9. Geothermal Escapism
Geothermal Escapism is often not remembered as a concept episode, but instead as Troy Barnes’ final appearance at Greendale. However, seeing how Troy only leaves after a school-wide game of The Floor is Lava, it’s definitely one which takes a crazy concept and runs with it.
Unlike the paintball episodes, which are pretty much just carnage with a good story woven in, Geothermal Escapism delves a little deeper. The Floor is Lava serves as a metaphor for the childish relationship Abed & Troy share, with Troy wanting to leave and spread his wings and Abed unable to let go.
By the end of the episode, the pair are guided by Britta into accepting the inevitability of Troy’s departure. Abed seems stronger and more developed as Troy and LeVar Burton set sail.
Away from the sentimentality though, it’s another action feast which offers more range than the paintball concepts. It also gives us a chance to see Ian Duncan and Buzz Hickey involved in the action, while Pierce’s departure makes more room for Shirley to shine.
Though it will always be known as the day Troy left Greendale, it’s a concept great episode in isolation too.