Community-Review-S5ep4 – Cooperative Polygraphy

Posted: January 17, 2014 in Community-Reviews

Community - Season 5


Goodbye Pierce


I’m writing this right now not as someone whom thought this was the funniest episode of the show, or best directed episode of the show, or even the richest episode of the show. I’m sitting down in my chair, applauding this show, Community, for delivering one of the most poignant episodes it has ever done, any comedy show has ever done.

There are so many shows out there with characters whom people are just born to hate, who are made to be hated. The comedy comes from them being jerks to their surroundings, ones that even a small speech at the end of an episode can’t redeem. And then there are characters whom you are born to love, unconditionally, as they are who you want to be.

The characters in “Community” are neither one of these. They are us, they are flawed, happy, sad, angry, tormented, pained, distraught, funny, delusional, stupid, and smart all at the same time. What I’m trying to say, is that they are all of us, every single one of us has a sliver of them. Why? Because each one of them has humanity, no matter how cartoonish and absurd this show can be, at the end of the day, these characters remain.

Each one doused in the flames of human emotion, not pivotal comedy, or hysterical realization, but in pure, simple, humanity. Even a character whom was drifting into the territory of villainy is treated with such respect, some vigilance and care, that no matter why or how he left, he is still sorely missed. This episode says this, bluntly. Each and every one of them is faulty, defected, broken, and the first step to fixing yourself is to admit your flaws.

The most hated character on the show, meaning the one that is the rudest, most racist, spiteful character… is also the most attentive, the most self-realized. Perhaps in death he is able to pass that one sliver of humanity he has to them.

This is a powerful episode, one rife with subtle emotion, and grace that rival some of the most world-renown TV-shows out there. There is nothing this episode strictly did wrong, it was just there. I could not have entered the writing studio, a few months back, and told them how fix it. It was its own being, its own centralized exposition. The group, the family, the community, that we have known for the past five years saying goodbye to someone whom they just now started to appreciate.

However, the ride is not over, and as they say goodbye to Pierce Hawthorne, another character has a revelation. One of them had the biggest revelation, and that was Troy. So in next week’s episode, we will be saying our sorrowful goodbyes to him.

As I said, this isn’t the funniest episode of the show, it’s not the best shot, but it’s the deepest. An episode that re-establishes this group’s personality and dynamic three years after they established it in season two’s episode “Cooperative Calligraphy”. The characters have changed. They changed in both subtle and blatant ways, and are darker for it. Each one seemingly holding on to that last string that they have their humanity invested in… each other.


Grade: A   seal-of-approval

This episode gets awarded, with not only an “A”, but also the ‘Seal of Approval’, signifying the highest ranking I could possibly give to an episode of a show. 


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