I have to admit, like many others I haven't been overly excited to watch each episode of The Office ever since Steve C left the show, but watch every week I did because once in awhile there would be a gem of an episode that promised the series could stand on its own. This episode was the epitome of what this show was really all about.
*Minor Spoilers Ahead*
This episode really starts putting all the pieces together ramping things up for the final episodes. There seemed to be a lot of character growth packed into one episode with characters that were previously at odds coming together, and others realizing their dreams and having to face a choice whether or not to pursue them. Andy may have been a bumbling idiot when it came to being a manager (which is really saying something considering his predecessor, but Michael always had a certain affable quality that likened him to an idiot savant at times), but he really shows how deep his passion and his emotions go, taking the biggest risk of his life and throwing it all on the line to achieve his dreams.
Angela finally hits rock bottom of her downward spiral when things ultimately fall apart and she is left regretting the mistake she made letting Dwight go. One of the best, shining moments of this whole episode is Oscar, her constant adversary throughout the series, stepping up and taking care of her. This completely exposes a whole new, more human side to Angela as the two find this connection and finally bond.
This next part I can't say too much about without giving much away to those who haven't seen the episode yet, but suffice it to say this is the best episode yet that fully illuminates the budding "bromance" that has been forming between Jim and Dwight over the past several years. The two have always been opposite sides of the same coin since Day 1 and this episode was extremely heart warming and touching as the two seemed to finally bury the hatchet and become friends.
Lastly, we come to Jim and Pam. The last several episodes have seen this series-spanning love story in dire jeopardy of becoming a tragedy, but at long last the two have seemed to find their groove and make things work. The surprise for these two comes at the end where we're teased with the possibility that another big change may be coming into their lives and another big decision has to be made. One final test, it seems, of just how sturdy their relationship is.
All in all, this episode definitely provides the very essence of what this show has always been about. It was never about the camera crew, the documentary, who was going to rise to the top and who would get the last laugh. It has always been about the people working in it. The real people with real emotions and raw humanity that proves there's a common thread between all of us, and given enough time spent together, bonds will form and people will learn to accept one another with all their faults and quirks. This episode is by far my favorite not just of this season but of the last several seasons. I'm really going to miss these characters when the show is over.