Recap: Community S 3 E 22 Introduction To Finality
With Troy having been claimed by the AC Annex
, Abed having fallen into a state of severe depression, and Shirley and Pierce divided by legal difficulties, the study group's problems are far from over as they resume classes at Greendale following the downfall of Chang's regime.
Tropes appearing in this episode of Community include:
- Accidentally Accurate: A joke where Britta is said to have a favourite superhero character called X-Man. Although the joke is that Britta presumably doesn't actually know much about superheroes and simply named something that sounded vaguely familiar, there actually is a character (albeit a fairly obscure one) called X-Man in the Marvel Universe; he's an alternate-universe version of Cyclops’ future son, Cable, for those who are interested.
- All Prophecies Are True: The prophecy that Troy is the air-conditioning repair messiah.
- All Psychology Is Freudian / All There in the Manual: Evil Abed asks Britta about her parents. Her response involves a man in a dinosaur costume and a birthday party that would at first glance come off as a humorous non sequitur. Britta is actually describing her eleventh birthday when she was molested, and her father refused to believe what had happened. This isn't the first time the series has alluded to this part of her backstory, but it is one of the more explicit examples so far.
- Amoral Attorney:
- Alan tries to make Shirley come out as a bad person by bringing up a joke she once made that was obviously not true (specifically, that she'd trade her son Ben for a chance to "bump it with Denzel") and because she wasn't sure whether Ben's father was Andre or Chang. He also tries to blackmail Jeff into losing on purpose, otherwise he'd never be able to work at his old firm. This after he promised Jeff he'd go easy on her.
- Jeff's final speech at the end is to all intents and purposes him rejecting the Amoral Attorney he once was.
- An Arm and a Leg: Evil Abed plans to do this to Jeff. Thankfully, he never gets a chance to (because the cord for his bone saw doesn't reach far enough).
- And because by the time Evil Abed comes back with an extension cord, Jeff is in the middle of a speech which causes Good Abed to take control again.
- Bad Liar: Shirley:
- Badass Boast: Played for Laughs; to challenge Murray, Troy yells out "I am the truest repairman!"... in a slightly silly falsetto voice.
- Batman-Gambit: We get another glimpse of what made Jeff such an effective lawyer. He knew what needed to be done to win over the entire courtroom and how to use Pierce's nature to get there.
- Beard of Evil: Evil!Abed.
- Brand X: Jeff doesn't use Google.com, he uses Searchsies.com.
- Break the Cutie: Evil Abed "darkening" Britta. She gets better.
- Breaking Speech: Evil Abed gives Britta one, raising the timeline darkness to 10%. He adds a "The Reason You Suck" Speech for another 2%.
- Evil Abed seems to be fond of these in general. He also uses one to convince regular Abed to allow him to take over.
- Brick Joke: So, what is mitosis?
- Call Back: Several in this episode.
- Leonard uploaded another food review to Youtube.
- Also, Jeff's nemesis, Alan, returns.
- Evil Abed returns.
- Also, the simulated hologram of Good Abed while Evil Abed was outside of the Dreamatorium is similar to Abed's persona switching between characters in the Dreamatorium.
- Subway leaving Greendale. When the wake riot first occurred, they threatened to pull out. And given that Chang rose to power after that, Greendale didn't do a good job in convincing them to stay. This does allow Pierce and Shirley to establish their sandwich shop though.
- Alan refers to the fact that Shirley was unsure of who Ben's father was while she was pregnant with him.
- Part of Evil Abed's Breaking Speech resembles the Reason You Suck Speech Troy gave to Britta in the season premiere. The difference is Troy said it because he was upset. Evil Abed was doing it simply because he was, well, evil.
- Doubles as a Freeze-Frame Bonus. On the board in the courtroom, you can actually see a Greendale advertisment with Jeff on it.
- Britta again talks about that run-in she had with a man in a dinosaur costume who may have molested her.
- Character Development:
- Jeff chooses to fight for his friends over his last shot at returning to his old law firm, even though Shirley told him that it was okay for him to choose his job over her, and upon Alan revealing that he was the one who sold Jeff out to the state bar, Jeff merely thanks him for it. Also, after years of trying to ignore him, Jeff decides to finally look up his father again.
