Episode PremiereApril 11, 2013
Show Period2009 - Now
Production CompanyKrasnoff Foster, Sony Pictures Television
The Dean enters the study room, and the mood is visibly awkward and tense. Something went awry, but no one's ready to own up to what went wrong. In order to encourage the group to open up, Dean Pelton makes them partake in puppet therapy, armed with each of their likenesses in puppet form. They're resistant at first, but finally agree to play a part in the Dean's charade.
It all began when Troy and Abed decided to play study group bingo one day wherein they marked off squares when different members of the group said their most clichÃƒÂ©d catchphrases. This new game causes Jeff to lament about how predictable the group's become. The problem isn't the group - they're awesome. The problem is Greendale - it's a vortex of monotony. What the group needs is an adventure. They decide to go on a hot air balloon ride.
Caught up in song and dance about their adventure, the gang takes off in the hot air balloon without the guide, and their means of transportation quickly careens out of control. With no one in the balloon knowing how to operate it, the balloon sets off on a runaway path and the gang gets stuck high above earth in a storm. Soon, they're falling towards earth at a breakneck speed. Jeff slows the aircraft down at the last second and the group lands in a mysterious forest.
Dean Pelton tries to react to their traumatic balloon crash story and inject emotional meaning into the incident, but the group lets him know the trouble was only just beginning. In the woods, the group begins to panic and begins making preparations to survive in the wilderness. Suddenly, a transient mountain man finds them and is awkwardly psychic. As the mountain man explains how amazing the woods are to the group, he tricks them into consuming psychedelic berries without them knowing. In a matter of moments, the whole group is hallucinating.
Dean Pelton is ecstatic about how successful his puppet therapy experience is going. Just moments before the group was silent, and now they're spilling the beans about their experience in the woods. He encourages them to continue. Shirley explains that the berries opened up the group's minds and hearts that night over a campfire. It was there that Shirley explained her guilty secret over leaving her children overnight in a grocery store after chasing what she thought to be her children's father with another woman. Back in the Greendale puppet therapy session, the group admits they've never heard the story before. It's clear everyone's being awkward and silent because they think they all disclosed a secret of their lives out in the woods.
The berries made the group real talky... but not real listen-y. If no one remembers anything anyone else said or admitted, then they're all in the clear! Jeff is relieved. But Annie reminds everyone that Shirley recounted her story moments earlier. Shirley is pouting in the corner, still dealing with guilt over being "the worst mother ever."
Jeff tells Shirley she has nothing to be ashamed about. In order to make her feel better, he thinks the group should all re-share their secrets, as it's only fair. One by one, the group reveals the secret that's eating them up inside...
Jeff found the perfect girl for him, but skipped out on her kid's baseball game and has come to realize he's no better than his own father. Britta is an activist, but she's never voted... except when watching "The Voice." Annie let Cornwallis rub her feet to get the answers to a history test. Troy caused the Greendale fire of '03. Suddenly the hot air balloon guide finds them and leads the group towards safety, but Pierce is left in the woods, using the bathroom and revealing his secret to no one.
In the therapy session, Dean Pelton thanks the group for their openness and honesty. In light of this, he reveals a secret of his own... but before he can Annie realizes Abed didn't share his secret. Abed explains it's because he never revealed one in the woods. He was just confused when his high wore off so he mirrored everyone else's behavior. With their secrets out, the group let's one another know their respect for each other hasn't changed a bit.