Community recap: Star-Burns' Wake

The Greendale Seven are expelled from community college. May God have mercy on their souls.
Ep. 18 | Aired May 3, 2012

All hail Chang and his glorious new regime!

Justin Lubin/NBC

Licensed psychologists will tell you that there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Based on last night’s Community, Britta Perry, the licensed unlicensed psychologist psych-student who specializes in grief-counseling grief-causing, thinks that these are the five stages: denial, role-playing, puppies-on-fire masochism, riot-worthy rage, and expulsion.

“Course Listing Unavailable” began with the reading of Star-Burns’ will. Actually, he read it to us himself via a grainy, self-produced video. The fact that we were watching it meant either that he was showing it to us or that he’s dead. Sadly, it was the latter. Star-Burns’ one-armed lawyer dropped it off at Casa Trobed because, in addition to leaving herpes to his ex-wife Magda, he was bequeathing a collection of general purpose video footage, of himself running in place or air-kissing an imaginary woman, to Abed to edit together into a tribute of his life. Oh, and also Line of the Night #7: “As for my collection of Styx albums, I leave them to no one, because that’s who appreciated Styx as much as me.”

Death is hard to deal with, we all know, and Star-Burns’ passing particularly affected Troy. At least he could comfort himself with the knowledge that he’s in a better place now…Troy’s own Blu-Ray shelf where Star-Burns’ urn made the perfect objet. Line of the Night #6, Courtesy of Abed Nadir: “The small one’s his lizard.” That’s right, never forget, gang, that when Star-Burns’ mobile meth lab exploded, two lives were lost: the dealer himself and his pet lizard.

The study group was understandably depressed. Something really serious had happened, and Annie suggested that they had to face it head-on. “Is it always about the Holocaust with you people?” Pierce asked. Jeff took a more pragmatic view, saying that they should honor Star-Burns by talking about him in death as much as they did when he was alive. Death is a reality that we all have to face. It’s a natural part of life. After all, by the time he finished that sentence—or I finish typing this sentence—100 people will have died in China. I gotta admit I’m so completely on Community’s wavelength at this point that even before Troy said Line of the Night #5 I thought, “WHY did you stop talking?”

Of course, Britta was there to offer her (lack of) grief-counseling skills. She stuck on two felt star-shaped sideburns, and the doctor—not even close—was in. Line of the Night #4, Courtesy of Jeff Winger to Britta: “You seemed smarter than me when I met you.” Well, at least this way Britta could act as a conduit for Star-Burns’ ghost so they could tell him what he meant to them. Of course, they really just wanted to ask the big questions: “What’s heaven like?” “Glittery.” “Have you seen Tim Russert?” Line of the Night #3, Courtesy of Shirley. My God, how amazing was that? Seriously, Tim Russert was awesome. A fine journalist and a charismatic guy. But the way his untimely death in 2008 was turned into a deranged media circus was simply astonishing—definitely not the way to deal with grief, least of all for his family. Though obviously Shirley would disagree.

NEXT: The Dean delivers tragic news to the study group, and it’s not about Star-Burns. Garrett proves he is very much not saved.

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