This week ("Basic Lupine Urology" S3E17), everyone's favorite study group, and the rest of the campus of Greendale Community College, are transformed into an episode straight out of 'Law and Order,' complete with music from the acclaimed police drama. In one of the show's many themed episodes, this one follows the formula perfectly; keeping the story completely in context while divulging in a fantastical crossover, shaking things up for the cast, and giving us a satirical look at one of network television's biggest shows.
Right off the bat in "Basic Lupine Urology," there's been a crime. The janitors discover that someone has murdered a yam belonging to the study group, and being used in a lab experiment. As Chang (Ken Jeong) tapes off the crime scene, Annie and Jeff (Alison Brie and Joel McHale) enter, demanding answers.
When Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) enters, she admits to spending far too much time watching crime dramas, and instantly switches gears, taking on the persona of a seasoned detective, sending Troy and Abed (Donald Glover and Danny Pudi) out to search for clues.
Troy and Abed's investigation in "Basic Lupine Urology" leads them to Pierce (Chevy Chase) and the rest of the senior citizen students, up to no good in the cafeteria. When they are able to rule him out as suspects, they continue on through a host of past guest stars, from Fat Neil (Charley Koontz) to Todd (David Neher), and even Star-Burns (Dino Stamatopoulus).
When one of the other students shares a picture that he took of the scene shortly before the incident, Britta (Gillian Jacobs) does her best to search the photo for clues, while making it look "old west color."
Figuring out who ruined their experiment, the study group puts the culprit on trial before Professor Kane (Michael Kenneth Williams), and after a few last minute revelations in "Basic Lupine Urology," are able to get to the truth and discover what really happened that night. Then, even after it's all wrapped up, there's even one last big shocker that hits right at the end of "Basic Lupine Urology," and will forever affect the students of Greendale.
Even though Dean Pelton didn't play a large role in "Basic Lupine Urology," his parts were still hilarious, and he was able to make up for it with his part during the Troy and Abed sequence in the credits.
Traditionally, my favorite episodes of Community are those that feature the cast taking part in extreme parodies of other movies and television shows from the past as well as the present. Even though I never really watched "Law and Order" religiously, I still really enjoyed the way they took all of the things that are cliché in crime dramas and were able to play them straight, but still make them genuinely funny. The only thing that threw me off was Jeff's hair, but besides that, I loved every second of "Basic Lupine Urology," especially Shirley!
I give this week's Community a 5 outta 5.
"Todd Jacobson, you have the right to do whatever you want. Nothing you say or do you be used against you by anyone, but we'd really like it if you came with us. Please and thank you," Troy Barnes - "Basic Lupine Urology" S3E17