The Office: Customer Loyalty Season 9 Episode 12 Review

Photo Credit: http://www.tvequals.com/2013/01/24/the-office-season-9-episode-12-customer-loyalty/

So did anyone see that coming? The Office proved how much of a game-changer it can still be in one unforgettable moment that changed everything we’ve been working towards for nine years.

Customer Loyalty seemed like a normal episode of The Office right up until the closing moments, but we’ll get to that later.

The title refers to Dwight trying to coerce Darryl into not taking the job at Jim’s company. As with the rest of the season, anything with Dwight has been worth watching. Their interactions were fun but none of it felt exactly necessary. There was never a moment where I thought Darryl might change his mind, but there were some laughs to be had, including milkshake throwing, twice.

Meanwhile, some other relationships got some development tonight as Nellie tried to separate Pete and Erin to stay on Andy’s good side. Of course it didn’t last, because those two are way too cute. She was also combatting weird attempts at intimacy from Toby, who was never creepier than in tonight’s episode.

Okay, now onto the story everyone will be talking about. Jim and Pam’s daughter Cece has a dance recital but Jim can’t make it since he’s in Philadelphia. Pam barely knows how to work her phone to begin with, so when an important phone call interrupts her video, she fails to get any of the recital for her absent husband.

But what an important call it was. The mural she painted in the warehouse was chosen by voters in Scranton to become a town mural, effectively tying her to Scranton rather than Philadelphia.

Jim fails to get the client he sought after to miss Cece’s recital. Upset, he yells at Pam for messing up the video. First off, we’ve never seen these two like this. Jim hasn’t left Pam in tears since season three, well before they were married. It was the best, most real writing the show has had since then. Season nine thus far has felt like a retread back to the old ways, but this just was the old ways with new material. We all know the show has seen its dips in quality since its peek in season three. But with this scene we got to see what The Office could have been like had it stayed as good as it once was.

Then came the kicker, Brian, the fourth wall demolishing new face that could change how we see this show forever. As Pam cries after the phone call we hear a voice ask if she’s okay, then she calls someone Brian, and the camera shows us a man holding a microphone. A crew member of the documentary we’ve supposedly been watching these guys make for nine years. What?!

As someone who loves this show and has stuck with it through thick and thin, I never thought something like this would happen. Just who is Brian? He seemed awfully close to Pam. What else has Brian told the cameraman to turn the cameras off for? We, as the audience, now have no sense of what reality we are watching, and that is the most exciting thing we’ve seen this show do in a very, very long time. In a way, Jim and Pam’s relationship is being given one last test, literally by the show itself and its creators.

All that can really be said is wow. Customer Loyalty seemed like your typical solid episode, sending the final season in the direction you thought it was heading. But then we got the 180 of the century. Well done. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

 

 

4 Responses to The Office: Customer Loyalty Season 9 Episode 12 Review

  1. Shelly says:

    You are right. What reality have we been watching all these years? If a documentary crew came into an office, wouldn’t the people there put on a good face for them? After nearly ten years, isn’t it possible that the film crew has become attached to some people that they’ve followed? What an incredible set-up – an ordinary episode that ended in an extraordinary way.

  2. Mark says:

    Solid episode that I enjoyed more than any in years. Very sharp review too, I hadn’t thought of the dramatic implications of the filmmakers potentially distorting what they’re recording. Very interesting,

  3. Brett Dale says:

    Disappointed with it, thought it was manipulative writing.

    I mean, what doco crew would stop filming in a dramatic moment.

    We all know, Jim and Pam arent breaking up, this was just a ploy to keep people watching the final few episodes.

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