Community Season 5 “Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality” Review


It’s so great to have Community back! No more Sochi, no more Bob Costas pink eye, no more winter sports I don’t quite understand (looking at you, curling). The last episode before the break was packed with guest appearances, but didn’t quite hit the mark. “Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality” was a great return for the beloved Greendale misfits. This was a really great episode for Britta and Abed, which was a refreshing change because Britta’s storyline was one of my least favorite aspects of “Analysis of Cork-Based Networking.” Britta’s attempt to “therapize” Abed in that episode seemed like a huge departure from the maturity the character has displayed in this new season.

In last night’s episode, the writers switched things up a bit by putting Britta, Duncan and Jeff together. Duncan has never been shy about his attraction to Britta, but last night’s episode he decided it was time to finally make his move – with Jeff’s assistance. Unfortunately for Britta, Duncan’s activist event resulted in an uncomfortable confrontation between Britta and her old friends. It was tough to watch them praise Britta for her activism one moment and then basically run her off with their ridicule for her lack of success. As Britta later confirmed, the confrontation created a moment of vulnerability that Duncan could have seized upon. Instead, Britta unknowingly talked him out of making her a conquest and Duncan decided to be a friend to her and to acknowledge the friendship he’d developed with Jeff.

Overall, I liked this storyline because it got Britta back on track in terms of character development. I’m not quite sold on the Jeff/Duncan friendship. We’ve seen the two hangout in previous seasons, but I would never have considered the two to be close friends. I like John Oliver, so if this gets us more Duncan on the show I’m all for it.

The other main storyline of the night was my favorite – the bonding between Abed and Hickey. I can’t say enough good things about the addition of Jonathan Banks to Community. He’s a refreshing change and although he is older than the study group, he has not been poised as replacement for Pierce, which I appreciate. If Community is renewed for a sixth season, I hope the showrunners will bring Banks/Hickey back. There were a few moments between Abed and Hickey that felt out of place. Although we’ve seen Abed upset with someone else (ex: pillow fort vs. blanket fort), he typically does not manifest his frustration by yelling or being mean. That was definitely a different side of Abed and I’m not sure if it was intended to reflect character development or lingering feelings about Troy’s departure. That aside, I did truly enjoy the moment when Abed sadly gazed upon the chair where Troy used to sit. Again, if Community is granted a sixth season, I hope that Donald Glover will consider returning – even if it is for a single episode.

The Chang stuff was pretty funny and I thought a good use of the character. I love when Community focuses on the importance of friendship and peppers in a few moments of nonsense. Chang is always great for that. I also loved the end tag with Dean Pelton and Duncan. Shirley and Annie weren’t given much to do this week, so I hope to see more of them both in the next installment. Until then, let me know what you thought of this week’s episode.