Greendale holds a transdimensional Model United Nations tournament.

By Christian Blauvelt
Updated September 30, 2011 at 02:03 PM EDT
Adam Rose/NBC

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Order! Order! This week’s recap of Community is now in session. Please rise. First order of business, we’ll take the unofficial EW.com recap oath: “I solemnly swear to tell the snark, the whole snark, and nothing but the snark.” You may be seated.

It’s important to follow these entirely meaningless rules of order, because last night’s episode of Community was about that most august extracurricular body of higher education: the Model United Nations. If I had a gavel, believe me, a gavel would be used. On one level “Geography of Global Conflict” followed the tradition of Greendale’s previous debate competition (“Man is evil!”) and student-body presidential campaign. But it was also about points of transition: Annie’s long journey toward womanhood; Britta the Needlessly Defiant’s realization that she is in fact needlessly defiant; Chang learning to contain and control the power of his flashlight; and of course the quantum fissures that link parallel universes.

Britta’s life had changed: She had discovered the power of “see-through pens,” also known as highlighters, a staple of every ordered life. But then she saw that an old friend had been imprisoned during the political upheaval in Syria. Rather than petition her congressman, start an advocacy website, or, you know, heckle the real U.N., she decided to play interloper to Greendale’s Model U.N. Annie suggested the creation of just such a fictive assembly to her noble-minded but creepily-named mentor Professor Cligoris, only to have her new Asian doppelganger, Annie 2, steal it and create it herself. In case you thought Pierce’s line “Just be careful, Annie. They’re ruthless.” meant that Mr. Hawthorne had yet again been proven racist by the racist-prover, he added, “Not Asians. Women!” That meant Greendale was to have two parallel Model U.N.s, each charged with the same mission, but, resting as they do on different dimensional planes, unaware of one another’s existence. From the moment we saw Annie frantically playing with her straw we knew this could be the only outcome.

Full disclosure time. Like Professor Cligoris, I was really, really, really, really, really, really into Model U.N.s in high school (don’t research that!). And not just because of the ever looming prospect of sleeping with people from “other countries.” My involvement first began in the ninth grade, when I began the tradition that I would always be the delegate from, yes, Libya. Or rather, as I would always insist to my peers in the General Assembly, it’s the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, bitches. With hindsight I think I can say that my 14-year-old self was trying to get attention by representing a government that itself has been largely motivated by the need for attention. As with our honorable delegates from Greendale, each of our U.N. sessions would involve a “Crisis”—a bombing in Moscow! A plague in Cote d’Ivoire!—though all of them would inevitably involve Libya in some way as I frantically tried to spin my way out of a PR nightmare, then preemptively declared war on the other countries in attendance, to flex my power. Now that, in real life, Colonel Gaddafi’s regime is in exile, I like to ponder the fate of my fictive alter ego—somewhere am I being held by rebels? Have I fled to Niger? I’d like to think I’m facing a war crimes tribunal at The Hague. I guess it’s the romantic in me.

NEXT: Worlds collide! At least mock worlds represented by mock U.N.s and linked together by a mock particle collider.

Needless to say, I understand the fundamental purposes of the Model U.N.: shameless grandstanding and ego-stroking. And that was the way our Annie approached it, too. But such a mindset is fragile. Not to mention vulnerable to such things as a fart outbreak. I was honestly worried we were about to see Annie have an Adderall relapse, especially after Annie 2 asked her about her relationship with Jeff: “I’m sorry, I don’t understand your relationship here. Is he your father or your lover?” Ooh, the creepy paradox of their relationship exposed at last! But ultimately, Abed took full advantage of his Helvetian nationality to save the day. He remembered that Switzerland’s CERN particle collider could open a transdimensional gateway to Earth 2, so that Annie could directly confront Annie 2. Annie’s Earth had achieved world peace, and now she offered Annie 2 the opportunity for her world to live in harmony with her own as one great big happy multiverse. Annie 2 refused, choosing to take the easy victory. Professor Cligoris was not moved. “A logical, effective common sense move, Annie Kim,” he said. “One that flies in the face of the very United Nations itself, a fundamentally symbolic organization founded on the principles of high-minded rhetoric and empty gestures.” Need I say more?

Meanwhile, after having tried to symbolize freedom by locking herself in a cage, Britta attempted one last fake disruption at the fake U.N. to be broken up by fake law-enforcement officer Chang: She donned a costume of chicken feathers and Barbie doll parts and stormed the assembly, at last giving Chang his sweet taste of law enforcement’s monopoly on violence. Still, I’m betting Britta is going to raise hell at the next Model World Trade Organization Summit.

And now it’s time for a roundup of the best lines of the night. Submitted for your consideration:

10. “The endgame of course is world peace.” —Professor Cligoris, proving that even the noblest intentions can’t make the word “endgame” seem anything but sinister

9. “You’re acting like a little schoolgirl and not in a hot way.” —Jeff to Annie

8. “Guys, I wasn’t doing the Spartacus thing.” —Jeff, after he takes credit for that WMD-caliber fart, followed by everyone else doing the same

7. “You know what else was the best? The rain forests. Too bad the fascist oligarchies are raping them to make more hamburgers. Look it up!” —Britta

6. “Uruguay kindly requests that Somalia stop calling it Uru-gay.” —Jeff to Pierce

5. “I studied up on my country. Is it okay if we do accents, sugar?”—Troy

“Troy, Georgia the country not the state.”—Jeff

“That’s right. Capital city Tbilisi and former member of the Soviet Union. And we kindly request that ya’ll mind your P’s and Q’s.” —Troy

4. “Earth 2 is out there. You can’t ignore it forever.” —Abed

3. “Riot gear is not a toy.” —sign in security guard Nunez’ office

2. “If embarrassment were bountiful zinc deposits I’d be Zambia.” —Annie

1. “The science works out.” —Professor Cligoris on Abed’s particle-collider-initiated transdimensional portal to Earth 2

Honorable delegates of EW.com’s recaps, what say you about last night’s episode? Is Jeff and Annie’s relationship heading for a turning point? Will Chang become drunk with power? And how long before Pierce buys a vacation home in the tropical paradise that is Somalia?

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