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2x3 A worthy cause

The Psychology of Letting Go
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Director: Anthony Russo — Writer: Hilary WinstonAired: October 7, 2010 —Season: Two — Number: Three
Summary: Jeff struggles with his mortality; Pierce copes with a trageic loss while Annie and Britta raise funds.


PlotEdit

Quote
I can't be the first person to tell you this, but the temple doesn't last forever. This is a Temple of Doom, and you know what? Like the real Temple of Doom, it represents the fact that all good things- be it people or movie franchises- eventually collapse into sagging, sloppy, rotten piles of hard-to-follow nonsense.
EndQuote
Nurse Jackie
Shirley enters the study room and notices Annie and Britta working on a diorama together. It's the centerpiece for a fundraiser they are holding for a recent oil spill. Jeff arrives, having just gotten back from a medical check-up. It's then that a despondent Troy shows up and tells everyone that he found the dead body of Pierce's mom while trying to do the laundry at Pierce's mansion. The ladies comfort him as Pierce arrives seemingly unaffected. The others express concern over how he is handling his mother's death, but Pierce responds that she didn't actually die. According to his religion, it was merely her corporeal body that died. He further explains that her spirit is being stored inside an "energy pod" and that she will eventually be reborn into a new body.



2X3 Britta and Annie working in their fundraising display
Shirley standing on the outside looking in...as usual.
On their way to the Anthropology classroom, the study group implores Jeff to talk to Pierce. Jeff tells them that they should just respect his religion and let him grieve in his own way. After entering the classroom, they meet up with Pierce and try to do as Jeff says. As they settle in, Professor Ian Duncan shows up and introduces himself as the new teacher for Anthropology, taking over from Professor Bauer who has been temporarily suspended. Chang enters the room, upsetting Duncan who had a restraining order placed on him after his physical assault on Duncan at last semester's Tranny Dance. Duncan reminds Chang that he must stay 25 feet away from him, or he'll be expelled. Later, Annie and Britta are on the quad trying to raise money for the oil spill. Britta is having a hard time of it while Annie is easily getting donations.



2X3 Professor Bauer's replacement Ian Duncan
Professor Bauer's replacement: Doctor Ian Duncan.
Meanwhile at the Greendale Student Health Center, Jeff meets up with Nurse Jackie to get his test results. When Jackie informs him of his high cholesterol level, Jeff doesn't take the news well. Later in the cafeteria, Shirley thanks Jeff for correcting everyone's attitude about Pierce's beliefs but get cuts off when Jeff rants about the inevitability of death. Shirley leaves to check in with Annie and Britta who are counting the money they've raised so far. Shirley drops passive aggressive hints about being excluded from the activity while Britta snidely mentions how Annie was flirting to get donations. Shirley stirs the pot by pointing out how Britta is upset at how little she raised in comparison to Annie. The two start to argue, and Britta angrily leaves.



2X3 Britta's feminst senses are tingling
Britta's feminist senses are tingling.
In Anthropology class, Troy sees Pierce and is re-introduced to his mom. According to Pierce's religion, her spirit is now contained inside an "Energon pod" which looks just like a lava lamp. Professor Duncan enters the class late and gets heckled by Chang. Duncan then uses the restraining order to his advantage. By walking towards him, Duncan forces Chang to leave the room lest he violate the 25 foot rule. Duncan starts class which leads to Pierce describing the ridiculous tenets of his faith. Jeff becomes annoyed by him and starts to make fun of his religion. Once class is over, Annie returns to the cafeteria to continue soliciting more charitable donations for the cause. She is shocked when Britta shows up dressed exactly like her.



