‘Community’ Recap: Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts

Shirley's Baby CommunityS2E22: So what happens when the study group needs to deliver a baby? Well, they deliver a baby. Shirley’s baby is ready to come into the world, and while her tryst with Chang happened only six months before on Halloween, Chang is convinced that it’s a Chang baby. That annoyed me, but because it’s a sitcom, I’ll get over it. My one other major complaint was a bit of a lull in the usual wealth of fantastic one-liners. Even when we get an episode that’s more about love and friendship with Community, we usually find a few great lines along the way. Even so, it wasn’t a bad episode. What we found last night, was an episode of Community that was full of heart, a few chuckles and one really fake-looking newborn.

“I’m sort of a father figure to the kids around here for my outside-of-the-box approach to education. You know, like that film? Children of the Corn?” -Dean

Somehow, they’ve skipped forward to the Anthropology final already and it turns out it was a complete joke of a class. Those dioramas weren’t enough of a tip? Anyway, Professor Duncan is drinking vodka and passing out shots to the rest of the class in celebration of everyone learning nothing and getting As anyway. And even though the study group is in class and not the study room, we get our usual Dean interruption right on time. He’s being written up for Dean Magazine and because he’s apparently obsessed with the study group, he wants the reporter to observe their Anthropology final. Of course Duncan goes running for the hills and then Shirley starts having contractions, saving everyone from the nonexistent exam.

They would have taken her to the hospital, but it turns out that the Dean’s great idea for an International Food Festival in the parking lot turned violent, so they’re all stuck on campus. Cue bottle episode. The dean had a few good one liners here, but mostly he just served his usual role: making things just a little more difficult for the main group.

“Chang babies are always premature. We gestate fast because we’re better at obtaining nutrients. Some need only eight months depending on how much of the mother they eat.” -Chang

I’d be pretty freaked out if I thought I might be having a Chang baby too, but the fact that she’s stuck at Greendale while in labor is probably a bigger reason for Shirley to freak out. Since they’re trapped and Abed knows how to deliver a baby — let’s pause here for a second. I kind of love how he just called out his background plot from earlier this season, when he delivered a baby in the back of an SUV. Though, with the type of people who watch this show, I doubt that the internet hasn’t led them to this video at some point before this episode. Then again, it was hilarious for those who knew too, so whatever.

Anyway, Abed with his infinite knowledge of everything gets to work to deliver Shirley’s baby, but because she’s super Christian, she doesn’t want him checking out her “nethers.” Annie is completely useless — since when? Annie’s always surprisingly plucky, but I guess it served the story for her to be unwilling to help. This leaves only Britta, because like Fat Neil points out, it always has to be about the study group only. Let’s pause again. I loved that bit about Fat Neil and his potential love interest and how it was squandered because of course the study group had something more exciting going on. Loved it. Anyway, finally, Britta’s bluff is called. She’s spouting all this know-how about natural child birth, yet as usual she has no idea what she’s talking about. But, because she’s the only other lady member of the study group, she’s forced to help Shirley have her baby. The actual birth was sweet and all, but the shot where Britta first checks Shirley’s nethers for the baby’s progress was hilarious. I was also happy to see Britta finally redeem herself a bit. She’s supposed to be a buzzkill, but I was actually starting to hate her until this episode.

Right as the paramedics finally arrive the baby is born with a full head of hair which I’ll chalk up to a lack of budget for a better fake baby. It’s obvious that the baby isn’t Chang’s, but because he was so helpful during the birthing by telling stories about how resilient Chang babies are, Shirley wants to name the baby Ben after Ben Chang. Of course the kid’s name is going to be Ben Bennett, but it could be worse. This was a redeeming moment for the episode, because while it wasn’t my favorite, seeing this truly sweet moment between Shirley, Andre and Chang was strangely heart-warming.

“It’s like a million bucks in dog dollars.” -Troy

This was a brief, but great moment in the episode. Pierce pays a thousand bucks to get in on Troy and Abed’s special handshake, which of course entices them because it’s like Indecent Proposal. Clearly, Pierce never says anything worthy of the special handshake so he forces them to perform the handshake. The interaction that immediately follows Pierce’s seedy deal is one of the best Donald Glover crying instances ever on this show. (He does it a lot and he does it amazingly.) The slow motion hand shake was funny and all, but it’s all about Glover’s barely audible “no.”

“Cancel school today or we tell everybody about this.” -Abed

“Deal” -Dean

The tag was a bit weird, because they just did the broken fire alarm gag on Parks and Recreation very recently, but of course, they take it a few steps further. Aside from Troy crying, it might have been the funniest part of the whole episode.