The Office: Free Family Portrait Studio, 8.24

the-office-free-family-portrait-studio-jim-pam

Writer: B.J. Novak, Director: B.J. Novak

Summary (NBC): Dwight offers free family portraits for the office — a stolen diaper leads to a high-speed car chase. With a little help from an old boss, Andy goes undercover as a janitor and stages a takeover. And a new business opportunity arises for Robert California. Guest stars: James Spader, Catherine Tate.

The Office Free Family Portrait Studio extras

The Office Free Family Portrait Studio rating

In a poll conducted May 10-14, 2012, Tallyheads rated this episode: 6.79/10

See all The Office Season 8 ratings.

The Office Free Family Portrait Studio quotes

Oscar: I’m here to tell you that, yes, it does get better.

Kelly: Webcams make me look the way I look in my fantasies.

Robert: Sexuality is a spectrum.

Oscar: It gets better. Maybe not much better. But better.

Dwight: What’s even more precious to people than muffins? Their own children.

Darryl: You mean to tell me that no one wanted an energy drink for Asian homosexuals?

Darryl: What flavor is that?
Hide: Coconut penis.
Darryl: The coconut is pretty subtle.

Darryl: I would date the hell out of me.

Darryl: I would go crazy on myself.

Gabe: Oh how the mediocre have fallen.

Andy: I have a delicious secret.

Creed: This carpet’s overdue for a good mopping.

Andy: I convinced David Wallace to buy Dunder Mifflin back from Sabre.

Erin: Okay, you’re going to go through the hallway. Here’s a map.

Angela: The senator is the only man I’ve ever been with.

Andy: It’s go time.

Erin: After you’re manager, some of these images are going to be hard to shake.

Erin: Just calibrate.

Dwight: He defecated.

Darryl: Good slam.
Brandon: Thank you, Biggie.

Angela: No! Dwight! Give me the diaper!

Nellie: Oh get out, Skeleton Man!

Toby: Do you see David Wallace in the room right now?

Dwight: Operation Phoenix is a go.

Ryan’s sign: Kelly, I know you are with someone but I love you. I will wait forever.

Robert: This is the worst thing I have ever seen.

Robert: Why’d they add coconut? I miss original.

Andy: From janitor to manager? It’s quite a Cinderella story.

Andy: From total loss, to total boss.

Robert: I’m Bob. Bob Kazamakis.

Andy: Looks like I might get my delicious moment after all.

Nellie: The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven, upon the place beneath.

Andy: How dare you play the bard card.

Andy: All right, you sly bastard. When can you start?

Ryan’s sign: Missed connection — Caffeine Corner — you were blonde w/a hat? I work at Dunder Mifflin. Hope to see you again.

Robert: I want to see these girls right through college. Especially the gymnasts.

Senator Lipton: You know what this is about. Call.

Icon provided by pessimistreader.

128 thoughts on “The Office: Free Family Portrait Studio, 8.24”

  1. I’m wondering who the old boss could be? Could it be Michael Scott is going to make a little cameo? Could this be something they were hiding from us?

    I guess we will just have to wait. Haha

  2. …diaper? car chase?
    Apart from that ridiculous storyline, I’m gonna keep my hopes for this episode high! I loved Angry Andy, and even though this “takeover” plot sounds ridiculous, I think it sounds awesome, so I’ll leave it be

    and no, I very much doubt that this is Michael Scott…NBC would hype this to no end, so I’m going to guess Jim or Dwight? But Jim seems too level-headed for a crackpot janitor plot, and Dwight helping someone else become manager is completely anti-Dwight, so this is a tough one…Pretty great hook by the writers, actually.

  3. Hoping it is indeed Michael Gary Scott, but it might be a character we’ve never seen or heard of before.

    Alternatives are Jo Bennett, Josh Porter, Jan Levinson, David Wallace, Charles Miner, or Deangelo Vickers.

    I am still waiting to see the debut of Broccoli Rob.

  4. I will keep my theory to myself as to not spoil anything. This sure is a far cry from the days when we were waiting for Jim to propose.

  5. I’m guessing the old boss will be Jo. I don’t think it is Michael although I’ll have my fingers crossed.

  6. OR the boss could Andy’s boss when he worked at Abercombie? I can’t remember exactly which episode he referenced that from.

