“The Office” presented us that odd TV bird known as the clip show this week, which in and of itself isn’t such a terrible thing, but given that it was the first “new” episode in more than a month, the timing wasn’t great.
And for those of you who burned up the Internet wondering if the show is ending: no. This was in no way a series finale, or a prelude to a series finale, or anything finale-like. It’s just a thing that shows sometimes do 100-plus episodes into their lives.
As these things go, “The Banker” was a pretty good model of a clip show with a fairly well-considered framing device: A banker representing a prospective Dunder Mifflin buyer (played by David Costabile, continuing the “Office”-“Wire” connection) comes to Scranton to do some due diligence and asks Toby and Michael a lot of questions about possible barriers to acquiring the company. The meeting between the banker (“I’m a glorified fact-checker … I am fact-checker”) and Toby becomes a sad-sack competition, with Toby refusing to give straight answers to his questions because he knows how bad it will look. “I don’t want to lie,” Toby explains to the camera, “but I don’t want to tell the truth.”
(Speaking of the camera, why wouldn’t any prospective buyer, upon learning that a documentary crew has been filming the Scranton branch for six years, wouldn’t just ask to watch some film? The filmmakers wouldn’t have to turn anything over, which is an easy out narratively, but I think at least having the outsiders acknowledge the cameras are there would help maintain the documentary conceit.)
And although I was disappointed to see that it wasn’t an entirely new episode, reliving Dwight’s gift-wrapped desk, Bandit falling through the ceiling, Michael kissing Oscar, Stanley dribbling a basketball, Michael running over Meredith, drunk Pam with her Dundie, several bits of Creed awesomeness and numerous milestone PB&J moments is not a bad way to spend a half-hour. But with no new episode next week either and the Olympics looming in mid-February, these are going to be lean “Office” times for a while.
What did you think of “The Banker”? Enjoy revisiting the show’s past? Bummed at the lack of new content? Both?
Photo credit: NBC