Picspam: Community 5.04 “Cooperative Polygraphy”

Last week’s Community episode, “Cooperative Polygraphy,” was a bottle episode, the first true bottle episode since season 2’s “Cooperative Calligraphy.” In terms of structure, I think this one was superior; the gripe I have consistently with “Calligraphy” is that it’s left to Annie and Britta to drive the bottle-ness of it all and keep the group trapped in the study room, and they both end up coming off as a bit unhinged and maniacal (Annie about the pen, Britta about, well, everything) that seems out-of-character when you watch it in sequence with the episodes around it. “Polygraphy” opted to bring in an outsider to keep everyone in the study room, which evened the playing field for the study group. Hooking them all up to a polygraph machine felt a little gimmicky, but it turned into a great bit that worked better than I could’ve expected.

But in terms of character moments, “Calligraphy” has the upper hand. It had the benefit of happening three seasons ago, when the characters were still learning things about each other and a group breakup always seemed imminent. Now, five seasons in, a bottle episode full of deep dark secrets and horrifying revelations feels like we’re revisiting a premise we’ve already seen. (And technically, haven’t we seen it already? As much as I’d love to forget that puppet episode from season 4, the setups were more or less the same.) In the end, it felt like the first two acts of this episode were scenes we just had to get through, and the third act was the real episode. But let’s see what you think as I picspam this thing.

001

It was a weird afternoon at a weird funeral for a weird dude. I was a fan of Pierce, there weren’t many of us, and I was sad to see Chevy go, but I don’t deny that he was the weak link of the study group. The writers too often went to the racist-bigoted-homophobic well for him, when I thought he was funnier as the group’s out-of-touch but still loveable member. I could spend hours watching him try to work the voice controls on his phone, or try to infiltrate the rock band at school, or freak out at the idea of being left out of the group’s activities. But he’s gone now, for better or for worse, and this episode served to function as the launching pad to that idea: a study group now permanently without Pierce. Will they be better, or will they be worse?

But that’s not all the episode had in store for us.

Pierce was in a weird cult, remember? The funny part is that when Jeff, Abed, and Troy colluded to dress Pierce up in a ridiculous costume back in 1.20 (remember, he was dressed up as the Cookie Crisp wizard?) it turns out they weren’t too far off. They do wear blue robes and pointy hats. The only thing missing is the cookie wand — I mean, the wand made out of the meteor that Buddha arrived on. The group chats about the amount of beeping at the funeral and the amount of time Abed spent at Pierce’s coffin before Troy and Abed sing “Troy and Abed are in mourning.”

Jeff: “Will you guys please stop doing that?”
Annie: “I can’t believe you did it during your eulogy. So uncomfortable!”
Abed: “I don’t think the audience got that we were singing ‘mourning’ with a ‘u.’”
Troy: “You were singing ‘mourning’ with a ‘u’? Oh no…”

They talk about Pierce’s cult religion some more and then Chang walks in with a weird greeting and asks, “How was the funeral? Awesome?” Jeff: “No, Chang, our friend’s funeral was not awesome. It was deeply sad, you know, funeral style.”

Chang points out that they spent a lot of Pierce’s life complaining about his existence, but they deny it, true to form.

002

Troy: “Just a reminder, you gotta live life to the fullest. By the time Pierce was my age, he had already been fired from 15 jobs. I’ve only seen two Police Academies. The last two.”

Oh, Troy.

Jeff says he’s gone too soon but won’t be soon forgotten, and then in comes Mr. Stone, played by Walton Goggins. (I was leery of the number of guest stars they’d packed into this season, but so far, they’re using them all very well, and Goggins is a shining example of that.)

Stone: “I work for Mr. Hawthorne. He specified in his will that no matter how natural in appearance the circumstances of his death, a private inquest should be conducted to determine whether any one of you, his former study group, murdered him. To be clear: You must all submit to a polygraph test.”

