This week, Community brought the world another theme episode, this time focusing on the noir and the hidden steamy underbelly of the community college. The color palette was muted, it rained almost all episode long, and to start the episode two very sweet looking boys starting to see “Creep” at the re-opening of Shirley’s Sandwich Shop.
Deep in the heart of Greendale Community College are at least two secrets: one, there is a secret person on campus who likes to drop quarters down the behinds of students; and two, someone who was thought dead is really alive and trying to have cats serve as an alternative to cars.
The first secret dominates the episode: as the “ass-crack bandit” has returned to drop quarters in between students’ butt cheeks. That must be traumatizing for everyone, as the screams and responses are so over the top that everyone tries to avoid being cracked; some invest in overalls to avoid exposing a crack and others choose to walk in pairs and help keep each other safe. Troy finds himself in a wheelchair after being cracked, and everyone seems to be on edge abut the arrival.
Annie, being the dogged woman that she is, asks Jeff for help in solving the case, which leads the audience back to the dynamic of wondering if Jeff and Annie are a good match romantically or not. The Dean doesn’t want it to happen (and falls in the not romantic camp), and the mysterious bandit even finds everything with the two of them seems to agree with the Dean. In their attempts to find the bandit, they nearly destroy the greenhouse, but they find the second secret: Starburns alive and avoiding meth charges by living in the school’s stables.
Having discovered that the bandit might in fact be a returned Prof. Duncan (who has a thing for Britta that is also verging on the inappropriate), Annie and Jeff are just about to figure out who the bandit is when Shirley arrives with horrible news: Pierce has died.
But at the end of the day, the bandit, a living Starburns are nothing compared to the lose of a person that Greendale called a student for fourteen years.