Community: “Basic Intergluteal Numismatics” Season 5 Episode 3

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Who is dropping coins into the butts of Greendale students? It doesn’t really matter when the show is this good.

This is the episode Community fans have been awaiting for a very, very long time. Last week’s season premieres tested the water – “Repilot” had to be devoted to catching up, and “Introduction to Teaching” could’ve been a fluke, we didn’t really know. But “Basic Intergluteal Numismatics,” a title that I fully don’t understand, feels like Community falling back into place. The main question I had coming out of last week’s episodes was, Is Mike Ehrmentraut actually joining the study group? And my prayers have been answered because, yeah, yes he is.

There was only one plot in the episode – Jeff, Annie and Dean Pelton try to find Greendale’s Asscrack Bandit. The Bandit has been placing coins into the unsuspecting butts of Greendale students when they bend over. It starts with Garrett, targeted at his locker, before he runs into the cafeteria yelling “ASS…CRACK…BANDIT.” Eventually Troy gets hit, and the trauma leaves him wheelchair-bound (you know his internally conflicting thoughts on butt stuff). Annie and Jeff narrow down the culprit to a faculty member who’s a big Dave Matthews Band fan (of which there’s eight, because they had ears and a heart in the 90’s). It’s one of Community’s organized chaos episodes that allows everyone to come back – Garrett, Neil, Vicki, Professor Duncan and – shock – Starburns.

The episode’s main fault is that it tries to cover a little too much ground. It’s a spoof of both crime dramas and horror movies, both of which they’ve spoofed before, and the amalgamate is a little much. First Starburns gets caught as the Bandit, then Duncan is targeted, and ultimately the culprit is never found. And in the middle of all of this, we learn about Pierce’s fate. And, the Jeff x Annie partnership gets analyzed (although that’s a long time coming).

Still, it’s a hilarous episode, and it has all the elements of old school Community. The one-liners are limitless (my favorite is the Dean admitting they held a protest for “the wrong Korea”). Everything is overdramatic, despite “butt,” “ass” or “crack” showing up at least once per minute. And even though it takes place over the course of a few days, it’s raining in every scene. Duncan mistakes Professor Hickey for Pierce. Chang is as terrifying as ever, playing a backwards version of himself. Starburns is living in stables, trying to build a “cat car.” Ben Folds cameos as a professor growing weed in the greenhouse. “Basic Intergluteal Numismatics” is just as crazy as Community at it’s original peak. It was easy to get too excited about Dan Harmon’s return, but it seems like Community has fallen right back into place. And that’s refreshing.

Grade: A-

By Andrew McNally

One Response to Community: “Basic Intergluteal Numismatics” Season 5 Episode 3

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