Chang crows that they’re in trouble, but it turns out he’s a suspect too. It makes sense… he should be suspect #1 in any Greendale murder case.

Chang: “Fine. But I ask the questions.”
Stone: “I’m afraid I can’t allow that.”
Chang: “All right. Then just the ‘fine’ part.”

Then Pierce starts to escape from his contraption and Troy finally gets to eat a ghost like he said he wanted to do in 2.05.

003

The group talks themselves into humoring Pierce’s last wish, and then the questioning gets underway, starting with Britta. (The polygraph technician is named Mara, by the way.)

Stone: “State your name.”
Britta: “Britta Perry.”
Stone: “Have you ever had any thoughts of violence towards Pierce Hawthorne?”
Britta: “No.”
Mara: “Lie.”
Britta: “I mean, I may have wanted to slap him now and again, but I didn’t kill him.”
Stone: “And all your sexual fantasies about Pierce Hawthorne, none of them involved his murder?”
Britta: “What? No!”
Stone: “But you have had sexual fantasties about Mr. Hawthorne.”
Britta: “No! What kind of question is that?”

Stone says he’s asking the questions as Pierce dictated, and really, I don’t know how that line of questioning surprised anyone. Britta crouches low to the table, like she’s a cat ready to pounce on its prey.

004

Jeff’s turn.

Stone: “Are you gay?”
Jeff: “No.”
Stone: “Are you sure you’re not gay?”
Jeff: “Yes.”
Stone: “Gay murderer says ‘what’.”
Jeff: “What?”
Mara: “He’s telling the truth.”
Stone: “I’ve been instructed to point out that that means you’re gay.”

I’m not a fan of this group lie detector format — we could see the destruction coming from a mile away, and with a half-season of episodes in what everyone assumes is the last season, this format felt like a waste of precious screentime since it wasn’t exactly breaking new ground in the group — but these two exchanges with Jeff and Britta won me over.

Then it’s Shirley’s turn, and Yvette had some fantastic deliveries in this episode. Even if her material wasn’t exactly new or, erm, above board, it was worth it for Yvette’s deliveries. Stone asks if she considers herself an honest person; she does. Mara says, “She thinks that’s true,” and Shirley is offended.

Shirley: “Uh, you could’ve just said ‘no!’ I’m watching you, acting scientific and then adding in your little two cents every now and again, huh?”

Then she sweetly turns back to Stone and asks him to continue, but he’s got an ugly truth: Shirley donates money to a pro-life organization. This offends Britta on a deep level, but Shirley insists she’s allowed to donate to whatever organization she wants to and Britta snaps, “If I wanted the government in my uterus, I’d fill it with oil and Hispanic voters.” Thanks for the mental image, Britta.

005

Jeff: “Keep it frosty, ladies, don’t let your goats get got.”

Now it’s Troy’s turn.

Stone: “Mr. Barnes, state your name.”
Troy: “Troy Barnes. D’oh, I meant to say Butts Carlton.”
Mara: “He did mean to say Butts Carlton.”

Abed and Troy snicker about that, and I’m pretty sure when a Pudi giggles, an angel gets its wings.

Stone asks if Troy was angry enough to kill Pierce when he told him that Fat Albert died of diabetes, and Troy denies it. Then Stone asks if he and Abed have a survival plan for a zombie apocalypse that doesn’t involve the rest of their friends, (it includes a bag of coins and condoms in case they need to barter their way onto a boat, which Chang and Jeff totally understand) and Troy does not deny that. The group’s not too happy about that; Britta tells him that’s rude while Annie says she understands, which Mara says is a lie.

Shirley points out that Pierce is once again causing discord in the group.

006

Chang’s full name is Benjamin Franklin Chang (did we know that?) and he claims he’s got nothing to hide, but he’s out on the first question: “Have you ever masturbated in the study room?” He leaves without answering. He must’ve murdered Pierce.

