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6x9 Grifitng eyecatcher 1

     Grifting 101  
Director: Rob SchrabWriter: Ryan RidleyAired: 5/5/2015 — Season: Six — Number: 9
Summary: When a clever con man uses his class to cheat the committee they enlist Jeff to get revenge.



PlotEdit

Quote
Oh-h-h-h, this is one of those things where Jeff gets jealous of something dumb.
EndQuote
— Annie
In the study room, the Save Greendale Committee is looking over the course catalog for the new semester. Annie suggests they all take the class on Grifting but Jeff warns them the course itself will probably turn out to be a con. Elroy, Chang, Annie, Abed and Britta ignore him and sign up for the class anyway. They also each purchase the $150 dollar regulation Grifting briefcase needed for the course. On the first day of class they meet the teacher, Professor Roger DeSalvo. He instructs his students to repeatedly pass their briefcases back and forth to each other for forty minutes. When the students start to question his teaching methods their complaints are deflected by an amused DelSavo.



6x9 DeSalvo is amused
Professor DeSalvo is amused.
Afterwards, they find Jeff in the cafeteria and admit he was right about the class itself being a grift. They ask for his help to get back at the professor but Jeff refuses since he wasn't personally affected. This changes when Jeff heads to his office only to find it occupied by his new officemate Professor DeSalvo. Although Jeff is annoyed the professor was making himself comfortable at his desk he admits to admiring his style. Jeff brags about his own past as a fake lawyer but DeSalvo is unimpressed. DeSalvo dismissively tells Jeff he's just a good liar, what he does as a grifter is more of an art form. Angered by his arrogance, Jeff goes back to the cafeteria and agrees to help his friends take DeSalvo down.



6x9 Grifting! Grifting!
The committee unites against DeSalvo.
The next day, DeSalvo dismisses class early after Elroy and a fake telegraph messenger tries to run an obvious con on him. He joins the rest of the faculty in the Teacher's lounge for a drink where he finds Jeff. Roger mocks his amateurish attempts at orchestrating a grift which prompts yet another failed attempt. Jeff promises to eventually grift DeSalvo before Frankie orders all the teachers to get back to work. DeSalvo instead goes to The Vatican where an unwelcoming Britta is there tending bar. Later in a storage room, Jeff meets with the committee and tells them everything is going according to plan. When they press him for details, Jeff's obfuscation causes Annie to realizes he has no plan.



6x9 Jeff promises to grift DeSalvo
Jeff promises to grift DeSalvo.
Jeff reluctantly comes clean and pleads for more time to think of something. In desperation he and the committee watch the 1970's con movie "The Sting " for inspiration. It's implausible premise proves unhelpful and everyone but Jeff is ready to give up. DeSalvo surprisingly crashes their meeting and belittles their futile efforts. Britta punches him in retaliation and a bloody nosed DeSalvo runs away. The committee follows him outside only to witness him slip on a recently mopped hallway floor and sliding through an exit leading to a stairwell. The group is horrified to find him at the bottom of the stairs writhing in pain and coughing up blood.



6x9 Watching The Sting
The committee watches "The Sting" and takes notes.
Soon after, a wheelchair bound DeSalvo meets with Dean Pelton in his office along with the rest of the committee. He is given a $50,000 settlement for his injuries and Pelton expels Britta for her part in the incident. DeSalvo leaves with the briefcase only to have a clandestine meeting with Britta afterwards in the storage room. A clearly uninjured DeSalvo gives Britta her share of the money for the "accident" but rebukes her for punching too hard. Britta makes out with DeSalvo and agrees to meet up with him later at a motel. Only later does DeSalvo realizes his briefcase was switched and the money is gone. It's then that Britta, Abed and other students with briefcases march past him in the hallway.



6x9 Hush money
The school is forced to fork over some hush money.
He abandons his wheelchair and gives chase ending up in the cafeteria where Pelton, Frankie, Britta, Abed and Officer Cackowski await him. DeSalvo claims they stole his money but the contents of their briefcases reveal newspaper clippings. The committee feigns ignorance on the accident or the settlement DeSalvo received. When Roger complains to Cackowski, Jeff appears and points out he has two options. He can say he was outwitted by people he underestimated or he lost the briefcase and owes the school money for injuries that are clearly fake. Defeated, DeSalvo admits he was grifted and is summarily fired by Pelton prompting the committee to revel in their victory.



