Spoilers for tonight's episode will follow.
Our long national nightmare was officially ended upon tonight's airing of Community. And it once again proved that even an average episode of Community is better than most everything else. This felt like a setup episode for the most part. Shirley's wedding to her ex-husband was the main story. But each character was given solid parts that efficiently highlighted their core traits.
Britta and Jeff struggled with their emotional reactions to the wedding and relationships in general. Britta comes from a sociological perspective which focusses on the role of women in marriage and the fact that despite the history of problems with marriage, there is some value to it and she might one day feel compelled to engage in the activity. Jeff's perspective is mostly personal due to the fact that his father left him and his mother and thus broke the promise that marriage is supposed to be about. I think this aspect of the plot was to reintroduce the characters and set them on the course for hopefully resolving their issues.
Pierce's story was also about his father issues. Though I find his story less interesting than Jeff's. I think that's partly because Pierce isn't as redeemable a character as Jeff and I see less ability for Pierce to resolve his issues given that his father is dead and he is old. Annie didn't get much a story. But I have to mention her because I adore Alison Brie and she was her typical incredible self even without much to work with.
The Troy and Abed storyline was troubling. They tried to be "normal" for the sake of appeasing Shirley at her wedding. That resulted in them being really bland and thus not that funny. But thankfully Annie's Boobs showed up and saved the day. I gave an Annie-like squeal when Annie's Boobs popped out of the vent.
As I mentioned, Shirley was the main focus of the episode. She demonstrated a solid understanding of business, which was surprising to the Dean. I enjoyed that she had learned things in school and seemed ready to own and operate her own business. It was also nice that her husband came around to accepting her various roles as a woman and let her be a wife, mother, and business owner all at once. But there are still hurdles in her way since the board didn't let her have her own sandwich shop.
So aside from Annie, I think we were given the foundation for the rest of the season for each character. The rest of the season will probably revolve around whether or not they rise up to meet the challenges they face and grow as people or if they continue to be the same old people wallowing through community college. For me personally, I hope Troy and Abed find a way to grow without ceasing to be as awesomely weird as they are.