|"A Fistful of Paintballs"|
|◄ Season Two, Episode Twenty-Three ►|
|Air date||May 5, 2011 on|
|Written by||Andrew Guest|
|Directed by||Joe Russo|
|“||This isn't a game...this is paintball.||”|
–Annie, the Ace of Hearts
Summary: The Greendale Campus becomes a battlefield again with the start of another paintball competition as a mysterious new player debuts. Before they can compete for the prize, however, the study group must deal with a more personal conflict first...
PlotEditNeil is being chased through the hallways of Greendale College by Mike and his gang who are armed with paintball pistols. He soon finds himself at a dead end as his pursuers catch up to him. As Mike taunts him, he fails to notice Annie's sudden appearance. She sneaks up behind the gang and quickly shoots them all. Taking their ammunition, she turns to go, leaving Neil a gun to defend himself with. When Neil attempts to shoot her in the back, she ends up having to take him out as well. Returning to her hideout in the science lab, Annie recalls how this year's paintball contest started.
It all began with the western themed end of the school year picnic. Dean Pelton announced that a quick game of Paintball Assassin would take place, assuring everyone that it would not spiral out of control like last year's. A mascot from "Pistol Patty's Cowboy Creamery", the sponsor of the event, announced the prize: one hundred thousand dollars. Chaos soon breaks out as the contest begins. Annie's thoughts are interrupted when the perimeter alarm she had set up is triggered. Unexpectedly, Abed appears with an invitation; he tells her that Jeff wants her to join them as he has a plan which could be mutually beneficial.
Meanwhile, Jeff and Chang are being hunted by the math club in the library. Finding themselves cornered, Chang decides to betray Jeff, letting the other side know he is out of ammo. Abed then arrives along with Annie and rescues Jeff. Chang is able to get away during the brief battle. Jeff tells Annie his plan, hearing a rumor that Pierce has a stockpile of paintball ammo. Jeff wants to team up, so they can take it from him. They begin to argue about Pierce as Annie defends his behavior over the past year. Jeff counters that she's the only one who sees the good in him. The discussion is interrupted by the dramatic appearance of a new player who attacks them.
They barely manage to escape only to stumble onto an ambush set up by the rest of the study group led by Britta. They are now working for Pierce who has put a bounty on Jeff's head. They escort them to Fort Hawthorne, a safe haven from the paintball competition set up by Pierce inside the cafeteria. The trio learns that the new player is nicknamed "The Black Rider" and has been racking up an impressive elimination count. They are all greeted warmly by Pierce, although Jeff and the others still question his sincerity. He tells the group that Dean Pelton has more paintball ammunition in his office and wants them to recover it. He trusts only them for the job and says that he wants to win this game as a team and split the prize evenly.
The study group goes on the mission, and Jeff apologizes to Annie for his attitude towards Pierce. Annie confides that she thinks of the study group as her family and doesn't want to see it broken up. After Jeff reassures her, she hears voices in a nearby room and goes to investigate. She finds Chang about to be eliminated execution style by the Greendale cheerleaders. Apparently, he had formed an alliance with them and had betrayed them as well. Annie uses up the last of her ammo to dispose of the spirit squad. She then borrows Jeff's gun to pursue Chang who had fled the scene.
She loses Chang's trail and ends up in the Anthropology room. The Black Rider suddenly appears behind her. He relieves her of her weapon, and after a bit of flirting, he tells her he'll make her elimination as painless as possible. Using Jeff's gun, he tries to shoot her in the foot, but it turns out to be empty. Abed and Jeff show up, and The Black Rider attempts to use Annie as a shield. She escapes, and a brief gun battle ensues with Jeff and Abed managing to chase off The Black Rider. Meanwhile, Annie takes a closer look at Jeff's gun and discovers that it's been loaded with blanks. The trio then leave to catch up with the rest of the study group.
When the study group reaches the dean's office, they find various paintball paraphernalia from the previous competition. Annie seizes Chang's paintball gun from last year's game and storms off. Arriving at a deserted Camp Hawthorne, they learn from Vicky that The Black Rider was just there and had eliminated most of the players. Annie finds Pierce survived the onslaught and calls him out over his actions. He angrily responds that the group makes him out to be a villain since they constantly exclude him from their activities. He points out how they didn't invite him to a card game they were playing three days ago.
