Any episode that begins with someone yelling "ass crack bandit!" will probably turn out to be a good one. Throw in the tone of a movie like Zodiac combined with an episode of Law and Order and it really feels like Community is back into its old form once again. Jeff and Annie's romance buds again as they use the excuse of a serial quarter dropper to join forces to investigate who is really behind all the "attacks". The whole episode has a darker color pallet with it constantly raining while the bandit runs amok over the exposed cracks of many students.
The homage to Zodiac is amazing especially since the film isn't exactly a well known one. It can be easy to make a Pulp Fiction episode but a David Fincher film from 2007 that didn't do too well at the box office won't exactly get fans in a stir. Just like with Fincher's film the episode balances the "actual" crimes of the ass crack bandit with how the public, the student's of Greendale react.
What came as the biggest shock was the ending. Much like the film the actual identity of the bandit is left opaque. However we learn of a great loss that was both shocking and expected. Pierce Hawthorne, played by the disgruntled and now long gone Chevy Chase, has died. It makes sense after the actor has left the show and the character has left the school that he should be closer to death than away from it but seeing the show continually acknowledge, make fun of, and now kill him off was a surprise. I wonder if Community will have a funeral episode? Will this lead to Troy leaving since Donald Glover is leaving after a set number of episodes?