When Chevy Chase came to an agreement with NBC to leave Community, it wasn’t necessarily surprising given his past relationship with the show and the network. It was, however, strangely timed. Chase left the show with his character’s ending still up in the air. Now, we’ve got a clearer picture of what it might look like.

Chase had already filmed his portion of the finale before he elected to leave the show, meaning that while he will still be missing from two episodes (likely the two leading up to the finale), his character will have some semblance of conclusion. And as fate would have it, it sounds like that conclusion  may have turned out to be strangely prophetic.

According to TV Line: “the Season 4 finale, which was shot out of sequence once word came down that Chase was exiting, includes a cliffhanger that leaves the fate of several characters up in the air — one of them being Pierce.”

Should the show be granted a fifth season (fingers-crossed), this means it shouldn’t be too difficult to explain Pierce’s absence. But what kind of circumstances could lead to a Pierce cliffhanger? It might have something to do with an earlier TV Line report about the back half of the fourth season featuring both the return of the darkest timeline and “futuristic paintball guns.”

With all of the news coming from the Community set this off-season, it almost seems like we’ve all somehow seen the season at this point. And for what it’s worth, every bit of news that’s describing what’s going on onscreen rather than off has seemed rather positive. Strangely timed or no, Pierce’s departure could very well end up paying dividends onscreen.

Meanwhile, here is Chevy Chase selling pants.