Can One Episode of "The Office" Redeem the Last Four Seasons?
No. Of course not. But it was an emotional episode of "The Office," last night, and though there are two episodes left, in some ways it had the feeling of a finale. It won't erase the declining quality of series since Jim and Pam's wedding, or worse, since Michael Scott's departure, but if "The Office" had been as good as it was last night over the last four seasons, a lot of people would be sadder to see it go. As it is, despite complaints about the series overstaying its welcome, it's hard not to feel something for these characters with whom we've been with for nine years. The last couple of episodes, and especially last night's, began to pay emotional dividends, and while they won't match our investments, at least there is some payoff.
Much of last night's episode revolved around Andy's decision to quit and pursue a Hollywood career. Everyone in Dunder Mifflin felt that was a terrible idea.
Nevertheless, after groping Toby's penis and taking a dump on David Wallace's car, Andy burned his bridges, making it impossible for him to return to Dunder Mifflin. And hell if he didn't go out on a sweet, achy Sarah Maclaughlin note that suggested that Andy may have some goddamn talent after all.
It was a lovely "The Office" moment.
With Andy vacating the managerial position, David Wallace finally gave Dwight the one thing he's always wanted all along: The manager position at Dunder Mifflin. A few seasons ago, many of us groaned at the prospect of Dwight as manager (especially after his terrible turn as Interim Manager), but last night, it not only felt right, it felt immensely satisfying.
No one supported Dwight's move more than Jim.
And in his small way, Dwight reciprocated his support.
Dwight also displayed a small moment of affection toward Angela during Andy's farewell song that was about as sweet as you'd ever imagine Dwight could get.
Angela, meanwhile, hit her rock bottom last night, losing her cats, getting evicted, and being forced to move in with Oscar.
Then the episode's peak emotional moment came when Angela broke through her pride and admitted what we already knew>.
For me, though, the greatest thing about last night's episode was the way that they did, I think, manage to redeem Jim. It was the old Jim and Pam last night, and it felt good.
I think it was hard for Jim to admit it, but I think he made the right decision to stay for Pam, and more importantly, I think he thinks he made the right decision.
He meant it, too, as we found out when Jim declined to go on a three-month business trip to reap the rewards of all his hard work. Now, I think we all realize, that it's time for Pam to sacrifice for Jim.
Those kids are going to make it, after all. Two more episodes of "The Office" remaining, and they're doing a damn fine job of ensuring that we will actually miss these characters after they're gone.