As a season (and possibly series) finale, "Basic Sandwich" was a bit underwhelming. The turnout was more or less predictable: We always knew that Greendale would be saved, just as we always knew that Britta and Jeff would never get married. And the emotional climax, where Jeff realizes how much he loves these Greendale weirdos, is one we've seen a million times before. But really, who can blame the show? This is what, the third possible series finale that it's had? It's hard to stick such a big emotional landing when the show has already had so many false endings.
But fortunately, this was not Season 4. So although this finale may not have been the most satisfying episode of Community, it was still unmistakably an episode of Community. And that, of course, means meta jokes and references galore that reveal a lot about the possible end of the show's run. Like:
Jeff and Britta Will Not Have a Spin-off
Leave it to Abed to comfort Annie being upset over Jeff and Britta's impending wedding by turning it into a television reference. Of course, Abed starts to develop the television show that will only last for six episodes and will also feature another couple... until Annie snaps him out of it. He makes an important point, though: This is not a show about Jeff and Britta. This is a show about everyone at Greendale, and it's their happy ending that matters, not Jeff and Britta's.
Where Were All the Holidays?
Speaking of which, Abed never got to wish Annie a happy birthday... or Christmas... or Halloween... or really any holiday. Ah, the joys being moved to a weird, mid-season spring schedule, where holidays don't exist.
What Will Really Happen if the Show Ends
Like the other "series finales," this one was careful to not have any sort of sense of finality to it. Greendale will continue to exist... unless, of course, the show doesn't get renewed for another season, in which case you can assume that an asteroid has destroyed everything on Earth. And of course, this meta reference would not be complete without Abed breaking the fourth wall and noting "Now that's canon!"
NBC's Fall Lineup
Probably the best meta joke of the episode was the fake NBC shows in the end tag. Thought Jacker? Intensive Karen? Mr. Egypt (featuring The Office's Ryan Howard as a mummy)? Celebrity Beat-Off, with Questlove? Captain Cook? These shows need to exist (frankly, I'm surprised NBC hasn't developed Intensive Karen already). And the end both perfectly sums up NBC's approach to programming as well as give us a potential answer about whether we'll see Community again next year: "Depends on what fails."
Here's to six seasons and a movie, folks.