A few things ‘Community’ should think about for season 3

I finally finished watching season 2 of Community on Blu-Ray with commentary, and it strikes me that a few things are never exactly wrapped up. None of these should really be classified as plot holes, but the writers could easily mine these for material in season 3.

RELATIONSHIPS

– Annie and Dr. Rich

In “Asian Population Studies” the group returns from break and Annie has a new friend, Dr. Rich. Rich is almost voted into the group. At the end of the episode Annie plans on asking Dr. Rich out, and Jeff asks Dr. Rich to teach him to be perfect.

Nothing is ever mentioned again. The second half of the season focuses on Pierce’s villainy.

A resolution is never spelled out, but my best guess is this.

In the episode, Annie leaves the door open to Jeff saying that he needs to decide whether or not he wants her. It is later revealed that Jeff has been sleeping with Britta during this period (in the flashback episode). Fueled by anger Annie would probably finally ask Dr. Rich out, only to find out that he either has a girlfriend or is gay.

My money’s on the latter, based on the rain/muffin top scene.

However, it would certainly be interesting to advance a relationship with the two.

– Pierce and Wu Mei

In “Competitive Wine Tasting” Pierce gets engaged to his handiwipe rival, Wu Mei, who pretends to be genuinely interested in him. After Jeff reveals the truth, Pierce and Wu Mei still decide to go on a date.

It’s easy to just write this off and say it didn’t work out, but that would be ignoring a side of Pierce’s character. He actually has a way with the ladies. Not only has Pierce been married seven times, but he’s had several love interests in the show. He has enough game to befriend a call girl. He seduces the substitute Spanish teacher at the end of the first season (which also remains unresolved).

Even if this date is never addressed again, it would be great to get insight into Pierce’s ability to attract women (as short-lived as it may be).

– Abed and Agent Robin Vohlers

In “Intro to Political Science” Abed and Robin strike up a relationship appropriately strange enough for Abed. The episode ends with Abed watching Kickpuncher while Robin observes with binoculars from a van across the street. When the movie ends, Abed invites her to watch him eat dinner the next time she’s in town.

Again, it would be easy to let this go and never mention it again, but since both characters are defined by their commitment to impractical truths, it seems like bringing Robin back in season 3 could pay off.

I’d probably have her return near the end of the season (perhaps when Abed has a girlfriend). She would kidnap him and reveal that she’s been researching him and spying as well. Perhaps, she’d have a wall of pictures from every episode after they met.

– Chang and his wife

Though his wife leaves him when she finds out about his affair, Chang has never mentioned getting a divorce. I think it’s probable that Jeff would wind up representing Chang in divorce court.

– Dean Spreck and Dean Pelton

I think it’s pretty obvious that the two deans have had some sort of Furry (Cosplay)/S&M … happening … in their past.

Pelton’s arc through-out the run of the show has been pretty amusing. It all begins when he watches a YouTube video of a man dressed as a dalmation. This awakens feelings in him that subtly appear through out the first season (which ends with him inviting two men dalmation suits to a dance).

Pelton’s love of costumes expands in the second season, hysterically illustrated in the flashback episode where he wears multiple outfits.

Dean Spreck appears in three episodes in season 2. Pelton’s reaction when Spreck whispers to him is classic. In the season finale, it’s revealed that Spreck has been in the ice cream costume during both paintball episodes. I don’t think it’s reaching to assume the two have collided off-campus in some sort of costume-fueled scenario.

STORY ARCS

– Jeff

Surprisingly, Jeff’s role has been subdued in season two. After the initial fall-out of the season opener, most of his time was spent either succumbing to his own vanity or reluctantly helping others. His two moments of real substance came when Pierce pretended to find Jeff’s father, and Jeff confessed to Abed that he liked dressing as a girl one Halloween.

Anything relating to romance seemed to happen off-camera (save a make-out session on Troy’s birthday).

It would be nice to see Jeff tackle different problems in season 3 than rallying the group to do something or battling vanity. Is he consulting with the law firm? Is he still head of the school paper?

– Pierce

Pierce’s arc was beautifully organic. Often in sitcoms you’ll see a character slip into a certain role and never break away. It seemed that Pierce would be the go to villain for all eternity. Yet in the finale, Pierce finally displayed enough humanity to earn our empathy. And even better, just as we felt we could understand him, he left.

Will he remain gone? What does that mean for Troy who lives with Pierce?

– Annie

Much of Annie’s development was organic as well, but it was also apparently off-camera. The season began with the Jeff-Britta-Annie explosion. It marked a great beginning of Annie’s independence.

During the year we learn that Annie’s barely scraping by week to week as she attends Greendale. It’s also implied that she hasn’t really been dating. She seems to harbor some feelings for Jeff and is still waiting for a decision as late as the Dr. Rich episode. When she learns Jeff has been seeing Britta in the flashback episode, there’s no mistaking the hurt in her eyes. She even remarks that she thought there was chemistry between her and Jeff during the year.

In the paintball finale, she seems to have finally severed the romantic ties once and for all. The question remains did she finally ask Dr. Rich out? Will she pursue Abed?

– Troy

Troy spent most of the season crying and hanging out with Abed. The only story of real substance was his acting class with Britta where he pretended to be molested so the rest of the class would applaud his emotions. Troy had a minor tiff with Abed on Halloween, but the writers relied on Troy too much for straight comedy.

At some point, Troy needs something with a bit more meat. He’s in danger of becoming the “Woody” of Community where he’s only used to add a comedic beat to a scene. The writers could consider revisiting the fact that he plays football for the school in season 3.

With Abed established as a better athlete, it’s conceivable that a sports movie episode could work well. Hell, throw the whole group on the team.

– Abed

Speaking of Abed, he managed to have a pretty solid year. His character moments have been well spaced and much care appears to be given to his comings and goings. Really, the only test for Abed I’d like to see in the third season would be one of ego. For two seasons, Abed has been an observer of the group, a participant, yes, but ego has never been one of his shortcomings. However, it would be nice to see someone make a better film and really test him in season 3.

Who would make a better film? I’d go for Pierce perhaps.

– Shirley

Shirley had a lot of screen time in season 2. She hooked up with Chang, reunited with her husband, revealed a past drinking problem and gave birth to a new baby. That’s a lot of classic sitcom development for one season, so much so that she can lay low for season 3.

If it were up to me, I’d intersect her husband’s mistress and Chang’s wife with Shirley in one episode. Let her confront both sides.

– Britta

That leaves Britta. She had the least amount of emotional development during the season. In fact, she almost became one dimensional as her character primarily existed to make everyone else groan by being the PC police.

The idea of her not really knowing how to be a normal girl was pretty much abandoned for most of the season, though her performance when Shirley gave birth worked well.

I hope in season 3 the writers dial back on the advocate side of her personality and work on the implied loneliness. She hooked up with Jeff for most of the season but had no problems kissing Troy or dating Lukka during that time.

If it were up to me, I’d have Britta date Prof. Duncan in season 3. It’s a great excuse to have John Oliver around more, and it would be good emotional tension for Jeff.

– Chang

Chang got a lot of screen time in season 2. Most of it was supplemental, but it was enough to shift his character’s personality. He was always strange in season 1, but by the end of season 2 he’d become much less formidable. Chang is dependent on the study group now, and it makes it hard to make him more than a comedic go-to for the writers.

Chang needs to develop backbone in season 3. I miss El Tigre.

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