'Community' Season 4 finale: The Darkest Timeline returns with paintball and some Annie-Jeff action

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In many ways, "Community" Season 4 has been a multi-episode ode to the show's past. So it's fitting that the show's final confirmed episode would be a sequel to Season 3's "Remedial Chaos Theory." Yes, the Darkest Timeline is back. And it's not happy with reality.

At least there is a reality. Throughout most of this finale, "Advanced Introduction to Finality," I was more than a little concerned that "Community" had finally and suddenly given up on the idea of keeping this crazy show grounded in the real world. Thank goodness -- a "Community" un-moored by reality would rapidly fall apart.

And, quite frankly, the Darkest Timeline was never meant to be more than fantasy.


Four years, one graduate
Greendale really must be a terrible community college. That's the only explanation for only one member of the study group managing to get any sort of degree in four years. But at least Jeff ( Joel McHale) can finally get back to being a lawyer.

Or can he ...?

Because Season 4's Jeff has feelings and insecurities and stuff, he isn't sure that he should leave. Enter the die from "Remedial Chaos Theory." And enter the return of the Darkest Timeline.


Evil Jeff and Evil Annie are fun. Let's have a show about them!

That fateful moment of chance somehow opens the real world up to an incursion from the Darkest Timeline. Evil Jeff and Evil Annie ( Alison Brie) cross over to our world and plot to get Jeff graduated and back to his work as a slimy lawyer.

In the process of doing so, the evil doppelgangers act all sexy a lot and then sabotage people. They are disturbingly good and entertaining at this. I mean, I would seriously watch a show about the evil doppelgangers if this is how they ask. Maybe that's the route "Community" should go if a Season 5 happens?

Anyway, the Evil Ones produce sexy moments and tears and basically persuade everyone to skip Jeff's graduation and ostracize him, apparently with the intent of making the graduate happy to leave for good.

It doesn't work.


"It's either us ... Or us!"

Of course, all of this has to come down to a confrontation between the two study groups. Abed ( Danny Pudi) figures this out by popping over to the Darkest Timeline and hanging out with Evil Abed. Not that Evil Abed is particularly anymore. He's essentially just Abed with a goatee.

Two crucial pieces of information come out of this meeting: 1) Abed learns how to defeat the alt-study group, and 2) In the Darkest Timeline, "The Cape" got picked up on cable and has made it to season 3.

Back in reality, funky universe-bending paintball guns lead to an epic war between the various versions of our "Community" favorites. The good guys win. Yay!

Oh, and we find out that this is all in Jeff's nervous brain. Reality (and cool "Matrix"-style showdowns) wins the day!


So?

Is this it for "Community" now? Despite a whole host of announcements from NBC right before the Season 4 finale aired, no word came out about this show. Is NBC waiting to see the finale numbers? Or did the network just want to be nice?

No clue.

At least this was a decent series send-off, should that be the case. A "Community" Season 5 certainly could happen, but it isn't necessary for the completion of the series.

And maybe, if "Community" does return, the long-awaited and never-consummated 'shipping of Jeff and Annie will finally happen. Or not.

What do you think? While you contemplate the answer, enjoy these quotes!

"I know an evil doppelganger when I see one." -- Abed to Evil Jeff

"'The Cape' was canceled." -- Abed
"Not here. They retooled it for cable, and it's awesome." -- Evil Abed

"Annie, why are you acting like a mistress in a Lifetime movie?" -- Jeff

"Not without my study group!" -- Jeff
"Now who's in a Lifetime movie?" -- Evil Annie

"It's either us ... Or us." -- Abed

"Nobody sleeps with Jeff! Not even me." -- Annie to Evil Annie

"Haven't you noticed that all the vending machines are filled with meats and boiled eggs? Or that all of the background students are attractive women?" -- Abed, explaining fantasy to Jeff

"We finally figured out a way to make paintball cool again." -- Abed

"I'm sorry. I don't know what to say." -- Jeff at graduation

Photo/Video credit: NBC