I never used to feel so desperately sad after watching an episode of The Office.

Though still devoted to The Office, I have to admit that episodes without Michael Scott just don’t work that well. I’m not sure if it’s the removal of Steve Carell and the shifting dynamics of the characters, or the fact that this lowly paper company is, ultimately, a sad place that was skating by in early seasons with distractions like Jim and Pam’s unresolved sexual tension. But now they have two kids. And how many times are we allowed to run over Meredith?

Things in this episode that bothered me:

Kevin smashing a fake turtle (and seeing its dead turtle body) really made me feel sick. I don’t care that it’s fake, even the idea of it is upsetting.
Oscar is cheating with Angela’s closeted hubby… eh.
Mindy Kaling has left as Kelly Kapoor for The Mindy Project, but B.J. Novak is also gone!
Ellie Kemper was underutilized in this episode!
Why is Dwight’s beet run-off drink blue?

Things in this episode that didn’t bother me:

Catherine Tate is still around!
“They call it the Silicone Prairie.”
Angela holding 20 minute interviews for who will adopt Comstock the cat. I love Angela Kinsey so much.
Clark Duke (Greek) as the new Dwight 2.0.
Jim making a huge, life-altering decision without talking to his wife, first.
Toby is a bummer 2.0. “So this is why Michael hated you.” Maybe they can create a support group online. I mean, I’m sure Michael e-mails them all lots of forwarded links all the time, right? Sigh. I miss Michael.

The Office season 9 image: Chris Haston for NBC.

The Office airs Thursday nights on NBC.

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Follow TV Critic Jessica Rae on Twitter @ThisJessicaRae.