Community recap: The darkest timeline, sort-of paintball and farewell (for now)

You guys, it’s with mixed emotions that I come to you tonight (or today, depending on when you’re reading this. Maybe it’s 4 a.m. because you went out to quash—not squash, you guys; so many people thinks it’s squash, but it’s quash!—the desolation of an uncertain Community future). Let’s not dwell on the despair that is the (here’s hoping) temporary farewell of Community, and instead, let’s talk about the finale, okay? Onto the recap!

There’s Jeff, back in his law firm with Joe Lo Truglio. Or is he??? Last week’s teaser told us we’re going sideways into an alternate timeline, so are we there yet? Hmm, not sure. JLT is trying to hire Winger back after earning his lollipop from Greendale. (Hey! You could do worse than Greendale, you smug midget! Oops. Sorry.) Just shake his hand, idiot.

Pierce (possibly the smartest guy in the group this term, after Britta) is confused by the sudden change in seasons. (Me too, Pierce! Is that a dig at NBC changing up the episode order? It’s so hard to know. No offense, NBC, in case you’re still deliberating whether to bring back television’s best show since The Great Space Coaster. Also, hey wait—Pierce is back!!!) Anyway, here we are, summer-winter.

Happy graduation, Jeff! Time to walk to the dean’s office, as one does. Cut to the playful get-a-room banter. Party time!

Poor Winger is worried about how the group, particularly Abed, will take his graduating early. (Oh, did I mention that he’s the only one who has actually finished school so far? K, he is.) Britta, who must by now be a junior apprentice actual therapist, sees through it: Jeff’s the one with cold feet. And Abed’s grown and totes not on the verge of a psychotic break anymore—he hasn’t even mentioned that darkest-timeline stuff in ages.

Study room. Winger’s being creepy. Uh-oh, the die. Don’t toss it, Jeff! Too late. Cue psychotic break. Abed will bring the soda. What are you up to, Winger, you sexy, plotting jerk???

OH MY GOD EVIL JEFF IN HIS UNDIES. (Also, is the cast doing some sort of starvation challenge? Between Joel McHale’s, Jim Rash’s and Danny Pudi’s bony bods, this season’s Community takes the (flourless, sugar-free) manorexia cake.)

Evil Annie!!! Their mission? To make lame Jeff less lame: He’s got to take the job at the law firm. (I think unwitting-education-major Winger should get a teaching gig at Greendale, but let’s wait and see.) Their plan? To turn the study group against him. (I’m not the only one hoping Evil Annie and Evil Jeff have Evil Graphic Sex, right? Yeah, me neither. Moving on!) Oh! Makeout, yay!

Evil Jeff is preying on Regular Annie’s emotions. Fluttery Disney-princess eyes. Wait, now he’s being mean to her. What was the point of the first thing? I’m so confused. (Repeat with every member of the group, plus the dean.)

Abed’s got the evil duo’s number, so he offs himself, evil-timeline style. (This entails making yourself a member of Blue Man Group.) Okay, so now Evil Dean is actually the fake dean that was installed during the City coup. I think. Or something. Who can remember! Chang is dressed like George Washington and in charge. Yikes. I officially have no idea what’s going on, but I like it. Oh, we’re in the darkest timeline. (Thanks, Abed!!!)

Abed meets Evil Abed, who goes by regular Abed now, which isn’t at all confusing. The artist formerly known as Evil Abed has given up the cause and lives alone now, sans Evil Troy. As in the regular timeline, Abed is the wisdom keeper: He tells his regular self (do you guys want me to color-code again? No? Okay, fine. Stop shouting.) that Evil Jeff, now back at his law firm, is tortured by regular Jeff’s being good, so Abed taught him how to timeline-hop and now he’s planning to turn or destroy himself, depending on how things go.

Bouncy red strapless dress. (Seriously, it’s bouncy on your TV, too, right? Please tell me so I know whether I’m having a stroke.) Oh, oops, Jeffs are converging! (Oh my god, make out with each other, Jeffs!!!) (Also, does Evil Jeff have more aggressive eyebrows than regular Jeff?) It’s decision time for Winger: reclaim his killer instinct and his proper scummy life or be nice and happy and like, keep growing and stuff. Oh no, Blue Man Group bullet. Chang takes it! (Aww, he’s a really good friend, actually.)

Back at Trannybed’s apartment, the gang is dejected. (Pierce isn’t there. He won’t answer Annie’s texts. HAS CHEVY CHASE GONE MISSING AGAIN, MID-EPISODE???) They won’t listen to Jeff, but luckily, they trust Abed and believe him when he tells them about the darkest timeline. (The doppeldeäner and Blue Man Group paintball gun don’t hurt.) It’s war.

Evil Pierce! He has a bicycle wheel for a leg. Cool!

Showdown in the cafetorium! (Okay, I just realized that the writers figured out a way to give us a paintball episode. I AM NOT ALWAYS THE BRIGHTEST BULB, YOU GUYS.) So wow, this is kind of awesome. Nothing will ever compare to the first paintball episode, and this probably doesn’t even really compare to the second one, but a third paintball episode is better than most nonpaintball episodes of almost any other show around ever (except for maybe The Great Space Coaster), so yay!

Oh my god, hold the phone: Holy Vanilla Sky/Sixth Sense/Some Other Movie I Can’t Think of Right Now Wherein Reality Is Merely a Creation of a Character Who Needs to Believe Something. The darkest timeline is Jeff’s creation, a place in which giggly chicks and meats and eggs abound (along with blood-thirsty villains, NBD). Jeff has changed during his time at Greendale, inarguably for the better. But he’s afraid to graduate because then he’ll have to admit how much he’s changed, which is scary. But he must, because you have to grow up sometime, and for Jeff, that time is now. There’s only one thing left to do: Take out Evil Jeff. WITH HIS MIND. Awesome. Let’s have a gradu-wedding, shall we? (Aww, hi, Todd and Magnitude and everyone else!!! I missed you!) Mazel tov, Jeff and Pierce (who is also graduating)!

Meeting the study group changed Jeff’s life—and it changed ours, too. (Cut me some slack, I really hate goodbyes.) If this were the end of Community, it would be a nice place to stop. That can’t be an accident—the writers know their future is uncertain—but look how awesomely I just used the subjunctive there. As my mom (who was my AP Spanish teacher—I know, so messed up. She was actually sort of hard on me and will forever bear the blame for my getting wait-listed at Tufts) taught me, one of the times you use the subjunctive is in the case of an indefinite future, and that’s what this show has. But this show also has big, round cojones (there’s no name for that part of speech), so I’m hopeful that we haven’t seen the last of our scrappy little gang. I already told you I dislike goodbyes, so I’m not going to dwell here. For now I’ll just say farewell, have a good summer vacation and I’ll see you in the fall-spring.


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Carla Sosenko

Carla Sosenko is a writer and editor from Brooklyn, N.Y. Her work has appeared in Marie Claire, Self, Jezebel, The Hairpin, The NY International Fringe Festival and some other places. She received her MFA in creative writing from Emerson College, where she majored in choppy sentences. Carla thanks you for reading her words and kindly asks you to read more of them at Follow her @carlasosenko. She thinks you rule.

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