Ocean's 11. Only a billion times less smug and no one committed a heinous crime against the cockney accent. Fantastic. I love heist capers and con shows (which reminds me that I really need to catch up on the latest series of Leverage). There was so much I loved about this episode. Jeff and Britta's goth costumes. Troy's fake moustache. The planning and execution of the heist. The predictable 'it was all part of the plan' twist. The Dean's little Jeff doll. So why didn't I enjoy this episode as much as I should have?

One word: Chang.

On the whole, season 3 has been a refreshingly Chang-lite season. But even in small doses Chang is something of an acquired taste, one I have zero interest in acquiring. So you can imagine how I feel about an episode with as much Chang as this one. But there might just be a silver lining to all this Chang. If we are very, very lucky, this might be the very last we'll see of the group's former Spanish teacher. I honestly can't see how he could still work as a regular character after all this. Please, let this be the final downfall of Chang. He's really outstayed his welcome. It's well past time to let him go.

Like all caper movies, the study group's scheme to save the Dean was more elaborate than it actually needed to be and ultimately self defeating. If they hadn't deliberately let Chang know the plan was failing (even though it wasn't) then it likely never would have actually failed. Also, strolling is not really an appropriate speed when you are making your escape. Of course, if Chang hadn't caught them they never would've stumbled on his plan to set fire to the school records room. And by stumbled I mean stand around and listen while he monologued the whole thing. As much as I can't stand him, it is nice to see him taking his role as the bad guy seriously.

But there can be no triumph without loss. No victory without suffering. No freedom without sacrifice (correctly guess which movie that tagline is from and you might just win a prize). They defeated Chang but not without a heavy cost. To save the day Troy gave himself over to Evil Vice Dean John Goodman and his Air Condition Repair School. It was going to happen eventually. They've been building towards this all season. His big goodbye to the group was emotional but at the same time it wasn't. This is only the penultimate episode of the season. It's hard to be sad when you know for certain he'll be back together with his friends by end of next episode.

Notes and Quotes

--I would so watch Copera!

--I refuse to believe it is a coincidence that right after we have a tribute to 8-bit video games, Troy and Abed infiltrate the school by channelling Mario and Luigi.

--I was disappointed that we didn't get to have that final epic taser/lightsaber fight between Chang and Jeff. Stupid school board members. You guys ruin everything. That would've been so cool, cool, cool.

--All though the episode I kept wondering where I'd seen the kid who played Joshua before. Then I realised he was the same kid in the video for David Guetta's 'Titanium'.

--This was definitely an episode for Dean Pelton and other fans of Joel McHale's chest.

Abed: “Which wire do I cut?”
Troy: “There's only one.”
Abed: “God, I hope I'm right.”

Britta: “Look, I hate cops.”

Britta: “This is a lock of my hair.”
Troy: “Creepy.”

Abed: “Chang started his solo. Knowing him, that gives us only nine minutes to get to the records room.”

Troy: “Chang, you're insane. You're still into keytar?”

Jeff: “Do you know how long someone as sarcastic as me can last in jail? Suuuuuuch a long time.”

Three out of four keytar solos.
Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011. More Mark Greig.


  1. I actually really liked the episode (um, Jeff's costume might have something to do with that) but kinda hope this is as far away from reality as the show goes (I love Epidemiology, but Halloween episodes don't count). And I agree with you - I hope this is the end of Chang too.

  2. I rather think Chang works as a villain. All the same, I hope this was goodbye to his character. It IS time to let go.

    And I kind of wish Britta dreesed like that all the time. Forever.

  3. The best scene when was Jedd touched the dean and he fainted. LMAO and rewind a few times.

    Mark, if you do review Leverage, you will have the time of your life !

  4. I thought Chang worked well as a villain, too. Loved Jeff's costume. I actually didn't recognize him.

    And I was also thinking Mario and Luigi. :)

  5. I recognised the kid playing Joshua from Super 8.

    Add my vote for Jeff's Goth look!

  6. Completely over the top, but fun. I loved the fact that everyone else was in a crazy costume, but the dean was in his underwear.

    But, dancing Dean at the end covered in day-glo paint? LOL funny.

  7. Poor Chang.

    So much hatred. But you're no Ben Linus; so get the crap out of here.

  8. Ahhhh

    Leverage. This show deserves to be on these pages. Big time.

  9. Am I the only one who laughed at the reveal of Chang's full name?

    B.F. Chang, sounds like a restaurant chain!


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