It’s Abed’s turn now, and Stone asks if he’s ever “Nine-Elevened” anyone, which, of course he hasn’t. Then Stone asks, “When you were a child, did you ever kill a squirrel with a slingshot and were surprised that you felt nothing, and wondered if you were capable of doing it to a human?”

Abed hesitates to answer, but he denies it. The group holds their breath as Mara examines the data, and when she nods to indicate that he’s telling the truth, they all sigh with obvious relief.

007

Stone: “Do you and Troy still actively use Jeff’s Netflix account without his permission?”

Jeff left himself logged in at the apartment and Troy and Abed never logged out. As someone who shares her Netflix account with seven other people, I don’t think it’s a big deal, but all of those people at least have my permission, so long as they don’t change my review of The Grey.

Jeff: “Is that why my review of The Grey is constantly changing?!”
Abed: “Yes. Stop giving it four stars.”
Jeff: “I like Liam Neeson!”
Abed: “Then send him a message about the roles he chooses.”

Jeff is outraged and Annie tries to lie that she had no idea, but she’s ratted out by Mara. That’s fine, because it’s her turn now. Stone asks if she used her “exceptional intelligence and organizational skills” to murder Pierce. She did not. Then Stone asks if she overcharges Troy and Abed on the rent, and… she does.

And that had potential to be awesome. Just last week, I posited that Annie collects money every week, puts together a weekly grocery list, and does the shopping for the guys so that none of them starve during the week. When Stone first asked Annie about the rent, I was hoping she padded their rent to help pay for groceries, since they are irresponsible with money. It would’ve been so cool, very in-character, and a nice little world-builder to the way the group exists outside the study room.

Instead… Annie charged them each $10 extra, which she puts into an account that yields 4% interest. “You’ll be thanking me in six years when you find out you have $86! That’s jacket money!”

It just feels like another case of the writing going for the joke instead of the characterization — Troy and Abed could’ve been equally as outraged if she was putting it toward groceries, because she was still padding the rent without telling them. Oh well. At least she’s not gambling it away. I wish it was the worst thing that happened with Annie in this episode.

Shirley: “Annie, you should know better than to hoard money. That’s a stereotype.”
Annie: “Was that anti-Semitism?”
Shirley: “No, that’s sensitivity! It’s anti-Semetic to do things like that when you know full well you’re Jewish!”

Just… I’m gonna move on.

008

Troy complains that they could’ve bought a tire for their tire swing with that money, and Jeff interjects, “Or your own Netflix account?”

They all descend into arguing, because that’s how bottle episodes work, and then Stone yells over them and announces that this was just the calibration round. Jeff thinks they should stop now, but Annie says they should do it for Pierce, to which Jeff replies that normally they’d only do this stuff if dead people didn’t cause problems, but Pierce totally does. Everyone decides they don’t want to humor him anymore, but Stone stops them.

Stone: “It should be noted that Mr. Hawthorne’s estate is worth over 20 million dollars, and only those cleared of his murder can receive his bequeathments.”

Jeff points out one more time that Pierce is trying to manipulate them, and they all agree with him, making like they’re not going to stay and play along.

Mara: “They’re all lying.”
Shirley: “We all know that, you judgmental bitch!”

Amazing.

009

After the break, Mr. Stone starts the first round of questioning with Britta, asking her about her sandwich order at Shirley’s Sandwiches. She says she always orders the only one she can, “The Helen of Soy with no mayo.”

Stone: “Are you aware that in order to save money, Shirley stopped using real tofu and replaced it with a midwestern tofu substitute called ‘meatfu’?”

Britta is disgusted, and ugh, I can’t believe Shirley violated her like that. Britta was nice enough to support Shirley’s business, her life’s work, the thing that puts food on her table for her kids, and Shirley was too cheap to stay true to the one vegetarian option on her menu? Poor Britta. And really, even meat eaters would be disgusted by “meatfu,” considering Shirley tells Britta, “It’s still not actually meat, legally.” Ugh.

