Basically, this is another paintball episode. Only instead of paintball, everyone has to stand on furniture and avoid touching the floor. That’s because the floor is deadly lava. Obviously. Abed starts the game as a goodbye present to Troy, and it’s only Britta (yes, Britta) who seems to realize this is about a lot more than a $50,000 comic book prize.
After all, will there be any more games once Troy is gone? And what happens when the lava is real?
Like all Greendale games, Hot Lava goes very wrong, very quickly. This time it goes wrong a la “Mad Max” or some other post-apocalyptic movie world. A lot of people are inexplicably wearing torn clothing and brightly colored hairpieces within minutes because that’s what you do in a post-apocalyptic future.
Since this new Hot Lava world doesn’t allow any feet to be set on the floor, the Greendale students quickly come up with alternate means of transportation. Most of them involve scooting chairs across tiles in various configurations. Others take refuge in lockers — these ruffians, under the leadership of Chang, are the Locker Boys.
A few intelligent souls come up with interesting twists on the normal chair-walking patterns. Professor Hickey somehow builds what looks like a Zamboni built of school furniture. It’s fake-deadly. Shirley, meanwhile, has created a fortress-like refuge called Shirley’s Island, where she guards a mysterious Orb.
Fighting is inevitable in this dark world. Shortly after being left for dead by Troy and Abed, Britta joins forces with Hickey and challenges Jeff to one-on-one combat and knock-knock jokes. With no other choice, Troy and Abed take Shirley’s orb. It’s one of those giant, human hamster balls, since of course Shirley has one of those.
Because this is “Community,” every bit of this is completely serious. One character, however, takes things a little too seriously. That would be Abed.
For Abed, this is more than just a silly game. He instead sees the floor as real lava that has to be avoided at all costs — the game is just an excuse to make others see what he sees.
Abed, Britta, Hickey and Troy are the only ones left in the game when this revelation comes. It seems that Abed’s sliver of an idea involves he and Troy staying until the end and then never killing each other. If they don’t declare a winner, the game never ends.
And if the game doesn’t end, Troy never leaves.
Alas, even Abed has to face semi-reality at some point. He throws himself into the lava and fake-dies with serious dedication. Britta and Troy don’t know what to do until Britta does the opposite of Britta the situation: She realizes they can “clone” Abed. They do so with cardboard boxes and beeps.
The new Abed rises. He’s almost the same as the old one, except the clone can let Troy go. Cloning proves to be an excellent solution for Troy as well — no matter how much Troy wants to stay, he can let the clone go to sail around the world.
Eventually, Abed’s schemes or not, it has to end. It impressively ends with Pierce’s old boat on a trailer right outside Greendale’s door. Troy even has a travel companion — Levar Burton.
Fortunately, this is now clone-Troy, so he can actually speak and ask “Star Trek” questions in the “Reading Rainbow” star’s illustrious presence. Thus, Troy and Levar sail off into adventure and hopefully some water at some point.
“Britta, do you get kickbacks from Big Buzzkill?” – Jeff
“I’m not afraid to push a girl into imaginary lava!” – Professor Duncan
“It’s either you or me — and I’m me!” – Professor Duncan
“Did you all hit your heads on each others’ heads?” – Britta
“It feels normal enough for a school that’s on 911’s blocked-caller list.” – Jeff
“You have gods!?” – Britta
“All right Miss Perry, climb aboard. It’s fake killing time!” – Hickey
“Leave your weapons at the door and the spare doors at the entrance.” – Neil
“Fun is fun, but I don’t want my last day here to be one when everyone hates me.” – Troy
“Troy and Abed in a bubble!” – Troy and Abed
“You can’t outrun your emotions!” – Britta
“Not if we never kill each other. Then we can play forever!” – Abed explains the non-ending of the game
“I don’t think the lava goes away until you stop leaving.” – Abed to Troy
“You don’t get it. No one gets Abed. I got him a little.” – Troy
“I can fake-fix him.” – Britta
“I’m better at sex than Jeff, right?” – Troy to Britta
“I’ve never set foot outside of Colorado.” – Jeff, finally confirming the location of Greendale
“Why don’t they call it ‘Planet Trek.’ You never go to a star, not one time.” – Troy to Levar Burton