  7. Don’t forget that Creed was also Andy’s acting boss for a short time…

    I think that this is how Dwight gets the DNA sample to prove that the baby is his! Through a used diaper…

  8. @threatlevelmiddwight: “But Jim seems too level-headed for a crackpot janitor plot…” You sure about that? Jim went along with a crackpot warehouse worker plan. Not immensely different.

    And I doubt very much it’ll be Michael. It’ll be some random, one-off character.

  9. I’m surprised to see the coup d’etat Andy is gonna stage around the office. And as for the old boss, I hope that’s one who’s been the perfect boss for everybody. Could be Josh, Andy’s former boss in Stanford (I don’t know), or Michael (I’m not sure), or Jo (I don’t think so), or David (hell yeah). Screw Charles, or Jan.

  10. Given how spoilerish the last few advance episode summaries have been, I think we would already know if the “old boss” were Michael. Fingers crossed though! That would be fantastic!

  11. Believe it or not, NBC has hid surprise guest stars before… does nobody watch SNL? Most non-hosting guests are surprises. I think Diane’s appearances in “Frasier” were sometimes surprises too, so… we’ll see. Of course, it could be from any number of the previous companies he’s mentioned, although I doubt it’s Jo. Remember, she’s a friend of Nellie’s – why is she involved in a coup of Nellie? Deangelo’s in a coma, and Dwight is a little preoccupied in this ep, Jim will probably be getting a family portrait with Pam, CeCe, and Phillip, which leaves Michael, Jan, David, Charles, Creed, Josh, or someone new. Hmmm… too bad I have to miss this ep, I’ll be driving back to my home from NYC at about that time. Typical.

  12. Well, I think we can rule out Creed haha. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it was Josh Porter though. It’d be nice if Michael came back for this episode though. The Office hasn’t had a good season finale in a couple years now.

  13. here’s my far off theory… in “turf war” the summary says that Robert Shuts down another branch of the company… utica? It says with a former boss, not necessarily andy’s former boss, and i feel we might be lucky enough to see karen return and help andy get revenge on robert!

  14. i don’t care who the old boss is. i just want to see an adorable halpert family photo!

  15. @18: The plot summary implies the shut-down branch in “Turf War” is near Scranton – presumably not a Dunder-Mifflin branch, but a “regular” Sabre branch.

  16. This is a pretty ridiculous episode title…
    couldn’t they have just titled it “Family Portrait” or something..? This might be the most ridiculous office title in a while, next to Dwight K. Schrute, (Acting) Manager…

  17. It might be Michael just on the phone or something to Andy. We might hear his voice and not see him. It’ll definitely not be Jim or Dwight, because if it was, the synopsis would just say Jim or Dwight, why would either of them be described as “an old boss”? That doesn’t make sense to me. Andy never had any relationship with David Wallace, so why would he turn to him? I was thinking it wouldn’t be Jo because she owns the company, she could just give Andy his job back, but then I remembered that Nellie’s her best friend, so maybe she wanted Nellie out because she’s screwing up, but didn’t want to lose her friendship (for whatever reason!) and decided to help Andy by subterfuge? The undercover janitor plot sounds weird though – that sounds more like something Michael or Deangelo would come up with though. I do think though that if either Steve Carell or Will Ferrell were going to appear in The Office again, NBC would have promoted the hell out of it. So my best guess is either Michael by phone, or a boss from a previous job.

  18. YES GOD PLEASE YES

    it better be michael!!!

    i think you guys are downplaying this too much, it’s a season finale which usually involves something extravagant.

  19. #27, from everything I’ve read, and from what the cast have been saying, I think there’s pretty much definitely going to be a season 9. How many of the cast will be back for it is another matter…

  20. There’s also the possibility that “help from an old boss” could be something as simple as an IDEA Andy got from an old boss, or an ITEM left behind that he’s borrowing (maybe that hideous wig was Michael’s?). NBC is also notorious for being deliberately vague and/or misleading in their episode descriptions.

    (But secretly I’m hoping like hell that I’m wrong!)

