Image credit: Adam Rose/NBC
IN SESSION Annie Kim (Irene Choi), Professor Cligoris (Martin Starr), Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), and Annie (Alison Brie) get their Model U.N. on.
Greendale holds a transdimensional Model United Nations tournament.| Published Sep 30, 2011
Order! Order! This week’s recap of Community is now in session. Please rise. First order of business, we’ll take the unofficial EW.com recap oath: “I solemnly swear to tell the snark, the whole snark, and nothing but the snark.” You may be seated.
It’s important to follow these entirely meaningless rules of order, because last night’s episode of Community was about that most august extracurricular body of higher education: the Model United Nations. If I had a gavel, believe me, a gavel would be used. On one level “Geography of Global Conflict” followed the tradition of Greendale’s previous debate competition (“Man is evil!”) and student-body presidential campaign. But it was also about points of transition: Annie’s long journey toward womanhood; Britta the Needlessly Defiant’s realization that she is in fact needlessly defiant; Chang learning to contain and control the power of his flashlight; and of course the quantum fissures that link parallel universes.
Britta’s life had changed: She had discovered the power of “see-through pens,” also known as highlighters, a staple of every ordered life. But then she saw that an old friend had been imprisoned during the political upheaval in Syria. Rather than petition her congressman, start an advocacy website, or, you know, heckle the real U.N., she decided to play interloper to Greendale’s Model U.N. Annie suggested the creation of just such a fictive assembly to her noble-minded but creepily-named mentor Professor Cligoris, only to have her new Asian doppelganger, Annie 2, steal it and create it herself. In case you thought Pierce’s line “Just be careful, Annie. They’re ruthless.” meant that Mr. Hawthorne had yet again been proven racist by the racist-prover, he added, “Not Asians. Women!” That meant Greendale was to have two parallel Model U.N.s, each charged with the same mission, but, resting as they do on different dimensional planes, unaware of one another’s existence. From the moment we saw Annie frantically playing with her straw we knew this could be the only outcome.
Full disclosure time. Like Professor Cligoris, I was really, really, really, really, really, really into Model U.N.s in high school (don’t research that!). And not just because of the ever looming prospect of sleeping with people from “other countries.” My involvement first began in the ninth grade, when I began the tradition that I would always be the delegate from, yes, Libya. Or rather, as I would always insist to my peers in the General Assembly, it’s the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, bitches. With hindsight I think I can say that my 14-year-old self was trying to get attention by representing a government that itself has been largely motivated by the need for attention. As with our honorable delegates from Greendale, each of our U.N. sessions would involve a “Crisis”—a bombing in Moscow! A plague in Cote d’Ivoire!—though all of them would inevitably involve Libya in some way as I frantically tried to spin my way out of a PR nightmare, then preemptively declared war on the other countries in attendance, to flex my power. Now that, in real life, Colonel Gaddafi’s regime is in exile, I like to ponder the fate of my fictive alter ego—somewhere am I being held by rebels? Have I fled to Niger? I’d like to think I’m facing a war crimes tribunal at The Hague. I guess it’s the romantic in me.
NEXT: Worlds collide! At least mock worlds represented by mock U.N.s and linked together by a mock particle collider.