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How Last Night's 'Community' Totally Britta'd Troy's Goodbye. That's Right. We're Taking It Back.

By Joanna Robinson | TV Reviews | January 24, 2014 | Comments ()


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Last night was perfect, wasn't it? It had all the joy and zingy pop references of "Modern Warfare" with much higher emotional stakes. What I appreciated most about the episode was that it not only highlighted what we'll miss (Troy and Abed...also just Troy), but also what we can look forward to. If the show just focused on the dissolution of the show's strongest pair, we'd leave it feeling a little shaky about the future of Season Five. How can the show survive without both Chevy and Glover? But the show smartly accomplished two things. a) It gave us a deeper appreciation for Prof. Hickey who makes contraptions and has a son who is getting gay married and is not above shoving a girl when this is all over. b) It gave us the old Britta back. I was just whinging last week that Britta had become a parody of herself. That her very name had become code for "the worst." But in this episode Britta got to be right and strong and the damn hero. It was a relief to see that role belong to someone other than Jeff.

But of course, since this is Golden Age Harmonian Community, the episode accomplished all of that while also being insanely fun. Though it revisits some of the themes we've seen before from paintball episodes, Lava World felt fresh and exciting. Here's a complete glossary of terms from the episode to help navigate your rewatch.

To Britta: To be the best. We're taking it back.
tumblr_mzwt1riI481r6w4h8o1_250.giftumblr_mzwt1riI481r6w4h8o2_250.gif

Burny Touch: Garrett's term for lava.

Burton, Lavar: Troy's guide on this journey, the Al to his Dr. Sam Beckett.
tumblr_mzvz03u6T71r11goho1_500.png

Centipede-ing: A very slow way to move about using chairs.

Chair Walkers: A much more efficient way to move about using chairs and duct tape chiefly employed by Hickey and Britta's people.

Clone Abed: Just like Original Abed but missing his wild emotionality.
tumblr_mzvtw1QFtG1rd1qi0o2_500.png

Clone Hug: The part where I started to cry.

Clone Troy: Just like Original Troy but lacking fear of Lavar Burton and possessing some traits of the garden variety homing pigeon.
tumblr_mzvtw1QFtG1rd1qi0o1_500.png

Come Sail Away: A beautiful call back. That, of course, was Aimee Mann covering Styx and giving everything that additional emotional Magnolia kick.
tumblr_mzwmphxUok1r7fahjo2_r1_250.giftumblr_mzwmphxUok1r7fahjo1_250.gif

Cirque Du So Long You High-Stepping Acrobastards: The very best pun-laden taunt of the night.
tumblr_mzwaay9T2I1qfjduoo1_500.gif

Floor, The: The answer to "who's there?"
tumblr_mzvzc1xUNv1qawxnko5_250.giftumblr_mzvzc1xUNv1qawxnko6_250.gif

Floor Strider: Chang's term for Troy and Abed. Anyone, I suppose, who is not a Locker Boy.
tumblr_mzvyyfEf381rdgk7xo1_r1_250.giftumblr_mzvyyfEf381rdgk7xo2_r1_250.gif

Four-Legged Diamonds: aka Chairs.

Hey Seat Feet, Chair To Dance?: The second best pun-laden taunt of the night.
tumblr_mzvyv2whaf1qcmbd6o1_250.giftumblr_mzvyv2whaf1qcmbd6o3_250.gif

Inch Worm-ing: A medium-slow way to move about on chairs.

Jib-Jabbing: What you do not want your cloning machine to do.

Lava Joust: Unclear. Jeff and Annie had no lava lances.
tumblr_mzvsjtpaNN1ru72puo1_400.gif

Locker Boys: Chang's allies. A terrifying cross between the Lost Boys and The Rogues from Warriors. They're motivated by M&Ms.

Nathan Fillion: Chang's same-sex crush. Yours too, if you're being honest.
tumblr_mzvv9s7ai01t8wt7mo1_250.giftumblr_mzvv9s7ai01t8wt7mo2_250.gif

Now Now Time, The: Garrett's term for, um, now.

Orb, The: aka Shirley's Island. In a cool, Keyser Söze way.
tumblr_mzvyeo94vH1svw14do1_r1_500.gif

Planet Trek: The much more appropriate name for Star Trek.
tumblr_mzwh52E8Jc1r7fahjo3_250.giftumblr_mzwh52E8Jc1r7fahjo4_250.gif

Plastic Gold aka Chairs.

Pop Pop: An expression used by Magnitude, British exchange student.

Reverse Danny Thomas: I don't know! And I watched Make Room For Daddy on Nick At Nite all the time!!! The reverse Dick Van Dyke? That one I'd get.

