Advanced Documentary Filmmaking
Original Air Date: Mar 14, 2013
Shannon – Associate Editor
This week is a documentary about Chang aka “Kevin” and his Changnesia. Abed is filming this documentary because Dean Pelton wants a propaganda film to land a research grant. A non-descript doctor tells us all about the disease while Dean and Britta talk about how they met Chang and what they think happened to him. Britta’s Chyron graphic says she’s “Basically a Therapist”. Yeah, ok.
Apparently the MacGuffin Neurological Institute is considering giving a grant to Greendale in the amount of $40,000 to help cure Chang. Jeff still believes that Chang is faking and enlists Shirley to help him. He continually reminds everyone how Chang tried to kill them. Too bad Shirley believes everyone deserves a second chance and hires Kevin to work in her sandwich shop. Jeff wonders what it says about him that everyone believes Chang but him. He concludes that everyone else is gullible and he’s going to single-handedly expose Chang using the documentary. Jeff pretends to organize a way to impress MacGuffin. He gives everyone in the study group a job which he knows they will suck at and which he will then use to sabotage the grant.
Pierce’s job is to host a reception, complete with racist hand puppets. Annie and Troy do some investigating on what happened to Chang to find a smoking gun. Britta and Shirley videotape…something. In their footage, we see Chang make a phone call. He dials a number and hangs up. Later, when Jeff confronts Chang about it, Kevin recalls an entire conversation between Shirley and Jeff verbatim. Jeff is wary that he can remember all that but not who he is.
Later, Jeff gives his presentation to the MacGuffin group. He brings forward Alessandra, Chang’s wife. It was her number Chang was dialing. Of course, Chang has an excuse. Jeff kisses Alessandra to get a reaction out of Chang. Jeff’s plan backfires since the MacGuffin group decides to give Greendale the grant. Jeff is a pariah now, but Chang forgives him and wants to start over fresh. They shake hands and the documentary credits roll.
At the end of the episode, Chang walks out of the study group and makes a call on a cell phone. He tells the person on the other end that everyone bought his story “hook, line, and Winger”. So Jeff was right. He is faking and he’s going to take Jeff down.
My husband had to fill me in on the MacGuffin trope, but it is a clever piece of writing. I really enjoy Abed’s documentaries and this one was no exception. I don’t know if I’m really on board with this Chang story line but it’s nice to see it going somewhere instead of just lurking in the background. Maybe now we can just get it worked out for good. Your thoughts? Leave them in the comments!