“Community” Season 5 has nothing to lose and everything to gain in its finale, “Basic Sandwich.” That’s probably why the episode essentially dares NBC not to renew it for a sixth season (and a movie).

And if NBC does not, we now know that it’s because Greendale Community College was destroyed by a meteor impact. That’s canon.

Like ‘The Goonies,’ only better

While Jeff and Britta still want to get married, their impending nuptials are interrupted by the need to go on a Save Greendale treasure hunt. Of course.

It turns out that the founder of Greendale, Russell Borchert, had a whole computer sciences wing. Then, citing the need to keep students safe, that section of the school was hidden, all access cut off. Blueprints indicate that the secret entrance might be in the faculty lounge.

Hidden not behind the early mascot, Chief Drunkie, but under a vending machine, the entrance quickly brings most of the crew to a dusty, ’70s-era corridor that bears a striking resemblance to the normal “Community” set, only covered with cobwebs and posters advertising a debate on the relative hotness of Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould.

Although briefly stopped by an apparent dead end, the group plays “Open the Door” by The Secret Doors on the jukebox and soon finds the heart of Borchert’s former lair. There is even an old computer with circuits made of pure gold!

Jeff and Britta will only happen if Greendale falls

Pretty much until the moment when gold is discovered inside the computer, Jeff and Britta continue to insist that they’re getting married. That’s what happens when things end on TV — people seek comfort in the familiar and the funny, even if such a sitcom spinoff would ultimately lead to failure.

The very thought of this makes Annie cry as well. Therefore it’s a bad idea.

Romance isn’t the only thing in the air though — the lair is not deserted and is instead inhabited by a tattered, hairy Borchert. He has been tinkering with the gold computer and trying to elicit emotion by rubbing his nipples. Obviously, he can’t part with such important work, but he is willing to hand over a bag full of cash.

Too bad the school board figured out how to get in (see below) and takes the money.

Salvation can now only occur if someone can teach the computer how to feel. This requires Jeff to put on a funny hat and have sentimental thoughts about the rest of the group. It works, and The Secret Doors play the Save Greendale committee back into the real world!

Carl and Eric — they have names — have a bad day

Naturally, Carl and Eric — yes, they have names! — don’t want the Save Greendale committee to succeed. They want to sell the school to Subway, after all. But, when faced with a Shirley-Hickey-Duncan tea party, the men don’t have much to go on.

Even Carl’s mental powers can only pick up on something about a hang glider and Greek food.

Fortunately, the janitorial staff at Greendale/Subway is more competent than the leadership, and they find the secret hatch under the vending machine. This means that Borchert’s millions are confiscated before they can do any good. Subway wins! Eat fresh!

Or not — you see, however terrible a lawyer Jeff is, he’s still a lawyer. He knows how to read a contract and realizes that Borchert gets a say in any future that Greendale has. Since the computer “genius” has questionable hygiene, this isn’t a partnership that Subway and its sandwich artists want.

Subway is out, and Greendale has been saved! Barring a meteor strike, it will be business as usual next semester/season.

What other choice does NBC have?

Does poking fun at one’s own network help in getting renewed? It might when there is truth lurking behind the jokes. After all, the options are things like “Thought Jacker” (starring Carl), “Intensive Karen,” “Mr. Egypt” (with B.J. Novak), “Celebrity Beat Off” and “Captain Cook” (pirates and celebrity chefs!).

All of these shows could be coming in the summer, fall, winter or whenever if “Community” does not come back to fill the holes in the schedule.

NBC wouldn’t want that, would it?

Posted by:Laurel Brown