  21. @25 NBC usually doesn’t promote that far in advance anyway. I guess we’ll all know soon

  22. My prediction for the finale is Kelly will be written out of the story-line moving on with her new boyfriend and Andy will actually become the new CEO. Which sadly means Nellie will be staying on as manager.

  23. At the risk of being mildly spoilery…I’m wondering if a surprise appearance from an old face in Fundraiser points to who this “old boss” is.

  24. Last episode for Robert. I bet at least 1 or 2 other characters announce their leaving at the end of the episode as well.

  25. Why is this no longer linked to on the sidebar for “upcoming episodes”?

    [ from tanster: thanks, fixed! ]

  26. I think the “old boss” from Fundraiser is going to Dunder Mifflin and offer Jim a job. He always believed in Jim and it would be a nice way to end a the show in the next season.

  27. Here’s what’s going to happen. David Wallace will become the new head of the company after Robert leaves.

  28. Here’s to hoping that the scandalous departure of Rob Cal Jenna was talking about involves Nellie. Also, I’m pretty excited about the Dwangela storyline.

  29. okay.
    So there are many options here…

    David Wallace comes in and saves the day as CEO of company and Andy is back to manager position.

    or

    David just helps, and someone in the office gets promoted to manager or CEO.

    or

    Maybe it’s not even David. Maybe Michael does come back. Michael as CEO? Move the Headquarters to Colorado.

    or

    Sabre goes bankrupt. Dunder Mifflin buys its own buyer… whaa?

    My favorite idea:

    Who knows who CEO is. Jim or Pam manage Dunder Mifflin Scranton. And we see a new company rise — Wallace Bernard Paper Company!

    yaya

  30. Hopefully they dump Sabre…Dunder Mifflin has gotten way lamer since Sabre bought them.
    In an IDEAL world Wallace becomes CEO, brings in Michael Scott as a big position and we get to see him once every 5-7 episodes or something lol. Also, Andy needs to be demoted, if Michael is not the boss it has to be a straight man. what about Kevin James playing a normal-guy/real worker boss?

  31. I would love to see Michael Scott back on the show! I would probably cry if he returned haha :D I think it’ll probably be David Wallace or Jo Bennett..but if I had to choose (besides Michael) it would be Ryan.

    Anyone thinking Creed?? He was a boss for a very short time..kinda far-fetched, but you never know.

  32. Why don’t they bring Jan levenson back!!! And David, the show worked when they were in upper management

  33. Is there any word yet as to if this episode is going to be longer than the usual 22 minutes? I’d be nice to get at least one 1hr ep this season and this episode seems to be the one that could use it to make sure all ends are tied before we have to wait till Sept, IF the show renews.

  34. How about Robert leaves David comes back as CEO removes Nellie, and meanwhile Holly’s parents die, and soon they realize they need to get jobs and Michael is manager of the scranton branch and andy is back in sales

  35. Andy will be the manager by the end of this episode I am sure. He is still the present manager in the theme song, and they change that for everything.

  36. @52.
    According to NBC’s website, the schedule for tonight is The Office at 9pm and Parks and Rec at 9:30pm.

  37. OMG! Best Office episode of the season. Amazing.
    If this episode is a test of whether or not BJ Novak can run this show, the answer is “YES!”

  38. Great episode.
    Nice to see they didn’t completely ditch catherine. She was funny as project manager in Tallahassee.
    David wallace back … another plus.
    Wonder what’s gonna happen with angela though since dwight is leaving for a spin off…is she going too?….

  39. I loved everything about the Dwight/Angela storyline, though. I love them together. However, there was WAY too much Andy, WAY too little Jim and Pam. If this ends up being the series finale and that was all we got of the couple that made this show what it is… I will be incredibly upset.

  40. I agree, Daniel, I think Catherine Tate can be effective as a member of the cast (rather than as the new “Michael Scott”) – she is funny and can be the irritant that we’ll be missing once Dwight leaves. My guess is they’ll have a few episodes at the start of next season with Dwight before he makes the move. I think they’ll want to make the most of his exit.

  41. I’ll give the last 2 episodes a 9 out of 10. Overall I like this episode and hopefully it won’t be the last. I really didn’t want Nellie to come back and I thought it was funny how Robert fooled David. This should have been an extended episode! I loved the Angela-Dwight-Senator-Oscar cliffhanger too. Hopefully Season 9 is more exciting and like the old Office stuff.

