S2E34: First off, pop-pop. Secondly, if this episode cemented anything for me, it’s that I would do terrible things to be allowed to be on set with the cast and crew of Community because it would probably be the most fun I’d ever have. This episode wasn’t my favorite and it wasn’t mind-blowing, but it was consistently and spastically fun and when so many shows save the big deal stuff for the finale, Community literally just brought out the big guns.
“Woo, go Jeff Winger’s study group. Those guys are ballers, yo. I hope you like getting balled.” -the Dean
So, we picked up where we left off last week: with Josh Holloway out of the game, Pistol Patty (a.k.a. the giant ice cream cone with the creepy voice) brings in reinforcements. And if you saw the previews and thought to yourself, “Wow, those guys kind of look like storm troopers,” like I did, then it all made sense as soon as Pistol Patty’s ice cream scoop was removed like Darth Vader’s helmet in The Empire Strikes Back. (Side note: how awesome was it that when the paint ball troopers spoke, they sounded like storm troopers.) The deal is that of course, City College is behind this whole rigged paint ball competition in a hair-brained scheme to destroy Greendale. And just like that, we’re in a Star Wars parody and the Spaghetti Westerns are relegated to last week. Thanks for pointing that out, Abed.
Since they’re fighting a greater evil, they all form a rebel alliance (like Star Wars, guys, DUH — I say as I push my figurative glasses up higher on my nose and snort while I chuckle) to take down the evil forces. This interaction was probably one of my favorite scenes. Not only did we get a little pop-POP from Magnitude right before he throws himself on the robot paint grenade forcing Troy to rush to his side and hear his last words (“Pop- what? What is he trying to to say?!”), but we got to see Jeff in his full douche-tastic glory. Of course, he thinks he’s the hero who takes the role of leader “reluctantly” and with rugged handsomeness (which is clearly why he’s refusing to take off his pristine cowboy hat), but for once Troy wants to take that role and I for one like that notion. And I like seeing everyone else step on Jeff’s toes. He’s pretty. He can handle it.
While all this is going on, the troopers find Pierce and he convinces them to spare him so that he can help them take down Jeff Winger’s study group. Um, okay, Lando. Also, City College does understand that they could have shot him and still made him help them, right? Because paintballs don’t kill people, but whatever.
“Troy, do you happen to have a better plan?” -Jeff
“I do happen. I happen very much.” -Troy
As the battle continues, they split up, Jeff and Troy map out a plan while Abed, Annie and Shirley do some recon. While Abed gets all Han Solo on Annie (and we’ll get into that in a minute), they find a store room full of paint (with a Greendale poster featuring Dan Harmon on the door) which just happens to support Troy’s plan of using the sprinkler system to spray the entire library with paint instead of Jeff’s dumb machine gun idea. It’s dumb, okay? This little power struggle between Troy and Jeff is great because it feels finale-esque. Their adoration/competition has been building all season, though subtly, and this episode is fun way to keep from wasting it without letting it weigh down an episode.
Of course, the plan ends up splitting the rebels into groups, allowing some alone time for Abed and Annie and separate leadership posts for Troy and Jeff. Aww. I am a bit bummed that Jeff’s speech by the picnic tables was in the commercial because by the time the episode came around, it was pretty tired, but I will say that with the knowledge of the Star Wars parody, that last line — “Then I guess I’ll see you in hell” — worked so much better. (Because it’s what Han Solo says right before he rides off on a ton-ton when C-3P0 tells him his odds of surviving long enough to rescue Luke on Hoth are pretty dismal. Yeah, I warned you I was a nerd. Why didn’t you listen?) Of course, the outdoor forces are taken down and Troy, Abed and Annie are pinned down in the library in hopes of baiting the troopers into their trap. (It’s a TRAP! Sorry, I had to. This is too much fun.) In contrast to Jeff’s losery defeat — a single chest shot and a nonchalant departure — Troy acts as bait and lets a gaggle of troopers splatter him with endless paintballs. It was pretty epic.
“I don’t think you’re immature, I think you’re great…for a no good, laser-faced, jabba scoundrel.” -Annie (It’s “scruffy-looking nerfherder,” my dear.)
It gets down to the wire, we’re running out of people and Shirley, being the mom she is, takes matters into her own hands, pulling the fire alarm and releasing the paint just before escaping the spray. Everyone in the library is “dead.” Of course, since Annie falls in love every five seconds, she goes all googly-eyed for Han-Abed and they make out in the paint rain before it turns him back into normal Abed. I have to say though, it kind of worked on me too. I’ve always been a Han Solo girl and seeing Abed in that role was actually pretty awesome. Go Danny Pudi.
Shirley goes outside to finish the job, but there were a few troopers who managed to escape the paint explosion and they shoot her — also epically. But just before City College can claim victory, we find that Pierce, with his fake heart attack trick, pulled a Luke or Han and posed as a paintball trooper so he could sneak in and shoot the remaining two troopers without them knowing it. He wins and he actually gives the money to Greendale. See, he is like Lando. He turned it around eventually!
Side note: kudos on keeping the Cougartown crossover to a minimum. It was appropriate that Busy Phillips was an extra on Community like Abed was supposed to be on Cougartown.
“Alright, I’ve given this a lot of thought and I’ve decided we should sleep on it.” – Troy
Back in the study room, we find everyone paint-covered and tired, planning out which class to take next semester. Of course, Annie is unrequited by Abed who’s since dropped the Han act. (Who saw that coming? This girl.) Jeff gives a nod to Troy and lets him be the group leader, aww. And Pierce comes in just to get his planner and he’s still upset over the fact that they tried to vote him out. His season long arc gets a little real and he gives a speech about acceptance to which Jeff responds with an invitation for him to stay. Sadly, Pierce doesn’t stay. He’s had enough and he leaves, no slinking back like Britta’s cats. It was a sad note to end on, and more of a cliffhanger than Dan Harmon let on when he said earlier this season he didn’t want to leave us hanging this time around. And it’s not just some silly love triangle, it’s something that actually makes us feel sort of awful because we’ve enjoyed their use of Pierce as a punching bag. It was a bit of a downer after all that fun, but it worked.
What’s also a downer was that this is our last episode of Community this season. It was a great send-off, but honestly, I’m not sure what I’m going to do myself for the next few months.