The Best ‘Community’ Episodes Of All Time, Ranked

TV | May 8, 2020

15. Cooperative Polygraphy (Season 5, Episode 4)


The Story: After Pierce’s unexpected passing, a team of investigators headed by the no-nonsense Mr. Stone arrives at Greendale to subject the study group to lie detector tests before they can be considered for distributions under the will.

Why It’s On The List: Otherwise known as the one with Justified’s Walton Goggins, “Cooperative Polygraphy” is one of only two representatives on this list from season five, and it is the closest that Community comes to a return to form after Dan Harmon takes back his rightful place as showrunner. The episode is ostensibly about Pierce’s investigation from beyond the grave into whether any of the study group might have murdered him, but it reveals itself to be more about the secrets that the study group had held from one another, secrets that Pierce betrayed from beyond the grave. Even in death, Pierce manages to sew discord and turn his friends against each other. It’s not just a fast-paced funny episode, but it also acts as a brilliant illustration of how far these characters have come as people since the beginning of the series.

Sophia Iztok


Sophia is a recent graduate from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. She is a freelance journalist based in New York City writing about everything from music to LGBTQ issues.

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