RUUUUFFFIIIIOOOOOO: Chang's obvious fash-inspiration.
rufio.jpg

Scootenany: aka scooting.

Shirley Island: aka The Orb...not in a lame Jewel Of The Nile sort of way.
tumblr_mzw1jm2g6b1rsve92o1_500.gif

Sofa Hopper: Annie's term for Britta's strategy. Derogatory.

Stick Feet: aka Chair Walkers.

Sweet Momma Mahogany, Feast Your Feet On That Stack Of Sticks: The third best pun-laden sentence of the night. Sorry, Annie.

Vapors Of Magmorath: I have no f*cking clue. I love this show.



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • Bert_McGurt

    Good thing Troy took that sailing class with Pierce and Shirley back in Season 1...

    Honestly, there couldn't have been a better send-off. Harmon's been just aces this season.

  • Sarah Weissman

    Wonderful. At first I worried the clone thing was going to be super unhealthy, but it was actually beautifully done. "Clone" versions are just "new" versions of these guys, who can cope with more than they could. Will miss Glover - but respect his decision. TOTALLY missed the Fillion line.

    Same-sex crushes: Christina Hendricks, Kristyn Ritter, Kerry Washington, Felicia Day...

  • Green_Eggs_and_Hamster

    I know I am a little late, but I loved that Troy was heading to Colorado to start his voyage. I always imagined Troy was a bit of a stoner, this seems like confirmation to me.

  • melia

    Greendale is IN Colorado...

  • 4nessj

    I was really scared Joanna that you hated the episode by the article's title, but was so glad that you were using the new and improved definition. Britta for the win!

  • competitivenonfiction

    Mila Kunis, though her Kutcher-shaped problem is giving Anna Kendrick the leg up.

  • kirbyjay

    Mila is my SSC but I agree. Also, her sullen, hiding from the camera act is wearing thin. Jesus Mila, You're a movie star with a movie star boyfriend. What did you think would happen?

  • Hasen Klub

    I don't know about anybody else, but all I could think of when I saw the chair-walkers (or Troy and Abed during their entrance, for that matter) was the the wheelers in "Return to Oz." Please tell me I'm not alone in that nightmare...

  • Jack London

    I think I can explain the reverse Danny Thomas. Harmon and Jeff Davis discussed the Danny Thomas urban legend in an old Harmontown episode.

    At Canter's Deli in L.A., the Danny Thomas sandwich is number two on the menu. Why? Allegedly, Thomas would lay under a glass coffee table while a woman went number two on top of the table.

    A reverse Danny Thomas would play out rather messily.

  • kirbyjay

    Mr. St Jude's? Hollywood really is weird.
    How would it be reversed? Would the woman lie under the table whilst DT did the pooping? Or did the poop go back up the poopshoot when the woman was pooping?
    Did DT lie under a glass table at Canter's Deli?
    and what does Marlo think of this?

  • "It gave us the old Britta back. I was just whinging last week that Britta had become a parody of herself. That her very name had become code for "the worst." But in this episode Britta got to be right and strong and the damn hero."

    Joanna, you're secretly a writer now, and you've set yourself to be prescient and faux-influential. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

  • alacrify

    RE: Lava Joust - made perfect sense to me... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J...

  • "You never go to a star. Not one episode."

    That's sticking the landing. Bravo.

  • Swift

    So the adventures of Levar and Donald, won't be a spin-off show?

  • dammitdamian

    Clive Owen.

  • greg

    Don't give a damn anymore
    I am done with this show

    good day

  • General Bluth

    Ah, Greg. We can always count on your sensible opinions and thought-out rebuttals of why you hate the joyous return of "Community."
    Seriously though, are just like a member of the Grey Goose Axis sent here to undermine the respect of the Kettle One Alliance's most prolific member?

  • General Bluth

    Also, you say you are "done with this show," but I'm not sure you were ever on board to begin with. This season has been undisputedly fantastic among "Community" fans. I understand if you were never on board, but you're implying you once liked the show. That's impossible if you actually have watched this season and actively hated it enough to comment on a positive post. You've somehow lost your ability to love and be happy if you once loved "Community" but suddenly hate the best and most emotionally-charged season yet.
    I honestly feel sorry for your shriveled heart. You've lost your Hobbes, Calvin.

