The Office Review: “A.A.R.M.” (Season 9, Episodes 22-23)

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What a great finale for The Office. Wait, there’s still one more episode? You see, A.A.R.M. was pretty much like the finale, and it could have ended there. But that’s the best part. Even though it’s over, we still get that extra episode to get proper closure with everyone. And finale or not, this episode was fantastic. It tied up lots of things, brought together everything we love about the show, and just made you feel good by the end.

The last episode was near perfect, but A.A.R.M. manages to be even better. For an hour-long episode, it sure moved quickly. It starts with a great cold open. The whole thing with the upgraded security was classic Dwight, and I enjoyed it immensely. He’s a more mature person now and better fit to handle the manager position than he was years ago, but you’d be crazy to not expect him to do things like this. The best part was Creed, who walks in with a bunch of his shirts talking about how he’s now saving a fortune on dry cleaning. Ah, Creed.

We see what life is like for Angela and her son, Philip, as they live with Oscar. Oscar gets in a hilarious line about how “ironic that now it’s Angela living in the closet.” Angela as you recall, proclaimed her love for Dwight at the end of the last episode. Even though it’s not brought up at the moment, the visual connection is made when we change scenery to see what Dwight is up to. Dwight arrives at the office with Esther, and he reveals to the documentary crew that he’s going to propose to her later that day with his grandmother’s ring that he took out of her left buttock. Can’t you see she’s wrong for you, fool? Fortunately someone sets him straight, but we’ll get to that soon.

Last week I assumed we wouldn’t be seeing Andy until the finale since they made it seem like he left for good. Thankfully, I was wrong. Even though his storyline this season has been kind of a disappointment (until last week), he’s still Andy and I want to see how his storyline turns out. He goes to audition for “America’s Next Acapella Sensation” and meets a girl named Casey D. while waiting in line. For a second I thought she’d be the one to heal his Erin-relationship wounds. But that was not so, which makes me wonder if he’ll still be alone by the end of it all. He’s had bad luck with the women, almost on the same level as Michael Scott, as both Angela and Erin ended up falling for someone else. So I’d love to see him get his own Holly. It could still be Casey D., but I doubt it.

We get to see more of the craziness that comes with Dwight’s manager position this week too. But fortunately, Jim is there to balance it out as we see him in action as the Assistant to the Regional Manager. I’ve always loved it whenever Jim and Dwight were on the same team, and so I’m a big fan of their team up now. The “no nonsense” rule is brilliant, and I love that even though Jim is clearly sarcastic about all of Dwight’s rules, he respects it, because Dwight has earned that much. Frankly, even I think they’re great ideas considering the amount of chaos we’ve seen in this office for the past nine years.

That Dwight painting in the conference room is absolutely wonderful too. Props to whoever painted it (Pam?). The conference room scene as a whole made me laugh for quite a bit as they went over what was considered nonsense. In the middle of this Angela walks in with her son, and that stirs something inside Dwight. Yes, don’t fight it Dwight, don’t fight it.

I completely forgot about the whole ‘documentary airing’ plot until Jim mentions it, as it’s supposed to air that night. Meredith claims that she would’ve done some truly vulgar stuff if it wasn’t for the cameras these nine years. That’s saying something considering all that she’s done. But since it’s Meredith, I believe her. I love Oscar’s line about how when this all first started, he was still having sex with women, and so was Kevin. It’s funny because if you watch those first couple of seasons, you realize how different Kevin used to be. But I have to say, the change they made with his character was the right one. But it’s Creed who steals the scene here with another golden line: “This airs tonight? Oh my God, if my parents see this, I am toast.”

I can’t believe after all this time Jim messed up with Battlestar Galactica with Star Trek in front of Dwight. Or was he just messing with him? I couldn’t tell. But I do like the visual gag of Dwight sitting in his office painting his Battlestar Galactica ship. I remember all those days when he was eager to do anything he could to please Michael or Andy to make his way to the top. Look at him now.

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