There has been much discussion among fans of The Office
about how and when they would bring the characters from the two branches together. Would one of the branches close? Would some of the employees merely transfer? Would they all move into the same big office?
I had always assumed that this story line regarding the "merge" would be gradual, at the very least taking shape over the course of a few episodes. I was wrong. The Office
answered all the questions and wrapped up the story within one 22-minute episode. Impressive.
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However, did I like it? Honestly, the whole thing seemed a but forced. It happened so fast; there had been no foreshadowing in previous episodes pointing to a branch closing. I thought they would mine the drama of "Which branch will they close?" for a couple episodes, at least.
At least, now, we'll be rid of the two-office system and can streamline the episodes. With Jim
coming back to The Office
, him re-uniting with Pam
should be fun. Karen
coming along to Scranton with Jim (as we saw in the scenes from next week) was more than predictable, setting up an unorthodox love triangle between Jim, Pam and Karen.
Another thing the episode accomplished was that it showed Michael Scott's
loyalty to his employees. Regardless of how inept and crass he may be, he wouldn't turn his back on his people like Josh from Stamford did.
Next week, The Office
will air a special, super-sized 40-minute episode, as part of a three show, two-hour block next Thursday on NBC. My Name is Earl
and 30 Rock
are the other two shows in the block.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer