By Scott Kayser
To preface this review, I would like to state I have spent the last month or two re-watching the first seasons of the Office. Many people, myself included, consider these to be the best the Office has had to offer and has been in a steady decline ever since, with many characters becoming caricatures of themselves and especially with the departure of Michael Scott. I’ll admit I have had a pretty pessimistic view of the Office in the last season or two and watched more out of habit than anything else. However, after revisiting the early seasons, I remembered what I loved about the Office and with that in mind, I’m cautiously optimistic about the final season, looking forward to each episode instead of dreading.
Having said that, I would like to start out by highlighting the aspects of this episode I did enjoy. I loved Kevin! “You can’t eat cats. You can’t eat cats, Kevin.” Instantly a classic line. And the opening bit about the turtle almost had me in tears. While I don’t enjoy how many characters have become a bit larger than life, Kevin has certainly benefited from this.
Creed may be my favorite character on the show; I can always count on him for a laugh. And he may have outdone himself this episode with one of the final lines of the episode. Recounting the day’s events as only Creed could, as if a circus had come to the office. “Not bad for a day in the life of a dog food company.”
I realize its difficult for the Office to continue as cast members keep moving on to bigger and better things. While I thought that Kelly and Ryan being written off the show in two scenes before the opening credits was a bit unceremonious, yet I’m glad they didn’t waste an episode or two doing so. I did find that the ‘new guys’ were a good replacement for some of the absent cast. While they weren’t given a lot to do this episode, I find immense potential in seeing how Jim and Dwight react to their “Juniors.” Jim’s reaction was actually quite serious, having him question what he’d accomplished with his life. I’m glad to see Jim (and by association, Pam) getting something more to do than just have kids and hopefully this storyline goes somewhere worthwhile. Dwight’s reaction, on the other hand, was quite hilarious. His fear that ‘Dwight Junior’ was better than him ending with him dangling from a bike on a tightrope wire over the parking lot. Also, seeing him fall off the slack line a dozen times was seriously funny.
I wasn’t a fan of Angela and her attempts to find a new owner for her cat. While the over exaggerations of the side cast has worked in some cases, Angela is not one of those cases. I was hoping that Dwight was the father of her child and that there could be some humor in exploring the consequences of that. But Angela and her cat drama is a little played out at this point and anyone who has Internet doesn’t need the Office to watch videos of cats in jeans.
I was absolutely frustrated by Erin’s one annoying contribution to this episode. “Andy’s back! Andy’s back!” And part of me wished that Andy hadn’t even come back. Being reduced to poop jokes and petty feud with Nelly, Andy disappointed me this episode. I want to see more of the angry Andy that was initially introduced into the show, instead of a cheap knock off of Michael Scott.
Despite being a fairly mediocre first episode with several funny moments, I did get a sense that the show is coming full circle and that gives me hope. This wasn’t a terrible way to start the season, but I do hope its all uphill from here.