Fans have missed Community, and we learn in tonight's episode that Community has missed us too. Digital Exploration of Interior Design pays homage to many elements of Community we have come to know and love. There's the return of John Goodman as air conditioning school Vice Dean Laybourne, a continuation of the blanket fort storyline introduced in season two's episode Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design, and a tease of a showdown that could potentially rival the paintball episodes in awesomeness.
We had a chance to catch up with the cast on the set of Community last month, and they talked about how excited they were for this two parter. At the time of the interview they couldn't reveal many details about it, but everyone from Joel McHale to Gillian Jacobs admitted that they were thrilled to see the showdown pan out on the small screen.
Joel McHale wouldn't give away any specific details over where the divide is between the warring Greendale students, but he did tease that these Civil War-style episodes wouldn't end pretty.
"There are two warring factions, and there are many casualties," he said. When asked if it would divide our favorite Greendale students (beyond Troy and Abed), he hedged, "I don't know. Perhaps. Perhaps."
Last week's episode, Contemporary Impressionists teased a divide between Troy and Abed, and Laybourne's presence in Digital Exploration of Interior Design only seemed to exacerbate it. Hopefully that tension will be resolved by the end of next week's episode, Pillows and Blankets. But even if it isn't, we're just happy to find out that John Goodman's return is as awesome as we'd hoped when it was first announced.
Alison Brie said that Troy and Abed's friendship is just one of the many relationships put on the line in the second half of season three.
"A couple bubbles burst," she said. "Some bubbles do burst. I said it. You heard it here first."
Even so, Alison Brie said the Greendale Community College study group is closer than ever this season. That being said, she doesn't think their closeness is necessarily the best thing for them.
"It seemed maybe in the second season where they reached a point where they were all kind of making each other better people and now I think they're all just making each other worse, so it's like this downward spiral of them only hanging out with each other and kind of becoming worse and worse people this season," she said, something we saw very clearly exhibited in this past episode. "I mean, that's not totally true. They still kind of work out for each other and learn things but I do feel like this year there's been even more of a bubble of them kind of just trapped in their own world together."
Even though the focus of this week's and next week's episodes seems to be on the epic pillow fort versus blanket fort showdown occurring in Greendale's halls, it's hard to ignore Britta's new love interest, Subway.
From what we could gather from Gillian Jacobs, Subway is one of the few men in her life this season, though it seems like he won't be sticking around for very long. The other? Well, she only offered this hint.
"Britta has a special interest in co-therapizing, maybe, with a fellow therapist, but maybe other people aren't interested in co-therapizing with Britta, so we'll see how that dynamic plays out," she said. As for being the character with the most romantic storylines on the show, Gillian Jacobs said with a laugh, "If we believe what's said about her, she has slept with most of the men at Greendale."
Community airs on NBC on Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. central.