The beginning of the end of 'The Office'
September 21st, 2012
10:03 AM ET

The beginning of the end of 'The Office'

Retirement isn't easy, and “The Office” is about to find out.

As executive producer Greg Daniels announced ahead of Thursday's premiere, this season of "The Office" will be the last. But as the series makes its exit, it's also bringing in new faces along for the ride.

When we last left our Dunder-Mifflinites, Andy had just staged a coup reclaiming his branch manager position, Jim and Pam continued to be adorable, and Dwight had the paternity of Angela’s baby, which he believed to be his, tested.

But now we also have the "new guys": Duke (a.k.a., Dwight Jr., a.k.a., “Fart,” as played by Clark Duke) and Pete (a.k.a. New Jim, a.k.a. “Plop," as played by Jake Lacy). They give “The Office” some much needed fresh balance (most likely caused by Duke’s “gigantic inner ears”) that was missing from last season’s aimless adjustment to new management. Unlike James Spader’s creepily manic Robert California, Duke and Lacy do a great job embracing the slow awkward burn that “The Office” was always known for.

Still, it was old Dwight and Jim that made the episode “New Guys” a potential blank page for the final season to build on.

For Dwight, it was a mixed summer of forays into the world of beet-based energy drinks and disappointing health news (cue Maury: “Dwight, you ARE NOT the father!”), yet he found solace in now having a new work son in Duke. However, the father-son bonding over root-farming and Slayer concerts was short-lived.

Once Duke tried to poach his sales, Dwight went into battle mode, refusing to learn new words like “paranoid” and attempting to bicycle across the parking lot on a tightrope strapped to a printer.

As for Jim, it was the standard boring summer of Pam art, being a good family man and the occasional partnership offer at a Philadelphia sports marketing company.

No big de—wait, what?!

Jim originally turned down the partnership because of family issues and because, well, he’s take-no-chances Jim. However, once he saw his past, present and maybe future in Pete’s naïve optimism, he went behind Pam’s back, took the new job and liberated himself from Dunder Mifflin in hopes of Philadelphia (sports marketing) freedom. This, of course, is completely unlike Jim, but more importantly it sets up an intriguing story arc for the final season by putting the heart of the show (and as we found out in the cold open, the documentary) on the line.

As for the rest of the office, Andy went to Outward Bound (as an adult), Kevin bedazzled a turtle that was dead, Angela gave her cat to Oscar, who is secretly seeing her husband, and Kelly took her talents to Miami ... of Ohio.

Other than that, “New Guys” was a great beginning of the end, and a fun kick off to the retirement party that is the final season of “The Office.”

So what’d you think? Do you like the new guys? How will Pam react to Jim taking the job in Philly? Will Darryl and Duke find a Hot Tub Time Machine in the warehouse?

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soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. I'm in!

    Aww....Yeah, it has certainly gone downhill, as shows eventually do, but I enjoyed seeing everyone again this fall! The new guys brought some fresh life to the show. I won't mind watching one more season!

    October 2, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brian Mouland

    It has run its couse no big loss

    September 28, 2012 at 4:38 am | Report abuse |
  3. Erika

    I'm glad that Andy is getting back at Nelly for taking his job. I hate Nelly, so I really enjoyed seeing him push her around.

    September 27, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  4. pacman357

    Andy showed more personality in the first half of the show than he did all last season, which was part of the reason last season was so gawdawful. Hopefully he and the writers will keep that up, as the show was badly adrift w/out Michael much so that my wife stopped watching, and I barely did so.

    September 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. David Mintz

    We need Las Vegas Michael Strauss, to run for Presient.

    September 22, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tim Mueller

    We need a memorial for Sage Stallone.

    September 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ralph Heller

    Danny Zucco was great.

    September 22, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Leon W. W. Peris

    the show always sucked.

    September 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. sunbeamcandy

    I’m watching this final season of The Office solely because if I’ve devoted this much of my life to watching it, I’m going to see it through to the bitter end. I definitely think this episode was better than much of last season, but I’m still waiting for it to remind me of the show I initially fell in love with. Since I work late nights at DISH, I don’t get to watch The Office live anymore. Thankfully, my Hopper records it for me, and I’m able to turn it on as soon as I get home. I’m really looking forward to seeing the arc they’re giving Jim and Pam this season. It’s far past time for them to get out of Scranton.

    September 21, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Greg

    The show has become like that high school aquaintance you just cant get rid of. It's harmless, but not exactly something to go out of your way to hang with.

    September 21, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. don

    we'll watch

    September 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dave

    I'm sure all 7 of its remaining viewers will miss it.

    September 21, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. the picture above...

    looks very familiar to me..lolol

    September 21, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. janine

    going to watch it

    September 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Observer

    This show died a long time ago. It is way past time that NBC put it out of our misery.

    September 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observing Observer

      But your presence here today tells us that people are still paying attention. NBC thanks you.

      September 25, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Bernice


    September 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |

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