  42. I really hope this isn’t the end. I wish someone would have spoke up to bobs(Roberts) b.s. they can’t end the series like that right?

  43. I guess I’m in the minority here but I thought that this was the worst season finale since “Whistleblower” and that at least had Michael. This show is not going to work with Andy as the main character simply because he’s the boss. The undercover janitor thing was stupid. I couldn’t care less about Andy and Erin as a couple. There was no Jim or Pam plot worth anything. The only good things that came out of this were Darryl getting together with his girl and Angela and Dwight at the end. Other than that, it was mostly the cast giving Bob California the “what the heck is going on” looks. I have to say, I had that look on my face for most of the episode, all the while hoping it would get better. Here’s hoping for some great ensemble comedy next season.

  44. I really hope that this is not the end of the series, this show deserves a much, much better ending.

    On a quick side note–I love the whole David Wallace story, but why would he have been at a fundraiser in Scranton, PA (this is going back a couple of episodes) when before on the show they have said that he lives in Westchester?

  45. I loved this episode! I enjoyed seeing the adorable Halpert family, loved the Dwight/Angela scenes, and I’m glad Robert is gone. Just wish he would take Nellie with him! I’m going to be crushed if that was the last episode we get though.

  46. So, did Val dump Brandon during the episode, since Darryl invited her in his picture with his daughter? The whole Val/Brandon relationship reminded me so much of Roy & Pam.

  47. I thought the episode was great, but how can you justify bringing Nellie back when everyone has been complaining about her ever since she joined the show? Don’t they read fan feedback?

  48. What a great episode, one of the best in a long time and much better than Search Committee last year.

    BTW, did Andy have on a really expensive suit? That has to be one of the nicest I’ve seen on the show. I want one.

  49. Other than a few cute Erin/Andy moments, this episode is so-so at best. What happened after Angry Andy? I am still hoping for Season 9 but if cancellation means we get to see Ellie Kemper and Ed Helms more in another show then I guess I can live with it.

  50. Does anyone feel like this was the perfect setup for an epic last season where all plotlines are finally tied together once and for all?

  51. Not really an exciting season finale. I thought when Andy got fired, he would learn from it. He would act much more sensible. Instead he went for this ridiculous janitor undercover. But on the bright side, everything is a win-win situation. Just an ordinary episode to complete the season. I’m quite disappointed.

  52. @72
    I thought the same thing at first, but then again I’m not entirely sure how often a “project manager” would be around. I’m thinking that Nellie will be a bit more tolerable if she only shows up every once and a while, like Todd Packer.

    This was probably my favorite season finale from the past 3 seasons. How can you go wrong with Dwight and Angela getting back together?? Also, I was rooting for Darryl this season, and I was happy that his situation with Val worked out.
    I feel like this episode ended the season pretty well, but I still hope there’s going to be at least one more season to tie up loose ends, etc.

  53. So disappointing. Nellie is rehired? Robert wins?? Wallace is a complete idiot willing to give one mil??? Very unfunny stuff. Dwight was GREAT but we already basically know he’s the father. Couldn’t we have gotten a little more?

  54. Ed Helms was great in this episode. I’m glad to see Andy back in the manager’s chair. Ed/Andy looked very handsome in that black suit. I’m happy Robert California won’t be back, but it doesn’t make sense that David Wallace would believe Robert’s lie and give him a million dollars b/c of it. That was just dumb, and I always viewed David Wallace as a pretty smart dude.

  55. This episode had so many great elements! Jim being scared, Val and Darryl, the old warehouse guys, all the kids were back (was Meredith’s son the same as in take your daughter to work day?), David Wallace (I love him), no more Sabre, Oscar and the senator.. And of course Dwight and Angela! Seriously, awesome stuff!

  56. For those of you wishing that there had been more Jim and Pam in the episode, there was supposed to be. Jenna Fischer tweeted that their story was cut from the episode. She didn’t really sound that happy about it, and followed it with the hashtag, #maybenextyear.

  57. I’ve figured out the ploy. The whole “reboot” story was built on tonight’s episode, in which they essentially did reboot the series by ditching Sabre and Bob Kazamakis. Also, it was reported tonight that John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, and Ed Helms have signed on for season nine. Even though we have to wait until Monday for confirmation, well played indeed!

