10 'Community' episodes that defined the first Dan Harmon era
Parodies and psychology, meta humor and monkeys, laughs and tears
"Cooperative Calligraphy" (Season 2, episode 8)
"Modern Warfare" was so beloved that the show pushed even harder into the parody realm in season 2, including a three-week stretch featuring both "Basic Rocket Science" (the study group gets trapped in an "Apollo 13"-style situation on a flight simulator) and "Epidemiology" (tainted meat turns most of the student body into zombies). But some of the best high-concept episodes of that season, and the run, focused less on the concept than the characters. To compensate for the expense of a space mission gone awry and a zombie attack, the show did a classic bottle episode, taking place entirely inside the study room and featuring only the regular characters. But even as Abed kept noting that they were all in a bottle show, the story — in which Annie forces the others to stick around until someone confesses to stealing her pen — turns into a hilarious, moving excuse for all the members of the study group to confront their issues with one another, until everyone is stripped down both literally and emotionally.