Tori’s Review: Goodbye, Toby

I hope Angela has a season pass to confession, because Miss Martin has sinned — and it was awesome! I’m so happy to see that another couple, besides Jim and Pam, is making the most of their time in the office.

“Goodbye, Toby” started with a painfully excited Michael planning Toby’s funeral. I’m going to miss Toby. I hope Costa Rica is a nice, warm place to start working on The Office spin off.

With Toby leaving, the office needed a new HR person to keep Michael in line. Enter the softer, slightly saner version of Jan — Holly.

I loved the characterization of Michael in this episode. Sometimes his lunatic level is too high for me to care about him. I laugh at him, but I don’t always care. But when this Michael comes out to play, I really just love him. I care about him so much I want to kick him in the head for being so damn stupid.

It was really interesting to see Michael through the eyes of someone who doesn’t hate him, or pity him. Holly actually likes him! Might even want to see him naked! The view through her eyes made me find him a little attractive too. The feeling has passed. (Just for the record, I think Steve Carell is very attractive — Michael not so much.)

For a few minutes, Michael had it all: a beautiful woman, with a dislike for Toby, who could throw back terrible Yoda impressions as fast as he could toss them. Sure, her boobs were still real, but the relationship was young.

But, then he threw it all away for a pregnant Jan who probably loves him, but also clearly hates him. I can’t wrap my mind around someone with such low self esteem she would want to be with a man when she thinks his sperm will one day end up in a special work program.

The storyline between Kevin and Holly was quite possibly one of my favorites since Season 2. We are all used to Kevin’s strange behavior, but it was hysterical to see how easily his mellow attitude can be mistaken as a slow adult. Poor Kevin. He thought he was totally going to bang Holly. I’m sure the only contact was when she had to reach over and wipe ketchup off his face at the diner.

The most disappointing part of the season finale was that Jim didn’t get to propose. It was adorable watching him nervously grip the box and Pam’s knee. I ached for them when Andy ruined their moment. Jenna Fischer did a fantastic job of showing so much emotion in that sad smile during her picture with Toby. You could almost hear her telling herself it would be silly to cry.

I am a little worried about Pam’s, “I wouldn’t go if things weren’t so solid with Jim.” Foreshadowing? When we come back the show will be three months in the future, and Jim and Pam still won’t be engaged after a summer apart.

Even though this season finale didn’t quite knock me over like Season 2, it definitely set up some exciting stuff for next season. I can’t wait to see the repercussions of “The Devil in Miss Martin.” I wonder if Holly’s crush on Michael will be more misery for the status of HR in the office. I hope Ryan spends at least until November sweeps in jail. And I’m anxious for Michael to plan his own “I’m kinda going to be a Daddy” baby shower.

See you in Season 5!

Tori Weber is a Web Producer and writer for a television news station in Orlando, FL. Writing keeps her sane, and ice cream makes her happy. Dogs are good too. Visit her here.


  1. Great review. I really liked how she talked about Michael and how she actually cared about him since I felt the same way in this episode.

  2. As always, great review. Always makes me want to rewatch the episode.

  3. Really spot on. Exactly how I felt about the episode. Though I will probably miss Toby less…

  4. Great review! I agree with you on everything, these were my exact thoughts as I was watching the finale. But I also had a thought that maybe Jim will propose over the summer and Pam will come back with an engagement ring. But I’m not sure. Also, I thought there was a little too much going on at once for the usual office episodes, usually they make a plot out of something small like a chair or a parking spot. This episode had SO much going on! But I loved it :)

  5. Great review, I definitely agree. Oh man, I just realized that we will probably miss Jim and Pam’s reaction to finding out Jan is pregnant. I always like seeing the faces they make when something crazy happens. I think that Michael wouldn’t have a problem with letting Pam come back to work at DM after three months, but is the choice up to him?

  6. I definitely think that during the summer break Pam will be gone in New York. Then when season 5 comes back there’s going to be an amazing proposal! I like the new HR person and I’m so glad Dwangela are back!!

    My guess that either Ryan comes back after jail/commmunity service to be a temp again (I would love that) or Ryan’s going to be the new spinoff? I mean, why not? He’s attractive, young, and funny.