  58. Decent episode, but they totally missed the mark with Andy hiring Nellie and Wallace giving the Lizard King a million bucks.

  59. I thought it was “eh”. My favorite moment was Creed taking the portrait with his parents.

  60. I really hope that there will be a season nine now, this episode was okay but nothing special. Andy’s idea was stupid and not funny however I love that David is back and Sabre is gone. Did anyone seriously buy Angela being involved in a high-speed car chase? Oh well, I guess it was nice to see the possibility of Dwight and Angela getting back together. Val’s boyfriend was really starting to remind me of Roy so I liked when she held his hand even if she didn’t dump Brandon yet. When I think about it this wasn’t a bad episode by any means, I think the main thing that irritated me was that Jim and Pam had less than two minutes of screen time in an episode that could have been the end of the series, It was cute but not nearly enough.

  61. Love the Jim/Pam and Creed photo scenes! Way too much Robert C. and bummed Andy was too creepy. He could have just been there and people would have thought he was crazy talking about David Wallace. Bummed that they are keeping Nellie, too. But she hasn’t been as hard to watch lately. Love the Darryl/Val story line and it was great to see Hidetoshi. Hopefully they will hire him back and have more warehouse scenes next year!

  62. It seems obvious to me that Nellie is being set up to be the show’s new antagonist when Dwight leaves the series…

  63. @79 – nice try…

    @81 – I agree that it seems like Nellie will be around as often as Packer, so I think I can stomach her.

    I absolutely loved this episode. I laughed out loud several times, something I’ve really missed this season. I almost rated this episode a 10, but the hiring of Nellie bumped me down a whole point.

    MOSE!

  64. I compare Season 8 of The Office to Michael Jordan’s 2nd comeback and subsequent stint with the Washington Wizards. Just pretend it never happened.

  65. RE: Why David Wallace was at a Scranton PA fundraiser… I believe the reason is the fundraiser had to do with the State Senator (even though it was for charity and not his campaign, those who support the Senator would come to support this). So for big statewide supporters of Senator Lipton it’s an easy drive.

  66. By the way, Hide’s drinks can reads “Gay energy” in Japanese. Now that is attention to detail!!

  67. This episode played out like this season: small bits of humor surrounded by a vast sea of dull, forced comedy. Too much Andy with other stories either completely neglected (Jim and Pam) or given such a cursory treatment that you can’t develop any interest in them (Dwight and Angela). I thought David Wallace might tone down the descent in Sitcomville, but he just got dragged into the mud along with the rest of the gifted cast. Please let next year be the last and the new showrunner take a hard look at why the last three seasons have not worked with a few minor exceptions. I want to love this show again, but they are making it hard. TWSS.

  68. I think it’s safe to say the writing this season has been one of the worst in TV history.

    They focused on crap story lines (Nellie, Erin/Andy) and completely ignored the good ones (Dwight/Angela). You can’t tell me that plots written for Andy, Erin, Kevin, Kelly, Nellie, and Robert are more interesting than ones centered on Jim, Pam, and Dwight. Remember when they were the main characters?

    I’m so disappointed they kept Nellie. She didn’t deserve the job, she doesn’t fit in The Office. “Special project manager, I go around doing whatever I want”.. Pretty much sums it up.

    For the first time, I wanted to turn off my TV in the middle of the episode. The Robert California gymnast bit was ridiculous. What happened to any ounce of realism?

    :( Goodbye to The Office.

  69. Did anyone notice Creed taking a family portrait with HIS parents?!? LOLOLOL
    I couldn’t stop laughing. I wish we could have met mama and papa Creed.

  70. I actually have been liking Nellie since she bought those sandals for Pam. She’s not so horrible! Robert can leave forever with his ridiculous story lines and creepy speeches. Dwight’s car chase was the best scene I’ve seen all season, but this was a really sad finale for me. Hardly laughed, and no real questions in the end that I care about anyway. What happened to the brilliant writers? Are they spread too thin giving all the great jokes to the spinoffs??

  71. Andy was too much. Just creepy and weird and annoying and I wanted him to go away. I don’t care about him and Erin. I have never felt like they were as compelling as Jim and Pam. If they hadn’t done that thing with her creepy foster brother in Season 6(?) I think I would like her more. But I just can’t get over that.

