Community S5 Ep06 – Analysis of Cork-Based Networking

Community S5 Ep9

Ever since Dan Harmon returned to Community as showrunner the series has definitely improved in quality. The witty banter, meta subtext, and subtle pop culture nods have improved and feel more in line with what we saw in season 2 & 3. Of course, not everything is like it once was, as Jeff Winger is now a Greendale professor, Pierce Hawthorne  is deceased, and Troy Barnes has left Greendale to sail the world with LeVar Burton. “Analysis of Cork-Based Networking” picks up after the melancholy departure of Donald Glover’s Troy. With Glover now off the show, we get a feeling of what the rest of the season will be like. Breaking Bad alum Jonathan Banks has essentially filled the hole Chevy Chase left behind, but can the rest of the cast manage without the antics of “Troy and Abed”? The answer is yes.

“Analysis of Cork-Based Networking” gives the newly formed student-teacher alliance a few tasks to complete. Mainly prepping a school dance and getting a bulletin board for an empty wall. Jeff, Shirley, Professor Duncan, and Chang take on the responsibility of prepping the dance, while Annie and Professor Hickey (Jonathan Banks) set out to supply the school with a new bulletin board. Of course, in true Community fashion, this all sounds easier than it actually is. Meanwhile, Britta desperately tries to spoil Game of Thrones Bloodlines Of Conquest for Abed.

At the start of the episode Abed unsympathetically spoils the second season of Bloodlines Of Conquest for Britta. As payback she starts reading the books and sets out to spoil aspects of the show that haven’t even been filmed yet. In the midst of all this Abed tries to learn sign language as he falls for a deaf schoolmate.

Meanwhile, Jeff, Shirley, Professor Duncan, and Chang struggle to think of a theme for the latest school dance. After getting guilt tripped by Chang they decide to go with his “Bear Down For Midterms” theme idea. Unfortunately, after creating an entire theme devoted to bears, they find out that it’s all in poor taste as there were reports of a children’s birthday party in Wisconsin being ravaged by a bear.

Community S5 Ep06

Castle‘s Nathan Fillion guest stars

Annie and Professor Hickey set out to get a bulletin board for an empty wall. Regrettably, they have to go through Janitors and Custodians to get it approved. The Chief Custodian, played by guest star Nathan Fillion (Castle), agrees to do it only if they do a favor for him and his staff, which involves being able to access restricted sites on their computers. Now, Annie and Hickey have to go to the head of the Greendale IT department who also wants a favor, which requires Annie and Hickey to then go the Parking Department, and pretty soon they’ve created a web of bribes.

Overall, “Analysis of Cork-Based Networking” was another hilarious addition to an already strong fifth season. Everything from the team trying to change Bears into Dogs for their new “Fat Dog For Midterms” party theme to Annie and Hickey digging themselves a deeper and deeper hole was great. I got upset at Britta when she paid off Abed’s love interest to spoil Bloodlines Of Conquest for him in sign language, but that resentment quickly faded as Abed was reunited with Rachel (Brie Larson) who hadn’t been seen since the season four episode “Herstory of Dance”. Also, it’s nice to see Abed coming into his own now as Troy is no longer there. In addition to Abed, this episode went more into Professor Hickey, as we get a glimpse at his bulletin board of failures and learn that publishers are no longer interested in his duck comic strips.

Along with Brie Larson and Nathan Fillion, Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds) and Robert Patrick (Terminator 2) also guest starred. Unfortunately, with so many guest stars they felt more like cameos, since they weren’t given too much time to shine. I was really hoping Nathan Fillion’s comedic presence would be more pronounced. Hopefully his character will return.

Lastly, in case you didn’t catch it, re-watch that scene where Hickey is watching the news. You might find a very subtlety placed update on Troy and LeVar Burton’s current status.

 

Watch “Analysis of Cork-Based Networking” on Amazon Instant Video.