Community S5 Ep12 – Basic Story

Community S5 Ep12 - Basic Story

As Community draws nearer to its fifth season conclusion, there still hasn’t been any confirmation if a sixth season will ever happen. So what better way to end the season, than by using the concept of saving Greendale as an allegory for saving the show itself. In “Basic Story”, the first part of a two-part season finale, Community does exactly this.

Community S5 Ep12 - Basic Story

Awaiting Greendale’s insurance appraiser

In “Basic Story” the fate of Greendale becomes uncertain when an insurance appraiser, played by comedian Michael McDonald (MADtv), determines the school is actually a valuable asset. This all occurs as Abed wanders around the school looking for a story to happen. Well, he gets his story as the school board decides to sell Greendale to Subway after hearing of its increased value. It seems all hope is lost, and even Jeff and Britta decide to start a new married life together, until Annie, Abed, and Dean Pelton discover there may be buried treasure underneath the school. Maybe enough treasure to help save Greendale.

Like so many Community episodes, “Basic Story” has a lot of meta subtext. As the characters worry that Greendale may soon be non-existent, we fans feel the same in regards to the show itself. This is a very clever way for creator Dan Harmon to satirize what’s happening behind the scenes. While we’re on the subject of being meta, I really enjoyed the stab at Community‘s previous fourth season when Jeff referred to their insurance appraisal as “the most boring thing to happen here since Britta dated Troy”. That “boring” subplot took place during a time when Dan Harmon was off the show.

Watching Abed run around the school in the first act trying to find a story or even make something interesting happen was enjoyable. At one point the camera focuses for a long time on a random Greendale student sipping on soup, further suggesting that there really is nothing happening of particular interest at Greendale. Having not known anything about the plot of “Basic Story” beforehand, I thought this would just be another episode where Abed loses himself in his imagination and his friends have to save him. I’m glad Community took the alternate route and gave us a story that revolved around the entire ensemble.

One of the biggest developments to come out of “Basic Story” was Jeff’s marriage proposal to Britta. Jeff and Britta have had an on-again, off-again relationship since the series’ first season. Although, lately there hasn’t been much going on on that front. It wasn’t until this season’s “Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality” that we saw a hint that Jeff still had some affection towards Britta. If the series were to end with the two of them finally getting together it would be sweet and well-welcomed in my opinion, but would also seem a bit cliché. For all we know this rash decision to get married will end up being fruitless, and the show will continue on to season six without it being an issue.

Community S5 Ep12 - Basic Story


“Basic Story” concluded with the group discovering that Greendale may have buried treasure somewhere on the grounds. While it was very entertaining seeing Dean Pelton, Abed, and Annie do a “buried treasure” dance, the recently defected Chang heard everything. The coming episode may show Chang bringing this information to Subway, followed by a race between them and the “Save Greendale” committee to find the treasure. As ridiculous as that may sound, I’m sure it could make for a very entertaining finale.

There were a lot of great moments in “Basic Story”. I especially enjoyed Star-Burns blasting Dave Matthews Band in celebration of Greendale passing its inspection, and then continuing to play it even after the board made their decision to sell. This was followed an awesome line from Professor Hickey threatening Star-Burns to shut his music off by saying, “If I come over there, there’s going to be two sounds. Me hitting you… twice.” I also really enjoyed seeing Hickey and Professor Duncan play off eachother in the end credits scene. I can’t remember a time where just the two of them shared screen time together, but it worked very well. We even got to see actor Jonathan Banks break out of his tough, gritty shell for once.

Overall, “Basic Story” was very funny and was a good first part of a season finale (although it was a little light on the Shirley in the second half). I’m really looking forward to seeing what they pull off with the final episode, given that the show still hasn’t been renewed for sixth season. Will Dan Harmon choose to end it in a way where it can be viewed as a satisfying series finale? Will he leave it open ended in the hopes that they get a sixth season? We’ll find out next week in “Basic Sandwich”. Check out an image from “Basic Sandwich” below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Basic Story” in the comments.

Community S5 Ep13 – Basic Sandwich



Watch “Basic Story” on Amazon Instant Video.

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