Britta: “You have never respected anything that I hold sacred!”
Shirley: “I’m sorry!”

She doesn’t actually sound sorry, though, which is disheartening even if the delivery was hilarious.

But Stone changes the momentum by asking Shirley, “Did you know that Britta was high on marijuana at your son’s baptism?” Shirley gives her this amazing side-eye and repeats, this time in a dangerous voice, “I’m sorry?”

Britta: “Well, no higher than usual.”
Mara: “Not true.”

Hahaha.

Shirley: “You did drugs in my church?”
Britta: “No, I did drugs in the parking lot of your church. How else do you expect somebody to sit through something like that? At least with a bris, there’s an element of suspense!”

Hahaha an element of suspense, I can’t be mad at you Britta.

010

Jeff reminds them that if they want to get through this ordeal, they need to forgive each other and own up to their mistakes. That gets him the spotlight from Mr. Stone.

Stone: “Mr. Winger, is it true that you keep trophies of your sexual conquests?”
Jeff: “… In a church, Britta? For shame! That’s where Jesus gets his mail!”

Annie’s so outraged at “Adrien Grody” that for a second, I thought she was one of his “sexual conquests” and she was afraid he kept a trophy from her. But judging from the fallout, and the fact that a Jeff/Annie tryst was not a big revelation in this episode, it seems they are still at platonic shoulder-holding levels of friendship. (Or they’re really good at keeping a lid on it.)

Jeff explains that girls leave stuff at his apartment, he’s a single man, he can’t help it, and then Stone asks if one of those trophies are Britta’s panties.

Britta: “You told me a hawk stole them! You exploited me and made me believe in a more magical world!”

She’s so cute when she says that that I can forgive the airheadedness.

Abed asks that if Jeff wants to collect women’s underwear, why doesn’t he just buy them, and Jeff says, “They have to be won in battle.” This grosses out all the females, but honestly, all of Jeff’s revelations in this episode were the least surprising to me.

011

Jeff says it’s way more gross that Pierce was going through his stuff, but Abed and Troy disagree, since they snoop through his stuff all the time.

Troy: “Why do you keep bread in the freezer?”
Abed: “And why does your bathroom mirror say ‘You’re special’ when you fog it up?”
Jeff: “I don’t have to answer — you took a shower?!”

Amazing, and also, still totally fits Jeff’s characterization. Is keeping bread in the freezer a weird thing? Because my mother does that to keep it fresh, but maybe Jeff does it because it’s carbs and that’s his equivalent of keeping Cherry Garcia in the back of the freezer?

Stone: “Mr. Barnes –”
Troy: “Okay, I did it, I killed Pierce!”
Mara: “Lie.”
Troy: “Okay, good, just making sure.”

And then it turns out Troy stole his and Abed’s trademark handshake from some other guy on YouTube. As far as revelations go, that one’s the lamest.

012

He did get to yell “Silence, wench!” at Mara, though.

Abed: “I can’t look at you right now.”
Troy: “Then you should know, I’m crying.”
Abed: “I forgive you, but only to escape the established pattern of self-righteous indignation followed by immediate comeuppance.”
Stone: “Mr. Nadir.”
Abed: “Okay, I guess it’s happening anyways. You broke my heart.”

Stone asks Abed if it’s true he’s planted GPS chips on everyone, and Abed confirms that it’s true. Even Troy looks offended and flabbergasted as everyone falls silent.

Abed: “Okay, you guys are changing your faces. Are you mad at me, or hungry?”
Annie: “You’re tracking us? We’re mad at you, Abed!”
Abed: “Why?”
Britta: “Because we already live in a totalitarian surveillance state, do you not read my status updates?”

Hahaha Britta really had some amazing lines in this episode.

