'Community' Recap: Unexpected Bondage

No, not that kind of bondage. Thursday's episode of Community, "Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality," showed bondage of a different type: bondage between characters who haven't hung out together before, but somehow were really fulfilled by one another's company. Sure, it may not be as "sexy" as actual bondage, but there's feelings! And emotions! And character development! That's just what happens when you put together:

Professor Duncan and Jeff

Duncan and Jeff start off in a typical sitcom arc: boy asks permission to bone other boy's ex, boy gives permission, boy realizes he's still in love with ex, boys compete over ex as their sex prize. Thank god Community jumped in and Community'd that storyline when aforementioned sex prize, Britta, mentions that Duncan and Jeff have been friends the longest of anyone. It's something that we've all forgotten about, especially since Duncan was gone for a few seasons, but it's incredibly important. Both men have the tendency to try to seem happy and successful rather than be happy and successful, so actually leveling with one another allows them to learn more about themselves. Or as season one Chang would say:

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Abed and Hickey

From the start of the episode, it's clear that Abed's having a hard time without Troy. Who will make Kickpuncher costumes with him? Who will enjoy his terrible scripts? But more importantly, who will protect him from the realities of the world? Abed tries to find these things in the newest member of the gang, Hickey, but is sorely disappointed — especially after he gets foam all over Hickey's duck comics. Abed has often served as the voice of reason on the show, and that's allowed him to evade the type of criticism that he really needs, but Hickey's more than willing to provide it. The truth is that the group frequently coddles him and shields him from the real world, and these habits cause Abed to become selfish and spoiled. So much so that he's willing to verbally eviscerate Hickey when he keeps him from seeing the new Kickpuncher. But as much as these characters can push each other's buttons, they also end up pushing one another creatively and positively — we'll see how this whole "Police Justice" script turns out.

Britta and Britta

Britta is someone who's constantly striving for the approval of others (although she's not often willing to admit it, even to herself). So when her anarchist friends no longer approve of her, she feels sort of aimless. Fortunately, Duncan has the good sense not to prey on her in her sad and vulnerable state, and she can be alone and sort out her feelings. We don't get much more than that, but it's an empowering baby step for Britta.

Chang and... Ghosts?

Or not ghosts. Or the janitor's a ghost. Or they're all ghosts. Or Chang's a ghost. Or not?

There was pretty much no point to this part of the episode but to be funny... and it really worked. The M. Night Shyamalan-ness of it all was too much in the best way. So far, Chang as a confused idiot in small doses considerably brightens up an episode.

Unless he's not even real. Was he even in the episode? Is Community even real? Am I even real?

Image: NBC