The Office: “Livin’ the Dream” Season 9 Episode 21 Review

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The Office found itself, once again, in search of a new manager. Livin’ the Dream delivered some big payoffs.

That’s right folks, Michael Scott’s replacement is officially done being manager. Andy wants to move forward with his career in, uh, becoming famous. David Wallace has had it and plans to fire him (with good cause I might add). But Andy quits before he has the chance.

I had to laugh at Kevin’s remark that he’s too much of a character for a lead and not fat enough to be a character. Was he commenting on the show itself? It certainly felt like it, because Andy has in no way filled the shoes of Michael Scott, one of the best comedic leaves in this new golden age of television.

Andy’s flip flop back to sales and then back to his dream felt totally unnecessary, but at least it didn’t get in the way of Dwight. At first it looked like he and Jim might compete for the job. “I’d be happy to see Jim as manager,” Dwight says to Clark. “It should be Dwight,” Jim said to David Wallace. I don’t know what’s in store for the finale, but I was practically in tears here.

Jim and Pam may be back on track, but the reunion I was most excited about this episode was Jim and Dwight, and the most hilarious and complicatedly brotherly dynamic on TV didn’t disappoint. Dwight gets the job he’s been vying for since the beginning. He even offers Jim Assistant Regional Manager. Jim of course points out it doesn’t exist, but he would gladly take Assistant to the Regional Manager.

All in the same day Dwight finally gets black belt, courtesy of hilarious guest star Michael Imperioli.

Andy’s final performance for his former employees was a mixed bag, as his end with the company isn’t terribly emotional, but the shots of Jim and Pam, Angela, and then everyone saying goodbye. Boy it felt like the finale didn’t it?

Speaking of Angela, her cats have been taken away from her. She’s single, drinking at work, and possibly homeless. Things aren’t quite resolved for her yet, but at least her and Oscar made amends after everything with the senator. She confesses she still loves Dwight.

The end of the episode had a bit of a kicker. Darryl tells Jim their company got bought out, and their jobs now involve a lot more travel. But Jim can’t do it. And Pam heard the whole thing. This isn’t over folks. It seems our star couple will be together forever, but Jim needs to move on from Dunder Mifflin. Even if he can’t be Dwight’s Assistant to the Regional Manager.

So that’s what we have left. Dwight and Angela, Jim’s career, and Andy’s potential stardom. Elements of this episode certainly felt like a finale. But the last two episodes are still warranted. That being said, this was easily the best episode since the New Year. Dwight has finally achieved the unthinkable. We’re back on track. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

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