This season it seems like the first rule of Community is that we don't talk about Community. Let's change that. **Spoilers**
Thursday night's episode "Basic Story" was part one of the two part season finale. The Save Greendale Committee has done such a fantastic job that there is no more drama for them to deal with. Enter Dean Pelton with the news that the state will be sending an insurance appraiser to evaluate Greendale's liability. When Abed tries to spin a crisis out of this, thus continuing the story of the Save Greendale Committee, Jeff talks everyone down. His rationale makes sense. They have fixed Greendale so there is no crisis. This is where the episode starts to fall apart in my opinion.
The action splits between Abed trying to deal with the loss of the "story" and the rest of the group taking the appraiser around the school. A lot of the pacing seems rushed here. The appraiser, played by the funny Michael MacDonald, only gets one meaty scene in which he tries to pull a random vending machine down on top of himself. Apparently 6 people a year are killed by vending machines, 5 of them being insurance appraisers. This is a truly funny moment in the episode and is more enjoyable than Abed being followed around by the imaginary "story."
Because Greendale doesn't have any of the problems that it used to, the appraiser tell the state that the school is no longer a liability; it now has actual value. The state takes this opportunity to do what they have always wanted to do. They sell the school and the grounds to Subway who turns it into a sandwich university. At this point the writers quickly introduce several new plot threads. Jeff gets offered a job teaching sandwich law, he and Britta agree to get married and Abed, Annie and the Dean find a mysterious treasure map behind a picture in the Dean's office. At the end, the Save Greendale Committee calls an emergency meeting to find the buried treasure and save the school.
I have a pretty good idea that the writers are using this episode and next week's finale as a commentary about the way television shows wrap up stories and then new drama just appears out of nowhere. I think it is difficult to judge this episode on its own, but it still left me feeling pretty unfulfilled. I expected to be a little disappointed after last weeks fantastic episode. "GI Jeff" was everything that "Advanced Advanced Dungeons and Dragons" had failed to be; it was an episode that dealt with a real problem but through the ridiculous pop culture filter of a real American hero. The bar was set really high and "Basic Story" struggled to reach it.
It almost seems like the first part of the episode should have been stretched out and the whole thing should have ended on the cliffhanger that the school was being sold. The insurance appraiser plot point seemed rushed and the Abed side story was made almost unnecessary by how quickly it was over. If anything it served to make Abed appear disturbed rather than eccentric.
One last note. In the end tag Duncan discovers that Hickey was stationed in his hometown in England and there is an awkward moment where they discuss how Duncan's mother was prostitute in the bar where Hickey lost his virginity. This scene was very funny, but seemed very out of place at the end of this episode.