• Laughspin’s epic recap of Community’s epic, three episode finale

    Buckle up, kids: It’s episode-a-palooza up in here. Last night was the three-episode Community finale, and I had to be up at 5 a.m. this morning, so no more wasting time. Here we go.

    Episode 1: Digital Estate Planning.

    Gilbert, the executor of Pierce’s father’s estate, the always terrif Giancarlo Esposito, has summoned Pierce and the gang because diabolical old fossilface has gifted his son with a multiplayer gaming interface. Turns out Pierce wanted to invest in video games years ago. Dad naturally said no, but then his old, racist dad did something surprising: He spent the last 30 years perfecting one for Pierce and seven of his friends (Lavar Burton is a no-show). Aww. Sweet. Something’s fishy.

    Cut to Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne! Bouncy bouncey bounce! Uh-oh, a dirty hippie is boinking the bejesus out of the Annie avatar. So Jeff murdered her. And then the hippie boinked him. And summoned more hippies! This is freakin’ awesome. You respawn in the study room when you die. (Dad didn’t know about the study room 30 years ago, but go with it. The study room is adorbz in 8-bit form.) Time to move on. (Creepy executor guy is on their tail. Like I said—fishy.)

    Papa’s back, and he’s the same gruff old coot we met before: He’s back from beyond the grave to remind Pierce what a boneheaded idea video games was (all the arcades are gone) and what a brillz idea moist towelettes were (who doesn’t appreciate a moist towelette)? Not nice! But what good’s a wound without some salt in it? Papa’s got more: First to reach his throne wins his inheritance. Worst dad ever.

    But don’t worry, Pierce, the gang would never steal your money. Except…there’s Gilbert being ominous. The game is more complex than they realize. Turns out you can pick stuff up and throw it! Pierce in a ditch. Bye, Pierce. Aaaah, weight sensors!

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    So the gang (being ultra gangy and sweet) has to get Pierce to the Throne of Hawkthorne safely, i.e. away from Gilbert. Oh look, there’s Hilda. She lives in the village. I DO NOT TRUST HILDA, YOU GUYS. (Just wanted that on record.) She has important information: The gang has to get the white crystal from the black caverns. Wait, Hilda is actually Abed’s dreamgirl. (And turns out she’s pretty nice. I am a terrible judge of character.)

    Troy and Pierce play poker, Britta straightens up, Annie murders Hilda’s dad and tries to cover it up. So, business as usual.

    Ooh, Jeff tricks Gilbert into drinking poison. Psyche your mind!

    So, they’re down one Abed (he’s going to stay with Hilda in the forest, because she’s his program-mate), and the rest of the gang is off to beat Gilbert to that inheritance. There they go, through the Village of Laziness’ scenic nacho mountains, through the colorful peenlike shrubbery of Gay Island to the Free Ride ferry and yes! Finally to the Black Cave. Jive turkeys attack! (Holy shit, I love this show.) Pierce has got the crystal! Yay!

    Only…Gilbert. Seriously??? Ok, not cool. Jeff is out of his seat. Uh-oh. Automatic forfeit, right? Pierce deserves that inheritance—he’s his son. Except, Gilbert says, so is he. Oh boy. Turns out Pierce’s childhood nanny, Etta, had a hot cousin, Gilbert’s mom.

    Back in their seats, no time to waste. The gang is back where they started with all the creepy hyper-boinking hippies, and Gilbert’s nearly at the castle. But they won’t give up. So off they go.

    And OMG, Dan Harmon and co., you brutal geniuses: Abed’s the motherfucking king of the village and Hilda loves him. She says so. “I live in the Village and I love Abed.” Pretty sure this is officially the first time a 2-D video game has made me weepy. They have babies!!! About 12 million of them, looks like.

    Gilbert’s at the throne. All is his if only he’ll sign one tiny legal document stating that he will never besmirch the Hawthorne name by, y’know, saying he’s one of them. Instead, he must cop to being the bastard offspring of a colored seductress and a weak-willed miscegenist. Poor Gilbert.

    Army of babies!!! Die, racism! Troy and Abed shooting lava! Zeppelin to the heart. You go, Pierce. Only, they forfeit. Gilbert took all his crap and didn’t even get to take his name. They’ve only been playing this game for a few hours—he’s been playing it his whole life. Reward time.

    Good god. But no time to get misty-eyed, we’ve still got two episodes to get to people. So onto the next one!

    Episode 2: The First Chang Dynasty

    Now that they’re back in three dimensions, it’s time for the gang to take back its school. It’s Bush-era propaganda all up in the hizzy: Security! Harmony! Success! Doppeldeëner shown only from far away! Which means our real beloved dean is being held somewhere against his will. And usually very sweet Recurring Cop Character is no help at all: If the Greendale 7 gets within 50 feet of Greendale, he’ll throw them in the slammer!

    (I still hate the guy, but I’m at least glad to see Chang’s enlisted some bat mitzvah girls into the ranks of his minions. EEOO, motherfucker!) Turns out the Chang camp is running out of money, which is bad timing, because Chang’s in the midst of planning his birthday party (sundae bar! Dance-off! Something about Ed Hardy!). Time to fire the custodial staff. He’s a right tyrant. And the gang will never make it past security to infiltrate. If only they knew someone on the inside.

    Air-conditioning Repair Annex guy! (Even he’s a smarty—uses the subjunctive beautifully. Side note: Anyone who doesn’t like Community doesn’t get it because they’re not smart enough, just saying.) The dean’s in the cafeteria basement—and if the A/C guys will help them, they have a fighting chance of getting him out. The catch is that they want something in return: They want Troy.

    No dice. ELABORATE HEIST! Atta gang.

