‘The Office’ Recap: The Search

S7E15: Awww, The Office always seems to know exactly when and where to tug on my heart strings. At first I wasn’t digging this episode but gradually it began to creep up on me and by the end it became one of the sweetest episodes yet. Definitely one of the best ones for Michael by far.

“Who’s on my side?” – Kelly

But before getting to the good stuff, we’ve got to get through the not-as-good. The cold opening was pretty funny if only because BJ Novak and Mindy Kaling get to shine a little. Granted, I know they have a much more important role as writers and producers, but its still great to see them in front of the camera. Their character development, especially over the past two seasons has been particularly hilarious. While their relationship has constantly been on and off again, to see the fickleness displayed so prominently also drew the laughs. But perhaps the funniest part was watching everyone else try and keep up and then basically scream “we don’t care” with their apathy. Great cold opening.

“I’m a doosh.” – Gabe’s back.

The B story this week was Pam’s caption contest that gets overrun by Gabe. Jim posted one of her doodles that eventually someone tagged with a funny quip. It evolves into an office joke making fun of Sabre. Gabe can’t have that so he tries to make it official with rules and everything. But the oppressed always find a way to subvert the oppressive and they use the internet to forward their jokes around. Gabe tries to subvert that by reading them out loud but the jokes on him when they all end up being about him.

It’s not the worst story in the world and it showed off the creative sides of the characters. For a second I thought they would actually play by the rules Gabe set out, challenging the actual writers of the show to come up with funny clips that were funny and not pop culture relevant or had anything to do with the show. A lot of contemporary comedy is derived from pop culture or meta gags and I thought it would be refreshing to see them limit themselves creatively, but then they started making fun of Gabe and really, Gabe is a douche, so it all ended up working for me.

“She’s the key.” – Dwight

The other big story was Michael going missing. This one took a while to set up, but since it was so complicated it was required. Michael and Jim go on a sales call. (Again, Jim is absent most of the episode. How long did filming Everbody Loves Whales take?) Then Jim gets a call about his daughter and has to rush off. He inadvertently takes Michael’s wallet and cell phone with him so Michael is strande, which leaves it up to the three people in the office that care about Michael to find him. Which means we get the crack team of Dwight, Erin, and Holly out tracking him.

Eventually the joke emerges that Holly has a sixth sense of where Michael will be. While her reasoning may be different, they both head towards the same place. Big metaphor about how they belong together aside, it was a fairly funny running gag. I really liked the reasoning Holly kept giving. “Are they’re egg rolls really that big?” Stupid, yes. But sweet in that special The Office way. The only part of this that really didn’t work for me was Michael in the pet store. I know it was supposed to seem forced that he was talking about himself and trying to give the animals love advice, but it just felt off to me. It lasted too long, wasn’t as cute as it tried to be, and it really slowed down the pacing.

“Her personality is like a three. Her sense of humor is a two. Her ears are like a seven and a four. Add it all up and what do you get? Sixteen. And he treats her like a perfect forty. It’s nuts.” – Erin

Then we get the crowning moment of sweetness in the episode. Holly wanted to go to the tallest building around to try and see if they could spot Michael. Dwight thinks it’s a stupid idea and splits from Holly. She goes up to the roof and what do you know, Michael is already up there. Cheesy? Sure. But come on, it’s Michael’s last season. He needs something sweet like that. I’m sure there will be plenty of dark moments to come for him as we creep closer to his departure but for the moment it was sweet for him to get his girl on top of the roof.