Community: Puppets, Singing and Sara Bareilles in “Intro to Felt Surrogacy”

This week’s episode opened on an awkwardly silent study group, with the Dean trying to figure out what happened and where Pierce was.

The Dean asks the group as he sees the empty chair, “He’s not with us. But is he WITH us?” hilarious and I couldn’t help but be reminded, as I said in last week’s review, that this character’s episodes are numbered. But, then Dean Pelton pulls out his customary costume of the week and transforms himself into “Deanocchio” and hands the group puppets to talk it out which leads the viewers on an entertaining felt filled tale, with Abed retelling the story.

And, of course there were puppets and singing an admittedly catchy song featuring hot air balloon guide Sara Bareilles, which I enjoyed and was kind of random. It’s all going well for them until Pierce touches something and makes the balloon rise even further eventually leaving them stranded in the middle of the woods. The guest spots keep coming as a strange “transient woodsman” played by Jason Alexander offers them berries and leads them to sit around a fire offering up their secrets. This part of the retelling led to some heartfelt, warm and fuzzy moments between the group and Shirley who, thanks to the berries they all ate, was the only one whose secret was actually told, which was just so sad to watch.

The rest of the group starts to reveal their secrets, in song of course. With secrets ranging from sad, with Jeff’s secret about leaving a woman and her son and his fear of becoming his father, to kind of funny with Britta only ever voting for The Voice.

There were some great lines from Troy in last night’s episode. One of my favorites had to be “If we fly to heaven, please don’t tell my grandpa about me and Britta!” as the study group puppets found themselves being blown away somewhere thanks to Pierce. I really liked the study group bingo Troy and Abed had going throughout beginning of the episode in the flashback as they realized the group was stuck in rut, which put them in the position they ended up in.

I couldn’t help but be funnily creeped out with the Jeff puppet talking back to the Dean, saying he could take him home which obviously served its purpose. And, while I enjoyed the end tag with some behind the scenes footage of the cast during the episode, I feel it could have ended with this Dean/ puppet Jeff scene.

With the same kind of feel from earlier seasons, I’ve really enjoyed the last two episodes.

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