S07E18 Let’s be honest - we’re just spinning our wheels until Michael leaves on The Office. Which isn’t bad, but it's nothing new.
What we’re seeing is Michael Scott’s swan song, his overture. We’re going through all the high points of his life (at least his life that we’ve seen) and we’re wrapping them up. No loose ends will be left once Michael leaves (hear that Lost?). We’ve seen all his exes, watched him get his dream girl, and we even watched him complete his movie. Now we get to watch him fix things up with Todd Packer.
‘It’s nice to be around friends. But until then, you suckers will do.’ - Packer
Now Packer has been a part of the series from the beginning. He’s popped up here and there, never staying for more than an episode and always leaving behind in his taste a joke in poor taste. But for all the inappropriate jokes he gives, he really is Michael’s only friend so we would have to revisit him. David Koechner is great at the role -- I think it takes great skill to play a character so devilishly annoying. I mean, it's easy to play a jerk but to transcend that and become a jackass? That’s no easy feat. Also it's great seeing Steve Carrell and Koechner together again and with Will Ferrell making an appearance soon, we have an almost complete Anchorman reunion. Now if we can just get Paul Rudd to make an appearance I will literally die. Die I say!
Packer decides to come off the road and plant his roots down permanently in the Scranton branch. His arrival causes a bit of an uproar as everyone hates him. At first, the only people that don’t see it are Holly and Michael but that changes soon enough. In fact, Michael does eventually see what everyone else is saying about Packer. What brought about this change? What else would cause you to suddenly view your best friend in a different light? It’s the same catalyst that has been changing Michael from the beginning: Holly. Packer finally oversteps his boundaries with Michael when he dares to suggest that Holly is uptight and he should come down to Florida and get some strange.
‘Since when did you learn to read?’ - Packer
I would go into more detail about Packer’s exploits, but be real, it wasn’t that important. He made some cruel jokes about Kevin (which Kevin tried to take with cheer). He made fun of everyone. He tried to hump Dwight and Michael at the same time. Your basic jackass stuff. There was a slight moment of redemption when he was talking to Michael about his daughter, but honestly it didn’t feel sincere. It seemed like he was playing Michael the same way he was playing Hank the security guard, as Packer knows when to be charming. After all, he apparently was a decent salesman.
‘We should join forces’ - Jim
Meanwhile the arrival of Packer has caused two former enemies to unite against the common nemesis. Dwight and Jim team up to try and pull a prank on Packer that will send him running. Ah but their styles of pranks differ so much, will they find a compromise? Dwight wanted to poison him somehow. Jim’s were a step above a mild annoyance. What do they settle on? A fake phone call from corporate sending Packer to Florida. Michael overhears it and is about to ruin it for them but that’s when the whole insulting Holly thing happened. Pairing Jim and Dwight together was a really great move on the writer’s part. We’ve explored the dynamic relationship between the two of them for years but we’ve never really see them team up like this before (sure, there was the tag team sales call - but their hearts weren’t really in that like they were with the pranks).
‘Please make sure nobody is humping me’ - Andy
The other story didn’t involve Packer at all. Pam knew the computer at reception was slow so she bought one for Erin. Andy threw a little bitch fit because his was slow too (seriously, if Erin wasn’t so dumb she would’ve been over Andy after the little hissy fit about the computer was over. Jesus man, grow a pair). But Pam actually works around this, because when his breaks, she gets him a new one too. Her excuse sparks an interest from Daryl, who knows that she didn’t happen to find the computer, but rather that she bought it. He blackmails her for three more vacation days because of it. And sure enough, Pam actually likes being corrupt.
Also, it wouldn’t be a good week if we didn’t comment on fucking Gabe. He made Erin and himself late because he fell in the shower. Fucking Gabe.