Introduction to Statistics (Community)
"Introduction to Statistics" is the seventh episode of the first season of the American comedy television series Community, airing on NBC on October 29, 2009. Annie (Alison Brie) hosts a Dia de los Muertos party, the success of which depends on Jeff (Joel McHale) attending. At the party, Pierce gets high, causing trouble for the other characters. Jeff pursues their statistics professor, Professor Michelle Slater (Lauren Stamile). Finally, Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) is distressed due to her ex-husband's behavior.
|"Introduction to Statistics"|
|Episode no.||Season 1|
|Directed by||Justin Lin|
|Written by||Tim Hobert|
|Original air date||October 29, 2009|
Annie (Alison Brie) announces to the Spanish class that she will be hosting a Dia de los Muertos party for extra credit later that night. Annie hopes everyone will attend the Mexican Halloween party, especially Jeff (Joel McHale), believing his popularity will influence others to come.
Jeff checks in with Britta (Gillian Jacobs) to make sure that she doesn't see anything ever happening between them because he has decided to ask out his statistics professor. After Britta confirms this, Jeff waits after his statistics class that afternoon to ask Professor Michelle Slater (Lauren Stamile) out, but is rejected when she states that she doesn't date students.
Annie catches up with Jeff in the hallway to make sure he agrees to come to her party. When he hesitates, Annie breaks down in tears while remembering her lack of popularity in high school, stating that crossing guards would lure her into traffic. Jeff agrees to stop by.
At the Halloween party, the study group is dressed in their Halloween costumes: Britta came as a modest squirrel, Troy (Donald Glover) as Eddie Murphy, Abed (Danny Pudi) as Batman, Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) as Harry Potter, and Pierce (Chevy Chase) as Beastmaster. Jeff does not wear a costume. Senor Chang (Ken Jeong), dressed as a matador, lets Jeff know that his professor crush is attending the faculty party in the cafeteria.
Starburns (Dino Stamatopoulos) runs into Pierce, who is in the bathroom taking his medication. Starburns suggests Pierce trade some of his pills for the ones that Starburns has; Pierce, trying to act cool, agrees.
Jeff asks Senor Chang to make him his "plus one" to the faculty party so he can see Professor Slater. Chang agrees, once Jeff offers him 20 dollars. Jeff quietly grabs his coat and leaves Annie's party before anyone notices.
Annie gathers everyone from the party in a circle to start the dancing. She invites Jeff up to have the first dance of the night with her. Once everyone realizes Jeff has left the party, people threaten to leave. Britta tries to cover for him, enlisting Shirley to help get him back. Pierce, meanwhile, is high on Starburns' pills and begins hitting on Annie, who rebuffs his advances.
Jeff makes it into the faculty Halloween party wearing a cowboy costume. He finds Professor Slater dressed in a revealing Robin Hood outfit and immediately makes advances on her. Britta interrupts their conversation in an attempt to convince Jeff to go back to Annie's party. Meanwhile, Abed and Troy need help dealing with Pierce, and Shirley defaces Professor Slater's car out of anger. Britta then catches Shirley in Professor Slater's office with a water hose, at which point Shirley breaks down and confesses that her anger has to do with her ex-husband and not Professor Slater. Pierce begins to lose control because of the drugs, driving everyone out of the party.
Back at the faculty party, Chang gives Jeff some advice to boost his ego so he can continue wooing Professor Slater. After talking to Chang, Jeff approaches Professor Slater and tries an honest, direct, self-deprecating approach. Professor Slater agrees to sleep with him. As Jeff and Professor Slater leave the faculty party together, they walk by the library, where Pierce has barricaded himself in with office furniture. Jeff tries to ignore Pierce's cries for help, but agrees to walk away from Slater to help his friends. Jeff enters the fortress, where he successfully calms Pierce down. The fortress begins to collapse on top of Jeff and Pierce, but Abed, dressed as Batman, comes to rescue them. The episode ends with Jeff dancing with Annie as Abed narrates as Batman over the proceedings.
In its original broadcast this episode was viewed by 5.32 million.
The episode was met with positive reviews.
Emily VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club rated the episode positively with A- and liked the exploration of the characters, "I feel like we're going to get more backstory that explains everything about [Britta], but at the same time, I’m really enjoying how the show is gradually filling in both who she is and who she wants to be. But I feel like the show is doing that with all of the characters by this point." Sean Gandert of Paste rated it 9.1/10 saying the episode, "shows off how silly, unique, and flat-out hilarious the show can be."
Jonah Krakow of IGN rated the episode 8/10 with "But this [episode] got things back on track by once again making Jeff (Joel McHale) the center of attention and giving his supporting cast the opportunity to provide solid laughs in short, razor-sharp bursts." Alan Sepinwall likewise felt the episode represented a comeback after a string of disappointing episodes, remarking, "That's more like it. 'Introduction to Statistics' was the strongest episode the show's done in several weeks. It made good use of the whole ensemble, giving every character a chance to shine without anyone's schtick feeling overdone." He praised the episode as an effective mix of "character-driven conflict ..., broad comedy ..., random pop culture references ... and sharp dialogue," illustrating each element of the mix with his favorite examples from the episode.
Eric Hochberger of TV Fanatic praised Danny Pudi's character as the highlight of the episode with, "As funny as those plot lines were [...] it was actually Abed dressed as Batman in the background that won us over." Sepinwall likewise named Abed's Batman as an example of judicious use of quirky character material, and added that he was enjoying the show's use of Abed/Troy scenes as closers given that the two actors "work so well together that it seems right they get these weird little showcases.
- Seidman, Robert (November 6, 2009). "Broadcast Finals: Greys Anatomy, The Mentalist, 30 Rock tick up, Parks ad Recreation and The Jay Leno Show slow down". Retrieved July 17, 2012.
- VanDerWerff, Emily (October 30, 2009). ""Introduction to Statistics" S1 / E7". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 10, 2013.
- Gandert, Sean (October 30, 2009). "Community Review: "Introduction to Statistics" (Episode 1.7)". Paste. Retrieved May 10, 2013.
- Krakow, Jonah (October 30, 2009). "Community: "Introduction to Statistics" Review - A treat of a Halloween episode". IGN. Retrieved May 10, 2013.
- Alan Sepinwall. "Community, Introduction to Statistics: trips and treats," What Alan's Watching, October 29, 2009.
- Hochberger, Eric (October 30, 2009). "Community Review: "Introduction to Statistics"". TV Fanatic. Retrieved May 10, 2013.