Annie sadly explains to Pierce that it wasn't a card game: it was a vote. They were voting on whether or not Pierce would be allowed to return to the study group next year. It had to be unanimous though, and Annie was the lone holdout. She tosses Pierce a paintball gun and challenges him to a duel to settle the matter once and for all. Realizing he's just lost the only ally he had within the group, Pierce resignedly picks up the weapon. The two face off as the rest of the study group watches on. The intense atmosphere is broken when The Black Rider makes his presence known and disrupts the confrontation.
Initiate Plan B, Operation:Total Invasion!".
Character card introductionsEdit
The episode introduces each study group member-except for Pierce-with a specific playing card title. It is later revealed that the cards used to represent them are the same ones they used to vote on whether or not Pierce could stay in the study group.
A unanimous vote was needed with the black cards symbolizing votes to kick Pierce out of the group. Annie was the only one who voted red. Pierce misunderstands the situation when he walks in on them and assumes it's another activity he's been excluded from.
- Returning students: Mike returns in this episode along with Neil and Vicky. Other students show up as well including Star-Burns, Leonard, Pavel, and Garrett.
- That just happened:
- Previously: Dean Pelton mentions in passing last year's prize, Priority registration, and how it caused everyone to wreck the school.
- School uniform: Jeff is wearing his cowboy outfit from "Introduction to Statistics".
- That just happened: The study group deals with Pierce's behavior from the last few episodes.
- A nice gesture: Jeff pats Annie on the head, a gesture he's done before in "Debate 109" and later fully explained in the Season Three episode "Geography of Global Conflict".
- Googly eyes: Annie flirts with The Black Rider.
- School supplies:
- This must be the place:
- Jeff and Chang are pinned down in the library by the math club.
- Chang is almost "executed" by the Cheerleaders in the storage room.
- The Black Rider gets the drop on Annie in the Anthropology classroom.
- Fort Hawthorne's base is the student lounge and the cafeteria where a showdown between Annie, Pierce, jeff and the Black Rider takes place.
- Chang is shot down by a paintball commando on the campus quad.
- Fan service/Annie's boobs: Annie's modified saloon girl outfit. Annie runs in slow motion down a hallway in the low cut outfit. The Black Rider also makes a reference to Annie's chest when she gets flustered with him.
- Nice outfit: Dean Pelton's cowboy outfit.
- Gay, he's so gay!: Pierce puts a bounty on Jeff, and the Wanted poster reads "GAY AND ALIVE".
- You're the worst: Britta actually gets to call Pierce this instead of someone saying it about her...until the next episode.
- Man-crush: Dean Pelton tries to get Jeff to get the key to the storage closet out of the front pocket of his shorts.
- Screw you guys!: Pierce officially quits the study group after learning they held a vote on whether or not he could stay.
- Shout out: Annie calls Neil "Christina Ricci" when he reaches for a paintball gun.
- Alert nerd! : The paintball commandos can be heard doing a roll call. One of them says, "Red 5, standing by", a reference to Luke Skywalker's call sign in "Star Wars".
- The animated title sequence which is done in the style of the movie "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"
- The background music which is done in the same style as Ennio Morricone who scored Sergio Leone's Dollars trilogy
- Abed's outfit which is similar to one Clint Eastwood wore as " The Man with no name"
- The fire appearing behind Abed when he takes out the Math Club members
- The duel between Pierce, Annie, Jeff, and The Black Rider which is very similar to the duel between the three main characters at the end of "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly".
- Use your allusion:
- At the end of the episode, the tone shifts, and it becomes more of an homage to Star Wars which carries over into the next episode. The end sequence with the paintball commandos and Pistol Patty is very reminiscent of a scene in "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" involving storm troopers and Darth Vader boarding Princess Leia's ship.
- Troy is wearing an outfit that looks just like Sheriff Bart's from "Blazing Saddles".
- Shirley's outfit is a nod to Father Guido Sarducci.
- When Pierce quits the study group, he yells out "I'm winning!", a reference to Charlie Sheen who at the time had made those words popular with an infamous rant he posted online in reaction to his firing from "Two and a Half Men".
- The Black Rider calls Annie "Bean Allergy". This is a reference to the fact that Josh Holloway's character Sawyer would frequently call other characters by a nickname on "Lost".
- “My forehead's not that big, right?”— Jeff
- “It's not small.”— Troy
- “You think you're good-looking, but you're not. You're average. You're just an average-looking guy with a big chin.”— Jeff to The Black Rider'
|Season Two Episodes|
1. "Anthropology 101"
13. "Celebrity Pharmacology 212"
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