Jeff and Annie and the “So Big” moments of S6 that the fandom refuses to see or accept
Okay, I have to finally speak out on this because I have had ENOUGH, JA fandom. I keep seeing over and over, J/A S6 moments being discredited, devalued, and cast aside and treated as unimportant and I’m sick of it.
Sure, yes, there aren’t as many JA biased eps in this season versus S5 (where 10 out of thirteen eps have at least some JA bias or foundation) but here’s the thing. IT HAS TO BE THAT WAY.
Ever since Basic Crisis Room Decorum – which IS a JA and Annie-centric – Jeff and Annie’s interactions have been much more public, starting as early as Ladders and their very public held gaze there, the moment between them at the beginning, and the stretchers scene, which is later built upon by Jeff’s 608 admission to Abed about losing Annie.
Advanced Waxing brought about a new, subtle shift to J/A’s moments together with Milady Milord being transformed into a genuine love endearment and no longer something Jeff uses to win Annie over or as an olive branch to make things right with her – it’s been confirmed as their “As You Wish” and that is so meaningful once you see it.
Laws of Robotics and Advanced Safety Features was all about growing Annie and giving her more dimension, but also about piling on the Jeff/Annie foreshadowing too. Jeff’s public sort-of apology to Annie when he mentions “misleading” the Dean is not about the Dean. It’s about his complicated relationship with Annie. Annie extending her hand to him in that moment was her accepting that apology. Laws of Robotics also resurrects a prominent S1 J/A theme that was taught to both of them by Professor Whitman’s Accounting class (teach me to number my days!) and that theme is “Live in the Moment.” Abed’s film centres around that with “Party Like No Tomorrow” and it’s telling how Jeff is very ho-hum when Abed makes him dance because Annie isn’t around, which is a very subtle commentary on how Jeff and Annie both inspire the other to live in the moment and truly live. Without the other around life shudders to a standstill or loses its flavour.
In Advanced Safety Features, the entire plot with Elroy is all about teaching Jeff to be vulnerable and emotionally honest so that he can be ready when the time comes to tell Annie the truth about the door and how he feels. Speaking of doors/a door, Britta’s “Everybody’s in such a rush to protect themselves from each other!” is a meta reference to J/A if I ever saw one, since hasn’t that what fandom has meta’d Jeff and Annie doing towards each other over the years?
The fact that Britta mentions A DOOR right after is also meaningful and laden with foreshadowing since the last time A DOOR appeared prominently in the storyline, Jeff and Annie put their feelings out there for each other and that’s basically the gist of that statement: you have to be brave enough to let your walls come down – so you can let someone in.
Both Jeff and Annie are struggling with that this season since even though their friendship has remained intact since the JB nonsense of the S5 finale, there’s emotional walls there now (as Basic RV Repair alluded to) that they need to break down so that they can seize the day again – with each other .
Meanwhile, after the HUGE dynamic shift seen in the Advanced Waxing Milady Milord we get another sign of the growth and development of Jeff and Annie’s relationship in S6 with the Intro to Recycled Cinema’s “I love you” improv of TRUTHFULNESS, which for some reason has been even more discredited and treated as even more inconsequential than the dynamic shifting Milady Milord and I can’t fathom why.
In Recycled Cinema we get Jeff allowing himself to appreciate Annie’s beauty openly - by his gazing for a long time at her chest during her “laser bomb” scene and also clearly checking her out in her costume - the improvised “I love you” that indicates yes, Annie does still have feelings of love for him (even if she might be a bit uncertain about it right now and about herself in general) and his ready and quick and happy reply of the same indicates that he’s no longer afraid of the world’s reaction to him loving her anymore.
During that held gaze with her there, it’s clear all he sees is her and her alone. The world no longer matters, and we know that was a terrible hang-up for Jeff in regards to Annie in S2. But he’s grown and developed beyond that, and so has Annie.
Just the fact that both are so happy that their chemistry is remarked upon by Maury and their lack of personal space indicates they’re still close with each other and more so, comfortable with showing affection and smiles and happiness with each other in public.