‘The Office’ – ‘Whistleblower’: I am Spartacus!

Senior Television Writer
05.21.10 56 Comments


A review of “The Office” season finale coming up just as soon as they make a Barbie out of me…

“Whistleblower” felt like an all-too-appropriate end for this disappointing season of “The Office,” in that once again we started off with a promising idea (who is the whistleblower, and what will Jo do to him or her?) that the show ultimately lost interest in, just like Michael and Jim as co-managers, or Jim managing Michael, or the corporate culture change of Sabre, or…

I know I shouldn’t complain too much about an episode whose end result is Jo offering to have Holly transfered back to Scranton – and, certainly, if Amy Ryan is available to come back next season, that will hopefully cure much of what’s ailed the show lately. But when Jo brought Michael to her private plane and the interrogation turned into an exercise in soul-baring, I threw up my hands.

It’s not that I don’t see potential in the idea of Michael having a boss who genuinely likes him. It’s that it doesn’t fly with what we’ve seen of Jo before, and again signals an abrupt turn in a story that the writers either got bored with or couldn’t find a better way out of. And that’s happened so often this season that even the idea of Michael and Jo as pals(*) doesn’t interest me.

(*) And there’s also the matter of NBC picking up the legal drama Kathy Bates is starring in, which should limit her availability next season.

“Whistleblower” did have a few funny moments in the margins, most notably Kevin running to and then from his computer when he learned IT Guy (or whatever his name is) would be examining its contents. And I liked the weird running gag of everyone trying to push a side project – Toby with his mystery novel, Ryan with his social networking site, David Wallace still trying to plug his Suck It shop vac – but the bigger things like the multiple whistleblowers gathered in Meredith’s van never really clicked.

Oh, well. Season’s over, and I can only hope that some creative batteries get recharged over the hiatus, either because Holly could be returning, or simply because nobody wants the show to stink in what could be Steve Carell’s farewell season. But outside of a few episodes and moments, this was a really frustrating year.

What did everybody else think?

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