Like many other Community fans, I was quite pleased with the last episode, “Herstory of Dance,” regarding Abed’s storyline with potential love interest coat check girl Rachel, as played by Brie Larson.  I thought that Abed and Rachel hit it off so well that Rachel simply must return in future episodes, and judging by reactions I’ve read online in Community comment threads, I am far from the only one who thinks this.  The folks behind Community have historically been receptive to fan reaction and have accordingly developed some elements (playing up the Jeff-Annie relationship is probably the biggest example).  Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case this season, not because the writers have become any less receptive, but because the whole season was produced in a “bubble,” i.e., every episode was produced before any of them aired.  So I am writing all this in the hope that the writers will see the fan support for this new character and respond accordingly, but alas it will not matter unless there is a Season 5.  I still have hope that Community will be renewed, thus this post might not necessarily be for naught.  It could even be possible that the writers knew Rachel would be well-received and that she is set to appear in one or more of the five episodes remaining in Season 4.  Information regarding that possibility is scant; based on an AMA Brie Larson did on Reddit, it seems that she only filmed “an episode.”  But based on the way the episode ended, it doesn’t seem like we’ve seen the last of Rachel.

And that is the crux of why I hope we see more of Brie Larson on Community.  Often robotic Abed isn’t usually the most romantic character on the show, but there have actually been a fair number of ladies into him.  By my count, there has been one significant romantic possibility for Abed one per season: the girl who asked him out at the end of “Physical Education,” Secret Service Agent Robin Vohlers in “Intro to Political Science,” and Hilda in “Digital Estate Planning.”  But none of those possibilities ended as promisingly as Rachel.  We never knew too much about the girl in “Phys. Ed.” (not even her name), so it wasn’t that big a deal that we never found out what happened with her.  Agent Vohlers was practically a female version of Abed, but she made it clear that her Secret Service duties would make a relationship too difficult.  And Hilda, well Hilda’s a video game character.  Maybe Abed actually has been keeping things going with her, but that shouldn’t preclude the possibility of a flesh-and-blood girl also working out.  Rachel may not be as similar to Abed as Agent Vohlers, but with her love of TV and deep knowledge of TV tropes, she is similar in perhaps the most important way.  That she got along with Abed as much as and in much the same way that Abed gets along with Troy made it clear how complementary she is to Abed.  “Herstory of Dance” ended with Rachel and Abed both knowing how much they have enjoyed each other’s company and deciding to go on a date.  Based on how well they hit it off at the dance, my guess is that the date will also go well, so it simply will not stand if from here on out Rachel is simply forgotten or written off with a throwaway line.