Lots to get to this week. So let’s just dig right into this week’s recap for the incredible Season 4 Season Finale, “Goodbye, Toby”:
The opening prank: Looks like Jim’s back to pranking Dwight. Funny bit, ran a little long, Dwight breaks his own phone. But no need to harp on it, we have a lot to get to…
It’s Toby’s last day, meaning, in other words, it’s the greatest day of Michael’s life. He does some pretty skilled grapevines around the office before anyone arrives, because he might as well make the best day of his life also the longest one. Michael sets his watch alarm. If only he knew.
Michael has a meeting with the PPC (Party Planning Committee) about the Toby going away party. Angela, the PPC’s leader, is going the standard route: Cake, and 2 pictures of Toby that are unsuitable for even the most mundane of Myspace pages. Michael wants a big bash — after all, the devil’s exploding, and he’s got money to burn thanks to his sweetly demented Nana. When he realizes Tight Lips McGee ain’t gonna give it to him, he undermines her power and hands the Leadership role to Phyllis. Much like Rudy Ruetteger, Phyllis has been waiting for this her whole life, Coach. The fire in that woman’s eyes! Now, to find out where anti-gravity boots/depressants are sold.
Who is this blonde woman? Oh, it’s Holly, Toby’s replacement, played by OSCAR NOMINEE AMY RYAN. She looks nice! Almost like a lady bayyyyy… no I’ll wait.
Pam find out on-line that she’s been accepted to the Pratt School of Design, and tells Jim. 3 months in New York. Well, not New York, exactly, but actually a very deep part of Brooklyn that is decidedly un-Pam-like. Pam think the absence will be fine, as her and Jim are MFEO. It’s all so “perfect”.
Oh, here’s something the show has been sorely missing: Michael and Dwight spying on the office through the blinds. These little whispered conversations are some of the best moments (gaydar anyone?) Michael hates replacement Toby, and Dwight thinks she “stinks.” Michael decides he wants to haze her, and good ol’ Dwight’s little tinker tank immediately begins sputtering. While he’s off dialing Mose, Phyllis learns that people don’t really sell anti-gravity machines. Pity.
The Encyclopedia Britannica of recaps continues after the jump.
Michael meets Holly, and immediately shoots her down. Holly, surprisingly, opens Michael like a book, figures out that he hates Toby, and agrees that the guy is kind of a bore. Uh oh.
Creed has a mini-episode when Holly asks a polite question. He thinks he might work in “Quabity Assu-ance”, but isn’t taking any chances.
As his way of “initiating” her, Dwight tells Holly that Kevin is a… “slow” person. And so begins probably the best running gag of the night: Kevin as a retard. Holly puts on her kid skin gloves to meet Kevin, and the conversation goes something like this:
Holly: (saccharin sweet) Hi. What do you do?
Kevin: I do the numbers.
Holly: Oh! Good for you.
Kevin: Want an M&M?
Holly: Oh, no, that is so sweet. Thank you though.
Kevin: I keep them here at my desk so that everybody doesn’t take them.
Holly: Well that is a very safe place for them.
Michael is now extremely nervous around his new Holly-gram, and after the initial awkward exchanges, he offers to make her a mix tape for her ride in. Oh Holly, you’ve now truly been accepted. Who doesn’t love listening to DMB’s “Crash” while stuck in PA traffic?
Now, I know you all will hate me for this, but I kind of really hate creepy stalky Toby. His obsession with Pam seems a little off, no? Anyways, he goes to great lengths to find a camera to get a snap of him and and his immortal beloved.
Jim calls Ryan, aka Beardio, to tell him about a big sale. Ryan tells him to redirect the sale to make it look like it was purchased online, and pretty much shuts him down. Jim then goes to help out Michael with his newfound HR crush, and uses himself and Pam as an inter-office reference guide. Jim realizes that not only is he in love with Pam, but almost every relationship highlight took place right there at Dunder Mifflin! Thank God the cameras were around to capture all of them for our viewing pleasure. Jim wants to propose to Pammy, and gives Phyllis a Goodfellas-esque envelope full of cash to get the job done.
Holly helps Kevin with the vending machine. He thinks she wants to bang him. You can understand how he came to that conclusion. ps Where’s Stacy? Boo, I liked invisible Stacey. Jim, meanwhile, leaves Ryan a message saying he’s not going to be pushed around anymore.
Back to the Holl-ster: She took her chair apart for lumbar support reasons. Michael tries to help her, and manages drops his Yoda impression. Strangely, he doesn’t completely bomb with the girl! True love? Seems like it, no? Michael tries to ask her out, fails, gets invited to a non-existent orgy, and bonds over Jon Lovitz. Good lord, he is likable when he’s nervous.
Angela shredded the vendor list to screw Phyllis. Phyllis, in turn, pushes Angela’s things off a desk. Comme Ci, Comme Ã‡a.
