Community Season 2 Episode 23

A Fistful of Paintballs.

"Annie's pretty awesome today"

Last year Community found its footing with the one-two punch of "Contemporary American Poultry" and "Modern Warfare." The latter being one of the single best things on television all season. It was so good, in fact, that when it was announced that they were doing a sequel - I was worried. Really worried. But all my fears evaporated when a sexed up Annie dropped from the ceiling in the opening moments of last night's episode. Part spaghetti-Western, part Tarantino-esque interpretation of a spaghetti Western, not only did "A Fistful of Paintballs" match last year's success, (completely improbably) it improved upon the Paintball formula.

The stakes are higher: the study group is trying to work out whether or not they should let Pierce continue to be a member. Oh, and the mysterious ice-cream sponsor is offering a prize of $100,000 to that last man standing.

The sets are flashier. The bathrooms and cafeteria have been turned it into a carefully controlled saloon by Pierce.

The jokes are sillier: Josh Hollway as a hired assassin for the mysterious ice-cream sponsor, "I get paid to shoot paintballs, honey. Not the breeze.”


A+Annie, the single holdout for keeping Pierce in the study group, makes it through the first few hours of the paintball war in isolation. Frustrated by the group's attitude, she takes to surviving on the margins of Greendale (the science lab) with nothing but a paintball gun, a can of beans and a short action-hero skirt. Her rage brings out the best in her – running in slow motion, flirting with Josh Holloway, shooting cheerleaders. She is, as Abed notes, "pretty awesome today."


BUnder all the paint, smoke and mirrors of this episode, however, Annie's disillusionment with Pierce is at its core. Annie has to face the fact that Pierce might really be as bad as the group says; sending Jeff off into battle with a paintball gun full of blanks, faking a heart attack (again) and forcing Vicki and Garett to dance on tables. Indeed, he is awful.

This is the conflict that's been bubbling up all season: Is Pierce's tendency to be nasty, rude and cruel who he is – or a defense mechanism? Is Pierce horrible because he's excluded or does the group exclude him because he's horrible? While Pierce behaves abominably this week, it's consistent with the direction of his character has been going all season.


A-Jeff's fragile ego is challenged by the presence of another preternaturally attractive alpha-male: Josh Holloway. An insecurity that is compounded by the five-head drawn on Pierce's "Jeff Winger - Wanted Gay & Alive" posters. Unlike Pierce, however, Jeff doesn't let his bruised self-image stand in the way of acting in the best interest of the group - even though nobody will support his assertion that Josh Holloway is not that good looking.

I'm behind Jeff on this one, Josh Holloway hasn't held much sway with me since the earliest seasons of LOST, although I would suggest that Jeff purchase Season 1 of LOST before making definitive statements on the nature of Josh Holloway's attractiveness. Badass Sawyer is a sexy man.

Extra Credit

  • Dean Pelton attempts to get Jeff to reach into his pants to get the key to the storage closet where the paintball supplies are stored
  • Chang's presence was limited and therefore acceptable
  • "Christina Reachy"

Add comment