With toss-up renewal status, Community’s season finale had to double as both a potential series finale, while leaving the door open for a 5th season.
“Advanced Introduction to Finality” is a lot of fun and among the season’s standouts. Joel McHale and Alison Brie as Evil Jeff and Evil Annie bring it and steal the episode. The episode’s energy leading up to and including the brief paintball showdown is rolling and many of the jokes are on point. As Abed points out, making the paintball bullets gateways to another timeline helps prevent yet another paintball episode from coming off as stale.
But while “Advanced Introduction to Finality” is a great tribute to Community’s style and humor, it lacks as a send-off to its characters if this is the series finale. Jeff’s journey dominates the episode, leaving little reflection for the rest. The show started as Jeff’s, but over time his friends’ progressions and relationships became as important. It’s disappointing they’re shuffled to the side.
With that said, it’s highly unlikely this is the end. Even if cancelled, no show fits a movie installment after its television run ends more than Community. A movie allows Dan Harmon to return to end his own show his way, while a low production budget combined with a rabid fanbase makes it a guaranteed successful investment for a studio. Even if for some reason they didn’t back it, a Kickstarter campaign easily would raise the budget.
For its low moments, this season of Community had even great moments and likable characters/performances, to make it worth watching and better than the rest of network comedy television can approach. If the end, here’s to the best television comedy of all time despite the warts in its last season.
By Julien Rodger