Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (Community)
|"Advanced Dungeons & Dragons"|
|Episode no.||Season 2|
|Directed by||Joe Russo|
|Written by||Andrew Guest|
|Original air date||February 3, 2011|
"Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" is the 14th episode of the second season of the American comedy television series Community, and the 39th episode of the series overall. It aired in the United States on NBC on February 3, 2011. The plot of the episode concerns a game of Dungeons & Dragons involving the study group and a fellow Greendale Community College student nicknamed "Fat Neil" (Charley Koontz).
The episode is introduced in flashback, narrated by a female voice-over who explains the plight of Neil, a student at Greendale who had hoped that the stigma of teasing and name-calling from other schools would not carry over to Greendale. However, he soon became known as "Fat Neil", causing him to become very depressed. Jeff observed his change and tried to cheer Neil up by feigning interest in Neil's favorite pastime, Dungeons & Dragons. When Neil gave Jeff all his Dungeons & Dragons books, saying that he didn't need them any more, Jeff worried that Neil had become suicidal. Jeff worked with the rest of the study group to invite Neil to play a game of Dungeons & Dragons with them to cheer his spirits. The group specifically did not invite "Pierce the Insensitive", worried that Pierce would tease Neil.
In the present, Abed offers to be the dungeon master, providing pre-made characters to the other study group members while Neil plays his own named Duquesne. Their group is tasked with seeking out and slaying the dragon Draconis. In an initial encounter, Duquesne is able to defeat several monsters with his magic sword, impressing the other players.
Pierce arrives in the study hall, furious he wasn't invited. Abed introduces Pierce into the game as a character named "Pierce Hawthorne", an old, naked man by the side of the road. While the rest of the group are set to ignore "Pierce", Neil has Duquesne provide "Pierce" with a cloak. Pierce uses that action to have "Pierce" steal Duquesne's sword and flee the group enabled by speed granted by the cloak. The group agrees their new mission is to chase "Pierce" and recover Duquesne's sword. As they are now role-playing separately, Abed takes Pierce to a supply closet to play out his actions in secret. Pierce proceeds to create a makeshift throne in the closet. Through another student, Pierce obtains a copy of the module the group is playing, thereby learning all secrets of the scenario including the hiding place of a magical amulet that allows the wearer to control Draconis.
The group has their adventurers travel to a nearby town to acquire pegasi to pursue "Pierce". They continue their pursuit and eventually reach a castle where "Pierce" fled. They find Duquesne's sword with a dead body, but realize the body is not that of "Pierce". Suddenly "Pierce" arrives on the back of Draconis and uses newfound powers to stop time, freezing the actions of the other players. Pierce has "Pierce" transform Duquesne into an overweight person, just like Neil, and then starts taunting Neil by pointing out that it was Jeff that coined the derogatory name "Fat Neil". Neil uses Duquense's turn to show pity on "Pierce" as an old and bitter man, and the rest of the group soon follow suit. "Pierce" is furious at the inactivity, and releases the stop time spell. This gives Neil an action, which he uses to have Duquense destroy "Pierce's" amulet with his sword. Without the controlling amulet, Draconis eats "Pierce" whole, and then thanks the adventurers for freeing him from captivity by giving them a hoard of treasure. The adventure is successfully finished.
As the rest of the group departs, a happier Neil tells Pierce that this was the best gaming session he has had, and hopes that they can play again next week.
The theme music was arranged for orchestra, and the usual intro sequence, with the credits showing up as flaps on a cootie catcher, was changed to depict the main cast as fantasy creatures.
Around 4.37 million Americans watched "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons".
Emily VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club rated the episode A, stating that despite some cheap jokes and reduction of certain characters to stock types that the episode was "endlessly inventive" and used the show's ensemble well. James Poniewozik of Time also enjoyed the episode, saying that "Community has become a strong enough and well-enough defined show that the best and funniest things its characters can do is simply talk to one another", and approving of the fact that the episode involved very little "visual pyrotechnics". Like VanDerWerff, though, he criticized the flat depiction of Pierce as a pure villain.
- "Community Episode Guide - Advanced Dungeons & Dragons". NBC. Archived from the original on May 28, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
- Gorman, Bill (February 4, 2011). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Vampire Diaries,' 'Mentalist' Adjusted Up; 'Private Practice,' 'Parks & Recreation' Adjusted Down". TV by the Number. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
- VanDerWerff, Emily (February 3, 2011). "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
- Poniewozik, James (February 4, 2011). "Community Watch: Character Alignment". Time. Retrieved June 13, 2012.