Episode 313: Digital Exploration of Interior Design
A Communist’s Exploration of Digital Exploration of Interior Designs
Greetings friends and lovers. Today I am bringing you my take on episode 3-13. We collectively ranked this episode at #29 and I put it at #22 in my own ranking with an A- grade. I chose this episode because I am a HUGE fan of it’s sister, Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design. Conspiracy Theories was #1 on my personal rankings and an additional “season” has done nothing to change that. The other reason I chose this episode is because I have loved Britta ever since she first tried to put a tiny sombrero on a frog (*1).
> The Episode: Pillow Forts, Deviant Sex Acts, & Kim (sorry Dorian, not THAT Kim (*2))
Hot n’ Brown didn’t survive the tragic Arizona Matchbook fire of 2011 and it’s time for a new tenant to take their place. Subway the restaurant and Subway the man are joining Greendale and shenanigans are sure to follow. Abed is into it though (*3).
After a quick prayer for peace, we return from the credits to learn the B and C plots. Jeff & Annie investigate 5 semesters worth of locker clutter which includes a hate note from the mysterious Kim in the C plot. Troy & Abed build a pillow fort and Troy, with a little help, starts to realize that he’s not the one wearing the pants in this relationship in the B plot. We’ve been building towards the Troy & Abed rift ever since the season one finale when Abed claimed that they couldn’t live together and Troy revealed his favorite episode of Happy Days (*4). We’ll get back to that though.
Surprising nobody, Britta is outraged that corporations can now have corporal humanoids. What she didn’t count on is that this corpral humanoid would be an Orwell fan that wants to open an animal hospital someday. Pierce and Shirley decide to use Britta in a corporate espionage scheme to create an underutilized grouping of characters that I really enjoy. Britta and Shirley are fun to pair together because the conflict comes so easily and adding the unpredictable element of chaos, Pierce, is a great mixture for success. More time on the A plot could have easily moved this episode into the top tier.
The C plot is a cut and paste plot that could literally be dropped into any episode or cut completely. Jeff discovers that he has a locker and finds 5 semesters worth of Greendale messaging and a hate letter from Kim. The plot has some great jokes with my personal favorite being Annie’s stuffed animal bit (*5), but this plot was just a distraction from the A and B plots.
One of the things that made Conspiracy Theories so great was the hyper focus on the two great stories being told and that hyper focus was possible because they cut the C story about Shirley and Pierce going to get the best burgers in town. You can still see evidence of this story in the final scene (*6). Axing the Annie and Jeff plot would have allowed for more time with John Goodman and Subway. Jannie could have popped in and out of the other stories or had some Abed-style background adventures instead.
Troy’s trying to become his own man in season three and that means that he’s no longer interested in just being one of Abed’s playthings. He wants more than just a whistle, as Dean Laybourne (who is also going through some stuff) helps him realize. The A/C Dean is also the devil on Abed’s shoulder that pushes Abed away from Troy and helps escalate this conflict to a full-scale war. This is the only plot carried forward to the concept episode that resolves it. Dean Pelton is also in the middle of all of these hijinx by pushing Troy and Abed to try and set a Guinness World Record for the largest blanket OR pillow fort. This episode is really the continued fallout from Contemporary Impressionists, or part 2 of a Troy & Abed Trilogy.
Abed has always been fascinated by Troy, because he chose him for the group in the pilot instead of some other person from their Spanish class. Troy wasn’t always comfortable getting weird with Abed, but they eventually became Troy & Abed. This trilogy of episodes is the chapter in their relationship where they both realize that they each have to be their own person. They are both pretty bummed about it, but Abed clearly takes it the hardest by having a full-scale breakdown in the back half of the season. Also, season four happens.
> Highs and Lows
Everything Britta. http://24.media.tumblr.com/tum…
Glover line reading – http://25.media.tumblr.com/tum…
“Wait, that’s SAVED Garrett?”
Garrett to the rescue http://25.media.tumblr.com/tum…
One of the best boner jokes ever.
Annie & Jeff’s plot is almost redeemed by how many funny parts get thrown into it, but the resolution of Jeff realizing that he’s an inconsiderate dick sometimes for the 23rd time is pretty weak. “Put it in a letter Jane Austen!” (a high in the low)
> The Commentary
>>>Harmon laughs at the episode title when Yvette announces it. He doesn’t comment any further on the title.
>>> Yvette claims that she didn’t understand the boner joke until she watched the episode.
>>> They tried to break Jeff’s locker story in season two, but couldn’t get it right. They originally wanted to have Annie have put a note in his locker during season one that she no longer wanted him to be able to see. They couldn’t figure it out though.
>>> Leonard’s IBM joke was reused because it got cut from Conspiracy Theories. A couple of actors and crew people all said something about the joke being reused, because they didn’t realize it was cut the first time. The writers really liked it and wanted to get it on the air.
> Final Thoughts
On the AV Club: http://www.avclub.com/articles/advanced-introduction-to-finality,97134/#comment-1067565001 (page 240)