|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Anthony Russo|
|Written by||Hilary Winston|
|Original air date||March 18, 2010|
Jeff (Joel McHale) discusses his selection for "ultimate blow-off class" to the study group, naming Beginner Pottery. Annie (Alison Brie) seems skeptical, based on Jeff's pick from last semester which taught her to live in the moment (a reference to a previous episode "Introduction to Film"). Pierce (Chevy Chase) enters the study group room wearing a sailing outfit. He manages to gets Troy (Donald Glover), Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) and Britta (Gillian Jacobs) to sign up for a one-week sailing class with him that takes place on an actual sailboat in the Greendale parking lot.
Jeff, Abed (Danny Pudi) and Annie are in pottery class. The professor (Tony Hale) lets the class know that the only thing he won't tolerate in his class is "ghosting"—any reenactment, sincere or ironic, of the pottery scene with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in the movie Ghost. One of the students, Rich (Greg Cromer), makes an amazing vase that impresses both the students and the professor. Jeff becomes instantly jealous of Rich, which is attributed to excessive praise given to him shown in flashback. At the end of the day, when no other students are around, Jeff returns to pottery class to try to make a creation that rivals that of Rich, as he remember his mother praising him in his childhood and telling him that he is a special and gifted person. But his efforts are ultimately in vain.
The others in the study group are on the boat located in the Greendale parking lot and are greeted by Admiral Slaughter (Lee Majors). After discussing the rules, Admiral Slaughter appoints Shirley as the boat's Captain, much to Pierce's dismay.
Jeff enters pottery class with his finger wrapped up. When Rich approaches him, he offers to take a look at Jeff's finger. Rich tells Jeff that he is a doctor who takes pottery class to unwind. Jeff believes he's a con-man, a professional who signs up for novice classes to try to attract girls. Determined to prove his point, Jeff approaches Rich in the parking lot after pottery class. Jeff notices his license plate is from New Mexico, where Santa Fe is located. After a night researching Santa Fe, Jeff is certain that anyone that lived there would learn to be great at pottery. Jeff thinks he has found the information he needs to expose Rich as a charlatan in class.
In the Greendale parking lot, Admiral Slaughter gives Shirley the scenario for a storm. Shirley analyzes the situation and then decides the boat must turn back. Admiral Slaughter releases the jib. Everyone ducks in time except Pierce, who is knocked off the boat. Shirley decides to leave Pierce behind and save the rest of her crew from the storm.
Jeff confronts Rich, who is in pottery class trying to demonstrate his advanced techniques. When Jeff tries to copy Rich's technique, he violates the professor's no "ghosting" rule. Jeff is thrown out of the class.
Jeff finds Pierce in a small rowboat on campus. When Jeff looks confused, Pierce tells him that his fellow mates drowned him for a better grade. Jeff opens up to Pierce about the difficulty of failure and realizing you're not good at something. Not making a good pot in class made him question himself.
Despite being left behind, Pierce is determined to pick up and fight back. Pierce crashes his rowboat into a fountain, causing his boat to fill up with water. Shirley and crew see him from afar. The rest are unwilling but as the Captain, Shirley makes the decision to go after him and keep him from drowning. Pierce is saved by his fellow seamen. At the end of the class, Admiral Slaughter promotes Shirley, for her decision to save her crew-member, to Admiral and gives them all an A.
Jeff returns to pottery class with the professor's approval. He apologizes to Rich for his behavior and is finally content with making terrible pots, and imagines his mother telling him he is a normal person, who is skilled in some things and less in others. It is then revealed that the secret to Rich's success is remembering the hurtful things his mother said to him.
Around 5.21 million Americans watched "Beginner Pottery".
- Gorman, Bill. "March Madness Upsets Thursday; FlashForward Return Fizzles". Retrieved July 17, 2012.