So Pierce is dead, that’s real. Well, they had to work him out somehow, what with Chevy Chase leaving the show, this was as good a way as any.
Community opens up with the Study Group returning from Pierce’s funeral, all feeling a bit bummed with the passing of their friend. Some kind words are spoken among the group about Pierce, and some amusing shots are taken at his Neo-Budhist cult. The group mourning is broken up when Pierce’s lawyer comes into the room and accuses the study group, of murder! gasp!
What follows next is basically an ever so loved bottle episode, all the characters sitting around the table, secrets come out, emotions run high, Annie says “aww” and even from beyond the grave, Pierce does what he does best, cause drama within the group. While this wasn’t the best episode of the series, it did pack a lot of laughs and was a fitting send off to Chase’s character. Pierce’s lawyer is subjecting every member of the group to a polygraph test, which they must complete so that they can get their bequethments from Pierce, a nice call back to the season 2 episode “Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking,” in fact, the whole episode feels like a call back to this one because both revolve around Pierce tormenting the rest of group, his death, and gifts. While this wasn’t bad, I was hoping for a bit more originality this season, but hey, not every episode can be a home run, sometimes you have to settle for a solid 2 pointer (I totally got the hang of this whole sport reference thing)
Hands down the best part of this episode was that it solidly captured the character of Pierce as we have seen him over the years. While not a horrible person, Pierce was far from a saint. Most of this came from his father’s influence and being a product of a different generation, but he had some definite redeeming qualities to him. In this Goon’s ever so humble opinion, Pierce was at his best when he was acting as a grandfather/mentor figure for the other characters, and I was thrilled we got to see that here. Pierce’s questions serve to break down the others, force them to be confronted with the parts of themselves they have tried to hide, or are ashamed of. After all the layers have been ripped away, and the Study Group is feeling pretty miserable with themselves, we get Pierce’s final round of questions, where he makes them confront the best parts of the themselves, fully realize their own self worth and the things that make them great. And them gives them sperm, lots and lots of sperm, that was kinda (see: extremely) gross, but was perfectly in keeping with Pierce’s character.
The other big thing to come from this episode is working Troy out of the show. While I am sad that Donald Glover will only be in about half of the season, I love how they decided to explain his absence. Pierce’s gift to Troy, apart from the sperm, (still gross) was all of his shares of stock in Hawthrone Wipes, totally just about $13 million dollars, but he can only claim them if he sails Pierce’s boat around the world. Pierce does this so Troy can become a man, in essence, discover who he is and find his path in life. This is amazing. While all the other characters have had some sort of established goal for themselves, or a dream they would like to reach, Troy has never really had one. The closet thing we have seen was his brief stint in the Air Conditioning Repair School Anex, and that was something that was forced upon him rather than a goal he chose for himself. He has desperately been lacking direction, and it seems that Pierce’s final gift is the chance to find some. I eagerly await Troy’s return from this trip so we can see just what has become of his character.
Overall, while far from one of the best episodes of this amazing series, it is also very far from one of the worst. It was a solid send off to Pierce, showcasing the greatest aspects of his character, and is a good launching point for some development for Troy, which is something that he has been in need of for awhile now. I can’t wait for more.