2X3 Pierce and his Lava Lamp mother
Pierce and his lava lamp encased mother.
Britta begins flirting with a student Annie was talking to and gets him to donate. They then begin to mock each other as an amused Shirley watches on. Duncan joins Jeff at his table and asks about his reaction towards Pierce in Anthropology class. Jeff complains that despite believing all his sacrifices to be healthy would pay off, it ultimately doesn't matter since he now has high cholesterol. Duncan excuses himself after he notices Chang enter the cafeteria. Using the restraining order as a "force field," he chases Chang off into the student lounge. He returns to finish his talk with Jeff and tells him that he was simply attempting to tear down Pierce's beliefs since his own are now in doubt. Jeff ignores the lesson Duncan was trying to impart and instead decides to redouble his efforts to destroy Pierce's faith.



2X3 A friendship divided
They're cousins, identical cousins...
The next day, Jeff, Troy, and Pierce head off to get ice cream before going to a Reformed Neo Buddhism mixer. They run into Annie and Britta on the quad, who are still raising money for the oil spill but barely talking to each other. Jeff sends Troy and Pierce ahead to his car and reveals to the girls that he's taking them to the county morgue to see the body of Pierce's mom. After he leaves, Annie volunteers to count the money in the donations plate. Britta insists on doing it instead, and the argument leads to a tug of war over the money. The struggle causes Annie to back into the oil can display which tips and sprays oil all over the quad. It hits Annie as well as a few bystanders, causing Britta to laugh at her. Furious, Annie scoops up some oil and throws it at Britta starting a fight between them.



2X3 taking the boys out for ice cream
Taking the boys out for ice cream.
While traveling inside Jeff's Lexus, Troy complains about the long drive and asks if they can play some music. Pierce looks over his CD wallet which he brought along and finds a disc with his mother's handwriting on it. He plays it, and it turns out to be a message from his mother. Back at school, Annie and Britta are engaged in an oil wrestling fight on the quad while a gathering of male students showers them with dollars, cheering them on. Meanwhile, Pierce's mother tells him that if he's listening to this, then she's dead, and she's not coming back despite what he believes. She adds that life's finality gives it meaning and is something to embrace, not deny. Jeff and Troy are moved by her last words, but Pierce considers it more crazy ramblings and tosses the CD out of the car. Jeff has a change of heart and decides to forgo his original plans.



2X3 Oil wrestling for a good cause
Oil wrestling for a good cause.
On the campus quad, Britta and Annie's fight is over and the pair directs a few of the male students to help them clean up their mess. Britta admits that she was jealous of all the attention Annie was getting from the male students, and Annie admits she was flirting like Britta accused her of doing. They then deal with the actual issue between them: Jeff. Annie claims she only kissed him to be cool like Britta while Britta claims she only slept with him because she hates herself. The two hug it out as Jeff, Pierce, and Troy arrive eating ice cream. Duncan, who was there to witness the entire spectacle, is presented a restraining order by Chang against him. With the two orders counteracting each other, if either is acted upon, both go to jail. Duncan is impressed at Chang's ingenuity, with Chang happily accepting his compliment. Ian then asks Chang to snap a photo of him with the oily coeds.



2X3 Raising awareness
The girls manage to raise awareness...among other things.

End tagEdit

Professor June Bauer is seen in Mimpousa, Congo. She is discussing the movie Inception with African tribesmen.



Inception
No spoilers.

Abed's background storyEdit

Throughout the episode, Abed is involved in a side story visible in the background of several scenes. A pregnant female student named Christine approaches Abed and tells him she believes he is the father. Abed later has a confrontation with Christine and her boyfriend on the campus quad. The boyfriend tried to fight Abed who ran away. In Anthropology class, Abed was reading a pamphlet about expecting a baby. Later in the cafeteria, Abed, Christine, and her boyfriend are talking over the situation when Christine goes into labor. They escort her outside of the building and end up in the parking lot. Abed is forced to help deliver the baby in the back of a van. Afterwards, Abed joins Shirley as they look at the aftermath of Britta and Annie's oil fight.

2X3 Abed's story 1
Outside the study room Abed
is approached by Christine.
2X3 Abed's story 4
Abed wonders if the baby might be his.
2X3 Abed's story 2
Abed tries to hear the baby through the belly.
2X3 Abed's story 3

Abed tells Christine it's time for his study group meeting.

