'Community': Zombies + 'Wizard of Oz' = Awesome

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Community's on a roll with episodes torn straight from the reels of classic movies this season, and last night's Halloween episode lifted the show to new heights: this may have been the best half-hour of Community since "Contemporary American Poultry" and "Modern Warfare." Like last year's Halloween party episode, "Epidemiology" featured a Pierce-related freakout. But this one wasn't a matter of drugs and age-related anxieties. Rather, the cause was government-issue taco meat gone horribly wrong, and the result, a zombie invasion of Greendale. In addition to figuring out a cure, the study group learned a lot of life lessons in between the carnage.

1. Nerds make the best friends. Also, zombie-curers. After finding out that their joint Ripley-and-the-Alien-Queen costume wasn't having the effect on the ladies he'd hoped for, Troy opened a fissure in his relationship with Abed, dismissing him as a nerd. But when it came down to the wire, Abed sacrificed himself to save Troy—and to give Troy a chance to save the school.



2. Love is someone seeing you for who you are. Or at least, recognizing your costume. Shirley and Chang made a love connection under seige when he saw her as Glinda the Good Witch and not Miss Piggy, and she saw past his skin color to recognize him as Peggy Fleming.



3. Sassiness can defeat zombieism. Shirley may regret her hookup with Chang, but at least temporarily, she found a way to keep herself safe from her feebler infected classmates: firmness and culinary skill. "Leonard, behave yourself, I'm a Christian woman," she declared. "Leonard, you better back that pumpkin ass up, or I'm gonna make pie." Jeff is less fortunate. It turns out $6,000 suits don't deter zombies, and they'll stretch your jacket out while they're at it.

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Alyssa Rosenberg is a culture writer with The Washington Post.

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