Friday, May 25, 2007

The Office season finale

With a gaping hole on Thursday nights from now until next September, I found myself last evening mourning the best television show in the history of mankind. As such, I decided to take a look back at the season finale as well as a look forward as to what we might be able to expect from the goofy gang come the fall.

"Pam, are you free for dinner tonight? Alright, then it's a date."
Is sporting a new haircut that I'm fairly confident he copied from yours truly. For the second season finale in a row, he made a move on Pam with this one looking as if it will pay off better than last time. Sure plenty could happen in the 4 months that elapse between new shows, but season four is shaping up to be the first with the two primary characters in a relationship.

"What I said needed to be said, and I'm not embarrassed about it. It only took me 3 years to summon the courage to say it."
Former secret assistant to the regional manager and madly in love with the word "cliche," Pam continues to have the boys falling all over her. I was a little surprised the finale featured no appearances from Toby, who I thought may make a surprise thrust forward after showing hints of feelings for the quiet secretary. As is, Pam will continue to answer phones and draw.

"Pam is kind of a bitch."
The show can go one of two ways with the Karen character. One, she can disappear forever and no one would care much. Two, she can come back to Scranton and terrorize Pam who appears to have stolen her man. Her character has been fairly hum-drum and could use some tweaking, which would be possible with a more sinister side.

"I have got it made in the shade. I know this company. The other branch manager are total morons. Hey, Pam, I forgot what day the interview was. I drove to New York accidentally. I'll be like three hours late."
"Could you give Jan a message for me when she gets in. Just say, 'I want to squeeze them.' It's code. She'll know what it means."

Enjoys Natalie Merchant and her lyrically deep"Thank You" and passed his unwanted recommendation onto Karen and Jim resulting in neither getting the corporate job. Michael will continue to be the king of the morons in a crushing relationship he has no control over. His continued leadership will probably put Dunder Mifflin at the brink of disaster and his home life will drive him insane.

"It's these pain killers I've started taking since the surgery. Awww! It's makes my moods totally unpredictable. Wooow!...Wait a minute. Actually, this could be great. This could be perfect. You know my full time job can be our relationship. I can wear stretch pants and wait for you to get home at 5:15. (Psycho laugh) It could work. This could work, really. (She claps thrice)."
Took a significant hit when she was fired from her corporate job in what was the second most surprising development in the finale. Her role next season will have to diminish unless Michael hires her on at the Scranton branch. But she did correct two of the four cons Michael has about her by installing new chest devices.

"My ideal choice? Jack Bauer. But he is unavailable, fictional, and overqualified."
Dwight impressively managed to find 7 different types of Pennsylvania top soil in a single afternoon and prepare a presentation on them. Dwight will return as to the familiar role of bumbling buffoon and super suck-up, and that's just fine.

"I don't care if that's how they consolidated power in ancient Rome...goodbye Kelly Kapoor."
Similar to the absence of Toby, I was surprised that nothing in the way of a cliff hanger or any other development came in the Angela-Dwight relationship. They've been stagnant for the better part of a year and thought something - anything - would happen. Also, while Angela has never been crazy about Kelly Kapoor, it was interesting that she called out Kelly by name as needing to depart. Then, nothing happened. Curious.

"The capital of Maine is Montpelier, Vermont, which is near Ithaca, New York where I went to Cornell."
Seems to be stronger than Dwight, yet could not defeat him in arm wrestling within the allotted time. Too bad. His character is also in need of a spark or a change. He played kiss-up to Dwight who played kiss-up to Michael, and three people removed from the boss seems fairly contrived. He needs to come into a greater sphere of power and boss Dwight around for awhile after he was made to be the gopher for the bulk of the season. And what happened to Angela hating Andy?

"Last year, Creed asked me how to set up a blog. Wanting to protect the world from being exposed to Creed's brain, I opened up a Word document on his computer and put an address at the top. I've read some of it. Even for the intranet, it's pretty shocking."
No longer fetches coffee and took home the award of biggest shocker. Coming out of nowhere, Ryan captured the much coveted corporate position despite having never made a paper sale in two years. Probably is headed out of the Scranton branch so this writer/producer need not appear in every episode. Yet, the demeaning treatment he received from Dwight and Michael will have to be referenced in future episodes. Personally, I'm going to miss his down to earth interviews (still think the best moment in the show's history was his mouth agape and completely silent interview upon learning Dwight and Angela were an item), but has the potential for most character growth now in a new position.

"Who was that? What!?!"
Ever confused and ever chatty, Kelly can go back to being a background character. Perhaps a feud of sorts with Angela and a job at local mall are in her future.

"Who do you think is hotter? Pam or Karen?"
The sophomoric comic relief did his thing in the finale. Good for a line here or there to make everyone feel horribly uncomfortable. I doubt he transcends much more than that in season four. But of course, now that I wrote that, he'll probably end up as CFO when it's all said and done.

"I find it offensive. Au natural, baby. That's how I like him. Swing loose sweet chariots."
Spells "cyberspace" with an "s" at the beginning and also discusses what the best kind of car is at (that's the most I could read from the computer screen shot). By far my favorite character with his quirky ways and his name sake is inspiring my fantasy baseball team of the same name to a strong 2007 showing. In last year's season finale, they turned up the oddball by showing a kleptomaniac side of Creed and they haven't backed down in season 3. I hope it continues next go round.

"Hey, Pam, I think I need to say something to you. I really miss our friendship."
The bloom seems to have died as the one interesting quirk to Oscar's character appears to have run its course. Unless a new character is introduced or someone comes out of the closet, Oscar's homosexuality storyline is tired.

"No. In fact, I'll give you a billion Stanley nickles if you never talk to me again."
Uninterested and indifferent, Stanley is all about the money. I think there's room to do something with him, but he plays his role well within Dunder Mifflin.

"I would never do that. Waste of money. In my experience, guys are way more attracted to you to the back than the front."
An alternate to the girls' conference room gang, Meredith is one of the more distant background characters who drives a van and enjoys the booze. Is there anything more than the occasional splurge of alcohol in her future?

"Michael isn't qualified for the job he has now, but he got that one."
Happily wed to Bob Vance of Vance Refrigeration, Phyllis is back to being the motherly influence in the office. I can see something happening in the relationship with Bob Vance, but it would be a minor storyline at best.

David (CFO):
"What do you think of Michael Scott?"
David used to be new enough and high enough up in the company where he was immune from the insanity of Michael Scott. However, now having met him a couple of times, interviewed him, and fired his girlfriend, no longer can David pretend that the crazy man does not exist. Now that David seems to have taken over the sensible, authority presence Jan relinquished when she went insane, how David interacts with Michael could become a key piece of the next season. Or, David turns out to be just as wacky as the rest of the people in the company.

Picture: Myspace page of Pam Beesley

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