Chevy Chase‘s abrupt departure from Community last week left the show’s writers zero time to craft a big farewell for his curmudgeonly character, Pierce Hawthorne — so it’s a good thing they didn’t have to.
Sources confirm to TVLine that the Season 4 finale, which was shot out of sequence once word came down that Chase was exiting, includes a cliffhanger that leaves the fate of several characters up in the air — one of them being Pierce.
As a result, should NBC renew the show for a fifth season, it won’t be tough to explain why Pierce is MIA. “[Episode 413] wasn’t intended to set up his departure,” notes an source. “It just worked out that way.”
Meanwhile, rumor has it Community may have devised a way to include Pierce in one of the two Season 4 episodes shot after Chase’s exit (aka Nos. 411 and 412). Remember, this is a show that has turned its actors into everything from cartoons to giant pillowmen.Follow @MichaelAusiello