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Laugh Tracks: ABC celebrates moms, pt. 3

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Date Posted: May 9, 2011

By Amy Van Veen (Staff Writer) – Email

Josh Holloway as the "Black Rider" on Community

Community goes themed again, but this is a themed episode I can really jump on the wagon for. D&D? I didn’t really get. Pulp Fiction? I never saw it. The return of paintball in a western themed episode of to–be-continued glory? This I can work with. It all starts when the Dean decides to conclude the end of year picnic with another last man standing game of paintball. His only mistake last time was making the prize too precious, so this year the ice cream cone announces the prize is $100 000 cash. This won’t end badly. Annie Ace of Hearts is holding up in the science lab when Abed Jack of Clubs invites her to join him and Jeff King of Spades in the library. Jeff still has his costume from Halloween as the handsome cowboy, but he also still has his insecurity from the pottery class, especially when Josh Holloway guest stars as the mysterious Black Rider who wears spurs in paintball. According to Abed, “he’s really good looking, like network TV good looking.” Indeed he is. In the hall, Jeff, Abed and Annie meet Britta Queen of Spades, Shirley Ace of Clubs and Troy King of Clubs. Troy and Abed have a moment when they lower their guns, but they have to stick to their alliances. Turns out the last three are deputies of Fort Hawthorne and Jeff is a wanted man, cut shot to wanted poster of Jeff with a giant forehead that isn’t as exaggerated as he might like to think. Pierce has taken control of the cafeteria and sends the gang out on a death mission to find the stash of ammo from the last game. After Annie murders the cheerleading squad (with paintball, not real murder), she is taken by the Black Rider who tries to “fluster her with his handsomeness.” The gang, save Pierce, finds the Dean hiding in the closet – too many jokes in there – and he shows them the motherload. Annie takes Chang’s tiger rifle and dares Pierce to play the game. He’s mad at them for playing cards without him, but she breaks the news to him that they weren’t playing cards, they were voting to see if they should kick him out of the group next year. There was one red card who held out, but who was it? The Black Rider shows up and falls for Pierce’s fake heart attack only to get shot by the old man and admit “he wouldn’t go to this toilet with my big sister’s toe” but he does take one online class. He was hired by them to keep a Greendale student from winning. Who’s them? Why does the ice cream cone enact Plan B, “Operation Total Invasion”? And who was the red card who wanted to keep Pierce? Tune in next week for this nail biting conclusion to season two.

The Office deals with an inner circle problem in the first Michael Scott-less episode. Strangely, and wonderfully, the absence of Michael Scott did not take away from the Officeness of this episode; which is not a slight on Steve Carell, but rather a high commendation for the writers as they allowed the employees to deal with the situation that is Deangelo Vickers. He’s got big changes prepared for Scranton branch, including giving Toby a new chair, giving Darryl a full ride to business night school and ice cream Thursdays. He’s also formed an inner circle of his best employees, sorry, best male employees. Jim denies the inner circle, until Pam, Angela and Andy push him to let Deangelo know about his blatant sexism, and then Jim doesn’t get the text and he’s out and replaced by Andy who was only moments earlier spouting his association to the Vagina Monologues, the Penis Apologies. Ryan, who was hired by Michael for his “x factor” and not much else, lies to Deangelo and says he’s Kelly’s supervisor, which she goes along with for a little while until she tells Deangelo the truth, who in turn doesn’t believe her and lets Ryan keep his position as Customer Service Supervisor. Dwight refuses to be wooed by Deangelo, which only makes him try harder to woo him. It all comes crashing down quite literally, when Jim decides to call Deangelo out on his boasting of being able to do a dunk from the free throw line. At first when Deangelo invites Dwight to come watch, he offhandedly replies, “If I wanted to see a pissing contest, I’d lock Moes in the chicken coup.” However, when he gets yelled at, Dwight responds quite favourably to strong leadership until Deangelo is no longer the manager and everyone is left to wonder, “What now?” Will Ferrell getting crushed by the basketball hoop is possibly the most graphic insinuation of injury since Michael’s foot and Meredith’s pelvis and Dwight’s concussion, which were all actually shown. This one was too horrible to be shown on The Office, which says a lot. Looking forward to next week!

