"Livin the Dream," the start of what could be a great ending to one of the best comedies of all time, not only gave the audience satisfying emotional moments, but it also proved to be the funniest episode on television this week.
While it has produced more and more clunkers since Steve Carell left, the under-appreciated The Office continues to put out absolute gems every once in a while. "Livin the Dream" was exactly that.
They rewarded us for sticking around. They rewarded us in a big way. Dwight K. Schrute officially becoming regional manager of Dunder Mifflin was perfect in every way. From David Wallace noticing Dwight's determination during his martial arts demonstration, to Dwight making his rounds around the office after he finally earned his spot on the throne, it was a great ride.
The utter joy on Dwight's face when Wallace first told him was nothing short of beautiful. As he raised his arms in triumph, kneeled down in thanks, and then announced, "I've been waiting for this moment my entire life," you couldn't help but feel proud of him.
Everyone else was so proud of him as well, but none more so than Jim Halpert. The embrace between those two had so much history behind it that it hurt to watch. Hearing Jim tell Dwight that he wanted to be his Assistant to the Regional Manager was the absolutely delicious cherry on top of the whole thing.
Unlike much of this season, where I haven't been able to stand the forced problems between Jim and Pam, I really liked the emotional Jam moments here. "I can't do this to Pam" made me ache in my heart it was so good, but no, it didn't have more weight because of all of the fighting they've been doing recently.
What made this emotionally rewarding hour so great was that it was also accompanied by some of the most hilarious moments of the season. Andy Bernard Wannabe Star is the best direction they have taken that character yet, and it was fantastic again here.
Whether it was Andy thinking that his job at Dunder Mifflin was holding him back, him not getting the hint when everyone told him he was making a mistake, or his fiery way of quitting, the Nard Dog was fantastic.
Dwight's martial arts presentation, Creed copying Dwight's exclamation of being manager, Toby's disgust at Jim and Pam's lovey moments, and plenty of other funny moments made for a hilarious hour.
Andy's final performance, meanwhile, was a fantastic conclusion. Everyone got emotional, most of the employees began to think that maybe Andy has a chance, and it got me a bit misty eyed thinking that there are now only two hours left of The Office...ever!
What did you all think of "Livin the Dream?" Was it as rewarding for you as it was for me? What were some of your favorite moments? What didn't you like about it? Do you have any predictions for the final two hours of The Office?
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.