Spoilers for the absolutely brilliant "Cooperative Calligraphy" after the jump:
Ah, the bottle episode. It can be a disaster, but as "Breaking Bad" and now "Community" have proven, it can also result in an especially enthralling (or in this case funny) episode. Indeed, "Cooperative Calligraphy" might just be my favorite "Community" episode to date.
Say what you want about the gimmick episodes and outrageous situations that have become a staple of this show. This is a character-based comedy first and foremost, and there's a reason why the funniest moments on this show tend to involve the entire study group gathered together in one room (see season 1's "Romantic Expressionism" for the best example of this). This was an entire episode like that, so of course I loved it.
It also didn't hurt that it was screamingly funny to watch the group slowly start going crazy while looking for Annie's missing pen, which included Jeff ordering a "lockdown" of the entire room and everybody's bags getting searched. Spirited debates over civil liberties ensued, and we also learned (among other things) that Abed has been charting Annie, Shirley, and Britta's menstrual cycles and that Shirley may well be pregnant after her one-night stand with Chang. And all that was before the strip searches.
Of course, it was all wrapped up with yet another sentimental scene establishing how close these people have become. The show's habit of doing this would be getting tiresome if it wasn't so good at these types of scenes, and this one was very nice indeed. Add in the weird but terrific revelation that Troy's former pet monkey stole the pen, and you've got yourself a pretty perfect episode of TV comedy. But what else is new?
- NBC is apparently finally putting the season online from the beginning, four episodes at a time (while keeping the season finale up for anyone who wants it). I'd like to think that my constant complaining on Twitter had something to do with it, but truthfully I doubt it.
- Not sure how much longer I'll be doing these reviews. I love this show, but with "Breaking Bad" soon to return I just don't know if I'll have enough energy to keep up with them. I will be reviewing season 3 this fall for sure, though. Count on it. And I'll definitely keep you informed of my progress on Twitter.