◄"Modern Warfare"► Directors: Justin Lin — Writer: Emily Cutler — Aired: May 6, 2010 — Season: One — Number: Twenty-Three Summary: Greendale Community College becomes a war zone when a paintball competition spirals out of control. Meanwhile, the sexual tension flares up between Jeff and Britta.
Jeff and Britta arrive at the study room playfully arguing which annoys the rest of the study group. Abed explains that their sexual tension is putting the rest of the study group on edge, preventing them all from becoming closer friends. Pierce suggests he bang her and be done with it which is met with great disgust. Dean Pelton then arrives and announces that a Paintball Assassin competition will be held this year with the 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 to his Lexus to take a nap. An hour later, Jeff wakes up and finds the campus courtyard completely trashed and seemingly deserted; he walks to the library which is in a similar state.
He encounters Garrett who, like the rest of the building, is a wreck. 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. Leonard starts shooting at Jeff until Abed appears and eliminates him in spectacular fashion. He takes Jeff back to the Spanish classroom where Troy and Abed have set up a base. The two explain to Jeff the reason for all the chaos is the contests prize: Priority Registration . With this document any student has first dibs on the classes for next semester and can make up a schedule to their liking. They are interrupted when a chess club member unexpectedly bursts into the room and then quickly runs off.
Abed as Neo
Jeff stops Troy and Abed from pursuing him, explaining that it's just a feint. They use another door to exit, avoiding the ambush. Sneaking up behind the chess club, they eliminate them and make their way to the student lounge. Once there, they find Pierce and Star-Burns looting the vending machines. After Pierce sees them, he decides to betray Star-Burns and join them. The trio decide to take a bathroom break, leaving Pierce to stand guard. Once inside, Abed notices a strange paintball splotch pattern surrounding the urinals. He figures out that they've walked into a trap and suddenly, the female members of the study group appear. A standoff between the two groups occurs but the tension is quickly broken when Jeff and Britta argue.
The Girls VS the Boys
The reunited study group agree to form a temporary alliance and leaves the building to the quad. Troy attempts to get Shirley to form a secret partnership but is suddenly shot. The study group quickly takes cover and Abed figures out from the singing that it's the Glee Club that has ambushed them. Annie is also eliminated when she breaks cover to complain about the clubs musical tastes. Jeff tricks Pierce and gets the Glee Club to give away their position when they shoot him too. The remaining study group members focus their fire on the tree where the Glee Club was hiding, eliminating them all. As night falls, Abed, Jeff, Shirley and Britta make camp inside the cafeteria. Shirley asks what the other study group members intend to do with the priority registration prize if they win it.
The Study group reunited
Jeff hopes to make a packed schedule which could help him graduate early. Britta hopes to enroll 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 enroll 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 enrollment 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
Firing at the same time, they manage to eliminate each other. Jeff picks up the discarded rifle as Chang laughingly tells them that there is no prize before revealing a paintball bomb strapped to his chest. Jeff barely escapes before it explodes. Jeff goes to the dean's office and using the paintball rifle, sprays it with paint until he runs out of ammo. 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. Abed, however, senses something significant has occured. Jeff tries to deflects this by handing the prize over to a grateful Shirley. Abed is undeterred, however, and is still trying to figure out what exactly has changed...
School supplies: the school provided all the students with the necessary paintball paraphernalia to compete including paintball guns and ammo.
Discontinuity: Most participants didn't use safety goggles. It's a must for all contestants in paintball to wear the proper safety devices at all times during the competition. No officials are 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.
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.
Awwww!: Annie says this when Shirley is mentioning her sons bringing breakfast to her in bed. Shirley later says this when comparing Jeff and Britta's bickering to Sam and Diane from Cheers.
Annie's Boobs: Annie is shot in the right breast by the Glee Club.
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 tells Jeff a reworking of the famous quote from "The Terminator"
The scene is more similar to "Terminator: Salvation"
The 70's roller skaters the study group encounters taunt them with the line that's a reference to the movie "The Warriors" in which a similar line was said to the protagonists of that movie. The roller skaters themselves may be a reference to the many bizarre and colorful gangs featured in The Warriors, which included both 70's 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 reference to "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.
Chang's suicide bomb and his laugh at the end of the paintball fight is an homage to the final scene in "Predator"
Britta and Chang's is filmed in a "bullet time" manner similar to The Matrix."
Britta and Chang's fight at the end is very similar to the style used in 1996's Romeo + Juliet, in particular Chang's stylized guns and the pacing.
Abed can sense somebody has had sex on the study room table [false], like Jeff Goldblums character in Vibes
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. 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.
Use your allusion: Jeff mentions that back in Pierce's day, putting hydrogen in blimps was a good idea referencing the 1937 Hindenburg disaster.