Boo! The spooks keep coming! Every day for the month of October, Nerds and Beyond is taking a look back at some of our favorite Halloween themed TV episodes to get you into the spooky spirit. Today, we’re talking Community season 2, episode 6, titled “Epidemiology.”
This one-of-a-kind Halloween episode begins at none other than Greendale Community College. There is a Halloween party happening in the Library and all of the students are there, dressed up in their favorite costumes, including the study group — Jeff, Britta, Annie, Troy, Abed, Shirley, and Pierce. After eating the taco meat provided by Dean Pelton — which actually happens to be military rations from an Army surplus store — Pierce becomes extremely sick. Soon after, more and more students become ill. As soon as Pierce bites Star-burns, another Greendale student, it’s apparent that the “food” is turning the students into zombies. Following orders from the military, the Dean locks the students into the building to quarantine the spread of the virus as he waits for the Army to arrive, and the study group has to make sure they don’t get bit by their fellow classmates and survive the night.
So, let’s dive into why this episode is a great choice for an October night in before spooky season is over.
It is the perfect mix of humor and scares. Community is a comedy, so of course, the main focus of this episode is to have a few laughs. For starters, “Epidemiology” is a parody of the many zombie movies and television shows that have been made. When the students become infected, they mimic stereotypical zombies. For example, their arms are straight forward and they moan a lot as they try to attack those who aren’t infected. And the personalities of the characters are still apparent while they’re the walking dead. I mean, seeing a zombie study or one stand around nonchalantly texting other zombies is hilarious.
Another thing that I love about this episode is that it’s aimed towards nerds, and here at Nerds and Beyond, we love that. The pop culture references in this episode (and really every episode) makes it relatable and hilarious. In order to save his classmates, Troy has to embrace his inner-nerd, after a B-storyline involving him getting rid of his Aliens costume and becoming a sexy Dracula to impress the ladies. He even does a quick but satisfying Star Wars reference while on his mission to save his friends.
Are you crazy? How are you going to survive those zombies? -Dean Pelton
I’m gonna be a nerd. -Troy
Let’s quickly talk about the soundtrack to this episode. It really brings the whole story together. Throughout “Epidemiology,” Abba songs play even during the most action-packed, zombified moments. It adds to the lightheartedness of the episode, while staying relevant to what’s going on in each moment.
And as a bonus for all your Star Trek fans, George Takei narrates portions of the episode!
Even if you’ve never watched Community, I highly recommend taking the time to watch this episode before October ends. Who knows, it may even inspire you to watch the entire series (You definitely should! You won’t be disappointed). You can watch Community on Netflix and Hulu!