Pop Culture Spin

Community Review: 6.7: Advanced Safety Features

Community season 6 continued today was a fun, Britta-centered episode. In the meeting that opens the episode, Frankie warns everyone about guerilla marketing happening on Greendale. (Abed asks, “Why do they need marketing? They’re amazing.”) Britta discovers that the subtle marketing on campus is being delivered by her ex, formerly known as Subway. He’s moved on to a new gig convincing people they need Honda products. He assures Britta that it’s different and this time he gets to have his own identity– he’s Rick now. Rick offers to show Britta the back of his Honda and she says, “For fifteen minutes, then just friends for real.” I love Britta getting laid and this whole relationship.

Rick sets Britta up with a job also repping Honda, explaining that they can have a real relationship if they’re an influential couple. We get to see Britta and Rick happy for a fleeting moment while they’re convincing Todd to purchase a Honda. But, when Britta discovers how much the job entails– they can’t dislike anything popular in front of other people– she has to end it. Rick declares he’ll quit the job for her, but can’t resist one last job when he finds out that the Dean has to decide which type of vehicle to get for the athletic department. He explains to Britta that he can’t pass this up because the Dean is “a level 7 susceptible” and will be easily persuaded. As Britta watches Rick leave, unable to resist the allure of one last job, she says to herself, “I guess I’m a level 7 susceptible too.” This is probably the most emotional season 6 has made me so far.

Just like “Digital Exploration of Interior Design”, the episode that first introduced this character, “Advanced Safety Feature” managed to make me totally sucked in by this relationship. Yes, the episode is full of jokes about awkward product placement (“Do you not think Honda makes good products?” “Of course I do. That’s never been remotely in question”), it also has a lot of heart. Even knowing it was doomed to be another one episode entry, I couldn’t help rooting for Britta and Rick to make it this time.

In the subplot, Jeff starts to suspect that Elroy doesn’t like him. I’m always up for Jeff completely unraveling because of his insecurities. Since they had to squeeze it into a b-plot, there wasn’t as much of a full breakdown as I was expecting. But, the climax of Jeff straightforwardly telling Elroy, “I like you and I want you to like me” and Elroy saying, “You’re a good guy and we’re going to be friends” was a nice, surprisingly quiet pay off.

“Advanced Safety Feature” is a fun episode that also feels very earnest. It’s one of the Community episode that allows you to really care about the characters, which I appreciate. Plus, they got in a great Lisa Loeb cameo.

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