For all that Community is a genius meta-show about how Americans relate to each other through popular culture, it's also an emotionally honest and accurate look at how people deal with hope and disappointment. So it's fitting that the show's first season finale hews to the emotional awkwardness and tenderness that accompanies the end of real first years of college, with giant cookies and Dalmatian impersonators leavening the realism.
Transfers, housing decisions, and transfer student beauty pageant competitions threatened to break up the study group—but it just might be a kiss in the show's closing minutes that will really shake things up when the group reconvenes for Spanish, or anthropology, or whatever class keeps them together in the fall. And in between Shirley's first kegstand and Troy's cookie-induced-but-revelation-producing stomachache, the show sneaked in a few final lessons.
1. Don't transfer anywhere for your significant other. Particularly not if said significant other is transferring in pursuit of college hackey-sack greatness, and calls you Mountain Flower.
2. There's no such thing as tenure anymore, particularly not at community college. Dr. Duncan may have enjoyed lording himself over formerly-Senor-now-student Ben Chang, starting a therapy session by asking "How 'bout I point out to you that we've never actually been friends and then laugh at your well-deserved misfortune?" But one ill-fated rap appearance, one revelation of the Dean's sexual preferences, and one roll of quarters to the face later, he realized his vulnerability.
3. Sexual chemistry is undeniable, especially when it was initially sparked during a ferocious debate match. And especially when it allows the guy involved to avoid deciding between two women with whom he has decidedly dimmer sparks.
Like Glee's been doing since it returned from hiatus, Community ended its freshman season with a move fans had clamored for. Jeff and Annie's climactic kiss grew gracefully out of events the show's creators don't appear to have planned, but that they were smart enough to acknowledge were inevitable.