9. Curriculum Unavailable”Troy & Abed in the Morning…Nights!”–Troy & Abed Last season, this show perfected the concept of the flashback episode that is composed of events the audience has never actually seen before, making us wish those entire episodes existed. This season, that concept was elevated to something even more remarkable. Two months had passed since the study group was expelled from Greendale, and they were still hanging out, having potluck dinners and such. Abed, dressed as Inspector SpaceTime, is found wandering the streets, and sent to a mandated therapist, Dr. Heidi (played by John Hodgman). It’s a callback to the beginning of the season to have Britta remind us that Abed is quite sane–at least compared to his friends–and then the wacky flashbacks begin to misadventures we’ve never seen, as well as a sampling of the wacky Greendale course catalog (“Things You Can Fry”, “Ladders”, Advanced Breath Holding”, etc.) and examples of just how clearly Dean Pelton favors our seven friends and would never have expelled them. Abed’s assertion that he was an imposter must be true! Just when the gang was sure they needed to “Go Back” to Greendale, the shrink suddenly announced that none of it was real, and they’d all been in Greendale Asylum for the past three years. When we were shown the group in straight jackets re-enacting tidbits of storylines past, we were taken aback for a second. But, then Annie’s Greendale backpack and Shirley’s children brought everything back around, and they got Dr. Heidi to admit that he was being paid by Chang, who’d kidnapped the real Dean Pelton and since taken over Greendale. Between the rampant references to pop culture from LOST to Pulp Fiction, the show’s own history, and critics of its set up (did you know that some community colleges offer 4 year degrees?), the episode managed to weave twists, turns and tons of plot development into twenty two minutes, setting up a hell of a final stretch for season three. (MYNDI)

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