Welcome back to season 7 of The Office! Has it really been so long? Steve Carell’s upcoming departure casts a pretty dark shadow over the season (though I’m actually more saddened by Mindy Kaling’s possible exit), but “Nepotism” didn’t even acknowledge it. In fact, as 30 Rock and Community winked at their respective situations, The Office just carried on, business as usual.
The episode loosely followed the Dunder-Mifflinites’ intense dissatisfaction with the new intern, Luke — who turned out to be Michael’s nephew. Everyone agreed that he was “the worst,” but Michael, as usual, couldn’t go with the flow. “Why does God get to do something I don’t?” he wondered. Why indeed.
After teasing us all of last season with an Erin/Andy romance, The Office pulled the rug out from under some ‘shippers and actually had Erin together with, gasp, Gabe. Gabe! “Thank God he’s my boss, because I would not have said yes to a first date otherwise,” Erin gushed. Poor Nard Dog! (Nard Man is his dad.) Here’s hoping Gabe reveals some inner weirdness because the last thing this show needs is another normal. We have Jim, Pam, and Oscar, and that’s plenty of normal. Erin’s awesomely strange enthusiasm, Andy’s social ineptitude, Kelly’s…Kelly-ness: Those are the joys of The Office. Until we get to know Gabe a bit better, I remain Team Andy.
Speaking of weird, Dwight bought the building that houses DM HQ, so naturally he wore a camouflage CamelBak and toted around dozens of keys. In the episode’s best moment, Jim’s new prank was adding keys (from a drawer full of them) to Dwight’s janitor-level keyring. Alas, Pam’s giggles ruined the ruse, and thus she spent the rest of the episode trying to pull a prank on Dwight to make it up to her beloved.
++ “Ryan, we’re doing a dance!” — Kelly imploring Ryan to participate in the opening lipdub instead of just hyping his Internet start-up
++ “That got infected even though I peed on it…saw Inception…” — Michael describing his summer
++ Angela going to the parking lot to “feed feral cats”
++ Dwight establishing a “pee corner”
++ Creed complaining that Twitter is “Betty White this and Betty White that”
On the whole, Nepotism had some fun moments, but it didn’t explode, despite an actual spanking. The fire-Luke A-story and the Pam-and-Dwight B-story didn’t affect each other, and while each was funnyish on its own, I wished the plots had been better connected.
What did you think? Are you ready for Michael’s last season in Scranton? Sound off below!