• Community recap: “Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts”


    It’s finals time, and Duncan is off the wagon fer realsies—and taking everyone with him. Everyone but Shirley, that is, as she’s with child. For the rest of the Anthropology class, it’s shots and A’s all around. (PS: Fat Neil and Debbie! OMG, yes!)

    Dean Pelton busts in with a writer who’s doing a piece on him for Dean Magazine and wants to observe the class. Duncan scrams, natch, and the class is left to fend for itself. Wrench. Lucky for them, Shirley—in the most accelerated pregnancy arc ever—starts having contractions. Unwrench!

    An in-denial Shirley is sure the baby’s Theo Huxtible’s, but Chang says Changbys are always early, so the babe must be his. (Hearing Chang talk semi-clinically made me suddenly remember that Ken Jeong used to be a doctor. And that made me have this weird flash of Chang in a highly capable and for-serious light, which he sort of is this episode. It freaked me out, you guys. The man just did a shot of duck sauce, mmmkay?)

    Meanwhile, Pierce wants in on Abed and Troy’s fancy-handshake club. He offers them 1,000 bucks, and even before Trabed (no? Okay, sorry) can say “indecent proposal,” I’m thinking to myself, Noooooo! And then I’m thinking, Really self? It’s just a handshake. What the hell is wrong with you? With $1,000 you could buy that Alexander Wang bag you want. And then I’m thinking, Oh my god, could you love to hear yourself think any more? Get back to the recap, lunatic!

    Britta’s busy being a backseat birther (as opposed to a jackhole birther; I’m looking at you, Trump!), swaying Shirley away from Pepto and toward natural childbirth. Jeff jumps in to antagonize her, and while they go at it—they’re totes having symbolic sex now that they’re not banging anymore—Shirley’s condition worsens. Sorry, what I mean is that she’s getting closer and closer to ejecting a beautiful creature from her loins. Broken water. Boom.

    Something about Andre’s sugar boots? And Troy is hurt? Can somebody help me with this part? Thanks. (Rewound four times. I got nothing. Wait—fifth time’s the charm? Is Sugar Boots Andre’s nickname? Yes, yes, she calls him that again later! Yay! So why is Troy hurt? Yeah, I’m still confused.)

    Quickly edging to the front of the Tangential Characters race, Debbie laments the fact that they almost had one class that wasn’t all about the study group, and Fat Neil joins in, reminiscing about the (fictional) St. Patrick’s Day fishing trip they all took. (Best. Show. Ever.)

    Indecent proposal accepted. The rules? Shake whenever somebody says something awesome, such as…Betty Grable. Troy and Abed feel dirty and ashamed—they should have never sold out for the cash. But the joke’s on them: Pierce the Ruiner only wanted to take away the power of the handshake, and now not even returning the money can undo his damage. Poor Trabed.

    The Dean, who had left to get his Prius to drive Shirley to the hospital, comes back with his clothes torn asunder: Seems the world food festival in the parking lot (oh yeah, that’s happening) has taken a turn for the violent. There’s an actual race kerfuffle happening out there! Shirley’s not going anywhere.

    Luckily, Abed delivered a baby in the back of an SUV earlier this year. (Probably sometime between the trip to the ghost town and when the gang was held at gunpoint by a drug cartel.) Says Abed: “Shirley, pretend I’m saying this in a soothing, reassuring, nonrobotic voice: We’re not going to make it to the hospital.” (I adore him so, so much.)


    Only, Shirley’s not comfortable with Abed looking at her nethers. Britta can’t take the realness of Shirley’s lady cave, and Annie and the Dean are too, well, themselves, to be any help.

    So it’s down to Chang, and finally, Shirley’s humanity materializes: She cares less that the baby not be Chang’s and more that the baby be okay. And turns out Changbys are scrappers! Chang’s cousin slid out feetfirst into a pickle barrel, his uncle was born during rainy season in a Mongolian sheep pasture and his brother was born under a crowded noodle bar while his grandfather finished his Happy Dancing Shrimp. Nothing to worry about!

    But…it’s not a Changby after all, it’s a little baby Huxtible. I’m disappointed! Though, I suppose this had to be. Now we’re free to carry on like nothing happened. There’ll be the odd mention of baby Greendale, but mostly things will go back to the way they were, unlike in real life, when your friends have kids and everything changes and life as you know it is ruined. What?

    So this week was good and yeah, yeah, yeah—PAINTBALL! Paintball is coming! The thing that made Community Community is back. With SAWYER! Oh god, I can’t take it. What do you think the chances are for a Jeff-Britta-Sawyer threesome? Or a Joel McHale–Josh Holloway pecs-off? Honestly, it doesn’t even matter. It’s paintball. Are you guys as excited about this as I am?

    Until next week, Sugar Bootses.

    Carla Sosenko

    Carla Sosenko is a writer and editor from Brooklyn, N.Y. Her work has appeared in Marie Claire, Self, Jezebel, The Hairpin, The NY International Fringe Festival and some other places. She received her MFA in creative writing from Emerson College, where she majored in choppy sentences. Carla thanks you for reading her words and kindly asks you to read more of them at carlasosenko.com. Follow her @carlasosenko. She thinks you rule.

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