Up, down, up, down, as the quality of Community spins round and round. Off of last week's celestial episode, this week's show was a return to Earth - with one very significant asterisk. I was ready to score the episode as mediocre, a 'C+' if you will, and then out of nowhere came a three-minute sequence that pretty much redeemed everything before it. You know the one. It involved a rendition of the Oscar-nominated 'Somewhere Out There' from the 1986 toon An American Tail - a song that had been secretly tucked away in my childhood subconscious, just waiting to be summoned. There was something touching about how sweetly Abed and Troy sang the duet to their escaped lab rat, Fievel (another American Tail reference), and how the show used that musical cue to tie together both Shirley's triumph in her marketing class (via the assistance of Pierce) and Senor Chang's reunion with his estranged wife (via the assistance of Jeff). Sure, it was all kinds of artificial cheese, but the climax worked because we somehow cared for this zany group of multicultural and multigenerational misfits. Now, which Community writer was 8 years old in 1986?
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