Well, we all knew this was going to happen. The writing’s been on the wall for a while now, even if we didn’t want to read it. That’s right, sad as it is, it’s finally Troy’s last d—
But wait, the floor is lava! To put off the pain of saying goodbye to his best friend, Abed turns this week’s episode, “Geothermal Escapism,” into a schoolwide game of hot lava, with a prize worth $50,000 reserved for the winner. And thus commences Community‘s
Water Lava World, a bleak, post-apocalyptic landscape where Mad Maxian gangs roam the halls — the Chair Walkers, Chang and his Locker Boyz (I’m assuming it’s with a z), the Floor Striders (who once had a truce with the Locker Boyz), the citizens of Shirley Island, Prof. Hickey — and everyone is one misstep away from lava death.
It’s a fun game for sure, and a fitting way to send off Troy, whose tenure at Greendale has included epically scaled activities such as zombie attacks, blanket forts, and, of course, paintball matches. But to Abed, it’s no game at all. The floor really is lava to him, because his mind can’t handle the pain of Troy’s imminent departure, and what was once a nifty diversion transforms into a touching goodbye between two best friends.
Eventually, Abed does learn to let go and allow himself to fall into the lava-metaphor substance that symbolizes his Troy-less future. But there’s still hope yet; with help from Britta, they devise a brilliant plan: Troy won’t leave to pursue his dreams and sail the world on Pierce’s boat, the Childish Tycoon. Instead, “Clone Troy” will do all that, thanks to some high-level nerdery they come up with at the end of their lava game.
And so the episode came to a teary close, with Troy exchanging sweet somethings with each of his study group friends before “setting sail” with his idol LeVar Burton (a gift that, it should be noted, is a sweet something from the already-departed Pierce). Overall, it was a very nice way to say goodbye to Donald Glover, and it had all the elements of a great Community episode: adventure, emotion, Starburns. And it was an unusually strong one for Britta, too. Plus, it gave us some good lines! Here are some of the highlights:
Troy, at his “Bon Troyage” party: Thanks, guys! I didn’t know going away parties could be so fun. I should leave all the time…
Britta: Don’t regress to primal behavior just because it’s allowed — we’re human beings, not the editors of Teen Vogue!
Prof. Duncan: Real nice, Winger. This is why the British never win any sports: Because everybody else cheats.
Troy: Sorry, Britta, Abed knows best. But I’ll always remember you as kind of slowing us down and complaining a lot.
Britta: I get it. I lived in New York.
Magnitude: I’m actually British!
Jeff: Just do it right! Knock knock.
Britta: Knock knock!
Troy and Abed: Troy and Abed in a bubble!
Troy: I had a dream like this, but it was sexual!
Britta: There I go — I almost Britta’d our goodbye.
Jeff, to Troy: I’ve never stepped foot outside of Colorado. You’re becoming much cooler than me by doing this.
LeVar Burton: You know, starting a sea voyage from landlocked Colorado may not have been the best idea.
So, what did you guys think of the Donald Glover’s last episode? Was it how you imagined Troy Barnes leaving Greendale? And what do you think will happen to Abed and Annie’s apartment situation now?