Parks & Rec gets a blast from Leslie’s past in the form of guest star Parker Posey. Leslie used to be best friends with Lindsay Carlisle Shea until she took the Parks and Recreation job in Eagleton. Ever since then she’s been one of them. Eagleton is the town next to Pawnee that has been talked of infamously as the hated rival town, and we had yet to learn why. But now we know. Eagleton is the “better than you” town, while Pawnee is its less attractive and slightly grungier neighbour. Even Donna, who drives her fancy SUV, thinks they’re snobby, and now they’ve given Pawnee Parks Department a new problem to deal with: they’ve put up a fence on their half of a park to keep out the Pawneeans. Leslie holds a town meeting with Ben where many good ideas, well, with many ideas are brought up by citizens. She then goes to visit Lindsay at the Eagleton town meeting with a crepe bar and an applause every time an Eagleton citizen stands to speak. While Leslie is dealing with this emergency, she gave April the job of “Operation Ron’s Party colon Shock and Awe,” in order to give Ron the birthday party she’s always dreamed of for him, now that she’s finally found out his birthday. He thought he was so clever redacting it from every government document, but after a well-placed bribe with the Baskin Robbins people, Leslie finally found it. While April terrifies Ron with birthday party talk, Leslie tries her best to take the high road, after she threatens to throw garbage over the new fence. However, when Lindsay shows up on the Pawnee side of the fence and offers a waffle to her dog as a laxative, Leslie lets loose and they both end up in each other’s prisons. Turns out the Eagleton side of things is a lot greener, even their prison, where Ann comes to pick up Leslie after a hard night of scones, comfy blankets and classical music. In the end, we learn the truth about Leslie’s relationship with Lindsay and the real reason she turned down the Eagleton job. When she gives Ron his birthday party, a private steak and bacon dinner while watching Dirty Dozen and The Bridge on the River Kwai with a bottle of scotch, she reminds him what he said to her when she asked him whether or not she should take the Eagleton parks position: “You’ll get a lot of job offers, but you only have one hometown.” Pawnee brings it home with genuine heart and little pretence, unlike their neighbour Eagleton. Leslie even comes up with a way to use the fence for good.

30 Rock celebrates their season finale this week with a separation and inevitable coming together of the TGS gang. Liz’s light at the end of this season’s tunnel has been a summer of relaxing in a cottage in the Hamptons, doing gardening, and learning Spanish. However, these plans are crashed by Tracy who bought all of the property in the rather monochromatic Hamptons area. Liz’s summer is ruined. For Jack, ever since his wife was kidnapped by Kim Jong Il, he has not been able to cope. It gets worse when Kenneth offers him a home-cooked meal and Jack makes him more uncomfortable than when Tracy made him climb the fence into the closed stadium to get him nachos. Jenna, on the other side of things, is trying her best to be normal and worthy of being the “face of wool.” Yes. Wool. Actor Victor Garber guest stars as the wool executive who decides if she and Paul are normal enough. In the end, they learn to be themselves. Liz blows herself up by refusing to pay a hate crime fine for when she cut down that Jewish tree in order to get community service so she can garden and learn Spanish after all. Kenneth acts exactly like Mrs. Avery Donaghy and tells Jack to grow a pair, and Tracy meets them all in the park when he refuses to take a mulligan. It almost seems like the end, until Kenneth calls out to Jacob and the confusion surrounding his age finally gets full coverage with a hanging “to be continued to next season” feeling in the air.

Outsourced celebrates love in a big way. Rajiv and Vimi finally get married, Manmeet waits for his American girlfriend to come visit him and Madhuri has a secret admirer. Rajiv hands out wedding invitations to everyone but Gupta, and he’s essentially charging his employees cash to come and make him look good in front of his father-in-law. How thoughtful. Charlie’s not invited to the wedding, either, but he’s invited himself to the bachelor party which Todd is in control of ever since Rajiv made him part of the wedding party to even out the girls and boys. Manmeet is worried about his girlfriend coming to visit, most especially he’s worried if his chest his too hairy compared to all of the smooth-chested American men who look “like tall children.” When he shows Charlie and Todd, it’s unanimous: time to thread. Ajeet, the bearded man who has never spoken, shares a poem at Rajiv’s wedding ceremony for Madhuri. In the end, Outsourced ends on a cliff-hanger when Vimi and her conservative father walk in on Rajiv’s hotel room where Todd, the boys and Pinky are making use of all the dirty novelties from the call centre as well as a shemale Charlie found outside the hotel. What will happen next week? He’ll probably get married. What will happen next season? Who knows.

“This isn’t a game. This is paintball.” Watch for the epic showdown finale this Thursday on NBC.

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1 Comment

  1. Nick Ubels

    May 9, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    I totally figured out who voted to keep Pierce in the group. Look to the freeze-frame introductions.

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