Last week’s penultimate episode of The Office gave us a frustrating glimpse of what might have been.
In a season filled with mediocre comedy, intelligence-insulting plot choices, and inexplicable character development, we got a flawed but good episode centered largely around a familiar dynamic, with Dwight as regional manager and Jim as assistant to the regional manager.
Where has this version of The Office been the last two years?
The Jim / Dwight interplay wasn’t some groundbreaking revelation—it was merely a smart and natural extension of their original relationship. That evolution of the show would have been a logical choice that could have lead into a nice season-plus send-off for the venerable NBC program.
Instead, viewers were treated to absentee Andy, an Erin / Pete romance that suddenly stopped being referenced at all, a failed backdoor pilot, evil Andy, the Jim / Pam debacle, pathetic Andy, and Dwight being told he was the father of Angela’s baby after all (despite being told by a doctor that he wasn’t in an earlier episode).
But I’m putting all of that aside. Tonight is the final episode of this show. I can’t really call this “SitCombat,” per se, since the only competition for tonight’s finale of The Office is the series’ own legacy. But I see no reason why I can’t use the tried and true SitCombat format.
I’m writing all of this before the episode begins, but my fear is that we’re going to get a run-of-the-mill, C-plus wedding episode. The fact that the creators chose to go out with one of the most cliched plots in television is disappointing yet somehow appropriate.
But, as always, I sit down in front of my television with an open mind. Let’s begin . . .