COMMUNITY “Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy” Review

Community (NBC) "Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy"

COMMUNITY “Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy” Season 2 Episode 18 – Chang decides he wants to be a part of his theoretical baby’s life, which is the last thing Shirley wants in the “Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy” episode of COMMUNITY. Meanwhile, Troy and Abed want Britta to stay away from their new gaming buddy.

First off, yay to Community being renewed for next season! It’s incredibly well deserved and I’m thrilled we get to spend another two more semesters at Greendale. Here’s hoping it takes the study group at least six years to graduate.

Are “It’s all downhill from here” hoodies available in the NBC store yet? They should be. Troy, Abed, and Britta is a trio we don’t see much of, and apparently we should because they play really well off each other. Actually, this may be the strongest Britta episode we’ve seen. Gillian Jacobs is terrific, showing off both her physical comedy skill and terrific timing while giving Britta just the right touch of vulnerability. She even sings Britney/Christina. “Hit me with your genie’s bottle–rub it all over me.” Hee.

Troy and Abed’s harshness toward Britta highlight both Britta’s loveable (and not so loveable) flaws and her loyalty to her friends and the final scene between them is both touching and hilarious. I love Troy’s face as he realizes his scarf matches Britta’s and I so want to see Abed’s movie. ‘Kickmuncher 3; The Kickening’ is a terrific throwback to “Romantic Expressionism” and it’s awesome that Britta actually does ruin ‘Catfish’ for anyone who hasn’t seen it. Enver Gjokai is excellent as the genocide-happy Luka and I would love to see him back in this season’s paintball finale, destroying everything in his path.

Unfortunately, the Shirley-Chang-Jeff-Andre storyline is less successful, no matter how much I like seeing Malcolm Jamal-Warner and his seemingly endless parade of Cosby sweaters. Chang is so far out there as a character that I like him best in small doses. “I’m nuts, Jeff. Get with the program!” Yeah, that doesn’t begin to cover it this episode. I was actually on his side for two seconds when Shirley wanted Jeff to convince him to forfeit his parental rights and Jeff used that to get rid of him, but that didn’t last. Chang’s saws, “Parental rights? You’re adopting me,” and the Mr. Rogers with a pipe outfit are funny, but he’s just so pathetic he makes me squirm. The kidnapping and framing Jeff push this storyline a bit too far for my taste and the resolution is rushed and weak.

As nice as it is to shine the spotlight on Britta, I miss Annie. The baby shower is cute, but I somehow feel like it could have been better and it’s not Community‘s fault, but the nuclear wasteland joke feels wrong right now. The closing tag, though, is awesome. Overall, this is a decent filler episode of Community with one great storyline and one mediocre one that sets us up for Shirley’s baby and whets our appetite for the paintball sequel.

Favorite lines:

“Okay, a creepy uncle. Final offer.”

“We like him a lot, so you’re not allowed to bone him.”

“Oh, hey, is that a reason to leave?”

“Who am I to stand in the way of someone trying to put their lives together? Daytime television?”

“Luka’s a monster for realsies.”

“That’s the Greendale effect. Our school motto is ‘Lower Your Standards.'”

“Locking that little man up won’t make our lives any less crazy. It will only make prison crazier.”

“There’s a difference between telling us a guy likes nipple play and a guy makes hats out of babies.”

What did you think of the episode? Any favorite or least favorite moments?

Follow me on Twitter @michstjame