- Pierce criticizes his lawyer for using the word "gay" as a derogatory word. Also counts as Hypocritical Humor. And after the case is thrown out, he suggests that Jeff signs the documents to place the sandwich shop in the Greendale Cafeteria on his & Shirley's behalf... which, as Annie points out, is his first good idea.
- Abed gains sufficient self-awareness to realize that he has problems and would benefit from therapy. He also "destroys" the Dreamatorium, but now has a smaller one placed in the Blanket Fort.
- Troy decides to move out of the Blanket Fort & into the former Dreamatorium. He also appears to embrace his 'destiny' as the Truest Repairman and decides to remain in the Air-Conditioning Repair School albeit after he uses his status as Messianic Archetype to change things so that they start acting less like a weird cult and more like a normal school to allow him to have a life outside of it.
- The Chosen One: The Truest Repairman.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: A more literal use of cool than most examples of this trope. For the murder of Vice Dean Laybourne, Murray is sentenced to The Infinite Labyrinth of Eternal Ice. Subverted, however, in that the sentence is commuted to simply calling the cops to take him to jail upon Troy pointing out that this is utterly insane.
- Courtroom Antics: Jeff pulls several stunts because he was completely unprepared due to focusing on the biology test.
- Critical Psychoanalysis Failure: Played with; Evil!Abed manages to turn the tables on Britta and start analysing her (nearing driving her to tears in the process), but this time it's less that she's bad at it but more that Evil Abed is just that good. Indeed, Abed at the end credits her with doing what no other therapist has managed to do — making him realize he needs therapy and providing a therapist he feels comfortable undertaking it with (albeit because she, in his words, "has just as little control over my mind as me.")
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Troy's usually The Ditz and has spent the entire series rejecting his natural talents as a repairman. When he finally embraces it in the Sun Chamber, however, he kicks ass at it.
- Dénouement Episode: Big Bad Chang was defeated in the previous episode, the finale focuses more on dealing with how the group is dealing with moving on at the end of their third year.
- Did I Just Say That Out Loud?
- Dissonant Serenity: Troy spends almost the entire battle in the Sun Chamber calmly standing in his chamber with his arms folded silently glaring at Murray as Murray frantically attempts to fix the malfunctioning AC unit in his chamber. He breaks this serenity only to calmly fix his unit with a few simple moves and to take mercy on his defeated opponent when it becomes clear that he cannot win or yield.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: The off-screen deaths of the Vice-Dean and Jeff's former boss come out of nowhere.
- Dumbass Has a Point: Troy is the first one to realize that the Vice-Dean was murdered and immediately deduces who did it.
- Engineered Public Confession
- Even Melodramatically Kooky Secret Societies Have Standards: Even the members of the Air-Conditioning Repair Annex find the Sun Chamber announcer a bit too absurdly over-the-top.
Weeeell, boys and girls, I hope you brought your popsicles
, because it's about to get SCALDING HOT
in the Sun Chamber! You already know the rules... BECAUSE THERE AREN'T ANY!!! [One of the other students storms down and snatches the microphone off him] Replacement Announcer:
Geez, Dennis, are you on coke
? Take that crap off and sit down! [The original announcer dejectedly slinks away]
Sorry about that. Of course
there are rules.
- Evil Is Cool/Good Is Boring: In-universe; Evil!Abed refers to 'good' Abed and Jeff as 'Lame!Abed' and 'Lame!Jeff' respectively.
- Evil Is Petty: Evil Abed wears Sinister Shades and smokes in the hall, hangs up a pay phone while somebody's using it, pops a kid's balloon with his cigarette, and puts the butt out in someone's beverage. The timeline darkness meter then ticks up 1%.
Evil Abed: Cruel. Cruelcruelcruel.
- Evil Twin: Evil Abed of course.
- Faking the Dead: Star-Burns faked his death and changed his hair. But still has his unique & distinctive sideburns.
- Fandom Nod: The episode-end montage ends with "#sixseasonsandamovie" appearing on-screen.
- For the Evulz: Evil Abed's original intention in his debut episode was to destroy the prime versions of themselves and replace them. Now he just seems determined to ruin their lives.
- May count as Fridge Brilliance though. While it seems that he's just trying to ruin their lives, it may actually be him trying to replace them with their evil counterparts. He breaks Britta's spirit, making her ponder dyeing her hair. His plot to cut off Jeff's arm makes sense when you remember that Jeff lost an arm in the dark timeline.
