Have we learned nothing from the failed War on Drugs? Thursday’s episode of "Community" made a strong case for that very notion with a storyline centering on Annie’s desire to put on an anti-drug play for children – with nearly disastrous results.
Pierce takes great liberties with his character (a giant marijuana leaf), a bit of arbitrary will-imposing on the group that director Annie is suspiciously willing to give the old codger. We soon come to learn that the two have worked out a sordid little deal: the prissy princess has been cut off from her family and is barely making ends meet. Pierce writes a check to help pay her rent, with the unspoken understanding that she’d give him a bigger role in the play.
Naturally, this is a doomed situation. The next day Pierce arrives with rewrites for the entire cast, including a far more prominent role for himself. The egomaniacal outburst sends a terrible message to the children in the audience, who by intermission are cheering "we want drugs!" over and over, despite bribes of Charleston Chew. This obviously compromises Annie’s entire objective, and it would appear as if our little group has gotten themselves into some serious hot water. She fires him once the truth comes out, deflating Pierce’s secret dominant leverage and
Nobody could’ve seen Chang coming to the rescue, but in his efforts to get Shirley to acknowledge his existence (she may well be carrying his child, after all) he remakes Pierce’s drug spaz into an obnoxious character with a seriously freakin’ scary dark side. This scares the hell out of the kids, and the message sinks in that the fun can quickly turn to life-ruining horror if they mess with the bad shit.
Jeff’s text message fiasco with Britta’s nephew is entirely peripheral to the episode’s main plot, and makes for the worst color-by-numbers side story the show’s ever done. It’s perhaps the most telling piece of evidence to support the idea that “Celebrity Pharmacology” was mostly a filler episode, full of great jokes but lacking the meat of substance in character and plot development. We’ve come to expect exceptionality from "Community," resulting in slight disappointment when even an above-average episode by normal standards is dished out.
One thing the show came fully equipped on, however, were the one-liners. Often times I was laughing so hard I had to rewind the episode to hear what I missed in my howling. Here are a few examples:
"Does marijuana make people work faster? I thought it just made them custom-paint their vans and solve mysteries."
“You don’t count, Britta. You don’t respond to anything appropriately.”
“Save your eggs for a rainy day.” – Pierce, convincing Annie not to sell her eggs to science.
“The next time you think about drugs, think about baseball instead.” – Sound advice that works with even the hardest, most physically addictive narcotics. Hey crackheads – pay attention! It’s all so simple…