Chevy Chase's abrupt departure from Community left the writers with no time to craft a proper send-off for Pierce, as they had already filmed the Season 4 finale. But TVLine reports, the way the finale ends meant they didn't have to give him a farewell.
The finale includes a cliffhanger that leaves the fate of several characters, including Chase's Pierce, up in the air. So if Community does get a Season 5 renewal, it won't be hard to explain why Pierce is MIA.
TVLine is also reporting a rumor that the show's writers may have devised a way to include Pierce in one of the two Season 4 episodes shot after Chase’s exit. Any guesses on how they'll do that?
Community returns on February 7. Keep checking back here for more spoilers and news as the premiere date gets closer.