2x3 Abed's story 5

Later on the quad, Christine catches up with Abed.

2X3 Abed's story 16

They are joined by a male student who knocks Abed's drink out of his hand.

2X3 abed's story 17

He then shoves Abed.

2X3 Abed's story 14

The male student tussles with Abed but...

2X3 Abed's story 13

Abed manages to slip away and runs off...

2x3 Abed's story 12

and the male student chases him.

2X3 Abed's story 9

Later in the cafeteria, Abed and Christine are talking to somebody.

2X3 Abed's story 11

It turns out to be the male student Abed had briefly scuffled with earlier.

2X3 Abed's story 8

Christine has contractions.

2X3 Abed's story 10

Abed and the red headed student escort her out of the cafeteria.

2X3 Abed's story 6

They end up in the parking lot, and Abed delivers the baby.

2X3 Abed's story 7
The father is revealed to be the red head student.

Recurring themesEdit

ContinuityEdit

Continuity lists
Narrative
Recurring or debuting plot points in this episode:
  • Previously:
  • That just happened:
    • Professor Duncan takes over Bauer's class because she attacked Jeff in the previous episode, "Anthropology 101".
    • Annie and Britta resolve a few of their issues after recent revelations.
  • History lesson: Annie reveals to Shirley that she used to wear a backbrace.
  • Express tuition aisle: Ian Duncan, a psychology professor, takes over June Bauer's anthropology class despite knowing nothing on the subject. He later manages to improvise a forty-minute class on anesthesiology.
People
Recurring or debuting characters in this episode:
Places
Recurring or debuting places in this episode:
Things
Recurring or debuting items in this episode:

Running gagsEdit

List of Running gags
Recurring or debuting running gags in this episode:
  • Annie's Boobs:
    • Annie raises her hand and Duncan calls on her by saying, "You, in the boobs."
    • Britta calls Annie out for the way she tends to stick out her chest while soliciting donations for the oil spill.
    • Annie scoops oil off her chest and throws it at Britta.
  • Awww!: Annie, Shirley, and Britta all "Awww!" when Troy tells them he discovered Pierce's mom's dead body.
  • Biggest laugh of the night!: Duncan uses his "force field" to chase Chang across the cafeteria into the student lounge where he stumbles over the couch and runs into the vending machine.
  • Fan service: Britta and Annie get into a sordid oil wrestling fight.
  • Nice outfit:
    • Britta dresses up like Annie wearing a tight cardigan and skirt.
    • Pierce wears a traditional uniform of his religion which is a teal nehru jacket along with matching pants.
  • That's you: Britta mocks Annie by acting like a bimbo while soliciting donations. Annie then does her impression of Britta mocking her feminist ideas.

Pop culture referencesEdit

List of Pop culture references
References to popular culture in this episode:
  • IMDb:
  • Name that tune: Jacques Slade/Kustoo's song "Best of the Best" is the music Pierce's mom used to play herself out at the end of the recording she gave to Pierce.
  • Product placement:
    • Jeff jokingly says that he has the AOL homepage bookmarked but he does mention two examples of the type of stories that tend to appear there.
    • Jeff mentions the Sharper Image Catalog when referring to the lava lamp Pierce believes is his mother.
    • Pierce mentions Hawaiian Punch.
    • Abed notes that Children's Tylenol is available in liquid form.
  • Use your allusion:
    • Nurse Jackie mentions the Temple of Doom and how movie franchises get worse as the series goes on which marks the second reference to the "Indiana Jones" franchise.
    • When Pierce is asked for more details about his religion's beliefs, he says that once Buddha returns, humanity will dissolve and merge into a "shimmering ocean of knowledge". This is possibly a reference to the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion and the movie The End of Evangelion which served as an alternative end to the series.

