When we came up with the idea for our gif recaps, we had your normal sitcom in mind, consisting of mostly dialogue, with a few scattered bursts of slapstick thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately, we forgot to factor in “Community,” a show that doesn’t conform to the sitcom norm. This is doubly true of their now annual paintball episodes, which pack in so much action, we could have easily made one 22-minute gif. Unfortunately, that would defeat the purpose of a recap, so we have to pick and choose. So here are the best moments from last night’s amazing episode of “Community” – A Fist Full Of Paintballs: Part 1.
The episode begins with Annie, dressed as an old-West prostitute, rescuing Fat Neil from a group of angry paintballers in the Greendale hallway. After eliminating the posse, she is given a slick Western style intro dubbing her the queen of hearts. As she walks away, Fat Neil pulls a double-cross, picking up a gun and aiming at Annie’s back. But he’s to slow (probably because he’s fat) and Annie takes him out. Yes, the “paintball assassin” game is back…but why?
After a The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly styled intro, we flash back a few hours to find the entire gang, alongside their classmates, attending a “last day of school hoedown and picnic” sponsored by Pistol Patty’s Cowboy Creamery. That explains the Western garb everyone is wearing. But what of the paintball? The Dean announces that there will be a small game this year, but in order to avoid the chaos of last year, the prizes will be of little value. However, when Pistol Patty, a talking ice-cream cone with a cowboy hat, takes the microphone, she informs the students that $100,000 is at stake. Anarchy erupts as everyone scrambles for their weapons.
We flashback to Anne, who is held up in a science lab eating beans. Abed, dressed as Clint Eastwood, manages to infiltrate her hideout, and brings a message from Jeff inviting her to join up with them. She grudgingly accepts, and the two set out, only to find Winger and Chang pinned down by gunfire from the Math Club.
Chang, realizing that the Math Club is all Asian, switches sides. But in the confusion, Abed manages to save Jeff. Despite the fact that his Math Club comrades have all been eliminated, Chang lives to see another day.
Soon after, Jeff, Abed and Annie are confronted by The Black Rider, a gun-slinging stranger whose good looks make Jeff feel uncomfortable. The conversation quickly turns south, and the gang is forced to flee from the mysterious marksman.
Here is a shot of Annie running in slow motion. That is all.
Annie and her companions manage to escape, locking themselves in a stairwell. While catching their breath, they are set upon by Troy, Shirley, and Britta, who have been deputized by “Fort Hawthorne,” a safe area created by Pierce in the cafeteria.
It turns out that there is a bounty on Jeff’s head. He is wanted, “gay and alive.” So Jeff, Abed and Annie agree to go peacefully and speak with Pierce.
Once at “Fort Hawthorne,” Pierce is overly friendly to his study group pals, offering them entertainment in the form of dancers (including a male dancer for Jeff…because he’s gay).
Although the group initially distrusts his motives, at Annie’s urging, they decide to take him at his word. They all agree to set out in search of last year’s paintball gun stash, with the hope it will tip the game in their favor, and the money can be split seven ways. As the group sets out in search of the stash, Annie explains her reasons for trusting Pierce. She feels as if the study group is her family, and with family, you don’t get to pick and choose. If the group turns its back on Pierce, who is next? Jeff begrudgingly accepts her explanation, and gives her his gun for protection. But as he walks off, Annie hears a noise coming from the next room. A group of cheerleaders is about to execute Chang (in a cheerleader outfit) for betraying them. Annie steps in and shoots the girls, but Chang slips away. While in hot pursuit, Annie is confronted by The Black Rider.
After flirting with Annie, The Black Rider attempts to shoot her with her own gun (given to her by Jeff). However, it is filled with blanks. Just then, Jeff and Abed arrive and rescue her, but the Black Rider escapes unscathed. Thankful for being rescued, Annie informs Jeff the Pierce had provided him with a blank gun.
Meanwhile, Troy and the others have located the dean, covered in paint, hiding in a locker. When pressed, he admits that the paintball supplies from last year are still at the school, but he’s locked them up so the campus won’t be destroyed.
After seeing that the school has already been demolished, he relents, and allows Jeff and the gang to take the weapons. The group then sets off to get their revenge on Pierce. Once back at the camp, Annie discovers that most of the inhabitants have bee taken out by The Black Rider. However, she finds Pierce hiding in a closet. When he comes out waving a white flag, she fires repeatedly at him, causing him to run into the open where he is surrounded by the study group.
Annie confronts him about his betrayal of Jeff, and informs him that earlier in the week, the group had voted on whether or not to banish him. Only her vote had spared him, but now she is fed up with his treachery. But just as the two are about to dual, The Black Rider appears. At Jeff’s request, The Black Rider agrees to let the showdown between Annie and Pierce play out, but makes it known that as soon as it’s over, everyone else is fair game. A tense, four-way showdown develops, but is brought to a quick halt when Pierce complains of chest pains.
Despite the repeated warnings of the group, The Black Rider rushes to Pierce’s aid, and is promptly shot. Emboldened by his successful treachery, Pierce grabs one of The Black Rider’s shotguns and makes his escape, vowing revenge as he flees. In an angry rant, The Black Rider himself confesses that he doesn’t attend the school (except for an online course), and he was paid to win so that his “boss” can keep the prize money.
As the group attempts to make sense of what has happened, Chang, still blindfolded, runs into the parking lot, screaming for help. He is immediately cut down by a high-powered paintball gun within the Pistol Patty’s truck.
The episode ends with a special forces paintball team exiting the Pistol Patty’s truck, followed by Pistol Patty herself. Addressing her troops, she enacts “Plan B,” informing the men that no student must be allowed to wi the tournament.
All and all, the episode was amazing. I have no idea where they are going with the Pistol Patty plot, but maybe that’s just my own pop-culture ignorance. But at any rate, I can’t wait to find out.