#CommunityLivesOn indeed! Community is back on Yahoo Stream after a turbulent ride following its cancellation on NBC, and Yahoo is not disappointing us!
The season kicked off with "Ladders," with the Dean introducing new character Francesca "Frankie" Dart (played by Paget Brewster) taking over to manage Greendale's finances after the roof collapses underneath a mountain of Frisbees. The group, now short a Shirley, is initially incredibly suspicious of this new, boring, and decidedly evil lady as she tries to take Shirley's seat at the table (and ends up with Pierce's seat) and takes apart and improves the things that make Greendale such an
awful great place to be, including the removal of the titular Ladders class, cutting off Jeff's supply of alcohol and suggesting the closure of Shirley's Sandwiches, and furthering this by basically doing more of Annie's job in a more boring and less decorative fashion. Abed, however, finds her quite intriguing, and as the Save Greendale Committee creates a secret committee without her, Abed declines to join and forms his own committee with Frankie and Chang.
Britta, Annie, and Jeff are inspired to start a speakeasy in the back of Shirley's Sandwiches when a student decides that a drink with Professor Winger was totally worth paying money for one of Britta's poorly made and very burnt sandwiches. The 20's themed speakeasy (featuring a cameo by Nathan Fillion!) earns enough money to save Shirley's, and encourages Abed to start playing both sides to have alcohol montages. But Frankie busts the speakeasy with a group of guys dressed as old-timey cops, and tells the committee that Abed deserves better, and that he doesn't know any better. Everyone in the speakeasy does not approve of her saying this (even Leonard) and she goes into a very frustrated and stupid-sounding rant that ends with her storming out and an everyone-on-campus-getting-drunk montage. The Dean interrupts and said that because Frankie didn't go back to work, the insurance company dropped Greendale, which Jeff dismisses, but Annie, among others, is injured in an accident in the Ladders class, leaving the Committee in a mountain of paperwork and trying to figure out whose fault it is.
They decide they need Frankie back, and send Jeff and Abed to do a montage of apologies for Frankie to get her back from an interview with a very confused HR Manager. She returns to Greendale, now with a bit more personality and a big bow on her boring leather binder, and Garrett angrily glaring into the study room as Leonard gives the thumbs up of approval at the viewer. The scene cuts to a very dramatic scene of a man in a wheelchair, and in comes Shirley, revealing that she is now an actress in Texas playing a cook on a detective show called The Butcher and the Baker.
Episode 2, "Lawncare Maintenance and Postnatal Care" brings us the news that Britta is moving in with Abed and Annie with her cats, and Dean Pelton has bought the school a Virtual Reality system. Dean Pelton tries it out, with Jeff and Frankie watching, and the Dean is enthralled by his new virtual world. Frankie and Jeff try and get the Dean to find the serial number for the virtual reality system so they can return it, and the Dean angrily says that he wants to keep the system and deletes the file. Frankie says the system cost the school $5,000, which they don't have, and they need to figure out a way to get the dean to return it.
Britta moves in, and Abed and Annie bought her a new couch, but the delivery slip said "Perry" on it, confusing Britta. Annie and Abed claim they had it delivered to Britta, and that it wasn't bought from anyone named Perry. Britta, Annie, and Abed have started watching Portuguese Gremlins, and Britta investigates the source of the new couch, and called the store. She discovers her parents had bought the couch, not Annie and Abed, and angrily storms in to demand why her parents bought the couch. They reveal Britta's parents are supplementing her rent and said they were really nice and just wanted to help. Britta storms out to go find Jeff, who is now looking for the developer of the system to get Greendale's money back. Jeff tells Britta that her parents have been paying off a lot of her debts to her friends, because Britta is too proud to ask her parents themselves for money. She says she has no friends, and Jeff dismisses this as melodrama before going off in search of the manufacturer, Elroy Patashnik (Keith David).
Elroy, who used to be a pioneer in the field of virtual reality, is now living in a Winnebago, and refuses to accept the system without the serial number. He kicks Jeff out for being sassy and calling Elroy out on the degradation of his life, and tells him that he understands what it's like to live life as a lie, and that it feels better to stop.
Britta drives to her parents' (Martin Mull and Lesley Ann Warren) house and post dates a check a year in advance for all of the debts they had paid off for her without her consent, and realizes her parents are acting nice and oblivious of a sudden when she notices that there's a board game set for four on the table. She demands that Annie and Abed come out from their hiding spot, and hits them all with pillows as she tells them to have a nice life before running out of the house. Her car won't start, and her parents try to give her cash, but she tells them to stop infantilizing her, then steals a Green Machine from a kid who was riding by. Her parents give the kid the wad of cash and tells the boy who demanded "what's her problem" that she was growing up.
