Well, that was…weird. I am not sure what to make of The Office anymore. This entire season has been lackluster, yet the final few episodes leading up to Michael’s departure really hit some strong notes. Now we are scraping the bottom of the barrel—of a gun! This show needs to call it quits before anyone gets hurt, literally.
First of all, why is Jim so dumb now? I don’t like the regression he has shown as a character these past few seasons. The early years of The Office gave us a guy too smart for his job. But, he loved Pam and he had the challenge of winning her heart. Ever since Pam and Jim got married, he has completely resigned to his hum-drum life and seems to have no passion or spark for anything. At least while Michael was still at Dunder Mifflin, he had that relationship holding him there. I often felt like one of the main reasons Jim couldn’t bring himself to move on was because he would feel guilty leaving Michael. So, even though Jim might not be able to get a job in this economy, at the very least you would think he would have enough sense to accept an “acting manager” position from Jo while they search for a replacement. Wrong. But it takes Dwight all of two seconds to accept the temporary gig.
Naturally, Dwight lets the power go to his head…and his office décor. There is an old-school time clock, ridiculously long copier codes, a giant self-portrait (did he have that on stand-by?) and a morning Pledge of Allegiance. Under his tyrannical rule, Jim begins a rebellion group that masks as a social club, including posters that say “Join the Fist.” Just as Dwight starts to feel his power is being threatened, he receives as holster as a gift and puts his old-fashioned gun in it to walk around the office. Um, seriously? This is so absurd it is not funny. The Office works best when it exaggerates the everyday, mundane nuances of office life. A manager walking around with a loaded gun is ridiculous. Things go from bad to worse when Dwight accidentally fires the gun and it just barely grazes by Andy’s ear, bursting his ear drum. I mean, come on—how is this not a lawsuit?
Everyone extorts Dwight during Jo’s visit—they promise not to tell her if he meets their demands. Angela wants the reinstatement of Pet Days (but no dogs); Kevin wants a creepy massage; Kelly wants a day off to audition for American Idol; and Jim wants Dwight to act strangely (honestly, you don’t need to extort Dwight for that to happen). When Dwight breaks down and tells Jo what happened, she removes him from his acting manager position. Seriously, that’s it? How is Dwight even allowed to keep his job?
The B-story tonight was the continuation of the love triangle that is Gabe-Erin-Andy. Gabe is still reeling from Erin dumping him and desperate to win her back. The highlight of this story was Gabe crying to Andy that he does not want to be alone and Andy telling a hysterical Gabe how horrifying he is. Erin claims she wants to be single for a while…but the sparks seem to bringing her and Andy closer.
The episode closes with the person with the most company seniority being selected by Jo to serve as acting manager until a true replacement can be found. And that person is…CREED. Maybe next week’s finale will be interesting with Creed in charge (and the 8 million guest stars they are going to parade in front of us).