Spoilers for episodes five and six of "Community" season 2 after the jump:
"Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples" - Abed as Jesus. Yeah, that was brilliant. As was pretty much everything about the episode's main storyline involving Abed and Shirley.
I generally can take or leave "Community's" occasional pop-culture references (despite the show's reputation, it really doesn't rely on them too often), but for once I was on board with the repeated nods to the great Charlie Kaufman. Abed sending the campus into a frenzy with his incredibly bizarre and experimental new film was a delight, as was the plot's eventual resolution involving Shirley taking a baseball bat to the film after hearing Abed's prayer (even if Shirley was incredibly annoying during most of the episode, which she was).
What I didn't care for quite as much was the subplot involving Pierce. There were some funny bits (the poker game, for instance), but overall it felt way too similar to stuff this show's done before. I don't know... perhaps it seemed weaker than it was because of how unique and brilliant the Abed-Shirley stuff was.
Even so, this was definitely a return to form after the rather forgettable "Basic Rocket Science".
"Epidemiology" - I loved "Modern Warfare" and "Contemporary American Poultry". But this was easily the best "gimmick" episode "Community" has done to date, and one of the best overall episodes as well. (My favorite is still "Romantic Expressionism", by the way.) It was gloriously silly and over-the-top, and the great ABBA soundtrack also didn't hurt matters.
This was despite the fact that much of it was basically a one-joke affair, with most of the laughs coming from the sheer absurdity of watching the students of Greendale (including the members of our beloved study group) turn into zombies before our eyes. But somehow it never got old, and the fact that the some of the characters retained their personality traits after being transformed was even funnier: such as zombie Annie reading a book.
And there were a few other great jokes thrown in as well, many of which relied on the viewer's knowledge of horror movies. I'm not a big horror film fan myself, but I've seen enough that I was able appreciate the stuff involving the cat jumping out at random (as well as assorted other tidbits). Great, great stuff.