‘Community’ recap: Episode 6, ‘Advanced Gay’

Like father, like son?

Our study group is experiencing some growing pains this week, as Troy tries to decide what to do with his life and Pierce faces up to his daddy issues (and Jeff ignores his):

The episode opens with Troy helping Jerry, Greendale’s plumber, fix a cafeteria machine that apparently makes tater tots. Jerry is impressed with Troy’s legendary repair skills (if not his vocabulary) and asks Troy to meet him later to help him unplug a toilet. Troy is noncommittal and joins the rest of the group for lunch. Just then, two men walk up and ask Pierce to sign a package of Hawthorne Wipes (he’s not fazed by this, saying that in the wipes business such groupies are called towelheads). Everyone else knows something is up and a quick internet search leads them to the hot new gay anthem “A Pocket Full of Hawthornes”, by drag queen Urbana Champaign (Shangela from “RuPaul’s Drag Race”). Pierce is livid and immediately goes into a double-entendre laden tirade saying he’s going to sue the pants off of Urbana.

Sadly, there doesn’t appear to be a full-length video for “A Pocket Full of Hawthornes” but there is 30 seconds of its awesomeness:

The next day, the group is gathering in the study room when Pierce walks in wearing a “A Pocket Full of Hawthornes” T-shirt, proclaiming himself a gay rights advocate. He goes on to say that Hawthorne Wipe sales are up 7% and he’ll now be launching Hawthorne Pride Wipes (more expensive, but also more gay) at Greendale’s 1st Annual Gay Bash, which he is throwing. Pierce is helping set up the Gay Bash and remarking on how much he has in common with gay men — they both hate lesbians and baggy pants and are all Bears fans — when his dad Cornelius shows up, rocking the weirdest-looking hairpiece of all time. (We later learn it’s carved ivory). Pierce takes his father in to meet the rest of the study group, whom Cornelius quickly proclaims a bunch of “minorities, jewesses, and the unseasonably tan” which makes Shirley label him “the Abed of racism.” Pierce says that the Gay Bash is canceled and the pride wipes aren’t going to be made. Jeff goes off, saying that Pierce is being oppressed by his father and Britta interjects all of her theories on Jeff’s Oedipal complex (which she consistently mispronounces as “Edible complex”).

Jeff throws the Gay Bash instead and when Pierce shows up they start to argue: Jeff tells Pierce that he needs to be free of his dad forever, and Pierce says that Britta was right, and Jeff has raging father issues that he’s taking out on Pierce and his dad. Pierce goes to leave in disgust when the crowd realizes he’s there and starts chanting his name. As Pierce revels in the attention, Britta and Jeff go back and forth some more about whether Jeff was genuinely trying to help Pierce or just work out his own daddy issues.

Cornelius shows up at the party and Pierce quickly changes from celebrating to saying the company is severing all ties with the gay community and that Hawthorne Wipes will be a straights-only product. Then, for  the umpteenth time, he fakes a heart attack. At the hospital, Jeff tells Cornelius that having Pierce as a son was a gift and that he squandered that gift and that all the hatred in his heart was the spot where Pierce was supposed to be. As Cornelius falls to the ground clutching his heart, Jeff starts yelling that he’s faking, which of course means the next shot is of Cornelius’ casket. Jeff apologizes to Pierce for killing his dad, but Pierce is fine with it and gives Jeff Cornelius’ creepy ivory wig (as Cornelius’ will stated whoever killed him gets it). Pierce goes to give the eulogy and says about his recently deceased father “I’m not scared of you anymore, because you’re dead and I’m not, so I win. And you can suck it.” Jeff tells Britta she’ll be a great therapist, as he corrects her pronunciation of “Oedipal,” but still denies he has any daddy issues of his own– which probably means it’s only a matter of time before they come up again.

While the daddy-killing Gay Bash is happening, Troy gets caught up in a secret society of AC repairman–after one noticed the tight seal and good flow of his toilet repair job with Jerry. Troy’s kidnapped, along with 4 other students, who’re all now secretly potential candidates for the Greendale air conditioning repair school. Vice Dean Laybourne (John Goodman) has an astronaut making paninis in the corner (and a black Hitler agreeing) so that even if they tell anyone what was going on no one would believe them.

After Troy finishes up an air conditioning task blindfolded and Vice Dean Laybourne takes him into the room that the phrase “room temperature” comes from– and tells Troy has 24 hours to decide if he wants to join the lucrative field of air conditioning repair.

Troy then drops by the Gay Bash, where the AC can’t handle the hotness of the party, and goes off to see if he can fix it. Jerry catches Troy repairing the the AC and they fight about it — Jerry saying the AC repairman are elitist and Troy insisting that he’s special and going to eat spaceman paninis with black Hitler. He comes back to the party and as he and Abed pretend to be each other, Troy says that he is torn between choosing plumbing and AC, but that he really doesn’t want to do either, he just wants to watch TV with Abed. He ultimately tells Vice Dean Laybourne he’s not joining the AC school (because everyone is equal), but he’s not becoming a plumber either (because they have to deal with poop), and is just going to watch TV with his friend after all. After hearing about Troy’s miracle repair of the AC at the Gay Bash, Vice Dean Laybourne says it’s not over yet, as Troy and Abed walk away. And with that, we finally know how “Community” plans on incorporating John Goodman into the rest of the season.


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