- Or Fridge Horror, when you remember just how dark the darkest timeline really is... and what Evil Abed would have done to Pierce and Annie if he hadn't been stopped before getting to Jeff... or if one of them had been in the Dreamatorium when Evil Abed manifested instead of Britta.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: There's actually a list of Greendale Court rules behind the witness stand on the wall.
- Also in the AC Repair class the blackboard has the "this is my rifle" mantra from Full Metal Jacket written on it—except with "limpken wrench" in place of "rifle."
- Good Is Dumb: Or as Evil Abed puts it: "When the world gets bad enough, Abed, the good go crazy. But the smart… they go bad."
- Grand Theft Me: This is apparently what Evil Abed does to Abed for most of the episode.
- The Heart: The theme of Troy being the heart of the group, as implied in "Remedial Chaos Theory", continues; with his absence Abed refuses to leave the apartment, Britta is openly pining and miserable, and Shirley and Pierce are suing each other. And that's before Evil Abed shows up...
- Heel-Face Turn: Having acted as a sinister, threatening presence throughout the entire season in almost all his appearances, in what little we see of him in this episode Laybourne seems to have mellowed considerably; he seems genuinely interested in mentoring Troy and helping him embrace what Laybourne views as his destiny.
- Heroic BSOD: Troy's absence has had this sort of effect on Abed; he's refused to leave the apartment since it happened and is, for the first time, genuinely beginning to worry that he might actually be crazy. It leads to Evil Abed taking over for a while.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Shirley tells Jeff it's okay for her to lose as long as it lets him avoid trouble at his former law firm.
- Jeff also makes one by choosing Shirley over his former law career.
- Hypocritical Humor:
- Pierce being outraged by Jeff calling him paranoid and crazy... after jumping out between two cardboard pieces, painted to look like a bookcase. For further crazy, he was apparently there the whole time Jeff was studying just to see if he would do anything about the legal dispute between him and Shirley. For added paranoia value, his over-the-top reaction of betrayal was completely unnecessary, as Jeff was explicitly advising Shirley to just let things drop until Pierce calmed down a little.
- After making his blackmail attempt to try and force Jeff to throw the case, Alan snidely remarks that Jeff's other option is to "y'know, finish up your big win here" in a fashion that suggests it's just a trivial, insignificant little matter. While it is, Alan is just as desperate — if not more — to win the case than Jeff is.
- Pierce criticising Alan for using the word "gay" as an insult. Lampshaded afterwards.
Pierce: Booyah! Good person!
- Insistent Terminology:
- Klingon Promotion: Vice Dean Laybourne is murdered by his second-in-command, Murray.
- Large Ham: The initial announcer for the match between Troy and the new Vice Dean. Even for the Air-Conditioning Repair School, this is too much and he ends up getting replaced by a much more calm announcer.
- Literal Metaphor:
Allen: Ted's gone. Got too old. Couldn't swim with the sharks and got eaten.
Jeff: That makes no sense. He started the firm; you can't lose your own firm.
Allen: You can if you're dead. That shark thing was not a metaphor.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: Murray sabotaged the air conditioner that killed Vice Dean Laybourne.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It is ambiguous as to whether Evil Abed is merely an aspect of regular Abed's personality taking over as the result of a mental breakdown, or whether he has actually found a way to cross over from another timeline. For what it's worth, Abed seems to believe the former, and describes it as having "gone crazy" once he recovers, but a case for either side could be made depending on your viewpoint.
- Messiah Creep: Troy is the prophesied Chosen One of the Air Conditioning repair school. He challenges their social norms and even prevents a public execution. Sounds like someone else...
- Montage Out: A combination of tying up loose ends and setting up plot hooks for the next season.
- Morality Chain: Troy leaving the group causes Abed to fall to the dark side. Jeff's rousing speech manages to help him recover though.
- Mundane Made Awesome:
- Not so Above It All: Although he's mostly bemused at the excessive insanity of the AC Repair School, Troy ultimately isn't above playing by their rules and challenging Murray to a duel in the Sun Chamber.
Troy: I am the Truest Repairman! And this man is a dishonour to making air-conditioners work good.
- Odd Couple: It's a split-second hint at the end of the tag, but considering Leonard apparently roommates with Sexy Dreadlocks Guy from "Contemporary American Poultry" (or at least someone who looks quite like him), it can safely be assumed that this is going on.
