Director: Justin Lin — Writer: Emily Cutler — Aired: May 6, 2010 —Season: One — Number: Twenty-Three Summary: Paintball turns Greendale into a war zone as Jeff and Britta deal with their sexual tension.
Jeff and Britta arrive together at the study room annoying everyone with their flirtatious arguing. Abed explains that their sexual tension is putting everyone on edge and affecting the group dynamic. Pierce suggest they just sleep together and move on as Dean Pelton arrives with some news. He was announces a Paintball Assassin competition that will start soon with a prize to be announced later. After he leaves, Annie tries to steer the conversation back to Jeff and Britta. However, Jeff is unwilling to discuss it any further and decides to go take a nap in his Lexus. An hour later, Jeff wakes up and finds the campus quad completely trashed and seemingly deserted. He walks to the library which is in a similar state and finds Garrett covered in paint.
The banter continues...
Garrett explains that everyone turned on each other once "the prize" was announced. Before he can elaborate any further, he is shot by Leonard with a paintball gun. He then attacks Jeff when Abed appears and eliminates Leonard in spectacular fashion. He takes Jeff back to the Spanish classroom where Troy and Abed have set up a base. The two explain the reason for all the chaos is the contests prize: Priority Registration . With this document any student has first dibs on classes for the next semester and can make up a schedule to their liking. They are interrupted when a chess club member burst into the room and quickly ran off. The trio avoids the obvious ambush and eliminate the chess club members who were lying in wait.
Abed as Neo.
They make their way to the student lounge and find Pierce and Star-Burns looting the vending machines. After reuniting with his friends, Pierce betrays Star-Burns and joins them. The trio use the facilities to take a bathroom break only for Abed to realize they've stumbled into a trap. Britta, Shirley and Annie emerge from their hiding places in the restroom getting the drop on them with their paintball weapons. A standoff between the two groups occurs but the tension is quickly broken when Jeff and Britta argue. The reunited study group agree to form a temporary alliance and leaves the building for the quad. Troy attempts to get Shirley to form a secret partnership but is suddenly shot.
The Study group reunited.
The study group takes cover and Abed figures out from the singing that it's the Glee Club. When Annie gets eliminated after breaking cover, Jeff tricks Pierce to do so as well in order to give away the clubs hiding place when they shoot him too. The remaining group focus their fire on the Glee Club's sniping position in a tree eliminating them all. Abed, Jeff, Shirley and Britta make camp inside the cafeteria and settle in for the night. Shirley asks what the other study group members intend to do with the priority registration prize if they win it. Jeff hopes to make a packed schedule which could help him graduate early while Britta hopes to enrol in easier classes. Shirley says she wants it so she can make a schedule that will allow her to spend more time with her children.
Britta is touched and suggests that they all make a pact to hand the prize over to Shirley if they win. Jeff then begins to argue with her about her fake sincerity which annoys Abed and Shirley. They are ll interrupted are when they hear someone taunting them. A pack of roller skating paintball players emerge from the shadows surrounding the group. A quick gun battle ensues, and although they manage to take out most of them, Shirley is shot.
Shirley's going home.
Abed pursues and eliminates the remaining roller skaters who have fled but ends up being shot in the process too. The defeated contestants wish Jeff and Britta good luck before departing. In Dean Pelton's office, the Dean and Chang are discussing how out of control the competition has become. Chang tells him that he is an accomplished paintball player and can put an end to it by taking out whoevers left. He convinces the Dean to enrol him as a student, so he can participate. Meanwhile, back in the study room, Britta is tending to a minor wound Jeff suffered during the last gunfight. They note how cliche it would be if they hooked up now and pretend to make out with each other. This leads to them kissing each other for real and consummating their relationship on the the study table.
Jeff and Britta end the sexual tension.
Later, Britta gets dressed and quietly grabs her paintball gun which she then points at Jeff. She makes it clear that she didn't sleep with him just to win before firing. However, her gun is empty and Jeff reveals he took out the ammo while she was sleeping. He then points his gun at her when the dramatic arrival of Chang makes them both pause. Armed with an automatic paintball rifle, he starts spraying the room, forcing Jeff and Britta to take cover. When Jeff questions his eligibility to compete, Chang shows off signed enrolment papers from the Dean. Admitting Jeff got the drop on her, Britta offers to take out Chang. She kisses him before grabbing back her gun along with his. Chang drops his rifle and pulls out a pair of golden paintball guns.