    Party time. Not excellent. Creepy little girl singing while Shirley smuggles in Annie under a cake. Chicken in a toilet. Hey, it’s Super Mario and Luigi!!!

    I’m just gonna come out and say this. Winger as a Criss Angel-ish magician in leather pants and eyeliner is hot. Is that wrong? No wronger than my thinking the actual Criss Angel is hot, which I also do, and which I am so so ashamed about but feel better for having admitted. I can’t resist guyliner!!! Ok. Thank you. I feel better.

    Where were we?

    Spinny spinny Chang-Chang dropped his key!

    Pierce has Magic Pop on his head, I think. Anyway, they’re in. But now Chang’s onto them. Except…nope! He’s not! Reverse failing plan! Or something! Are you with me?! (Good! Because I still have another episode to recap and I’m really, really tired!)

    Sloooooow clap. Yeah, now they’re burnt.

    Whoa, Chang is psycho. He’s gonna burn down the school after an awesome keytar solo. Troy gets them out: He’s sold his soul to John Goodman. Now rave!

    The Chang is up! (Yes?) And good dean is back. Jeff’s so happy he touches him. And all would be right with the world except that Troy has to leave. I dislike this. Secret whispering to Abed: “I know you hate this when people do this in movies.” YOU HEARTLESS COMMUNITY-WRITING BASTARDS.

    So now the dean is safely back in our care but we’ve lost Troy—and there’s only one episode to get him back. Cross your fingers, you guys.

    Episode 3: Introduction to Finality

    Oh look, the study group is studying! I forgot that they used to do that. It’s the end of the summer (Jeff just said so), and they’ve got a Bio final to study for. And Jeff’s the only one interested in studying.

    Village People-era Dean is trussed up like a construction worker (we missed you, Dean!), and he’s got some good news: Shirley’s sandwich shop is back in! Except, there’s only one dotted line for ownership on the deed, and Shirley and Pierce are fighting over who gets to put his or her John or Janice Hancock on it. Time for Jeffrey to step in. Only, he won’t. (Yes he will. Later. Bet you a million dollars.) For now, he wants to study so he can get out of this hellhole and get back to being a lawyer. (That is so first-season Winger. I’ll let it slide, but continuity, writers!)

    Britta’s off to ruin Abed’s life. JK, she’s just going to give him some free therapy since he’s so depressed about Troy moving out. (So yeah, that thing I just said.) She’s a natural, what with her crooked-wang outing and constant Britta-ing of everything.

    Oh, look, there’s evil Abed. Which means good Abed must be having a psychotic break. This can’t be good.

    Over in A/C repair school, coveralls. Troy’s not adjusting well. But he is the True Repairman. He fixes air conditioners and the men who fix them. The True Repairman will Repair Men.

    Greendale court! It’s Shirley vs. Pierce. And yep. Jeff’s gonna represent Shirley. Leonard is Bull Shannon!

    Britta arrives to help Abed (help theme tonight, you guys), but only the evil one is there, in the Dreamatorium. Oh, and Freon. Vice Dean Laybourne is dead. (Except I think he’s not. I think Troy’s going to repair him. We’ll see.)

    Britta’s holding her own for a hot minute with Evil Abed, but she’s no match for him and his evil facial hair. Switcheroo! He’s from the dark timeline and now he’s going to darken this one. Fack

    Meanwhile, the new vice dean has released Troy. Yay! Except, obviously this isn’t going to be as easy as all that. Now Troy’s invested. And suspicious. He’s invicious.

    (Character assassination with Pierce and Shirley, but I don’t care. Sorry.)

    Meanwhile, back at the Dreamatorium, the business-casual potted plant is having her ass handed to her by a VERY MEAN MAN WHO ONLY LOOKS LIKE OUR WONDERFUL ABED. Jesus, don’t mince any words, why don’t you, Van Dyke. What a Van Dick. She’s darkening.

    Challenge in the Sun Chamber! Troy will not take this coup d’dean lying down.

    Back in courtroom: sharks, dogs…Rob Corrdry’s being terrible, basically. He and Chang should have a one-episode show together where they just shoot each other in the face. If Jeff wants his job back, it’s his: All he has to do is throw the case. Oh, and Evil Abed is going to try to cut off Winger’s arm. He’s got an extension cord and everything. Things are not going well in that courtroom.

    Coked-up Sun Chamber guy rules! Even without rules. But oh, there are: Troy and his foe will be sealed in the chamber with a broken unit. The heat will increase until one man yields or dies. Oh, turns out that A/C guy killed the dean. Troy’s winning, but Troy is also good. He is the Repair Man. He won’t let him die. (PS, I was wrong about Laybourne. He’s for realsies dead.)

    It’s Jeff monologue time (except this week it’s actually appropriate because he’s giving his closing argument in court): Helping only ourselves is bad and helping each other is good. Hear that, Evil Abed? You are destroyed!

    Troy’s back! Time to study. Weird shot of City with Chang sequestered in a vent. Wait wait…STARBURNS!!! Holy hell, what is happening. Jeff’s looking for his dad. Britta moves into the Dreamatorium. WHAT IS GOING ON, YOU GUYS? Are we in a different timeline? In a night of three episodes of Community, these were the most confusing two minutes of all. AND NOW IT’S OVER AND WE HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL NEXT SEASON TO FIND OUT WHAT IT ALL MEANS!


    At least we know there IS another season. Last we parted, we didn’t know when the gang—or our gang, the Recap Friends—would be back. And now we dooooooo! In the fall! Squeeeeee! So that wraps up my recapping duties. Happy summer to you all. I’ll catch you in the study lounge. #sixseasonsandamovie

    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 carlasosenko.com. Follow her @carlasosenko. She thinks you rule.

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