When I think of Annie, I’m reminded of the opening line from the Silver Jews song “Random Rules”: “In 1984, I was hospitalized for approaching perfection.” She tries so damn hard to be flawless at everything she does, from her grades to her love life, that it’s painful to watch. Because she takes so much control of her life, only one person can get in her way: herself. Or, in “Geography of Global Conflict,” her Asian Annie doppelganger.
Is Asian Annie evil? I don’t think so, no. She’s just even MORE motivated than Our Annie. The two of them meet in Professor Cligoris’ (played fantastically and subtly by Martin Starr) political science class, and like Lisa and Allison in “Lisa’s Rival,” they both try to out-smart the other. Things get even more heated between them when Asian Annie starts a model United States committee, based on an idea Our Annie had. So Our Annie forms her own committee, too, and the Red Model UN (theirs) battles against the Blue Model UN (ours). IT’S ON.
Sidenote: the piece of paper that reads “PARTY DOWN” has to be a reference to the show, right?
The UN story was a nice way of getting everyone (minus Britta, who we’ll tackle later) involved in the same activity. The climax of the episode was a little over-the-top, but everything before that was just gold, from Troy’s Southern-accent for the country of Georgia to Abed’s Another Earth-like questioning to FART JOKES. The episode also furthered the Jeff-Annie sexual tension plot, but not necessarily in a good way. I don’t feel like there’s anything inherently creepy about the two getting together — they’re both gorgeous, funny people, after all, and it’s amusing see them kiss because of their height difference — but because the show keeps telling us IT’S WRONG, we can’t help but start believing it. The scene where Asian Annie asks, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand your relationship here. Is he your father or your lover?” worked because of Jeff’s dual nature of wanting to help Annie, but also have sex with her. The couch scene later, where the two almost share a kiss (after Jeff calls out Annie on her little school girl tempter tantrum, and not in the hot way), didn’t, because they think there’s something wrong with their being together (they even say “that’s gross”), when I can’t help but believe the opposite. Same with Jeff consistently calling her “kiddo.” Just do it, you crazy kiddos you.
Back at the competition: Our Annie extends an olive branch to Asian Annie, who declines because she’s not interested in a peaceful conclusion; she wants to actually win. Cligoris (it can be pronounced either way, FYI) sees through her tactic, and awards the Blue Model UN winners. It’s a glorious day in Somalia, with its picturesque beaches and all the guns and wives you can afford to buy, and it’s an even better one for Annie. She needed a moral victory; the signs of her changing back to Little Annie Adderall were there, especially in the I’m-sure-already-a-GIF scene where she’s moving the straw up and down in a trance, and continues to do it after Troy takes the cup away. Making Annie “crazy” again would have been a step backwards for the character. She’s still a perfectionist, but her imperfections are what really make her our Annie.
The episode’s B-plot wasn’t very memorable. White Guilt Britta sees on Facebook that a former protesting friend of hers has been thrown in jail, so she decides to amp up her EVERYTHING SUCKS RAPE OF THE RAIN FOREST TERRORDOME, N-WORDS game, by taking on Security Guard Chang. Gillian Jacobs gave it her all, and the scene where she eats the piece of the paper to prove a point was funny, but it was a subpar story overall, even with some assistance from Lionel Richie. (It also could have dovetailed with the UN plot better. Hell, Britta could have made for a perfect Honduras ambassador.) I do hope, however, that the show comes back to the idea of Britta feeling like a sell-out after declaring her major later in the season, because there’s a lot there to tackle.
In fact, defining oneself might end up becoming the season-long arc of Community. There’s Britta finally choosing a life path, of course, but also Annie trying to figure out if she wants to be with Jeff, and Jeff questioning whether he wants to be with Annie — and how he can avoid becoming Pierce. It’d be an interesting way to go, assuming they have enough time to actually finish the damn season.
Also: AHHHHH NOTHING MAKES SENSE ANYMORE!
Josh Kurp wonders how many fan-fiction articles involving Our Annie and Asian Annie were written last night. I know of at least one!