Pillows and Blankets

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"Pillows and Blankets"
Community episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 14
Directed by Tristram Shapeero
Written by Andy Bobrow
Production code 314
Original air date April 5, 2012 (2012-04-05)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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List of Community episodes

"Pillows and Blankets" is the 14th episode of the third season of the American television series Community. It originally aired on April 5, 2012, on NBC.

Plot[edit]

Presented in the style of Ken Burns' documentary, The Civil War, what started as a casual disagreement about blankets and pillows blossoms into all-out war on the Greendale campus.

After Star-Burns (Dino Stamatopoulos), a member of Abed's (Danny Pudi) team, Pillowtown, throws a pillow at one of Troy's (Donald Glover) team's (Blanketsburg) forts, it collapses, causing a pillow fight in the study hall. Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) convinces Jeff (Joel McHale) to organize a meeting to get Troy and Abed back together and build a blanket-pillow fort worthy of a Guinness world record. At the meeting, Troy gives Abed an "all-tomato", demanding that Abed demolish his pillow fort to make way for Troy's blanket fort, or else. Abed declines the ultimatum, and at midnight, members of Blanketsburg attack a fort made by Pillowtown. Troy then declares war on Pillowtown.

Jeff wants the war to continue so that he will not have to go to classes, so he gives both teams an inspirational speech which keeps the war going. After Annie (Alison Brie) hears about this while treating injured players, she refuses to send text messages to Jeff or respond to his, and forcefully tells him to his face that Troy and Abed's friendship is at stake.

After a humiliating injury from one of the members of Pillowtown, Pierce (Chevy Chase) gives Abed the blueprints to a doomsday device he concocted. After Troy finds out about his plan, he gets Ben Chang (Ken Jeong) to bring in his security force consisting of teenagers he hired in the episode "Contemporary Impressionists" to take down Pillowtown. After Chang's force starts winning the battle, Abed unleashes the doomsday device: Pierce attacking the teens in a full body pillow suit. Abed then sends an email to members of Pillowtown outlining Troy's lame tendencies, including distraction via shiny stuff and sudden inexplicable bouts of crying. When Troy receives the intercepted message from a hacker working for Blanketsburg, he sends a text message to Abed saying "You may be my best friend, but I'll be your LAST friend" and notes that no one else will have the patience to deal with Abed's issues. Once Jeff hears about the arguing, he sets up another meeting, hoping to gain peace. Abed and Troy then decide whoever wins the war gets to stay in the apartment, and the loser has to move out.

The next morning, a great battle occurs in the cafeteria. The battle concludes after Dean Pelton announces the representative for Guinness was fired, and the war ends on a weary, inconclusive note when everyone promptly walks away. After everyone leaves, Abed and Troy continue pillow fighting, telling Jeff it will be the last thing they will ever do together. Jeff then tells them that signals that they like each other so much, they are willing to beat each other with pillows forever. Jeff then gives Abed and Troy "imaginary friend hats" he gave to them in the dean's office which they threw away. They become friends again. Jeff then reveals that he actually went to the Dean's office and "searched" for the friend hats, showing that he does take what's happening amongst his friends seriously even if he's not entirely sure why.

During the war, Britta (Gillian Jacobs) tries to get photographs of the events that occurred, only to mess up every photo, except for the final one with Abed and Troy becoming friends again. In very Britta style, the narrator reveals she was trying to get an image of light reflecting off a plate of waffles, and took her lone great picture by accident.

Cultural references[edit]

The episode is presented in the style of Ken Burns' documentary, The Civil War. It was narrated by Keith David, who has also been the narrator for several of Burns' documentaries.

Ben Chang calls his security force the Changlorious Basterds, parodying Inglourious Basterds.

During the war, Abed says how he does not understand the naming of the films in the movie franchise Rambo.

When Jeff speaks to the camera crew about the narration of his notes, he suggests that they get Tom Hanks to read it.

In the final narrations of the episode, Jeff asks the narrator if he was on The Cape, to which he replies, "No." Keith David appeared in The Cape in early 2011.

The end segment where Troy and Abed are trying to get funding for Greendale TV is a parody of PBS fundraising.

Reception[edit]

The episode was watched by 3.00 million American viewers and gained a 1.3 18-49 rating. This was a series low in viewers for the show, although it was NBC's highest rated program of the night.[1]

Robert Canning of IGN gave the episode a 10 out of 10, calling it a "stellar episode, twisting a pop culture reference in a way that not only provided laughs but a well-told story with heart."[2] Barry Hertz of the National Post said "in a triumph of editing and plotting, we’re treated to not just a stellar parody of the oft-mocked documentary form, but a revealing and satisfying episode of Community itself, complete with strong characterization, story closure and wild, GIF-ready visuals to keep the Internet masses satiated."[3] Tim Surette of TV.com applauded the characters' roles in the episode, saying "There was enough attention to make sure that every character had a great role in the war even though the bulk of the episode was just presentation. And at the heart of it all, we all wanted Troy and Abed to eventually make amends."[4] Jenn Lee of BuddyTV said "While it wasn't an entirely dramatic episode (the mimicry took care of that), "Pillows and Blankets" didn't carry the same light-hearted tone as a typical Community storyline, which I appreciated, given the subject matter."[5]

Pete Vonder Haar of the Houston Press gave the episode a more mixed review, saying "there were some really great touches this week: 'Nurse' Annie using a lint brush to clean feathers from the 'wounded' and administering IV Gatorade; the use of text messages as a substitute for soldiers' letters home; invisible friendship hats...but every time they returned to the documentary motif, I groaned. And the extensive battle scenes felt like filler more than anything else. There's plenty of fuel for further episodes, but I wasn't as taken with 'Pillows and Blankets' as Harmon and company intended."[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Thursday Final Ratings: ‘Big Bang Theory’, ‘American Idol’, ‘Person of Interest’, ‘Missing’, ‘Up All Night’ Adjusted Up; ‘Scandal’ Adjusted Down - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  2. ^ "Community: "Pillows and Blankets" Review". IGN. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  3. ^ "The Changlorious Basterds pay a visit to Community in its most genre-busting episode yet". National Post. 2012-04-06. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  4. ^ Sandoval, Ryan (2012-04-06). "Community: Pillows Are the New Paintballs". TV.com. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  5. ^ "'Community' Recap: Pillow Warfare Gets Real". Buddytv.com. 2012-04-06. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  6. ^ Vonder, Pete (2012-04-06). "Community: "Pillows and Blankets"". Houston Press. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 

External links[edit]