Community often hums along so smoothly, powered by such fluid interactions between the characters, that it's easy to forget that the members of the study group at the show's core might have complicated feelings about things other than pop culture references, cute guys with dreadlocks, and parking-lot sailing classes. Namely, the fact that they're at community college in the first place. Last night's episode was all about the characters' vulnerable egos, and the lessons they learned about being decent people after those egos got bruised. Among the things they absorbed:
1. Making fun of someone for being in community college makes you an asshole, even if you're a high school student taking extra classes—and especially if Lisa Rinna is playing your cougar of a mom. "Can you tell us exactly what you did in your lives to end up here so we don't make the same mistakes?" one such whippersnapper spits at Jeff and Britta, setting off an episode-long feud.
"I've been to 14 countries. I helped build a school in Kenya. I once met Sting in a Cracker Barrel!" Britta splutters later. But the damage has clearly been done.
2. That said, sometimes assholes do end up in community college, with exhibit A being Pierce, who has gone too far with Shirley, prompting the group to list their grievances against their elder statesman. "At least he doesn't think Shirley is my mom any more. He thinks we're cousins," Troy snarks. "He says I have a crafty Jew brain," Annie chimes in.
3. But no matter what, community college is still college, as Troy and Abed discover when they try to finish off the checklist for an emblematic first year, complete with fraternity-rush beanies, togas, robots, and comedy-turned-pathos. Oh, and the quest to find the perfect porn name by combining preferences. Sadly, Troy's is George Washington Lemon Fresca.
4. And as a bonus, we learn that even Girl Scouts can be racist, especially when Senor Chang has made off with their cookies and is selling them on the black market.