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"The Office" Goodbye, Toby (2008)

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22 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Without a doubt, The Office's best episode

10/10
Author: Ben Barnard from United States
24 July 2008

There are times when people say, "THat was the best episode" of a show and later on they say, "WEll, I guess I just really liked it at the time..." Not the case with this episode. I recently rewatched the entire series and let me say, no episode holds a candle to "Goddbye, Toby." Let's start with the somewhat hyped new character who comes aboard. The new HR rep, Holly, is brilliant. Without spoiling, she adds a dynamic for many characters, notably Kevin and Michael (and Creed!) that can't be beaten. Every character (aside from Dwight) gets a good moment this episode, and every storyline that has been building gets a major push forward. As with the last two season finales the last scene is shocking and amazing and throughly mouth-gaping yet side-splitting.

Phyllis, a character who often is dismissed by her cohorts, earns her stripes and becomes a very lovable character. Toby is throughly hazed by Michael in moments that make the awkwardness a drug for the viewers. Pam and Jim get some sweet moments, too. Andy of course, screws things up, but you can't help but love him. Angela is of course ridiculous, and even Meredith gets a good moment. And it doesn't stop there. The Temp, while not actually in the Office, gets an awesome moment... Jan returns, and the Hobbit(!!!) comes back in a deleted scene.

Overall, this episode has it all... even in a Ferris Wheel! What more could you ask for? This episode left me feeling satisfied (that's what she said).

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26 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

One of the best episodes ever...

9/10
Author: rolltide33 from United States
15 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This episode really made me laugh after the last few disappointing episodes. Although The Office has been back a while, it felt like it had never really come back. This was the first episode that I could really relate to the first few seasons, which were the best. I was laughing constantly and loved the many plot twists.

Two things really upset me in this episode:

1. Jim did not propose. They had us hoping up to the very last minute, but it never happened. I really hated Andy Bernard for a while there! I guess they are just trying to play out Jim and Pam's relationship as long as possible. With Pam heading off to New York for a few months, a possible break up might ensue. I would not be surprised at all if this happened. The producers want the romantic tension, which is better than the flat out romance.

2. Michael picked the wrong gal. Every time Michael and the new HR lady started talking, I could just tell that they were meant to be. They were perfect for each other. She understood all his jokes, and didn't make him feel like an idiot. I really wanted to punch Michael in the face when he chose Jan over the new Toby, but I couldn't for technical reasons. Again, the producers want romantic tension.

There were a couple big surprises, including Andy proposing to Angela (and Angela accepting?!?!), Dwight and Angela's not-so-secret make out session, and of course Jan's pregnancy. This episode really had it all. I'll miss Toby, going out and buying the most expensive camera around to get a good picture of Pam. But his replacement is well suited for the job and will fit in excellent with the rest of the crew.

On of the best sub-plots in this episode was the Holly - Kevin story. I loved how Kevin can act the same way he always does, and Holly still sees him as mentally retarded. I also love the fact that Kevin never caught on, and truly believed Holly was into him and how he wished to "bang" her. Kevin is great.

The YouTube video of Ryan really got me excited. For one thing, I didn't want Jim to lose his job; and for another, I hated Ryan's guts. I really hope Ryan is gone for good and doesn't come back. The old "temp" Ryan was good, but the new Ryan seems to ruin every episode he appears in.

Overall, this was a big improvement episode that unfortunately came a little late in the season. Come September, I hope to see Michael getting on track with Holly, and Pam and Jim finally tying things up. I also hope to see Angela and Dwight work things out for good, maybe even buy a new cat together. I have to say that I truly felt sorry for Dwight when he admitted that it was all his fault.

Until season 4 starts, I guess I'll just have to hold out on re-runs and the Get Smart movie. But this episode left me looking forward to next season, which is all I need.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Season 4: Not as good as seasons 2 and 3 but, for its faults, it is still very good

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
6 June 2009

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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