“He’s doing it again. Pierce is doing it again!”
Shirley makes this realization early on in this week’s Community, titled “Cooperative Polygraphy,” and she’s not wrong. In an episode set entirely in the study room, the recently deceased Pierce Hawthorne manages to rouse the rabble even in death thanks to his representative Mr. Stone (played excellently by Justified’s Walton Goggins), who carries out Pierce’s final wish: to submit the study group to a polygraph test and have his only living friends reveal their most shameful secrets.
Needless to say, it was one of those feelings-and-emotions episodes (rather than a straight-up parody, as with last week’s Ass Crack Bandit caper), and during the half-hour we learned something important about our heroes: They all suck. But that’s okay! Because everyone sucks, in one way or another. But! Also! Everyone is awesome, in one way or another. That’s more or less the moral of the story that Pierce foists upon his chums. But in that great bittersweet tone that Community so often strikes, the “awesome” part won out over the “sucks” part, and it all added up to a touching moment where Pierce gives everyone sincere and poignant compliments, as well as gifts and/or sperm. (That’s right.)
Yet it wasn’t exactly a happy ending. As we’ve all known would happen, Troy is getting ready to say goodbye, too. He’s off to sail the world on Pierce’s boat – named the Childish Tycoon, as in Donald Glover’s rap alias Childish Gambino – and live the life that he and Pierce always dreamed of, separately. Good on him for pursuing his dreams (aka $14 million worth of shares in Hawthornes Wipes), but it was a sad moment for everyone – and I think we all know who took it the hardest. With Troy’s departure date set for next week, it’s time to start worrying about Abed.
But in classic sitcom fashion, let’s end this mini-recap on a good note! Here’s some of the best lines from tonight’s episode:
Annie: “I guess I knew Pierce was part of a weird, futuristic cult, but I wasn’t prepared for a funeral with so much beeping.”
Troy: “Once you reach level 16, you can see the color blurbble.”
Benjamin Franklin Chang: “What up, n-bombs – how was the funeral? Awesome?”
Jeff [upon finding out Troy and Abed use his Netflix account]: “Is that why my review of The Grey is constantly changing?”
Abed: “Yes. Stop giving it four stars.”
Jeff: “I like Liam Neeson!”
Abed: “Then send him a message about the roles he’s choosing.”
Britta: “How else do you expect somebody to sit through something like that? At least with a bris, there’s an element of suspense.”
Jeff: “In a church, Britta? For shame! That’s where Jesus gets his mail.”
Troy: “I’ve never been to Legoland, I just wanted you guys to think I was cool.”
Benjamin Franklin Chang: “I didn’t just masturbate in the study room – I masturbated everywhere. EVERYWHERE!”
Pierce, via Mr. Stone: “Abed Nadir, did you know that you’re insane and nothing that you said ever made any sense to me? Here’s your sperm.”
Also, a great detail on the writers’ part: Mr. Stone knew to pronounce “Abed” the same way Pierce did. And if you were wondering about the inscription on the space-age lava lamp thing that carries Pierce’s life force, it read:
Church of Reformed Neo Buddhism
Pierce Anastasia Hawthorne
Level 5 Laser Coffin
Caution: Human Life Inside
Do Not Unscrew Top
That’s a pretty fitting resting place for Pierce, who, of course, died of dehydration from semen depletion. Don’t you agree?