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Recap / Community S2 E02: Accounting for Lawyers

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"God, it's a sea of Wingers. This whole place reeks of moral ambiguity."

Jeff reconnects with Alan (Rob Corddry), a lawyer from his old firm. As he drifts away from the group, Chang makes an attempt at joining the study group by helping them win the school Pop-and-Lock-athon. Annie realizes that she has met Alan before, and that he was, in fact, the one who got Jeff disbarred. She tells Jeff, but he refuses to believe her. While Jeff attends an office party at the firm, the rest of the study follow him in an attempt to prove it, leaving Chang alone at Greendale.

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The Community episode "Accounting for Lawyers" provides examples of:

  • The Ace: It's implied that Jeff was this at his law firm, with a notable cheer when Ted announces Jeff's presence at the party, and his praising Jeff's skills as a lawyer.
  • Aesop Amnesia: In last episode Jeff learned about mutual respect but here he's right back at calling his friends out for being codependent.
  • The All-Solving Hammer: Annie's latest solution to everything: chloroform. After Jeff gives a speech about how caring is bad, and walks away from the group:
    Shirley: It's like watching a soul slipping through our fingers. But what more can we do?
    [Annie applies chloroform to rag]
    Troy: Would you stop?!
  • Alternate Tooniverse: Abed's cartoon tunnel.
  • Amoral Attorney: Everyone in the law firm. Except for Thompson, apparently.
  • Advertisement:
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Annie; see Crosses the Line Twice.
  • Big "NO!": Chang, when they lose the competition.
  • Blackmail: Jeff reveals to the Study Group that he didn't let Alan have it over getting him disbarred, because he'd just made partner & Jeff was planning to use this information to get his job back after his graduation by using it against Alan.
  • Brain Bleach:
    Annie: First, he said [the room number] was 69. I wanna rub Purell on my brain.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: While hanging out with the lawyers, Britta, Shirley, and Pierce stumble upon worse and worse "opportunities": Britta can use a lawyer’s beach house if she sleeps with him once a month, Shirley can sue the stripper her husband left her for, and Pierce can hunt people.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Jeff notices that a lot of people are wearing green hats and wonders if the Greendale hat club is still struggling to survive. The Dean explains it's Octoberfest. Cut to Jeff and Abed at the food machines, where they run into Alan.
      Alan: What has this place done to you?
      Jeff: You have no idea.
      Random Guy: Hat club! [puts a ridiculous hat on Jeff]
      Jeff: Now you have some idea.
    • At the start Abed and Jeff say the school's become more cartoony so Abed drew a cartoon tunnel. See The Tag entry below for the results.
  • Broken Aesop: In-universe.
    Alan: Jeff, you know what lawyers call someone who defrauds the state bar, cheats on his LSATs, and cons his way into a firm? Best lawyer EVER.
  • Butt-Monkey: Jeff's opinion of strippers.
    Jeff: Shirley, don't sue a stripper.
    Shirley: Why not?
    Jeff: She's a stripper. Life sued her and she lost.
  • Call-Back: Chang's Evil Laugh from Anthropology 101, resurrected by the group rejecting him again. It doesn't help that this happened after he danced for hours by himself on the group's behalf in the Pop-and-Lock-athon, only for the Study Group to throw it away within a minute of their arrival.
  • Cassandra Truth: The entire group tries to warn Jeff that it was Alan who got him disbarred, but he refuses to believe them.
  • Character Development: Jeff really was exactly like Alan in the past, if a bit less hammy.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: In The Tag, Abed plays a prank on Troy by painting a cartoon version of himself on a wall and claiming that Troy can enter a cartoon universe just by running at the wall and believing hard enough. He's not quite prepared for Troy to actually believe this, however:
    Abed: All you have have to do is believe! [Troy gears up to run into the "cartoon world"; Abed pops out of a dumpster seconds before he does, alarmed:] Wait! You don't have to believe.
    Troy: I didn't! [clearly disappointed] I didn't...
    [clearly broken, Troy slinks away]
    Abed: ...I may have done some damage there.
  • Comically Missing the Point: After Jeff spies his old friend and hides, saying, "This is all I need," Abed calls out to him, saying, "You’re all my friend needs."
  • Could Say It, But...:
    • Played with, upon Annie realizing she knows Alan from her Narcotics Anonymous meetings. She blurts "NARCOTICS! I know where I know Alan from!" out but immediately clams up & declares she's not allowed to say, only for Britta to point that it's obvious that means she met him in Narcotics Anonymous.