- Only Sane Man: Troy, to the rest of the Air-Conditioning Repair School.
- Orphaned Punchline
: An Irish and a Jew walk into a Chinese laundry. With a gay duck. Three jokes later ... Pierce
: So you're telling me they're not good at basketball?
(crowd boos and throws paper balls at Pierce
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Having faked his own death, Starburns is revealed to have cut and dyed his hair. Still didn't shave off those unique and conspicuous burns, though...
- Patrick Stewart Speech: Jeff gives one about The Power of Friendship in order to win Shirley's court case. It also prompts Pierce to fire Alan:
Pierce: Why didn't you just give an inspiring speech about friendship?
- Purely Aesthetic Glasses: Britta's psychiatrist glasses.
- Robo Cam: Evil!Abed sees the world this way, including a meter for how close things are to the darkest timeline.
- Sequel Hook: A lot of loose ends are tied up, but now Chang is hiding in the air vents in City College. That can't end well.
- Running Gag: Jeff spends the entire episode trying to learn what mitosis is.
- Series Fauxnale: Definitely had a series finale vibe, complete with Last Episode Theme Reprise. This, to some degree, is Real Life Writes the Plot, as it was uncertain at the time of writing and filming whether this would be the last episode of the series or not. Ultimately a form of Double Subversion, in that while the series was ultimately renewed, this in fact turned out to be the last episode of Dan Harmon's tenure as showrunner, so ultimately works as his swansong.
- Serious Business: Dueling to the death in the Sun Chamber.
- Ship Tease: As many as the writers could cram into an episode.
- Shirley telling Jeff his law career is more important than her sandwich shop is another tease for Jerley shippers.
- Anbed shippers got their piece of cake; when Evil Abed reverts into Normal Abed and sits down in the court room, the first thing he does is take Annie's hand. And she smiles.
- Britta/Troy was also teased very hard. Britta gave Troy a lock of her hair before he went off in the last episode, and here she wanted to be the first to hug him after he returned from the repair school. After Abed took that chance away from her, she tapped Troy on the shoulder for her hug. She's also clearly and vocally unhappy about Troy no longer being around:
- Not to mention the blatant Trobed teasing. "I miss Abed so much." Troy ignoring Britta's offered hug in favor of Abed upon his return also adds fuel to the fire. ("Can I cut in?")
- Shout Out: To The Wire, with the montage that closes the main part of the episode.
- Sitcom Archnemesis: Alan.
- Split Personality Takeover: At first, Evil!Abed takes over Abed's life. Later on, we see Good!Abed take over again after hearing Jeff's speech.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial
Britta: So you say you're Evil Abed, which does not throw me because I'm a therapist.
- Upon spying on Jeff and Shirley's conversation about him, Pierce feels the need to defend himself against Jeff's accusations regarding his craziness, paranoia and impotence. Jeff, of course, never said a word about impotence.
- Take a Third Option: The central crux of Shirley and Pierce's argument is which of them gets to sign on the one dotted line on the sandwich shop contract. At the end, they decide to let Jeff sign and thus act as their representative.
- Take That: Yet another one to James Belushi.
- Tempting Fate:
- Theme Tune Cameo: "At Least It Was Here" plays over the final scene of the episode.
- Time Skip: The episode takes place during the summer, between their third and fourth years, just before they are set to take the Biology final for the class they had to make up during the summer.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: The rules for the Sun Chamber state that the opponent either yields or dies. When it becomes clear that his opponent is vanquished yet incapable of yielding, Troy takes pity on him and fixes his AC unit rather than let him suffer a lethal case of heatstroke.
- There Are No Rules: Subverted for the Sun Room Challenge.
- Tragic Villain: Evil Abed is one when you remember he turned into this because his timeline was so dark.
- Twitter: #sixseasonsandamovie
- Up to Eleven: The Chaplain mentions the 5 winds: East, West, North, South, and the one they keep secret.
- Wham Episode:
- Among other things, Starburns faked his death.
- Evil Abed returns.
- Jeff fights for Shirley and in the process kills any chance he has of working at his former law firm.
- What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: In universe; one of the other repairmen openly wonders whether the Sun Chamber announcer is on cocaine due to his over-the-top performance.