Timmy has decided to step up and take charge as episode 2 of Blockbuster starts. He has transferred the lease in his name and taken on all the responsibilities of corporate for the store.
Carlos is impressed and so is Eliza. They are not as impressed with his new nickname, “Blockbuster Daddy”, as they are with his newfound work ethic. Although it seems like he has everything under control, he goes to Percy and confides that he needs to let someone go from the payroll to keep the store open for the month. Thinking about the decision has given him anxiety and he has grown a patch of grey hair on his head.
Hannah and Connie are enjoying a reality show when they learn that “Hollywood Harold”, the local movie critic, has passed away. Carlos walks in and is devastated over his loss. He takes it upon himself to give him a proper send-off and do something in his memory. Eliza puts on her daughter Ali’s music in the store. Ali is in a band and Eliza still has not got a chance to hear it herself. But when Kayla hears it, she awakens Eliza to the fact that her song is about Eliza. She is ranting about how suffocated she feels with her mother.
Percy and Timmy try to decide whom they should fire but cannot come up with a mutually agreed-upon solution. Timmy suggests Kayla but Percy is understandably against it. They decide to interview the employees about their “dependencies” on the job. Carlos wants to dedicate a rack for Harold and the group comes up with the idea of an “Employee’s Picks” section. Kayla is still trying to make Eliza understand that the song is about her but she is having a tough time getting it.
Connie is the first person Timmy and Percy go to. Although she does not need the job financially, or emotionally, the store gave her a new breath of life. The time she spends with Hannah is too valuable to lose but she doe get a hint that something is wrong. Carlos is next but Timmy invariably concludes that he is perhaps the most suitable for the job due to his love and extensive knowledge of movies. Percy agrees too. Eliza has finally read the lyrics and comes to the conclusion that the song is about her.
She tries to take comfort in Connie, who says that it is because Ali feels safe with Eliza, and she rants like this. Eliza reveals that she has not told Ali that Aaron cheated on her. Timmy is almost about to fire Kayla secretly when Percy walks in. She is clearly the most uninterested, underserving employee of them all but Percy is holding her up. Hanna is sweet and makes mistakes sometimes due to her barren barrel of movie knowledge.
The group confronts Timmy together about the firing and Kayla herself volunteers to leave the job. Connie once again comforts Eliza that it is good Ali is processing the divorce by acting out. If she keeps it inside, she might end up like Connie’s son who drove a car through a Wendy’s store. Hannah surprises Carlos with a plaque for Harold. Carlos explains that Harold was like his best friend when his family moved to America. He had no other friends and developed a close bond with the show and Harold particularly. It is a sweet moment between the two that might hint towards romantic overtures later.
Timmy and Percy reach a deal whereby Kayla stays and Percy pays her salary. He hired Kayla because he wanted to spend more time with her. Eliza has now realized that Ali acting out is a good thing for the long-term future of her family. In the end, we see two teenage kids standing in the parking lot and all the cars’ alarms going off. Timmy and Percy frighteningly say, “they’re back”, and we cut to black.
The Episode Review
For some reason, the storylines for individual episodes feel like The Office. Remember the episode where Michael had to fire an employee on Halloween?
Blockbuster’s episode 2 tries to follow on the same path but with an absolute lack of inspiration. The trite, delusional brand of comedy this far is taken to the extreme here. The moment the group finds out about the firing, for instance, is treated with such derision that the writers are almost sabotaging on purpose.
Every emotion the actors tried to put into their characters in this episode felt like a waste of breath. No matter how hard they tried, they only made it worse. For a show set so thick in the world of movies, the lack of punchy references is embarrassing.
Community had such a gala time experimenting with styles and paying homage to the great champions of cinema. Blockbuster has none of that charm but dated weak one-liners. Eliza and Timmy are given a couple of moments in this episode and that is the only tangent that can put up a fight.
Both these actors have been hugely let down and perhaps choices making the show centered toward them would have been better advised.