Despite Steve Carell being gone and Will Ferrell wrapping up his guest stint as the obtuse Deangelo Vickers character with a bizarre twist, life wasn't as strange or empty as one might expect in the first official Carell-less episode of the American run of "The Office". In fact, we were so caught up wondering how the hell Ferrell was going to make his exit that we weren't given time to dwell on the Michael-Scott-sized hole left on the show.
Deangelo's leadership methods are vastly different from Michael's, and despite the majority of the office making clear attempts to suck up to him, there's one immovable holdout: Dwight. “No matter how many times I reach out to Dwight, he doesn’t seem to want anything to do with me," Ferrell's character explains in frustrated wonderment. "It reminds me of my relationship with my son, except there, I’m the Dwight.” Wait, what?
The new boss' attempts at making a connection are thwarted by the stubborn office black sheep, to the point of screaming him down, prove futile. Peripheral kudos for showing Dwight shocked into submission, like a deer in headlights, at having been yelled at (something Michael would certainly never have done). From then on he eagerly began following orders, sharing (with wide, alarmed eyes) that he responds to strong leadership.
Four of the office men are selected – Jim, Darryl, Gabe and Kevin – to serve as his "go-to guys" on issues. This raises some issue with the rest of the staff, particularly the female portion of it, a situation exacerbated by Deangelo's hiring of a new hot girl as his "executive assistant," even though he worked at an office that already employed both Erin and Pam.
The women are understandably annoyed that none of them have been asked to join the "inner circle," and sexism accusations begin taking flight. Pam urges Jim to bring this up during a meeting among the guys, which results in him being coldly kicked out and replaced by an ecstatically vulturous Andy.
The ever-parasitic worm that is Ryan, panicked that the new boss might discover he actually doesn't do anything at all in the office, pretends to be Kelly's supervisor and convinces her to play along. Kelly goes along with the ruse, before her power-hungry on-again, off-again boyfriend begins to assert a little too much authority. When the branch snaps, it snaps with such painful awkwardness:
"He’s just a big fraud, Deangelo. Just like Rango! He doesn't work here, basically, just like the way Rango didn't save those animals, it was just a big misunderstanding." – Oh Kelly, how would we keep up with pop culture without you?
It's not long before the guessing game hits a high intensity on just how Ferrell will make his exit, as most signs point to a painfully uncomfortable, likely massively inappropriate scenario unfolding to usher in the conclusion to his storyline arc on the show. Surprisingly, that's not really at all what happened.
Determined to crown himself the alpha male at the office (since clearly the job title didn't do the trick), Deangelo performs an impromptu juggling performance – with no balls. Yes, that's as ridiculous as you might imagine – particularly because it went on for a full minute.
Calling the boss out on his claim that he can dunk a ball from the free throw line just like Michael Jordan, Jim suggests everyone head down to the warehouse where there's a real basketball net and ball, so Deangelo can prove his on-court mettle.
This brings us to the pivotal dunk, which results in Deangelo's near-decapitation. Arriving in the glorious combined attire of a dress shirt and vest with basketball shorts and sneakers, the new boss has Kevin lie down in front of the net (for extra bedazzlement when he hits his major ups) and proceeds to run around him and haphazardly slam the ball through the net… which causes the entire basketball pole to collapse and land on top of him.
He's rushed to hospital and stumbles back into the office before the credits roll, clearly an escaped patient suffering from some sort of brain damage. This quite clearly, and oddly, ends Ferrell's arc as Steve Carell's replacement. An odd run, one we're no doubt thankful to have experienced to soften the blow of Carell's departure, but an odd one nonetheless.
With several more big stars coming before the end of this season, it's still anyone's guess as to who will be the permanent replacement for Michael Scott. I can't really see Ray Romano being a good fit, but as I said before, Will Arnett would be a dream come true. Wait and see…