Timeline “Community Has Run Its Course: Series Finale”
One final banner, this one to celebrate Jeffrey Tobias Winger’s departure via early graduation from Greendale Community College. But not before…
An insecure Jeff rolls the die one last time, prompting the Darkest Timeline to collide with the one we all know and love!
Evil Jeff goes about making sure that all of the progress Jeff made in his four years at Greendale was undone in as little time as possible, belittling his friends and vocalizing their biggest insecurities. Also, he killed Troy’s dream for the Troy-jan Horse! Which sounded as awesome as his wish for the Dorito taco.
A battle ensues, with magic paintball guns that can transport between dimensions. It’s Evil Study Group counterpart against Study Group. Amidst the battle banter in the cafeteria we see the characters confront some of their demons — Shirley tells Evil Shirley, a pathetic drunk, to “get help” before sending her splattering back to the Darkest Timeline. Evil Annie tempts Annie with the prospect of a relationship with Jeff. Evil Troy tries to act tough, but Troy gets the best of him.
But what’s this? The paintball shootout in the cafeteria is only in Jeff’s mind — as evidenced by the meat and hard-boiled eggs in the vending machines. It’s time for Jeff to face his own demon. Letting Evil Jeff win means taking the easy route and denying all the growth that Jeff has experienced. But he knows that isn’t what he wants. He defeats Evil Jeff and faces the music. He is graduating — and leaving behind the security of his friends’ support and love.
At the wedding-like ceremony for Jeff, the Dean starts a speech, but Jeff finishes it. While he was telling the Group he loves them and how much he appreciates their influence on his life, I kept wanting to say “amen!” These characters are great, and it’s such a shame our path with them ends here. The wrap-up shows us that Jeff will be working for a small firm close to Greendale, where he can come visit his friends.
I will never complain about a last shot like the one in this episode, with Study Room F and the Greendale sign “Your Path To A Brighter Future.” It was a relief that none of the characters ended as couples (although over in Timeline 5, Troy and Britta had a baby… Chewbacca?), just as individuals who had become better by the personal relationships formed in their years at Greendale Community College. It felt poignant, and real. I will miss these crazy kids, but after this finale I feel ready to say goodbye.
So farewell, Greendale. Or not?
Obviously the Evil Study Group’s Matrix-style black leather and long coats. Bad to the bone.
“I will keep this tight and short.” “You always do.” –Dean Pelton and Jeff, referring to a speech — or not
“Nobody sleeps with Jeff!” –Annie, as she sends Evil Annie back to the Darkest Timeline
“I don’t get it, we just finished Christmas and now it’s warm outside!” –Pierce the crazy old guy, making a point about the show’s unconventional schedule this year
“Don’t logic this one away from me. We finally figured out a way to make paintball cool again.” –Abed, convincing Jeff to play along
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