If you are wondering why “Community” doesn’t draw a larger audience than it does, this episode is probably a reason why. It’s completely inaccessible to new fans, relies on past episodes for character development, and also contains a postmodern vibe that you typically don’t see any major studio throw money yet.
Yes, this episode was still quite possibly one of the most brilliant episodes that Dan Harmon and the writers have come up with. Having an entire episode themed around Abed’s Dreamatorium was risky, but it ended up serving such a smart purpose as putting Annie and Abed in the situation allowed us to see more inside of the heads of each character.
If we even tried to describe everything from the “Inspector Spacetime” references to Abed becoming Annie becoming Abed, we would end up somehow confusing the story even more than it was already was. What we can say, though, was that Annie’s decision to try and replace Troy in the Dreamatorium taught us both about what they are so very afraid of. For Annie, it’s being able to stay away from rejection — so she harbors feelings for someone who will never let her get invested enough to the point where she gets hurt in Jeff. Meanwhile, Abed is paralyzed by his own fear of ending up alone (and apparently stuffed in the same locker that he used as a child).
The only reason that these two were together was so Troy and Britta could have lunch together, which in its own way as Annie both trying to make them happy while also freeing Jeff for herself. Therefore, the irony in all of this is that in trying to encourage Abed to have more empathy, she really doesn’t have much more herself.
Thanks to these two, pretty much everyone else ended up taking a backseat in this episode — though we will say that we loved the random cameos by Dean Pelton, who is always the best in tiny doses.
Ultimately, we realize that this is an episode that we are going to have to see multiple times in order to really understand all of it — and we’re thrilled to do so. It’s yet again risk that paid off for “Community,” and even more proof that this is the boldest, smartest, and also the funniest show on TV.
Now, we just need to figure out how to make a Dreamatorium of our own…