The Office: Season 4, Episode 14

Goodbye, Toby (15 May 2008)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
9.2
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Ratings: 9.2/10 from 938 users  
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Michael throws an extravagant going-away party for Toby, and falls in love with the woman who is replacing him. Jim plans to propose to Pam at the party, but gets out-staged. Back at corporate, Ryan is arrested for fraud.

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Title: Goodbye, Toby (15 May 2008)

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Storyline

Michael throws an extravagant going-away party for Toby, and falls in love with the woman who is replacing him. Jim plans to propose to Pam at the party, but gets out-staged. Back at corporate, Ryan is arrested for fraud.

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Comedy

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15 May 2008 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Angela Kinsey is pregnant in the last few episodes of the fourth season. It is noticeable some of the time, especially in her face but there is always either something blocking her stomach or she is behind a desk or table. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning of the episode Michael sets his watch alarm to go off when Toby leaves. He later gives the watch to Toby as a gift. Toby then continues to change it to Costa Rican time, yet the alarm still goes off at the scheduled time of Toby's departure at the end of the episode. See more »

Quotes

[after Michael tells Jim he loves Holly]
Michael Scott: Well, it's love at first sight. Actually, it was... No, it was when I heard her voice. It was love at first see with my ears.
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Connections

References Saturday Night Live (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Know Why
Performed by Craig Robinson
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User Reviews

Season 4: Not as good as seasons 2 and 3 but, for its faults, it is still very good
6 June 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As I'm late to the party I am only hitting season 4 of The Office now and of course this means, as it did with 30 Rock, that I am now at the period that was affected by the writers' strike – which means that this season is a lot shorter than it should have been, even if it does have quite a few extended episodes in there to make it a bit longer than the 14 episode list would suggest. I'm not sure if this effected the show negatively but certainly something doesn't appear to be clicking in the early stages. Where season 3 had moved on from season 2 with a jump in time that worked, the action between 3 and 4 doesn't seem to transition that well and it hurts the show that does rely on a narrative structure and characters in a way that the quicker hitting 30 Rock does not. Happily it does settle in quite quickly and the majority of the episodes are pretty good with solid laughs and engaging enough events.

Some of the episodes and threads of the show are excellent as they capture the awkward (but not painful like the UK version) comedy of this workplace but it is some of the narrative that don't work as well as they did in seasons 2 and 3. Jim and Pam's relationship is the most obvious one. The writers appear to have gone from being able to perfectly nail the detail of their back and forwards to suddenly deciding to move things rapidly forward while assuming the viewers will just go with it because that is what we want to see. However in doing this they move things way too fast so that not only does it not quite convince but we also don't get to enjoy them being a dating couple the way that we enjoyed them being flirty for so long. Not so much of a big deal is Ryan's new role. Again perhaps the short season is to blame but this seems to move too fast without enough done with it beyond the obvious. Michael and Jan provides good laughs but Andy and Angela didn't convince me as it just seemed written for the sake of having events and it was only Dwight's part in it that made me enjoy it (I find him funny).

The cast continue to be good though and most do well with a bit of added pathos to their roles. Carell wears his character really well and while his terrible judgement is endearing, he avoids making it so painful that we cannot find it funny – which we do. Fischer continues to be one of my favourite parts of the show and it is not her fault that the material rushes her along – she is best when shocked by Michael. Krasinski is still a necessary evil in my opinion. His comedy is mostly responding to other people and this puts him more on the spot in regards the relationship plot – which, not his fault, is not as good this season. Wilson has great lines while Kaling's valley-girl personae makes for wonderful little moments – as do Flannery, Bratton, Baumgartner, Baker and so on. I'm not sure about Novak though – he doesn't seem to fit in that well and is not used that well as a character – perhaps too close to the material as a person? Although I have specified a lot of negative things, I must say that I enjoyed season 4. OK it is not as engaging nor as funny as seasons 2 and 3 but it is still good enough to make The Office stand up as a great sitcom with comedy and situations working well enough. Hopefully this does not represent a "slide" towards diminishing returns and I do look forward to season 5 (as soon as I can work out who is going to get it for me since ITV is about 4 years away from showing it if at all!).


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