Director: Anthony Russo — Writer: Hilary Winston — Aired: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The girls manage to raise awareness...among other things.
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.
Outside the study room Abed is approached by Christine.
Abed wonders if the baby might be his.
Abed tries to hear the baby through the belly.
Abed tells Christine it's time for his study group meeting.
Later on the quad, Christine catches up with Abed.
They are joined by a male student who knocks Abed's drink out of his hand.
He then shoves Abed.
The male student tussles with Abed but...
Abed manages to slip away and runs off...
and the male student chases him.
Later in the cafeteria, Abed and Christine are talking to somebody.
It turns out to be the male student Abed had briefly scuffled with earlier.
Christine has contractions.
Abed and the red headed student escort her out of the cafeteria.
They end up in the parking lot, and Abed delivers the baby.
The father is revealed to be the red head student.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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