#Community S04E01 - “History 101”
The Study Group returns from summer break ready to tackle their fourth year of Community College. Jeff is particularly focused on graduating and is just a few credits away. When there is a mix-up with a history class registration, Dean Pelton institutes an elaborate physical competition for class space. Meanwhile, Britta helps Abed deal with the anxiety he is experiencing over the thought of the study group graduating and breaking up
The episode was about change, and brought about all the characters trying to change or at least dealing with change.
It started with Abed, who in usual meta referencing greatness, referenced the change in show and the backstage changes. This was done by him having to deal with the change of it being the last year. To do this, Britta told him to ‘envision a happy place’. There we got a multicam sitcom inside Abed’s head, where he eventually had to deal with change, only to ‘incept’ himself somewhere else, a Greendale babies cartoon. In this sitcom, Abed wanted them to stay as it was forever, and not to change, as he doesn’t like change, but eventually Abed worked out that change wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, and that it is inevitable. He did this by making a speech to himself through Jeff. Which is always weird, because it isn’t REALLY Jeff, but Abeds version of Jeff. The multicam set up also seemed to exist to transition the shows change in camera style as well.
There was also a change in Troy/Britta, as in they are in a relationship, it shows the changing dynamic and Troy having to deal with someone who necessarily doesn’t agree with him all the time, like when he’s with Abed. The differences though is what seems to make them work.
The other big thing in this episode, was the referencing of the Hunger Games, whilst it didn’t hit the mark, it was a showcase for Jeff, and of course, how he is changing. Sure he wants to move on from Greendale, but he wants to do it with the study group, something which in the first season he wouldn’t want to do. It seems that the group have worn him down, and he actually feels some semblance of feelings for them.
The last showed Shirley and Annie doing a pranking storyline, the storyline itself, felt a bit throwaway, but it did show that Annie is thinking of changing majors, and also pushed forward some of the skills, like the way she was able to work out where the Dean put his keys.
Thrown in at the end, was a rebooted Chang, when we last saw him, he was ‘living’ in City Colleges air vents, so they had to do something to get him back at Greendale, ‘rebooting’ him, especially after what he had done to Greendale before was a good idea.
Whilst the episode itself was hit and miss, I liked the direction it was headed in, it felt the same as other episodes, and whilst the main voice of it, in Dan Harmon, is gone. It still felt like Community.