The answer is yes, we do. Or do we? Yes. At least a little bit, anyway. I think the one thing keeping me into this show is how good it used to be. Surely it can come back, right? Season seven will be so good that we’ll all look back on this past year and laugh at how silly it all seems.
I’ve been putting off my Office reviews for a few weeks now because, after reading some of the last few I’ve written, they were all starting to sound the same to me. Also I’m lazy. With the finale, I was hoping that the show would give us some gleam of hope, something that would make us say, “That’s the show I remember!” But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Instead, we were given one of the most mediocre episodes of the entire season, a half hour of television that if you asked it probably wouldn’t be able to tell you exactly what story it wanted to tell.
I’m assuming that “Whistleblower” was meant to be some sort of payoff to the entire Sabre arc we’ve seen this year, except because Kathy Bates only appeared in a few episodes and we only knew that Dunder Mifflin had been bought because every know and then the characters would make reference to selling printers, we never really had a reason to care about Sabre or any trouble they would run into once word got out that their printers catch on fire.
So in the show, several people cop to talking to the press and we never find out what happens to any of them, if anything. But we are treated to a scene of Michael and Jo talking to each other about life, the universe and everything, although while watching it I couldn’t figure out exactly how we had gotten there, or what the point of it was. Was Jo asking Michael to take the fall? Why? It seemed like once we read his apology the whole thing blew over pretty quick. And the payoff? Michael wants Holly transferred back to Scranton, and Jo’s going to see what she can do about it. That’s what we were waiting for? A half-hearted half-promise that maybe there’ll be something to look forward to next season? You know, Holly is great and Amy Ryan made a good addition to the show, but she wasn’t phenomenal. And the possibility of her returning for a few episodes next year isn’t really going to keep me waiting with baited breath.
Maybe I’m a spoiled little ass, but the show has delivered so consistently in the past, that to have to entire finale’s hook be so totally unconnected to the plot of the actual episode makes me wonder if the show will ever be able to reach that level again. I think it says something that when I go back over the episode, I find myself wanting to watch a show starring Gabe and the IT guy.
I think season six could charitably be described as lackluster. And with Steve Carell now saying that he’d like to leave the show after his contract is up a year from now, it may not be the worst idea in the world to wrap things up. Without their leading man, the show would retool is some crazy new way, with Jim or maybe Dwight (but probably Jim) as Regional Manager, and it will never be able to live up to what had come before it. And Lord forbid the show seriously shakes things up and turns into the next Scrubs. That would just be sad. Knowing NBC, who’s in serious need of hits these days — not sure The Office qualifies but it’s definitely the most high-profile of their Thursday night lineup — they’ll keep the show around for a long time yet. It’s completely possible that it’ll turn around, that next season will have us all on the floor grabbing our funny bones (how would you do that?), I just don’t think it’s very likely. And not even the return of Holly Flax could change that.