  7. Yay, the reviews are back! I love Holly. I hope she and Jim don’t get together when Pam is gone, though!

  8. so why does everyone interpret the “i wouldn’t go if things weren’t so solid with jim” as foreshadowing? i felt reassured by that and took it at face value. tori – what about that makes you concerned? am i missing something?

  9. great review, but why didn’t you mention the whole andy-angela-dwight love triangle???? the ending was pretty intense no?

  10. You’re so right! I agree with every little thing you said! This was definitely my favorite season 4 episode. Mostly because they made Michael look human again, like you pointed out. He wasn’t so over the top in this episode and he made us care about him. And the Kevin/Holly storyline was awesome. Especially, because they kept it up for the entire episode! Oh and such a cliffhanger with the Dwangela action! I was shocked and found myself repeating: ‘Oh my God’ over and over again without any control over it. I love your reviews, Tori! We agree on a lot of things. I guess great minds think alike! ;)

  11. I’m still not convinced that Toby is actually leaving!

    This episode, in my opinion, made up for the less-than-fabulous episodes since the writer’s strike. I am disappointed about the Jim and Pam thing, yet secretly glad that tension will be carried through to next season. I love to ache for them. :)

  12. Is it just me or does the lighting seem different this season, or at least since after the strike. It seems a little darker than normal. Watch an episode from season 2, then watch a post strike episode and you will see what I mean.

  13. Yep, Tori, once again you read my mind exactly. If only my thoughts were as well written as yours… Thanks for another great review! (and thanks for posting tanster – congrats on another great season of fansite awesomeness!!!)

  14. i love the idea of michael trying to throw himself a baby shower! ahahahah! love it!

  15. #4 Amie,

    It would be nice to see them engaged when the show comes back but I hope they don’t do it over the summer just so we get to see the proposal ourselves.

  16. Yes! The Yoda-exchange was so sweet. Like watching two children split a cookie in half.

  17. I agree with you on your assessment. I am still not over my anger toward Andy. I hate that he ruined Jim’s moment. I sincerely hope that this is not the beginning of the end of JAM. Does this make Angela the new office mattress? Nice party planning by Phyllis…loved to see the occasional appearance of Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration. Would have loved to see Stanley more and glad to see Ryan get his just dues. Loved the two messages that Jim left for Ryan. It’s a nice setup to see who will be Ryan’s next replacement. Michael has some serious dependency issues with respect to Jan. I have to say that Jan looked really great the other night. Melora Hardin is quite beautiful. The rest of the episode was great except that foiled proposal.

  18. i love when michael is actually used as a real human and not just a punchline, and the same goes for dwight. often they’re just sorta generic “dumb” or “weird” comedy setpieces. i really cared about both of them in this episode and that was awesome.

  19. I totally agree that the scenes with Kevin and Holly were amazing! “This is a button..”
    The writers did an amazing job! It was almost up there with “Casino night”.

    Great review!

  20. But what about Ryan?! Tori, don’t tell me you missed the Jim-Ryan rivalry being blown to a whole different level? They’re going to need a replacement, right…? Pam has to be in New York for three months, right…? Who does David Wallace like from the Scranton branch? And what about when Ryan gets out of court and whatever prison he’s stuck in? Yeah, Jim didn’t propose to Pam, but that doesn’t mean he won’t soon. The Jim I know wouldn’t just give up because he didn’t get to propose to Pam before Andy proposed to Angela.

  21. It wasn’t Andy’s fault, so I wish everyone would stop hating on him. It’s natural that his timing is off – that’s just he way he is.

    (Personally, I love how he upstaged Jim. Hilarious!)

  22. Does anyone really think Amy Ryan is going to be a regular on a TV show. I mean as an actor/actress, work is work, but she was just nominated for an academy award. I think Toby will be back in some capacity. As for Jim and Pam, I will never watch this show again if they break them up. Actually, no man in his right mind would come back for more if he’s spurned a second time (remember Casino Night folks and Season 3 opener?).

  23. Great review! I was really gunning for Jan to get her act together and win Michael back, but Holly is adorable. I loved seeing Michael be so human (and surprisingly attractive). It justifies why such a goofball would be caught between two foxy ladies, for the second time.

    I, too, am worried about Jim and Pam. She looked TOO hurt when Jim ended up not proposing…and she was jerked around by Roy for such a long time. Oh, suspense!

