The Office Recap: ‘Angry Andy’
This was a really, really bad episode. It is bad in so many ways as to be impossible to summarize in 400 words. It is all over the place, and none of the places it goes are particularly entertaining. It attempts to recapitulate some of the conventions of earlier seasons, which is when this new “Office” is always at its worst. It is unfocused, unfunny, and unoriginal, with an ominous incompetence hanging over every scene.
The standard narrative of this new season is that it is subpar, but that has not always been the truth. This season has been far better than anyone could have hoped. Gems like “Tallahassee” and “Pool Party” are sprinkled throughout. Robert California has been woefully underused, and his potential for greatness will never be realized with the news that James Spader is leaving, but his character has proven amusing, frightening, and complex…at least until recently. Last week’s episode (sorry for no review) was great.
But this week’s edition puts all the show’s current weaknesses on display.
Andy returns from Florida with Erin, only to find Nellie Bertram in his office, firmly ensconced in his position. Robert California has apparently lost all ability to assert himself—the steely, mystical authority he brought to last season’s finale is gone, and he’s become merely a befuddled observer of Dunder Mifflin’s foibles.
Andy won’t give up his job, and Nellie won’t give it back. They are at an impasse. The rest of the office watches as…Andy’s story from four or five years ago gets recycled, right down to his fist getting buried in the wall.
As for subplots, what is staler than Ryan and Kelly? Yet here they are, Kelly with a boyfriend we have never seen before and will apparently never see again, and Ryan suddenly having a personality again, and the two of them engaged in a drama as uninteresting as their one-joke, wallpaper romance.
And let’s just not discuss the “Impotence” meeting. There has not been a scene in “The Office” that painfully bad, ever. You remember “Diversity Day” and all you can say is “What happened?”
What is more, the show ends with a serious plot development, but one hard to care about considering how horrid what you just saw was.
Rumors are swirling that “The Office” may be done after this year. If it makes any more episodes like this, not many people will be missing it.