Somehow, “Community” seems to be at its best when trying to solve various mysteries. Their “Law & Order” tribute was a particularly notable highlight from season 3, and Annie loves to dive into the criminology world. Heck, you even have a Professor now in Jonathan Banks’ Hickey who seems to specialize in it. All of this set up that the search for a certain sort of “Butt-Crack Bandit” (substitute the word “butt” if you want a more accurate depiction of the character), and an episode with mountains of promise to go up in the Community Book of Legends.
The first sign of great things? The letter from the Bandit when their nefarious goals started to become clear: To violate the rear ends of many a Greendale student with loose change. It was a ridiculous goal, but this was also a ridiculous (and stupid) criminal. The fact that Greendale would make a bigger spectacle out of this than almost anything else shows just what sort of place Greendale is.
Also a great sign? The return of John Oliver’s Ian Duncan, who claims that he was back after caring for his sick mother (who was actually still sick, but he had “put in his time”). He’s a perfect addition to the show, and it’s infinitely better when he is around.
The third sign? A cameo appearance from Ben Folds (who saw that coming?), who played a part as a suspect for the Bandit’s who happened to not only be a Dave Matthews Band fan (a rare thing in this day and age), but also a love of a certain kind of plant. Then, sign #4: Starburns, who actually confessed to being the bandit in a ridiculous press conference.
Just when you think that the entire episode was completely going down the road to Sillytown, the revelation then hit us hard that there was something serious still to come: Pierce was dead. While Chevy Chase’s character was more or less written out during the premiere, this was where his story really closed.
It took us almost the entire episode to realize that this was basically an entire send-up of a David Fincher film, but we really didn’t mind that it took a little while to unravel. What was most important was that despite never really knowing who the bandit was, we still loved every second of it. The ending was especially perfect as, still reeling from the Pierce news, we saw little glimpses of everyone who it could be. The truth is still out there, but not all bandits are meant to be caught. Maybe this is one that just ran out of coins. Grade: A.
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