Parodies and psychology, meta humor and monkeys, laughs and tears
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"Modern Warfare" (Season 1, episode 23)
The series had already demonstrated its gift for parody early in season 1 with the extended "Goodfellas" spoof that was "Contemporary American Poultry." But even that episode didn't quite prepare everyone for the awe-inspiring "Modern Warfare," in which a campus paintball tournament gave the show an excuse to expertly reference a dizzying array of action movies, from "The Matrix" and "The Warriors" to "Die Hard" and "The Killer." And somehow within all these homages, the show found time to bring the long-simmering sexual tension between Jeff and Britta to a boil.