Credit: Chris Haston/NBC

Image Credit: Chris Haston/NBCIt’s no secret that The Office is coming off of a so-so season. The show’s still got the funniest supporting cast on television, but after the one-two punch of the Jim/Pam marriage and the birth of Baby Halpert, some of the comic energy seemed to fizzle out. Still, Office fans rejoiced when the season finale hinted at the return of Michael Scott’s one true lady love, Holly Flax (played by Amy Ryan, who would star in everything if I controlled Hollywood). And now, we rejoice once more, this time with feeling: As EW’s Michael Ausiello reported a couple days ago, Holly’s back, baby!

Holly has only appeared in seven episodes, but it’s impossible to underestimate how important her character has been for the later seasons of The Office. Heck, she basically rescued the show at the start of season 5. Back then, The Office was still figuring out how to keep the show going after Jim and Pam ended the “will they or won’t they?” phase of their relationship. Possibly because she was blessed with incredible acting talent by the gods of Olympus, Amy Ryan managed to achieve the impossible: She made Holly seem like someone who could believably fall in love with Michael Scott.

Even after her departure – Corporate transferred her to Nashua, N.H. – she’s been a presence on the show, adding a surprising layer of emotional depth to Steve Carell’s performance. (In the season 6 finale, there was an out-of-nowhere line where Michael said, “I miss Holly.” Viewers, my eyes were raining.) And of course, Holly is returning at an intriguing time, since, barring any crazy Friends-style negotiations, Steve Carell will be leaving after this season. Even more intriguingly, Zap2It is reporting that Holly will be back for eight episodes.

Viewers, I don’t know about you, but I’m envisioning all kinds of story possibilities. Michael, trying to win Holly back (since, when we last saw her, she had a new boyfriend.) A secession crisis, as the co-workers battle to take over as Regional Manager when Michael leaves. And if Holly is back, what does this mean for Toby? God, do we all hate Toby, or what?

What do you want to see when Holly returns, PopWatchers? And this means no more dalliances with adulterous bartenders, right? What was that?

Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

Episode Recaps

Michael Scott, The Office (Steve Carell)

The Office

The mockumentary-style sitcom chronicles a group of typical office employees working 9-5 at the Scranton branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company.

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