|◄ Season Four, Episode 2 ►|
|Air date||February 14, 2013 on|
|Written by||Megan Ganz|
|Directed by||Tristram Shapeero|
|“||You have got to be kidding me! What in the Scooby-Doo is happening to you people?!||”|
Summary: While on their way to Vicki’s Halloween costume party, the study group makes a detour to Pierce’s mansion when they learn he accidentally locked himself in his panic room. As Pierce languishes behind locked doors, the group searches the dark and eerie house for the book that holds the code to the door. Along the way, they encounter a few of the house’s secrets.
In the study room, the gang meet up in costume so they can all go together to Vicki's Halloween party. Pierce is the only one not invited and before they could leave he calls Troy from his mansion. He locked himself in his panic room and ask for his friends assistance in getting him out. Jeff immediately suspects that he is trying to stop the group from attending the party without him. He refuses to go until the Dean shows up. Scantily clad in a ring girl outfit that coordinates with Jeff's boxer costume, Pelton implies he is going to Vicki's party as well. A disturbed Jeff changes his mind and decides to go help Pierce out. The group arrives at Pierce's mansion and are amused by the tacky 80's style decor. Troy, having lived their previously, directs them to the panic room. He activates the communication system and they are able to talk to Pierce via a telescreen. Pierce informs them he hasn't been trapped long but can't remember the code that opens the door.
He tells them they need to find his red notebook which contains the code but can't recall where he misplaced it. After some prodding from Jeff, Pierce admits the real reason he is in the panic room was because he thought he saw the ghost of his dead father. Jeff scoffs at his story but is shocked when he sees that the study group has decided to stay and help Pierce. Resignedly, he joins them and the group splits up to cover more ground. Jeff and Britta discover Pierce's bedroom where . Britta starts to get scared when Jeff teasingly asks a photo of Pierce dead father where the codes might be. She suggests that Pierce may be haunted not by an actual ghost but some unresolved issues he had with his father. Jeff then jokingly starts a rant against Cornelius Hawthorne which turns into a rant about his issues with his own father. He then clams up when he realizes that Britta set him up so he could talk about his daddy issues.
Over in the mansions library, Annie and Abed are carefully searching the room for the notebook. Annie gets distracted when she discovers a journal Pierce kept entitled "Pierce Hawthorne's ideas for ladies". As she reads it, Abed examines a nearby bookshelf contining various Norwegian troll dolls. He pulls one and the shelf spins sideways to reveal a secret chamber. Annie realizes that this isn't the notebook they are looking for and then notices that Abed has disappeared. Uneasy being alone, she hesitatingly walks out into the hallway to find him. She gets spooked when she looks into the mirror hanging outside and sees what appears to be Cornelius Hawthorne standing behind her. Meanwhile, Troy and Shirley are roaming around the mansions hallways trying to find the library. Troy points out a private room that Pierce refused to let him go into . Shirley enters in believing it's the library but it turns out to be Pierce's special playroom.
Shirley quickly ushers Troy outside and asks him to forget what he saw in there. She also tells him that he needn't worry about what that actually was inside because he'll find out soon enough since he's dating Britta. Before she could elaborate further, they then notice the rattling of a doorknob at the end of the hallway. Troy opens up the door and finds Annie on the other side. Annie tells them she lost Abed and the three resolve to find him. Unbeknownst to them, Abed made his way to the mansions security room and has been watching "Cougar Town" on a TV while also keeping an eye in the group's activities. He turns his attention to the surveillance camera footage in Pierce's bedroom and watches Britta and Jeff's conversation. Britta continues to press Jeff on his father issues. As proof that he doesn't need any closure with his father he offers up the fact that he has had his dad's phone number for three weeks now and hasn't had the slightest urge to call him.
Abed loses interest and switches his attention to old surveillance footage of Pierce's bedroom. It shows a shadowy figure watching Pierce as he slept. As Abed continues to examine the footage he is unaware that a shadowy figure is behind him. Elsewhere, Jeff is being chased by Britta who is still nagging him about his father. He finds his way to Cornelius Hawthorne's bedroom and locks himself inside to avoid Britta. After sampling a drink from the bar he discovers the red notebook which has the code. In the hallways, Annie Troy and Shirley are frightened when they see the walls start to come to life. Meanwhile, Jeff continues to relax in Cornelius' bedroom when he is annoyed by incessant knocking at the door. Believing it to be Britta, he opens the door to find no one there. The room then starts to shake violently as a portrait of Cornelius seems to warp and give off a sinister glowing glare. He leaves the room, finds Britta and they both leave the area in a hurry.
Over in another part of the mansion, Troy, Shirley and Annie notice a wall seemingly coming to life and flee in terror. After running into Jeff and Britta, they all head towards Pierce's panic room and see via the telescreen that Pierce seems to be unconscious. Jeff enters the code he found to let them in but once inside they find it empty. Pierce suddenly appears behind them and reveals he set them all up for an elaborate prank. Abed then shows up as well with videotape surveillance footage showing how Pierce accomplished his prank. He then shows them footage of the shadowy figure watching Pierce sleep. Shocked, Pierce seals the panic room shut claiming that wasn't part of his prank. The study group doesn't believe him but he insists the figure must be the ghost of his dead father. The door to the panic room starts to open from the outside revealing Gilbert Lawson. He explains that six weeks ago he had come to the mansion to give Pierce the deed to the place. After noticing unpaid bills he took care of it and decided to stick around secretly.