6x9 DeSalvo admits defeat
DeSalvo admits defeat.

End tagEdit

The telegram messenger Ryan Ridley, who participated in Jeff's attempts to con DeSalvo, returns to see Jeff and asks if he needs his help in the future. Ridley is in a debt of gratitude to Jeff, thanks to Jeff having saved his life in a gym accident. It's shown through an action montage that Jeff has had Ridley do menial tasks for him over the course of three years. Whether Jeff will ever consider the debt paid is not shown.



6x9 The Guy From Jeff's Gym
The Equalizer Guy From Jeff's Gym

Recurring themesEdit

ContinuityEdit

  • Familiar faces:
  • Returning students: Leonard and Garrett both appear in this episode.
  • A sweet ride: Jeff's Lexus appears briefly in the episode end tag.
  • This must be the place: Group Study Room F, Dean Pelton's office, Jeff's office, the cafeteria, the teachers lounge and the parking garage all appear in this episode.
  • Theoretical Phys-Ed: The "Grifting 101" class, which, as we can see, mostly consists of switching briefcases.

Running gagsEdit

  • The Jim Belushi of...: The African telegram scam is referred to by DeSalvo as the Jim Belushi of grifts.
  • Britta'd it: Elroy gets the group's origin story wrong believing that Britta started a fake biology group so that she could have sex with Troy.
  • Nice outfit:
    • Ryan Ridley wears a telegram messenger outfit he borrowed from Dean Pelton.
    • Leonard wears a bellhop outfit as part of Jeff's grift.

Pop culture referencesEdit

  • IMDb: The group (sans Frankie) actually watches "The Sting " in order to learn grifting, after which Abed recommends they watch another con movie, "Matchstick Men ".
  • Shout out: When the group has finished watching the film "The Sting", Britta expresses disappointment because the musician Sting wasn't in it.
  • Use your allusion: When the grifting students are practicing passing their briefcases back and forth, Professor DeSalvo flippantly says "Pass them like your sister's dying," a reference to a scene in Empire, where a record executive directs a singer to remember how she felt when her brother was dying.

Meta referencesEdit

  • Homage: The episode's plot pays homage to the Robert Redford and Paul Newman 1970's film classic "The Sting". Aside from the movie itself being directly referenced within the show other nods include the use of old Saturday Evening Post type title cards, the Iris Shot technique which ends some of the scenes and Scott Joplin's The Entertainer piano piece as soundtrack.
  • Parody: The Guy from Jeff's Gym (the end tag) parodies 1980s action TV shows' title sequences, particularly "The Equalizer ".
  • Résumé: Professor DeSalvo mentions Because the Internet , which is the title of Donald Glover's (Troy Barnes) second solo album as Childish Gambino.
  • Against the wall:
    • Annie explains the plot of the episode as Jeff being jelous of someone which is similar to past episodes like "Beginner Pottery" from Season One and the Season Six episode "Laws of Robotics & Party Rights".
    • Community staff writer Ryan Ridley, who is also credited with writing this episode, appears as a character also named Ryan Ridley who is indebted to Jeff.

GalleryEdit

Illiustrated title cardsEdit

Promotional photosEdit

Behind the scenes photosEdit

Season Six Episodes

1. "Ladders"
2. "Lawnmower Maintenance and Postnatal Care"
3. "Basic Crisis Room Decorum"
4. "Queer Studies & Advanced Waxing"
5. "Laws of Robotics & Party Rights"
6. "Basic Email Security"
7. "Advanced Safety Features"

8. "Intro to Recycled Cinema"
9. "Grifting 101"
10. "Basic RV Repair and Palmistry"
11. "Modern Espionage"
12. "Wedding Videography"
13. "Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television"

Community Season Six DVD front cover

Season OneSeason TwoSeason ThreeSeason FourSeason FiveSeason Six

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