I am almost loathe to put The Office in my comedy review section, because I don’t think I laughed one single time during this episode, and was mostly reduced to why is everyone acting like such a douche all the time?
So, in the bullpen, everyone is having a final ‘running with scissors’ day before Andy gets back the next day, and decide to go to the mall for a couples discount day, and everyone in the group pairs off to get the discount. It is basically lame, with the ‘highlights’ being Nellie and Clark ‘breaking up’ because she teased him, and Daryl and Oscar walking out of a nail place because they are being homophobic or some such thing.
Pam and Jim, on the other hand, are taking their last boss free day to have lunch with Brian, the camera guy who protected Pam, and his girlfriend. Brian not-so-tactfully brings up the fact that Pam broke down in front of him, and Jim takes major offense to that for some reason. It’s not like he was out of town and yelled at her over the phone while she was in the office or anything…oh wait. Anyway, Jim is emo for the rest of the episode, and even cancels their romantic evening in favor of heading back to Philly, but Pam stops him at the last minute so they can fight for real.
Erin spends the whole day pumping herself up to break up with Andy, and the BAM! He’s back a day early, and entirely a jerk. Turns out David Wallace is coming by to talk with him, but doesn’t know that Andy’s been gone for THREE MONTHS. Andy takes credit for the increased quarter sales, and then shoots down Erin’s attempt to break up with him, since ‘they both love each other, just not at the same time,’ therefore they should stay together in hopes of coinciding at some point in the future. Erin goes and breaks the bad news to Pete, who only wants her to be happy, which gives Erin the chutzpah to break things off. Oh, and in her rant lets David Wallace know that Andy was gone for three months.
This episode was full of character development again, but little to no actual comedy. I think they were trying with some of the bullpen stuff, but it fell flat every time. I currently want all these character to have a happy ending, but it seems like the writers are pushing us to hate them, or at least be ambivalent when they don’t get the happy ending we thought they should have gotten after season five or so.
I can see it now: Jim’s Philly thing fails, and they are stuck in Scranton forever. Dwight takes over for Andy, who is so fired, if not next week, then by season end. The rest of the bullpen continues on with the status quo, and nothing has changed from season 1…new boss same as the old boss.
It’s sad, really.