No one was particularly surprised (except maybe the writers) when Chevy Chase announced that he'd be quitting his role as 'Community's Pierce Hawthorne, particularly given the rough history with both published comments and now-departed creator Dan Harmon.  Yet, with two episodes yet to be shot before Chase's exit, and the always hopeful possibility of a fifth season, have the writers re-worked the season to incorporate Pierce's departure?  Could Pierce be meeting Mr. Mayhem?

Initially, we'd heard that Chevy Chase had completed enough filming on 'Community' season 4 that his departure would scarcely be noticed, especially after production completed the season's finale ahead of sequence.  However, new information from TVLine suggests that Pierce might not only finish the season, but finish his life altogether!

According to the sources, 'Community's fourth season finale (episode 413, because the season's delayed February 7 start prevents a back-9 order) will in fact end on a cliffhanger that threatens the lives of several characters, Pierce included.  Should NBC opt to continue with a fifth season, it's more than likely writers would simply progress from a point of considering Pierce dead!  "[It] wasn’t intended to set up his departure,” claims the inside source. “It just worked out that way.”

That would explain the recent talk of returning to the "darkest timeline" for one, but what of the un-filmed episodes?  The show reportedly has plans in place for episodes 411 and 412 which may find a way to utilize Pierce without Chevy Chase.  Any guesses?

What say you?  Do you hope want Pierce to shuffle off the mortal coil now that Chevy Chase has departed?  Give us your 'Community' season 4 hopes in the comments!