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Recap / Community S 4 E 10 Intro To Knots

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Beware the Ides of March. And amnesiac ex-psychopaths who only want to prove their worth to the study group.

"Empires are always destroyed from within. And I can prove it to you from the comparative comfort of this tacky chair. I will give an A to the one person who unties me. The rest of you will get an F."
Professor Cornwalis

Annie invites Professor Cornwallis (Malcolm McDowell) (and Kevin) to the study group's Christmas party at Jeff's apartment to make up for their failing grade on their history assignment. After many failed attempts of ass-kissing, the group finds out that their supposed F was actually a C-; Annie wanted to the group to go for an A. When Cornwalis overhears Jeff's conversation, their grades brought it back down to an F. While the study group is distracted and arguing, Kevin ties up the professor in an attempt to prove himself, leading to a series of mind games and bribes as Cornwalis tries to prise the group apart.


The Community episode "Intro to Knots" provides examples of:

  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: Not directly. When Annie makes up a story about a drunk Cornwalis going after her and Britta, Shirley is insulted that Annie didn't include her. Annie quickly adds on, "And Shirley, who I didn't mention earlier because she intimidates you sexually."
  • The B Grade: Annie lied and claimed the C- she knew the paper was getting was a failing grade because to her that's a failing grade.
  • Bottle Episode / Real Time
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Cornwallis celebrates Christmas with plum pudding, roast goose, and by updating his suicide note.
  • Call-Back:
  • The Chessmaster / Manipulative Bastard: Cornwalis, for most of the episode, tried to get the group to turn on each other. He fails.
  • Christmas Episode
  • Comedic Sociopathy: The gang did literally take the guy hostage.
  • Cute Kitten: The Dean brings over a basket of them in The Tag.
  • Dirty Old Man: Cornwalis' history with coeds is brought up a few times.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: Except it's in the Darkest Timeline, which isn't a good thing.
  • Foreshadowing: Troy isn't worried about his relationship with Britta at all, because if he was worried he'd be rambling, and he's definitely not rambling...
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The gingerbread men on Troy's sweater are dunking one of them headfirst into a glass of milk. It's a cutesy, silly image until one reads "Milk boarding" in the trim.
  • Gilligan Cut: "Abed, there are no dark timelines!"
  • A House Divided: What Cornwalis attempts in order to escape.
  • Hidden Depths: Annie is quite surprised that Shirley was also going for the Valedictorian.
  • I Never Told You My Name: "He knows my name..." says Troy. Of his teacher who he's had many classes with.
  • Ice-Cream Koan: Used by Evil Jeff.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Evil Jeff's argument for Evil Annie's release is that whilst she robbed several drug stores & stabbed several pharmacists, the true crime is someone so beautiful being locked away from society.
  • The Oner: The first 2 minutes, when everyone comes to Jeff's apartment, is one long shot.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Abed.
  • The Power of Friendship
  • Rats in a Box: What Cornwalis tries in invoke the entire episode.
  • Reality Subtext: When putting up new curtains in his apartment with Annie, Jeff takes a fourth-wall swipe at the network's decision to delay airing the fourth season, which meant that holiday episodes like these would be seen in the spring.
    "Actually these will also work for Valentine's Day, Presidents' Day, or whenever people get to see it."
  • Ship Tease:
    • When Cornwallis mentions romantic entanglements, Annie and Jeff exchange looks. In a succinct summary of their relationship, Annie's glance is more schoolgirl-flirty, while Jeff is warily uncomfortable.
    • Jeff asks Annie if they need to have another talk her wanting to play house with him; and in response Annie seemingly admits that he does, before catching herself & claiming she's just redecorating for the party.
    • In the darkest timeline, Jeff and Annie share a kiss after Jeff gets Annie released from Greendale Asylum.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Straw Feminist: Britta takes umbrage at Cornwalis using 'feminine' to insult Jeff's decor. It was at worst a backhanded compliment, as he preceded it by saying it was a nice apartment.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Troy is "definitely not rambling."
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Abed finds out that this is not the case. After Cornwalis starts to manipulate him, he gets up to make popcorn, since villains usually take a while to ramp up. In the space of 1 minute 30 seconds he was gone, Cornwalis has already started to find cracks in the foundation.
  • Talking Your Way Out: Cornwalis tries this.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The Dean greets Cornwallis and ignores that he is tied up and drinking scotch through a straw.
  • Wham Line: Somehow an off-hand comment made by Abed:
    Abed: I wonder what's happening in the darkest timeline.
    • Leads to The Reveal in the Darkest Timeline, Evil Jeff having gotten Evil Annie out of Greendale Asylum and vowing revenge on the Prime timeline.
  • Written-In Absence: Pierce is at a 'sensitivity training' with Gilbert to make up for Chevy Chase's absence.