"The Office" Counts Down to Michael Scott’s Departure: "Michael’s Last Dundies"

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
April 22 2011 9:45 AM

"The Office" Counts Down to Michael Scott’s Departure: "Michael’s Last Dundies"

Last nightwas Will Ferrell's secondappearance on The Office asDeangelo Vickers, Michael Scott's replacementr or seeming replacement, we shouldsay, since the show has lined up some other big guest stars for the end of theseason (Ricky Gervais, James Spader, Will Arnett, Ray Romano, Catherine Tate, andnow Jim Carrey ), all of whom are being teased as potential new bosses .

But for now,we have Deangelo. In this episode, Michael presses him very much against hiswill to co-host his cherished Dundie awards.

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Lastweek , I complained that Ferrell's character didn't feel very coherent tome. At times he seemed empathetic and kind, at other times an evil"Machiavellian schemer," as commenter Cornelius Q.R. put it. (Though I didenjoy the bit where he made Andy drink hand soap, largely because it felt sotrue to Andy's character. He would do that to impress a boss, wouldn't he?) Butlast night's episode confused me even more. At the very least, Deangelo seemedlike a confident, charismatic leader are we really supposed to believe that hewould be completely undone by the prospect of hosting a little office awards ceremony?I was willing to give the character's inconsistencies a pass last time, becauseI felt a lot of the resulting jokes landed pretty well. But the whole stagefright bit was just  ... not funny.(And what was up with the weird bit about Deangelo having to pee really badlyon the way back to the office, post-Dundies?)

In general, thisepisode got more chuckles than full-fledged laughs, but I agree withMichael Erin, you really are getting so funny. Your Dundies speech waspriceless (and heartless). And I'm still giggling at the way Meredith invitedMichael and Deangelo to stay for breakfast after they caught her doing an earlymorning walk of shame: "I have Vienna sausages ... and I have napkins."

I also saidlast week that I was glad we were spared a novelty a cappella number by Andy, formerstar of Cornell's "HereComes Treble." But I'm glad the writers weren't listening, because watchingthe whole office sing a heartfelt parody of Rent 's "Seasons of Love" in Michael's honor mademe well up. Just watch Michael's face when he realizes that "something's happening":

Maybe thewriters were afraid of seeming tooearnest (or maybe they wanted to wring out more screen time for their bigguest star), but I wish they hadn't undermined the sweetness of the moment byhaving Deangelo butt in with his warbly, off-key riffs. It was distracting and didn't serve the scene. Either way, though, next week is probably gonna hurt like a mother----.

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Nina Shen Rastogi is a writer and editor, and is also the vice president for content at Figment.

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