…and that’s a hat trick, folks! Three strong episodes in a row. Not only did Community knock it out of the park this week, it also produced the best episode of the season (and beating out “Accounting for Lawyers” for the top spot was a pretty tall order). Why did I love this episode so much? Let’s dig in, shall we?

First off: laughs. Oh so many laughs. I literally fell out of my chair laughing at one point. There was so much funny stuff: Annie’s diorama, Britta hanging out with the group of gay men, Leonard’s pranks, Dean Pelton being Dean Pelton…the list goes on and on. But more importantly, “Conspiracy Theories” had a whole lot of “Hell Yeah!” moments, the kind of moments that make you want to get up out of your chair and cheer at your television screen. Jeff tackling Annie to shield her from the mini-explosion, Abed and Troy deciding to expand their blanket fort, and the chase scene in the aforementioned fort are good examples of that sort of moment, but topping the list was the entire fake gun scene. In a brilliant parody of an overused TV trope, the climactic plot device, we got to watch a bunch of adults firing fake guns at each other. There was a brief moment in the scene where I was horrified that Annie and Jeff’s kiss was being brought back to fuel drama in the worst way possible, but even that turned out to be a ruse. Superb acting/fake-acting/real-acting from everyone, especially from Kevin Corrigan.

Let’s talk about Corrigan for a second. His role as Professor Professorson might be my favourite Community guest spot yet. I didn’t really like Corrigan as Sam Weiss on Fringe, but here, he was just brilliant. His cool demeanour suited the episode perfectly and prevented it from descending into insanity.

That’s the paradoxical thing about this episode: it didn’t descend into insanity, yet the entire thing was a parody of conspiracy movies. Somehow, the parody didn’t seem forced. In this case, it was used to enhance the story rather than being the story’s foundation, which was a welcome change from earlier episodes this season and more reminiscent of the kind of show Community was in its brilliant first season.

“Aerodynamics of Gender” has marked a turning point for season 2. Community is hitting its stride again. But the fact that “Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design” was so strong is making me question the idea that the problem with a lot of episodes earlier this season was that they were too parody-heavy. I may never figure out the mystery behind why so much of the early portion of this season sucked, but I’m content to chalk it up to the simplest excuse: plain old bad writing. In any case, it’s fortunate that Community is back and better than ever. Do yourself a favour and tune in.

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