Community Review: Advanced Introduction to Finality

Summary:

Overall Advanced Introduction to Finality is chaotic, over ambitious, and ultimately flat. It’s disappointing that the episode feels like a let down especially when it’s dealing with something as big as Jeff’s graduation. The return of paintball and the darkest timeline is admittedly a fun and humorous experience but neither captures the spirit that made their original episodes so worthwhile.  On paper the ideas within the episode are great but would have better served as two episodes instead of one rushed experience.

Community’s finale is finally upon us and with the unfortunate possibility that this could be last it’s hard to say that the episode was quite up to snuff. As I write this things are looking optimistic for a fifth season of Community but nothing is set in stone. It’s a shame that Advanced Introduction of Finality missed the mark, especially when it handled something as big as Jeff’s graduation!

Community Logo

The episode opens up with Jeff negotiating the terms of his new job at his friend’s law firm. Conflicted, Jeff is worried to move on from Greendale, fearing that his new job will only lead him to return to the shallow person he was before Greendale. Meanwhile, unexpected visitors from the darkest timeline make an unwelcomed visit and attempt ruin Jeff’s plans for the future.

It’s somewhat fitting that this episode ends much like the season began, chaotic, over ambitious, and ultimately flat. On paper the way the episode is handled seems like a great idea but the quick pace and rushed feeling only hurts the episode. The episode does have an overall fun vibe and everyone seems to be firing on all cylinders. Pierce’s exit from the show is fitting but it’s just about as pertinent as his presence this entire season. Overall the biggest disappointment is the anticlimactic feel of Changnesia.

Community - Season 4

When last week’s episode ended with Chang telling Dean Spreck that he was done with their evil plan I was assured that the plotline they’ve been slowly revealing would finally take center stage in the finale. However, Advanced Introduction to Finality says to hell with Changnesia and ultimately drops it in favor of bringing back the darkest timeline. For as much time as they spent on Chang and City College this season I can’t help but feel let down for the way they ended this story with a simple phone call. It makes it feel as though a portion of this season is ultimately pointless.

I’m still conflicted on whether or not I enjoy the return of the darkest timeline. Admittedly it provided a lot of fun and humorous moments for the episode but the way it was handled felt so flat. Tying the darkest timeline with a “way to make paint ball cool again” doesn’t capture any of the spirit that made their original episodes so wonderful. The paintball fights between the study group and their doppelgangers are incredibly lame and are nothing more than the darker versions of themselves just standing directly in front of their counterpart just to get shot. Having the darkest timeline represent Jeff’s insecurity with graduating is great but pairing it up with the actual graduation only takes valuable time away from both stories leaving an underdeveloped feeling.

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Everything has been leading up to this moment for the series and half the episode is dealt within a dream sequence. Luckily the darkest timeline is only a figment of Jeff’s imagination preserving the very thin line of reality and wackiness. The episode works best when we are dealing with the study group in reality and focusing on Jeff’s graduation. It’s handled in a very Greendale fashion and provides a very tender moment for the group as a whole. Don’t get me wrong, the episodes ideas are great but would have served better as two separate episodes. If it is a series finale it does well bringing Jeff back to his full circle but there’s ultimately a hollow feeling of satisfaction.

Overall Advanced Introduction to Finality is chaotic, over ambitious, and ultimately flat. It’s disappointing that the episode feels like a let down especially when it’s dealing with something as big as Jeff’s graduation. The return of paintball and the darkest timeline is admittedly a fun and humorous experience but neither captures the spirit that made their original episodes so worthwhile.  On paper the ideas within the episode are great but would have better served as two episodes instead of one rushed experience.

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Connect with me at:
Twitter: @Treyrs20o9
Twitter: @Think_Cinematic
Email: ThinkCinematicReviews@Gmail.com

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4 responses to “Community Review: Advanced Introduction to Finality

  1. I enjoyed this episode. I can see where most of your points come from, and agree with several. The episode could’ve (should’ve) been better, but it’s still fun. It was one of (I think) three this season that got audible laughs out of me. The show’s focus on story and character progression has really taken away the funny since Season 2, where they knew how to do both.

    But it takes a lot to get an actual laugh out of me anyway. I definitely found it funny, and chuckled at the jokes throughout.

    Honestly, I enjoyed the whole season. I thought it was about on par with Season 3. Neither this season or last can hold a candle to the first two seasons though.

    Looks like Season 5 is coming, so it should be interesting to see how that goes.

    • Oh there’s no doubt about it the episode is really fun and entertaining but like you said it could have should have been better.

      I enjoyed Season Four as well even at it’s worst I’m still interested due to my investment with these characters. A lot of the disappointments in my review have been me trying to take a step back from my fandom and approach it with a critical eye. I favored Season 3 more but I can see the similarities between 3 and 4!

      I’m really excited for Season five! This season definitely showed moments of greatness and now that the pressure is off the new grew I feel like they can really put something special together next season, as long as they don’t get caught up in trying to please everyone with excessive fan service!

      • Yeah, there’s some stuff they’ll need to figure out, and the loss of Megan Ganz is almost as big a hit as the loss of Dan Harmon, but I’m in this one for the long haul.

        Even if the glory days of S2 can’t be reachieved, this is still consistently a “Top Three Shows Currently Airing” TV show for me, and one of the only shows I watch while they’re airing, and not PVR’d later that night, or the next day.

  2. Pingback: Movie Monday Update Week of May 13th | Thinking Cinematic

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