Don’t Let the Pedophile Win Again!
While this was a fun episode of The Office, it felt a little more mid-season to me than season closer. It’s true that we’ve developed a bit of a tradition on Office closers of the guy getting the girl, or nearly getting the girl, or just missing the girl, or knocking up the girl in previous seasons. And, sure, we had a little of that with Erin congratulating Andy and Michael facing the possibility of Holly’s return. But this episode lacked some of the drama of previous seasons, probably because – while funny – this whole season all season long lacked a central narrative or group of central narratives towards which we were building.
Mike and Andy didn’t just connect over potentially getting the girl, though, They both shared a trait of facing old patterns and potentially departing from them. With Andy, it was breaking a Bernard family trend of silencing whistleblowers to instead do the right thing (and btw, that fake Woodie Guthrie song was awesome!). And with Michael, it was the surprisingly honest look of regret and concern that his joke to Jo might end up seriously impacting Holly’s life.
This look was, in fact, really sweet – it indicates that Michael is not just selfishly pursuing something here, but that he actually cares enough to second guess himself. And as the least self-aware person ever, Michael isn’t used to second guessing any of his own motivations or actions. So this was a big character development step for him. I guess I hope his selflessness gets rewarded – not least of all because I would love to have Holly back next season! Those two had great chemistry and she was hilariously awkward.
Without a particularly strong storyline, though, this episode still entertained. Finding out that the offices are on Slough Avenue was a nice throwback to the British series, set in Slough, England. The brief appearance of David Wallace made me utter the odd phrase, “but I want to know more about Suck It”. And Michael’s crestfallen declaration that his new favourite restaurant sucks was deeply resigned to life as it is while still trying to imagine that there is something good in that life to be salvaged. It summed his way of being up so perfectly I had to shake my head and smile.
Ryan has really been one of the stars of this season for me, and his invention of woof tonight was perfect! All the bells and whistles made it funny, but the printer going and Erin’s call with a woof on line one kicked it up to hilarious. I’m quite sure that B.J. Novak spends good energy on writing the kind of wanker he wants to play…in all his most wankish forms. It’s amazing!