  • greg

    I have watched this show since the beginning. I have enjoyed it for the most part

  • greg

    The opening episode was too mean spirited and wasted a Chevy Chase cameo when it could have been used to greater effect later on

  • greg

    The second episode had a weak B plot that rehashed old story lines and wasted Kevin Corrigan

  • greg

    The third episode botched the reveal of Pierce's death
    by putting it at the end of an over the top episode making it so I couldn't take it seriously

  • greg

    The creator ruined it for me with his antics

  • General Bluth

    Ah, the whole "he made a rape joke, he sucks" reason. But if you actually listened to a few episodes of Harmontown, you'd see he's a genuine person that admits his faults and lays them out for the world to see. That's rare. You don't get people in Hollywood as open and honest as Dan Harmon. Sure, he's a dick at times. But who among us isn't? It seems more dickish, in my opinion, to waste time and energy to trash a show on a comment board. If you don't like it, cool. But don't try to be self righteous about it and don't comment. You're a perpetually negative person, you're only Pajiba comments are to throw hate around.
    Hate is much less charming than not being eloquent and using an ill-advised metaphor.
    If you honestly hate this season, it's obvious your reasons are just half-hearted excuses to cover the real reason. You dislike Dan Harmon and his supporters. Those were your first two complaints, all that follows are hollow veils for your personal dislike of Harmenians.

  • greg

    Yeah that doesn't change the fact that he is a smug prick and that a lot of his fans are enablers

    You are full of it because this website was built for the purpose of bashing things we don't like and now you are saying I am wrong for doing that

  • greg

    The fandom made the experience worse with their antics

  • Rebecca Hachmyer

    Mr. Chase?

  • So this is why people at work were asking me what my same-sex celebrity crush was. Thought that was a little weird, but hey, mystery solved. For the record, it's either Aaron Rodgers or Russell Crowe.

  • Pron stache injured Aaron Rodgers or clean-shaven healthy Aaron Rodgers?

  • I prefer a healthy Rodgers, because we win more games that way, but as a man whose own face is 90% covered in hair, I also wholeheartedly endorse that Hulk Hogan he was sporting there for a while.

  • dizzylucy

    This one definitely demands a re-watch. I was thinking that last week's was practically a bottle episode, and now I see why - the budget on this had to be pretty insane, and it was so worth it. Britta owned this one.
    Troy has always been my favorite, and his sobbing version of Reading Rainbow is still possibly my favorite moment of the show, so I loved that he sailed away with Levar Burton.

    Crush: Eliza Coupe.

  • maja

    same sex crushes: shalom harlow, anna calvi, julianne moore and linda fiorentino.

  • kirbyjay

    You can't have 4, that just means your gay, not that there's anything wrong with that.
    And I want to hear our Gay Pajiban's opposite sex crushes.

  • maja

    oh boy, you had me laughing. :D i can name you at least 10 more equally gorgeous and talented women as my crushes.. and i'm not gay or in denial or confused.

  • vic

    Ah! +1 for Anna Calvi. My gods, that woman's voice. ALL the chills.

  • maja

    damn right! and guitar skills. those piercing aren't bad, as well.

  • manting

    I loved all the Mad Max references. The Lord Humungous is one of my favorite villains of all time.

  • emmalita

    I loved every single moment of this episode. It's now tied with Documentary Filmmaking: Redux as my favorite Community episode ever.

  • I thought the exchange between Britta and Troy at the end about Abed was some of the most on point and honest writing ever on the show. Troy said something like "None of you understand, Abed. I understand him A LITTLE." For as much as Troy and Abed seem to be on the same wavelength it was interesting that when Troy was being completely honest even he was baffled by his best friend most of the time. That admission was really heartbreaking when you realized how hurt Abed was.

  • That downvote is me by the way. Errant mouse clicked arrow up but clicking arrow down doesn't go to zero, it just goes to -1. This is some shoddy maths.

  • lowercase_ryan

    Also my favorite line (and there were so many, sooooo many)

    YOU GUYS READY FOR CLOSURE???

  • JoannaRobinson

    …of your COFFINS.

  • lowercase_ryan

    YES!

  • Aaaaand I'm crying again. And there's an ad for chairs floating above the comments. Wondrous. Plastic gold.

    Celebrity same sex crushes: Tatiana Maslany and Lily Rabe

  • maja

    excellent crushes choices.

  • Thanks! I like 'em fierce.

  • mairimba

    Ya. Those last 10 minutes were full of sobs between all the laughs.

    My same sex celebrity crush is Rachel Weisz.

  • Dumily

    Full, actual sobs at the "homing pigeon" line. That is all.

  • Dumily

    Oh, and Judy Greer

  • vic

    I keep forgetting about the same-sex crush tangent in this thread, so for a moment I panicked that I missed seeing Judy Greer in this episode. Don't do that. And good choice.

    ...Richard Ayoade? Never gave it much thought since it stopped being JGL.