Meta referencesEdit

List of Meta references
Meta references in this episode:
  • Current events:
    • Annie and Britta raise money to help the gulf recover from an oil spill. This is a reference to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Annie notes that she finds this tragedy easier to help with than Haiti, meaning the earthquake that struck the island earlier in the year.
    • Jeff mentions a smoking turtle which had made the news at the time.
  • I wrote this!: The DVD commentary mentions that the episode writer Hilary Winston is the woman sitting in the health centre next to the woman Jeff keeps pointing to.
  • Résumé: The oil barrels had the Wilde Oil logo on them. This is a reference to the Fox TV series Running Wilde, where the main character is employed by his father's company, Wilde Oil. The show was from Executive Producers Joe and Anthony Russo who also served in the same position for Community in Seasons One, Two and Three. Another alumni of the series, Mel Rodriguez, would be cast as on Community as the head of campus security Sgt. Nunez.
  • Up against the wall: Television critic Alan Sepinwall appears as a Greendale student alongside Eric and Mark Millot. His review of the episode was positive (shocker) and can be found here along with an account of his time as a Community extra.

TriviaEdit

"The Politics of Human Sexuality"Edit

This hidden storyline is a probable callback to the Season One episode "The Politics of Human Sexuality". In that episode, an STD fair hands out faulty condoms with holes in them. Abed was asked by Dean Pelton to alert the students via the PA system not to use the condoms. The time frame of when the girl would have gotten pregnant fits as this episode originally aired on December 3, 2009 and the episode "The Psychology of Letting Go" aired on October 7, 2010 ten months later.



Leaking condoms
Leaking condoms.

"Cooperative Polygraphy"Edit

In "Cooperative Polygraphy", Anne explains that she doesn't understand the Reformed Neo Buddhist Theology, saying "We buried Pierce's body but this 'Energon Pod' contains his...life force?". This suggests that Pierce, as a Level 5 Laser Lotus, would likely know that the Energon Pod doesn't contain his mother's physical body. Thus, Jeff's plan would likely have failed.

QuotesEdit

Pierce, you've found this CD which means...I'm dead. Pierce's mom
Vaporized.Pierce
I'm not vaporized. I'm gone, Pierce...gone forever, and that's how I like it. Life is only worth a damn because it's short. It's designed to be consumed, used, spent, lived, felt. We're supposed to fill it with every mistake and miracle we can manage, and then we're supposed to let go. I can't force you to do that for yourself, Pierce, but you can't force me to stay...and if you unscrew the top of that stupid thing, you'll see it was made in China. I love you, son. Goodbye.Pierce's mom
I don't see much difference between Pierce's religion and anybody else's.Jeff
Well then you're not listening because his has lasers.Annie
So, what is Anthropology? Seriously, does anyone know?Professor Duncan
It is the single largest disaster in recorded history! It is worse than 50 Exxon Valdez spills!Britta, shouting unnecessarily
You don't have to yell at us. Nobody is on the other side of this issue.Eric
Bitter much?Annie
Say 'Bitter much?' much?Britta
Say 'Say "Bitter much?" much?' much?Annie
Season Two Episodes

1. "Anthropology 101"
2. "Accounting for Lawyers"
3. "The Psychology of Letting Go"
4. "Basic Rocket Science"
5. "Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples"
6. "Epidemiology"
7. "Aerodynamics of Gender"
8. "Cooperative Calligraphy"
9. "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design"
10. "Mixology Certification"
11. "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas"
12. "Asian Population Studies"

13. "Celebrity Pharmacology 212"
14. "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons"
15. "Early 21st Century Romanticism"
16. "Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking"
17. "Intro to Political Science"
18. "Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy"
19. "Critical Film Studies"
20. "Competitive Wine Tasting"
21. "Paradigms of Human Memory"
22. "Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts"
23. "A Fistful of Paintballs"
24. "For A Few Paintballs More"

Community Season Two DVD

Season OneSeason TwoSeason ThreeSeason FourSeason FiveSeason Six

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