Fans of the British version of The Office have longed for Ricky Gervais' David Brent to stop by NBC's American remake for years, making it an official spin-off instead of just a remake. The news came that it was finally happening in this week's episode, and I got very excited. Looking back, it was said that Gervais would appear only in the opening, but the result was still a wasted opportunity! The show could easily have built an episode around him, not to mention an entire multi-episode arc, if they wanted to. Instead, we just got David and Michael (Steve Carell) talking weirdly to each other for a few seconds.
I try not to look a gift horse in the mouth, and I am still thrilled that Gervais appeared at all. I'm sure the fact that it was a small part was of his choosing. However, there was no explanation for how or why David was where he was; really, no story at all. As one of the most unique TV characters of all time (before he was imitated repeatedly by others), David Brent is a very entertaining creation that deserves more. Not only that, but I was still trying to decide if Gervais was really bringing the Brent I know and love alive when his short scene ended. I'm not convinced he really acted the character, at least not as well as he used to. I can't help but feel it was too quickly done and that a longer part would have captured Brent better.
Other than the opening, though, it was another excellent episode in this strong season of The Office. With Carell's episode count dwindling (he will be leaving the series for good four episodes before the season finale), Michael Scott has gotten more focus that ever. The arc most people want to see tied up is Michael's love for Holly Flax (Amy Ryan). Michael's other ex-girlfriends were all brought back earlier in the season and sent off one last time, but Holly is more than that. Holly is his soul mate, and the last few episodes have only confirmed that point. She actually gets Michael, and enjoys his zany antics. What more can you ask for in a partner?