  • cox

    What a fine choice he is! Both a great director and best teller of 'your mom" jokes of ALL TIME.

  • Dumily

    I did the same thing with the Sean Bean comment on here. I thought maybe they'd finally found a new way to kill him.

  • Some Guy

    Given the dialog the last few episodes, it seems they're certainly giving Glover plenty of room/excuses/opportunities to return to the show should he choose to.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I was shocked (though I really shouldn't have been) at how much heart Dan Harmon was able to squeeze into 20 something minutes.

    I also thought that Britta stole the whole damn show and I can only hope we get more of badass Britta.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I was about to drive out to CA to flip you off in person until I realized you were joking in the header.

  • maja

    a perfect farewell. just perfect. (i didn't just cry at the clone hug, i pretty much cried for about 3/4 of the episode.)

  • Afferbeck

    I just started watching Star Trek Next Generation like a week ago, and in one of the first episodes they... trek... to a star, and orbit it.

    Also it's super weird seeing Wil Wheaton as a child, and I had to look up the Star Trek guest star at the end of the Community episode because I wasn't sure if it was La Forge or not (it was)

    And I didn't notice how little Jeff was in this episode, and how he wasn't the hero as usual. It was pretty much just 'Jeff and Annie get up to crazy antics because they are into each other' as was noted in a recent episode.

  • Guest

    S01E03 - "The Naked Now" which was a call back to "The Naked Time" from the original series.

  • Afferbeck

    For some reason I never take note of nor remember episode titles, so I looked up which ep that was. I thought it must have been a call back type episode because it was weird to have as the third ep of a series.

    The whole 'entire crew affected by crazy deadly drunken space disease' isn't early first season stuff, it's mid-fifth season out of ideas stuff. I thought it strange they'd give us an episode taking the characters completely out of their normal behaviour when we haven't even had a chance to get to know the characters as they normally are yet.

  • Guest

    Yep, I only remember it because Data was also affected and ended up hooking up with Tasha Yar.

    Data was the best part of the ST:NG.

  • I laughed when Tasha Yar died.

  • So good. It was so good. It's like last year was just a horrible, horrible dream. I am really gonna miss Donald Glover.

  • Tracer Bullet

    I thought the Locker Boys referenced the Reavers. And my same-sex celebrity crush is Idris Elba.

  • abell

    I thought the entire thing was a string of Mad Max and Waterworld references. Also, I second Idris Elba.

  • Ofir Fishkin

    best line: "I had a dream like this but it was sexual!"

  • Ofir Fishkin

    I also loved the little detail that when the dean is making the announcement abed sits on the table because he really sees lava

    And my same-sex celebrity crush is benedict cumberbatch

  • JenVegas

    My favorite part was how the yacht is named Childish Millionaire which I took as an homage to Glover's rap alter-ego, Childish Gambino. Oh I also like how they worked Fillion into THIS episode because he'll be there next week. OH Annnnnnd I also.....oh who am I kidding. This whole ep was awesome, except for the part where TROY IS LEAVING. I'm so sad.

  • lowercase_ryan

    Childish Tycoon

  • Afferbeck

    That's also definitely a refence to Pierce's character, who was a napkin tycoon, and childish as hell.

  • Billybob

    So, Annie's weird headband thing was absolutely the most stupid-yet-sexy style-related choice of the night, right up until Britta went all post-apocalyptic punk.

  • Guest

    LOVED THIS EPISODE! LOVED ALL THE BRITTA!

    Favourite Line:

    My name was Vicki. Tell my story!

    Celebrity Same-Sex Crush:

    I have several but to name a few: Sterling Archer (yeah I consider him a real person), Matt Smith & James McAvoy.

  • Guest

    In that case, Joel from The Last of Us

  • Margrete

    Veronica Mar.. I mean, Kristen Bell. James McAvoy is just my regular crush.

  • phofascinating

    Are you me?

  • kirbyjay

    Mila Kunis

  • Timothy Olyphant. This isn't even a secret, my wife refers to him as my same sex crush in conversation. No reason to deny it.

  • Slytherin Sister

    You have mighty good taste.

  • Guest

    Totes.

    * Oylphant's a given regardless whether your a man or a woman.

  • Brady

    Tom Hiddleston all the way.

  • Guest

    I know Hiddleston is a total Sploosh for alot of Pajiba folk but I've never gotten his appeal.

  • Billybob

    Sean Bean. He's just so... manly.

  • JoannaRobinson

    Kate Winslet.

  • Guest

    If I were a girl I'd totally do Kate Winslet.

    *I'd wanna do Gillian Jacobs and Caroline Dhavernas first but Kate would definitely be top 10.

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