    I wish there had been a throw-down between Pam and Kathy after Florida. I hope David Wallace will be on the show more. And I wish Darryl and Kelly would get back together. They were awesome.

    My dream is that next season for one of the sweeps months, they will have everyone fly to Colorado to go to Michael & Holly’s wedding. Please Please Please, let that happen. Please.

  72. Spectacular episode!!!!! This was one of the best season finales I’ve ever seen. I enjoyed how Andy became the manager again thanks to David Wallace, absorting Sabre, getting rid of Robert and demoting Nellie. And the old warehouse meets the new warehouse with Darryl. I love the car chase sequence with Dwight and Angela. The photoshoot scenes were great, including the one with Jim and Pam. And finally, I liked the final scene with Oscar and the Senator, pretty funny. See you next season, folks. Catch you guys on the flippity-flip!!!!!

  73. I absolutely loved this episode… granted, if it wasn’t a season finale, I would have hated it. When it comes to wrapping up a season, though, this is the best non-series finale I’ve seen since… I’m not sure when. I loved the various snapshots of portraits, Mose(!!!!!!!), everyone thinking Andy is mental, Andy channeling David Brent (seriously, rewatch the scene with Nellie after Andy wins back his job, it’s weird) and that, while I thought he was a potentially great character, the unnecessary, poorly-written “Robert California” is gone!

    However, there are 3 things I am confused about:
    1. IS Nellie still at Dunder-Mifflin? Will she be a regular in Scranton or involved at Corporate with Special Projects?
    2. Will David Wallace be a regular next year, like “Robert” was this year?
    3. Did Hide and that other guy (did they re-cast the Sea Monster?) get their jobs back? If so, are other warehouse workers (Madge, etc) coming back too?

  74. I’m glad Robert California is gone. Please, let this be the end for Gabe and hopefully Nellie becomes more bearable next year. I would like to see the old stuff from the show brought back like in seasons 3 and 4. Most of the chemistry is gone, but I think the writers should just make a crazy last season!

  75. Mose was willing to shave his chin beard to help Dwight– I wouldn’t have recognized him if Angela hadn’t identified him.

  76. @106 That is a very astute observation about Andy chanelling David Brent in the scene with Nellie. The way Andy triumphantly leans back in his chair is so very Brent!

  77. It felt like an okay episode but didn’t have the usual feel of an end of season finale. It’s nicely set up for the next series with David back and still just stupid (suckit, sponsoring ‘Bob’ etc.) to permit the Scranton oddballs to work the way they do. I think Nellie will be the new Dwight, injecting crazy now and again.
    I presume Kelly will marry her doctor and Dwight will leave during the next series…. but will Angela and Baby Philip be with him?

  78. Nellie’s “Oh get out, Skeleton Man !!” was the BEST !!!
    Glad to see some progress with Darryl and Val.
    Annoyed that Andy was so obsessed that every step of his plan had to be perfect.
    Best wishes for Angela, Dwight and baby.
    Nice Mose cameo.

  79. Did anyone else feel really sorry for the Senator when they saw how much he doted on the baby? He seems like a really good father, I felt bad that it’s not really his son. Thought the portraits were a really nice touch – a lot of good callbacks. Liked seeing Toby, Meredith and Stanley’s kids again (and really glad they remembered to give Meredith’s son a face tattoo!), and Kelly and Ravi. And Jim was hilarious in the otherwise adorable Halpert picture! Also liked seeing Nate – he doesn’t have enough to do, hope he gets a bigger part next year. The Andy storyline was weird. Although I did laugh at him mopping the carpet and pretending to be drunk and giving Nellie the soup, it dragged on too long and stopped being funny. So great to see David Wallace back, and I disagree that him falling for Robert’s scam made him seem dumb. Remember that Robert talked Jo Bennett out of her own job and David is someone who always sees the best in people.

  80. @ 106 / remember to call: The character who reappeared alongside Hide was Calvin (played by Calvin Tenner). :-)

  81. Oh, and also – Mose!!! Yay! Mose dressed as Dwight and being beaten by Angela, and then running away? C’mon! And Hide being back! Lots of Office fan favourites all in the one episode! Also, Gabe with the party hat and the little cake, running away after Nellie yelled at him really made me laugh. I don’t understand why people don’t like Gabe, I think he’s hilarious.

