Community S05E03: "Cooperative Polygraphy"

All praise the Laser Lotus! "Cooperative Polygraphy" was one heck of a great episode of Community, and the best of the show's revitalized fifth season to date. End of story. Well, not the end of this story, but at least the and of any lingering doubt that Community is back to form. "Repilot" showed us that Greendale could open its doors again, "Introduction to Teaching" showed us how the show could be infused with new life, and "Basic Intergluteal Numismatics" (a.k.a. "Intro to Butt Banking") showed us that Community still knows how to handle a stunt episode. But "Cooperative Polygraphy"? This was Community at its finest, no matter what part of the show's timeline you're talking about, a shoestring-budget masterpiece that maximized a simple premise to highlight the series' biggest strength: the bonds between the study group that've transformed them into a surrogate family. Oh, and I laughed. A lot!

Pierce wouldn't let a stupid thing like death get in the way of his penchant for instigating mayhem within the group, and in order to have a crack at his inheritance, the study group had to submit to being put through a lie-detector test to determine whether they were involved in Pierce's death (Pierce actually died by his own hands, literally). This idea—like the premise of the episode's spiritual predecessor, the super-brilliant Season 2 episode "Cooperative Calligraphy" (hey those titles rhyme!)—was so basic that it allowed the characters to dictate the story, and because Community's characters are so strong, they're fascinating even when they spend an entire episode bottled up in a room. And can't we all just admit that we love Community the most when the group is screaming at each other and then making up?

That inevitable moment of tenderness came from a surprising person: the ghost of Pierce Hawthorne. Despite his prickly legacy hovering like a wraith over the gang—couldn't you just imagine Pierce leaning back with his arms crossed, a smug smile plastered on his face, as the study group imploded on their own?—he posthumously showed off his softer side while dispensing his death gifts. He acknowledged Britta's passion even if she couldn't. He recognized Shirley's strength of character. He lauded Annie as his favorite. He didn't care much for Jeff and Abed, which was so fitting for his character and a testament to the writers not sending him off cheaply. 


But dammit he loved his former roommate Troy. "Cooperative Polygraphy" had to take care of Community's most difficult storyline to date. Namely, sending Troy Barnes off on his path toward exiting the show. NOOOOOOOOO! (Donald Glover is leaving Community after the next episode, and yes you are allowed to cry.) But bravo for how the character's departure is being handled. It feels so right and respectful for Troy's character to go find himself, because he's always been the character who goes with the flow rather than blazes his own trail. And so now Troy's going to sail the Childish Gambino Tycoon around the world and become a man. The sad inevitability heading into Season 5 was that Troy had to go; the silver lining is that he's going out in a way that really works. And do you realize that this isn't just Community recognizing a proud moment for Troy, but also for Mr. Glover, the actor? Giving Troy this send-off (and naming the boat after a nod to Glover's rapping alter ego) shows so much regard from the writers for Glover's personal decision to set out on his own that I might die. So touching. And so excellent. I'm going to miss the hell out of Troy, but this episode convinced me that leaving Community is the right decision for Donald Glover the human being.

"Cooperative Polygraphy" was easily a Top 10 episode of Community for me, given the way it handled some difficult situations. It was the ultimate family episode of Community, because this study group and these actors and these writers and these crew members are part of a family. It's a family like any other family, full of dysfunction, full of secrets, full of mutual admiration. A family that sometimes has to say goodbye to its own. In "Cooperative Polygraphy," we said goodbye to Pierce, and we began our farewell hugs with Troy. And we laughed and cried along the way, because that's what families do. Guys, I'm an emotional wreck!



STUDY NOTES

– This season's amazing guest list continued this week, with Walton Goggins playing Mr. Stone. But Goggins didn't play the role for laughs, letting the group be the focus. That is, until the hilarious end tag, which made his appearance totally worth it.

– Annie: "I guess I knew Pierce was part of a weird futuristic cult, but I wasn't prepared for a funeral with so much beeping."

– Chang mouthing out his trademark "GaaaaaaaaaaYYYYYYYY!" during Mr. Stone's line of questioning of Jeff's heterosexuality. 

– Chang's departure after being asked if he'd masturbated in the study room was absolutely perfect, as was his return with the admission that he masturbated "everywheeeeeeere!" Ken Jeong is a master of both the subdued and extravagant.