Jeff returns to Greendale, where the Dean is still having a blast in the Virtual Reality system, and Frankie decides to go home because she's sick of babysitting him. Elroy enters and refunds the money to Greendale because he acknowledges that it's actually pretty lame. He devises a plan to get the Dean out of the system by going in himself, and tells the Dean he has a cool new system to help him manage his files and does the gestures like he's operating a mouse. This intrigues the Dean, who clicks with this new device a bit before Jeff rips the glasses off of him, and sits the Dean in front of an actual computer. Elroy says he should be back to his normal self in an hour, and Jeff asks if there was a way to cure the Dean of his normal self. Cue laughter from both of them.
Frankie goes out to her car, who discovers Britta in the back. Frankie demands to know what the hell is going on, and Britta talks about how angry she is that everyone finds her parents adorable and how she thinks they suck because she had to live with them when they did. Frankie says that everyone thinks that about their parents, but in reality they're just people, and drives Britta to their house, where she apologizes to everyone and makes up with them.
Elroy, meanwhile, tells the Dean that he's happy to see a glimpse of how his work is still important. The Dean says he's grateful for the taste of virtual reality, and gives Elroy a $500 check. Jeff quietly objects, since the school can't really afford it, as Elroy wonders what he'll do with it. Dean Pelton offers him a wide variety of classes at Greendale, and calls it "The Greendale Effect" to Jeff. Jeff wonders if he'll ever escape Greendale, and the Dean says no.
Elroy enrolls and joins the study group, and Dean Pelton tries to find a way back to the Virtual Reality with some cardboard and an iPhone. The end shows a hilarious trailer for the Portuguese Gremlins movie, which is more outlandish and goofy than the real movie.
Episode 3, "Basic Crisis Room Decorum" starts with Annie getting an email and calling an emergency meeting with Frankie at 2am via text. Frankie notifies the Dean, who says he'll notify the others, and tries to text Jeff and Annie in a group text. Jeff, however, gave the Dean a fake Japanese phone number that sends a lot of compliments to the Dean.
They all end up meeting at Greendale, and Annie says she received an email from a friend at the local news station who says City College is running an attack ad at 7am. Abed gets a hold of the ad, which claims that Greendale gave a bachelor's degree to a dog named Ruffles. As Annie and Frankie try to find the truth, Jeff's lawyering comes out, and says that they need to prove City College unreliable rather than proving Greendale didn't give a degree to a dog. He also says they need to attack the character of the dog, rather than defending the character of Greendale. He also sends Britta, who has been drunk this whole time, to go drink a ton of coffee, and Elroy decides to go with her. The Dean texts "Jeff," who asks for five cans of olives. Chang also suggests shooting a porn video on the City College campus to help deter students from attending, but dismissive Jeff ignores him.
Elroy takes her to his Winnebago, where Britta learns that Elroy is interested in one of her favorite bands, and is surprised because Elroy is old. She asks him to play her a song, and she starts singing along in a drunken dream sequence. Elroy is horrified at her terrible singing, turns the song off, and brings everyone coffee.
Annie and Frankie are searching for the files about Ruffles, and find a really long transcript... but no degree!
Abed has made a responding attack ad with attacks on Ruffles' character, and the Dean brings Jeff five cans of olives like "he" had asked for via text. Jeff isn't sure why the Dean keeps bringing him olives, but he just dismisses it as Frankie comes in with the transcript, and that the degree was withheld since Ruffles had library dues.
Annie freaks out, saying they should let the ad run because a dog could get a degree here, and that she wants to be the better college. Frankie and Jeff say that that's a bad idea, because Greendale would suffer for it. She threatens to transfer in exchange for the transcript, and Frankie agrees, because she thinks the school is worth it. Annie storms out.
The next morning, Abed enters Annie's room to show her the ad that was airing in the morning. It's a nice ad with Ruffles and the Dean, and stepping in front of the scandal. Annie appreciates this, and comes to Greendale to say how proud she is of them all. Chang comes in, and shows his pornographic handiwork to the world. While everyone else is horrified, Abed appreciates the cinematography of it since Chang is the only actor, and it's pointed out that Chang was wearing his Greendale shirt the whole time, so he has to do reshoots.
The ending shows the Japanese boy that was pretending to be Jeff getting yelled at by his father, and he texts the Dean to confess he really isn't Jeff and needs a friend. The Dean interprets this as a joke, and dismisses his confession. A voiceover tells us that the boy will eventually become leader of the Japanese yakuza. Yikes.
Well, that's all for tonight! That turned out to be longer than anticipated... next week's will be shorter, I promise! See you next week, Human Beings!
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