Michael and Holly finally reconnect, while everyone else just makes fun of Gabe
Credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBC
Michael Scott, The Office (Steve Carell)
S7 E15
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All together now, Officers: finally. In an otherwise tepid episode that couldn’t quite find its A-story, “The Search” did have one major thing going for it: Michael and Holly finally — finally! — got back together. Otherwise, though, there was a surprisingly mean-spirited caption contest, and yet another absence from Mr. Jim Halpert. (I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess John Krasinski was filming something when these last few episodes were shot.)

Kelly and Ryan announced they were getting divorced, which came as a shock to everyone since no one, including us, knew they were married. Oh, how I wish we could have seen the drunken nuptials between these two lost souls. None of the Dunder Mifflinites wanted to “choose sides,” but I think I speak for all of us when I say, Team Kelly! Sadly, that was all we saw from these two the rest of the episode.

Jim stranded Michael in a contrivance gas-station bathroom, sans phone or wallet, at which point a heartsick Michael decided to go on a walkabout. I liked the end result — a wandering Michael, who has no real idea of what to do with himself — but the show seemed like it had to bend over backwards to explain how the narrative got there. Uh, uh, Jim! Leaves him! And Michael, whom we know to be an excellent salesman who as worked at the Scranton branch for many years, doesn’t know his office phone number by heart, and thus is at a loss without his cellphone. Er…really? It’s sort of a dumb hair to split, but this show thrives on its “wow, too true” moments, its examination of the painful banalities of the American condition, the way we see ourselves sometimes badly reflected in the characters on screen. Something so needlessly non-credible just erodes the universe of the show.

Back at DMHQ, Erin, Holly, and Dwight decided to form a search party to find their wayward boss. As it turned out, Amy and Michael have very similar taste in wandering, and in a very special episode of Where In The World Is Michael Scott, they quickly found themselves hot on Michael’s trail. They tracked him all over town until Holly, in yet another moment of accidentally using her “common mind” with Michael, headed up to a rooftop to survey the city. Up there? A lovelorn Michael Scott. Awwww. He choked back tears as he confessed that he missed her; she did the same. And then after months of anticipation, the two lovebirds kissed. Cue a nationwide sigh of relief.

While Dwight, “the Space Orphan, and Princess Nincompoop” were searching Scranton, the rest of the Dunder-Miffilinites were having an office-wide caption contest for some of Pam’s doodles. For some reason, Gabe was an uptight jerk about the whole game, and everyone responded by openly mocking him. It was a weird, off-seeming subplot: Do people really do doodle-based caption contests? Is this a “thing”? Would everyone really go for it, and would they all seem to know how the New Yorker caption contests work? When did Gabe become so mean and sad? And when did everyone totally turn on him? I feel like this is Jerry from Parks and Recreation all over again, but it’s done so much better over in Pawnee.

NEXT: The thief board!

The best episodes of The Office are the ones that stick pretty closely to the realities of the actual world. The show’s a faux documentary, after all, and wandering this far from believable behavior removes an essential Office-iness from the whole episode. We’ve seen Michael go rogue before in “Survivor Man,” and even that episode’s nutso set-up seemed to hold up to scrutiny a bit better than this week’s.


++ “Her personality is like a 3, her sense of humor is like a 2, her ears are like a 7 and a 4.” Erin’s ongoing hatred of Holly is fantastic, and her scale of a “perfect 40” just makes it even better.

++ Dwight calling Erin and Holly “the Space Orphan and Princess Nincompoop”

++ Creed muttering “gloves!” and then later appearing on the thief board at the Chinese restaurant. I wish we could see a full-on Creed-focused episode.

++ The idea that Darryl writes his own Family Circus captions

++ Darryl sneering “you crushed our spirits, Gabe! Congrats!”

++ Even though I found the caption contest itself to be sort of a dud, the fact that Angela came up with the scatalogical winning entry was a brilliant move. Also, more Angela, please.

I’m glad Michael and Holly are back on track, but I don’t think we can say the same for the rest of this episode. What did you think, Office fans?

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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