The Office: “Todd Packer” (Episode 7.17)

TV Reviews
The Office: “Todd Packer” (Episode 7.17)

Another week, another baby step toward maturity from Mr. Michael Scott.

Michael’s personal breakthroughs are quickly becoming commonplace on The Office, and this week was no exception as Michael finally shed his seasons-long allegiance to Todd Packer. The office complains when Holly hires Packer as a permanent salesman on Michael’s recommendation, and after a few of Packer’s jokes go to far, Michael finally realizes that his “oldest friend” is kind of a jerk. However, instead of fully manning up and firing him, he allows him to believe that a prank phone call from Jim and Dwight is actually a job offer in Florida and leave on his own accord.

Packer’s departure was undoubtedly a loose end that needed to be tied up, but it didn’t exactly make for enthralling television; it was pretty clear from the first few minutes of this week’s episode that Michael was going to part ways with him. The only surprising thing was how he handled the task. Are we really supposed to believe that Michael’s cold enough to allow a man (one he used to consider a friend, no less) to move from Scranton all the way to Florida thinking he’s got a job waiting for him?

The other storyline centered around Pam and her office administrator responsibilities. After she replaces Erin’s computer, Andy demands a new one as well. Wanting to help but unable to just dish out new supplies to whomever requests them, she concocts a scheme (which, funnily enough, involves Andy placing what appears to be a slice of bologna into a CD drive) to get him a new one. Darryl is sharp enough to catch onto her, and in exchange for his silence, he gets three extra sick days out of her. The episode ends with Pam grinning into the camera and declaring, “I’m full-on corrupt.”

It’s an interesting development that could make for some solid plots in the future. The Office has become quite Michael-centric lately, which is understandable considering his imminent farewell, but it’s nice to see some of the other characters act as more than filler. Who knows? Maybe Pam’s corruption will be the beginning of a meteoric rise to regional manager for her…

Stray observations
-Andy really needed a new computer: “If you donated my computer to Africa, it would become famous as the slowest computer in Africa.”
-Dwight’s attempt at comforting Kevin about his weight: “Kevin, in sumo culture, you’d be considered a promising up-and-comer.”
-Ryan plays the saxophone!
-Michael, trying to tame Packer: “Now you have to be an indoor cat, and you can’t be peeing all over the walls.”
-The Michael-as-Dad theme continues when Kevin pretends not to be hurt by Packer and Michael humors him with an “OK, sweetie.”
-Packer’s apology: “Kevin, I am so sorry. You are skinny and a genius.”

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