The best episode of the final season of “The Office” to date, “Andy’s Ancestry” played to the series’ strengths, and if it wasn’t up to par with the best episodes of the show overall, the episode at the very least played to the show’s strengths. By now, the writers know the characters inside and out, and one nifty thing this show did was to bring to mind and sum up a lot of what makes the characters memorable, sometimes in scenes in which they weren’t even present.
For instance, we didn’t actually need to hear Angela say that she insisted that the animals in the mural she commissioned from Pam be “fully clothed”- it just sounded like something she would say. Ditto Andy’s text message, in which he abbreviated words that weren’t even commonly abbreviated, and then proceeded to not abbreviate the one that should be: “as soon as possible,” instead spelling it out. It’s such an “Andy” thing to do that we get it immediately, and can find the humor in the joke by simply picturing him doing it. That’s when you know the writers are “in the zone” character-wise, in my humble opinion.or should I say IMHO?
The cold open with “Asian Jim” was classic “Office” high-jinks, as was the messing with Andy over his alleged family connection with Michelle Obama. It’s always fun to see Kevin get giggly, and the bit about him being related to both John Wayne Gacy and John Wayne Bobbitt- but not John Wayne- was priceless. Ditto Meredith’s glee- and Angela’s horror- about the former’s relation to Lizzie Borden. I also got a kick out of Andy’s on-the-spot revision of Ladysmith Black Mambazo as “Ladysmith African-American Mambazo.” Well played, “Office.”
Other nice character moments included the 2 new guys, Clark and Pete, who decided the best way to curry Andy’s favor was to clap whenever he did something moderately impressive.like make a successful Xerox copy. “Just clap through it, man,” indeed. Nice bit where Clark started to clap and Pete stopped him with a head shake in the meeting, too. Speaking of telling character traits, I liked the sly add at the end that Pete learned a bit of the “foreign language” Dothraki (possible msp) on Erin’s account.
However, the biggest surprise by far was Nellie, who really started to grow on me this week. She far and away got off some of the best lines of the show: “He’s really been salting my onions lately” springs immediately to mind. I don’t have any idea what that means, but I laughed anyway. Also, loved her calling Pam “a cocky little thing” and “Scranton’s most dangerous young muralist.” Not to mention her joking about Richard Nixon and Jim that the latter had “all of the lying, but none of the sexual charisma” of the former.
Last but not least, her declaration that, if it didn’t work out with Jim, Nellie would “find someone better for you and rich.and Filipino.” I don’t know exactly what that means, either, but once again, it made me laugh. All in all, Nellie easily got off the best lines of the evening- not too shabby for a character I’d long since dismissed. Hell, even one of the best lines of the show was about her: “Nellie, get you wrinkly old balls in here!” LOL. Better late than never, I guess, this being the last season and all.
That said, I probably laughed the most at Dwight’s attempts to teach Erin the aforementioned Dothraki language, aka the language spoke in “Game of Thrones.” Pete’s perplexed reaction to her uttering something or the other in the “language” was my biggest laugh of the evening, I’d say. I also loved that Dwight referred to HBO as “Home Box Office.” I’d almost forgotten that’s what it stood for. Leave it to Dwight to remind me and to casually mention that “GOT” has “a lot of nudity, which I fast-forward through to get to all the chopped-off heads.” Good to know, as I don’t watch the show. yet.
Fave line of the evening wasn’t funny, just words of wisdom from the ever-astute Darryl: “It’s not real until your wife is on board.” After which Jim wisely followed Darryl’s advice and told Pam about his semi-secret business venture and was much relived to find that she was supportive.or was she? That final look from her suggested maybe otherwise. We’ll see next week.