Community (2009–2015)
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Epidemiology 

The study group is left to fend for themselves by Dean Pelton during a rabies outbreak due to tainted food at Greendale's Halloween party.

Director:

Anthony Hemingway

Writers:

Dan Harmon (created by), Karey Dornetto | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joel McHale ... Jeff Winger
Gillian Jacobs ... Britta Perry
Danny Pudi ... Abed Nadir
Yvette Nicole Brown ... Shirley Bennett
Alison Brie ... Annie Edison
Donald Glover ... Troy Barnes
Ken Jeong ... Ben Chang
Chevy Chase ... Pierce Hawthorne
George Takei ... George Takei (voice)
Jim Rash ... Dean Pelton
Greg Cromer ... Rich
Richard Erdman ... Leonard
Kim Robillard ... Man in Suit
Sigmund Watkins Sigmund Watkins ... Commando #1
Dino Stamatopoulos ... Star-Burns
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Storyline

Pierce and a few other Greendale students ingest a biohazard substance at the school Halloween Party, causing them to exhibit flu-like symptoms and begin turning into zombies. It is up to the rest of the gang to save themselves and the school when Dean Pelton locks them in with the zombie-infected student body. Written by NBC Publicity

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 October 2010 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The tombstone Rich sits on to check the bite on his ankle bears the name of producer Sean Veder. See more »

Quotes

Señor Chang: Guess who I am.
[the zombies turn to him and moan]
Señor Chang: Or don't.
[runs]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are redone with a Halloween theme. See more »

Connections

References Night of the Living Dead (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Mamma Mia
(uncredited)
Written by Stig Anderson, Benny Andersson, and Björn Ulvaeus
Performed by ABBA
See more »

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User Reviews

 
In honor of "Community"- a review of every episode. (S2;E06- "Epidemiology")
19 May 2017 | by MaximumMadnessSee all my reviews

(This is the thirty-first installment in an ongoing series. I am in the process of writing brief reviews of each and every episode of creator Dan Harmon's beloved cult-comedy series "Community." This project was originally conceived as a response to NBC's cancellation of the series before its renewal on Yahoo's streaming service. As this is a hobby, updates will come incrementally and it may take some time for me to complete this.)

Well, this was certainly unexpected. And yet, very welcome.

But seriously... who'd have thought that such a ridiculous idea as having a zombie-attack on Greendale's Campus set to the rocking beats of ABBA could have worked so well? (Outside of Dan Harmon, of course.) This episode really snuck up on me the first time I saw it back in 2010. It came out of nowhere and struck like a viper, leaving me completely flabbergasted by just how incredible it turned out despite such a ludicrous premise. And it has since gone down as perhaps my favorite Halloween themed sitcom episode of all time. It's just so crazy. Even by "Community" standards. And yet, it works. By god... it works!

It's Halloween at Greendale Community College as the study-group attends a themed dance in costume. But not everything is well. Troy (Donald Glover) and Abed (Danny Pudi) are having disagreements about their costumes, as Troy feels he looks to much like a geek to attract girls. Jeff's (Joel McHale) seemingly-perfect "rival" Rich (Greg Cromer) has returned. And it looks like Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) got the party supplies- including a suspicious "taco-dip"- from an unlikely source... a military surplus store! Soon enough the stage is set, as Pelton's poor choices in a party-supplier starts to turn all the students who ate the "taco-dip" into ravenous, flesh-craving zombies! And thus, the study-group must contend with their carnivorous classmates and try to survive a quarantine until the army arrives! And worst of all... the Dean's all-ABBA Halloween playlist is stuck on repeat over the loudspeakers.

Through and through, this is one of the finest "concept episodes" in the history of the series. A send-up to all things horror and zombie-related, the episode has a great sense of broad humor that supplies near-endless laughs, in addition to some genuinely thrills and chills along the way. From a laugh-out-loud sequence poking fun of the trope of the "false jump-scare" to a tense and thrilling climax that I will not spoil, the episode is expertly written by scribe Karey Dornetto and very well-helmed by director Anthony Hemingway. It's never too serious as to lose its silliness, but also never too silly that it loses a real sense of threat. It really is the perfect satire of horror and makes for a phenomenal Halloween episode that's never anything less than completely hilarious and engaging.

The cast is at the top of their game, and it's a pleasure to see the return of characters like Rich. He's one of the funnier supporting parts thus far, and it's a joy having him back. There's also a really fun sub-plot regarding Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) and Chang (Ken Jeong), whose costumes are ambiguous at best, and how they bond over the perceived racism they think they see in the other students and a really great through-line about how the army needs precisely six hours to arrive. All the small details and sub-plots lend a lot to the episode and give it some real variety. The soundtrack also plays a key role, and it's shocking how well ABBA's greatest hits compliment the screen. You won't listen to "Dancing Queen" the same way again! There's even a completely unnecessary audio-cameo by George Takei to boot! What's not to like in this episode?

"Epidemiology" really took me by surprise. I loved the first season's Halloween special, but this one blew it out of the water. If there's anything bad I can say about it, it's that it set the bar too high. It's just so perfect that while refusing to spoil them, I don't think any subsequent Halloween special was able to come close. And for that reason, I give a very well deserved 10 out of 10.


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