– Though this episode will draw comparisons to "Cooperative Calligraphy," I also picked up some of the rite-of-passage feelings of "Mixology Certification," Troy's birthday episode. 

– Troy: "Troy Barnes. Doh, I meant to say Butts Carlton." Also, he tried to "pass" on a question. Haha, Troy has been awesome this season. 

– SORRY I LIKED THE GREY!

– Troy and Abed's handshake was ripped off of YouTube? I don't even know what is real and what isn't anymore.

– Pierce died the way he lived... a total jack-off.

– Upon hearing Troy is leaving, Abed: "Cool, cool, cool." Lie detector lady: "That's a lie." Oof. That one hurt.


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It is one of the best episodes in a a long time. it is in top 10 along with remedial chaos theory... And its rated 6,6.. WTF? Why the ratings of communitys new episodes are so low. Is somoene sabotaging the ratings on purpose?
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It just wasn't that funny. It's like they're doing paint-by-number with old Community episodes.
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Actually, all of Community's episodes are between 6 and 7. Just ignore it.
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Awesome. I agree with you, this was definitely top 10 material. You know an episode is good when you gotta go and rewatch the whole thing just to get a shot at another 10% of jokes.
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Britta got a Ipod...but wait! She´s already have an Ipod! Check the episode "Remedial Chaos Theory". Yeah I know about the reference of 1x22 episode...
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Loved this episode......expect the constant lie detector informant saying 'that's a lie' constantly
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Chang is back and ... I ... LOVE IT!

Girlfriend left Community at the start of season 4 claiming it was too boring to continue. Showed her Chang's 10 second scene. Safe to say she'll be watching next week.
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I fear for Abed and Troy better watch his back with Boyd Crowder around. All in all this was a hilarious and sperm filled episode.
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I am so happy Community is back... (chokes)
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That episode was more like it. Character based humor. I'm annoyed they killed off Pierce after giving him an out that none the less allows him to come back some time if they choose. But at least it lead to a sweet episode and was at least treated with respect in the end.
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I read in an interview with Dan Harmon on IGN that the agreement Chevy had with Sony/NBC when he left meant that he legally couldn't work on the set of the show again, hence why they had the hologram version of him (they could film that in a different location. Shooting in a separate location worked well then, but I don't think it work well if they did it more often, so killing him off didn't really change his chances of returning.
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I think this episode, (plus the hologram and the fact that Pierce has had a strong presence this season despite barely appearing) is a strong sign that Harmon is basically apologising to Chevy on behalf of NBC. There's no doubt that Harmon would have him back if possible but evidently it's not. At least Harmon (and us) had a chance to say a proper goodbye to Pierce/Chevy like he deserve.

Hopefully Harmon can continue his winning streak and give us the Community we missed, despite the hole Chevy and soon Glover has left behind.

It's also good to see a show deal with two major actors leaving in a proper mature way that rewards the audience.
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Great episode, and certainly shot the show back up to my first-to-watch spot of the Thursday shows.
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The fact that they did an entire episode literally consisting of them sitting in a single room talking while still being hysterical and heartfelt shows that Community is officially back! Now we just need the ratings to go up so we get another season and a movie! Best episode in a long time.
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This episode deserves a reservation for the Top 100 TV Moments of 2014 article, because it was fantastic. One of the funniest episodes of Community ever, and a great way to handle both Donald Glover and Chevy Chase's departure. (Well, a better departure than whatever happened in his season 4 one.)

That said, there were two minor things I disliked that have both already been mentioned, the supposed way Pierce died felt too cartoonish and stupid, I know Chevy didn't exit on the best of terms, but I hoped for something slightly better in that department.

The other thing was how every question directed at Jeff was a gay joke. I know Pierce did that a lot when he was alive too, but overall I thought he was doing a lot to make HIM a spiritual successor, not Troy. (Not complaining about that part, it makes a great deal of sense, and it made me way more emotional.) I expected some words of wisdom, along with the obligatory gay jokes.
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A bottle episode about the characters confronting lies and betrayals? Why is this show so damned GOOD at this?!? That said, the person I was watching this with was bored out of her mind, and she had been a fan of the show up until season 4.

