Community – Jeff, Dean and Human Being

Community‘s season finale tried to recreate a time gone by. With Jeff on the verge of graduating, the writers decided to bring back the darkest timeline, but their hearts just weren’t in it. Don’t get us wrong, “Advanced Introduction To Finality” had its moments, but compared to previous finales, it doesn’t make the cut.

The Players:

  • Director: Tristram Shapeero
  • Writer: Megan Ganz
  • Cast: Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Donald Glover, Alison Brie, Chevy Chase, Ken Jeong, Jim Rash

Episode Title: “Advanced Introduction To Finality”

Jeff achieves enough credits to graduate and contemplates his departure. Meanwhile, the study group revisits the “darkest timeline”.

The Good:

  • Joe Lo Truglio: Joe Lo Truglio makes a brief appearance as Jeff’s old partner, a fast-talking lawyer-type who tries to convince Jeff to come work for him. He’s only in one scene, but totally steals it with his charm. 
  • Jeff’s Final Speech: Jeff talks about how much he’s changed, which he has. He also lets his peers know how much he loves them, which is sweet. One of the things the new writers were able to master is all of the emotion. This speech gets an A+.
  • Chang’s Hero Moment: Chang works best in small doses. He’s more appreciated when he’s not the main focus. For a while, we feared that we’d have a repeat of last season, what with him faking Changnesia and all. Thankfully, the writers used him sparingly in the finale. In turn, his little “hero” moment where he jumps in front of a paintball intended for Jeff, yelling “Friendship!” was so sweet.

Best Lines:

  • “I may not be good with facial expressions but I know an evil doppelganger when I see one.” –Abed
  • “Oh you non-Evils are so naive.” –Evil Jeff

The Bad:

  • Paintball Comeback: It’s not that we don’t appreciate a little paintball. God knows we love it, but not like this. If you’re going to make references to the series’ best episodes, you have to really go for it and they didn’t.
  • It Was All A Dream?: And after all the paintball and time travel, it turned out that this was all inside Jeff’s head. Does this mean none of it actually happened? Were we all tricked into thinking the alternate timelines collided and went to war against each other? Way to make us feel foolish, Community.

Overall:

“Advanced Introduction To Finality” felt like a mirage in the desert. All of the cool things seemed to be there – the darkest timeline, Evil Abed, paintball – but it was all a dream. It sucks doesn’t it? The finale had some special moments, but they were lessened by the idea that they were all in Jeff’s giant head.

Rating: 7/10

Community airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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What did you think of last night’s finale?