Now, one of the best parts of the episode: Toby’s Exit Interview, which Michael has been looking forward to for years. He’s got questions prepared — even a gift! — but all goes sour when his new paramour wants to sit in, and even Pam shows up to take notes. Captain Bruisin’ kicks things off with “Of all the idiots, in all the idiot villages, in all the idiot worlds, you stand alone my friend.” Then the girls show up. Which really took the bite out of the following questions, which went from rhetorical badgering to fakily interested: “Who… do you think you are?” — “I’m Toby.” Also “What gives you the right?” Holly helpfully gives Michael a list of HR-approved questions, such as “What would you improve about this place?” Michael then slyly threatens to kill Toby, lest he ruin his changes with Holly, and the Tobester gives in. Then, Pam makes Michael give Toby his watch. This whole scene was perfection.
The Dunderlings gather round Jim’s desk to witness, strangely, a Youtube video of Ryan being arrested for misleading the shareholders with his little double dipping technique (and not, as Oscar suggested, for his beard.) Do you think he’ll meet Prison Mike in jail? Michael definitely hopes so.
Michael is really upset about Ryan, like a little adorable child needing to be held. Holly comes in to console him. She really is sweet and simple like a lady baker.
DUNDER MIFFLIN CARNIVAL ALERT. Pam has a feeling he’ll propose. Poor Pam.
Michael and Holly ride the Ferris Wheel together, and then catch Dwight and Mose planting a raccoon in her car. Meredith, of course, picks the lock. Michael comes to the rescue for his new lady. He gives an emotionally driven speech claiming that Holly is the best thing to happen to Dunder Mifflin since World War II. Which leads us to ask: What happened to the company in WW2? Also, it seems that poor Meredith is eventually going to get rabies, whether she likes it or not. Holly touches Michael’s arm, and sets off the fireworks a tad early.
Kevin does Phyllis a solid and goes to buy BBQ sauce. Holly can’t get over that he drives his own car, even though she herself drives her own car.
Michael gets up on the tiny stage to sing Toby a goodbye song, though, sadly, not “Beers in Heaven” or “Total Eclipse of the Fart.” (Feel free to leave your own lyrics to these two songs in the comments.) Michael does a genius rendition of Supertramp‘s “Goodbye, Toby”, and Pam admits that she thought Toby was kind of cute, which is a little strange and also all wrong. Kevin then calls Michael and tells him he needs to get down to the Supermarket NOW.
Michael arrives to find Kevin leavin’ the Super with Jan… who is PREGNANTTTTTT OMFGGGG. Jan breaks the news to Michael that it’s not his, but that she also didn’t cheat on him during the relationship… in fact, she claims she went to a “great” sperm bank because, sadly, she did not want to carry Michael’s seed. Given her age, she needed to “make this one count.” But let’s face it: THAT IS HUNTER’S BABY! Indie Rock can do crazy things to a cougar, you guys. Jan invites Michael to her lamaze class, and he has to “think about it.”
The fireworks have started… this is it. Jim is GOING TO PROPOSE to Pam. He reaches in his pocket for the ring, but before he could get all gushy, Andy Bernard grabs the microphone… and
(And also hilariously breaks Darryl’s keyboard. Kudos to the sound effects person for that one.)
She gives him her tiny hand in marriage, and accepts.
Fine, she says “OK.” STILL. Mr. Thunder Stealer ruined Jim’s propsal! All of that firework money for nothing. Andy felt that the time was right. (He had been carrying around the ring for 6 years, can you blame him?) And sadly, Kelly will not be a bridesmaid. Dwight, understandably, is crushed. His little monkey is no longer his.
Toby still hasn’t gotten his Pam pic, and finally gets one… or six. Because Pam’s smile is weird. Because she thought Jim was going to propose. Sad. But honestly, at this point I’m more invested in the blooming love that is Michael and Holly. She fills him in on the drama he missed while at the supermarket, and mentions that she could use dessert. She doesn’t realize who she’s dealing with, as here is a guy who misses all the signals. Kevin offers to go eat pie with her. And, like that, she leaves. But how much fun will next season be with these two? We love Holly!
Michael has a security guard escort Toby off of the premises. According the alarm on Toby’s new watch, he leaves right on time. He then calls Jan and offers to accompany her to lamaze. You know Jan will freak if anything happens with this new Holly girl. Michael’s going to be kind of a daddy. :’(
Phyllis walks in on Dwight and Angela having sex. Good sweet God in Heaven. Amazing!! Also, whyyyyy?
(Longest recap ever? Check. Oh Jesus, I forgot about my thoughts on the episode…)
Thoughts on the episode: Obviously, this was pretty much perfection. This episode actually made me feel all the more self-righteous about my dwindling Office love this season, as it proved to me the show could still be as funny as season’s past. They went out on a really high note, with a lot of new plot twists, and even a new really likable character who seems to bring out Michael’s most hilarious side. To be honest, Michael and Holly are totally my new JAM. And Jim and Pam? Well, they’re kind of like Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt on Mad About You: I’m glad they found each other, but I’m really not that invested anymore. They’ve gotten a little boring ever since getting together.
So — fantastic episode!! Let’s hope this becomes a re-habit for the show.
Now, as usual, quote the episode with reckless abandon in the comments.