Community 3.17 “Basic Lupine Urology” Recap

In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime; and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.

‘Basic Lupine Urology’opens with exactly what you’d expect from any Law & Order episode — the ‘innocent bystanders’cleaning up the school when they notice…horror of horrors! It’s a squashed yam! The discovery prompts them to call the owners (the study group, of course), who call Professor Kane, who is understandably upset that he’s been woken up in the middle of the night for no reason. Jeff and Annie inform Shirley, Troy and Abed of the situation and despite Jeff’s indifference, Annie is quite sure that this is a clear case of ‘whodunit.'(There’s also that notion that she could get a C on the project, which doesn’t exactly sit well with her.)

Cue the amazing Law & Order homage opening. Absolutely brilliant.

In the cafeteria, Pierce is leading an illegal gambling venture when Troy (with his Spiderman tie) and Abed (with his Inspector Spacetime badge) show up to question him. Did he water the yam like he was supposed to last night? ‘Yes — I mean, no!’Pierce admits, a bit flustered. He then points them in the direction of Todd (who, if you’ll remember, was the boy who had issues with the study group at the beginning of the season.) Todd tells them that the door was already locked when they got there. The mystery continues…

Britta attempts to help by transferring the photos to the computer and adding some cool effects (aka, Instragram) which doesn’t really do much. But Shirley notices the clock on the wall, which tells them that whoever committed the crime made their way into the room before the door was locked for the night. ‘As a Psych major, I could —’Britta doesn’t get to finish his sentence before she’s cut off by the tell-tale ‘bongbong!’and title card. Oops.

Abed and Troy continue their investigation with Fat Neil, seeing if they can find out who checked out the key to the biology room. Fat Neil points them in the direction of Magnitude, who tells them that he did have it, initially — until Starburns stole it.

Abed and Troy devise a plan to catch Starburns in the act, with Troy leaving his backpack unattended in the library. Starburns takes the bait, and the two bring him to a room to interrogate him, though Starburns quickly tells them that there’s nothing they can do as they’re not real cops. Shirley sadly admits that he’s right, and the three discuss their ‘next steps,'(by the way, Starburns calling out ‘I can see and hear you’was just one of the amazing gems of the night.)

The yam is brought for inspection to the ‘coronor'(a nice cameo by Law & Order’s real M.E., Leslie Hendrix, aka Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers) who tells them two important bits of information — the yam was squashed (possibly by a boot) and that it was about to bloom, which would’ve earned them an A. Cue the ‘patented walking’of Troy, Abed, Annie and Jeff as they discuss the case, with Jeff suggesting they break into Starburns’locker to try to find evidence. Their break-in attempt leads them into a chase with Starburns, where they capture him. He finally confesses that he did leave door to the biology room open when he took the key — but that someone else stole it. Who? ‘The army guy.’

And so…we’re back to Todd. Jeff and Annie take him to class and attempt to get him to confess to his crimes, but not before Todd is saved by his old army commander, Lt. Colonel Archwood. In the Dean’s office, Archwood tries to get Jeff and Annie to talk about the case, though Jeff tells him that they agreed to hold information to a pinky swear. Surprisingly, Professor Kane comes to their rescue and Jeff and Annie proceed to argue (over Chinese food and coffee, naturally) about not having a case, versus trying to get justice.

In a biology room trial, Todd is on trial with Archwood representing him. ‘Need I remind you that this is not a court room?’a frustrated Professor Kane asks, as Annie begins interrogating. Alison Brie really did some amazing work in this episode, not just in her portrayal of the quintessential Law & Order female D.A., but in her comedic timing. She gets Todd to break down and confess by convincing him it’s not the yam that’s the problem — it’s his lack of honesty.

But, as we know, nothing is ever black and white — and it’s Jeff that convinces the Dean, Professor Kane and Annie to commit to a re-trail, because he doesn’t truly believe that Todd is guilty. He takes them back into the classroom where a classic Winger speech turns into a case for evidence — why was it so hard to grow a yam? The yam didn’t die because someone stepped on it. It died because it was spoiled. Yes, someone in the class has been pouring boiling water onto the yams making them go bad, thus leading them to squash easily — but who? Neil finally steps up and admits that he skewed the grade curve so Vicki didn’t have to go to summer school and he committed the crime ‘for love.’Okay, he did it so he could finally have sex with her, but let’s be honest, it always sounds better when someone says they did something for love.

At the end of the episode, Jeff and Annie are rehashing the case in the Dean’s office (Neil has agreed to take biology over the summer) when Professor Kane gets a saddening and serious phone call. It’s Starburns — he’s dead, thanks to his meth experiments that apparently backfired on him. A somber black screen and a ‘special thank you to Dick Wolf’card close out the episode.

Our tag is Troy asking Abed why they don’t have bunkbed conversations more often, and when the camera pulls back, it’s revealed they’re not in their apartment but in the study room. Shirley is confused as to why they’re sleeping in the school, until Dean Pelton comes in with warm glasses of milk and a lullaby — hey, at least they’re getting taken care of! (Also, I loved seeing Dean Pelton sing. Jim Rash should put out a CD of lullabies.)

What did you think of the episode?

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