Well, that’s it folks. Season eight of The Office is officially in the books. For the first time in the show’s history, what’s going on behind the scenes is far more intriguing then what we were left to look forward to for season nine. There’s been talks of reboots, spin-offs and departing cast members. All these rumors have me caring about The Office far more than the actual show.
In tonight’s “Free Family Portrait Studio,” Dwight sets up a, well a free family portrait studio for the workers in his building. The gift is simply a ruse for Dwight to get a sampling from Phillip for a DNA test. Meanwhile, a seemingly down-trodden Andy begs Nellie to receive any job. Nellie makes Andy the new janitor. Andy’s new employment is also a ruse as David Wallace has purchased Dunder Mifflin-Sabre and reinstated Andy Bernard as an acting manager.
When reviewing and often bashing this season, I kept holding back somewhat and telling myself to see where everything goes. With the season in the books, my apprehension to be overly critical was all for naught. This season has ultimately been, for lack of a better term, a big waste of everyone’s time.
So after an interesting firing, Andy Bernard gets his job back. While I understand that Andy needs to be in the actual office to be a main star of The Office , I’m not a fan of these twist and turns that are only temporary. To be fair, I was also critical of this move when they did it with Michael Scott and the Michael Scott Paper Company. I mean, I understand the nature of television does not allow for Dunder Mifflin to function like an actual company, but employees do leave. And not just one employee but many employees.
At what point are we supposed to keep caring about Andy? Sure, Erin trying to stick up for Andy was awfully cute, but we already know my love for Ellie Kemper knows no bounds. The whole janitor shtick was just plain-old dumb. I thought the whole plot could have been redeemed with Andy keeping Nellie on staff. With the tables turned, we could have seen much more of Andy’s redeeming qualities, but instead we got just an easy way out.
Also, didn’t Andy want revenge on Robert California? I guess California got fired, but then he got all this money? The Robert California send off was probably the low point of the episode outside of the revelation of California’s real name. The whole mentoring gymnasts bit was juvenile. Which would have been fine if it had been funny. Kevin’s reaction to California’s plan almost saved the scene. Almost.
I actually loved the Dwight and Angela plot and felt it was the best thing between the two of them in quite some time. Dwight with the comb, nail-clippers, and bag for excess skin was quite funny. Mose in the Camaro and Dwight outfit was another highlight for the episode. The end sequence with Angela and Dwight in the testing lab also had me reinvigorated with the hope of possibility between the two. The scene was well done by both Angela Kinsey and Rainn Wilson. Furthermore, the all but confirmation of Senator Lipton’s homosexuality adds further spice into the pot.
Line Of The Night
“Don’t play the bard card.” – Andy Bernard
The 411: A very poor attempt at a season finale from The Office . As I previously stated, all the intrigue from the show now comes from behind the scenes and not the actual show. Sure, there was some funny stuff (Dwight's velcro suit), but in terms of season finales, "Free Family Portrait Studio fell awfully short.