The Office this week dipped into the show's past to bring back the show's most repugnant character, the bawdy and disgusting Todd Packer.
He fools Holly into giving him a job, thus setting up a pretty important test of character for Michael. Does he stay loyal to the friend he's always admired, or does he actually get some common sense for once and get rid of this rude idiot?
Oh boy. My first impression of this episode was that it seemed all too clerical, so to speak. After last week's water-treading "Threat Level: Midnight" episode, it seemed like they were just going to waste time doing nothing until Michael could say a tearful goodbye. I hold comedy, the actual jokes, to be sacred on these NBC shows, and that's why I'll always stick by 30 Rock's laugh-every-ten-seconds formula because it delivers so fast and furious. I am too hasty to judge the episode for not being that funny, because it actually has a lot to offer in terms of character development and drama. Firstly, I love seeing Jim and Dwight work together because it rarely happens and is just the best. It will always remind of the ultra-moving time when Jim consoles Dwight after it has become clear that Angela has chosen Andy over him. Secondly, this episode represents Michael overcoming his biggest flaw: the need to be liked by everyone, and especially Todd Packer, his comedic hero. So it's really beautiful that Michael has finally become a human being, and we can see him off. To that point, however, I'm extremely excited to see him go, so that we can get back to some comedy. It might be brilliance on the part of the show runners to make me want him to leave so badly now, because while it's great to see Michael grow, he's like that character on Friends now who was only fun when he was drinking, and sobriety has turned him into a boring sad sack. I'm just praying that somehow NBC has pulled off the greatest secret in the world and Ricky Gervais will in fact take over next season. Also, there's Will Ferrell on the horizon, and I'm a sucker for that shit.