Goodbyes are never easy. For Abed saying so long to his best friend Troy isn't just a melancholy end to a wonderful friendship. Troy has been the only person to understand him. Troy didn't just play along with Abed but respected him enough to jump in and let loose within their imaginations. Leaving was never going to be easy for either of them. Granted I doubt anyone expected a Mad Max-esque game of "the floor is lava" that only Community could take serious enough to make.
Abed isn't a "going away" party type. When Jeff was graduating he retreated into his own brain before finally working it all out and realizing Jeff's friendship wasn't leaving, he would still be around. Troy however won't be around, he'll be on the other side of the world. So begins a school-wide game where the floor is lava and the winner will own a rare comic book, valued at $50,000. Just like with paintball the school goes insane with teachers and students playing dirty in hopes of cashing in. While the premise is one Community does well it can't help but feel rehashed from ideas and gimmicks we know and love well. It's unique outside of the show but now borderline cliche within it.
Throughout the episode we finally come to realize the truth behind this game. A long goodbye. Just as with Abed we begin to understand why this is all happening and that Troy really is leaving. He really won't be sitting at that table and we really won't be getting another spider disco rap to cap off another classic show. Troy's going away was never going to be laugh out loud great. Knowing this show would have to survive without Chevy Chase wasn't too difficult to imagine. The character of Pierce was always an outsider and removing him only took away a foil for the rest of the group. Troy, though, has been a constant source of comedic relief in a comedy. Donald Glover turned an uptight, jock into a goofy, off the wall, character who could only exist on a goofy, off the wall, show like Community. Troy was Glover and through him he had numerous moments that I'll always be able to look back upon and some of the funniest moments on TV. A show losing such a force is a body blow. Season 5 hasn't been its finest hour but if any show can take a body blow and keep going, it's Community. Mostly because the alternative of losing Community would be devastating. And they just reminded us that goodbyes are never easy.