  24. I can’t wait until we get to see the Phyllis-Angela-Dwight tension. Remember how much disdain is between them? It goes back a long ways. Phyllis knows the dirty little secret and will probably hold it over Angela’s head. I loved it when Phyllis threw Angela’s books on the floor and just said, “oops.”

  25. Great recap and comments! I don’t think that I’ll miss Toby that much, lately I’ve just dismissed him as creepy and pitiful, but I am glad that Paul L. sticks around as a writer, he is amazing. I loved the finale, from the cell phone prank to Darryl’s musical stylings to the amazing tag. I was sad that our PB&J moment was ruined by a clueless Andy Benard, but I do think that Jim can come up with a better proposal than at someone else’s office party. I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened during the summer and we heard/ saw it in flashback form when the show returns. Is it September yet?

  26. Like Tatiana said, the Andangela engagement certainly foretells some funny corrective action in the fall. The way Angela couldn’t refuse his proposal was priceless — “I said OK!” — and that pained look on her face (as well as Dwight’s response)…

    Dwight’s taking the bull by the horns at the end reminded me of the “prostitute” scene at the convention a couple of years ago.

    And I have to add that I was amazed how Michael was able to stifle the “That’s what she said” he was about to utter on the Ferris wheel!

    So many new arcs to look forward to in Season 5! Thanks for your great recap, Tori!!

  27. I remember reading that a cast member had said that the finale would really set things up for the spin off. Now, I seriously doubt we’re going to be given a half-hour a week devoted to Toby in Costa Rica (if he ends up leaving at all). So, I am left with this conclusion, which I really am hoping is not the case: Pam is going to New York for the summer. Ryan, who works for DM in New York, has just been arrested. Jim was originally supposed to get that job, but turned it down to stay with Pam. Is it not likely that he would be offered the job again, and this time would say yes, because he and Pam could be together in NY? She could go to school and then maybe get an internship with DM or another company in graphic design. That is the most obvious choice for a set up of the spin off that I took away from the finale, but I really don’t (think) I want to see J & P separated from the rest of the DM crew. Any thoughts? Other theories?

  28. I don’t think I’m as optimistic as many of you in terms of Jim and Pam. There was a very definite tone to this episode. I don’t want to believe that Pam and Jim are in trouble, but come on, that episode just gave me a feeling. Like last season when I just knew Jim was on his way back to her. Whatever the writers decide to do with it next season, I just hope it’s real and not just for the sake of creating a ‘will they-won’t they’ couple.
    This was an excellent Michael episode. Really, really excellent.
    And the Kevin/Holly bit was my favorite thing since jinx.

  29. I’ve got a million great ideas for possibilites with Ryan in jail, ‘Prison Mike’ paying a visit, Jan’s baby, and all those. Two things I really didn’t like- first, having it seem like Kevin’s mentally challenged doesn’t sit well with me, and second was Andy’s proposal, I wanted to jump in the show and punch him in the face. Hopefully this doesn’t ruin anything in the Jim- Pam thing. Hopefully what the premiere in September will involve Jim sending Pam off to that art school by popping the question.

  30. Can someone please explain to me what kind of design school is only 3 months long…?

  31. Could it be Ryan who gets the spinoff? I think I could go for a rip-off of Prison Break :)

  32. “Enter the softer, slightly saner version of Jan — Holly.”

    Why is she a version of Jan? I don’t see how the two are alike at all?

  33. Definitely the best episode of the season, and Steve Carell’s finest hour. I love that in only one episode, Amy Ryan’s character stole every fan’s heart as the woman who could truly complete Michael Scott.

    Looking forward to season five, and super excited that for the first time in perhaps the entire show’s history, Michael Scott might just have a storyline more potent than Jim & Pam…

  34. Tori, I mostly enjoy your insight as the sassy powerful woman you are but I gotta say I think you are missing it on this one. The writers are showing more depth and experience than most of the comments give them credit for.

  35. That’s true that Jim was a shoo-in for the NY job, but would it be so crazy for Karen to get it? I’m not sure how much of a grudge she still has against Jim, but she might keep some of the job-tension there if she is still mad. And we’ve already seen Jan and Ryan go crazy in that position…if Karen got up to NY and decided to go nuts, too, things could get even more interesting.

