The Office: The Return
(S03E13) Oh well. Another week, another great Office episode. What else is new?
At the end of the episode, I found myself wanting to place my hands around Andy's neck and squeezing until the sap oozed out. He has got to be the most obnoxious sitcom character in the last few years. Even Dwight Schrute at his most neurotic couldn't reach the heights of Andy's behavior. I, like Jim, missed Dwight.
Although the previews of this week's show emphasized the return of Oscar from his "gaycation" (as Kevin put it), that was not the central theme of the story. The story basically focused on Dwight, and how he has handled his resignation from Dunder Mifflin by finding a job at Staples, and Andy, who is doing everything he can to become Michael's confidante. Oscar's return to work was interesting, and Michael's decision to have a party to celebrate Oscar's "Mexican-ity" certainly added more hilarity to the situation.
But what really proved interesting was us getting a deeper glimpse into Angela. She displayed some real emotion over Dwight's resignation, and her expressions of guilt and remorse over what he did for her seemed heartfelt. Of course, her "Ice Queen" demeanor reared its ugly head again whenever Kevin tried to engage her into any communication.
What I'm particularly enjoying this season is that there is more exploration of Michael's personality. Yes, he's still is a boor a good part of the time, but we have seen him display more of his sensitive side as well as a seasoned businessman. This week, we got to seem him come to grips over the fact that his previous anger at Dwight was misplaced, and he was able to persuade Dwight to come back with pure conviction.
Beforehand, when Michael was surveying his staff as to how they were coping with the loss of the branch's number one salesperson, again Stanley comes out with a marvelous reaction and facial expression. If the writers developed an episode where we were treated to nothing more than Stanley's reactions to things going around him during a regular day at work, it would be nothing short of hilarious.
It seems obvious that Andy is a short-timer in Scranton. His undying quest to get in good with Michael ended up badly, and Jim and Pam's teaming up to prank him only fueled the fire. Dwight never displayed the kind of anger that Andy did when his cellphone with the "Rockin' Robin" ringtone found itself in the ceiling. Punching a hole in the wall? Not Dwight's style--he might threaten to engage in Ninja-like combat, but he would eventually settle down.
And what Office episode would be complete without another twist in the Jim-Pam-Karen saga. It was obvious there was tension in Jim and Karen's relationship, and Jim was able to rekindle his ability to engage in office hijinks rather easily with Pam. Later on, during the party, the moment we expected came to fruition when Jim admitted to Karen that he still had feelings for Pam. Karen walked out in a huff, and it's up in the air how long she will stay. However, although there have been indications lately that Pam is warming to Jim, I'm not so sure that those two are going to get together so easily. Somehow I think there will be reluctance by one of the parties in moving forward, but this storyline needs some further development.
To kind of sum things up, it appears that Andy's attempt to become Michael's friend has failed miserably, and it's only a matter of time before he leaves, whether on his own or being shown the door. No matter what, Andy will not go off quietly into the night. Plus, when Michael said that he doesn't want people sucking up to him unless they love him, it made sense, somehow.