Everyone learns the art of the grift and that The Sting isn’t so great on Community season 6, episode 9. Check out our recap and share your thoughts on “Grifting 101.”
“Grifting 101” is a classic “homage” episode of Community. It’s actually one of the more overt ones, never once trying to hide that it’s an extended shoutout to The Sting. As Abed explains, after all, about 20% of it is hand-drawn.
That hand-drawn segue opens the episode, with the group gathered around the table trying to find a new class to take and talking about Chang’s likely diabetes. They decide they all want to take Grifting 101. Jeff does not want to take this class and fairly points out that the whole class will likely just be a grift. Everyone else chalks this up to Jeff just being jealous that somebody else is teaching a subject he’s good at.
It doesn’t take long for the group to realize that Jeff is probably right. The very hairy and strangely suave Professor Roger Del Salvo (English comedian Matt Berry) has got the class buying $100 briefcases so they can practice passing them back and forth. The class IS a grift. Annie, Elroy, Abed, Chang and Britta all come to Jeff and ask for his ask for his help in grifting back that grifter Del Salvo (the word “grift” is uttered about every 30 seconds in this episode). After Jeff has a confrontation with Roger in his office over Roger’s disrespect of Jeff’s grift game, Jeff finally agrees to help the others in their grift against Roger.
Jeff begins to set up a series of smaller grifts to get Professor Del Salvo’s guard down like the “African telegram” scheme (the Jim Belushi of grifts) and the “this guy left his lottery ticket here” scheme. Professor Del Salvo falls for the bait of not falling for the bait. Everyone is rightfully confused by this and Jeff admits he doesn’t have a final plan in place for what to do when Del Salvo’s guard is finally down. They decide to watch The Sting for inspiration but can only conclude that The Sting is a bad movie.
At this point, Del Salvo bursts in and taunts Jeff for his failures. In response, Britta punches Del Salvo in the face and they chase the professor to the stairs, which he promptly falls down. Chang would test the blood he spits out for glucose, but you know: diabetes.
Del Salvo, in a wheelchair and with casts covering most parts of his body accepts $50,000 from the school in cash in a briefcase in exchange for not taking them to court. He then meets up with Britta to give her her half of the money. It turns out Britta and Del Salvo met at her bar and hatched out this whole scheme to get money from the school. But it’s really Del Salvo who is getting schemed because Abed takes away all of the money after Britta seduces Del Salvo.
Del Salvo chases off after his money and is halted by a series of students holding briefcases. At a confrontation in the cafeteria, Jeff stands up and explains the terms of this grift. Del Salvo clearly isn’t hurt so he would owe the school $50,000. Or he could just admit that he, the professional grifter, had been grifted. Del Salvo sadly admits he had been grifted and Frankie takes everyone out for hotdogs! Frankie is the best.