Community recap: Law & Order

Dick Wolf's venerable procedural gets the full Greendale treatment, and one student...dies. Dung, dung!
Ep. 17 | Aired Apr 26, 2012

Only one detective can claim the cold-open zinger.

Justin Lubin/NBC

Troy ably fulfilled the role of “bad cop,” grilling Starburns about how you don’t order ketchup, since it’s a condiment. Sigh, our live chat commenter ipyngo even noted Troy’s particular choice of fashion accessory: “Spider-Man tie! Donald SO should have been the new Spider-Man.” If only, ipyngo. If only.

Of course, Troy and Abed couldn’t hold Starburns because, well, they’re not really cops. (Line of the Night #4, Courtesy of Abed Nadir: “I’d say our hands are tied, but we basically don’t have hands.”) So they went to Greendale’s resident medical examiner for the new details that had emerged from the full autopsy. Commenter miriamun6 first noticed who she was during our live chat: “Is that the autopsy lady from L&O??” Yup, this was Manhattan’s veteran coroner, Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers, who's appeared in 262 episodes of the franchise. She’s another master of highly-stylized, zinger-based cynicism, delivering lines like “Hey, I just cut ‘em open. If you want motive, talk to a shrink.” And she noted not only that that kind of yam trauma had to have come from a boot—sorry to make you nauseous—but that it had been about to bloom. They would have gotten an A. Damn.

Time to bring in the legal minds. The detectives met with lawyers Jeff and Annie over coffee supplied by Garrett. Lest you think Community misses any detail, commenter chewbaccasmom noted “They even have those NY disposable coffee cups!!” Annie realized that they needed more evidence, prompting a snarky Jack McCoy-style “Oh, so now you’re finding your softness?” from Jeff. At least he really does have a law degree, even if it’s from Colombia.

Troy and Abed had a janitor open up Starburns’ locker on the pretense that a kitten was heard meowing inside. As soon as the door swung open, beakers and beakers tumbled out. Starburns knew he had to run. But an even better cover? Getting some random girl to kiss him. He’d explain later, of course. No dice. (Line of the Night #3, “The explanation isn’t the issue!”) Cornered, Starburns very reasonably explained away the whole situation to the detectives. He was just building a harmless meth lab to sell drugs to the Greendale student body, not actually participating in a major crime like yam smushing. He leveled with them that he saw the “guy with the weird head,” a.k.a. Todd, in the bio lab at the likely time of the crime. I mean, if he didn’t want the mudslinging of that student body presidential race to cast a negative light on his drug dealing, surely he didn’t want people to think he had yam on his hands.

NEXT: Todd is found weaving baskets and lies. This case is ready for trial.

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