Is this the beginning of the end for “Community”? It’s definitely the beginning of the end for Season 5 — “Basic Story” being the first part of the show’s finale — but could it be the end of everything?

Hopefully, the answer is no. If the gods of ratings and fan followings and Subway endorsements have anything to say about it, six seasons and a movie are coming our way. If not … well, at least “Community” looks ready to go out with an explosion of insanity.

Nothing to see here

Not that the episode starts in a promising fashion. You see, the “Save Greendale” committee has done its job and Greendale has been saved. There’s nothing else to do. No matter how much Abed searches for a new adventure to fill the moments, all that remains is contentment and mobile games.

Things are so very dull that a guy slurping soup and an impending insurance investigation mark the height of excitement. Could there really be nothing else to happen?

The dangers of vending machines

It almost looks like the story will arise when the Greendale head honchos (are they a board of trustees or just two former frat guys somehow in charge of the place?) call in an insurance inspector to dish the annual dirt on the community college.

Except nothing is wrong. Not even the vending machines pose a danger (did you know that six Americans are killed annually by vending machines?), which means that Greendale gets a clean bill of health and an actual value in the year to come.

But if Greendale has monetary value, then why would the city keep it around? There’s profit to be made in the corporate world after all!

Have there ever been advertisers with a better sense of humor than Subway?

Several years ago, Subway pretty much kept a show, “Chuck,” on the air for a few seasons. Back in Season 3, Subway endorsed an episode of “Community,” and let the show create a “1984”-style dystopia around its corporate identity. Then the show devolved into an epic pillow fight.

How many corporations would put up with this? How many would come back for second helpings?

But that’s Subway for you. Say what you will about the company’s sandwiches, but Subway is a friend to quality, marginally rated television. They even brought Jared along this time!

Amusingly, “Community” has brought back the same actor to play the head of Subway’s academic takeover (you saw him before in “Digital Exploration of Interior Design”). This time, however, it’s not just a sandwich shop. Subway is taking over all of Greendale and turning it into a sandwich-oriented university. Sandwich Law anyone?

What lies beneath?

Needless to say, Dean Pelton isn’t taking the end of his Greendale very well. But there may be a solution — one of his predecessors was an eccentric (and probably criminal, but don’t worry about that) millionaire who may have left a fortune hidden somewhere under the school.

The very hint of mystery being enough for Annie and the slightest gleam of hope being enough for the Dean, “Basic Story” finally has a tale to tell — “National Treasure”-style!

And for better or for worse, that story supersedes whatever Jeff and Britta were going to do on the table with the olive oil.

Will it put off their rather impulsive wedding? Could a treasure save the school? Can Chang be trusted? Will everyone be eating fresh no matter what happens?

There’s one more episode of Season 5 remaining to answer these questions.

Posted by:Laurel Brown