Abed says he’s not the government, he’s their friend (Britta: “That’s what governments say, nimrod!”) and I actually buy that Abed doesn’t see the issue here. He did it from a purely pragmatic standpoint.

013

He shows Britta the tracking system that he uses in the event that one of them gets kidnapped, and that’s when they realize why Abed was by Pierce’s coffin for so long. The real question is… how did Pierce know? Did Abed tell him?

Jeff asks where the chips are, and Abed says they’ll never find them. Everyone searches their body parts (Shirley’s checking her hair) as Annie says that she knows Abed knows this was wrong. Abed says he’s ashamed, then yells, “Lie!” at the same time as Mara.

But Annie doesn’t have room to talk.

Stone: “Miss Edison, is it true you once secretly dosed the members of your study group with a pharmaceutical amphetamine?”

014

Annie explains that she slipped “five milligrams of something-something” into their drinks while they were studying for their Anthropology final in season 2.

Everyone’s reactions are pretty much perfect. Some of them might have underreacted, like Jeff, who eats a single boiled egg for lunch and probably counts his calories, or Shirley, who was pregnant at the time. The only person who properly reacts is also the only person who doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

Abed: “I’m a bad person for tracking your location, but you altered my brain chemistry? I was up for three days that week, I invented an entire language, you flitzbarping gitzgorg.”

He goes on and on about how she messed with his brain and how that’s so unforgivable, and no one seems to focus on the two glaring problems: 1) Shirley was pregnant at the time! 2) Annie still had access to drugs all this time?! She’s a recovering drug addict! They should be more concerned!

I’m willing to believe that Annie’s on some kind of trajectory to admitting she has an ongoing narcotics problem, because the hints have been dropped, but they’re still being played as throwaway bits instead of actual character building. I’m also willing to believe that Annie didn’t dose Shirley, and that she just didn’t have the time or presence of mind to make that distinction given the rapid-fire pace of this scene. But still, there’s no getting around the fact that she drugged her friends against their will. It’s inexcusable.

015

Troy points out that Abed kiiiiinda does mess with Annie’s brain, just not with drugs. Turns out Abed is technically catfishing Annie, as he’s created a fake online persona (Brett Underjaw) and lured her into a relationship. Annie has the nerve to be offended by catfishing in the wake of her drugging her friends, but it keeps the scene moving so I have to let that go.

Abed: “I noticed whenever you were in a relationship, you hummed a lot and made pancakes in the morning. It wasn’t about hurting you, I did what I did in the name of breakfast.”

My husband said he totally understood Abed’s motivation in this instance.

Annie’s still upset as she cries about all the stuff she confided in her fake boyfriend. “I told you about my holding hands at Disneyland fantasy!” Careful, Annie, we almost had to slap an R rating on that fantasy! I can’t believe it made it past the censors! (“Holding hands” is a double entendre, right?) Jeff reacts exactly the way anyone would expect him to react to a fantasy involving Disneyland. (Sorry, shippers, it’s who he is.) She ends up screaming, “Do you care about people at all, Abed?”

Abed doesn’t have a response, so it must be time for deflections!

Abed: “Jeff made me apply for handicap parking so he could get a better spot.”
Jeff: “Britta’s the one that invited Garrett to Annie’s birthday party!”
Britta: “Troy won’t sit on a toilet seat after Jeff!”
Troy: “When we’re alone, Shirley refers to you guys as ‘those people!’”
Shirley: “Oh, when Annie’s with other females’ dudes, she calls Jeff her uncle!”
Annie: “Shirley thinks we’re all going to hell!”

They spin into arguing again until Jeff stops them.

016

Jeff: “We have to stop letting Pierce do this to us!”
Stone: “Mr. Hawthorne hasn’t asked a question in quite some time, Mr. Winger.”

That’s when they all realize that they’d forgotten for a moment that he was gone. They wonder if he was trying to make them realize they were no better off without him, or than him.

