Things left off on a bad, albeit startlingly familiar note for Andy Bernard on The Office last week, and I'm on the fence as to what I think about the latest development. On one hand, there's a lot about Andy that's been glimpsed over the years, but never fully explored. And on the other hand, the show took a giant step backward with his character, and I'm not entirely sure where it's going or whether it'll inevitably be a good thing for the show.
With the fate of the lead characters of The Office still up in the air due to contract negotiations, I have to wonder if the writers of The Office are trying to set up the conclusion of the eighth season with a big cliffhanger that allows for recasting/restaffing, but also leaves the series open to resume as usual next fall. Regardless, "Angry Andy" returned last week, offering a nod to the Season 3 Andy Bernard who once punched a hole in the wall and was sent to anger management. That incident came as the result of an ill-timed prank on Jim's part and was definitely one of the funnier moments of the season. But Andy's return to rage last week wasn't quite as hilarious, especially when factoring in that he's supposed to be the manager. With that said, it happened, and this week, we'll see the aftermath as Season 8 inches toward its conclusion.
Counting this Thursday's "Fundraiser" episode, there are three episodes left to the season. NBC released some photos from the season finale, titled "Free Family Portrait Studio," and it looks like they give us some indication of what's going on with Andy. Look no further if you don't want to be spoiled!
Is Andy returning as the janitor? Well, Ryan did manage to reclaim his temp job after being arrested for fraud and fired from corporate. If he can make a Dunder Mifflin comeback after that, I don't see why Andy couldn't return after punching a(nother) hole in the wall.
Only, I'm guessing the janitor thing isn't really happening here. For one thing, he looks like he's trying to play a janitor in disguise, as he's actually whistling while he's mopping in one photo. And he's mopping a carpeted floor. What's he really up to? Also, what's up with the taped arrows on the floor beneath everyone's feet in the group photo?
Andy's a guy with a lot of issues. He's proven to be insecure, and we know he has problems with his family. It would be great to get to the bottom of these things, and maybe that's what the writers are aiming to address with his meltdown. That's sort of why I'm reserving full judgment on the recent turn of events until we see it all play out.
The Office airs Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. ET on NBC.