We end a very up-and-down season of “The Office” with an episode in which Michael Scott, who admits he’s been down, finds things looking up. Will it be the same for us come Season 7?
I don’t want to focus too much on the final moments of “Whistleblower” because, tantalizing though they were, I don’t think we can take them as a promise. So we’ll look at the ramifications of Jo seeing what she can do a little further down.
While the entire conversation between Michael and Jo on her private jet was wonderful, a lot of the investigation into the leak of Sabre’s printer problems was not. The almost universal vitriol against Andy for dropping a dime on printers catching fire wasn’t earned. If it had just been from Dwight, and maybe Angela? Sure. But to have it coming from Kevin, Phyllis and most of the rest of the branch felt out of character for several of them. I get the potential threat to their jobs, but, um, the printers were catching fire. Software patch or no, that’s pretty freaking hard to ignore.
Better was the realization that Andy was only one of five whistleblowers — even if three of them were accidental. Darryl talks to a copyeditor at a bar, Pam spills to the wife of a reporter when she doesn’t have any other good stories to share at daycare, David Wallace blabs to a bunch of old clients and Kelly is, you know, Kelly (“I probably tweeted it. … I tweet, I text, I phone, I Skype …”). But while the individual bits were funny, they didn’t really tie back into the larger story. Michael’s efforts to prepare Jo for the multiple confession turned into the heart-to-heart on the plane, and Andy was just left to take the fall at the office. Although since the discipline was coming from Gabe, it didn’t amount to much.
But oh, that scene on the plane was great as Michael’s oversharing opened a door for Jo to drop her tough-CEO face a little bit (Steve Carell and Kathy Bates played off one another incredibly well). Michael confesses to having had a really bad year via the footage on his video camera — “I only liked 12 minutes from the whole year” (hands up if you chose to read that as the writers offering a mea culpa on the erratic nature of the show this season) — and dining choices: “My favorite restaurant closed, and my new favorite restaurant sucks.” And, oh by the way, he misses Holly.
Jo, in turn, admits that selling cheap printers is a long way from the vision she had for herself as a businesswoman. She wanted to be the inspiration for a Barbie, but now she’s afraid she’ll only be remembered for an embarrassing public apology thanks to the faulty product. And, BING goes the light bulb above Michael’s head, because he can get two things he craves deeply: The (presumed) admiration of Pam and Darryl (and as a bonus, Kelly) for shielding them from punishment (never mind any whistleblower laws) and having presumably the most-watched video on the local news station’s site. Take that, baby otter!
Which brings us, then, to that last exchange between Jo and Michael. Jo says if she can ever “brighten your life,” Michael should let her know. He mentions transferring Holly back from Nashua, and Jo replies … “Let me see what I can do.”
Now, I would really, really love it Holly Flax did in fact return to Scranton; Amy Ryan has been great on the show, and the character’s presence helped make Michael Scott more consistently tolerable. But as of this post going up, I don’t know of any plans to have Ryan return to the show next season, so I’m not holding my breath.
A few other thoughts on “Whistleblower”:
- The final Creed Bratton Moment of the season was a fine one indeed, re the whistleblower witch hunt: “I think we can all agree it’s either Gabe or Angela. [Flips coin.] It’s Angela. Get her, boys.”
- The subplot of Dwight trying to buy the Scranton Business Park building seems like kind of a strange thing to leave hanging over the summer. I think there’s potential in Dwight-as-landlord, but would he not have to consult with the Five Families in order to get things done?
- Good Toby moment too, after Jo discovers his unfinished mystery novel on his hard drive and makes a couple suggestions for the relationship between the main character and the maid: “Write your own damn novel.”
- Are you on Woof yet? It’s totally the latest and last word in social media, courtesy of one Ryan Howard, the architect of the pedophile community that was Dunder Mifflin Infinity. The show’s illustration of it — Ryan simultaneously receiving a fax and a call and having three or four chat windows pop up on his screen — was pretty brilliant.
- It felt a little out of place, but Nick the IT Guy’s rant listing the various computer offenses of the staff was pretty funny. “Darryl, you’re on Facebook! Why do you tell people you’re not on Facebook? People want to be your friends.”
- Erin giving Andy’s leg a supportive squeeze was hardly Jim kissing Pam in “Casino Night,” but for those two it might as well count as an offer to move in together.
So that’s it for Season 6 of “The Office.” What did you think of the finale, and what do you think the chances are that Holly could actually return next season?