04/12/2013 06:17 am ET Updated Apr 12, 2013

'Community' Puppet Show Trips With Jason Alexander, Sara Bareilles (VIDEO)

Things got very surreal on "Community" when the gang decided to try the Dean's puppet therapy. This led to a full-on puppet takeover, as puppet versions of the characters relived a very scare hot air balloon ride. It was something that happened on this ride that created an awkward silence in the group, and only the Dean could save the day!

Both Sara Bareilles and Jason Alexander appeared during their flashback puppet story. Bareilles was supposed to be the balloon operator, while Alexander was a Greendale alum who'd taken to living in the woods they crashed in. He gave them words of encouragement -- in one of the episode's many musical numbers -- and some magical berries that left them all tripping pretty hard.

It was during their loosened state that the gang apparently revealed some of their deepest secrets to one another. While Pierce was in the puppet sequences, he wasn't at the table for the puppet therapy. Were those scenes filled after Chevy Chase left the series?

Critical reaction was mixed to the gimmicky episode. IGN thought it was a fun escape for the series, while Screencrush didn't get it at all. They said it was a gimmick that didn't serve a higher purpose. The gimmick worked for The AV Club, though, who rated the episode an "A." According to their reviewer, it was the first episode of this season they'd recommend to friends without hesitation.

See what trick the creators have up their sleeves next on "Community," Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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