Chang marches back in. “I didn’t just masturbate in the study room. I masturbated everywhere. EVERYWHERE!” They all look disgusted, but he calmly puts his hands back in his pockets and says, “Huh. Confession is good for the soul. You should try it sometime.”

The good part is… it’s time for the third act. And this is an episode where the third act not only saves the episode, but it makes everything totally worth what we just went through.

017

Stone says there’s one more round of questioning, and Jeff asks if they can stew in their own filth for a couple of minutes before slogging through the rest. Annie points out that it’s strange how they’ve known each other for five years, and yet they’re still keeping secrets.

Annie: “You’d think by now we’d be better people.”
Jeff: “Maybe we got into this mess by thinking there was such a thing as better people.”

But that gives him an idea for his Winger speech.

“If we’re no better than Pierce, and Pierce is no better than us, then that means nobody’s really that bad. So what if we’re willing to suffer and inflict pain at the mere prospect of material reward? If we stop now, that doesn’t make us better, it just makes us so dishonest that we would rather be poor than admit we’re flawed. Pierce admitted he was flawed, and he died rich. Let’s celebrate his life and death in an honest way.”

And truly, wasn’t that the core of Pierce’s character: He was unabashedly honest, even when that honesty was racist or offensive?

Jeff suggests they all air out their dirty laundry before the last round of questioning.

Jeff: “I’m Jeff Winger, and if I had my choice, I would rather look at myself naked than the women I sleep with.”

I think he’s half-lying, or more specifically, I think that’s rooted more in insecurity than in narcissism, but that’s fodder for a separate post. Either way, I totally believe it, and I also don’t find it that dark or surprising.

Annie: “I’m the one who hit Jeff’s Lexus in the parking lot!”

And all he does is make that face at her. She hit his beloved car, lied to him, and didn’t admit it until now, and still, all he does is make this face at her.

018

Britta: “I only give money to homeless people when I’m walking with someone!”
Troy: “I’ve never been to Legoland. I just wanted you guys to think I was cool.”
Shirley: “I can be passive-aggressive sometimes. Don’t everybody disagree at once. Oh Lord, I did it again.”
Abed: “When any of you chew gum, I want to punch you. You may as well have submachine guns in your mouths. It vibrates my skull.”

Jeff and Annie’s truths were worse than these. Shirley’s wasn’t even a lie, it was just a personality trait.

Jeff tells Stone to hit them with his best shot. “May it be as brutal as we deserve.”

Thus begins Pierce Hawthorne’s final round of questions.

019

Stone: “Britta Perry. Do you know that you hate yourself more than you should, and that your passion inspired me?”
Britta: “No.”
Mara: “That’s true. She didn’t know.”
Stone: “To Miss Perry, I leave my iPod Nano, filled with music to take life less seriously by.”
Britta: “Oh! That’s nice!”
Stone: “I also leave you this liquid nitrogen-cooled cylinder of my hyper-virile sperm, in case your lesbian lifestyle one day wears out, and you wish to raise an army of geniuses.”

Her side-eye is epic. (Remember in 1.02, when Pierce told Jeff the story of how his sperm were so strong, they shot straight through the eggs?)

Also, this.

020

Stone: “Shirley Bennett.”
Shirley: “Hm?”
Stone: “Did you know that you are not only a credit to your race and gender, but to our species? And that I was intimidated by your strength of character and business acumen?”
Shirley: “Yeeees.”
Stone: “To Shirley Bennett, I leave my spacious timeshare in Florida –”
Shirley: “Oh!”
Stone: “ — where she can take what’s-his-name and however many children she has now.”
Shirley: “Uh huh.”
Stone: “I also leave you a cylinder of my sperm.”
Shirley: “Oh.”

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I think Shirley was definitely Pierce’s second favorite.

021

Stone: “Annie Edison. Did you know that you were always my favorite?”
Annie: “You mentioned it once, but…”
Stone: “I leave you this tiara, which you once refused to accept. It’s the same tiara I used to wear when my mother would verbally assault me for not being a little girl. Also, sperm.”

