Episode 2.16 : Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking

  • Community
    • Episode Premiere : February 17, 2011
    • Distributor : Yahoo, NBC
    • Genre : Comedy, Drama
    • Seasons : 2
    • Show Period : 2009 - 2015
    • Production Company: Krasnoff Foster, Sony Pictures Television
    • Official Site :

Cast and Crew

The Story

A panicked study group rushes to the hospital after they learn that Pierce was found unconscious on a park bench. They find Pierce and are relieved to see that he is awake and appears to be fine. The viewer notices that the camera handling is shaky and something is different about the show. It's revealed that Abed is behind the camera; Pierce asked him to document his life story. Abed reveals that while typically he would refuse a subject as boring as Pierce, he jumped at the opportunity to shoot a documentary because he gets to have people explain things to the camera. This, he believes, makes the filmmaking process much easier. Returning to the story at hand, Pierce tells the group that the pills have wiped him out and he is dying. We then cut to a one-on-one interview with Pierce in which he admits that he's not actually dying, he just believes that he doesn't get any respect from the group and it's time to exact his revenge. Pierce tells the group that he has decided to "bequeath" parting gifts to each member of the group.

Since next to Pierce, Shirley is the most hated member of the group, he gives her a CD recording of the study group talking about her when she's out of the room. She says she doesn't believe that there's anything on it, but slyly takes the CD anyway. In the waiting room, Shirley declares that she's not going to listen to the CD; if the group badmouthed her then she forgives them for whatever they may have said. Later, an annoyed Britta takes the CD and plays it, only to reveal that despite his efforts, Pierce was unable to get the group to say anything negative about Shirley.

Pierce gives Britta a blank check for $10,000. He says that since she's the selfless one, he knows she'll do the right thing and give it to the charity of her choice. Britta says she's surprised, considering the nature of Shirley's gift they all thought he was just playing mind games. As she leaves the room, Pierce points out that she could put her own name in there if she wanted to. After tearing herself apart over what to do with the check, she finally decides to give it to the Red Cross. Britta is extremely distraught, and confesses that if the camera wasn't on her she would have taken the money for herself.

Jeff is next, and he immediately calls Pierce's bluff. He apologizes on behalf of the group for not responding quickly enough to Pierce's pill addiction, asking if that's enough to end this charade. Pierce ignores his plea, and bequeaths upon him a bit of information: he found his father, who abandoned Jeff at a young age. Jeff has no reaction to the news, and Pierce proceeds to rattle off his father's life story. He ends by saying that his father is in a Town Car, and will arrive at the hospital in about an hour. Jeff is still unfazed, convinced Pierce is lying, and leaves the room.

While Jeff is trying to convince the camera that there's no way Pierce could track down his father, Troy's idol, LeVar Burton, appears in the doorway. When LeVar approaches Troy, Troy is speechless and can't even shake the man's hand. We cut to Troy alone in a room flipping out. Apparently he told Pierce a million times he never wanted to meet LeVar Burton in person; he only wanted a signed picture because you can't disappoint a picture. Later, LeVar is trying to carry on a conversation with Troy, but Troy is still unable to do anything other than stare at him, wide-eyed.

To Annie, Pierce bequeaths a tiara that he claims has been in his family for six generations. Annie stares at the crown, unsure of its significance. After mulling over its meaning, she later asks Pierce why she received it. He tells her that it isn't a riddle; it just means that she's his favorite. But Annie is still unconvinced. Her theory is that he's trying to show her the dangers of elitism, and because of this, she re-queaths the tiara. He humors her epiphany and tells her that she passed the test. When she leaves, Pierce admits to the camera that she actually is just his favorite.

We cut back to Jeff pacing anxiously in the hospital, intercut with shots of him freaking out in the waiting room. Later, a composed Jeff confronts Pierce. He says that he's ready to see his father, but if anyone else gets out of the Town Car, he will beat Pierce. Simple as that. When Jeff leaves the room, Pierce anxiously scrambles for the phone.

LeVar and Britta get to talking, and LeVar says that while he wishes he could stay and try to get Troy to open up to him, he has a flight to catch. Britta, realizing how important this moment is for Troy, offers LeVar whatever it costs to change his flight so he can stay. She hopes that $261 is enough; that's all she has in her bank account. He decides to stay but doesn't accept her offer. He tells her that while she's very generous, she's very stupid with her money. At this, Britta has a revelation; she's not a selfish person, she's just stupid when it comes to finances.

Jeff is waiting outside the hospital when a Town Car pulls up. But before the door opens, a man calls, claiming to be his father. He says that Jeff can't come any closer to the car because he reminds him too much of his mother. Jeff realizes it's all a lie, and chases down the car to find Pierce in the driver's seat. Back in the hospital, Pierce says his plan went above his expectations; he took over the role of Jeff's father and helped make him a better man. Jeff later concedes to the camera that he does have some things to say to his father that he may have said to Pierce instead.

We end with Abed's narration. He thought that the documentary format would be easy, like fish in a barrel. But he explains that just like real fish in a barrel, it can become cramped, chaotic, and stinky. We end on the group peering in on a tender moment with Jeff and Pierce both napping in Pierce's hospital room. Pierce tells the camera that they became like father and son today, to which Jeff matter-of-factly responds, "No, we did not."






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