The gang tries to clean up Pelton’s big mistake with a roadtrip on Community season 6, episode 10. Check out our recap and share your thoughts on “Basic RV Repair and Palmistry.”
An episode that begins with a group of people in an RV that has a giant paper mache hand attached to the top of it is practically begging for a “Three Weeks Earlier” flashback and Abed Nadir agrees. Thus begins the central conflict of “Basic RV Repair and Palmistry.” Like many Community episodes, this one is about the wide gap between the show we’re watching and the show Abed thinks he is living. Sometimes Community and Abed’s own private show go hand in hand (hehe puns), but this time they don’t and the results are almost disastrous.
The gang is in Elroy’s RV, driving through the Rocky Mountains because Dean Pelton made the questionable decision of buying a giant, non-refundable hand. Frankie can only find one potential buyer on eBay so they all must drive to sell it and recoup some of the cost.
Naturally, Jeff, Abed, Annie and Britta being the “young” ones of their group cannot resist the urge to charge their phones while on the drive, especially after they hear that the RV may be running out of gas soon. Instead, all the phone charging depletes both batteries Elroy has rigged up and they are out of gas and out of batteries on a long-winding mountain trail. At this point, Abed becomes convinced that a strong, expository “Three Weeks Earlier” flashback will help them get out of this jam. But each time he tries, he is cut short by the “Three Weeks Earlier” Jeff as well as the present Jeff who is growing tired of Abed’s weirdness.
The gang uses the downtime in the RV to apologize for their various indiscretions, as they’ve come to learn is standard operating procedure for them during bottle episodes. But Dean Pelton refuses to apologize for basically screwing this whole thing up and getting them stranded in the first place. He has a little freak-out (or “Dean-out” if you will) and runs out of the RV and onto the roof with the hand. Abed comes up to comfort him but really just attempts another flashback where they all agreed to make the fastenings on the hand really tight. They did not, however, because in reality flashbacks do not work that way. The lashes break and Dean falls off the roof.
After his fall and everyone coming out to make sure he’s all right, Dean Pelton sneaks back onto the RV and locks everyone out in the cold. He won’t let anyone back in because they’re too mean to him but says Abed can help because he’s the most “human” one of them, ironically. Abed attempts another flashback, which causes Jeff to slap him in frustration. Frankie, however, smartly tries to help Abed help the group in the context of his own weirdness. What if THIS were the flashback, she asks Abed. Abed likes the idea and “flashes-forward” Thirty Standard Galactic Time-Units later where the Earth is dying and Space Elder Abed must flashback to this moment to save it.
Space Elder Abed delivers a beautiful soliloquy about hands and how they symbolize both grasping and letting go. Dean Pelton exits the RV and tearfully apologizes to the group. Abed’s weird obsessions have saved the day again. Greendale gets to keep a useless hand statue, much to the chagrin and tormented father and large-thing enthusiast Blake, who lost his son in a tragic giant kite incident. This show’s weird.