Michael Desmond/NBC
Christian Blauvelt
March 30, 2012 AT 02:42 PM EDT

And so we come to it at last: The Great Battle of Our Time.

Pillows are the new paintballs, it seems, in the conflict that has sundered not only Greendale Community College but the friendship of Abed and Troy. I suppose we should have seen this coming when Abed wanted to play in the Dreamatorium by himself. (I’m not going to lie. That still makes me want to cry a little bit.) But the one hope for the future of their friendship lies in the fact that it’s not just Abed’s Randian refusal to compromise his pillow fort, or Troy’s desire to be fitted with a beard of bees by the Guinness Book of World Records people, that has split them apart. Like SPECTRE, Vice Dean Laybourne has set these two great powers against each other while he waits on the sideline to determine the victor. He’s the third Siamese fighting fish, if you will, hovering while the other two battle, until they’ve so exhausted each other that he himself can swoop in and claim the spoils.

“Digital Exploration of Interior Design” opened with a historic moment for Greendale: the opening of the new Subway sandwichery in the cafetorium that’s taking the place of Shirley’s proposed sandwich shop. Yes, it seems Subway has decided to take Community’s fortunes upon its shoulders and save it like it did Chuck. Oh…wait. Regardless of how successful they’ve been in this endeavor in the past, they seem to be the meat-pushers who most believe in the masochistic #SixSeasonsAndAMovie mantra, having also figured last night in an episode of Adult Swim’s Delocated and in a season two episode of Cougar Town—which is probably why Abed was the only one willing to give the corpohumanoid Subway a fist-bump and “Eat Fresh!” Until last night I’d have said that nothing could top the meta product placement of Burger King as Carl Weathers’ restaurant of choice on Arrested Development. (Tobias: “It’s a wonderful restaurant!” Ron Howard’s narrator: “It sure is.”) But Community has a knack for shattering your expectations—in a good way. I wonder how the PR/advertising team at Subway really feels about being painted as a dehumanizing corporate monolith willing to indenture young college students, rename them, and deny them true love?

NEXT: Behold a new species: the corpohumanoid.

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