I feel somewhat vindicated: just earlier this evening I took the time to write a blog post about my five favourite supporting characters on the show, and NBC proceeds to roll out an episode of ‘The Office’ that features every single one of them…except one. Each character had their moment to shine, and that’s really what an episode like this is good for.
I need to thank them for bringing more Stanley into my life. Between being threatened with the back of the bus, and his reaction to becoming one of the competitors, Stanley took his role and turned it up a notch. He was as cantankerous as ever, and for that we must be thankful.
However, I am somewhat alarmed to learn that Jan, one of my selections, has unfortunately disappeared from the cast as far as I can tell. I really hope that this was just me missing her name, but I don’t believe it was. Considering they added Ed Helms to the cast, that probably makes sense, but if last week is seriously the last we see of Jan? I am going to be pissed. Her role as antagonist was too good to give up this easily, and I can only hope she returns in time.
And, to be honest, I think it was a mildly weak episode for Creed. Sure, he was just as odd as per usual, what with catching a fish with his bare hands and then eating it raw, but it seemed like “Creed is weird, get it?” as opposed to something different. It was lip service to the character’s oddities, which at least justified what I said about his character but didn’t really give me anything to cheer about.
You could really say the same about Kelly, although her one major exchange was more than enough to satisfy me. Her reference point for Bob Hope became Amanda Bynes, which was more than enough for me to claim it a victory for her character. Still, she didn’t really get a big role her as the focus of the episode was on the sales team, which she is ostensibly not a part of.
And, as we see, neither is Toby, and yet he came to the table with some of his best material yet. He flirted with Pam (Missing her in a two-piece almost broke his poor heart), he was at odds with Michael, and once again his depressed status made for some fantastic comedy within the episode.
Of course, really, this episode wasn’t really about the supporting players, but rather the future of the show’s leads. Michael has big plans for his corporate job that he’s interviewing for, and wishes to see which of his senior staff could theoretically take over from him. Of course, in doing so, Jim and Karen get fed up with his antics and each decide to interview for the position themselves.
This gives the show its drive towards next week’s hour-long finale, as Jim/Karen/Michael are all interviewing for the same job. With Pam having had her say regarding her frustration with Jim being so distant from her, this certainly puts Jim in a tough position of sorts, and I think that competing with Karen is going to do some bad things for their relationship. I figure that considering the show is unlikely to leave its Scranton location, Karen’s in the best position to grab the job in New York and then disappear from the show forever. Or, someone random gets the job, and Karen sells out Jim in the process. Either way, their relationship will not last to the end of next week’s finale, mark my words.And, as much as Pam has been useless lately, it was nice to see her give her little speech. It’s really all true, even though a lot of it is also her fault. Regardless, it’s good that Pam has been re-entered into useful storylines as we head into the finale. Weak development or not, a finale without Pam in Play (PiP, if you will) would most certainly not be a complete finale.
Speaking of that finale, this episode really felt like a prelude of sorts. It sets everything up: it’s just up to the show to put them all together. And, for one hour next week, it happens. The Season Finale of the Office airs at 8pm on Thursday, May 17th, on NBC.