Community Season 6, Episode 11 “Modern Espionage” Review
Hopefully “Community” viewers aren’t sick of paintball.
There are some valid concerns, of course. This isn’t the first time “Community” has returned to an idea, and this season especially has at times felt like a remix of best hits from a golden era the show can make referential jokes about but not seem to reach.
So, paintball returns, again. But this time the game has gone underground, fit with a spy theme, a unique custom intro, and of course, fancy suits.
There’s a difference between the show making a joke about doing “paintball to death,” and then actually doing it to death. City College is after Greendale…again. There’s some mysterious ringer…again. Koogler (Mitchell Hurwitz) is back…again. As much as there is new going on, there’s still quite a bit looking back.
And this season of “Community” has continually returned its past, but returning to paintball is more the exception than the rule to the law of diminishing returns. The paintball scenes are as fun as ever, it was great seeing Annie (Alison Brie) and Abed (Danny Pudi) pair up again, and even the Dean (Jim Rash) got an awesome action scene that was pretty perfectly fit to his personality.
Even Kooglar coming back as the paintball dealer (though the show seemed at one point to suggest the ammo was coming from City College, not from the inside) worked better than expected, through the gradual deepening of the character bench, like with the Vicki (Danielle Kaplowitz) and Garrett (Erik Charles Nielsen) opening and ending didn’t really fit in with everything else going on.
It’s also great how the one-note gag from paintball eons ago about the janitors having to clean it all up fed right into the plot. Any instance of pitting the school against the study group for all the havoc they’ve caused over the years is great fuel and a moment of grounding for an other side often ethereal show, and it provided just enough “different” ground to keep things from feeling overwhelmingly similar.
It seemed the show might take another page out of its own book and do a two or three parter, but it resisted the temptation, even though there were some threads it didn’t wrap up this week. The silver gunner is still a mystery, and this was one time this season where the show really could have used more time to keep developing something and it decided against it.
Skepticism aside, “Modern Espionage” proved that going back to the same paint-soaked well for ideas isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and that even if the third time isn’t a perfect charm, it’s still a very enjoyable one.
Notes & Quotes:
-“done it to death”
-Club Club was funny
-lol at the whole ending janitor museum, steamy pipe exhibit especially
-I wanted more paintball! I have questions that need answers!
-“You’re weird at picnics”
-“taken by an indie comic book or horrible tequila”
-“Mischaracterized by the ignorant as parody”
-“I can’t help being a bad ass.”
-“We need intelligence. No references, no call backs.”
-“Are your ready to party the way they do in clubs?”
-“The first rule of club club is we are not a fight club”
-“That’s the description of every paint ball.”
-“Of course it’s the Indian guy.”