  82. I really hope Greg Daniels comes back as show runner next year and creates an amazing last season with David Wallace as CEO in New York, Goodbye Sabre finally. I’m so glad they did that. Also one episode with Michael would be nice. I try to focus on the good scenes with Jim, Dwight, Pam, David, and Mose . . . I stop paying attention whenever I see anyone else

  83. I thought this was a great episode, it’s just too bad all of the episodes this season couldn’t have been as good. I think as a whole the second half of the season improved a lot since the first half. I LOVE that Dwangela is back :) :) and I thought the family portrait thing as a whole was hilarious. This episode had a lot more of the same feel of the early seasons. Does anyone know though what happened to the senator’s other son…the one he had at the hay maze? Wouldn’t he have brought him along for the portrait too?

  84. I tend to agree with all of the critics on here. I was very excited to see this episode. I thought the lead up to it was great in the last episode. But they dropped the ball on making this episode a game changer. Instead of having Andy and David Wallace triumphantly take the office back from Sabre they had Andy act like a fool and they let Wallace be fooled by Robert California. Something is completely off with Erin/Andy; she’s not funny and there isn’t any realistic chemistry there. They could have saved the show with this episode if it was done right.

  85. I loved the tear-away velcro suit. Frustrated by David Wallace being duped by Robert.

  86. Too often they write events in the current episodes to set up future stories without thinking about characters in the moment. And, the things they set up are no longer pleasing to the viewing audience or pleasant surprises. Not since “Garage Sale” has this group outdone itself and that episode was a hidden gem unlike what we’d seen since all the way back to Beach Games and the flashbacks. Why are they keeping Nellie? Why are they forcing dialogue to lose Robert? Why are they making David Wallace an idiot? Why are they… Why are they… IRK! The creative staff needs to sit down and hash out the season concepts (ala seasons 2 and 3) to not make it so wishy-washy.

  87. ALSO- my one other thing regarding the show I LOVED. They don’t execute on potentially hilarious ideas anymore, dragging them out and opting for the wrong finishes; such as: Andy’s plot. Wallace showed up so why make it awkward and not funny by making it seem he wouldn’t? Then, why not give them their big moment? It would have worked so much better…..

  88. This whole episode was just bad. I think some of this season had some funny moments but what a way to end on a sour note. The whole thing with Robert California tricking David Wallace and then no one saying anything just seemed really stupid. Nothing was that funny.

  89. This season was like a transition period of experiments to recapture the magic of the earlier seasons; unfortunately, many of those attempts fell flat.

    Writers (and directors) need to ground all of the characters and stop playing the absurdity card for cheap laughs. Writers especially need to step up their game, because this season was filled with examples of sloppy plot development and weak comedic payoffs. The Office is better than that.

    Season 9 will be an opportunity to start fresh, and prove that Michael Scott’s exit did not cripple the show beyond recovery. I hope they can pull it off.

  90. Meh is spot-on. The writers need to stop making caricatures out of the characters. Kevin is “Kevin” enough without having to make him act like a complete moron. Same goes with Erin. Andy has gone from uncomfortably funny (sometimes creepy) to Mr. Sweetheart, to annoying. Give us back uncomfortably funny Andy. The whole Robert California experiment was failed. An awful, ill-fitting character. Nellie has SOME potential, but alas the writers tried to make her the US version of the Gervais character. And they fell flat. Heck, even Oscar was written in such a way that his nature was betrayed.

  91. One thing I’m curious about is whether the amount of improvised lines on this show have decreased since Michael’s departure…I feel like without the master improv skills of Steve Carell (much of which fueled the early seasons’ humor), the secondary characters aren’t as inspired to improvise their lines

  92. #126 There is very little improvisation in the show even in the early seasons. The commentaries and interviews with the actors have indicated that almost everything is scripted, but they will try a few takes where the actors test different versions, but still close to the written word.

  93. the robert california scamming Wallace showed how good robert is at tricking people, not so much that Wallace is stupid. i think over all that the writing is the best in TV.

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