NBC’s ‘Community’ season 4 finale review: The darkest timeline of the mind

Community“I’ve spent four years here growing and changing and making dioramas.”

The line above may be the greatest one in the history of this timeline. Strangely, there’s no better way to describe “Community.” Thursday night’s season 4 finale could be the last of the series we ever see, and for that reason, the writers decided that it would be best to make the show as weird as humanly possibly beforehand. If you imagine season 3’s “Remedial Chaos Theory” on some heavy drugs, that was this story. Jeff Winger was set to finally graduate from Greendale after going through more things than any normal person could imagine, but there was a problem: The darkest timeline. Somehow, Jeff began to quickly envision himself surrounded by the world of the darkest timeline, where he was trying to imagine that he was waging a war for his survival.

If you wanted to be super-critical about this, you could fire away at the show for re-hashing what was one of the best stories of the show’s third season, with a few assorted odds and ends thrown in. As entertaining as this was (and we do love Evil Jeff and his one arm), where was the fluidity with last week’s episode? Why did Chang suddenly go completely out of the picture? Finally, why in the world was the weird maniacal plan put into motion with City College by and large shelved? As easy as it is to like much of what “Community” did here, it was equally easy to scream out in frustration over the fact that the show really went nowhere at all with what it set out to do save for graduating Jeff. It felt obvious that it was filmed out of order, largely to accommodate the exit of Chevy Chase.

In looking back at “Community” season 4, this was the biggest mixed bag of the entire show’s run. Without Dan Harmon, some half-hours are the sort of thing that should fall into the TV abyss (where we sent “Whitney” earlier today).

We still hope that there is a “Community” season 5 down the road, mostly since we need something to geek out over even if there is no more Starburns (still) or Pierce. It may not be worship-worthy any more, but it’s still darn good. What was your take on “Community’s” closure, if you can call it that? As always, we do want to hear some of your thoughts below!

Photo: NBC

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