  36. Great review. I think everyone here is anxious for September and the Spin-Off!

    However, think about people; Dwight hooks up with Angela and Andy somehow finds out, leaving DM in humiliation.

    There lies your Spin-Off, Andy, Andy, Andy.
    It has already been stated that neither Pam (for that matter, Jim as well) or Michael will leave the show.

  37. I think Amy Ryan is going to be a semi-regular. As to the commenter who wondered why she would be on a television show – she was on a television show for years. Rent The Wire. It’s fabulous (plus it will make you laugh really hard at Michael Scott’s synopsis of it in the episode a couple of weeks ago). The Office has a lot of movie stars on it these days anyway ;). I enjoyed this episode quite a bit – particularly the Kevin subplot.
    As for PB&J – I think that she will meet someone in art school that she will NOT get together with but will make Jim have to step up his game. Jim still needs to figure out what he’s doing with his life. If they weren’t operating under the constraints of this show, those two characters would have moved to Philadelphia already. Good design schools for her and remember “Philly Jim”? He obviously has a picture of himself as a sportswriter in Philadelphia that he has never pursued. But we won’t see The Big Four leave the Office while it’s on the air. So that’ll have to happen in the series finale. :)

  38. Anybody think something should be read into the fact that Pam said she thought Toby was kind of cute? I’ve been watching season 3 episodes over the last few days, and she’s always nice to Toby. She’s not so nice that she wanted to date him more than she wanted to date Jim, but she is friendly to him.

    So, in the wake of Jim’s foiled proposal, here’s what I think might happen: Pam will go to NYC without being engaged, DM will convince Toby to take Ryan’s higher-paying job in NYC (remember, Toby didn’t look too happy at his going-away party, so he might rather stay), and things will fizzle between Jim and Pam (at least for a little bit). That’s how I think season 5 will begin.

  39. 34 | Grace

    Yes; if it is just a school of design, then she isn’t getting a degree–something more like a certificate. With intense scheduling, you can definitely finish a certificate program in 3 months, one quarter. There are lots of intensive language programs at universities around the country like this now, where you can basically get a minor in a foreign language in one summer; actually, my husband is doing a GIS certificate this summer. Class from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (with reasonable breaks, usually 3 or 4 hours to work in the lab in the afternoons) six days a week for two months. Not going to be much fun for me, but it’ll give him some career flexibility when he’s done, so it’s all good, right? *sigh* Anyway, the certificate program is worth 24 college credits, about the size of a college minor.

  40. if you look at jim and pam throughout the whole episode the “tone” was very positive. the conversation in the break room showed a happy healthy couple. there was ONE moment where pam is sad because she thought jim would propose and then he didn’t. now we the audience know that she WANTS him to propose (something we didn’t know for sure before). i guess i am not an alarmist or something but that one moment doesn’t make me think, oh no, they are going to break up, the relationship is on the rocks etc…

  41. #34- Grace. She got in to the school, but she’s probably just taking one graphic design course on full time. If you only take one class that means you can get more hours per day. And also, remember it’s not a full training. Just one course. I’m going to do that in Stockholm this summer – journalism though

  42. The only thing I can see being a problem for Jim and Pam is if Pam feels that Jim is putting off asking her to marry him. He says he wants to, but she spent 10 years of her life with a guy who talked about engagement and marriage but really dragged his feet. I could see Pam getting scared that it is happening again.

    36 | KZA I totally think Holly looks like a sweet, lady baker version of Jan.

    Thank you for all of the comments!

  43. #43 – I think the idea of Toby taking Ryan’s job is fantastic – I’d love to see Michael’s reaction to that.

  44. OK here’s my theory (and it’s a bit off the wall so stay with me). Pam will go to school for graphic design in New York over the summer and get a job at DMI Corporate doing what she loves, Jim will be offered Ryan’s job as Ryan “has his hands full”. Jim gladly accepts because he would be with Pam in New York… The spinoff now becomes JAM in the Corporate Office!

  45. Did anyone else notice Stanley dancing to the music in the background at the party???? HILARIOUS. I forget who was talking on-camera..I’ll have to watch it again…but check it out.

  46. I really don’t want to Jim to propose. JAM is SO boring, and I was a huge fan of them until this season. why are they so unrealistically happy all the time? it would have been more interesting if they’d gotten together and seen they both have flaws and had a bit of difficulty making it work. now it’s just boring.

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