In the midst of a decent resurgence, highlighted by Rainn Wilson's continued comedic genius, The Office committed structural suicide with its decision to turn the very interesting idea of bringing the documentarians in front of the camera into an excuse for another love triangle.
There were plenty of funny moments in both of this week's episodes, many of which came from Wilson in "Junior Salesman," but the frustration that this new arc with Pam and Boom Mic Brian caused ruined all of that laughter.
Again, the general idea was great. You are bringing The Office back to its roots. It has always been a mockumentary, and Michael Scott asking the camera to let him know when it would air in one of Steve Carrell's final moments on the show was one my favorite scenes ever, but there were better ways to go about it.
In this the final season it could have been something as simple as them preparing to make the final product. Because of that, they could have started to introduce themselves on screen, doing their own talking heads on what the experience has been like. Something like that would have been rooted in the show's DNA, and wouldn't have ticked nearly as many people off.
But really? A Jim/Pam love triangle? Yeah, that's where the show started, but it seems so forced now. Those two love birds can have struggles without another guy coming into the mix. The fight between them on the phone last week was one of my favorite non-comedic moments in a while because it felt so earnest.
Boom Mic Brian stepping in to console her didn't feel nearly as real, and his actions over the course of "Junior Salesman" and "Vandalism" felt even less so It's lame, and it's just getting in the way of, or at least making me forget, the great comedy that there has been on The Office as of late.
While we recover from the tragic new reveals, let's take a look at some of the highlights from the first half hour this week...
- Every single friend Dwight brought in to interview was gold, but my favorite had to be Badger from Breaking Bad as Mose's brother. His beard was even bigger!
- Clark: I've been working here 12 weeks. That's a full season of Homeland. Ton of things can happen in that amount of time, as we've seen.
- Dwight went to a fake con man X-Men school!
- Dwight: What makes you think you'd be an effective paper salesman.
Trevor: Ooh, didn't see that one coming.
- Pam asking Dwight if he wants to haze the new guy, and Dwight attempting to kill Clark with plastic wrap.
Finally, here are a few highlights from the second half hour...
- Angela: Our house is not kid friendly. Most of our furniture is sharp. Also, eww.
- Clark telling Pam she's "better than this" when she and Dwight use Clark as a mole in the warehouse.
- Dwight: We can tell him his mother is dying. That usually works on him.
What did you all think of this week's hour of The Office? Are you as upset about the new love triangle? Or are you just happy to see some of the documentarians get out from behind the camera? What were your favorite moments from "Junior Salesman" and "Vandalism?" Check out our The Office quotes page, and then sound off in the comments.
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.