If I were to rate this day, I’d consider it the Darkest Timeline. The opposite of Batman. The American remake of Inspector Spacetime. I just watched the final episode of Community, and I have to admit, I experienced a case of difficulty in swallowing and the slightest sensation of cutting onions. If you know me well enough, this reaction is beyond ordinary, normally reserved for very specific occasions. Don’t get me wrong; they didn’t pull anything big to close the show. The story was simple but emotional and had a lot of meaning, and- SPOILER ALERT: STOP READING IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE EPISODE YET. (Also, be warned that I’m about to get sentimental on your ass, and will be injecting as many Community references as I can.)
The episode opens with Leonard (Shut up, Leonard! You think you’re tough, but your girlfriend says you cry yourself to sleep every night.) announcing the end of the school year, followed by scenes of empty hallways, classrooms, and cafeteria, and accented by the dean’s PA announcement. Back in Study Room F, the Save Greendale Committee is celebrating their victory of finally “saving” Greendale (Nipple Dippers forever!) and anticipating the beginning of summer vacation. As it dawns on everyone that the six years spent on campus really is the end, they imagine what a Season 7 might be like if they kept going. (How fourth wall can you get? It was like a roomful of Abeds and I love it.) Then pitches start rolling in, one weirder than the next.
(Again, I’m going to be nice here and warn you about spoilers, but there really are just some elements I need to mention, so turn back now if you still haven’t watched it. Just bookmark this page. I’ll appreciate it.)
Later on, Abed and Annie reveal they’re leaving Colorado to pursue their career paths, signifying that things are about to change big-time for the group. The announcements shake the normally cool Jeff who refuses to let go, but Annie talks him into moving on. In the end, the whole group congregates around the study table that served them so well, and reminisce about the past years (with a slight jab at the ‘gas leak year’ that is Season 4, courtesy of a smelly rip from Señor Chang). In the tag is a board game that show producers should probably start manufacturing soon to appease fans that are still disgruntled by the show’s demise.
I have to say, it was rather refreshing to see Jeff at the receiving end of a Winger speech, and the dean showing up in another costume was like a welcome back to the familiar. Plus creator Dan Harmon throwing in a couple of F-bombs in there was like him releasing some pent-up energy and saying “What the fuck? Let’s go out with a bang!”.
But my favorite scene would have to be Abed’s short all-good-things-must-come-to-an-end monologue. As the usually emotionless one of the group, it was a touching surprise to see him give in to his feelings, especially as he remembers his best friend who sailed the seas with LeVar Burton. During his speech, his voice slightly breaks, as did my heart.
If there was one significant element missing in the episode, it was T-Bone himself, Troy Barnes. His departure was a big loss to the show, and I know I’m not alone in hoping he’d at least be back for the last one (and bring with him one of his gut-wrenching fake cries befitting the group’s goodbye), but alas, that was not to be. It would also have been nice to see Pierce back, having only faked his death to teach the group a lesson, as suggested by other Community fans, but that one didn’t happen either. It was nice (see what I did there?), though, that Shirley showed up for the last time, even though her role was limited to the group’s Season 7 pitches.
Community was not, by current television’s formula for a hit show, perfect. There was no cheesy dialogue, no overt display of sexuality, and no obvious swings at the funny bone. But to the few of us that got it, it was as perfect as it gets, making letting go all the more difficult. To us fans, its NBC cancellation was more ridiculous than playing paintball assassin with your out-of-this-world doppelgänger. While it was a pretty good sign that the Yahoo! pick-up wouldn’t last more than two seasons, with the immortal hashtag #sixseasonsandamovie constantly in the back of our minds, you could say we were in denial.
Community was our best friend who could spit out movie lines in their sleep even if you don’t ask them to. The odd kid in the playground who no one plays with but is actually incredibly cool once you get to know them (I actually got my sister hooked on it recently, and she’s been binge-watching the show every night.). It was the good kind of weird I looked forward to seeing every week, so what do I do now? I almost wish we could’ve staged a Hot Lava game just so it would go on forever.
Part of me died a little bit today. As much as I didn’t want the show to end, I have to admit it was a nice finale that blended heart with comedy without getting too sappy. It was so, well, final, I can see there might never really be any hope for a seventh season. Honestly, as the credits rolled, I was already feeling nostalgic and there was a void in me that I knew would never be filled again. Waking up will no longer be complete without “Troy and Abed in the Morning”. When I’m feeling existential, Britta won’t be here to “therapize” me while being pro-anti everything. And Pierce’s racially charged comments will no longer cause me inappropriate fits of laughter.
Now, there’s not much for me to do but hope. All I can do is keep a firm grip on the possibility that the great Dan Harmon will once again unlock the Dreamatorium and bring us the #andamovie we need and deserve. And maybe watch the whole series end to end another 20 times.
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