The Office 7.17 “Todd Packer” Review

In a long sitcom season, some episodes simply feel like filler. “Todd Packer” was just such an episode, with few laughs and no real reason to bring the obnoxious Todd Packer (David Koechner) back into the fold, even if it was just for a single episode.

It did allow Michael (Steve Carell) to finally make a stand for doing the right thing rather than cave once again to his incessant desire to be liked. It showed a new level of maturity. When Holly (Amy Ryan) was offended, Michael stepped in like a man…even if getting rid of Packer wasn’t really his idea.

The temporary partnership between Jim (John Krasinski) and Dwight (Rainn Wilson) was the highlight of the episode, especially Jim’s list of ways to get Packer and the drawer trick. But there really wasn’t much else to hang onto here. Pam’s (Jenna Fischer) newfound corruption was somewhat entertaining, but most of the night’s jokes fell flat or were too obvious (Angela loves pussycats, while Packer loves…dogs).

The best scene of the night was once again stolen by Craig Robinson in the final epilogue at the vending machine with Pam. Please, please let Darryl be the chosen one. He can carry this show in a way that I’m not sure any of the others can unless it’s someone new from the outside (I won’t delve into the rumors here).

If the episode seemed a bit aimless, it’s most likely because we are almost to the end of Michael’s reign, killing a little time until we get his final episodes and the search for the new leader begins. There’s nothing wrong with that…if it’s still funny. Unfortunately, 7.17 really wasn’t.

Grade: C

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