One of the latest juicy tidbits revealed from the very public feud between Chevy Chase (who plays Pierce) and Community creator and showrunner Dan Harmon was that Chevy hates how his jokes are getting cut down so the show could develop the love story between Jole McHale (Jeff) and Gillian Jacobs (Britta). The fact that Community editors chose heart over humour frustrated Chevy to the point where he called the show a “f–king mediocre sitcom” and said “I want people to laugh, and this isn’t funny.” Maybe Chevy was onto something?
The episode begins with Troy and Abed playfully flaunting their best friendship (which was at stake in the previous episode) when Dean Pelton came in, to let the Study Group know that the carnival was at the Greendale campus this week. Britta reveals to the rest of the Study Group the shocking detail that her ex-boyfriend works with a travelling carnival (aka he’s a “carny”) to which the rest of them burst out laughing. His name is Blade (which also invoked a gut-bursting laugh from the group) and Britta finds him irresistible. Realizing this, Britta forced herself to go under lock down and made “Annie Adderall” her warden (referring to Annie’s past when she was addicted to Adderall).
Now in Troy and Abed’s apartment, Troy, Abed, Annie, and Britta are all watching Blade the movie when Britta loses it and demands for her phone to “check on her mother.” Really though, she wanted to get a hold of her ex-boyfriend, Blade the carny. They end up literally locking Britta in Annie’s bedroom which leads to an escalating game of manipulation and deceit between Britta and her captors.
Jeff and Shirley end up going to the carnival, the curiosity behind this mysterious Blade is too much to bear. Shirley just wanted a peek but Jeff wanted to know everything about him. When they actually find Blade (played by Kirk Fox) at the BB gun-duck shooting gallery, Shirley is satisfied but Jeff wants more and ends up spending almost $300 at the booth in a one-sided jealously-fueled rage to learn why Blade can affect Britta in a way that he can’t.
Pierce and Chang are also at the carnival and are trying to become each other’s best friends. Pierce was jealous at Troy and Abed’s affectionate display earlier in the episode and sought out Chang as his possible best friend. Although they tried their best at “forcing life” their neurotic natures split them up in the end.
A lot of things were included in ‘Origins Of Vampire Mythology’ to just move the plot forward. For example, when Vice Dean Laybourne (Jon Goodman) came to Dean Pelton’s office telling him to convince Troy to join Laybourne’s air-conditioning repair school. Jon Goodman, once again, does a great job looking formidable and Dean Pelton folds almost immediately. This exchange didn’t exactly lead to any good payoff but it did reveal to us what Dean Pelton’s new prerogative will be in the upcoming episodes. Jeff’s speech and the heartfelt gestures at the end also come to mind. None of those were particularly funny but necessary for character development.
‘Origins Of Vampire Mythology’ has been my least favourite episode of season so far but it was a necessary evil to further set up the characters for future episodes. I’m not sure if this episode was created solely for that purpose or that creator Dan Harmon tuned down the humour just to piss Chevy Chase off, but whatever the case, this was one of the show’s more forgettable episodes. I can see how other fans may have actually enjoyed this episode but personally, it was not my cup of tea.