After eight seasons and many memorable moments, the ninth and final season of “The Office” has finally arrived. With many original cast members taking an early exit, how does the season nine premiere kick off? Summer Round UpThe intro of “The Office” aimed to nicely set up the season, informing viewers of what the Dunder Mifflin employees have been up to all summer. Andy made his big return to the Scranton office after new CEO David Wallace sent him on an Outward Bound wilderness adventure...with David’s teenage son (“Both grew up big time”).Nellie, who took Andy’s job as manager one day when he was out of the office, is still around, but is now the special projects manager. Unfortunately for her, Andy now has his heart set on destroying her job at Dunder Mifflin.As for the rest of the crew, Dwight developed a blue power drink made from beet run off...and vomited it all up when discovering that he is NOT the father of Angela’s baby. Kevin ran over a turtle (is this the death that was talked about?) and tried to rebuild its shell numerous times before realizing it was dead. Jim’s childhood friend launched a new sports marketing business from an idea that Jim once had, and offered him a job, but Pam and Jim decided to turn the job down because they would be forced to relocate to Philadelphia. Adieu To Two EmployeesViewers said goodbye to two original “Office” members. Kelly, who is now engaged to Ravi, walks out of the office in style. Ravi got a job in Miami (Ohio), so of course Kelly, who is very confused, feels the need to abandon her winter jackets since she’s going to “hang out with Lebron James and Gloria Estefan.”Unfortunately for Kelly, she does not understand that she is actually moving to Miami, Ohio..not Miami, Florida. Ryan does understand the location of Kelly’s move, and decides to head there as well..although he claims that Kelly has nothing to do with it. According to Ryan, Ohio is Silicon Prairie, the next Silicon Valley. The DocumentaryIt’s really easy to forget that the reason the employees address the camera directly is that they’re being filmed by a documentary crew. As everyone finishes recapping their summer (and bidding adieu), viewers see something that has never been shown before...Jim and Pam take off their mics and actually talk to the documentary guys. With Pam sounding old and telling them that nothing exciting is going to happen, the film guys respond, “We’re more interested in how you guys turn out.” The New GuysWith Kelly and Ryan now gone, the Dunder Mifflin office has a couple seats to be filled. Although Kelly and Ryan cannot be replaced, Clark and Pete (or Dwight Jr. and New Jim, or Fart and Plop), will try and do their best.So, will the new guys fit in this season? It seems Meredith has already taken a shine to Pete. “Hey, New Jim, come sit on my face,” she tells him to his horror. As for Dwight, he may not have a biological son, but having Dwight Jr. in the office helps ease the pain. “In a way it’s like I have a son,” he tells the cameras. Clark doesn’t seem to feel the same way though, and tells the office that he’d prefer to be called Fart over Dwight Jr. The Anti-Toby Club ReturnsMichael Scott used to hate Toby, and unfortunately the Toby hate-fests left when Michael did. Now that Andy has returned as a new man from Outward Bound, he’s starting to see the office members in a new light. With his heart set on getting Nellie out of the office, Toby tells him that they need just reasoning to let her go. Andy tells him that he’ll fake something to get her fired, to which Toby responds that if Nellie takes them to court he will have to testify against Andy.When Andy tells Toby to forget what he just said, Toby tells him that he remembers everything. Andy’s response? “Now I know why Michael hated you so much.” Team Building ExerciseWhat should have been a team building exercise actually turned into a dangerous stunt that embarrassed some while turning others against each other. Andy sets up a tight rope, an exercise that he did while at Outward Bound.Wanting members of the office to walk across it without falling, Andy encourages them to do it by saying “If you Toby out, you’ll feel like a Nellie.” Nellie is up first, and while she seems to balance on the rope with her heels, Andy actually pushes her off before she can get anywhere. After Darryl refuses (“It’s for white people with dreadlocks”), Clark (Dwight Jr.) decides to give it a go...and aces it!This of course causes some competition for Dwight. “Let me show you how a real man walks across a flaccid cord,” he says as he attempts to balance himself. After multiple fails and an eventual bloody mouth, Dwight only gives up when Toby refuses to let the stunt go on. Dwight’s newfound hatred for Dwight Jr. only grows when Andy decides to shout out, “Dwight is lame and new Dwight is cool!” Office DramaIt wouldn’t be a realistic office without some drama. So what’s the drama this season? Dwight thinks that Dwight Jr. is after his job, and is still upset with losing on the tightrope to him. To settle the tightrope score, Dwight builds a bike to ride across a rope that is set to stretch from the roof of the building across the parking lot. Angela is putting her cat Comstock up for adoption since her baby is allergic. Although Oscar initially refuses to adopt the cat, he does when he discovers that Angela’s husband, Robert, loves the cat. Turns out that Oscar and Robert have been having an affair all summer! Andy comes right out and tells Nellie, “I’m gonna be a huge bitch to you.” So, what does that include? Surrounding her desk with garbage and recycling cans, which of course has the whole office shooting (and missing) their garbage at her.Back to the Dwight bike stunt. Dwight enlists Pam to sit on a bar at the bottom of the bike to even it out. Pam of course refuses, forcing Dwight to instead duct tape a printer to even out the weight. As everyone walks into the parking lot at the end of the day Dwight decides to make his big debut, which of course ends the way everyone thinks it would...with him losing his balance and holding onto the handlebars of the bike for dear life. As the office watches, police and fire trucks arrive to help get Dwight down from the bike.Remember the mention of the sports marketing job Jim got offered? After watching the antics of the office and “New Jim” interacting with everyone, Jim decides to take the job. “The Office” Highlight: Creed recapping the day, and ending it by saying “Not bad for the day in the life of a dog food company.” What did you think of “The Office” season nine premiere?
Amanda Remling studied journalism at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ.
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