” According to [Guarascio and Port], this season will include:
a lot of focus on interpersonal relationships, particularly on Troy and Britta’s becoming a couple and its effect on his friendship with Abed;
the return of Britta to her “strong feminist roots” (as told to EW);
even more incorporation of Chevy Chase’s age (“When we had lunch with him, these were his words… ‘Is it possible that I had a stroke over the summer?’ He approached it like, “Let’s use my age to an advantage”);
the previously reported reunion of Jeff with hisJames Brolin-portrayed dad;
the “fallout from Chang’s failed coup” (with them telling Vulture they’ve “addressed it in what seems to be an inevitable but hopefully surprising way,” and telling EW, “Chang is naked and wet. And it’s ultimately a good thing”);
and above all else, the fact that the students are seniors now and looking ahead, something accelerated by the revelation that “Jeff has taken a couple courses over the summer without the rest of the group knowing” and is graduating early.
With that in mind, Guarascio and Port say they wrote the 13th episode as a possible series finale, as per sad tradition. And yes, the idea of “moving on” is very possibly reflected, in per meta tradition, in a nod to the show’s behind-the-scenes changes, with the new showrunners trying to “own and write toward some of the fears that the audience might have and embrace those things,” and making that theme “deeply baked into the DNA of the first episode,” as they tell the New York Times.
As to some more specific episode plotlines, there’s:
the aforementioned visit to the Inspector Spacetime convention, guest starring the previously reported Matt Lucas and Battlestar Galactica’s Tricia Helfer;
the foosball-loving Germans challenging “the notion that the study room belongs to our group only, and our group digs in World War II-style to fight back;”
Troy and Shirley taking a class on how to teach gym class;
the Dean’s courting of a lazy, wealthy prospective student (“like a young Pierce”);
a visit to Pierce’s mansion, which he believes is haunted by his dead father;
a Thanksgiving episode that features a Shawshank Redemption homage;
and a Christmas episode that highlightsMalcolm McDowell’s American-hating history professor. Of course, at this point you might be celebrating the holidays with the Greendale gang right around March. But at least for right now, you can do it using the powers of your imagination. And isn’t that just as good and not at all frustrating? “
Jeff is graduating early ?!