In this episode, Shirley goes into labor and Abed ends up delivering her baby. Chang thinks its his baby, and is telling Shirley all the different ways and places that Chang babies were born. Meanwhile, there is a World Food Festival in the parking lot at Greendale and a riot breaks out. I think this is one of the funniest episodes of the season. 10/10
The Anthropology final finds our study group drinking in their favorite blow off class until the Dean shows up. He's observing the class with a writer from Dean Magazine (Worst Idea for a Magazine Ever). Having not taught anything remotely related to Anthropology, Professor Duncan goes to get the test from his car, slinking away and leaving the class struggling to find excuses to also leave. Shirley soon finds herself in active labor and Chang asserts that is a family trait and the baby must be his. A race kerfuffle at the World Food Festival in the parking lot prevents Shirley from getting to the hospital. Meanwhile, Troy and Abed sell out their handshake to Pierce and then regret it. But they recapture the magic when something awesome happens again.
Britta tries to show how comfortable she is with the situation, woman to woman. But she wants to take care of people so bad that she cares until she pukes when viewing the head crowning and loses her confidence. Jeff helps her realize she can help and Abed walks her through it(Abed having delivered a baby earlier in the year).
Chang's family labor stories help Shirley through the birth and in gratitude, she names the baby after him even though it doesn't end up being his (all Changs are born with tails?). Baby Ben Bennett.
Community wrapped up one of its longest running side plots this week when Shirley's baby is finally born in "Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts". The episode centers entirely around the group helping to deliver the baby when they are unable to leave Anthropology class due to a race riot started by Dean Pelton.
The episode begins with another fantastic guest appearance by John Oliver as drunkard Professor Ian Duncan, as he and the class take their own special version of finals. With everyone aside from Shirley getting drunk, the class has to quickly sober up when the Dean drops by with a reporter writing an article about him. When the reporter decides to stay to see how the unorthodox testing takes place, Professor Duncan heads off to get the fake tests. While waiting for his return Britta tries to impose some of her personal opinions upon Shirley with regards to childbirth, whilst Pierce pays Troy and Abed for the rights to their special handshake.
When Shirley begins to feel uneasy, Chang – still adamant that his is the unborn child's father – begins to tell the tales of "Chang Babies" and their notoriety for being born prematurely. When the discomfort turns into Shirley's water breaking, the study group jumps into action whilst the Dean tries to maintain the facade that he is good at his job in front of the reporter. With the group unable to leave the classroom due to the aforementioned race riot over a world food day at Greendale, Abed recalls the time that he delivered a baby in the background of an episode last year, suggesting that he is the man for the job.
Uncomfortable with Abed seeing her "nethers", Shirley insists on one of the girls performing the delivery and Britta steps in to help. Initially unable to cope with the disgusting nature of the process, Britta ultimately redeems herself and the baby is successfully born. When the baby is revealed to be Andre's and not Chang's, Shirley decides to name her child after the non-father, making the newborn Ben Bennett.
When looking back on "Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts", I can't help but feel satisfied. Whilst the episode didn't really deliver too much in the way of laughs, it kept a good enough level of humor to keep you engaged whilst it drew out 20 minutes on a singular plot point. Making the birth of Shirley's child an afterthought in an episode would have been a big mistake, so there really was no other way that the subject could have been approached, however, the potential to use a cliched cliffhanger was overlooked here I think. Given how much humor and intrigue that the writers have managed to draw out of the story line, adding the frustration of us not knowing for one more week would have been so perfectly imperfect. You'd have hated the writers so much for doing it, but I guarantee that any fan would have been glued to the screen for the beginning of next week's episode.
In a way, this episode of Community was completely different than last week's; last week was another example of the show indulging in lampooning a certain genre of television or parodying something.. this episode is another one of those character driven normal-type episodes, and I would say it was equally as good as last week's. We got everybody jumping in on the fun, even if some were better than others.
It's the Anthropology final and Professor Duncan (who has killed it this year as far as I'm concerned) is slacking off during it until the Dean pops in, claiming he'll be sitting in on it. Soon after this, Shirley goes into labor, and a riot outside prevents her from getting to the hospital. Therefore, we get the typical "deliver a baby outside of the hospital" theme that every show seems to do... but this is Community, so it never feels lame. We get Chang explaining that "Chang babies are notorious for coming out early.. they grow fast by feeding on the mother's insides" and we also get Britta trying to help but failing after she gets a look at the cervix. Meanwhile, Troy and Abed realize their handshake has lost its meaning after Pierce pays them a thousand dollars to use it.
It's a weird episode, with a callback that episode where apparently Abed delivered a baby in the background of the episode despite it never being referenced. But it works so well because the writing is top-notch, and we get great input from Dean Pelton, who has raised the bar for the supporting cast and especially Duncan, who steals the show with just a few lines.. all around, a very good episode.
Please read the following before uploading
Do not upload anything which you do not own or are fully licensed to upload. The images should not contain any sexually explicit content, race hatred material or other offensive symbols or images. Remember: Abuse of the TV.com image system may result in you being banned from uploading images or from the entire site – so, play nice and respect the rules!