I have to point out that Goggins really did Chevy Chase a credit in these scenes. I don’t know if he necessarily knew that he was essential to giving Pierce a proper sendoff, but the way he delivered these lines with such emotion and softness really made it feel like Pierce was in the room, saying these rare nice things that we knew he was capable of saying, but so seldom got to see.

Stone: “Jeff Winger. Did you know you’re gay?”
Jeff: “No.”
Stone: “Agree to disagree. To you, I leave this bottle of fine scotch, so that you’re less tempted to drink this cylinder of even finer sperm.”

The bottle is “Glencallan 40,” a popular prop scotch on TV shows, but I like to think it’s a nod to McHale’s preferred scotch, Macallan. Jeff looks touched by the scotch, then resigned to the sperm. As Pierce intended.

022

Stone: “Abed Nadir, did you know that you are insane and nothing that you said ever made any sense to me?”
Abed: “Yep.”
Stone: “Here’s your sperm.”

Womp-womp.

Stone: “Troy Barnes. Did you know that you possess the greatest gift that life can give: the heart of a hero? And that it’s up to you not to waste it like I did?”
Troy: “I think.”
Stone: “To Troy, I leave the obligatory sperm.”
Troy: “Maybe it’s because everyone else got one, and because it’s an old man’s semen, but… I’m kind of disappointed.”
Stone: “In addition, I am prepared to leave Troy Barnes my shares in the Hawthorne Wipes company, currently valued at $14.3 million.”

Everyone gasps. Even the audience.

023

Stone: “On one condition: You must first sail my boat, the Childish Tycoon, by yourself around the entire world.”
Britta: “What?”
Jeff: “Again with the bait-and-switch!”

Stone recounts Pierce’s story about how he was supposed to do the same thing at Troy’s age, but instead he floated off the coast of Belize and did tons of drugs.

Stone: “I’d like to give you the chance to do what I never did: Become your own man.”

Jeff starts telling Troy that he can lawyer his way out of this one, but Troy interrupts him twice, saying “I’ll do it.” Abed looks stricken.

024

Troy: “Pierce was a crazy old coot, yeah, but I think he knew something about me that even I didn’t know until now, because he’s offering me something I’ve been searching for my whole life: millions of dollars. And… being a man, or whatever he said.”

The group looks tragic as it starts to sink in, and Annie implores Jeff to say something. “I’m… speechless.” That’s huge for Jeff “Winger Speech to Take Us Home” Winger. Annie begs somoene, anyone, to say something, then she lands on Abed.

025

Abed: “Cool. Cool cool cool.”
Troy: “That’s a lie.”

His face falling is what ultimately gets me.

It’s great that Pierce got such a great sendoff, and that Troy is going out in a similar fashion. Logically, this was always the end of the story. Abed has been established as an unchanging and self-assured character, while Troy was always impressionable and uncertain because he hadn’t found his own way in the world. He became more confident and well-rounded when he met Abed, but he was still part of a duo, and for Troy, that was never going to be enough. One day, he needed to strike out on his own.

I don’t feel bad for Troy; I envy him. Pierce’s bequeathment is truly a gift to Troy, the best gift that he gave anyone in that group, and it speaks to Troy’s character that he accepts it. Moreover, it is a fitting story for Donald Glover, who is trying to do the same thing as his character, only without the assurance of $14.3 million at the end of his quest to find himself. It’s also fitting that in the end, Pierce was most similar to Troy, his former roommate.

026

The tag is delightful. Mr. Stone lets loose as he shares drinks with the group (it’s unclear who took who out) and waxes poetic about how agonizing the whole process was. It’s a nice mood lifter after the episode we just went through. By the way… Pierce died from dehydration from filling up all those capsules. Yep.

And hey… here’s hoping this is the end of the blue filters.

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