He admits that he was trying to fill a void in his life left by the death of Cornelius by taking care of Pierce the same way he took care of their father. He apologizes for his actions and is about to leave when Pierce offers that he can stay as his roommate. He accepts and they both embrace in a hug. Afterwards, Pierce says goodbye to the group as they leave for the Halloween party. Shirley asks if he wants to come as well but he elects to stay at home to spend time with Gilbert. Britta asks Troy if they can ditch the party so they can watch an episode of "Inspector Spacetime" together which he happily agrees to. Annie asks Jeff if he still wants to go to the party but he says he has to pass as he has some unfinished business he has to take care of. Later at his apartment, Jeff regards the boxing gloves he was using as part of his costume. It turns out they were once owned by his father. He pulls out his cell phone and dials his fathers phone number.
Troy and Abed are playing around with the revolving bookcase secret entrance much to Pierce's annoyance.
- Annie mentions the reason why Pierce wasn't invited to Vicki's Halloween party; earlier he taunted her so much she put a pencil through his face in the Season Two episode "Intro to Political Science".
- Troy mentions that Jeff killed Pierce's father Cornelius Hawthorne in the Season Three episode "Advanced Gay".
- Annie recaps the events in the Season Three episode "Digital Estate Planning" and recounts how Pierce lost his inheritance to his illegitimate half brother Gilbert Lawson while playing a video game.
- Troy mentions having lived at the mansion which he did in Season Two.
- The 'Special Gym' that Troy and Shirley find is mentioned in the Season Two episode "Competitive Wine Tasting ".
- Double take:
- The opening Paper fortune teller sequence in the opening credits is the same one used in the Season Two episode "Epidemiology" with the new addition of Jim Rash's credit which features a man in an electric chair.
- When Annie recaps Pierce's familial history and realizes how ridiculous it sounds she says: "I guess I never said it out loud". This is exactly what Jeff had said in the Season Three episode "Remedial Chaos Theory" after reading aloud the ridiculous name Abed gave for a fake Billiards club he was supposedly invited to.
- Pierce says: "Ghosts can't go through doors stupid! They're not fire!" which is a reworking of a similar quote from Ben Chang in the Season Three episode "First Chang Dynasty": "Fire can't go through doors stupid! They're not ghosts!".
- School supplies:
- Jeff's cell phone makes an appearance when inside Pierce's bedroom he checks his messages instead of looking for the panic room codes.
- The Norwegian troll doll, revealed to be named "Torg", is referenced when Abed sees an empty spot where it used to reside next to other troll dolls including one that looks exactly like it named "Grot".
- The boxing gloves Jeff had as part of his costume turns out to be gloves used by his father William Winger.
- School song: "Daybreak" is heard in the episode, it's Troy's ring tone.
- Familiar faces: Gilbert Lawson makes a surprise return at the end of the episode.
- Troy and Britta coo when Shirley mentions that her family is going with a Star Wars theme for their costumes this year: Her husband Andre is going as Han Solo, Elijah and Jordan are going as Stormtroopers and baby Ben is going as an Ewok. Abed does a courtesy "Aww!" and mentions that Shirley doesn't have enough children.
- The group, sans Jeff, coo when Pierce apologizes to them for being such a burden.
- The study group coos a third time when Pierce offers Gilbert to be his roommate and they both hug each other.
- Nice outfit:Jeff is dressed as a boxer, Britta is dressed as a ham, referencing "To Kill A Mockingbird", Troy and Abed are dressed as Calvin and Hobbes, Shirley is dressed like Princess Leia and Annie is dressed as the girl from the horror movie "The Ring". Dean pelton shows up dressed in the outfit that Jeff had intended Annie to wear, that of a boxing ring girl.
- Rhyme time: Troy tells Pierce "No sweat, Boba Fett!"
- Catchphrase: Shirley says "That's nice!" after hearing that Pierce has decided to not go to the Halloween party and instead wants to stay at the mansion with Gilbert.
- TV Guide: "Cougar Town" is mentioned by Abed, Jeff mentions "Miami Vice". Jeff mentions "Scooby-Doo".
- Shout out: Jeff mentions David Lee Roth.
- Well read: Jeff mentions "Peter Pan" when describing how Pierce has never allowed himself to grow up.
- Everyone's a critic:
- Abed states, " I remember when this show used to be about community college," after watching Britta and Jeff argue on the monitor in the surveillance room.
- Annie says she hates referential humor.
Resume: Abed notices that the panic room was installed the same date in 1989 as the release of "Do the Right Thing." Giancarlo Esposito, the actor who plays Gilbert Lawson, had the break-out role of Buggin' Out in "Do the Right Thing".
- “After a 42% drop in Week 2, it's back to Deathwatch for 'Community.' Sigh. Emotional rollercoaster, that one is.”— Daniel Feinberg, twitter.com
"Paranormal Parentage" drew 2.76 million viewers, earning a 1.2 rating/4 share among adults 18-49, down 33% from "History 101" on February 7, 2013("[zap2it.com]]"). Initial reports placed the rating at 1.1("[zap2it.com]]"), leading Andy Bobrow to post a pair of self-deprecating Tweets:
- “I'm afraid I killed Community.”
- “I know it's not all about me, but 43% of the people who watched my episode decided not to watch another one.”
ProductionEdittweeted by the writer Megan Ganz. It is the second episode of Season Four of Community but originally was intended to be the third episode. The scheduled was shifted to accommodate a closer air date to Halloween, but the entire season was put on hold from its October 19 premiere and eventually pushed back to next year. After being promoted as airing on October 26, it eventually debuted on February 14 (Valentine's Day). NBC decided to promote the episode and acknowledge the weird discrepancy by by coining the term "Valloween" and using the word in the official commercial for the episode seen below.
A series of promotional "Valloween cards was released by NBC online to promote the Halloween themed epsiode premiering on Valentine's Day.
Promotional pictures from the episode:
|Season Four Episodes|
1. "History 101"
|Season One • Season Two • Season Three • Season Four • Season Five|