Dean Pelton interrupts the study group wearing a train conductor's uniform (for no apparent reason) to let everyone know that a carnival's coming to Greendale. Britta's visibly affected and makes a confession: her ex-boyfriend, Blade, works with a traveling carnival. Unsurprisingly, the gang gets a good laugh out of this one. Is having the name Blade legal? Shouldn't New Line Cinema be suing him? But for Britta this is no laughing matter; Blade has a control over her that she just can't explain. Britta owns up to an embarrassing truth: she doesn't believe in love because of a traveling carnie named after a kickboxing vampire movie.
Later, Britta approaches Annie with some horrifying news: it IS Blade's carnival that's in town, and she needs some serious help. Britta demands that Annie put her on lockdown and handcuff her to the radiator like a pill-popping carnie-banging werewolf. Under NO circumstances is Annie to let Britta have her phone. Annie's up for the task and agrees to keep Britta and her phone under close surveillance.
Later, Troy, Abed, Britta, and Annie hole up in the apartment to watch Blade (the movie) and keep a close watch on Britta. Britta quickly devolves into a Blade-crazed maniac, making elaborate excuses for why she desperately needs to check her phone. But Annie, a former addict herself, sees right through Britta and plants a decoy phone to throw Britta off. Later in the night, Britta even goes so far as to tell Annie that she's like a sister to her and coyly asks to have the phone back... just to check her homework assignments and make a few innocent calls, of course. Moved by her gesture, Annie finally gives in and gives Britta some privacy... only to reveal to Troy and Abed that she changed Blade's phone number to her own!
Amazed that a man can have so much power over Britta, Jeff recruits Shirley to head over to the fair to slyly check out the infamous Blade for himself. Imagine his shock when Blade just looks like an average guy... in fact, he seems like something of a washed up loser. But when the two get to talking, Shirley notes that his appeal is obvious: he's relaxed; he's cool, and he just doesn't care. But Jeff's determined to really get to the bottom of this and plays Blade's carnival game nonstop, drilling him with questions and trying to get to the bottom of who "Blade" really is.
Just as Annie feared, Britta immediately starts texting Blade incessantly, even though she gets no response. It seems that the crueler and more unattainable Blade is, the more appealing he is to Britta. Troy's truly disgusted by Britta's behavior and decides to help salvage this mess that Annie's created with one single message. The second Troy hits send, Britta comes out of her room, declaring that Blade's a loser and she's lost interest. Apparently, the second a guy is nice to Britta she bails.
Jeff's behavior has crossed the line from questionable to obsessive, as he tells Blade that he HAS to know his secret. Why does he feel the need to impress him so much? Is he dumb or smart? A winner or a loser? Since Jeff spent 300 dollars at his booth, Blade agrees to reveal the secret to his allure.
Frustrated with Britta's predictable behavior, Annie confesses the truth to Britta; they were pretending to be Blade the whole time. This sends Britta into a tizzy... does this mean Blade's not really a loser?! Jeff walks in before Britta gets a chance to bolt and reveals a shocking discovery to the study group. Ten years ago, a loose bolt flew off a Ferris wheel and embedded in Blade's skull, destroying the part of his brain that feels shame. He's basically irresistible to people for the same reason he can only work at a carnival; he doesn't have anything to prove or disprove, to himself or anyone else.
This surprising truth brings Britta back to reality, and the group cozies up in front of the TV together to watch Blade. Britta looks at her phone and then at Troy, realizing that the sweet text that made her classify Blade as a "loser" was actually a heartfelt projection of Troy's own feelings for her. She silently appreciates this gesture... could there be something between Britta and Troy?