What I really appreciated about this episode, aside from being blisteringly hilarious with rapid-fire reveals, was that it didn't try to shoehorn characters in there. We didn't get the dean or any of the other students or teachers in this, it was just our protagonists, Walton Goggins, and a couple polygraph techs who were used sparingly to great effect.
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"He didn't care much for Jeff and Abed, which was so fitting for his character"

Well that's bullshit. For Abed, maybe, but they used to make a huge issue out of the fact that Pierce looked at Jeff like the son he never had, and also as his younger self. I'm sorry but "you're gay" is NOT what the Pierce Hawthorne I knew from the show would have said to Jeff as his last message. This was such a great opportunity to show that Jeff cared about Pierce too, but nope. They completely blew this one.
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Yeah I agree. Remember episode 3x01 Pierce saved Jeff´s ass liyng about giving money to biology teacher....Pierce liked Jeff
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Wow. I'm not sure I can add anything here that hasn't already been said by smarter people than me (esp. @FringeFanatic) but... Wow!

Don't lynch me, but I've never really found Community to be a laugh-out-loud riot, that's just not why I watch it, I watch it because I truly believe that it's genius. It's one of the smartest shows on TV with exceptional writing for an excellent cast and it provides me with some really good chuckles, but I never found it to be continuously LOL. "Cooperative Polygraphy" (yet another excellent title) was a laugh-out-loud riot. From beginning to end. I actually had to rewind and re-watch the Abed question after Chang's excellent response to the question regarding his masturbatory habits because I was laughing so hard I couldn't hear what had been said. This was quite possibly my favourite episode. Any time I need cheering up from now on I'm going to watch it again, although I may have to skip the already notorious "Cool. Cool, cool, cool!" scene. This episode was the clearest indication yet that the writers know exactly what they are doing, where they are going and that's it's going to be a great ride. The subtle reactions from the cast members as they hear the responses from their cohorts were sublime. Goggins was fantastic as the straight-man interrogator and the trying-to-hard-to-make-friends party-guy during the closing scene. The reverence shown to the departed Pierce was highly commendable and wonderfully executed. There are too many hilarious one-lines to mention. The set-up for Troy's departure was inspired. And the emotional deconstruction and subsequent bonding of the Greendale Six was another master class in a good writers ability to create real characters. But, in an episode filled to the brim with hilarity, touching moments and heart-aches Chang stands out above it all. His timing and delivery were so perfect that his scenes should be used as a teaching aid throughout the land. This episode has shown that Community isn't "back to it's best", it's beyond that, it's re-set the bar.
If the rest of the season maintains these levels I will scream it from the rooftops that "the greatest sitcom ever created is on NBC" and I won't be ashamed to say it.

Does anyone know where we can mine for more superlatives? I think there's going to be a shortage!
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What's up Tim Surette, because of your fans. I can't speak my mind, criticize you or give my honest opinions anymore. Only you are allow to do that here, I guess.
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patsully nailed it - sh|t or get off the pot JJanpheng. that said - ep was super awesome loved it!
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Hi there, if you have nothing constructive to add to the discussion about Community, staff will remove your comments. Attacking a writer or user will earn you a quick suspension from the site.
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Attacking really... fans so mad, when I try to write to another person. Have I said anything hurtful or use bad language. If I get ban for saying my opinions, then so be it. It's only a review site, for people to make discussion.

Ps. I don't think Tim needs anybody to defend him, if he really wanted to he can reply him self, but I don't think he takes it so seriuosly like you do.
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Loved the callback to Season 1 when Britta finally became a proud owner of a used iPod Nano XD
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Great catch!
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great episode.
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That shot up to my top 5. This episode can easily show the difference between last season and this season if anyone is confused as to why Dan Harmon running this show is the best. Abed was probably the funniest if only because I doubt that a Polygraph (which is about as reliable as someone who is a good guesser) would work on him. Also the reasons for the GPS and Annie lacing peoples drink with amphetamines. So much fun.

And Walton Freaking Goggins, that man could read a phone book and it would be award worthy.
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What a funny funny episode. One of my favorites. I was laughing the whole time. You have to watch it a couple times to catch all the little things in there. Sure am gonna miss Pierce. Heres a thought since of coarse no body. Maybe down the road if they get a 6th Season. Maybe Chevy & Dan make up and then Pierce comes back to fool them. I can kinda see it happen. Who knows. Walton Goggins NEEDS to be in a comedy. His smart funny comments on Justified and now this episode. The end tag was hilarious. SHOTS!!!
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Has to be one of my fav episodes to date! Brilliant. It had everything every episode should have. Wonderful.
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Holy crap! I just realized...TROY FINALLY GOT TO EAT A GHOST! Of course, it would have been Pierce.

