Well, it was the two-part season finale last night. Lots of interesting stuff happened, but I feel like they wrote this using the old detective pulp mystery method -- that is, coming up with the big surprises first and working backwards through the beginning. There were some funny moments, but overall these episodes -- as most season finales are -- were simply a dual engine designed to drive the story toward the obligatory cliffhanger.
So here's what happened in a nutshell: a big job opens up in Dunder Mifflin's New York corporate office. Michael, Karen, and Jim all head up to interview for the position. Michael is so certain he's a lock to get the job that he sells his condo (on Ebay) and names Dwight as his successor at Scranton. Meanwhile, Jan comes back to ask if Michael will get back together with her. Michael wants to say no, but then he realizes that Jan got a boob job. So he takes her back.
There is fallout from Pam confessing to Jim in front of everyone that she missed him. The worst was probably Kelly calling her "patheticville." Ouch.
Overall, there weren't a whole lot of laughs. Of course, Michael flames out in his job interview, but it became less humorous because the bossman interviewing him doesn't get put off by the antics. That happens with Michael all the time.
So we're just meandering through the episode -- Jim and Karen galavanting through Manhattan, Dwight messing up the Scranton office, Michael acting a fool, Pam pining for Jim, yadda yadda -- and then in the last five minutes, all the plot revelations get dropped on us. It reminded me a little of that novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, because the story just languidly kicks along, and then comes together in this huge way in the last half page or so.
For starters, Jan is confirmed to be legitimately disturbed. Her work has been erratic lately, and it is -- dunh dunh duuuuunh -- HER job that Michael et al are interviewing for. That's right -- Jan is being fired! Michael finds out, tells Jan, Jan makes scene, Michael doesn't get corporate job, they leave, Michael offers to let Jan stay at his condo (he'll withdraw the sale, despite the risk of negative Ebay feedback) and Jan proclaims that she can "wear stretch pants and wait for you to come home at 5:15." Oof.
Secondly, under as-yet-unexplained circumstances, Jim drives back to Scranton sans Karen and -- dunh dunh duuuuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnh -- asks Pam out on a date. Whoa, dude! What gives there? What the deal? What end is up right now? I think this means it's the end of Karen's regular appearances on the show, thus essentially closing the loop on the Stamford branch storyline (with the exception of Crazy Andy, who of course at this point is completely integrated into Scranton).
But so who got the job at the corporate office? As the episode wraps up, we see the big wig congratulating the recipient of the phone. And we see that the new job goes to -- DUNH DUNH DUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -- Ryan the former intern (played by show executive producer B.J. Novak). And I've got news for you, my friend. This spells trouble. With a capital T, that rhymes with C, and that stand for, er, Corporate Office Guy. There have been hints that Ryan was a jerk for a while now, and now he will exact revenge on Michael, Jim, and anyone else he sees fit to do it to. Of course, he never made a sale there, but I guess corporate didn't care about that? Anyway, look for Ryan to become the serious black hat on the show. Now that Roy is gone and Andy is more mellow (for now), there really weren't any prominent jerks on the show. Until now. Prepare to see a serious villain next season. Villain, thy name is Ryan. Dunh dun duuuuuunh.
- The Office [NBC]
- Previous recap of The Office [No One Appreciates Me]
- The Picture of Dorian Gray [Amazon]
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