For a Few Paintballs More
|"For a Few Paintballs More"|
|Episode no.||Season 2|
|Directed by||Joe Russo|
|Written by||Hilary Winston|
|Original air date||May 12, 2011|
"For a Few Paintballs More" is the twenty-fourth episode and part two of the two-part finale of the second season of Community. The episode originally aired on May 12, 2011 on NBC. The episode is a continuation of "A Fistful of Paintballs", and picks up from the middle of the paintball game that commenced in part one. The study group realize that the game was a scheme by school rivals City College to destroy Greendale's campus. They band together with other Greendale students to face the City College paintball players to try to save their campus and win the $100,000 prize money for the school.
The episode was written by Hilary Winston and directed by Joe Russo. It was partly inspired by Star Wars, and transitions from the Spaghetti Western theme in part one. It is the third Community episode featuring a campus-wide paintball game, after "Modern Warfare" and "A Fistful of Paintballs". "A Fistful of Paintballs" and "For a Few Paintballs More" collectively are the sequel to "Modern Warfare".
Pistol Patty, the mascot of "Pistol Patty's Cowboy Creamery", the company sponsoring Greendale's end-of-year picnic this year, storms into the hallway accompanied by Stormtrooper-like paintball players and confronts Dean Pelton (Jim Rash). Pistol Patty is unveiled as Dean Spreck (Jordan Black), from rival school City College. He reveals to Pelton his plan of disguising as an ice cream company to sponsor the competition, offering a large sum of cash ($100,000) as reward for the winner to entice the entire Greendale student body to wreck the campus in order to win.
Abed (Danny Pudi) and Troy (Donald Glover) overhear the conversation. They convince the "surviving" students to form a rebel alliance to defeat Pistol Patty's troopers and win the cash reward to pay for repairing the damage already done to the school. A rivalry grows between Troy and Jeff (Joel McHale) over who is to be the group's leader. A remote-controlled robot sent by Dean Spreck armed with a paint bomb almost splashes everyone in the room with paint, but Magnitude (Luke Youngblood) sacrifices himself to save the rest.
The troopers capture Pierce (Chevy Chase) but he convinces them not to eliminate him by offering information on Jeff. Abed impersonates Han Solo and flirts with Annie (Alison Brie), who is attracted to his alternate personality. Jeff and Troy devise separate plans to defeat the troopers. Jeff plans to lead the group to charge en masse to the troopers' stronghold, an ice cream truck armed with a paintball Gatling gun. Troy plans to lure the troopers into the library building before setting off the fire alarm and sprinkling the troopers with paint. The group argues among themselves over which plan is better before Annie convinces everyone they should proceed with both, using Troy's plan as a distraction to take the stronghold.
Troy, Abed, Annie, and Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) draw some troopers to the library, while Jeff and the rest attack the stronghold. Troy's team fortify themselves in the study room, where they plan to escape through the air vent. However, the vent is blocked by Garrett, who gets stuck at the opening. They decide to shoot their way out. Troy is eliminated as he tries to storm through the hallway, while Abed and Annie barricade themselves behind some tables. Shirley manages to trigger the fire alarm, which sprinkles everyone in the library with paint, eliminating them. She escapes the building. Abed and Annie kiss as they "die", only for Abed to snap out of his Han Solo impersonation afterwards.
Meanwhile, the ice cream truck's Gatling gun overpowers Jeff's team, and only Britta (Gillian Jacobs) survives. She is picked up by Shirley in a golf cart, and they seemingly manage to shoot all of the remaining troopers, though Britta gets eliminated along the way. As Shirley celebrates, two troopers emerge from the back of the truck and "kill" her. As the troopers celebrate, Pierce (who escaped from captivity by feigning a heart attack and then shooting the captor who let his guard down), disguised as one of them, shoots them and wins the tournament. He announces that he is donating the prize money to the school, sending everyone into rapturous celebrations.
The study group gathers in the library (without Pierce) for their final meeting of the semester and discuss which class to take together next semester. They agree to "sleep on it." Pierce enters the room to retrieve his day planner. They try to convince him to rejoin the group. He reveals that he has been at Greendale for 12 years and has had many groups of friends but none of them had ever lasted for more than a semester, noting that it's for the same reason he's been married and divorced seven times: he expects people to abandon him so he deliberately tests and picks at them until they leave him. He then says that the study group is the first community he's ever truly believed wanted him around and in turn made him want to stay with them, but recent events have shown this isn't the case and that he's going to do to them what everyone else in his life has done to him: walk away. He says he loves Greendale and will remain there but he's "done with this, whatever it is" and walks away. The group thinks he is acting out again, but he doesn't return and they look on in shock.
In the final scene, Abed, oblivious to the fact that he is talking to the man who will be cleaning up the paintball mess, annoys the janitor by narrating what happened in the competition and asking what his summer plans are.
The episode was written by co-executive producer Hilary Winston, her seventh writing credit of the series. It was directed by executive producer Joe Russo, his 15th directing credit for the series.
The season finale was planned to air as an hour-long episode on May 12, 2011, but were split into two parts airing May 5 and May 12 respectively. Creator Dan Harmon explained that the two parts were "designed to exist both as one story" but each had different themes: "second one erupts — the Western motif falls away and an out-and-out war happens. There's a kind of an epic, wartime, band-of-rebels-against-a-larger-force Star Wars feel to the second one."
The set was "decorated" as a paintball warzone by paintball technician Rainey Sutitanom.
The episode was also a culmination of character Pierce Hawthorne's outcast behavior throughout the season. Again, he was the villain for the most of the two-part series but became the hero at the end by winning the paintball competition. At the end of the episode, he decides to leave the study group after feeling antagonized by the rest of its members throughout the season. Harmon said the stories involving Pierce as a villain were used "to have the group acknowledge" that he has been ignored.
The episode's theme of rebels against a larger force was inspired by the original Star Wars film. The episode parodies Star Wars opening crawl and storm troopers, and the character Abed Nadir does a Han Solo impression for much of the episode. The title "For a Few Paintballs More" is an allusion to the 1965 Spaghetti Western film For a Few Dollars More. The transition from the previous episode's Western-inspired theme to a more Star Wars-like one is directly referenced by Abed: "This means we've gone from a Western motif and entered more of a Star Wars theme."
"For a Few Paintballs More" received positive reviews from critics. Emily VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club praised the episode, saying "the season finale made me realize just how big this 'ensemble' has really gotten, just how big the show's heart is, and just how much everybody in the series is a character, not just a plot point." She gave the episode an "A" and the second season an "A" as well. Examiner.com's Matt Carter described the episode as a "surprising, hilarious, moving, and even action-packed" end to "one of the best seasons we have seen for any sitcom in years." He singled out Chevy Chase's performance in particular, saying it was worthy of an Emmy Award nomination. IGN gave the episode a rating of 9.5 out of 10, while giving "A Fistful of Paintballs" a 9 rating.
Alan Sepinwall of HitFix said that the episode was "a lot of fun" but "felt like more of a goof" compared to the first part of the series. Eric Hochberger of TV Fanatic and Eric Koreen of the National Post also agreed that "For a Few Paintballs More" compared negatively to "A Fistful of Paintballs". Hochberger still gave the episode a rating of 3.5/5. Kelsea Stahler of Hollywood.com said the episode "wasn't mind-blowing, but it was consistently and spastically fun" and "a great send-off". Cory Barker of TV Surveillance said it was "a tremendously fun episode with a number of great gags and lines, but it had less stylistic and narrative depth than last week's first part."
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