Community 3x01: “Biology 101” mini analysis
When you leave the air conditioner you will have learned how to evolve. The dean has attempted to lift himself up and “will not tolerate monkeys living on campus.” The vice dean of the air conditioning repair annex must teach him that his path of evolution needs repair as he tears him down and shows him “the life of the mind” (Barton Fink reference not in episode). The dean is a self exalted common man and while he may wish everyone to look upon him, he has evolved incorrectly.
Pierce has accepted the magic of the table and has evolved. Jeff feels that he is more important than Pierce and attempts to keep him away from the table. The table is the monolith in 2001. Every time a being encounters the monolith and accepts it, they evolve.
Jeff enters the air conditioning ducts on his way to evolution and is hit by a gas that only has an effect on monkeys. It has an effect on Jeff and he sees himself consuming his phone in an homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey. The biology professor kicked Jeff out of class because Jeff was consumed by his phone, which was his personal monolith of his current state of evolution and a representation of his self involvement. Here he is consuming his monolith and is offered the chance to accept the monolith of the table. He sees himself as Pierce, but we do not know if it is Pierce the outcast as Jeff wishes to see Pierce, or the Pierce who has accepted the table and evolved. Jeff has become outcast from the group and from the table, self absorbed in his own monolith.
Jeff as Pierce is given the option to accept the monolith and evolve, we know that if he did accept it he will become a space fetus and watch the Earth from within an amniotic sack. We can see the space fetus as a man who has traveled so far outside himself that when he looks back, he sees his insignificance in the grand scheme. The fetus also mirrors the Earth to some degree and has become a companion to the entire world. A self absorbed individual reborn apart from self and coinciding with the group.
Regardless of what the next stage of Jeff’s evolution would be, he refuses to accept the magic of the table and instead becomes a later Kubrick character, that of Jack in The Shining. Jack isolates himself by becoming consumed by the hotel, which can be seen as his own psyche, each room containing a different part of himself for him to explore a la Last Year at Marienbad. Jack leaves his family to find the dark recesses of his mind, and as they retreat from his self absorbed darkness into the bathroom and out of the hotel, Jack forces himself through the door with an axe to try to rejoin with them (and slaughter them, but that is unimportant here). Jeff swings an axe at the table and attempts to forcefully rejoin the group, from which he has cast himself out by being self absorbed in his own monolith.
In the end we see that Jeff has destroyed his monolith and will be allowed back into the group and to the monolithic table to evolve and join with the others.
*I have a fever and I did not really read over this. I hope it makes sense the way it did in my head.
Episode 1 Analysis
Episode 2 Analysis
Episode 3 Analysis
Episode 4 Analysis
Episode 5 Analysis