Chang activates his dual wielding capabilities and brings out a pair of golden paintball guns.
They fire at the same time and in the process manage to eliminate each other. Jeff picks up the discarded rifle and narrowly avoids a suicide paintball bomb activated by Chang. He goes to the dean's office and sprays it with paint until the ammo ran out. He then shoots the Dean with a hidden paintball gun and demands the prize. The next day, Jeff runs into Britta on the way to the study room and they agree to keep what happened between them a secret. Once they arrive Abed senses something significant has occurred but Jeff deflects this by handing his his priority registration prize over to Shirley. Britta compliments Jeff on the gesture while Abed continues to try and figure out what exactly has changed.
Recurring or debuting plot points in this episode:
Climax: This episode featured a major turning point in Jeff and Britta's relationship.
When entering the study room in the opening scene, Jeff and Britta set their books down on the table. However, there are no books when the reaction shot to their bickering from the study group is shown.
Most of the paintball participants didn't use safety goggles. It's necessary for all contestants to wear proper safety devices as paintball can cause injuries, particularly to the eyes.
There are no officials seen observing the competition, so it's unclear how eliminations are being recorded.
After the contest is over, the school is basically back to normal the very next day despite having been trashed so thoroughly the day before. Group Study Room F in particular shows no sign at all of having had a large paintball explosion go off inside it.
Recurring or debuting running gags in this episode:
A dollop of whipped irony: Jeff says he's all for winning but doesn't like resorting to cheap ploys. He then takes off his shirt and revealing a tight fitting wifebeater which he wears for the rest of the competition.
Annie's Boobs: Annie is shot in the right breast by the Glee Club.
Awwww!: Annie says this when Shirley is mentioning her sons bringing breakfast to her in bed.
I hate Glee!: The show takes another shot at Glee, mocking the fact that they don't use original songs. Coincidentally, Glee would later do original songs in the Season 2 episode, "Original Song." Glee didn't reference Community when they did.
Man crush: As the Dean enters the Study Room to announce the paintball game, he puts his hand on Jeff's shoulder and lets it linger.
OK we get it, you're young!: Shirley says this when Annie asks who Sam and Diane (from Cheers) are.
WWBJD: Shirley says to Troy that "they are walking with God". As Troy get shot, Shirley cries that he made God mad (as he just proposed that he and Shirley shoot the rest of the group).
Everyone's a critic: Abed's criticism of Jeff and Britta's relationship and their lack of chemistry is a pointed reference to fans and critics with similar complaints about the pairing. He also responds to the critic saying that "it keeps us from being Friends".
Homage: The episode is an homage to various action/adventure type films, notably referencing Die Hard, Rambo, The Warriors as well as a few other movies in this genre. Examples include:
When Jeff wakes up and walks across a deserted campus, it's filmed in the same way as a scene in "28 days later".
When Abed saves Jeff from Leonard, he runs up the wall in slow motion, reminiscent of scenes in "The Matrix" The music is also similar to that used in the film.
When The 70s roller skaters encounters the study group, the line "Come Out to Play!" they taunt them with is a reference to the movie "The Warriors". The roller skaters themselves may be a reference to the many bizarre and colorful gangs featured in The Warriors, which included both 70s themed gangs and a roller skating gang.
Shirley recites a passage from the bible while shooting down the roller skaters, simliar to the sniper character from "Saving Private Ryan".
When Jeff reveals that he removed the ammo clip from Britta's gun, he asks her "No paintballs, Hans?" a reworking of a quote from the movie "Die Hard".
Jeff's wifebeater attire is essentially the same outfit worn by John McClane in "Die Hard".
"Rambo: First Blood Part II" is referenced when Jeff goes into the dean's office and shoots it up, mimicking a similar scene when Rambo confronts Murdock.
"Die Hard" is referenced again when Jeff shoots the Dean with a paintball pistol that was taped to his back, which is an homage to John McClane doing the same thing to Hans Gruber.