'The Office' recap: Daft Dunk

This is the way Will Ferrell's four-episode arc ends: with a bang and a skull fracture. During the last few minutes of "The Inner Circle," a hospital gown-clad, gibberish-spouting Deangelo Vickers was escorted off the premises of Dunder Mifflin — presumably never to be seen again. It was a strange conclusion to a strange episode, and the first half-hour ofThe Office that didn't include so much as a mention of Michael Scott. (Even in the credits, footage of Steve Carell carefully adjusting a Dundie was replaced by a clip of Deangelo pushing forth some kind of southwestern tribal statuette. Next week, right before the title card appears, will we watch Dwight fondle a beet?)

Though the way the show sent Deangelo packing made me kind of queasy — the episode's tag, especially, was painful to watch — I can't say I'm sad to see him go. I've said it before and I'll say it again: As a character, Will Ferrell's replacement manager never worked for me because his personality and behavior were both consistently inconsistent. This may not have mattered so much if Deangelo were at least reliably funny. But tonight especially, Ferrell fell flat. It's true that the comedian was given an impossible task — how could anyone adequately replace Michael Scott in our hearts and minds, especially when the memory of his departure is still so fresh? Even so, judging by tonight's episode alone, the transition from the Carell era to the post-Carell era is going to be shaky, to say the least. Read More...



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