So THIS is how they are writing out Troy? He inherits Pierce's fortune from Hawthorne Wipes but must embark in an adventure. It was pretty funny being a bottle episode that took place entirely in the study room. I don't think the Dean was even in this episode and Chang was barely in it, too, but we got guest star Walton Goggins. Even though Pierce was gone, he still got everyone to fight each other but at the end made some nice comments about each person. We also found out Troy got the handshake he does with Abed from a website and Abed finally says "Cool. Coolcoolcool." for the first time this season.
The bit at the end where Pierce was bequeathing stuff to the group was some really nice character work. All of the gifts reference things that happened in earlier episodes and make sense given the characters relationships - even Abed, who got nothing.
What a hug this episode was, tying directly back into Cooperative Calligraphy (amazing rhyme) and the first documentary filmmaking. What a tribute to a guy with whom they had such an acrimonious relationship -- I mean the episode itself, not the fiction. The Pierce dialogue was so well-realized it was like he was still there. It was like the best integration of history without just repeating yourself: the iPod Nano is genius, but when Chang silently mouths "gay!" instead of shouting it, I was just so happy to still have this thing with us.
I've noticed a recurring trend this season of characters using catchphrases in an ironic sense, like Magnitude's "Pop Pop!" being used in an act of rage rather than jubilation, and Abed saying "Cool. Coolcoolcool." to express his displeasure.
On the other hand, we have "Raines." Now, I like Jeff Goldblum - maybe even more than James Woods - and he seems to be doing the best with what he's given and I couldn't imagine anyone else bringing this character to life, but....