The End of The Office?

Written by  //  January 31, 2011  //  Televised Entertainment in Review  //  No comments

On Thursday nights I like to sit back, have a tall glass of the very rare 78’ Montrachet and watch the awkwardness that is The Office. But, when I read that Steve Carell (Michael Scott) would be leaving the show before the end of this season- I spat my $20,000 dollar a bottle wine out onto the living room floor. It seemed that this episode would be the beginning of the end for Michael Scott on the Office. The rumor mill has given us plenty of wonderful suggestions on what would come for the show after his departure and that the Dunder-Mifflin family would be replacing the Branch Manager with a familiar face. The guest appearance of Ricky Gervias, star of the English version of the show, made me laugh with excitement as he exchanged quips with Carell:

David Brent: Comedy is a place where the mind goes to tickle itself – that’s what she said!  (At this point in the exchange of banter, Michael Scott hugs him.)

I can only assume it is the shows intent to replace Scott with David Brent (Ricky Gervias)  but I cannot really see how the show could continue after Carell leaves. It just wouldn’t be “The Office.” It was like when Scrubs tried to go on for that extra season after they had closed it out so perfectly – it would be a mistake. But, we’ll just have to wait and see. On a side note – Will Ferrell has also signed onto a four episode deal which opens up endless possibilities for the show.

So, what about the episode itself? Is it worth watching?

The episode is entitled, “The Seminar” and is about Andy trying to score a few sales by hosting a seminar about small business building. He has the worst sales in the office and is worried that he will lose his job if he doesn’t turn his numbers around. With the cooperation of Jim, Dwight, Stanley and Phyllis; he plans on making the seminar a success. But, Jim notices a man that makes him uncomfortable and leaves the office to wait out the seminar. The others soon follow suit when they see the crowd that Andy has drawn in; they all look unsophisticated and not worth the time and effort. Andy tries to rally some of the other members of the office to create a rag tag team of small business monarchs but as they each present it just seems to get worse and worse for him:

Creed: Two eyes, two ears, a chin, a mouth, ten fingers, two nipples, a butt, two kneecaps, a penis. I have just described to you the Lochness Monster, and the reward for its capture…all the riches in Scotland. So I have one question, why are you here?

Like I said… worse.

The saga of Michael and Holly continues as they take this week’s episode to practice their improv skills and he takes this as a sign:

Michael: Holly broke up with AJ last week, which is the greatest thing that has ever happened… to me. To Holly, it’s been the worst week of her life, and I know for a fact that there was a week for her in high school where she got mono and her first period ever. Too much information? That’s what I thought, but here I am using it.

They share a romantic quality throughout the episode but Michael is left blue in the face after he tries to make his “character” kiss Holly’s “character” at the end of the episode.

The other side of the show deals with Erin trying to beat Gabe in a game of phone scrabble so she can pick the movie they watch. Pam and Oscar join in when they realize Erin is hopeless and fight throughout the episode to get her the win only to have her mistakenly misspell a word.

Pam forces Jim to tell the story about why he is avoiding the man in the seminar. When they were in elementary school they were best friends but were separated into different “reading groups”- Jim’s mother decided it was best for them not to hang out anymore and when the time came for Jim to tell this to his friend; it didn’t go well. Jim told him that, “his mom said you’re too dumb to play with”  and they never spoke after that.  They meet awkwardly in the kitchen and at first all seems alright until Tom begins to berate him:

Tom [to Jim]: Where’s your jet pack, Zuckerburg? (making a Social Network/Facebook reference because Jim is a “genius”)

It ends with the original group of office workers trying to get back in on Andy’s scam when they realize the group of small business owners could actually be profitable. But, he refuses and closes out the deal with a pep talk from Michael. Gabe approaches Erin as they are leaving and shows her a “compromise” movie about a terminator-esque robot. Andy walks by and gives her a copy of Shrek 2 which she is extremely happy about. If they don’t get back together by the end of this season… I may lose my shit!

This episode is all over the place. It added to so many different plot-lines but didn’t really put an end to anything. The humor is the episode is still decent as is every episode of the Office but the frustration factor for this one is HIGH. It appears that the next five episodes will be back to back for the next few Thursdays so we won’t have to wait too long to find the conclusions to these side stories.

Stay tuned?

About the Author

Ace Wellington The Third

Zachary Flanagan, aka Ace Wellington The Third, is a writer based in Northern Virginia. As a film critic for Donnybrook he is "Ace Wellington" a mild mannered novelist by day and swashbuckling, nazi fighting, sex God by night - All the while filling you in on his favorite televised cinematic adventures. Follow Zach on Twitter @ZacharyFlanagan

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