Annie moves in with Troy and Abed -- think Three's Company, but with a blanket fort
Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC
McHale is the king of snark, which made him the perfect choice for prickly, self-obsessed Jeff Winger. But here's the surprise: As Jeff continued to…

Once upon a time, Princess Annie lived in a scary neighborhood forest.

Like Rapunzel she found herself locked away in a tower. Unlike Rapunzel, this tower stood above a forbidden realm called Dildopolis. The darkest of magic kept Annie in this tower — namely, the lack of coin. And she was subjected to the depredations of the incontinent Count Spaghetti. Then, one shining day, woodsman Troy and his emotionally unavailable unicorn, B-bed, asked the Princess, “Girl, how you livin’?” They rescued her from her captivity and brought her back to their blanket fort. And they all lived happily ever after, drenched in their own awesomeness.

This story has been brought to you by the yogurt Jamie Lee Curtis uses to poop.

Pierce would call that story “gay code,” but that’s exactly how Troy and Abed saw themselves when they invited Annie to come live with them in their newly christened Casa Trobed. Shadow puppet fairy tales are all well and good but, like Annie’s wheelchair-bound neighbor who polices her building’s disabled parking spots, the would-be knights in tin-foil armor had an agenda. They needed a woman to show them how to iron and remove their Kool-Aid stains from their clothes, since they’d already discovered that applying the opposite color Kool-Aid doesn’t work. Annie quickly discerned her saviors’ Seven Dwarves-like incapability of taking care of themselves and general man-childism — Troy hanging from her bedroom door in a veritable Shelob’s web of packing tape was a bad sign.

Actually, “Studies in Modern Movement” was pretty much all about the bizarre little worlds in which each of Greendale’s disturbingly co-dependent study groupers (and Dean) find themselves. Example A: Jeff, who shirked his moving duties at Annie’s old apartment to spend his afternoon buying clothes at the Gap. He feigned deathly illness, even getting a salesgirl besotted by his hipster snark and high forehead to simulate a hospital environment for his concerned friends to hear over the phone. (Glad he still has fake insurance, even though he’s unemployed!)

Like that Lake House movie, Jeff crossed paths with a certain extortion-prone academic. Yes, none other than Dean Pelton. Actually, call him Craig. The Gap is no place for the usual formalities. Craig seductively slurped on the straw of his slushy and casually threatened to expose Jeff’s treachery to his friends unless they had lunch together. Before you could shout “Olé!” Jeff was treating Craig to a plate of top nach-o’s and a watermelon margarita, then belting out Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose” on a karaoke machine. Honestly I’m surprised Craig didn’t go with a selection from the Eat Pray Love soundtrack.

And they weren’t the only ones touched by the Muse Calliope. Pierce inhaled some paint fumes and imagined himself an over-the-hill Roger Williams tickling the ivories for a cool island song with two hula girls. (I’m kind of sad Magnum didn’t make another appearance.) And when Britta was driving Shirley home, she pulled over and picked up a hitchhiker to prove the existence of secular morality. (“Judge not, Shirley. Judge not!”) Turns out it was none other than Shirley’s Lord and Savior himself, one Mr. Jesus Christ. And no, he wasn’t Latino.

NEXT: Is “Jesus Loves Marijuana” better than “Big Yellow Joint”? Is the Dreamatorium better than the holodeck?

But this Jesus didn’t just want you to eat His body and drink His blood — he was a preacher for legalizing marijuana. His subsequent duet with Britta, “Jesus Loves Marijuana,” may be TV’s finest ode to reefer since the Bluth Banana Stand-inspired “Big Yellow Joint.” Needless to say, this was one Jesus even atheist Britta could appreciate. That is, until he debuted his next song — a cautionary tale about racial mixing called “Don’t Do It.” Out he went.

Annie wasn’t left out when it came to cultural pursuits, either. She was the captive audience for a rousing play starring Troy and Abed’s shadow puppets. It was the least they could do. After all, Annie wasn’t even going to have her own bedroom. She was going to live in Trobed’s permanent blanket fort — a dwelling suitable for many more occasions than just an uncle’s death. I’m sure she was particularly appreciative of the Naboo starfighters that adorned her Phantom Menace sheets.

Annie was okay with all of this. Then she saw it. Troy and Abed did have another bedroom. But they had converted it into what appeared to be a holodeck. I figured they were just setting aside the space for when the holotechnology necessary would be available, like those transportation pioneers who laid railroad tracks years before any train could run on them. But instead of awaiting the day they could relive Crockett’s last stand at the Alamo or the Battle of Britain like Deep Space Nine’s O’Brien and Bashir, this facility was already fully functional. It was a Dreamatorium, a space where their dreams could become a reality. In short, Annie would never be allowed to sleep there. Troy and Abed still needed someone to show them how to iron, though, so they ended up moving their bunk bed into the blanket fort and, ta-da, giving Annie their bedroom. Compromise!

And now, drumroll please, my seven favorite lines of the night!

7. “How can I religiously persecute you? You don’t have a religion.” –Shirley to Britta

6. “The Dreamatorium is more important than any of us.”–Abed

5. “Where are you headed, fellow human?” –Britta to the hitchhiker Jesus Christ

4. “I liked Horsebot 3000.” –Jeff

3. “Trust us, this place can be a courtroom in the blink of an eye.” –Troy, referring to the Dreamatorium

2. “I’m very concerned about this living situation. I’ve seen enough episodes of Friends to know that cohabitation leads to sex, drugs, and something Parade magazine called Schwimmer Fatigue.” –Shirley

1. “Picked the wrong week to quit” –Troy, referring to his candy cigarette addiction

Was “Studies in Modern Movement” a winner? Honestly, I think this may be my favorite non-high concept (low concept?) episode this season. Will Annie be able to endure living at Casa Trobed? Is this the beginning of a beautiful friendship between Jeff and the Dean? Did you ever imagine the Dean’s first name would be Craig? Did you know when it snows my eyes become larger? And do you hyphenate loosey-goosey or goosey-loosey?


Episode Recaps

McHale is the king of snark, which made him the perfect choice for prickly, self-obsessed Jeff Winger. But here's the surprise: As Jeff continued to…
Joel McHale and Alison Brie star in this comedy about a community college study group that turns into a surrogate family.
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