Friday, September 21 -
Last night, the final premiere of “The Office” aired on NBC. As the show’s theme song opened the episode, it elicited nostalgia for the series’ impressive run, which never quite recovered after losing Steve Carrell after its seventh season. Though the eighth season proved shaky without Michael Scott, this episode’s writer, Greg Daniels, succeeded in ushering in the ninth and final season with an amusing and entertaining premiere.
The episode begins with a montage in which each character recaps their summer activities. Notably, Kelly moves to Miami (of Ohio), Ryan quits to join, yet another, unpromising business, and Dwight learns he is not the father of Angela’s baby. Kevin’s segment nearly left me in tears, for the accountant pitifully runs over a turtle with his car. Then, unable to find glue, he attempts to patch up and pimp out the reptile’s pulverized shell with random items, such as a baseball cap and key ring. It is not until the end of the sequence that Kevin realizes that the turtle has been dead the entire time.
A humorous plot line ensues in which Angela places her denim sporting, longhaired cat, Comstock, up for adoption. A snooty Andy returns from his exotic retreat and makes multiple attempts to get Nellie, the British redhead, fired from the company. Furthermore, Jim grows increasingly fed up with his standstill job, and rashly accepts a job opportunity from one of his friends.
The premiere also signaled the addition of two new temps. The newbies, Clark and Pete, are promptly nicknamed Dwight Jr. and Jim Jr., respectively. Initially, Dwight takes Clark under his wing, viewing him as a stand in for the son he lost after Angela’s paternity test. However, Schrute quickly turns against his doppelganger, convinced that he out to steal his job.
Arguably, the most comical portion of the episode occurs when Andy asks employees to walk across a slack line as a test of courage. Though Andy staged the exercise in order to embarrass Nellie, Clark (Dwight Jr.) steals the spotlight, walking the rope flawlessly. Dwight subsequently challenges the noob, but fails in epic proportions. After falling off of the slack line on his first attempt, a hilarious compilation shows Dwight’s body repeatedly flopping off of the rope, like a mangled rag doll.
Subsequently, Dwight endeavors to regain his honor by riding a bike across a telephone wire extending over the office parking lot. However, he slips and is left to hang helplessly until the fire department rescues him. The episode closes with an, undoubtedly, drugged, Creed claiming that the circus came to the Dog Food Company at which he worked, complete with Dwight and Jim impersonators, a trapeze artist, and a woman selling a baby disguised as a cat.
Though “The Office” may never quite live up to the Michael Scott era of the series, this season’s premiere proved extremely entertaining and promises a very humorous final season.
- Alex Mediavilla