I mean the iPod Nano callback was good, but THAT was genius. (I thank a friend for pointing it out)
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Another great catch!
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For me, the best part was Shirley's delivery of "we already know that you judgey bitch!"
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I dont know how I'm going to feel after next weeks episode. I'm a bit nervous, not because I dont believe Harmon and Co. Can pull off the execution, its just... Community without Troy?? And this episode didnt help at all. I wish Donald Glover luck with his career as CG, but in the words of Troy himself: "THAT SON OF BITCH, AFTER ALL COMMUNITY DID FOR HIM?"
I do hope he returns for the series finale whenever that may be.
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I knew we were off to a good start with Glover's “Somebody get a balloon!” I'm going to miss Troy. Not that everyone has their strengths (and adding Johnathan Banks was excellent) but Community has kept me around mostly because of Donald Glover (and the adorable Allison Brie). He has a real gift for joke delivery.

Also, Walton Goggins ("Here's your sperm") killed it. Which he always does. (except in that GI JOE movie...hey, everyone needs a paycheck sometimes)
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Wait....Pierce died from dehydration from excessive masturbation and EVERYONE got some sperm...did Pierce kill himself for his study group?
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Gay murder says what...
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Fire in the hole!


Great episode!
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When I heard this was a bottle episode my heart dropped (I wasn't a fan of 'Cooperative Calligraphy' ) but this episode blew me away. So many jokes, my favorite being Troy's "SILENCE WITCH" when questioned. lol
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This episode was so freaking good. I'm going to miss Troy but what a great way to send him off! I don't remember the last time I enjoyed an episode of Community so much.
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Such a great episode, and the final set of questions in Pierce's will really helped bring it all together. I loved how they managed to make that part both hilarious and touching at the same time - a very fitting way to send out Pierce's character, showing off both the on-the-surface jerk side of his character, and the below-the-surface sensitive guy who was attached to these people for the past four seasons. And I agree with you, this is a great way to send off Troy's character.

Speaking of which, so far this season has had a lot of darker character drama going on between the laughs. The first episode showed that these characters are not in a happy place right now (especially Shirley), Pierce died, and now Troy is leaving. And honestly, I love this idea. Yes, some people may think it's "too depressing," and it really does give this season a darker feeling, but it also gives the writers a lot to work with. And I really hope that the rest of the season, after Troy leaves next week, really uses these issues in the best way they can. No, I'm not saying to turn it into a full-blown drama, just keep doing what they have been doing: having great comedic episodes (whether they're bigger concept episodes like last week, or more down-to-Earth stories like the rest of these episodes have been) with a great emotional core at the center. If they handle the character drama well enough within the rest of the season, I honestly wouldn't mind this as a final season, although I'm obviously still hoping for #SixHarmonSeasonsAndAMovie. :P

A few side-notes:

-It was odd seeing Walton Goggins used in such a straight-man role, using his characters to push the conflict between the other characters, rather than giving his character many stand-out moment of his own, but I do agree that it worked well for the episode. I did like his scene at the end though.

-I'm so happy to say this, after his character has been going downhill with each passing season: I love the use of Chang this season. Chang's craziness is much more effective when used sparingly, rather than the over-the-top stories from seasons 3 and 4.
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Tim, are you trying to worm your way into my cold dead heart? A positive review for one of my favorite shows?!? I have no words... I think your growing on me.
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Great review. We're in total agreement. What a perfect sendoff for Pierce; hilarious, briefly heartfelt and always true to his character. And this was absolutely a perfect use of Change.

My review/link to my podcast here: http://www.untemperedtv.com/?p=217

To FringeFanatic--you are clearly a genius and I enjoyed your rant thoroughly.

Nejanis-For you to say that this season is on the same level of season 4 is so blatantly absurd it makes me feel like you shouldn't even be allowed to watch this show
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Hey, thanks! But you say that and all I can think about is the two grammatical mistakes I made in my comment. I've got problems. :/
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Abed: "Cool, cool, cool."
Lie detector lady: "That's a lie."

That sound you heard was my heart breaking. I don't think I can handle a scene where Abed has to say goodbye to Troy. I need to put next weeks episode in the freezer :'(
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THESE WORDS ARE ONLY HERE TO GET YOUR ATTENTION! ... TOO ON THE NOSE?

