‘The Office’ Recap (Season 8, Episode 23): “Turf War”

Dunder-Mifflin (and the show) continue to fall apart in the penultimate episode of NBC’s The Office

“Turf War” just might be the most meta episode of The Office yet. The whole thing is about how incompetent Robert California is, something the characters in the show have only just realized for some reason. He has spent this whole season being creepy and making bizarre decisions that haven’t really led anywhere, much like the writers of the show itself. In this episode, it is revealed that he got drunk one night and closed down a branch of Dunder-Mifflin, resulting in their clients going elsewhere for their paper needs and it’s probably only a matter of time before he does the same thing to the Scranton branch. I couldn’t help but by reminded of all of the cast members of The Office joining other shows or going elsewhere next season. Was this episode intentionally written to be a commentary on the current mess The Office is stuck in? I have no idea but an episode like this isn’t going to help the situation.

Aside from more bullshit Robert/Nellie sex stuff (which even absorbed Pam this week), we got a lot of Jim and Dwight, who have teamed up to grab all of the closed branch’s clients. This results in the two racing against a salesman from another branch (hey, it’s Frank/Andy from The Wire/True Blood!) but the three are all beaten by Andy of all people, who has decided to take advantage of the mess and go into business himself (remember how good the Michael Scott Paper Company storyline was?). He ends up visiting David Wallace (so that’s why he appeared last week) and asking him if he’s interested in an investment. Is this the reboot the writers have been talking about? David Wallace, Andy and presumably whatever’s left of The Office cast starting a new paper company?

Apart from the Jim/Dwight antics, I don’t think anything of any value happened. We did get some more of weird/creepy Gabe (if any character other than Dwight deserves a spinoff, it has to be him) and… nope, I think that was it. After last week’s rather jam-packed episode, this was another slight one. To be fair, I think it was mainly set-up for next week’s season (series?) finale, so we’ll have to wait until next week to see how all of this pans out. I don’t have a very good feeling about this though. The writers have one episode left to redeem and validate this entire season. Is that even possible to pull off? Could The Office actually get worse?

Part of me can’t wait. I’ll see you then.

Craig McQuinn is a poor student currently living in Australia. He was born in New Zealand and had to kill many wild animals to survive. He enjoys almost all forms of po ...read more

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