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Community Recap: Pop Pop!

As expected, part two of the Community season finale/paintball saga was epic. The students of Greendale band together, study group members other than Annie get their time to shine, and within the first few minutes of the show we learn exactly what’s going on with that creepy ice cream cone after all. It was disappointing, though, that the Black Rider doesn’t make a return appearance.

So the ice cream cone turned out to be the dean of competing City College, whom regular viewers will remember from the KFC Space Shuttle episode. He set up the whole paintball tournament and rigged the Black Rider to win the money so the Greendale students would tear their own school apart. (Why he thought this would be Greendale’s undoing when they managed to bounce back from it just fine last year is beyond me.)

Troy, suddenly taking the leadership role, rallies the remaining Greendale students to unite against their common enemy. Magnitude, who’s a one-man party and works alone, isn’t keen with the idea. Jeff, too, hangs back, because he’s casually waiting for the leadership role Troy’s already taken to be thrust upon him. Jeff seems to be one of the only people still clinging to his cowboy accessories; clearly he wants people to remember that he, not the Black Rider, is the handsome cowboy.The gang discusses their plan for attack

Everything changes when Magnitude makes the heroic decision to throw himself on a hot pink paintball grenade. (Troy: “Pop”¦.? What is he saying? Pop what?”) The City College Dean reminds the students that there’s only one rule: if you get paint on you, you’re out. Troy and Jeff have competing ideas for how to take out the City College army; Annie convinces the group that both ideas will work together.

Troy’s plan, luring the opposing team into the library and spraying the entire place with paint (good thing he knows how to rig the sprinkler system!) is carried out by most of the study group and some of the other remaining students. While the plan starts off well, the entire team is trapped in the library when their planned escape route is clogged.

Jeff’s plan, to charge the Gatling gun in the ice cream truck in the parking lot, is carried out by him and Britta with some reinforcements from Greendale characters such as Leonard and Vicki. Things go south quickly, however, when most of their team, including Jeff, are picked off by the sharp-shooting City College team.

All that’s left are a few acts of heroism. In the library, Shirley decides to fill the power vacuum left when Troy is killed by their opponents. She quickly switches from her Muppet voice to her badass voice and triggers the fire alarm before hero-walking out of the library before getting shot. Annie, who I guess is going to make out with someone every season finale, is taken in by Abed’s Han Solo persona and makes out with him under the waterfall of orange paint.

The gang watches the action unfoldBritta, still out by the ice cream truck, realizes she’s the only one left when she sees everyone stagger over from the library. Just as she’s about to take her last stand, Shirley rolls up in a golf cart and the two of them have an amazing run to the ice cream truck before being picked off at the last minute. But the final City College soldier is revealed to be Pierce in disguise; after making the City College dean think he had valuable information, Pierce was able to fool one final person with the fake heart attack and make his escape. Even though I kind of suspected Pierce was going to redeem himself, it was still great to see it. Here’s hoping next season will reveal a more measured, reasonable Pierce.

Does anyone actually think Pierce (and/or Chevy Chase) won’t be back next year? Do you think he’ll be back to his evil, scheming ways? It’s hard to tell what the truth is with Pierce anymore, so it was a clever move to end with an ambiguous cliffhanger such as this one. It’s certainly more interesting than last year’s “Which of the three beautiful women will Jeff choose?!” (Yeah, there were three. Remember Slater? Neither does anyone else, apparently.)

Photos: NBC

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