Summary: The study group decided to not let an obnoxious student from their Spanish class into their study group (guest star Jack Black). Jeff is appointed as the new editor of the school newspaper, while Annie is working on a case that could prove the Dean as racist.
PlotThe study group reunites after winter break and fills each other in on what they did on vacation. Jeff then shows up with a new attitude determined to be more positive then he was before. Abed compares his new outlook to the character Hawkeye from M*A*S*H. A student then tells him that he hopes he doesn't change too much. Jeff is about to respond to him before he and the group realize that a stranger has joined them at the study table. He introduces himself as Buddy from their Spanish class but Abed is the only one who recognizes him. Even though they don't know him Buddy tells him how he's familiar with all of them having seen them all grow closer last semester. He asks that they consider letting him into their group.
Dean Pelton convinces Jeff to edit the newly resurrected Greendale Gazette Journal Mirror, Greendale's student newspaper, with the promise of a cushy office and a free English credit. The staff includes Abed as photographer and Annie whom Jeff quickly appoints her as his "ace newshound" reporter when she notices him taking advantage of his newfound authority. Annie soon finds out that Dean Pelton texted only the black students about a time change for a concert on campus. He did so, assuming they would be able to spread the word to everyone, in order to avoid additional cell phone charges. Jeff agrees to help when the Dean begs him to kill the story but Annie doesn't respond to Jeff's relaxed approach.
Buddy persists in his desire to join the group but Jeff resists pressure from the other members to deal with the situation. Soon Buddy's constant interruptions of study time prove more than even the new laid-back Jeff can handle and the group meets to discuss membership policy. Surprisingly, a majority of the group seem inclined to let Buddy in until Jeff pretends to read a newspaper story about a student who murdered his classmates. However, nobody informs Buddy of their decision and he shows up at the next meeting and doesn't take news of the group's decision well, refusing to leave. Jeff finally snaps, physically dragging Buddy away and then returning to tell Annie she can't run her news story, "Because I said so!"
Back in the newspaper office Jeff is distraught for reverting to his old ways but Abed tells him that sometimes a leader needs to bark orders and take charge. Annie walks in to thank Jeff for making her realize how she could have hurt Dean Pelton. This newfound perspective causes Jeff to invite Buddy back and encourage the group to really give him a chance. As everyone agrees and moves in for a group hug another group walks in to tell Buddy he has been accepted in to their group. Buddy reveals to the study group that they were his second choice and leaves with the "cool group".
Troy and Abed are interviewed by Star-Burns for possible membership in the "cool group". Pierce shows up and berates them for their disloyalty. After they walk away Pierce asks if the group has decided on his own membership.
- And we're back: The study group (as well as the show itself) returns picking up where the previous episode left off right after their winter break.
- First appearance:
- The school newspaper The Greendale Gazette Journal Mirror is introduced.
- Mark Millot first appearance is in this episode.
- Middle Eastern Magic 8 Ball: Abed mentions The Right Stuff, a novel which was made into a film that is referenced heavily in Season Two's episode Basic Rocket Science.
- Gasp: The Annie and Britta of Buddy's imagination oversell a shocked gasp.
- Man crush: Pelton inappropriately rubs Jeff's stomach
- Pansexual imp: Dean Pelton is show trying on a Dalmatian costume in his office.
- Biggest laugh of the night: With one of several jump kicks Buddy accidentally connects with Jeff's nose, drawing blood. Later Buddy gets pantsed over the course of being physically ejected from the study room by Jeff.
- This must be the place: This is the first time we see the group have an official meeting outside the study room to discuss non-academic matters.
- My friend Gary: Shirley suggests that her friend Gary. Even Britta says that he is "SO boring," going so far as to call him a "buzz-kill".
- Use your allusion: Britta mentions she thinks she spent the winter break in Amsterdam but she'll know for sure when she finds her camera. This is likely a reference to the summer hit "The Hangover" which had been released that year.
- Parody: Buddy says "I'm strong, and I can kick" just before kicking Jeff in the face. This is a clear reference to the outrageous 1987 appearance of Crispin Glover on Late Night with David Letterman, where Glover delivered the same line along with a high kick towards Letterman.
- Up against the wall: When Buddy sings about Annie's "luscious fanny" Jeff tells him that because Annie is only 18, they try not to sexualize her. In the DVD commentary Dan Harmon explained that this echoes the attitude of Community's creative team towards Alison Brie's character.
- Everyone's a critic:
- Buddy has some suggestions to improve the group dynamic. While his ideas probably aren't representative of any specific critics, this can be seen as commentary on outside entities trying to influence the show.
- Pierce is bored of Abed's frequent pop culture references.
- Jeff comments on some of the negative aspects of his behavior from the first half of the season while overtly trying to be more relaxed.
- IRL: Numerous characters comment on Buddy's chubby athleticism, one of the hallmark's of Jack Black's acting career.
- TV Guide: M*A*S*H is mentioned frequently by Abed throughout this episode. Jeff is called Hawkeye numerous times and Abed even hums the theme song. The episode ends with a freeze frame like most episodes of M*A*S*H.
- Product placement: Dean Pelton uses free samples of Sephora as bait by to lure Jeff into the Greendale Gazette Journal Mirror.
- Shout out: Annie recalls a Toni Braxton concert held at Greendale.
- IMDB: Buddy compares himself to the main character in Paul Blart: Mall Cop.
- Well read: Abed briefly mentions Tom Wolfe's novel The Right Stuff.
- “This is the first desk I've seen in six months that doesn't have 'Zeppelin Rules' carved into it.”— Jeff
- “No no, it's fine it's fine. Just a little...little nosebleed. I get them when it's dry and when my face get's kicked.”— Jeff
- “If we're going to add a chair for every bong-ripping good-time Charlie with a song in his heart, I move we institute hazing.”— Annie
- “Guys, let's take a vote.”— Britta
- “Secret vote. Everybody cover your eyes.”— Abed
- “We won't know the results!”— Annie
- “Well, say your vote out loud.”— Pierce
- “We'll know each other's voices.”— Shirley
- “Troy's got a point.”— Pierce
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14. "Interpretive Dance"
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