This Thursday at 8/7c, NBC’s Community concludes its sophomore run with Part 2 of its season finale, “For a Few Paintballs More.” When last we tuned in, the dean’s idea to end the school year with a new round of paintball assassin sent the Greendale gang into Wild West mode, complete with Pierce lording over a saloon and the arrival of the Black Rider (Lost‘s Josh Holloway), an hombre as handsome as he was mysterious.
That gunman for hire was felled in the closing moments of Part 1, but then a larger threat emerged: the costumed mascot for Pistol Patty’s Cowboy Creamery and a Star Wars-flavored platoon of pistol-packers. Is it time for the splintered study bunch to assail this evil army as an ensemble?
“A Gatling gun has emerged, and the ‘stormtroopers’ have popped out of the ice cream truck,” notes Gillian Jacobs, who plays Britta. “So yes, the dynamic is going to change, to a more full-on group effort.”
Since Community‘s first paintball attack, “Modern Warfare,” was a bit Jeff and Britta-centric, Alison Brie’s Annie was showcased in the opening half of this season’s splatterthon. But as this new “war” escalates, Jacobs says, “People who didn’t have as large of a role in Part 1, you’ll see more of in Part 2.” And rest assured, Britta fans, “I fire off a few rounds,” her portrayer promises with a wink.
Thursday’s season ender also features a new, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it bit of internetwork adoration between Community and Cougar Town, a back-and-forth that started on the ABC comedy and continued with Greendale’s Abed sharing his obsession with Jules, Grayson et al. (In fact, Cougar Town‘s own upcoming season finale ups the ante even more.)
“That’s one of the things I love about our writers, that they don’t just throw something in as a one-off joke,” Jacobs enthuses. “Things develop over time, and I think that’s terrific.
“I mean, our shows don’t really have anything to do with each other!” she marvels. “It feels like there are no rules for us.”
As for what Community creator Dan Harmon could possibly have up his sleeve for Season 3 — having already gifted viewers with, among so many things, an animated Christmas episode, a zombie invasion, a faux “clip show” and a riff on My Dinner With Andre — Jacobs hasn’t heard a peep.
“I want Dan to just marinate in his brain for the hiatus,” she says. “Inspiration strikes at very funny times, and Dan is smart enough and our writers are talented enough that I think they’ll be able to surprise even themselves. Because they sure surprise us every week.”