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A Fistful of Paintballs

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     A Fistful of Paintballs  
Director: Joe RussoWriter: Andrew Guest — Aired: May 5, 2011 — Season: Two — Number: Twenty-Three
Summary: Greendale becomes a battlefield again with the start of a new paintball competition as a mysterious new player debuts. Before the study group can compete for the prize they must first deal with a more personal conflict...

PlotEdit

Quote
This isn't a game...this is paintball.
EndQuote
Annie, the Ace of Hearts
When the episode opens, Neil 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.



FFOPannie
Annie's got her guns.
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.



FFOPstudygroup
The study group at the end of the year picnic
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.



FFOPBBlackRidershotguns
The Black Rider attacks.
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.



Jeff's wanted poster
"My forehead's not that big, right?"
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.



FFOPFortHawthorne
The study group arrives at Fort Hawthorne.
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.



Blackriderannie
The Black Rider gets the drop on Annie
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.



The Study group confronts Pierce
The study group confronts Pierce.
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.



FFOP The vote
The group takes a vote using playing cards
Jeff asks that he let them resolve this conflict before he does anything else. The Black Rider agrees but warns that as soon as it is over, he'll eliminate everyone in the room starting with Jeff. The showdown becomes a four way contest after Jeff challenges The Black Rider to a duel as well. During the standoff, Pierce suddenly collapses, claiming he is having a heart attack. Despite being warned by the study group that he is faking, The Black Rider goes to help him only to get shot by Pierce. Pierce quickly exits, announcing to everyone that he has officially quit the study group. The Black Rider then calls someone on his cell phone and tells them he's been eliminated. As he leaves, he hints there are sinister forces behind this year's paintball tournament.


  • Four way duel
  • "I'm Winning!"
Meanwhile, Chang is outside on the quad trying to find a new alliance to join. Behind him, a window on the parked "Pistol Patty's Cowboy Creamery" ice cream truck opens up. A paintball machine gun emerges, and Chang is shot repeatedly. The back of the van opens up, and a commando team armed with paintball guns exits. The "Pistol Patty" mascot is the last to leave. The commandos turn and kneel as Patty addresses them. Pistol Patty then declares "Initiate Plan B, Operation:Total Invasion!".


  • A paintball machine gun emerges from a van.
  • Chang is finally eliminated.
  • Paintball troopers exit the van.
  • Pistol Patty addresses the troops.

End tagEdit

The end tag for this episode was a sneak preview of next week's episode which continues the story. In it, we see that it's Dean Spreck and City College invading the Greendale campus as the study group along with the rest of the student body try to fight back.


Recurring themesEdit

ContinuityEdit

  • 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:
    • Fat Neil mentions how he and Annie played Dungeons and Dragons together recently. Later in the episode, when the group first confronts Pierce, Abed says, "You raped the Duchesne family." which Pierce did in the D&D episode.
    • Pierce calls Annie his favorite; he had stated this in the previous episode "Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking".
  • Previously:
  • 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.
  • Replay: When the study group meets at the Fort Hawthorne to hear Pierce's proposal, they mirror the usual arrangement they sit in the Study Room with the exception that Jeff and Pierce have swept places.

Running gags:Edit

  • 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 cowgirl outfit.
  • Gay, he's so gay!: Pierce puts a bounty on Jeff, and the Wanted poster reads "GAY AND ALIVE".
  • Fivehead: Jeff objects to the slightly exaggerated forehead on his Wanted poster.
  • 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.

Pop culture references:Edit

  • 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".

Meta references:Edit

Homage: The episode is named after and shot in the style of Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns, most notably the Dollars trilogy. Obvious homages include:
  • 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
    Good bad ugly 1
  • 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.
    • Jeff's cowboy outfit is similar to that worn by John Travolta in "Urban Cowboy."
    • Troy's yellow cowboy costume is just like Sheriff Bart's from "Blazing Saddles".
    • Shirley's outfit is a nod to Father Guido Sarducci.
    • 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".
  • Current events: 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".

GalleryEdit

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.

AFFOPAnnie Queen of Hearts
Annie: Ace of Hearts
AFFOPAbed Jack of Clubs
Abed: The Jack of Clubs
AFFOPJeff King of Spades
Jeff: The King Of Spades
AFFOPBritta Queen of Spades
Britta: The Queen of Spades
AFFOPShirley Ace of Clubs
Shirley: The Ace of Clubs
AFFOPTroy King of Clubs
Troy: The King Of Clubs

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.

Promotional photosEdit

Production photosEdit

QuotesEdit

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"
2. "Accounting for Lawyers"
3. "The Psychology of Letting Go"
4. "Basic Rocket Science"
5. "Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples"
6. "Epidemiology"
7. "Aerodynamics of Gender"
8. "Cooperative Calligraphy"
9. "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design"
10. "Mixology Certification"
11. "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas"
12. "Asian Population Studies"

13. "Celebrity Pharmacology 212"
14. "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons"
15. "Early 21st Century Romanticism"
16. "Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking"
17. "Intro to Political Science"
18. "Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy"
19. "Critical Film Studies"
20. "Competitive Wine Tasting"
21. "Paradigms of Human Memory"
22. "Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts"
23. "A Fistful of Paintballs"
24. "For A Few Paintballs More"

Community Season Two DVD

Season OneSeason TwoSeason ThreeSeason FourSeason Five
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