Last week, I wrote that although "Dwight K. Schrute, (Acting) Manager" had many of the elements that create a good episode of The Office, it didn't quite come together.
In hindsight, it really worked a whole lot more than the season finale, as the penultimate episode was actually the kind of quality we should hope in Michael's absence.
"Search Committee" didn't have those aforementioned elements. Jim was taking everything way too seriously and Dwight wasn't acting nearly crazy enough. The episode hinged on the work of the guest stars, which is not a luxury you are going to have every week.
And sometimes those guest stars don't work out, as was the case in a couple of the cameos in "Search Committee." I loved Ricky Gervais in his appearance a few weeks back, but his video conference here was less than exciting. And Jim Carrey? Did you really need to get him for that role? Talk about the epitome of stunt casting.
Will Arnett and Ray Romano were fine, but the two candidates that impressed the most were James Spader and Catherine Tate. Not only were they both very funny, but their characters showed enough power and confidence that could make them seem like actual manages.
Sure, they were terribly weird, but doesn't The Office need that in a lead? As much as I would love to see Daryl run the show, his dry humor might make everything feel much more drab. It's nice in small doses, but that's it. At this point, the only in-house character that might be able to do the job would be Andy.
While the guest stars took up much of the attention leading up to this season finale, many of the regular minor characters had just as much of a role in "Search Committee."
Creed definitely stepped in to Michael's/Deangelo's/Dwight's job well. Between his made up acronyms, uncalled meetings, and fake phone calls to Pam, the old man was on fire. It was about time he got more than one line in an episode, and if his performance here was any indicator of what he's capable of, we should see something like this again.
Speaking of those Pam phone calls, kudos to the former receptionist for picking up her husband's slack in the prank department. Between that, Ryan slaying every line he had once again, Kevin not knowing the alphabet, and Oscar being pumped for Angela's wedding to a gay guy, there were plenty of funny moments from the peanut gallery.
"Search Committee" was still a let down, though. Maybe it was because you always have an increased expectation for what a season finale should be, but they could have done better.
At the end of the day, they should have ended the season with Michael's exit, saving the Deangelo aftermath and the search for a replacement for the eighth season.
What did you all think? Who do you think will get the job? And when are you taking your vacation to the Finger Lakes? As always, be sure to check out The Office quotes page for all the best one-liners. Such as:
Dwight: Bread is the paper of the food industry. You write your sandwich on it. | permalink
James Spader: There is no such thing as a product. Don't ever think there is. There is only sex. Everything is sex. You understand that what I'm telling you is a universal truth, Toby. | permalink
Toby: Why would you need relocation if you already live in Scranton?
Ray Romano: Well I'd wanna move further away, ya know. Don't want any chance to run into my co-workers outside the office. | permalink
Oscar: Angela's engaged to a gay man. As a gay man, I'm horrified. As a friend of Angela's, horrified. As a lover of elegant weddings, I'm a little excited. | permalink
Pam: You're in the gay mafia.
Oscar: You're thinking of another group. Much wealthier, much older. You sound ignorant. | permalink
Ryan: How do I know that Robert is gay? He liked my facebook photos at three o'clock in the morning. | permalink
Catherine Tate: Once a month, the lowest performing person, buh-bye. | permalink
Creed: It's Creed. FYI I'm starting my own paper company, looking to poach some chumps. You in?
Creed: Cool. Let's keep this on the QT okay? I want you to be a dead mama jama. | permalink
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.