‘Community’ Season Finale Review: “Introduction to Finality”
In 'Community's' final episode, "Introduction to Finality," Abed has become withdrawn now that Troy is enrolled in A/C repair school, and Evil Abed threatens to escape the Dreamatorium.
This doesn't feel like a series finale, and yet it might have been had NBC decided not to renew the show. Keeping that in mind throughout the episode may have lessened its impact.
Dean Pelton decides to open Shirley's sandwich shop in the cafeteria, but only one person can sign the contract for it. Pierce, still butt-hurt over his father's company, doesn't want to let Shirley sign, so the Dean decides they should settle things in Greendale Court. Rob Corddry returns as Alan (the lawyer from Jeff's old firm who got him disbarred) to represent Pierce, while Jeff represents Shirley. It also gives the dean a chance for more costume changes.
Total Dean costume count in the finale: three. Splendid! Though his best is probably the "blind justice" costume, which causes him to run into a table.
Meanwhile, in the plot that should have dominated the episode, Britta is trying to "therapize" Abed, but Evil Abed is taking over in a bid to escape the Dreamatorium. Evil Abed picks at the most sensitive parts of Britta and escapes to find Jeff and cut off his arm, thereby turning this timeline into the "darkest timeline" from "Remedial Chaos Theory." When Evil Abed escapes and walks down the hall, it's sort of like watching Peter Parker become Emo Peter Parker in 'Spider-Man 3.'
Abed is the most logical character on the show, hyper-aware of the characteristics of those around him, and while I hesitate to say what the show should or could do, it might have been interesting to see this plot played out more, with Evil Abed analyzing his friends' weaknesses and making them more vulnerable, like he does with Britta.
Over at the A/C repair school, Vice Dean Layborne (John Goodman) tells Troy that he's the A/C repairman's equivalent to the chosen one. When Manny, the instructor that lured Troy over, kills Layborne, Troy sets out to exploit his misdeed rather than accept his release and return to his friends. It's a waste of Goodman, who only appears twice in the episode -- once in a scene with Troy and once at the end as a ghost.
In Greendale's court, Alan tells Jeff if he throws the case he'll re-instate him at the law firm, and Shirley encourages Jeff to follow his dream, but this makes Jeff realize that being selfless is better than being selfish, no matter what the cost. Throughout the season we've watched as Annie has tried to teach Jeff lessons, but none of them have stuck. But why change Jeff now?
Speaking of Annie, she gets practically nothing to do this episode, and again, if this had been the series finale, it would have been a disappointing farewell to her and a disservice to all the characters. NBC's hemming and hawing over the series certainly didn't help things here, but at least we get another season for Harmon & Co. to bow out gracefully (assuming next season is their last).
In the end, Abed takes down his Dreamatorium and Troy returns, but Abed puts up a smaller, cardboard version of the Dreamatorium in his "room," implying the promise of further fantastic adventures.
During a final montage, it's revealed that Starburns faked his death, indicating that we just might see more Starburns in the future.
But most importantly, in the post-credits sting Leonard's food reviews return as Leonard tackles "Let's" brand potato chips. Verdict? It's a buy!
Until next year, Greendale Humans, keep it real.
"It's a trade school! It's a two year degree in boxes that make rooms cold."
"You're going to let someone diagnose you who said her favorite superhero was X-Man."'
"You're the center slice of a square cheese pizza. Actually, that sounds delicious. I'm the center slice of a square cheese pizza. You're Jim Belushi."