This is the end.
Unless SitCombat reformulates around different shows, this will be the last regular edition of the feature. Archer’s season concluded tonight, leaving only one show left to evaluate. Less than a minimum of two programs quite obviously means no competitive aspect is possible.
The Office, of course, will continue destroying what’s left of its legacy with another few episodes before it wraps for good in May.
As I said last week, after the return of Boom Mic Guy, I’m now openly rooting for The Office to make even worse writing decisions down the stretch. Just go full-on train wreck. Gratuitously kill off Dwight in a farming accident. Have Jim and Pam split up. Randomly turn a character gay. Better yet: Inexplicably turn Oscar straight. Crash and burn.
Either way, this is The Office’s last chance to get a win against another show. Ever.
This was SitCombat for April 11, 2013:
The Office (NBC) – “Stairmageddon”
Tonight’s Episode: The elevator goes out at D-M, causing complications for the employees, more information about the documentary series leaks out, Angela helps the Senator in a tight spot, Jim and Pam go to marriage counseling, and I yell things at the TV.
Good Stuff: “I wanted to be my generation’s Lisa Loeb” . . . Stanley’s morning “3-by-5″ . . . Toby’s total inability to talk about his divorce . . . “Can you just let me out of here before whatever comes next?” . . . “That’s Angela! I work with her!” . . . I did enjoy the Senator turning his gay announcement into political pandering. I also liked Phyllis relishing Angela getting publicly humiliated . . . Angela giving a “thumbs up” and immediately dry-heaving . . . “Eh. You go through a lot of mice” . . . “Can you juggle and crap?” “Yes…and yes.”
Non-good Stuff: So, I guess this is a roundabout “Carmageddon” reference. Ok. Last week, we got Fifty Shades of Gray. I’m honestly no longer sure in what year these scripts were written . . . DO NOT CARE ABOUT JIM AND PAM. JUST GET DIVORCED . . . Andy is pathetic.
Line of the Night: “WESLEY SILVER’S GAY?!?” – Creed
Overall: I feel like they missed a golden opportunity to have Stanley die from the tranq darts, subsequently sending Dwight to jail for manslaughter. I could have respected that. Anyway, here’s the problem with where this show is right now, in a nutshell: If The Office were hitting on all cylinders, Toby would have immediately begun plotting to swoop in on Pam. He would have been excited by Jim’s marriage counseling news, and, instead of listening intently and providing helpful (and unfunny) responses, he would have humorously had to contain his joy and happiness. Remember: Toby decides to MOVE TO COSTA RICA rather than face the unrequited feelings and shame after he touched Pam’s leg. This show is flailing (and failing), but not as spectacularly as I would like.
Archer (FX) – “Sea Tunt: Part 2”
Tonight’s Episode: Archer and the ISIS gang find themselves in peril at the bottom of the ocean thanks to a madman who threatens to launch VX-gas-tipped missiles.
Good Stuff: “What about your South Beach condo?” “Hello? Florida real estate collapse? It’s farther underwater than SeaLab! But, if my homeowner’s policy covers nerve gas attacks…that’s a win-win” . . . “Something, something, DANGER ZONE!” . . . “That was just an experiment. I wanted to see if Ray looked gayer without his [moustache]” . . . “The bear from Star Wars?!?” . . . Sojourner King . . . “No, I don’t think it’s a trap! Although…I never do. And it often is” . . . Randy Magnum . . . Krieger drumming . . . “Ok, now, one of ONE thing is…” . . . “Forgive my candor. I just felt my spleen slip out of what WAS my anus” . . . “You can lie, but your boner can’t!”
Non-good Stuff: They telegraphed the pregnancy in a way that wasn’t quite over-the-top enough to be a comedy bit in and of itself, but not nearly subtle enough to be, you know…subtle . . . Cecil is a toolbox . . . Archer almost died at least three times this season.
Line of the Night: “AWWWWKWARRD…cough, cough…ignore me, sorry, dying…crushed by an off-brand drink machine…oh, my God, just like that old Gypsy woman sai-(*drowns*)” – Murphy’s dying words
Overall: Great season finale. The set-up was very similar to last year’s finale (subbing in a deep-sea facility for a space station), but with a good twist that made the episode unfold entirely differently. The dialogue was as good as it’s been all season, and, for a show that has snappy dialogue as a strong suit, that’s saying something. The plot also worked, setting up new fodder for next season (Cyril resenting Lana, Lana’s pregnancy, Archer’s possible brain damage, Ray’s quest to walk again again (again) and missing moustache). I will say that I’m not sure why they seemed to abandon Pam as a field agent. Not sure if that’s being dropped or if it was just for this episode.
Final Thoughts: In its final official attempt, The Office came up way short of a strong closer by Archer. I freely admit that I was never as big of an Office fan as I was 30 Rock, but there was a time in the not-too-distant past when The Office could consistently compete with (and often defeat) 30 Rock, Archer, and The League. Now? The Office is just a mess, trying to do five things at once rather than streamline everything, tie up loose ends, and funnel the plot to a coherent series finale. Things could get really ugly by the end, which, again, is what I’m rooting for at this point. Just limping along with a bunch of D-level shows, occasionally hitting a C-minus, is the least-satisfying of all outcomes. But, sadly, it’s also the most likely. In any event, even a good episode of The Office wouldn’t have topped Archer this week.
WINNER: Archer (retains title)