And then there were five. In a fitting farewell to Donald Glover (who is leaving the show to concentrate on his his stand-up comedy), Abed (Danny Pudi) gets the entire Greendale community to sign-on for a game of Hot Lava where no student or faculty member is allowed to touch the floor until only a single survivor remains. As expected, Greendale devolves into a bizarre dystopian future in only a couple hours as the entire populace becomes obsessed with winning the game (and the $50,000 Abed puts up for a grand prize), and the various members of the Study Group each find their way to say goodbye to their friend and wish him well on his worldwide adventure.
Failed lawyer Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), and show’s creator Dan Harmon, return to Greendale in the season opener. Under the lie of attempting to save Greendale from a lawsuit, Jeff is sent in by his former co-worker Alan Connor (Rob Corddry) to find evidence of negligence following the collapse of a bridge designed by a former student. When that falls through, Jeff attempts to prey on the failed dreams of the Study Group to create five new plaintiffs.
Abed (Danny Pudi) takes up the role of documentary filmmaker (again) focusing on the mystery behind Chang’s (Ken Jeong) amnesia. In order to offset the monetary strain of searching for the cause of “Changnesia” the Dean (Jim Rash) enlists the support of the entire Greendale community to help the school procure a $40,000 grant from the MacGuffin Neurological Institute. And so, despite Jeff’s (Joel McHale) objections, the Study Group decides to help their troubled former enemy.
As Britta (Gillian Jacobs) helps Jeff (Joel McHale) spend Thanksgiving with his estranged father (James Brolin) and the half-brother (Adam DeVine) he’s never met, Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) invites the rest of the Study Group to have Thanksgiving dinner with her family. Trapped in a situation that makes their own family dinners look inviting by comparison, Abed (Danny Pudi) narrates his friends’ plan to survive the ideal and escape in a way designed not to hurt Shirley’s feelings.
The Study Group returns from Summer vacation (without show creator Dan Harmon) to begin their fourth year of community college only to find themselves forced to compete in Dean Pelton’s (Jim Rash) Hunger Games-themed competition to earn spots in the only History class offered this semester – The History of Ice Cream.
October 19th was supposed to mark the return of Community. Sadly, NBC has chosen not to air the Fourth Season premiere tonight. Instead, as the cast explains, the network will wait until for some unknown future date when the proper state of mind and feeling within us all (that is October 19th) will occur. Sigh.
The season starts out a little slow with a handful of good, but certainly not great, episodes. However, things pick up “Remedial Chaos Theory” which shows us how a single roll of the die could alter the future of each character in both big and small ways. We also get another Glee-ful Christmas episode, Annie (Alison Brie) moving in with Troy (Donald Glover) and Abed (Danny Pudi), and a disastrous attempt to make a new commercial for the school spearheaded by Dean Pelton (Jim Rash).