There are certain shows that are unquestionably, undeniably great. Shows that are so great, if someone incomprehensibly and unimaginably has a negative opinion of them, they immediately forfeit all television related credibility. You know the people. They're the ones who say Breaking Bad was too slow. They're the ones who say Game of Thrones is all talk and no action (yes, some people actually think that). They're the ones who say Walter Bishop of Fringe was... *shudder* ... annoying (a special, psychedelic like circle in hell is reserved for those people). And they're the ones who say Dan Harmon's Community (it makes me a little sad that I'll forever have to make that distinction) is too clever for its own good, and not that funny.

If you watched this episode and were like "meh", stoping reading this comment right now. Seriously, don't read another word... are you still reading? Well, if you are then I'll further add that you should not only cease to read this comment, but you should just give up watching television altogether. It's obviously not for you...

PSYCH! (not really)

Ahhhh! I didn't mean all that stuff! (yes I did). Everyone is entitled to their opinion and if that opinion happens to be a negative one of this episode and DH's Community in general, then I have to respect that (no I don't, you suck, but I'm Canadian, so being this sardonic is conflicting for me). Friends? (I don't respect you as a human being).

So, yeah, I loved this episode, guys!

The bottle episode. A dying sitcom trope that is rare in todays TV comedies, and well executed even more rarely. If you go to the Wikipedia page on bottle episodes there are only two examples for comedies listed. The first is Seinfeld's "The Chinese Restaurant" (Cartwright!) and the only other is Community's Season 2, Episode 8 "Cooperative Calligraphy". Well Wikipedia, time to add one more!

This was classic Community through and through. The writing was sharp, the dialogue popped, it was hilarious, and it punched me in the heart like few comedies ever have. Feels, guys. Crazy feels. I don't deign to know what Dan Harmon has in store for Troy/Donald's sendoff, but if Abed's aforementioned heart-punching "Cool. Cool, cool, cool" is any indication, it's not only going to be Troy and Abed in mourning. An entire fan base will mourn the end of the singular greatest television friendship this world has ever known (hyperbole be damned!) I'm probably going to cry is what I'm trying to say.

But I'm also indescribably happy that this sendoff was even made possible. Without Harmon you can just throw it all away. The fact that Community is at its best when the characters simply sit around a table talking/arguing for an entire episode directly speaks to the strength of writing. Harmon has created a cast of firmly established characters with an amazingly rich history he can exploit at his will. He crafts conflict within the group in a funny and organic way, and lets the fireworks follow naturally.

It was fitting that Pierce's death became a catharsis for the group. As a character that was once described by Abed as a lightning rod for much of the group's frustration, it felt right that his permanent void would elicit a purging of emotion and fingerpointing.

Jeff's vanity, Shirley's sanctimony, Britta's hypocrisy, Annie's occasional manipulativeness (even her flaws are adorable), Troy's childishness (also a pretty adorable) and Abed's wanton disregard of social conventionality. All flawed. But it's the flaws that differentiate a caricature from a character. It's our flaws that make us human. And Community is nothing if not a study of human nature.

I've worried since season one this leprechaun riding a unicorn of a show would be cancelled at any moment (which it effectively was for a season). But with Harmon back at the helm I've stopped worrying if Community will make it to a sixth season and a movie. This 5th season is a gift I thought we'd never get, and I'm going to savour it as such.

Well done, Community. Well done.
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Meh.
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Isn't it awesome that we are able to talk about a beloved show with, you know, LOVE?
(And it's kind of sad that I'll have to pretend for ever and ever that season 4 never happened)
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SO AWESOME! ...

*cough*

I mean, yeah, it's alright.
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I'm already mourning the loss of Troy, and his friendship with Abed. That "Cool. Cool, cool, cool." was probably the most heart-breaking thing in the history of Community, and I loved it. Not only did it capture what Abed was feeling, it also perfectly captured what we as an audience, and presumably the cast and crew were all thinking about Donald Glover's departure. We hate to see him go, and will miss his presence within the show's ensemble, but we know we have to let him go, because it's what he wants to do, wanting to make it on his own, and see where his career takes him. I do wish him luck on his future projects, but I'm dreading that last goodbye between him and Abed.

To put it another way, borrowing a line from Troy himself: My emotions! :(
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"I'm much sadder than the rest of you! I'll figure out why later."

:)
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Great review, FringeFanatic!
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Thanks!
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Well said.

"You know the people. They're the ones who say Breaking Bad was too slow."