    • Subverted, when Annie's talked into letting the rest of the group guess that Alan may have been behind Jeff's disbarring. She writes it down on a notepad & intends to mime it, only for Shirley to just take the notepad and read out what Annie wrote.
  • Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit: Alan blames a former lawyer acquaintance of theirs who no longer practices for Jeff's disbarring. Jeff isn't buying it. Alan's lie gets an even darker tone when we learn that the other guy was actually a wonderful person. How wonderful? He adopted three at-risk teens and donated a kidney to a temp. When Alan points out that the guy left the firm shortly after Jeff was reported, Jeff replies it was because the man's wife passed away.
  • Denser and Wackier: Jeff notices in the cold open how much Greendale is becoming more of a cartoon.
  • Description Cut: Shirley suggests telling someone that the group can't make the Pop-and-Lock-athon, while Pierce claims that nobody cares. Cut to Chang, signing in at the Pop-and-Lock-athon alone.
  • The Determinator: Chang dancing for five straight hours so he can join the study group.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Annie complains to Troy and Abed that all she's been used for that night is bait and distraction. They're too busy staring at her bouncing chest to catch what she says.
    Troy: What did she say?
    Abed: I don't know.
    Troy: All I heard was 'suck'.
  • Freak Out: Troy launches into one after Anne chloroforms the janitor.
  • Funny Background Event: During Troy's aforementioned Freak Out, Annie in the background accidentally puts the chloroform rag to her face and reacts to it.
  • Honesty Is the Best Policy: Jeff's perfectly willing to associate with Alan even after receiving conclusive proof that it was Alan who stabbed him in the back by revealing his lack of qualifications and getting him fired, but when Alan can't even admit it to Jeff, instead weaseling out of it by blaming a fellow attorney, Jeff returns to his friends.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Conversed. Pierce believes it's badass. Jeff, not so much.
    Jeff: Britta, you're not a whore. Shirley, Jesus turned the other cheek, he didn't garnish wages. Pierce, do I need to say this? IT'S BAD TO HUNT MAN FOR SPORT.
    Pierce: Badass!
  • Hypocritical Humor: Parodied.
    Pierce: C'mon, Jeff's bush league. I gave seminars on manipulation, I can reach into a man's soul & unravel it with one tug.
    Alan: Cool, hit me.
    Pierce: (beat) You're bald.
    Alan: (shrugs) So are you.
    Pierce: (stands up) I'LL KILL YOU, YOU S-- COME HERE!
  • I Can Explain:
    Jeff: I can explain. I'm a teacher. Wait, that's worse than the truth. I'm a student.
  • "I Know What We Can Do" Cut: After Annie chloroforms the janitor, Abed says he has an idea to get out of it. Cut to Troy, Annie & Abed lying on the floor next to the janitor, acting like they've been chloroformed too. But since they didn't get rid of the rag that Annie used, the janitor remembers what happened & Annie chloroforms him a second time.
  • Instant Sedation: The chloroform takes the janitor out in a matter of seconds. Twice.
  • Jedi Mind Trick: Troy tries this on the janitor when he and Abed are caught in Alan's office. Needless to say, it doesn't work.
  • Jerkass: Jeff, even more so than usual since it's most likely because of Alan's influence making him revert back to how he was before he went to Greendale. The highlight is probably when, after they show him the email Alan sent that got him disbarred, he lectures them on how caring is bad.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    Jeff: Every day this campus gets more and more cartoon-y.
    Abed: I know. I painted a tunnel on the library wall. As soon as it dries, I'm going for it.
  • Laughing Mad: Chang does this while lying on the floor at the end. The study group refuses to let him join even after he dances for hours representing them in the pop and lock contest.
    Dean Pelton: Y'know what? He's bringing us down. Let's move him. Can we move him?
  • Not So Above It All: Abed, when Annie chloroforms the janitor. Lampshaded:
    Abed: I usually have one foot out of reality, and even I'm freaking out right now.
  • Origins Episode: For Jeff.
  • Poisonous Friend: Alan, to Jeff.
  • Power Trio: Troy, Abed, and Annie.
  • Shout-Out: Alan calls Jeff Tango, Jeff calls him Sundance. They worked with different partners.
  • Single Tear: Poor Chang.
  • The Tag: You have to believe, Troy!
  • Totally Radical: Invoked and lampshaded.
    Britta: Jeff, Alan narked on you!
    Jeff: But he's way too primo for that, Frank Zappa!
  • True Companions: At the end, so much.
  • "Weird Al" Effect:
    • An in-universe example. Britta does an impression of a bit Jon Stewart does frequently on The Daily Show, which is itself an impression of Johnny Carson, which comes off as a weird impersonation of Carson. When asked "Is that your Johnny Carson?" Britta is confused, and says no, it was her Jon Stewart.
    • Another in-universe ones plays off the first in-universe one: when Alan does his Carson impression Troy says he's "got Britta down."


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