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The Office lands "The Whale"

The Office (US) poster

Written by : published Saturday 17th November 2012

NBC's The Office continues its great final season this week with "The Whale." Dwight (Rainn Wilson) is given the opportunity to double Dundler Mifflin's growth when a new potential client asks for a meeting. Learning the meeting is with a woman, and knowing how bad Dwight is with relating to women, several of his female co-workers try to intervene and improve upon his manners. But no one is prepared when they learn who Dwight is actually being sent to talk with, and it will take everything Dwight has to land this impossible account.

Yep, Jan (Melora Hardin) is back! Jan is one of those character who is a delight every time she arrives on screen, mostly because she makes everyone squirm. This is the type of humor that The Office frequently lands, so it hits the perfect tone when it is returned to. We haven't seen Jan in awhile, so it's a great surprise (if you avoided NBC spoiler-filled promos), and the way it's played as a horror film moment when it slowly dawns on Pam (Jenna Fischer) and Dwight just whose office they are in is priceless.

This being the final season, we are likely to see a good many familiar faces in the coming weeks. Even former boss Michael (Steve Carell) is rumored to be making an appearance by series end. It's a well deserved victory lap, nine years in, to revisit these past people.

But it's not just done for nostalgia's sake. Jan's reemergence allows for a really good Dwight story. He may not be best at dealing with girls, but he is an expert salesman for a reason. Even Jan, who has absolutely no intention of dealing with her former employer, and is just taunting them, comes around to Dwight's skills when he uses what he knows about her to change her mind. Meaning, he dangles Clark (Clark Duke) as a sex object. And Dwight and Pam get a very nice friendship moment.

This continues the trend of giving the characters nice payoffs this year. While last season floundered as the company searched for a new manager, this year is back to the basics, exploring the main characters, reminding us who they are, allowing them to make some big decisions, and hopefully sending them on their way with sweet, satisfying endings.

There is drama. Jim (John Krasinski) is trying to start a business on the side. Andy (Ed Helms) is taking advantage of Erin (Ellie Kemper), driving her away. Angela (Angela Kinsey) seems to have realized that her husband, the Senator (Jack Coleman), is sleeping with Oscar (Oscar Nunez) and other men. But all this should be resolved, probably with happy results, by the end of the year. So rather than sweating it, as might have been done in earlier seasons, there's a sense that all of this is just the last few bumps in the road.

If you drifted away from The Office, as many have done, now might be a nice time to catch up. However it ends, it should be memorable.

The Office airs at 9 p.m. ET Thursdays on NBC.

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Watch Episode 7 - The Whale online

About the author JeromeWetzelTV


Jerome Wetzel is a huge fan of stories, in both books and television. He writes TV reviews and fiction. He currently posts articles for TheTVKing, Seat42F, and BlogCritics, as well as his own personal blog, as well as writing fiction. His website is www.jeromewetzel.com Follow him on twitter @JeromeWetzelTV

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