When you said this, I immediately thought "and the ones who say that Game of Thrones is just a bunch of people talking to each other". So I was pleased to see that the next thing you said was this:

"They're the ones who say Game of Thrones is all talk and no action (yes, some people actually think that)."

I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds this absolutely mind-boggling. I'm rewatching season 2 right now, and there's been a lot of talk. Wonderful, magnificent talk. In the first four episodes, Tyrion Lannister established himself as the coolest character in TV history, in my opinion surpassing even the obvious #1 before him, Omar Little. And he did this just by talking.

I can't resist including a could of quotes:


Episode 2x02:

Janos Slynt (talking about Ned Stark): The man was a traitor. He tried to buy my loyalty.

Tyrion: The fool. He had no idea you were already bought.

Janos (raising his voice): Are you drunk?! I will not have my honor questioned by an imp.

Tyrion: I'm not questioning your honor, Lord Janos. I'm denying its existence.

Janos: You think I'll stand here and take this from you, dwarf?

Tyrion: Dwarf? Hm. You should have stopped at imp. And yes, you will stand here and take it from me, unless you'd like to take it from my friend here.

Bronn: (takes a step forward and then raises an eyebrow)


Episode 2x04:

Joffrey: I'm punishing her.

Tyrion: For what crimes? She does not fight her brother's battles, you halfwit.

Joffrey: You can't talk to me like that. The king can do as he likes.

Tyrion: The mad king did as he liked. Has your uncle Jaime ever told you what happened to him?

Meryn Trant: No one threatens His Grace in the presence of the Kingsguard!

Tyrion: I'm not threatening the king, Ser. I'm educating my nephew. Bronn, the next time Ser Meryn speaks, kill him.

Tyrion: That was a threat. See the difference?
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Thanks. And I couldn't agree more. GoT detractors don't seem to realize that the talking *IS* the action. As perfectly exemplified in those awesome quotes you listed.

A cleverly placed quip can cut just as deeply as any sword. And a wrongly placed word can be just as dangerous.
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D'oh. "A could of quotes" should of course be "A couple of quotes". Not sure how that happened.
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Ah, not as bad as a superfluous "ing" on stop.

"If you watched this episode and were like "meh", stop*ING* reading this comment right now."
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I bet there isn't a collective noun for quotes. It may as well be 'could'.
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Your comments were definitely better said than mine.
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I thought our sentiments were eerily similar.
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it's a Red Universe/Blue Universe thing.
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Seeing how well they're handling Donald Glover leaving the show, and the story they're giving Troy, it definitely gives me hope that they'll be able to make a Troy-less Community work. My only worry is how well a Troy-less Abed will work. Danny Pudi's going to have his work cut out for him, still being the character we love while dealing with losing his best friend.
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This season really handles Troy and Pierce leaving very well. I'm really sad Troy is leaving but the way they did it makes it ok for me.

Only one more episode with Troy...Cool. Cool, cool cool...
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'That's a lie'
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I was laughing the entire episode till the very moment Abed said cool, cool, cool and lie detector lady said its a lie. That really hurts.
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I didn't like the epsiode at all. Actually I alomst hated it. While epsiode 3 was pretty good and I don't see how this season is any improvment of season 4.

I still don't get it why they killed Pierce off. I think it was stupid. And the way he died - I'm sorry that was just plain stupid and not funny at all. Humor of this epsiode reminded me some cheap parody movies like Epic Movie, Date Movie etc.

But of course it wasn't all bad. There were some good lines too, like Troy and Abed in the mourning, and Col, cool, cool, cool. But that's about it.

For me this epsiode was one of the worst yet and so far I don't see how this season is any better than the last one (which was actually pretty ok).
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Finally another person! This episode didn't do anything for me. It was essentially completely predictable and a re-tread of the Annie's pen episode. As soon as the idea of a polygraph was introduced we all knew exactly what was going to happen.

Chevy Chase did not get along with some of the people running the show and he quit at the end of last season - actually technically before they were done filming the last season. There was no choice but to phase him out of the show somehow.

I think people so want to believe that a magical Dan Harmon can make the show great again that they're seeing amazing, wonderful jokes and stories that just aren't there. :-(
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If this episode didn't dean it for you, then nothing i say will probably chang your mind - but i highly suspect that you are in actuality Dean Spreck from the darkest timeline.
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The only thing I agree with you on is the method of Pierce's demise. A little too slapstick, and it stretched my suspension of disbelief a little far.

