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'Community' recap: A pompous vortex of overlapping fangs

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Community-McHale-Social_dlEver the perpetual “B” student, last night’s Community did its thing, did it well, and will be completely forgotten by next week. One difference was the order in which its humor succeeded. Other than the second episode, which remained a joy throughout all of its 22 minutes, each episode of Community has started strong only to fizzle out by the final act. Last night’s “Advanced Criminal Law,” on the other hand, began in a mild fog and then worked its way up to a solid conclusion. Go figure. By this point in the season, I’m assuming you’re reading this because you’re still watching (and presumably enjoying) Community, so let’s forgo recapping the episode and jump straight into highlighting its standout moments:

— Professor Duncan (John Oliver) asked Jeff if Britta was on the market, to which Jeff responded, “You know, you have the savoir faire of a hyena.” Thank goodness I studied all those SAT vocabulary terms back in the day.

— Troy had been messing with Abed by telling him that he was related to President Obama and Danny Glover, and invented rap music and the Ferrari. When Troy informed Abed that it was all done in jest — because that’s what friends do to one another — Abed decided to make his first deliberate joke. “This isn’t a table,” he said while pointing to the table. Abed then laughed one of the greatest laughs I’ve ever heard, which was all the more delightful because his understanding of comedy was so awkwardly rudimentary. I was reminded of Borat failing to comprehend the art of “not” jokes.

— During the poolside disciplinary tribunal, Professor Duncan and Señor Chang were constantly at each other’s throat. Chang delivered the sharpest line when he told Duncan to “shut your pompous vortex of overlapping fangs.” True, this is the second time Community has made fun of Duncan’s stereotypically British teeth, and the topic may get old very quickly, but it’s not every day you hear a phrase as deliciously descriptive as “pompous vortex of overlapping fangs.”

— Duncan and Chang’s dispute continued in, of all places, the showers of the men’s locker room. Upon noticing that they were fighting in front of a portly, naked man, Duncan said to Chang, “Do you mind if we have this conversation in a room with less balls?” Duncan then turned to the showering man and remarked, “You’re very confident, I’ll say that.” Pause. “But you shouldn’t be,” Chang added after stealing a few glances at the man’s “equipment.”

— And Alison Brie, who plays Annie, did a resplendent job delivering a motivational speech to Pierce. Annie told Pierce exactly what her mother told her when she wanted to quit the cheerleading team: “You’re not very pretty, you have no boobs, and you can’t do a basket toss to save your life, but you made a commitment. So pick up your pom-poms, Pierce, stuff your bra, and get ready for the team bus to forget you at a Taco Bell, because life is tough. But we soldier on, and that’s just the way it goes.” Amen to that.

PopWatchers, what were your favorite lines from last night? And where would you rank this episode in respect to the four that came before it?

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