The Office Season Finale Review: Search and Destroy

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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.

Will Arnett on The Office

"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?
Pam: Yes.
Creed: Cool. Let's keep this on the QT okay? I want you to be a dead mama jama. | permalink

Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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This was the best sitcom episode i have seen all season. Loved the cameos, Ray was hilarious eating in the interview. Spader is genius. Dwight is awesome. Loved it! It this is the office without steve im fine!

Evan

Andy is the only one who could do the job? Wow, dumbest thing I`ve ever read. Overall I liked the episode and think Jim should be the new boss. Also, Dan, between your hatred of this show and your glowing reviews of Chuck, I find it extremely difficult to take you seriously as a critic.

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Last night reminded me of why I love The Office. The ensemble cast is brilliant. From Kevin at the copier to Angela’s quips about the wedding, Andy’s insecurity etc…, http://bit.ly/lBiooH

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Very well said Mark, accross all points. Would the stringing along have been so noticable if Steve Carrell hadn't left? The final fit in with most of the last season's finals. Really enjoyed the episode including the last few. Spader would be cool as the boss. He's the opposite of Michael Scott. Confident, sexual and very mysterious.

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I laughed quite a bit & found most of it pretty good. Creed has always been one of my most under rated favorites & he shined in his role as boss along with the rest of the cast. The guest stars, were mostly from ok - great. The episode was a 3 outta 4. Just so happy the Ferrell days are over.

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I have to agree with, John...James Spader was excellent, and he was so superior to the rest of the cast that it WAS frightening. He really is a superb and under appreciated actor.

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ha, yeah jim careys roll could have been a little bit more involved. i think the idea of finding a person to replace michael scott is genius, no one can replace him. charles minor got transferred, jan went crazy, vickers almost died, etc. I agree with it not being as good as a season finale should be but at the same time i laughed my ass off at a lot of the dialog. i thought it was a great idea for a show but could have been more intricate and involved. since michael left all of the characters have seemed to be more joky, spouting out one liners all the time. before hand it was more awkward and the characters were constantly trying to find a middle ground between non funny/awkward uncomfortable situations and hilarious ones. and by genius michael scott design would turn into a hilarious situation regardless of how the character opposite michael scott reacted to his actions or comments. now its just a regular comedy... its not going to easy to replace that.

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I say give me Dwight! I thought he was hilarious as the boss. Rainn Wilson cracks me up. But I doubt they'll give us that, so how about James Spader? He was pretty good. Totally crazy, but distinct enough from Michael to have the same potential for greatness. Will Ferrell stunk in that regard - he came off as a Michael clone. Please, don't give us Catherine Tate. It would be quite a change, but the woman is NOT FUNNY.

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You know, I really do agree with most of your comments. I laughed a lot during the episode, but I found myself wanting something by the end... Way too much hang-time now. I was already excited for the next season, so why couldn't they announce the new manager now?? I guess I see it two ways... Announce him/her now - we all tune in next season to see how he/she does in the new role. Announce next season - we all tune in to see who gets picked. Either way we're tuning in, right?? It's just too much stringing along.... We suffered through the Pam-Jim scenario... Then they teased the Erin-Andy thing... and that's been going on for what- 3 seasons now? I swore that I'd stop caring if they didn't make a decisive move about those two soon... and I guess I was a little surprised with the route they took. Kudos for that, right? The guest stars were all great. Ramano cracked me up. I wished the Carrey role would've been bigger, but then I realized that having a "voice" character on-screen for too long would be annoying... Spader was funny for a while, but that whole intense schtick would get old quickly. Ricky's cameo was a major disappointment. And Catherine Tate must've gone way over my head... I need to watch her parts again. If they end up just hiring someone in the office, I will stop watching the show. The cast needs new blood... And quietly introducing some boring actress/model (lookin' at you Cody Horn) isn't going to cut it!
The only part of your review that I absolutely have to disagree with is the comment about ending the season with Michael's departure. That would've been an awful idea... By ending the season with Steve Carell's last episode, you're telling the fans that you don't have enough confidence in the remaining cast to continue on with the show. By leaving a few episodes, they are trying to show that they can still make us laugh without Michael Scott. I think it was a smart move and they'll be better off in the end for doing it this way...

The Office Quotes

I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them.

Andy

If onlys and justs were candies and nuts, then everyday would be un de donkfest!

Dwight
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