Other than that, I think you need to watch it again. There were MANY more good lines than the two you mentioned.
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Have you ever watched the first three seasons? Every bit of that was very Pierce. And very Community.
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Yeah... You should steer clear of my comment.
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Pierce was killed off because Chevy Chase refused to do another episode at some point late in season 4. (And then he appeared as a hologram in one scene in season 5, presumably because he didn't want to piss of the Community fans any more).
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I read somewhere that there was a lawsuit against Chevy behind the scenes regarding some remarks made to one of the team. The reason allegedly that the hologram cameo was such was that it was the only way to bring Pierce in one more time without him actually having him be there to film it (restraining order). Also, what he says in that hologram speech was supposed to be a parody of the fact he isn't allowed on set anymore.
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Well, I know that Chase quit Community but why kill him off? That hologram scene was really good but now it doesn't make sense any more. If they killed him off hologram scene would have been much better and useful after his death, maybe in season finale.
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Maybe just so that they could make this episode, which everyone but you seems to think was pretty awesome, and because it gave them a way to explain Donald Glover's departure.
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I'm pretty sure they could have come up with 100 other explanations why Troy have to leave without killing off Pierce.

Pierce was a jerk, he graduated only because he could graduate before Jeff. For me it would be perfectly fine if he would never show up ever again without being killed off.
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That's exactly it. Just like as was said in last week's episode's review, Pierce's death was an integral part in the story of Troy leaving. Without Pierce's death, I doubt they could have found a good reason for Troy to leave. Besides, the death of Pierce also explains why they would never see him again outside of Greendale, since he was a part of their kooky family, even if he was the a-hole older brother.
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"Troy and Abed in the MOUUURNING"
Just when I thought I'd heard every mutation of this.....Dan, I envy your brain.
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I think it was "Troy and Abed are in mouuurning".
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I loved this episode. The bequeathing had me laughing out loud the second time almost as much as the first time I watched it.
It wasn't just a sad reminder that Troy was leving, but I thought it was a sad reminder of how funny Pierce could be when he wasn't simply being a racist sexist ass.

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"Here's your sperm."
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"Britta Perry: proud owner, used iPod Nano, 2014."

Well done, Mr. Harmon.
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Hahaha. I love those little nods. Nice catch.
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Wow, that episode was amazing! Can't wait for the next one.
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wow abed got screwed, just a bottle of old man semen.

but more important that was an amazing episode!
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What an astonishingly good episode. Hilarious, subversive, cheeky, ingenious, empathic, and very emotional at the end. The writing was flawless as was the comic timing, all the humour derived seamlessly from character and it doesn't get much better than these characters. They are wonderful, caring people but also crazy, petty and sometimes vindictive.

Community shows that it's often at its best and most creative with its simplest episodes. Watching this was an enriching experience. Easily one of my favourite Community, very close to my top five. Also my favourite episode since Season 2. It will be very hard to handle Glover leaving but at least Community is in peak form.
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Well said!
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I LOVED it. It was so hilarious the confessions were top notch. Knock on wood but COMMUNITY IS BACK. knock on wood
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That episode was so good!!!! Smart, funny and touching. It was beautiful!!!! I love commumity and I always will!!!!!!
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Amazing hilarious but touching episode all that I love about the show. But on a side note I am Abed, that comment about when people chew gum his skull vibrates is pure gold and exactly how I feel!
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A good bottle episode! We learn a lot of thing (cinluding why Troy leaves, apparently). The tag was a bit oversold, saying it was awesome and worth watching it again and again and again and again. But it was a very good episode.
PS: should we make a petition or something to get Annie's previous wardrobe back? :D
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You know, I've actually noticed the Annie wardrobe thing too. She used to wear a lot more skirts, and other stuff; however, I think they're throwing her in pants and stuff to give her a more "mature" vibe (just my opinion).

Honestly, I don't mind it that much. Alison Brie would look amazing in anything. Or noth... *stops himself*
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Yes, definitely to show that she matures, but damn :( I miss her tight shirts and dresses/skirts :(
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This episode was a top ten for me as well. So good.
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Now that was more like it!
Hopefully the season brings more of this and less Ass Crack Bandit.
Poor Troy having only seen the last two Police Academy films, lol.
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Yes! This review has brought an "and" to my previous doubts.
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