Community‘s first two paintball episodes were comedy classics, episodes that brought both humor and poignant emotional beats as they paid homage to a considerable number of action movies. They were the show at its best, and although “Modern Espionage” doesn’t quite capture the magic of those two episodes–what can?–it’s still my favorite episode of the new season. It’s an entertaining ride from start to finish, and it still manages to stay fresh and fun.
Director Rob Schrab weaves in nods to movies like Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Captain America: The Winter Soldier/Die Hard 3 throughout, and the set pieces he directs are some of the best we’ve seen from the show in a while. It’s a haphazardly put together episode, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing because considering how the fight begins, its chaotic elements are only natural. It’s the culmination of a season of pent-up silliness, a stark contrast to the more muted, grown up nature of the show in recent times. It brings a wave of nostalgia, and the fact that we certainly didn’t need another paintball episode actually makes Frankie’s message more effective.
And so, the episode creates a nice through line for Frankie, emphasizing her mindset in contrast to the silly, nostalgic feel of the rest of the episode. The half hour does a nice job of weaving in new characters like her and Elroy into the show staple that is the paintball episode, and it’s the most fun the series has been this whole season. Here’s to a great finish to the season.
-We’re two episodes away from the promised movie….get on that, guys.
-Kumail Nanjiani has a recognizable voice, so that part was ruined for me early on.
-Batman actors’ names as code names. Awesome.
Photo credit: Yahoo Screen, Community